Buying a foreclosure or REO property in

What's an REO?

REO's or Real Estate Owned are properties which have completed the foreclosure process and are currently 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 amassed 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 may consist of standing liens and even current residents that need to be evicted.

A REO, conversely, is a more tidy and attractive transaction. The REO property did not find a buyer during foreclosure auction. Now the lender owns it. The lender will handle 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. Note 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 normally requires sellers to reveal any defects of which they are informed.

Are REO's a bargain in Tucumcari?

It's sometimes though that any REO must be a steal 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 money. While it's true that the bank is often anxious to sell it soon, they are also strongly interested 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. 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. 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 find out as much as you can about what they know about the condition of the property and what their process is for accepting offers. Since banks usually 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 unseen 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 respond with a counter offer. At this point it will be your choice whether to accept their counter, or offer a counter to the counter offer. Realize, you'll be working with a process that probably involves a group of 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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