HUD Home Auctions

Buyers Can Realize Big Savings in HUD Home Auctions

HUD Secretary Donovan standing in front of foreclosed home
HUD Sec'y Donovan Tours Foreclosed Properties. David McNew / Getty Images

Every month, over a half-million Internet users hit the "Homes for Sale" web page of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) where they find a daily-updated selection of thousands of highly affordable homes and apartments offered by HUD plus nine other government agencies.

Like most of the housing programs offered by this massive Cabinet-level agency, HUD Homes is aimed at low to moderate-income and first-time home buyers. Whenever a lender forecloses on a home insured with a HUD mortgage, HUD first pays the lender the amount owed on the home and then attempts to sell it at auction as soon as possible for no more than market value. The lender gets off the hook and, since the homes are sold at auction, buyers often get them at below appraised market values.

The Bidding and Buying Process

Anyone who can qualify for a mortgage or has the cash is eligible to buy a HUD home.

HUD does not provide direct financing to buyers of HUD Homes. Buyers must obtain financing through either their own cash reserves or a mortgage lender. If you have the necessary available cash or can qualify for a loan (subject to certain restrictions) you may buy a HUD Home. While HUD does not provide direct financing for the purchase of a HUD Home, it may be possible for you to qualify for an FHA-insured mortgage to finance the purchase.

HUD homes are sold on an as-is, non-warranty basis by auction during an "Offer Period" established by HUD. At the end of the Offer Period, all bids are opened and, basically, the highest bidder gets the house. If the home isn't sold in the initial Offer Period, you can submit a bid any business day. If your bid is acceptable to HUD, your real estate agent will be notified, usually within 48 hours.

In the complex world of real estate deals, buying a HUD home is simple.

Just select a home at the "Homes for Sale" HUD website and tell a participating real estate agent that you want to bid on it.

Your real estate agent will prepare and submit your bid to HUD for you. (Your real estate agent must submit your bid for you.)

If your bid wins, your real estate agent will help you through the paperwork process. You'll be given a settlement date, normally within 30-60 days, and informed of where the transaction will occur. And get this -- HUD will usually pay the selling agent's commission and all sales commissions up to six-percent.

When a property is first listed for sale, priority will be given to owner-occupant purchasers for the first 10 calendar days, described as follows:

  • All owner-occupant bids received during the first five days of this 10 day period will be reviewed on the first business day following the expiration of the five day period.
  • All owner-occupant offers received are reviewed and the property is awarded to the highest acceptable net owner-occupant bidder.
  • If there are no offers during this initial five-day bid period, daily bid openings are conducted for the remaining five-day owner-occupant priority period.
  • At the conclusion of the 10-day owner-occupant priority period and the property remains unsold, bids from investor purchasers will be considered.

There are usually about 30,000 single-family homes in HUD's inventory of properties, and they can typically be found in every state as well as Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands.

Need More Information?

If you have more questions about the sale and purchase of FHA-insured homes, contact the Management and Marketing Contractor that manages the FHA housing portfolio in your community. You may also visit the FHA Resource Center website for more information about FHA and its various programs.