Looking for a foreclosure or REO property in ?

What's an REO?

REO is short for Real Estate Owned. These are houses that have gone through foreclosure which the bank or mortage company currently owns. 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 accumulated during the foreclosure process. The buyer must also be prepared to pay with cash in hand. Finally, you'll get the property completely as is. That possibly may comprise existing liens and even current tenants that may require eviction.

A REO, on the contrary, is a much neater and attractive proposition. The REO property did not find a buyer during foreclosure auction. Now the lender owns it. The lender will deal with the removal of tax liens, evict occupants if needed and generally organize for the issuance of a title insurance policy to the buyer at closing. Take notice that REOs may be exempt from normal disclosure requirements. In California, for example, banks do not have to give a Transfer Disclosure Statement, a document that usually requires sellers to tell you about any defects they are aware of.

Is an REO in Fort Pierce a bargain?

It's sometimes believed 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 to make money off of it. While it's true that the bank is often anxious to sell it fast, they are also strongly interested 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 flipping foreclosures. However there are also many REO's that are not good buys and may lose money.

All set to make an offer?

Most lenders 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. 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 concerning 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 cancel the offer if you find it.

As with making any offer on real estate, your offer may be more attractive if you can include documentation of your ability to pay, such as a pre-approval letter from a lender. After you've presented your offer, you can expect the bank to counter offer. Then it will be up to you to decide whether to accept their counter, or make another counter offer. Be aware, you'll be dealing with a process that most likely involves several 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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