Buying a foreclosure or REO property in

What's an REO?

REO's or Real Estate Owned are houses that have been foreclosed upon which the bank or mortage company presently possesses. This differs from 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 ready to pay with cash in hand. And on top of all that, you'll get the property one-hundred percent as is. That possibly will consist of prevailing liens and even current denizens that may require eviction.

A REO, on the other hand, is a more tidy and attractive option. The REO property was unable to find a buyer during foreclosure auction. Now the lender owns it. The bank will see to 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. 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 ordinarily requires sellers to tell you about any defects they are informed of.

Are REO's a bargain in Fort Walton Beach?

It is occasionally assumed that any REO must be a steal and an possibility for easy money. This simply isn't true. You have to be prudent about buying a REO if your intent is profit from the sell. While it's true that the bank is usually anxious to sell it soon, 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. It is possible to find REOs with money-making potential, and many people do very well buying foreclosures. However there are also many REO's that are not good buys and may not be money makers.

All set to make an offer?

Most banks 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. Prior to 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 getting offers. Since banks most commonly 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 unseen damage and cancel 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 submitted your offer, you can expect the bank to counter offer. At this point 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 unusual for the process of offers and counter offers to take days or even weeks.

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