Looking for a foreclosure or REO property in ?

What's an REO?

REO's or Real Estate Owned are houses that have been through foreclosure and are presently possessed 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. The buyer must also be prepared to pay with cash in hand. Finally, you'll get the property entirely as is. That could comprise existing liens and even current occupants that need to be expelled.

A REO, on the other hand, is a much neater and attractive option. The REO property was unable to find a buyer during foreclosure auction. Now the lender owns it. The lender will attend to the removal of tax liens, evict occupants if needed and generally organize for the issuance of a title insurance policy to the buyer at closing. You should be aware that REOs may be exempt from typical disclosure requirements. For instance, in Calfornia, banks are not required to give a Transfer Disclosure Statement, a document that normally requires sellers to make known any defects they are knowledgeable of.

Is an REO in Fall River a bargain?

It's sometimes assumed that any REO must be a good deal and an possibility for easy money. This isn't always true. You have to be very careful about buying a REO if your intent is make a profit. While it's true that the bank is usually anxious to sell it quickly, they are also strongly interested 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. But 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 when 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 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 almost always 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 retract 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 respond with a counter offer. At this point it will be your choice whether to accept their counter, or submit another counter offer. Be aware, you'll be contending with a process that most likely involves a group of people at the bank, and they don't work evenings or weekends. It's typical for the process of offers and counter offers to take days or even weeks.

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