Looking for a foreclosure or REO property in ?

What's an REO?

REO's or Real Estate Owned are houses which have been through foreclosure and are presently possessed by the bank or mortgage company. This is unlike a property 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. Finally, you'll get the property one-hundred percent as is. That might comprise prevailing liens and even current residents that need to be expelled.

A REO, on the other hand, is a much neater and attractive option. The REO property did not find a buyer during foreclosure auction. Now the lender owns it. The bank will handle the elimination of tax liens, evict occupants if needed and generally plan for the issuance of a title insurance policy to the buyer at closing. Note that REOs may be exempt from typical disclosure requirements. In California, for example, banks do not have to give a Transfer Disclosure Statement, a document that ordinarily requires sellers to tell you about any defects of which they are knowledgeable.

Are REO's a bargain in Burlington?

It is commonly believed that any REO must be a bargain and an chance for easy money. This isn't always 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 usually anxious to sell it promptly, 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 and selling 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 lenders have a REO department that you'll work with in buying a REO property from them. Usually 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 find out as much as you can about what they know regarding 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 unseen damage and cancel the offer if you find it.

As with making any offer on real estate, your offer may be 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 your decision whether to accept their counter, or make another counter offer. Understand, you'll be working 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.

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