Looking for a foreclosure or REO property in ?
What's an REO?
REO's or Real Estate Owned are homes that have been foreclosed upon which the bank or mortage company now owns. This is different than 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 entirely as is. That may comprise existing liens and even current denizens that may require expulsion.
A REO, on the contrary, is a much neater and attractive proposition. The REO property did not find a buyer during foreclosure auction. The lender now owns it. The lender 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 standard disclosure requirements. For instance, in Calfornia, banks are not required to give a Transfer Disclosure Statement, a document that usually requires sellers to disclose any defects they are informed of.
Are REO's a bargain in Evansville?
It's occasionally though that any REO must be a good deal and an chance for easy money. This isn't always 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 typically anxious to sell it quickly, 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. It is possible to find REOs with money-making potential, 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.
Ready to make an offer?
Most banks have a REO department that you'll work with in buying a REO property from them. Typically 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 about the condition of the property and what their process is for taking offers. Since banks most commonly sell REO properties "as is", you may want 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 presented your offer, you can expect the bank to counter offer. Then it will be your decision whether to accept their counter, or offer a counter to the counter offer. Realize, you'll be contending with a process that probably involves a group of 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.