Looking for a foreclosure or REO property in ?

What's an REO?

REO is Real Estate Owned. These are homes which have been through foreclosure and are currently held by the bank or mortgage company. This differs from 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 prepared to pay with cash in hand. To top everything off, you'll receive the property totally as is. That possibly may comprise existing liens and even current tenants that may require removal.

A REO, conversely, is a much neater and attractive option. The REO property did not find a buyer during foreclosure auction. The bank now owns it. The lender 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 standard disclosure requirements. In California, for example, banks are exempt from giving a Transfer Disclosure Statement, a document that typically requires sellers to make known any defects of which they are knowledgeable.

Are REO's a bargain in Cary?

It's frequently assumed that any REO must be a steal and an opportunity for easy money. This just isn't 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 encouraged to get as much as they can for it. When pondering 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 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 banks have a REO department that you'll work with while 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 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 usually sell REO properties "as is", it's often prudent to include an inspection contingency in your offer that gives you time to check for hidden 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. Once you've submitted your offer, you can expect the bank to respond with 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 most likely 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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