Looking for a foreclosure or REO property in ?

What is an REO?

REO is Real Estate Owned. These are properties which have completed the foreclosure process and are now held by the bank or mortgage company. This is different than 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 willing to pay with cash in hand. To top everything off, you'll accept the property entirely as is. That possibly will include current liens and even current denizens that may require expulsion.

A REO, by contrast, is a more tidy and attractive option. The REO property was unable to find a buyer during foreclosure auction. Now the bank owns it. The lender will deal with the elimination of tax liens, evict occupants if needed and generally arrange for the issuance of a title insurance policy to the buyer at closing. Do be aware 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 reveal any defects of which they are knowledgeable.

Are REO's a bargain in Delray Beach?

It's commonly believed that any REO must be a good deal and an possibility for easy money. This simply isn't true. You have to be cautious about buying a REO if your intent is make money. While it's true that the bank is often anxious to sell it promptly, 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. The bargains with money making potential exist, and many people do very well buying and selling foreclosures. However there are also many REO's that are not good buys and may lose money.

Ready to make an offer?

Most lenders have a REO department that you'll work with while buying a REO property from them. Commonly 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 accepting offers. Since banks almost always sell REO properties "as is", it's often prudent to include an inspection contingency in your offer that gives you time to check for unknown damage and terminate 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. After you've made your offer, you can expect the bank to counter offer. Then it will be up to you to decide whether to accept their counter, or submit another counter offer. Be aware, you'll be contending with a process that usually 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.