Buying a foreclosure or REO property in

What's an REO?

REO's or Real Estate Owned are houses that have been foreclosed upon and are currently held by the bank or mortgage company. This is unlike 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 added during the foreclosure process. You must also be prepared to pay with cash in hand. To top everything off, you'll accept the property totally as is. That possibly will comprise standing liens and even current denizens that may require expulsion.

A REO, by contrast, is a much cleaner and attractive deal. The REO property did not find a buyer during foreclosure auction. The lender now owns it. The bank will handle the removal of tax liens, evict occupants if needed and generally plan for the issuance of a title insurance policy to the buyer at closing. Take notice that REOs may be exempt from normal disclosure requirements. For instance, in Calfornia, banks do not have to give a Transfer Disclosure Statement, a document that usually requires sellers to disclose any defects they are aware of.

Is an REO in Sarasota a bargain?

It's frequently presume that any REO must be a good deal and an possibility for easy money. This isn't always true. You have to be prudent about buying a REO if your intent is make money. While it's true that the bank is often anxious to sell it fast, they are also strongly motivated 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 buying foreclosures. But there are also many REO's that are not good buys and may lose money.

All set 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 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 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 cancel 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 submit another counter offer. Realize, you'll be dealing with a process that usually involves several 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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