Looking for a foreclosure or REO property in ?

What's an REO?

REO's or Real Estate Owned are homes that have been foreclosed upon and are currently held by the bank or mortgage company. This is unlike 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 amassed during the foreclosure process. You must also be willing to pay with cash in hand. Finally, you'll get the property one-hundred percent as is. That possibly may comprise current liens and even current residents that need to be thrown out.

A REO, conversely, is a much neater 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 organize for the issuance of a title insurance policy to the buyer at closing. Note that REOs may be exempt from typical disclosure requirements. In California, for example, banks are not required to give a Transfer Disclosure Statement, a document that normally requires sellers to disclose any defects of which they are knowledgeable.

Are REO's a bargain in Rhinelander?

It's commonly assumed that any REO must be a good buy and an chance for easy money. This isn't necessarily true. You have to be prudent about buying a REO if your intent is to make money off of it. While it's true that the bank is typically anxious to sell it fast, they are also strongly interested 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 flipping foreclosures. However there are also many REO's that are not good buys and may not be money makers.

Time to make an offer?

Most lenders 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. 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 regarding the condition of the property and what their process is for taking offers. Since banks almost always sell REO properties "as is", you may want to include an inspection contingency in your offer that gives you time to check for hidden 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. Once you've made your offer, you can expect the bank to make a counter offer. From there it will be your decision whether to accept their counter, or submit another counter offer. Be aware, you'll be working with a process that generally involves several people at the bank, and they don't work evenings or weekends. It's not uncommon for the process of offers and counter offers to take days or even weeks.

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