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Selling Homes in the East Bay Elisa Uribe 510-485-7272 Opening the Door to Opportunity
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Elisa Uribe

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Want to Buy a House on the Courtroom Steps? Not For the Faint of Heart

Today I found myself driving to Downtown Oakland to take the mystery out of what it's like to see a group of investors with cashier's checks in hand hoping to buy a property directly from the bank.


When I arrived at the corner of 13th St and Fallon, across from Lake Merritt, I saw more than twenty people; some who looked like they knew what they were doing, and others hoping to play the part. It was such an intimate scene to watch all of them huddled together, close enough to listen to the auctioneer and close enough to verbally compete with each other.

At one point I noticed there were two or three people bidding on the same property. With the tap of a shoulder to indicate the money man approve a higher price, the next bidder shouted out his next bid. Since no one is patting themselves on the back for a job well done, it’s hard to tell who really won in the end. Was it really the winning bidder? Or did he just buy a property that others never really wanted.

If you decide to go, just beware there is no way to avoid standing out like a sore thumb if you just plan to watch the pros in action. I got the feeling it was the good ‘ol boys, a club that takes years to be a part of it, unless you’re lucky to have someone take you under their wings. These men mean business and know what they are doing.

Everyone had their paperwork in hand, and I know they were on Foreclosure Radar that morning of the sale just to make sure the properties they were interested in had not been removed from the list of properties for sale that day.

That of course, is only part of the research. There are many reasons why a property can be listed for sale by the bank (trustee) and then postponed or cancelled. Perhaps it had to do with a short sale that went through, or a loan modification in progress. It’s important to do your homework before you bid on a property, win the bid, and then find out the sale will be reversed and your money will be refunded. If this happens, then in the end, you don’t have a property, and you missed out on the opportunity to buy another property you might have been interested in that day.

I think the people that really make money buying properties directly from the bank are the ones that have a team of people and it comes from years of trial and error. Quite an exciting day!


Published Thursday, January 14, 2010 3:53 PM by Elisa Uribe

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