Looking for a foreclosure or REO property in ?

What is an REO?

REO's or Real Estate Owned are houses that have been foreclosed upon which the bank or mortage company presently owns. This is unlike 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. You must also be prepared to pay with cash in hand. Finally, you'll accept the property totally as is. That possibly could include prevailing liens and even current tenants that may require removal.

A REO, by contrast, is a more tidy and attractive transaction. The REO property did not find a buyer during foreclosure auction. The lender now owns it. The lender will handle the elimination of tax liens, evict occupants if needed and generally organize 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 example, in California, banks are not required to give a Transfer Disclosure Statement, a document that ordinarily requires sellers to reveal any defects they are knowledgeable of.

Are REO's a bargain in Bucklin?

It is commonly assumed that any REO must be a good deal and an opportunity for easy money. This simply isn't true. You have to be very careful about buying a REO if your intent is make money. While it's true that the bank is often anxious to sell it fast, they are also strongly interested to get as much as they can for it. When contemplating 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. But there are also many REO's that are not good buys and may not be money makers.

Time to make an offer?

Most mortgage companies 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 discover as much as you can about what they know about the condition of the property and what their process is for getting 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 unseen damage and withdraw 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 submitted your offer, you can expect the bank to respond with a counter offer. At this point it will be up to you to decide whether to accept their counter, or offer a counter to the counter offer. Understand, you'll be contending with a process that most likely involves multiple 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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