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Let's talk about buying homes on an online auction...🏡 💻

Updated: Mar 9, 2022

If you have kept up with some of my projects, you know that I purchased quite a few of them through online auctions. Now the idea of buying a home site unseen AND through the internet can seem scary or like an incredible gamble... but I promise there is some methodology to it that can make it worth it!


Homes can be purchased through an auction online or in-person. In-person auctions usually occur at the county's courthouse and you can usually find information on them through the county website, but this blog post will focus primarily on online auctions. One of the many benefits of online auctions is you can submit an offer on them from virtually anywhere! You also don't have to hold a real estate license to bid AND it does NOT have to be in your home state. Below are some of the most common auction websites:


  1. Auction.com (this site has homes that are bank owned and foreclosed properties) According to the website they usually have over 30,000 homes available and in all 50 states. I've personally bought property through here and had a pretty seamless experiences. Usually they only accept cash offers- so be prepared. The auction will usually last two days and have a starting bid point (such as $25k). Once you register for the auction, you can place a bid. The bid increments are usually already set and around a $500-$10,000 increase per bid. Another important note is homes are also typically sold as-is and you may not be able to see the interior. Sometimes they can be occupied and you then are responsible for any evictions. Last important note on this one, when you register to bid it holds a $2500 charge on the credit card you enroll with.

  2. Xome.com This is another website that I have bought auction homes through. I actually purchased my first one ever through here for about $28,000. Xome has foreclosed and bankrupt properties similar to auction.com, but they also have MLS listings too. Bidding on Xome is similar to auction.com, but I have noticed they have fewer listing available and usually the auctions don't take place until later dates.

  3. Hubzu.com (Hubzu has bank owned, foreclosed, and short sale homes available) I have never personally bought anything from this website, but I have heard other success stories. This site has a similar layout to auction.com but also offers the ability to list/sell real estate.

A couple important things to remember with online auctions:

- Check if there is a a "reserve" this is usually the amount that the seller/bank is trying to reach. Sometimes, if the auction doesn't reach the reserve they will schedule another auction date and re-list it to try to get a higher offer.

- Look for a "buyer's premium". This is usually $2500 or 5%, and is an additional cost that you have to pay on top of the purchase price. Sometimes the property has one and sometimes it doesn't, so it's good to check!

- Don't rely on the photos attached to the auction listing. They can be old and inaccurate, so do your due-diligence. I once bought a property that was missing the entire back bedroom wall and bathroom windows.

- Check if there is a property inspection report on file- especially on auction.com. (You can usually find this under property information.) This report has more up to date photos that field inspector has taken. They may also note important repairs needed.


I hope this article was helpful! I'd love to answer any questions below.



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