Looking for a foreclosure or REO property in ?

What is an REO?

REO's or Real Estate Owned are properties which have been foreclosed upon and are currently held by the bank or mortgage company. This differs from real estate 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 added during the foreclosure process. You must also be able to pay with cash in hand. Finally, you'll receive the property totally as is. That may comprise prevailing liens and even current residents that may require expulsion.

A REO, on the contrary, is a more tidy and attractive proposition. The REO property did not find a buyer during foreclosure auction. The bank now owns it. The lender will deal with 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. 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 typically requires sellers to disclose any defects they are informed of.

Is an REO in Tulsa a bargain?

It's frequently though that any REO must be a good buy and an opportunity for easy money. This simply isn't 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 usually anxious to sell it fast, they are also strongly encouraged to get as much as they can for it. When contemplating 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 not likely to turn a profit.

Time to make an offer?

Most banks have a REO department that you'll work with in buying a REO property from them. Normally 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 find out as much as you can about what they know about the condition of the property and what their process is for receiving offers. Since banks most commonly sell REO properties "as is", it's often prudent to include an inspection contingency in your offer that gives you time to check for hidden 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. After you've presented 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 make another counter offer. Understand, you'll be dealing with a process that usually involves multiple people at the bank, and they don't work evenings or weekends. It's quite common for the process of offers and counter offers to take days or even weeks.

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