Looking for a foreclosure or REO property in ?
What is an REO?
REO is an abbreviation for Real Estate Owned. These are properties which have been foreclosed upon and are currently owned by the bank or mortgage company. This differs from 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 ready to pay with cash in hand. And on top of all that, you'll get the property totally as is. That possibly could comprise prevailing liens and even current residents that need to be removed.
A REO, conversely, is a much neater and attractive transaction. The REO property did not find a buyer during foreclosure auction. The lender now owns it. The bank will see to the removal 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 normal disclosure requirements. For example, in California, banks do not have to give a Transfer Disclosure Statement, a document that ordinarily requires sellers to disclose any defects of which they are aware.
Are REO's a bargain in Tulsa?
It is occasionally though that any REO must be a steal and an opportunity for easy money. This just isn't true. You have to be very careful about buying a REO if your intent is to make money off of it. While it's true that the bank is typically anxious to sell it soon, they are also strongly encouraged 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 not be money makers.
Time to make an offer?
Most lenders have a REO department that you'll work with when buying a REO property from them. Usually 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 receiving 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 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. After you've submitted your offer, you can expect the bank to respond with a counter offer. Then it will be your choice whether to accept their counter, or offer a counter to the counter offer. Realize, 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 not unusual for the process of offers and counter offers to take days or even weeks.