How to Make an Offer on HUD Homes

Seek out a HUD-registered real estate agent to make an offer on a home.

Seek out a HUD-registered real estate agent to make an offer on a home.

Are you and your significant other thinking of becoming homeowners? Before you start checking the local real estate listings, take a look at HUD homes. Many of these homes were taken over by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development when the owners defaulted on their FHA mortgages. Though they may require updating and renovations, HUD homes are popular with young buyers looking to enter the housing market.

Find a HUD Home

Visit the HUD Homestore website at to search the catalog of homes for sale. Find your state and city or county by clicking on the map or entering the information in the search bar. Narrow your search by list price, the number of bedrooms and the number of bathrooms. Note the listing period to ensure you qualify as bidders, and confirm availability of funds or mortgage financing if needed. Bids on HUD homes are not accepted prior to the Bid Open date.

HUD Listing Periods

HUD prefers owner-occupants that will live in the house rather than rent it out. The first seven days of a HUD listing period is "exclusive," meaning only non-profits, government agencies and approved agents representing owner-occupants may submit bids. "Lottery" means applicants must qualify under a special program, such as the Good Neighbor Next Door initiative, which offers HUD homes to teachers, firefighters police officers and EMTs at 50 percent of the list price. An "extended" listing period indicates all offers may be presented.

Find a HUD-Approved Agent

HUD only accepts offers from HUD-registered real estate professionals, non-profit or government organizations. Approved bidders receive a name address identifier, or NAID, that allows them to bid on properties. To find an approved agent, visit Input your state and city and click "search." Select an agent from the resulting list of HUD-registered brokers, and contact her for assistance. The agent may also arrange viewing of HUD properties in addition to placing your bid.

HUD Bidding Online

Your agent bids for you online and requires your full legal name, address and Social Security number. HUD/FHA mortgage requests are stated in your bid. If the bid is accepted, your agent forwards signed originals of the papers to the local area asset manager within two days of acceptance, accompanied by a deposit known as an "earnest money deposit." A letter of certification from your financial institution is also required, stating the funds are on deposit or that you are pre-approved for a mortgage if you are not applying for a HUD/FHA mortgage.

About the Author

A former financial adviser with more than a decade of experience in personal finance and small business banking, Sarita Harbour is a professional writer specializing in personal finance, small business, technology, and content marketing techniques. Her writing appears online at sites such as Yahoo! Homes and Bob Vila. Harbour holds a bachelor's degree in psychology and computer science from the University of Guelph and the Personal Financial Planning designation from the Institute of Canadian Bankers.

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