You would think you could make an offer on any property you choose. However, that is not necessarily the case if you are an investor and looking to purchase a foreclosure. In many cases the lender has qualifications that has to be met, and on Fannie Mae properties there is often a 15 day “First Look” where only owner occupants and non-profits may make an offer (investor offers are NOT considered.)
One of the reasons for this is that banks, already under regulatory pressures after the sub-prime crisis, are looking to keep regulators off their backs. A way to do that is to make sure that not only “rich investors” benefit from the foreclosure crisis but also the average Joe looking for a new home. Without the protection period it would be hard for a regular home buyer to compete for the properties – all-cash offers are very attractive to the bank holding the foreclosed property.
So, if you are an investor and want a property…Sorry, you may not be able to get the one you want. Good news is – there are plenty of other properties available!
Update: The Washington Post had an article on this topic http://www.washingtonpost.com/realestate/foreclosures-for-sale-all-homes-sold-as-is/2011/06/20/AG3k05iH_story.html