Looking for a foreclosure or REO property in ?

What's an REO?

REO is an abbreviation for Real Estate Owned. These are houses that have been foreclosed upon which the bank or mortage company presently possesses. This is unlike a property 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 accrued during the foreclosure process. The buyer must also be able to pay with cash in hand. Finally, you'll get the property one-hundred percent as is. That may include prevailing liens and even current denizens that may require eviction.

A REO, on the contrary, is a much neater and attractive option. The REO property didn't find a buyer during foreclosure auction. The bank now owns it. The bank will deal with the elimination of tax liens, evict occupants if needed and generally arrange for the issuance of a title insurance policy to the buyer at closing. Do be aware 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 ordinarily requires sellers to tell you about any defects of which they are knowledgeable.

Is an REO in Colorado Springs a bargain?

It is frequently presume that any REO must be a good buy and an possibility for easy money. This isn't necessarily true. You have to be cautious about buying a REO if your intent is make a profit. While it's true that the bank is typically anxious to sell it soon, 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 flipping foreclosures. However there are also many REO's that are not good buys and may not be money makers.

Time to make an offer?

Most mortgage companies have a REO department that you'll work with when buying a REO property from them. Commonly 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 about 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 withdraw 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 respond with a counter offer. From there it will be your choice whether to accept their counter, or offer a counter to the counter offer. Realize, you'll be contending with a process that most likely 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.

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Brian L. A. Wess

Infinite Horizons Realty

2910 N. Powers Blvd, #174
Colorado Springs, CO 80922