Looking for a foreclosure or REO property in ?

What's an REO?

REO is an abbreviation for Real Estate Owned. These are properties which have completed the foreclosure process which the bank or mortage company presently holds. This is not the same as 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 accrued during the foreclosure process. The buyer must also be willing to pay with cash in hand. Finally, you'll get the property one-hundred percent as is. That possibly may include existing liens and even current residents that may require expulsion.

A REO, on the other hand, 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 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 standard disclosure requirements. For instance, in Calfornia, banks are exempt from giving a Transfer Disclosure Statement, a document that typically requires sellers to disclose any defects they are aware of.

Is an REO in Salisbury a bargain?

It is sometimes believed that any REO must be a good buy and an possibility for easy money. This isn't always 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 usually anxious to sell it quickly, 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. The bargains with money making potential exist, and many people do very well buying foreclosures. But there are also many REO's that are not good buys and may not be money makers.

Ready to make an offer?

Most mortgage companies have a REO department that you'll work with when 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 concerning the condition of the property and what their process is for receiving offers. Since banks most commonly sell REO properties "as is", you may want to include an inspection contingency in your offer that gives you time to check for unknown damage and withdraw 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 counter offer. Then it will be your choice whether to accept their counter, or make another counter offer. Realize, you'll be contending with a process that probably involves multiple people at the bank, and they don't work evenings or weekends. It's not unusual for the process of offers and counter offers to take days or even weeks.