Smart Approaches to Identifying and Acquiring Repossessed Properties

It’s no secret that repossessed properties can offer fantastic investment opportunities but finding and buying them can be tricky when compared to other types of property. If you are looking to buy a lot of stock then you could look to LPA Receivers but repossessions are sold through auctions and estate agents as well.

LPA Receivers
So, the first thing to consider is whether you’re looking to buy many properties or just one or two.

If you are looking for multiple repossessed properties then you will need to find companies acting as LPA receivers. LPA receivers sell properties that were once part of a portfolio. They deal with large, bulk sales, so you would only be dealing with them if you were looking at buying a number of repossessed properties at one time.

That doesn’t suit most property investors. But if you are thinking of buying some properties in bulk, then looking to LPA receivers is one option.

For a definition of LPA receivers see the Law of Property Act receiver (LPA receiver) from Practical Law / Thomson Reuters.

If, however, you’re looking to buy just one or two repossessed properties then looking at more traditional options is your best bet. These are estate agents and auctions.

Property Auctions
So, let’s consider property auctions. At your local property auction, you’ll find a number of properties for sale. Most of these are probably going to be from individual sellers. Some will be being sold by companies. A few will be repossessed properties. You’ll be given a description of each property that will give you some background. You might get a few photographs as well. In that information, there may be a statement or comment to the effect of the mortgagees are ‘in possession’ or that it is ‘on sale by receivers’. Comments like this are obvious, strong indications that what you are looking at is a repossessed property.

What Are The Pitfalls & Downsides To Auction Properties?
Estate Agents
The second way to find repossessed properties is through estate agents. When you’re going down this route it can be hard to spot which properties have been repossessed. Estate agents don’t tend to publicise which properties on their books are repossessed properties when they draft their listings. From the first listing, it will be difficult to spot a repossession but a bit further down the line the estate agent will start posting pictures and these could give you a few clues.

If, in the background of these pictures, you can see some tape or notices that the water has been turned off, or chattels labelled as needing to be collected within 14 days… These are the kind of things that indicate that the property is a repossession.

Another thing to examine when you’re trying to spot repossessed properties among an estate agent’s listing is how the estate agent has done their marketing. So, when a property has gone through a period of time being marketed there may well be telltale signs that it is a repossession. For instance, with repossessions, an estate agent is duty-bound to get the best possible price that they can. As part of that process if there has been an offer already put in on the property then the estate agent will put an advert in the local paper. This advert will say that they’ve had an offer of x amount and that they will be willing to consider higher offers. Something similar may also be included in the property listing in their own literature. If you see something like that then you can be quite sure that the property in question is in repossession.

Although they don’t like to advertise that properties on their books are repossessions there are telltale signs that you can pick up which will tell you what you need to know.

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