How to buy a pre foreclosure house?

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Buying a pre foreclosure house can be a great opportunity for homebuyers to find a property at a discounted price. However, the process can be complex and requires careful consideration. In this article, we will dive into the steps involved in buying a pre foreclosure house and provide helpful tips to navigate the process successfully.

Understanding Pre Foreclosure

Before delving into the buying process, it’s essential to understand what pre foreclosure means. Pre foreclosure refers to the period when a homeowner has fallen behind on their mortgage payments, and the lender has initiated the foreclosure process. During this phase, the property is not yet foreclosed upon and is still owned by the homeowner.

Research and Preparation

Research local laws and regulations: Start by familiarizing yourself with the laws and regulations regarding pre foreclosure properties in your area. Each jurisdiction may have specific rules and procedures that need to be followed.

Identify potential properties: Look for pre foreclosure properties in your desired location. You can find this information through public records, online listings, or by working with a real estate agent who specializes in distressed properties.

Assess the property’s condition: It’s crucial to evaluate the condition of the property before making an offer. Consider hiring a professional home inspector to identify any potential issues or repairs needed. This will help you determine the true value of the property and avoid any surprises later on.

Contacting the Homeowner

Once you have identified a pre foreclosure property of interest, the next step is to contact the homeowner. Keep in mind that this can be a sensitive and emotional situation for the homeowner, so approach them with empathy and respect. You can reach out directly or through their attorney if they have one.

During your conversation, express your interest in purchasing the property and discuss the possibility of a sale. It’s important to be transparent and honest about your intentions and the condition of the property.

Negotiating with the Lender

In many cases, the lender is actively involved in the pre foreclosure process. They may have already initiated legal proceedings or be in the process of doing so. It’s crucial to establish communication with the lender to negotiate a potential purchase.

Submit a written offer: Prepare a written offer outlining your proposed purchase price, terms, and conditions. Be prepared for potential negotiations and counteroffers from the lender.

Consider financing options: Financing a pre foreclosure purchase can be challenging, as traditional lenders may be hesitant to provide loans for distressed properties. Explore alternative financing options such as private lenders or hard money loans.

Completing the Purchase

Once you have reached an agreement with the homeowner and the lender, it’s time to complete the purchase. Here are the key steps involved:

Perform due diligence: Conduct a thorough title search to ensure there are no outstanding liens or legal issues with the property. This step is crucial to protect your investment.

Obtain financing: If you haven’t secured financing yet, finalize your loan arrangements. Ensure that you have a clear understanding of the terms and conditions of the loan.

Close the deal: Work with a real estate attorney or title company to handle the closing process. This includes signing the necessary documents, transferring funds, and obtaining the keys to the property.


Buying a pre foreclosure house can be a rewarding experience, but it requires careful research, negotiation, and due diligence. By understanding the pre foreclosure process, contacting the homeowner and lender, and completing the necessary steps, you can navigate this complex process successfully.


– National Association of Realtors:
– Investopedia:
– Zillow: