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 now possessed by the bank or mortgage company. This is different than 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 accrued during the foreclosure process. You must also be ready to pay with cash in hand. To top everything off, you'll get the property entirely as is. That possibly will comprise standing liens and even current tenants that need to be evicted.

A REO, by contrast, is a much neater and attractive deal. The REO property didn't find a buyer during foreclosure auction. Now the lender owns it. The lender will take care of 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. Take notice that REOs may be exempt from typical disclosure requirements. For example, in California, banks do not have to give a Transfer Disclosure Statement, a document that typically requires sellers to disclose any defects they are informed of.

Are REO's a bargain in Rhinelander?

It is commonly though that any REO must be a good deal and an opportunity for easy money. This isn't always 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 fast, they are also strongly encouraged 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. 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 in 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. Prior to 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 concerning the condition of the property and what their process is for getting offers. Since banks most commonly 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 unknown damage and retract the offer if you find it.

As with making any offer on real estate, your offer may be more attractive if you can include documentation of your ability to pay, such as a pre-approval letter from a lender. After you've submitted 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 offer a counter to the counter offer. Understand, you'll be dealing 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.

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