Buying a REO or foreclosure in Bucklin

What's an REO?

REO is short for Real Estate Owned. These are homes that have been through foreclosure which the bank or mortage company now possesses. This is different than real estate 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 accumulated during the foreclosure process. You must also be ready to pay with cash in hand. And on top of all that, you'll get the property completely as is. That could consist of current liens and even current tenants that need to be kicked out.

A REO, by contrast, is a more tidy and attractive deal. The REO property didn't find a buyer during foreclosure auction. Now the lender owns it. The lender will see to the elimination of tax liens, evict occupants if needed and generally prepare for the issuance of a title insurance policy to the buyer at closing. Note that REOs may be exempt from typical disclosure requirements. For example, in California, banks are not required to give a Transfer Disclosure Statement, a document that ordinarily requires sellers to disclose any defects they are informed of.

Is an REO in Bucklin a bargain?

It is occasionally though that any REO must be a bargain and an opportunity for easy money. This isn't necessarily true. You have to be prudent about buying a REO if your intent is make a profit. 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 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. The bargains with money making potential exist, 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.

All set to make an offer?

Most banks have a REO department that you'll work with in buying a REO property from them. Normally 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 concerning 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 unknown damage and cancel 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 make a counter offer. From there it will be your decision whether to accept their counter, or make another counter offer. Realize, you'll be dealing with a process that probably 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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