Looking for a foreclosure or REO property in ?

What is an REO?

REO's or Real Estate Owned are homes which have completed the foreclosure process and are presently owned by the bank or mortgage company. This is not the same as a property 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. 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 may comprise existing liens and even current tenants that need to be expelled.

A REO, on the contrary, is a much neater and attractive option. The REO property was unable to find a buyer during foreclosure auction. Now the lender owns it. The bank will deal with 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. You should be aware that REOs may be exempt from normal disclosure requirements. In California, for example, banks are not required to give a Transfer Disclosure Statement, a document that usually requires sellers to reveal any defects of which they are aware.

Is an REO in Norman a bargain?

It's sometimes assumed that any REO must be a good deal and an chance for easy money. This simply isn't true. You have to be very careful about buying a REO if your intent is make money. While it's true that the bank is usually anxious to sell it soon, 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. It is possible to find REOs with money-making potential, and many people do very well flipping foreclosures. But there are also many REO's that are not good buys and not likely to turn a profit.

Prepared to make an offer?

Most banks 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 find out as much as you can about what they know concerning the condition of the property and what their process is for receiving 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 unseen 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 submitted your offer, you can expect the bank to counter offer. At this point it will be up to you to decide 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 quite common for the process of offers and counter offers to take days or even weeks.

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