To help ensure a smooth purchase process, work with an agent familiar with the HUD process. A licensed real estate agent with a valid HUD NAID number can help you.
Even though your bid may be entered at anytime prior to the expiration of the bid deadline, it is important to get your bid in early. HUD will accept the first bid that hits their required net.
HUD does not ask for "highest and best" offers like other GSEs or REO sellers, so it is important to submit your highest and best offer the first time to give yourself the best opportunity to win.
Ask your agent to have your bid held as a back-up offer. If your offer is not the winning bid, and your bid is held as back-up, this will give you another opportunity to win the bid if something happens to the first offer. If the first offers falls through, HUD will go back to all back up bidders first before seeking new bidders.
HUD will pay up to 3% closing costs assistance for actual closing costs incurred. If actual closing costs are less, then that is all that is paid. Investor buyers are also eligible for closing costs assistance. Closing costs assistance must be written into the contract. Note that the amount of closing costs assistance you ask for will lower the net to HUD and in a competitive bid situation, may hurt your chances of your offer being accepted.
Be aware of HUD's EMD policy, especially if you are purchasing HUD homes as an investment. EMD is almost never returned if an investor does not close, even for inspection purposes.
Be sure to check out this helpful inforgraphic: "How to Successfully Buy HUD Homes"