Buying a REO or foreclosure in North Kingstown

What is an REO?

REO's or Real Estate Owned are properties which have been foreclosed upon which the bank or mortage company currently possesses. This is different than real estate 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 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 one-hundred percent as is. That possibly could consist of existing liens and even current occupants that need to be thrown out.

A REO, by contrast, is a much cleaner and attractive proposition. The REO property was unable to find a buyer during foreclosure auction. The bank now owns it. The bank 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 instance, in Calfornia, banks are exempt from giving a Transfer Disclosure Statement, a document that normally requires sellers to reveal any defects they are aware of.

Is an REO in North Kingstown a bargain?

It's frequently presume that any REO must be a steal and an chance for easy money. This simply isn't true. You have to be cautious about buying a REO if your intent is make a profit. While it's true that the bank is typically anxious to sell it fast, they are also strongly encouraged 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. The bargains with money making potential exist, 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.

Ready to make an offer?

Most banks have a REO department that you'll work with while buying a REO property from them. Commonly 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 getting offers. Since banks typically 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 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. At this point it will be up to you to decide whether to accept their counter, or submit another counter offer. Understand, you'll be working with a process that generally involves a group of 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.