When facing competing offers on a foreclosure, remember that banks like quick, simple deals.
"Write a clean offer," Richardson says. "When you are competing with other buyers, the less you ask for, the more likely you are to get the property."
Bank-owned properties are sold as is. Don't ask the bank to repair anything or add unnecessary clauses to the contract, Moody says.
A bigger down payment and bigger deposit also help make your offer stronger because it tells the seller that you are committed to the property and will have no trouble closing on the mortgage.
"If the bank has two offers for the same price and one buyer is putting 20 percent down and getting a conforming loan and the other is buying with an FHA putting the minimum down, the bank will go with the first offer," Peltier says.