Looking for a foreclosure or REO property in ?

What is an REO?

REO's or Real Estate Owned are homes which have completed the foreclosure process which the bank or mortage company presently possesses. This differs from a property up for foreclosure auction. If you buy a property during a foreclosure sale, you must pay at least the loan balance plus any interest and other fees added during the foreclosure process. The buyer must also be able to pay with cash in hand. And on top of all that, you'll receive the property totally as is. That possibly may consist of existing liens and even current denizens that may require removal.

A REO, on the other hand, is a much neater and attractive deal. The REO property didn't find a buyer during foreclosure auction. The bank now owns it. The lender will handle the elimination of tax liens, evict occupants if needed and generally plan for the issuance of a title insurance policy to the buyer at closing. Take notice that REOs may be exempt from typical disclosure requirements. For example, in California, banks do not have to give a Transfer Disclosure Statement, a document that normally requires sellers to disclose any defects of which they are knowledgeable.

Is an REO in Sugarloaf Key a bargain?

It is sometimes presume that any REO must be a good buy and an opportunity for easy money. This just isn't true. You have to be cautious about buying a REO if your intent is to make money off of it. While it's true that the bank is typically anxious to sell it quickly, they are also strongly motivated to get as much as they can for it. When pondering the value of a REO, you need to look closely at comparable sales in the neighborhood and be sure to take into account the time and cost of any repairs or remodeling needed to prepare the house for resale. It is possible to find REOs with money-making potential, and many people do very well buying foreclosures. Still there are also many REO's that are not good buys and may not be money makers.

Time to make an offer?

Most lenders have a REO department that you'll work with while buying a REO property from them. Usually the REO department will use a listing agent to get their REO properties listed on the local MLS. Prior to making your offer, you'll want to contact either the listing agent or REO department at the bank and learn as much as you can about what they know regarding the condition of the property and what their process is for receiving offers. Since banks usually sell REO properties "as is", you'll want to be sure and include an inspection contingency in your offer that gives you time to check for unseen damage and terminate the offer if you find it.

As with making any offer on real estate, providing documentation of your ability to pay may make your offer more attractive, such as a pre-approval letter from a lender. After you've submitted your offer, you can expect the bank to make a counter offer. At this point it will be your choice whether to accept their counter, or offer a counter to the counter offer. Understand, you'll be dealing with a process that most likely involves multiple people at the bank, and they don't work evenings or weekends. It's not uncommon for the process of offers and counter offers to take days or even weeks.


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