Looking for a foreclosure or REO property in ?

What's an REO?

REO's or Real Estate Owned 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 added during the foreclosure process. You must also be willing to pay with cash in hand. And on top of all that, you'll receive the property one-hundred percent as is. That could comprise prevailing liens and even current tenants that need to be evicted.

A REO, conversely, is a much neater and attractive option. The REO property was unable to find a buyer during foreclosure auction. The lender now owns it. The bank will handle 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. Do be aware that REOs may be exempt from standard disclosure requirements. In California, for example, banks are not required to give a Transfer Disclosure Statement, a document that typically requires sellers to disclose any defects of which they are knowledgeable.

Are REO's a bargain in Tulsa?

It is occasionally though that any REO must be a steal and an possibility for easy money. This isn't always true. You have to be very careful 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. There are bargains with potential to make money, and many people do very well buying foreclosures. But there are also many REO's that are not good buys and may lose money.

Ready to make an offer?

Most mortgage companies 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 discover 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 almost always sell REO properties "as is", you'll want to be sure and 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, 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. Once you've made your offer, you can expect the bank to respond with a counter offer. At this point it will be your choice whether to accept their counter, or offer a counter to the counter offer. Realize, you'll be dealing with a process that generally involves multiple 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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