Dont lose a deal because of foreclosure auction

Posted On: July 2012

Short Sales: Don’t lose a deal because of an impending Foreclosure Auction


Every Realtor’s nightmare is to lose a property for a buyer or seller because of a foreclosure auction. What happens is the lender’s attorney schedules the auction date, and the Realtor is either A) unable to get the auction date cancelled. B) is totally unaware of it or C) counts on someone else to keep track of the auction. Then right in the middle of a promising transaction…the property goes to sheriff’s sale and the deal is dead. This is not a good scenario to be in.

After foreclosure auction, the buying party will either lose their dream home to a third party who buys it at auction, or they will have to wait until the bank relists it for sale, and then have to begin the offer process all over again. For the selling party, such as in the case of a short sale, they have now lost their position of being in charge of their home sale, and will have to live with the stigma of “Foreclosure” on their record.

Here are a few tips for Realtors to stay on top of an impending foreclosure auction sale:

Don’t count on your seller to provide accurate information

The seller receives many mortgage notices throughout the 9+ month process of preforeclosure. Oftentimes, they do not understand the notices or they may even be tossed aside, assuming they have you (a licensed professional) or an attorney working hard on their behalf. The homeowner does receive a notice of sale date, but if they say they haven't seen this, then you should verify the sale date for yourself.

Don’t count on the other Realtor in the transaction to know if a sale date has been scheduled

Realtors are busy people. With the huge list of tasks that a Realtor needs to verify and complete just to do a home sale, it’s always a wonder when everything comes together smoothly on closing day. The problem is that the high number of properties in foreclosure is still a fairly new statistic in the real estate world, and it’s not surprising that some Realtors do not have the proper training or knowledge to deal with these types of transactions. So many Realtors do not check auction dates on their own, or they count on the other Realtor to do it. If you have ever invested a lot of time in a property for buyers and had an auction occur, you’ll know how disappointing it is to know that this could have been saved with just a quick phone call.

Many Realtors count on their attorney to track foreclosure auction dates

Another big mistake. Many Realtors feel that since foreclosure is a legal action, that checking foreclosure status should be the attorney’s job. Wrong. When taking a listing, a competent Realtor should check public records for property ownership and foreclosure status right away. When taking a short sale listing, it’s imperative to check to see if an auction has been scheduled. If you take a listing with an auction date two weeks away, then what do you think the chances are that you will sell the property prior to auction? Zero-to-none.

Getting an extension on a Foreclosure Auction Sale

If you are a selling agent with a signed contract, of course you will send it to the lender right away to see if they will accept or counter. But you should also ask them for an extension or cancellation of the sheriff sale date, so they can review the file and offer to decide if they will postpone the auction and allow a short sale. Some selling agents prefer to have their attorney handle short sale negotiations. But if you are that selling agent, MAKE SURE your attorney does this. If you are the buyer’s agent, make sure the selling agent has asked for an extension, or your buyer could be out earnest money or inspection money and lose the home they thought they were going to purchase.

Use a service to track the auction

How do I find out if there’s a Foreclosure Auction Scheduled on my Property? Here are a few options:

1. Use a service that tracks Auctions: sends you email alerts when new public records are filed on a property. You can watch single addresses or pin numbers, or watch multiple properties at once. If anything new is filed, you’ll be the first to know.

2. Call the Circuit Clerk for the county your property is in. They are usually very friendly and will give you information over the phone if it’s just one or two properties. Just tell them you are looking to see if a certain property is on the auction schedule. They usually only know about 30 days in advance.

3. Visit the Website for the attorney that represents the Plaintiff (Lender). If you know who the attorney is, then oftentimes you can look at their Website to see lists of upcoming auctions for cases they are handling.

4. Visit the Website for the company holding the auction sale. Due to the high numbers of foreclosures in Cook County, they have several companies that conduct foreclosure auctions for them (Kallen Realty, Intercounty Sales, Judicial Sales Corp, etc). Some of these companies list their upcoming auction schedules on their Websites. They will also show the results of completed sales and cancelled sales.

With any online lists of foreclosure auctions, you will need to check back often, as the sale dates are often rescheduled or cancelled. If you stay on top of your properties, then you will save time and money for yourself and your client’s, and close more deals!

Tiffany Brewington is an Illinois Licensed Realtor and Short Sale Expert with Chicagoland Residential Realty in Glen Ellyn, IL. Have a Foreclosure or Short Sale question? Please write to Tiffany Brewington

Posted On: July 2012

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