Looking for a foreclosure or REO property in ?

What is an REO?

REO stands for Real Estate Owned. These are houses which have gone through foreclosure and are currently held by the bank or mortgage company. This is not the same as 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. The buyer must also be willing to pay with cash in hand. To top everything off, you'll accept the property one-hundred percent as is. That possibly could include prevailing liens and even current residents that may require eviction.

A REO, on the other hand, is a more tidy and attractive transaction. The REO property didn't find a buyer during foreclosure auction. Now the lender owns it. The lender will see to the elimination 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 typical disclosure requirements. For instance, in Calfornia, banks are not required to give a Transfer Disclosure Statement, a document that normally requires sellers to disclose any defects they are aware of.

Is an REO in Lawton a bargain?

It's occasionally though that any REO must be a steal and an chance for easy money. This isn't always true. You have to be cautious 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 promptly, 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. The bargains with money making potential exist, and many people do very well buying foreclosures. Still there are also many REO's that are not good buys and may not be money makers.

Ready to make an offer?

Most mortgage companies have a REO department that you'll work with in 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 learn as much as you can about what they know about the condition of the property and what their process is for taking 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 terminate the offer if you find it.

As with making any offer on real estate, you'll make your offer more attractive if you can include documentation of your ability to pay, such as a pre-approval letter from a lender. After you've presented 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. Realize, you'll be dealing with a process that most likely involves several people at the bank, and they don't work evenings or weekends. It's quite common for the process of offers and counter offers to take days or even weeks.