Looking for a foreclosure or REO property in ?

What is an REO?

REO's or Real Estate Owned are homes that have gone through foreclosure which the bank or mortage company currently owns. This differs from 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 accumulated during the foreclosure process. The buyer must also be willing to pay with cash in hand. Finally, you'll get the property one-hundred percent as is. That possibly could comprise current liens and even current denizens that may require expulsion.

A REO, conversely, is a more tidy and attractive option. The REO property didn't find a buyer during foreclosure auction. Now the lender owns it. The bank will handle the removal 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 normal disclosure requirements. In California, for example, banks are exempt from giving a Transfer Disclosure Statement, a document that usually requires sellers to disclose any defects of which they are aware.

Are REO's a bargain in Oklahoma City?

It's sometimes assumed that any REO must be a good buy and an possibility 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 often anxious to sell it quickly, they are also strongly motivated to get as much as they can for it. When contemplating 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. But 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 lenders have a REO department that you'll work with when 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. Prior to 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 receiving offers. Since banks usually sell REO properties "as is", it's often prudent to include an inspection contingency in your offer that gives you time to check for unknown damage and retract 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. Once you've made your offer, you can expect the bank to make a counter offer. At this point 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 generally involves a group of 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.

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