Looking for a foreclosure or REO property in ?

What is an REO?

REO is short for Real Estate Owned. These are homes which have completed the foreclosure process which the bank or mortage company currently holds. This is not the same as 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 accumulated during the foreclosure process. You must also be prepared to pay with cash in hand. And on top of all that, you'll accept the property completely as is. That possibly may comprise prevailing liens and even current occupants that may require removal.

A REO, conversely, is a much cleaner and attractive transaction. The REO property didn't find a buyer during foreclosure auction. Now the bank owns it. The bank will see to the removal of tax liens, evict occupants if needed and generally organize 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 example, in California, banks are not required to give a Transfer Disclosure Statement, a document that usually requires sellers to disclose any defects they are knowledgeable of.

Is an REO in Bronx a bargain?

It is sometimes presume that any REO must be a bargain and an possibility for easy money. This isn't necessarily true. You have to be very careful about buying a REO if your intent is make money. While it's true that the bank is typically anxious to sell it promptly, 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. The bargains with money making potential exist, and many people do very well buying and selling foreclosures. But there are also many REO's that are not good buys and may lose money.

Ready 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. Before 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 getting offers. Since banks typically sell REO properties "as is", you may want to include an inspection contingency in your offer that gives you time to check for unknown damage and cancel 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. Once you've made your offer, you can expect the bank to counter offer. At this point it will be your decision whether to accept their counter, or submit another counter offer. Understand, you'll be working with a process that usually involves a group of people at the bank, and they don't work evenings or weekends. It's not uncommon for the process of offers and counter offers to take days or even weeks.

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