Looking for a foreclosure or REO property in ?

What is an REO?

REO's or Real Estate Owned are properties which have gone through foreclosure which the bank or mortage company now possesses. 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 accrued during the foreclosure process. You must also be prepared to pay with cash in hand. And on top of all that, you'll get the property one-hundred percent as is. That possibly will include current liens and even current occupants that need to be expelled.

A REO, conversely, is a much neater and attractive proposition. The REO property didn't find a buyer during foreclosure auction. Now the bank owns it. The lender will take care of the removal of tax liens, evict occupants if needed and generally prepare for the issuance of a title insurance policy to the buyer at closing. Take notice that REOs may be exempt from standard disclosure requirements. For example, in California, banks do not have to give a Transfer Disclosure Statement, a document that typically requires sellers to tell you about any defects they are informed of.

Is an REO in Tulsa a bargain?

It is commonly assumed that any REO must be a steal and an possibility for easy money. This isn't always true. You have to be cautious about buying a REO if your intent is profit from the sell. While it's true that the bank is often anxious to sell it fast, they are also strongly motivated 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 not likely to turn a profit.

Time to make an offer?

Most mortgage companies 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 discover 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 most commonly 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 unseen 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. After you've made your offer, you can expect the bank to respond with a counter offer. Then it will be your decision whether to accept their counter, or submit another counter offer. Be aware, you'll be working with a process that probably 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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