How much do foreclosed homes sell for at auction

The quick answer to “how much do foreclosed homes sell for at auction?” is…it depends on the winning bid.  However, there’s really more that can be said to help us understand just how much you can anticipate paying for a foreclosure at auction.  Let’s start with a few statistics.

According to Quicken Loans,

“foreclosed homes could sell for anywhere between 18% to 59% less than a non-foreclosure in the same market.”  

According to,

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“lenders and investors do not make money on foreclosures.  Losses range from 20 cents to 60 cents on the dollar. Lenders typically lose $50,000 or more on one foreclosure.”

So, how exactly do statistics like these help you determine how much a foreclosed home might sell for at auction?  Well, with stats like these mind, do the following:

#1 Search real estate auctions

Search sites like or to identify foreclosures going to auction in your area.  I also encourage you to ask your real estate agent to pull active foreclosure listings from MLS.

#2 Do some research

Once you’ve identified some properties that peak your interest, ask your real estate agent to locate previous listings for these properties on MLS, and see if they can uncover when the property was last sold and for how much.

#3 Determine if the property is indeed a foreclosure

Not all properties sold at auction are foreclosures.  This is a common misconception. The auction company will disclose if indeed the property is a foreclosure or not.

#4 Do the math

Once you know how much your properties of interest previously sold for, you can roughly determine what the previous owners borrowed to acquire the properties.  

If a property is a VA foreclosure, USDA foreclosure, or a HUD home, then the previous owner borrowed 100% or close to it.

If the property wasn’t purchased with a government-backed loan (VA/FHA/USDA), then the borrower likely borrowed 80%-90%.  The point of this is so you can see roughly what the bank is on the hook for.

Now combine this information with the statistics I mentioned earlier, and you begin to get some idea of what you might be looking at to acquire the property.

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