Clients who want an extreme deal, often ask me that. As someone who has stood on the court house steps for clients and been through the drill, I can tell you the foreclosure process is not as easy as it seems. The main item clients do not realize is that they are often, in addition to the price paid in cash at auction, assuming additional loans and liens on the property. Which means the new owner, in most cases assumes that debt. There is a great deal of research that should be done before you throw down cash on the court house steps. However, in many markets, like California, where I started in real estate, foreclosures and short sales are flooding the market and how to wade through the process needs to be part of an agent’s skill base. Below are the foreclosure numbers nationwide for the first quarter of 2008. Here, in the Seattle area, we have seen an increase in numbers, they are up 41% from the first quarter of 2007, but compared to California, we haven’t seen anything – and hopefully, we will never see any numbers like those below in the top 5.

Foreclosure Rankings

HERE ARE the five areas that had the highest foreclosure rates in the first three months of this year:

1: Stockton, Calif., 1 in 30 homes in foreclosure

2: Riverside/San Bernardino, Calif., 1 in 38

3: Las Vegas/Paradise, Nev., 1 in 44

4: Bakersfield, Calif., 1 in 51

5: Sacramento, Calif., 1 in 55

Washington-Oregon metro areas

48: Tacoma, 1 in 204

69: Portland-Beaverton, Ore./Vancouver, Wash., 1 in 326

81: Seattle/Bellevue/Everett, 1 in 517

Source: RealtyTrac

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On May 4, 2008, in Real Estate Business, by

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