Buying real estate at auction - need answers quick! MA

Asked over 2 years ago - Salem, MA

I negotiated on a condo (short sale) in Salem Massachusetts but it went into foreclosure and we lost the deal. I was browsing the auction sites today (Thursday) and found out it is up for auction Monday! The broker had assured me there were no liens and the condo fees were up to date, but I realize I can't rely on that. The owner is still living in the unit. I don't see that I have enough time to hire a lawyer, plus I'd hate to spend that money when the auction will probably get cancelled or postponed anyway.
1. Are online title searches reliable? (such as titlesearch.com)
2. If I run the title search today, what's to prevent someone from placing a lien Monday morning?
3. How hard would it be to evict the current owner?
4. Do I have any recourse if she trashes the place?
Any other advice?

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Christopher Joseph Fein

    Contributor Level 12

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I think you should hire a lawyer. If I were you I would want to spend a little now to avoid having to spend a lot later because of a mistake you (or someone else) made.

    Good luck.

    The content of this message does not constitute legal advice and is not intended to be relied upon by anyone. It... more
  2. Herbert Weinberg

    Pro

    Contributor Level 12

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Your questions are very good . Consequently, they make a very good case for needing an attorney. As to the owner, the first question is if he or she have anything to lose by dragging out the eviction and/or trashing the place. If they have nothing, they have nothing to lose and there is nothing to collect no matter how big the judgement.

    You do not need a lawyer at the auction. It is advisable to have one check out the foreclosure notice and title beforehand. Too many potential surprises to identify here.

    Given the prior relationship, you may wish to reach out to the owner and see if he will agree to move out for a fixed sum. This would give you an edge if you know the condition of the place and know he or she is likely to move out upon request.

  3. Erik Hammarlund

    Contributor Level 18

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . You ask good questions. However, I can assure you that buying an expensive piece of real estate without an attorney is a very dangerous move. You run the risk of losing considerably more than you would pay in fees.

    If you want to buy at auction, you should begin by retaining an attorney, getting your questions answered, and getting a full understanding of the risks involved.

    Do you want accurate, personalized, legal advice that you can rely on? You will have to hire an attorney, not ask... more
  4. Glenn F Russell JR

    Contributor Level 8

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . If the tenant hires me to defend him or her, it will be very difficult for you to evict the tenant

    Just an FYI, I have a pretty decent track record, and you can research that fact by looking at a few cases of mine starting with US Bank v. Ibanez

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