Buying REO Properties through Banks and Real Estate Investors

Buying REO Properties through Banks and Real Estate Investors

REO properties refer to real estate which is owned by the bank. REO stands for ‘real estate owned’ and includes residential and commercial realty that has fallen into foreclosure. The majority of bank owned foreclosures are listed for sale at discounted prices.

REO properties are often purchased for investment purposes, but can also make for a great residential home or business property. Since bank foreclosures are often priced 10- to 20-percent below market value, buyers may find it easier to obtain financing. However, many foreclosure properties require repairs so buyers must conduct due diligence to determine the true cost.

Real estate owned properties are sold through the bank’s loss mitigation department. Many lenders hire real estate agents to list and show properties, but purchase offers are submitted to the servicing lender. Some banks list foreclosure real estate on their company websites, while others list properties through designated realtors.

All types of properties can become bank owned including residential homes, commercial real estate, industrial parks, apartment and condominium buildings, shopping malls, retail outlets, and vacant land. Even golf courses and bowling alleys have ended up on foreclosure lists.

Buying REO properties can sometimes be a lengthy process, particularly when attempting to negotiate the asking price. Banks typically are unwilling to accept a lower price unless buyers obtain home inspections which reveal extensive damage.

It is best to submit purchase offers for the full asking price when buying bank foreclosures; particularly if it is a property the buyer really wants. It is not uncommon for several buyers to submit offers on the same property. While everyone wants a great deal, it may not be in the best interest to try to obtain a lower price.

Bank foreclosures are sold in as-is condition and are not covered under warranty. Banks sometimes engage in repairs or renovations to improve property conditions and make the home more attractive to buyers.

Any work that is done while the property is owned by the bank is not guaranteed. Therefore, it is imperative for buyers to conduct due diligence and follow the same protocol they would if buying any other type of real estate.

One way to buy REO properties at discounted prices is to seek out private real estate investors who engage in wholesaling. Real estate wholesalers purchase bank portfolios consisting of multiple foreclosure properties. This often results in savings of 30- to 40-percent and allows investors to pass savings along to buyers while still earning a profit.

Buying houses from wholesalers eliminates the need to negotiate prices with bank loss mitigators. Buyers can often save 20-percent or more and obtain instant home equity. Even if buyers end up spending 10-percent on home improvements or property repairs, they are still getting a great deal.

Private investors who possess experience in buying and selling REO properties can be beneficial in helping buyers locate the type of property they desire. Many investors network with nationwide investment groups and can reach out to hundreds of partners with the press of their computer mouse.

Simon Volkov is a private real estate investor who specializes in buying and selling REO properties. He offers a variety of investment properties through his free Investors List. Obtain instant access to REO properties and real estate investment opportunities at

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