The astute observers can pick out the suspicious deals from a mile away.  But how do they play into the decision-making on the street?  How can you capitalize on the extra knowledge?

If there was an area that had a bad comp but had more good comps and was generally free of foreclosure activity (i.e. older areas), you might want to try to leverage the shady comp to justify your lowball offer.  But beware in areas that are ripe for future foreclosures (i.e. tracts built at peak), because those short-sale and REO listings are likely to be listed at a price that considers all sales as normal:

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