Looking for a foreclosure or REO property in ?

What's an REO?

REO is Real Estate Owned. These are homes that have been foreclosed upon which the bank or mortage company currently holds. This differs from 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. You must also be willing to pay with cash in hand. To top everything off, you'll get the property totally as is. That possibly may comprise existing liens and even current tenants that may require removal.

A REO, by contrast, is a much neater and attractive transaction. The REO property didn't find a buyer during foreclosure auction. Now the bank owns it. The lender will attend to the elimination of tax liens, evict occupants if needed and generally arrange for the issuance of a title insurance policy to the buyer at closing. Take notice that REOs may be exempt from typical 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 knowledgeable.

Is an REO in North Kingstown a bargain?

It is occasionally presume that any REO must be a good buy and an chance for easy money. This just isn't 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 soon, 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. It is possible to find REOs with money-making potential, and many people do very well buying and selling foreclosures. Still there are also many REO's that are not good buys and not likely to turn a profit.

Ready to make an offer?

Most mortgage companies have a REO department that you'll work with in 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. Prior to 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 regarding the condition of the property and what their process is for taking offers. Since banks most commonly 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 terminate 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. After you've submitted your offer, you can expect the bank to make a counter offer. At this point it will be your choice whether to accept their counter, or make another counter offer. Realize, you'll be contending with a process that usually involves multiple 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.