Approach homeowner in foreclosure or wait for auction?

My parents’ neighbor is selling his house, but I found out through the internet and the Queens County Clerk that CitiMortgage has filed a lis pendens against him, beginning foreclosure proceedings. I don’t think he has any money and he also recently filed for divorce, but right now we cannot afford his asking price, but by the time the property goes into foreclosure we will be able to bid on it as there are two salary raises coming for the household in the next three months. Do you think I should approach him and see if he is willing to substantially lower his asking price or just wait it out?

Asked on June 25, 2009 under Real Estate Law, New York


J.V., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The simple answer to your question is that if this is a house you really want than it cannot hurt to approach him with a low offer. He has the right to accept it or to reject it and there is nothing that says you didn't have the right to offer him whatever price it is you plan to approach him with. If he rejects it than you can wait for the auction if it gets to that point.

The benefit to approaching him is that he will know where you stand and that your interested. That way even if he rejects it now he may change his mind in the future and possibly even approach you at a later point in time. I would definitely give it a shot and see what happens, nothing to lose. Good luck

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