Looking for a foreclosure or REO property in ?

What is an REO?

REO's or Real Estate Owned are homes which have completed the foreclosure process and are presently owned by the bank or mortgage company. This differs from a property 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. To top everything off, you'll accept the property totally as is. That may consist of prevailing liens and even current occupants that need to be kicked out.

A REO, by contrast, is a more tidy and attractive option. The REO property was unable to find a buyer during foreclosure auction. Now the lender owns it. The bank will attend to 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. Note that REOs may be exempt from typical disclosure requirements. For example, in California, banks do not have to give a Transfer Disclosure Statement, a document that ordinarily requires sellers to tell you about any defects they are informed of.

Are REO's a bargain in Loveland?

It's commonly though 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 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 foreclosures. However there are also many REO's that are not good buys and not likely to turn a profit.

All set to make an offer?

Most banks have a REO department that you'll work with while buying a REO property from them. Commonly 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 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, 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 counter offer. At this point it will be up to you to decide whether to accept their counter, or make another 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 not uncommon for the process of offers and counter offers to take days or even weeks.

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