Looking for a foreclosure or REO property in ?

What is an REO?

REO stands for Real Estate Owned. These are properties which have completed the foreclosure process which the bank or mortage company currently owns. This is unlike 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 amassed during the foreclosure process. You must also be prepared to pay with cash in hand. Finally, you'll get the property entirely as is. That could consist of current liens and even current denizens that need to be removed.

A REO, on the contrary, is a much cleaner and attractive deal. The REO property was unable to find a buyer during foreclosure auction. The lender now owns it. The bank will attend to the elimination of tax liens, evict occupants if needed and generally prepare 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 exempt from giving a Transfer Disclosure Statement, a document that typically requires sellers to tell you about any defects of which they are informed.

Is an REO in Cape Coral a bargain?

It's commonly believed that any REO must be a bargain and an chance for easy money. This simply isn't true. You have to be cautious about buying a REO if your intent is make a profit. 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 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. There are bargains with potential to make money, and many people do very well flipping foreclosures. Still there are also many REO's that are not good buys and may not be money makers.

Prepared to make an offer?

Most mortgage companies 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. 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 taking offers. Since banks typically sell REO properties "as is", you may want to include an inspection contingency in your offer that gives you time to check for unknown damage and retract 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 submitted your offer, you can expect the bank to make a counter offer. Then it will be your choice whether to accept their counter, or offer a counter to the counter offer. Realize, you'll be working 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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