Looking for a foreclosure or REO property in ?

What is an REO?

REO is Real Estate Owned. These are properties which have completed the foreclosure process which the bank or mortage company presently holds. This is not the same as 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 accrued during the foreclosure process. The buyer must also be prepared to pay with cash in hand. Finally, you'll accept the property one-hundred percent as is. That may consist of current liens and even current tenants that need to be thrown out.

A REO, on the contrary, is a much neater and attractive transaction. The REO property was unable to find a buyer during foreclosure auction. Now the lender owns it. The bank will see to 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. Note that REOs may be exempt from normal disclosure requirements. For instance, in Calfornia, banks do not have to give a Transfer Disclosure Statement, a document that normally requires sellers to tell you about any defects of which they are aware.

Are REO's a bargain in Bucklin?

It is occasionally assumed that any REO must be a good buy and an chance for easy money. This isn't necessarily true. You have to be prudent about buying a REO if your intent is profit from the sell. 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 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 flipping foreclosures. But there are also many REO's that are not good buys and not likely to turn a profit.

Time to make an offer?

Most lenders have a REO department that you'll work with in 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. Before making your offer, you'll want to contact either the listing agent or REO department at the bank and discover as much as you can about what they know concerning the condition of the property and what their process is for receiving offers. Since banks usually 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, you'll make your offer more attractive if you can include documentation of your ability to pay, such as a pre-approval letter from a lender. Once you've submitted your offer, you can expect the bank to make a counter offer. Then it will be your decision whether to accept their counter, or submit another counter offer. Be aware, you'll be dealing with a process that usually involves multiple people at the bank, and they don't work evenings or weekends. It's quite common for the process of offers and counter offers to take days or even weeks.

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