Think you want to save some money on buying Orlando real estate by finding a foreclosure or short sale? There are a few things you should be aware of about this type of transaction. The number of foreclosures and short sales on the market is lower now than in the last few years, which means more competition.

Whether it’s the homeowner or the bank, sellers are going to look for the best deal. So, if you want to try this route, educate yourself on a few key points.

  • Work with an experienced agent. Make sure your agent knows how to navigate a distressed Orlando real estate purchase.
  • Be patient. Finding a home and closing the transaction could take several months.
  • Check the market value. Just because it’s a short sale, doesn’t guarantee you’re getting a deal.
  • Get a home inspection. A great price could mean the house might have serious issues, so have a licensed inspector check out the distressed property. Include a contingency clause in the offer in case the inspection reveals major defects.
  • Get personal. If you’re in a bidding war, writing a personal letter to the seller about why you love this home could help tip the scales in your favor.
  • Research liens and mortgages. Find out who is the primary lienholder and whether any other liens are on the title.
  • Verify your financing. You may have less than a month to close once the contract is approved, so it’s critical that your lender has your financing in order.
  • Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. You may love the house you have made an offer on, but realize that until you sign the papers, it’s not a done deal. Keep looking so that you have a back-up in case something goes wrong.

To avoid disappointment, buyers need to be educated about the in-and-outs of buying distressed Orlando real estate. Do your research and be prepared to be patient.