20500 Rio Oro Drive Cornelius, NC 28031
What’s an REO? Thinking of purchasing REO property or a foreclosure at Lake Norman?
“REO” or Real Estate Owned are houses which have completed the foreclosure process and are now owned by the bank or mortgage company. This is not the same as real estate up for foreclosure auction.
When thinking of purchasing an REO property or a foreclsoure at Lake Norman during a foreclosure sale, you must pay at least the loan balance plus any interest and other fees added during the foreclosure process. You must also be willing to pay with cash in hand. To top everything off, you’ll get the property entirely as is. That might consist of standing liens and even current denizens that need to be kicked out.
A bank-owned property, on the contrary, is a more tidy and attractive deal. The REO property did not find a buyer during foreclosure auction. Now the lender owns it. The bank will take care of 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 typical disclosure requirements. For example, in North Carolina, it is optional for foreclosures to have a Property Disclosure Statement, a document that normally requires sellers to tell you about any defects of which they are knowledgeable. By hiring Southern Homes of the Carolinas, you can rest assured knowing all parties are fulfilling North Carolina state disclosure requirements.
Am I guaranteed a low price when buying an REO property in Cornelius?
It is frequently believed that any REO must be a bargain and a possibility for guaranteed profit. This isn’t always the case. You have to be prudent about buying a REO if your intent is to make money. While it’s true that the bank is usually eager to offload it fast, they are also motivated to minimize any losses.
Look carefully at the listing and sales prices of similar properties in the neighborhood when considering the purchase of an REO. And factor in any repairs or remodeling necessary to prepare the house for resale or moving in. There are bargains with potential to make money, and many people do very well flipping foreclosures. But, there are also many REOs that are not good buys and not likely to turn a profit.
Prepared to make an offer?
Most mortgage companies have staff dedicated to REO that you’ll work with in buying REO property from them. To get their properties advertised on the local MLS, the lender will often hire a listing agent.
Before 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 their knowledge concerning the condition of the property and what their process is for getting offers. Since banks usually 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 unseen damage and withdraw the offer if you find it. If, as a buyer, you can provide documentation demonstrating your ability to pay, such as a pre-approval letter from a lender, your offer will be more attractive and likely be accepted. (This is generally true for any type of real estate offer.)
Once you’ve made your offer, you can expect the bank to make a counter offer. Then it will be your choice whether to accept their counter, or submit another counter offer. Your transaction could be settled in one day, but that’s rare. Since offers and counter offers usually allow a day or more for the other party to respond (and employees at a bank don’t work nights or weekends) you could be looking at a week or longer.