Looking for a foreclosure or REO property in ?

What is an REO?

REO's or Real Estate Owned are homes that have been through foreclosure and are now possessed by the bank or mortgage company. This differs from real estate 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. The buyer must also be prepared to pay with cash in hand. And on top of all that, you'll get the property one-hundred percent as is. That possibly will include existing liens and even current occupants that may require removal.

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 deal with the removal of tax liens, evict occupants if needed and generally arrange 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 exempt from giving a Transfer Disclosure Statement, a document that typically requires sellers to disclose any defects they are informed of.

Are REO's a bargain in Cary?

It is commonly presume that any REO must be a good deal and an possibility for easy money. This isn't always true. You have to be prudent about buying a REO if your intent is profit from the sell. While it's true that the bank is usually anxious to sell it promptly, they are also strongly motivated 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. There are bargains with potential to make money, and many people do very well buying and selling foreclosures. However there are also many REO's that are not good buys and may not be money makers.

Time to make an offer?

Most mortgage companies 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. 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 regarding the condition of the property and what their process is for accepting 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 unknown damage and retract 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. After you've made 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 dealing with a process that generally 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.

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