|Hire a good buyers agent|
An experienced buyers agent — particularly one who's familiar with foreclosures — can really help you navigate the process.
The National Association of Realtors offers a Short Sales & Foreclosure Resource certification to agents who take a special class on the subject. Similarly, the private Charfen Institute provides class work leading to a Certified Distressed Property Expert designation.
The Charfen Institute and RealtyTrac also maintain online databases of buyers agents who specialize in distressed deals.
No. 5: Research your market
It's important to not make the mistake of counting on any major price appreciation in the near term. We're still in a depressed market, and we're probably not going to see home prices appreciate much for quite some time.