Looking for a foreclosure or REO property in ?

What's an REO?

REO is an abbreviation for Real Estate Owned. These are houses which have been foreclosed upon and are currently owned by the bank or mortgage company. This differs from 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. The buyer must also be prepared to pay with cash in hand. To top everything off, you'll receive the property totally as is. That may consist of prevailing liens and even current tenants that need to be kicked out.

A REO, conversely, is a more tidy and attractive option. The REO property was unable to find a buyer during foreclosure auction. Now the bank owns it. The bank 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. Do 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 ordinarily requires sellers to reveal any defects of which they are informed.

Are REO's a bargain in Mineral Wells?

It's frequently though that any REO must be a good deal and an possibility for easy money. This just isn't true. You have to be cautious about buying a REO if your intent is make money. 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 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. It is possible to find REOs with money-making potential, and many people do very well flipping foreclosures. But there are also many REO's that are not good buys and may not be money makers.

Prepared to make an offer?

Most banks have a REO department that you'll work with while 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 regarding the condition of the property and what their process is for taking offers. Since banks typically 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 withdraw 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 counter offer. Then it will be up to you to decide whether to accept their counter, or make another counter offer. Be aware, you'll be dealing with a process that usually involves a group of 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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