Looking for a foreclosure or REO property in ?

What's an REO?

REO is Real Estate Owned. These are houses which have been foreclosed upon and are presently owned by the bank or mortgage company. This is different than a property up for foreclosure auction. When buying a property during a foreclosure sale, you must pay at least the loan balance plus any interest and other fees amassed during the foreclosure process. The buyer must also be prepared to pay with cash in hand. And on top of all that, you'll receive the property totally as is. That may include existing liens and even current tenants that may require expulsion.

A REO, on the other hand, is a much cleaner and attractive option. The REO property did not find a buyer during foreclosure auction. The bank now owns it. The bank will attend to the removal 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 normal disclosure requirements. For instance, in Calfornia, banks are exempt from giving a Transfer Disclosure Statement, a document that usually requires sellers to reveal any defects of which they are aware.

Is an REO in Bucklin a bargain?

It's frequently presume that any REO must be a bargain and an opportunity for easy money. This just isn't true. You have to be cautious about buying a REO if your intent is make money. While it's true that the bank is usually anxious to sell it promptly, they are also strongly encouraged to get as much as they can for it. When considering 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. There are bargains with potential to make money, and many people do very well flipping foreclosures. Still there are also many REO's that are not good buys and may lose money.

Ready to make an offer?

Most banks have a REO department that you'll work with while buying a REO property from them. Typically the REO department will use a listing agent to get their REO properties listed on the local MLS. Before 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 about the condition of the property and what their process is for accepting offers. Since banks almost always sell REO properties "as is", it's often prudent to include an inspection contingency in your offer that gives you time to check for hidden damage and retract 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. Once you've made your offer, you can expect the bank to counter offer. Then it will be your decision whether to accept their counter, or submit another counter offer. Understand, you'll be dealing with a process that most likely involves several people at the bank, and they don't work evenings or weekends. It's not unusual for the process of offers and counter offers to take days or even weeks.

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