Buying a REO or foreclosure in Victorville

What is an REO?

REO's or Real Estate Owned are homes that have completed the foreclosure process and are currently owned by the bank or mortgage company. This is different than real estate 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 accrued during the foreclosure process. You must also be able to pay with cash in hand. And on top of all that, you'll get the property one-hundred percent as is. That possibly may consist of existing liens and even current tenants that need to be expelled.

A REO, conversely, is a more tidy and attractive proposition. The REO property did not find a buyer during foreclosure auction. Now the bank owns it. The bank will take care of the elimination of tax liens, evict occupants if needed and generally prepare for the issuance of a title insurance policy to the buyer at closing. Note that REOs may be exempt from normal 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 of which they are aware.

Is an REO in Victorville a bargain?

It is occasionally assumed that any REO must be a good deal and an possibility for easy money. This isn't always true. You have to be cautious about buying a REO if your intent is make money. 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 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. There are bargains with potential to make money, and many people do very well flipping foreclosures. However there are also many REO's that are not good buys and may lose money.

Time to make an offer?

Most lenders have a REO department that you'll work with in 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'll want to be sure and include an inspection contingency in your offer that gives you time to check for hidden 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. Then it will be your choice whether to accept their counter, or offer a counter to the counter offer. Realize, you'll be working with a process that generally involves several 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.