Buying a REO or foreclosure in Denton
What is an REO?
REO's or Real Estate Owned are houses that have been foreclosed upon which the bank or mortage company presently holds. This is different than 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 added during the foreclosure process. The buyer must also be ready to pay with cash in hand. And on top of all that, you'll receive the property totally as is. That could consist of prevailing liens and even current residents that need to be kicked out.
A REO, by contrast, is a much neater and attractive deal. The REO property did not find a buyer during foreclosure auction. The lender now owns it. The bank will handle 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. Take notice that REOs may be exempt from standard disclosure requirements. For example, in California, banks are exempt from giving a Transfer Disclosure Statement, a document that usually requires sellers to tell you about any defects they are knowledgeable of.
Is an REO in Denton a bargain?
It is frequently presume that any REO must be a good deal 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 money. While it's true that the bank is usually anxious to sell it promptly, they are also strongly interested 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 flipping foreclosures. Still 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 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 learn as much as you can about what they know about the condition of the property and what their process is for taking offers. Since banks almost always sell REO properties "as is", you'll want to be sure and 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, 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. At this point it will be your choice whether to accept their counter, or make another counter offer. Understand, you'll be working with a process that usually involves a group of 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.