Looking for a foreclosure or REO property in ?

What's an REO?

REO's or Real Estate Owned are homes that have completed the foreclosure process and are currently held by the bank or mortgage company. This differs from 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 accumulated during the foreclosure process. The buyer must also be ready to pay with cash in hand. Finally, you'll accept the property completely as is. That could consist of standing liens and even current residents that may require eviction.

A REO, conversely, is a much cleaner and attractive transaction. The REO property did not find a buyer during foreclosure auction. Now the lender owns it. The lender will take care of the removal 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 example, in California, banks are not required to give a Transfer Disclosure Statement, a document that typically requires sellers to tell you about any defects of which they are aware.

Is an REO in Covina a bargain?

It's occasionally presume that any REO must be a good buy and an chance for easy money. This isn't necessarily 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 often anxious to sell it fast, 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. The bargains with money making potential exist, and many people do very well buying and selling foreclosures. But there are also many REO's that are not good buys and may not be money makers.

All set to make an offer?

Most lenders have a REO department that you'll work with while 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 find out as much as you can about what they know regarding the condition of the property and what their process is for getting 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 unknown damage and cancel 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. From there 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 contending with a process that usually involves multiple 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.