Looking for a foreclosure or REO property in ?

What's an REO?

REO is short for Real Estate Owned. These are homes which have gone through foreclosure and are now held by the bank or mortgage company. This is unlike 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. You must also be able to pay with cash in hand. Finally, you'll get the property totally as is. That possibly may consist of existing liens and even current occupants that may require removal.

A REO, by contrast, is a much neater and attractive deal. The REO property didn't find a buyer during foreclosure auction. The lender now owns it. The lender will attend 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. Take notice that REOs may be exempt from standard disclosure requirements. For instance, in Calfornia, banks are not required to give a Transfer Disclosure Statement, a document that normally requires sellers to tell you about any defects of which they are informed.

Is an REO in Annapolis a bargain?

It's frequently presume that any REO must be a good deal and an chance for easy money. This simply isn't true. You have to be prudent about buying a REO if your intent is make a profit. While it's true that the bank is often anxious to sell it promptly, 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. The bargains with money making potential exist, and many people do very well buying and selling foreclosures. However there are also many REO's that are not good buys and not likely to turn a profit.

Prepared to make an offer?

Most mortgage companies have a REO department that you'll work with when 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. Before 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 concerning the condition of the property and what their process is for receiving offers. Since banks most commonly sell REO properties "as is", you may want to include an inspection contingency in your offer that gives you time to check for unseen damage and terminate the offer if you find it.

As with making any offer on real estate, you'll make your offer more attractive if you can include documentation of your ability to pay, 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. From there it will be up to you to decide whether to accept their counter, or offer a counter to the counter offer. Understand, you'll be dealing with a process that most likely 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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