Looking for a foreclosure or REO property in ?

What is an REO?

REO is Real Estate Owned. These are houses which have been through foreclosure which the bank or mortage company presently holds. 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 accrued during the foreclosure process. The buyer must also be willing to pay with cash in hand. To top everything off, you'll receive the property totally as is. That might include prevailing liens and even current tenants that need to be evicted.

A REO, by contrast, is a more tidy and attractive transaction. The REO property didn't 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 arrange for the issuance of a title insurance policy to the buyer at closing. Do be aware that REOs may be exempt from normal disclosure requirements. In California, for example, banks are not required to give a Transfer Disclosure Statement, a document that ordinarily requires sellers to make known any defects of which they are informed.

Is an REO in Shelton a bargain?

It's frequently assumed that any REO must be a bargain and an possibility for easy money. This isn't necessarily true. You have to be prudent about buying a REO if your intent is make money. While it's true that the bank is typically anxious to sell it promptly, they are also strongly motivated 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. The bargains with money making potential exist, and many people do very well buying and selling foreclosures. However there are also many REO's that are not good buys and not likely to turn a profit.

Prepared to make an offer?

Most banks have a REO department that you'll work with when 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. 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 about the condition of the property and what their process is for getting 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 unseen damage and terminate 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. Once you've submitted your offer, you can expect the bank to counter offer. At this point it will be your choice whether to accept their counter, or offer a counter to the counter offer. Understand, you'll be working with a process that usually involves multiple 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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