What to Know when Buying an REO

Real estate owned (REO) properties – also known as bank-owned properties – can be a great value and help open up buying options in cities where inventory is tight. While buying REO homes isn’t drastically different than traditional sales, there are few things to know that will be helpful as you start your REO search. Check out the tips below!

First, what exactly is an REO home? An REO home is one that did not sell at a foreclosure auction and ownership has been transferred to the bank, who now becomes the seller.
1. Before the bank puts a property on the market, it will make any major repairs to issues that make the house unlivable. Just like any other homeowner, the bank is a motivated seller, so it will incur minimum expenses to make the property marketable.

  1. The bank will hire a real estate agent who specializes in foreclosures, short sales, and REO to market the home. As a buyer, you should do the same.
  2. Just as you would with a private homeowner, you may view the REO property before making an offer.
  3. It’s a good idea to get pre-qualified or pre-approved before shopping or making an offer so that you know the price range you can afford. If you have your eye on a particular REO, getting pre-approved by the lender that owns it may give you an advantage.
  4. Once a property becomes bank owned, the bank can sell it at a competitive market price, so it won’t necessarily be a bargain unless it’s been on the market for quite a while.
  5. Similar to a foreclosure, some REOs made need extensive repairs. When you make an offer, include language that the offer is subject to inspection. Hire a professional inspector to ensure you learn about all issues and repairs that may come with the house.

Are you ready to start checking out REO properties in the Mile High City? Don’t underestimate the importance of having an experienced pro on your side. Metrowest specializes in REO sales – give us a shout today, we’d love to help you start the process!

Ken Blevins

About Ken Blevins

Ken Blevins, CEO of Metrowest Real Estate Services, is a veteran in mortgage and default servicing with more than 24 years of experience in collections, foreclosure/bankruptcy, loss mitigation and real estate disposition (REO). Blevins was an original co-founder of Metrowest in 2003, a Real Estate Brokerage and Services Company focused on the resale, recovery and liquidation of distressed real estate in Denver, Colorado and surrounding metros. Blevins assumed the role of CEO in January 2014 and provides strategic direction and has management accountability for the day-to-day operations. Under his direction, Blevins drives all default management operations to maximize asset value recovery and reduce loss severity through a strategy focused on customer service and state of the art technology. Blevins has 18 years of direct operational experience in all facets of REO Asset Management having managed large national REO Disposition contracts for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase, CitiFinancial, GMAC Mortgage and other various financial institutions. Blevins specialties include REO asset management, real estate investment, bulk REO acquisitions and distressed asset recovery and liquidation, and he has directed the resolution and liquidation of over ten billion in institutionally-owned residential real estate.

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