Looking for a foreclosure or REO property in ?

What's an REO?

REO's or Real Estate Owned are houses which have completed the foreclosure process which the bank or mortage company currently possesses. This differs from a property up for foreclosure auction. If you buy 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. To top everything off, you'll get the property entirely as is. That possibly will comprise prevailing liens and even current tenants that need to be expelled.

A REO, on the contrary, is a much neater and attractive transaction. The REO property did not find a buyer during foreclosure auction. The lender now owns it. The lender will take care of 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. Note that REOs may be exempt from standard disclosure requirements. For instance, in Calfornia, banks do not have to give a Transfer Disclosure Statement, a document that normally requires sellers to tell you about any defects they are informed of.

Is an REO in Victorville a bargain?

It's sometimes believed that any REO must be a steal 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 a profit. While it's true that the bank is usually anxious to sell it fast, they are also strongly motivated 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 and selling foreclosures. Still there are also many REO's that are not good buys and not likely to turn a profit.

Time to make an offer?

Most mortgage companies have a REO department that you'll work with while 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 discover as much as you can about what they know concerning the condition of the property and what their process is for taking offers. Since banks typically 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 unseen damage and withdraw 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. Once you've made your offer, you can expect the bank to counter offer. From there it will be up to you to decide whether to accept their counter, or make 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.