Looking for a foreclosure or REO property in ?

What's an REO?

REO is an abbreviation for Real Estate Owned. These are houses which have been foreclosed upon which the bank or mortage company now owns. This differs from 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 prepared to pay with cash in hand. To top everything off, you'll get the property one-hundred percent as is. That may comprise existing liens and even current residents that may require eviction.

A REO, on the other hand, is a more tidy and attractive deal. The REO property didn't find a buyer during foreclosure auction. The lender now owns it. The lender will attend 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. Note that REOs may be exempt from normal disclosure requirements. For example, in California, banks are exempt from giving a Transfer Disclosure Statement, a document that usually requires sellers to make known any defects of which they are aware.

Is an REO in Branson a bargain?

It's commonly assumed that any REO must be a bargain and an opportunity for easy money. This isn't always true. You have to be cautious about buying a REO if your intent is profit from the sell. 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 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. It is possible to find REOs with money-making potential, and many people do very well buying and selling foreclosures. Still there are also many REO's that are not good buys and not likely to turn a profit.

Ready to make an offer?

Most mortgage companies 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. 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 receiving offers. Since banks most commonly 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 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 submitted 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 dealing with a process that usually 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.

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