Don’t expect banks to be nice to you for buying their foreclosures

We just purchased a new house this week.  It happened to be a foreclosure.  It was in excellent shape even compared to a house not in foreclosure.

I have to say, though, the seller jerked us around quite a bit throughout the whole process.  That wasn’t pleasant at all.  But we ended up getting the house, and they fixed the big thing that we asked them to fix:  the water heater.  So it wasn’t all bad.

But here are some of the big lessons I learned throughout the process:

  • The seller’s addendum was extremely restrictive. There’s the part of the contract that we signed with our real estate agent, and then there was the part that the bank added on (an addendum) with their terms.  It was nine pages of very, very small print that gave every discrection to them and took all of ours away.
  • We had to rush everything over to them, but they dragged their feet on their end. Games.  Nothing but games.
  • We never met any of the parties on the seller’s side in the transaction. But that may be normal for foreclosure transactions.  I don’t know.
  • We had to get an inspection, and have the report to them on very short turnaround, but they didn’t even have to acknowledge that they fixed anything. Again, very one sided, but they did let us know beforehand that they did fix the one thing we asked for.
  • They called us the day of closing, after we had already given up hearing from them, at 2:30, expecting us to close that day. I still hadn’t done a walk-through, and the settlement agency’s office was 45 minutes away.  We got it done, but I was not amused by that little stunt.

The transaction moved quickly overall, but I did get the feeling that they were figuratively throwing the keys at us at the closing table.  But I’m probably not the only one who’s seen the very distanced view of banks and their foreclosed real estate.

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