I've seen this twice in the last month and I'm sure there are at least a couple of people out there who could have used this little note before they started negotiating on a foreclosed property.
Here's what I'm talking about. Buyers go looking for a good deal on a house. They decide they really like a foreclosed property. The home is listed at a very reasonable price. Knowing that the mortgage company is anxious to sell they throw a low offer. The mortgage company won't drop that much, but the buyer still likes the house and doesn't move on to something else. Thinking they are the only game in town they sit tight.
While the buyer plays tough and sticks to their guns another buyer swoops in. The mortgage company requests competitive offers and the house ends up selling for thousands more than the mortgage company's last counter offer to the original buyer.
The original buyer may or may not end up with the house.
If you like a house and you would feel bad if someone else bought it, don't ever delay in signing papers unless you must. This holds true with any real estate transaction. The larger the time frame involved, the larger the chance something can come along to make it fall apart. Get the papers signed, sealed delivered, earnest money deposited and inspections done and the house off MLS and off the market.
Close on it as soon as you can.
I'm not suggesting you plunge forward willy nilly. Understanding what you are getting into and having an inspection are important, but when there is a delay, ask yourself why and whether it is to your advantage. Introducing delays is introducing unknowns. Gambling on those unknowns is more risky than the casino.