There are two particular situations when we encourage Wynn at Law, LLC real estate clients to do as much home-buying due diligence as possible: Foreclosures and Relocations.
- Foreclosures: We don't hear about as many foreclosures as we did at the start of the decade, but they're still out there in Southeast Wisconsin. Walworth County – at 1 home in 2,060 in foreclosure – is below the state average (1 in 2,700) and sandwiched between one of the busiest counties for August 2017 foreclosure activity (Rock Co., 1 in 1,334) and one of the lightest (Racine Co., 1 in 4,105). That data is from realtytrac.com, and indicates that Elkhorn and Walworth communities currently have the highest foreclosure ratios in Walworth Co.
- Relocations, or RELOs: As both the job and real estate markets continue to improve, workers are on the move again. When you see 'RELO documents required' in a description of a property, you will have paper work from a relocation company to sign. This usually means the home is an inventory home of a relocation company that has bought out the relocated seller. Corporations use relocation companies to get their employees to their new destinations ASAP. These corporations contract with RELO companies – or sometimes a RELO department within a large realty firm – to buy these homes and turn around and resell them. Just like the bank owning a foreclosed home, a RELO company doesn't know the property the way a private seller does.
In either case of buying, you should have an attorney on board as early as possible in the home-buying process (see related article). You should inspect the property top to bottom (another previous article), see it in multiple lights, and do your best to glean as much information as you can from public records.
Also, be aware that even though the RELO company and a bank foreclosing on a home have a vested interest in getting a property sold, they may or may not be more flexible on price, depending on the market. One such situation is the seller's market we're in. Another, in a RELO context, is if the RELO firm guaranteed a buyout of the home – a GBO. An attorney can be a strong negotiator in your corner, regardless of the market or status of the property.
*The content and material in this original post is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.
Photo by Andy Dean, used with permission.