Because of the state of the economy these days, foreclosures are currently dominating the housing market. Statistics say there are about 1.5 million homes of this type for sale, and more are expected to be available soon. This means that there are a lot of opportunities out there for buyers. However, foreclosures can be tricky, and just because they’re usually good bargains doesn’t mean that you should go about buying them in a rash or haphazard manner. Here are a few tips to ensure that you approach foreclosures the smart way:

Don’t get caught in a bidding war

Because foreclosures are usually priced very low, a lot of people will want to get a slice of the pie, and a single property can attract dozens of buyers who will bid until the price is no longer a bargain. Don’t be part of this feeding frenzy. Establish a budget beforehand, and don’t exceed that price.

Go straight to the lenders

A smart buyer will establish a rapport with asset managers at banks. Doing this could reward you with inside information on new foreclosures hitting the market.

Get preapproved by the lender you plan to buy from

It can help if you get preapproved by the same lender you are planning to buy a property from, as it could cause the lender to look more favorably on your bid. You can always change your mind at get your mortgage from another source if they offer you better terms.

Hire an attorney

Specifically, a real estate attorney. Foreclosures involve a lot of legal documents and jargon. Most buyers don’t have the expertise to figure everything out. The solution is to hire a professional–it will lessen the chances of costly mistakes being made.

Hire an experienced real estate agent

In this day and age where the Internet is dominant, a lot of people think that they can do without hiring an agent and just do the research and execute real estate transactions on their own. But foreclosures are considerably more complicated than a regular home purchase, and a good real estate agent’s knowledge and experience will be invaluable during the entire process.