Looking for a foreclosure or REO property in ?

What is an REO?

REO is Real Estate Owned. These are homes that have completed the foreclosure process and are currently possessed 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 accumulated during the foreclosure process. You must also be willing to pay with cash in hand. And on top of all that, you'll get the property completely as is. That possibly will comprise standing liens and even current tenants that need to be kicked out.

A REO, on the other hand, is a more tidy and attractive option. The REO property didn't 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 plan for the issuance of a title insurance policy to the buyer at closing. Note that REOs may be exempt from normal disclosure requirements. For example, in California, banks do not have to give a Transfer Disclosure Statement, a document that usually requires sellers to make known any defects they are knowledgeable of.

Is an REO in Cornelius a bargain?

It's occasionally presume that any REO must be a bargain and an possibility for easy money. This isn't necessarily 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 soon, they are also strongly encouraged 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. There are bargains with potential to make money, and many people do very well flipping foreclosures. But there are also many REO's that are not good buys and not likely to turn a profit.

Ready to make an offer?

Most banks 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 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 most commonly 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 hidden 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. Once you've made your offer, you can expect the bank to make a counter offer. From there it will be up to you to decide whether to accept their counter, or submit another counter offer. Understand, you'll be contending with a process that probably 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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