Looking for a foreclosure or REO property in ?

What is an REO?

REO's or Real Estate Owned are homes that have been foreclosed upon and are presently possessed by the bank or mortgage company. 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 accrued 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 totally as is. That possibly could comprise prevailing liens and even current denizens that need to be put out.

A REO, on the contrary, is a more tidy and attractive option. The REO property was unable to find a buyer during foreclosure auction. The bank now owns it. The lender will handle 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 standard disclosure requirements. In California, for example, banks are exempt from giving a Transfer Disclosure Statement, a document that typically requires sellers to make known any defects they are aware of.

Are REO's a bargain in Burlington?

It is frequently assumed that any REO must be a good buy and an possibility for easy money. This simply isn't true. You have to be prudent about buying a REO if your intent is make money. While it's true that the bank is usually 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. There are bargains with potential to make money, and many people do very well buying foreclosures. Still there are also many REO's that are not good buys and not likely to turn a profit.

Time to make an offer?

Most banks have a REO department that you'll work with while 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. Before 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 about the condition of the property and what their process is for taking offers. Since banks almost always sell REO properties "as is", you may want to include an inspection contingency in your offer that gives you time to check for hidden damage and terminate 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. Once you've submitted your offer, you can expect the bank to respond with a counter offer. Then it will be your choice whether to accept their counter, or offer a counter to the counter offer. Realize, you'll be contending with a process that usually involves a group of people at the bank, and they don't work evenings or weekends. It's typical for the process of offers and counter offers to take days or even weeks.

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