Looking for a foreclosure or REO property in ?

What is an REO?

REO's or Real Estate Owned are properties that have completed the foreclosure process and are now owned by the bank or mortgage company. This is unlike 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 added during the foreclosure process. The buyer must also be prepared to pay with cash in hand. To top everything off, you'll get the property one-hundred percent as is. That possibly may consist of prevailing liens and even current residents that may require removal.

A REO, conversely, is a much cleaner and attractive proposition. The REO property was unable to find a buyer during foreclosure auction. The bank now owns it. The bank will deal with the elimination of tax liens, evict occupants if needed and generally plan for the issuance of a title insurance policy to the buyer at closing. You should be aware that REOs may be exempt from typical disclosure requirements. For instance, in Calfornia, banks are exempt from giving a Transfer Disclosure Statement, a document that normally requires sellers to reveal any defects they are informed of.

Are REO's a bargain in Albemarle?

It's commonly presume 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 make a profit. While it's true that the bank is often anxious to sell it quickly, they are also strongly interested 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 flipping foreclosures. Still there are also many REO's that are not good buys and may not be money makers.

All set to make an offer?

Most banks have a REO department that you'll work with in 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 regarding the condition of the property and what their process is for getting offers. Since banks typically 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 unknown damage and terminate 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 counter offer. At this point it will be your decision whether to accept their counter, or offer a counter to the counter offer. Understand, 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 typical for the process of offers and counter offers to take days or even weeks.

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