Looking for a foreclosure or REO property in ?

What's an REO?

REO stands for Real Estate Owned. These are homes which have been foreclosed upon which the bank or mortage company presently possesses. This differs from 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 accumulated during the foreclosure process. You must also be prepared to pay with cash in hand. And on top of all that, you'll receive the property totally as is. That might include standing liens and even current denizens that may require eviction.

A REO, conversely, is a much neater and attractive transaction. The REO property didn't find a buyer during foreclosure auction. The bank now owns it. The lender will attend to 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 normal disclosure requirements. In California, for example, banks are exempt from giving a Transfer Disclosure Statement, a document that usually requires sellers to make known any defects they are aware of.

Are REO's a bargain in Delray Beach?

It is sometimes though that any REO must be a steal and an opportunity for easy money. This isn't necessarily true. You have to be very careful about buying a REO if your intent is to make money off of it. While it's true that the bank is usually anxious to sell it quickly, they are also strongly motivated 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. 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.

Prepared to make an offer?

Most lenders have a REO department that you'll work with while buying a REO property from them. Usually 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 find out as much as you can about what they know about the condition of the property and what their process is for receiving 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 hidden damage and withdraw 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 presented your offer, you can expect the bank to make a counter offer. From there 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 multiple 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.