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South Carolina bank-owned home sales buck national trend

As the summer months roll on, many people in the Charleston area may be looking to purchase a new home. Traditionally, summertime is the most active time for the residential property market. As buyers weigh their choices, they may take a look at a variety of types of home sales, including purchasing a bank- or real estate-owned property.

Although prospective buyers may be able to find the "right" home at a good price through a bank-owned foreclosure sale, it's important to realize that the process isn't the same as buying it from another private party. Despite the sometimes convoluted nature of these sales, South Carolina still saw an increase in bank-owned home sales during 2013's first quarter, which was the opposite of the national trend.

According to recent reports from a national reporting agency, sales of bank-owned properties jumped over 30 percent in South Carolina when compared to the first three months of 2012. As a city, Charleston had the highest volume of these sales, but the increase fell short of the statewide rate. These significant increases are interesting because bank-ownes foreclosure sales dropped by over 20 percent nationally over the same period.

In the event that someone loses his or her home to foreclosure, it will be repossessed by the bank that issued the mortgage. At some point, the lender will look to sell the foreclosed property, but there are some extra hurdles for buyers to surpass.

The reality is that banks don't have to go through the same process when selling foreclosed homes as individuals selling their own home. This can sometimes make buyers feel at a disadvantage, especially when negotiating the terms of sale with a major mortgage lender. Taking steps to ensure the process is fair can relieve a lot of stress for home buyers.

Source: Charleston Regional Business Journal, "Bank-owned foreclosure sales rise more than 30% across S.C.," May 30, 2013

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