Buying a REO or foreclosure in Cary

What is an REO?

REO stands for Real Estate Owned. These are houses that have completed the foreclosure process and are now owned by the bank or mortgage company. This is not the same as 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 ready to pay with cash in hand. Finally, you'll get the property one-hundred percent as is. That possibly may comprise current liens and even current denizens that may require eviction.

A REO, on the other hand, is a much neater and attractive deal. The REO property didn't find a buyer during foreclosure auction. Now the bank 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 normal disclosure requirements. In California, for example, banks are not required to give a Transfer Disclosure Statement, a document that usually requires sellers to tell you about any defects of which they are knowledgeable.

Are REO's a bargain in Cary?

It's sometimes though that any REO must be a bargain and an chance for easy money. This isn't always 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 often 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.

All set to make an offer?

Most lenders 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 discover as much as you can about what they know concerning the condition of the property and what their process is for accepting 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 hidden damage and cancel the offer if you find it.

As with making any offer on real estate, providing documentation of your ability to pay may make your offer more attractive, such as a pre-approval letter from a lender. Once you've submitted your offer, you can expect the bank to counter offer. Then it will be your choice whether to accept their counter, or offer a counter to the counter offer. Understand, you'll be contending with a process that probably involves a group of people at the bank, and they don't work evenings or weekends. It's not unusual for the process of offers and counter offers to take days or even weeks.

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