How to Buy Foreclosure Homes in Washington State

••• house for sale image by Nicemonkey from

Foreclosure homes are properties that have been reclaimed by the bank, typically due to a homeowner's financial hardship. After a homeowner misses payments, the property is offered for auction and if it does not sell, it becomes a real estate owned, or REO, property.

Attend a Foreclosure Auction

One way to purchase a foreclosed home at a below-market price in Washington is to attend an auction held by each county, typically on Friday mornings. Cash may be required for the sale and inspections of properties are usually not allowed. According to the Revised Code of Washington 61.24.040, the purchaser at the trustee's sale can take possession of the home on the 20th day following the sale.

Search Listings Online

Because foreclosure notices are publicly advertised, several websites such as Realty Trac compile data and provide information on upcoming auction homes in Washington and current bank-owned properties. REO homes currently listed with a real estate agent are accessible to the general public from several local and national websites. Search listings to survey current REO prices and types of homes available.

Consult with a Real Estate Agent

Licensed real estate agents can assist buyers seeking foreclosed properties by searching listed properties and negotiating the best price and terms for the buyer. Many banks require buyers to agree to special terms and will allow inspections, but may not respond to any requests for repairs.