Looking for a foreclosure or REO property in ?

What is an REO?

REO is Real Estate Owned. These are houses which have completed the foreclosure process and are now held by the bank or mortgage company. This is unlike 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 added during the foreclosure process. You must also be able to pay with cash in hand. Finally, you'll accept the property totally as is. That possibly will include current liens and even current tenants that may require eviction.

A REO, on the contrary, is a much neater and attractive proposition. The REO property didn't find a buyer during foreclosure auction. Now the bank owns it. The lender will see to 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 standard disclosure requirements. For instance, in Calfornia, banks are not required to give a Transfer Disclosure Statement, a document that ordinarily requires sellers to disclose any defects they are aware of.

Are REO's a bargain in Burlington?

It's commonly presume that any REO must be a good deal and an opportunity for easy money. This usually isn't true. You have to be cautious about buying a REO if your intent is to make money off of it. While it's true that the bank is often anxious to sell it promptly, they are also strongly motivated to get as much as they can for it. When considering 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. However 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. 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 taking offers. Since banks almost always sell REO properties "as is", it may be in your best interest to include an inspection contingency in your offer that gives you time to check for unknown 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. After you've presented your offer, you can expect the bank to make a counter offer. Then it will be up to you to decide whether to accept their counter, or make another counter offer. Realize, you'll be working with a process that most likely 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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