Buying a REO or foreclosure in Loveland
What's an REO?
REO is Real Estate Owned. These are homes that have been foreclosed upon and are now possessed by the bank or mortgage company. This is different than 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. The buyer must also be able to pay with cash in hand. And on top of all that, you'll receive the property completely as is. That possibly may include standing liens and even current residents that need to be removed.
A REO, on the contrary, is a much neater and attractive deal. The REO property was unable to find a buyer during foreclosure auction. Now the lender owns it. The bank 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. Take notice 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 normally requires sellers to tell you about any defects of which they are aware.
Is an REO in Loveland a bargain?
It's occasionally though that any REO must be a good buy and an opportunity for easy money. This isn't necessarily true. You have to be cautious about buying a REO if your intent is to make money off of it. While it's true that the bank is usually anxious to sell it soon, they are also strongly motivated 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. The bargains with money making potential exist, and many people do very well buying foreclosures. However there are also many REO's that are not good buys and not likely to turn a profit.
Time to make an offer?
Most mortgage companies 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. 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 about the condition of the property and what their process is for taking 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 hidden 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 made your offer, you can expect the bank to make a counter offer. Then it will be your decision whether to accept their counter, or offer a counter to the counter offer. Understand, you'll be working with a process that usually 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.