Looking for a foreclosure or REO property in ?
What is an REO?
REO's or Real Estate Owned are homes which have been foreclosed upon which the bank or mortage company now possesses. This is different than real estate up for foreclosure auction. When buying 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. The buyer must also be ready to pay with cash in hand. And on top of all that, you'll get the property completely as is. That possibly will include prevailing liens and even current occupants that need to be evicted.
A REO, on the other hand, is a much neater and attractive option. The REO property was unable to find a buyer during foreclosure auction. The lender now 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. Note that REOs may be exempt from standard disclosure requirements. For example, in California, banks do not have to give a Transfer Disclosure Statement, a document that normally requires sellers to disclose any defects they are knowledgeable of.
Are REO's a bargain in Dunedin ?
It's frequently believed that any REO must be a good buy and an opportunity for easy money. This isn't necessarily 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 encouraged 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. There are bargains with potential to make money, and many people do very well buying and selling foreclosures. However there are also many REO's that are not good buys and not likely to turn a profit.
All set to make an offer?
Most banks have a REO department that you'll work with in buying a REO property from them. Typically 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 accepting 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 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. Once you've made your offer, you can expect the bank to respond with a counter offer. Then it will be your decision whether to accept their counter, or make another counter offer. Realize, you'll be contending with a process that most likely 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.