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Florida home sales to international buyers decrease 65 percent

When: 11 a.m. Wednesday and Thursday

Where: Miami-Dade County, 140 W. Flagler St., Room 908, Miami. In Broward, 11 a.m. at 201 SE Sixth St., Room 385, Fort Lauderdale.

Interested in investing in foreclosed properties? Here are a few tips from the pros.

** Auctions are mainly attended by professional investors with many years of experience bidding. You are their competitor, so accept advice warily.

** Research properties before you bid, through a title search. Homes can be encumbered by thousands of dollars in liens, which you will have to pay to resell.

** The auction goes quickly. Know the case numbers of the properties you're interested in and listen carefully.

** Check whether you are bidding on a second mortgage, which means you might be responsible for paying the first mortgage as well.

** Drive by properties you want to bid on, but understand the homes could have serious defects you can't see and may have to repair.

** You may also have to pay to evict tenants if they refuse to leave voluntarily. They also have 10 days to object to the sale. If they object, you will have to hire an attorney.

** You will have to pay documentary stamp taxes.

The process:

** Fill out a registration form for each sale you plan to bid on. Get forms at the clerk's office.

** Bids must be in increments of at least $100.

** Successful bidders must make a 5 percent deposit in cash or cashier's check. It is nonrefundable.

** The remaining balance is due by 3 p.m. the same day, also in cash or cashier's check. Also, the buyer must must pay various fees associated with the sale.

Miami Herald, The (FL)- 2007/07/08

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