There are many factors to consider when buying a foreclosed home compared to a traditional home purchase. Real Estate Owned or 'REO' properties are an affordable housing option, but there are also more things to watch for with this type of home purchase. Use this guide to better understand the steps involved in buying a foreclosed home and to increase your likelihood of success in finding one that is right for you.
Negotiating the purchase price of a foreclosed home may take a little longer than a typical real estate transaction because the process may require multiple levels of approval. First, the bank will have to approve the offer. In some cases, an investor may own the property and will have to provide approval as well.
Pricing for a foreclosed home is typically set at market value in an effort to move the property quickly. You will want to submit a fair and reasonable offer, as most banks will list properties at a fair price.
There are several considerations to keep in mind when purchasing an REO Property:
You should work with a real estate agent who is experienced with REO properties. An experienced professional can guide you through any additional paperwork that may come with buying a foreclosed home and can help you determine if the price is a good value.
Getting a home inspection is always a good idea, but it is particularly important when buying a foreclosed home. Given that the bank has not maintained or had first-hand knowledge of the REO property prior to acquisition, there may be no record of property repairs or maintenance that would assess the true property condition. As a result, the bank is often unable to verify the condition of the property or complete a Seller’s Disclosure. Be sure to have a licensed home inspector evaluate the condition of the house. Most REO homes are sold as-is, and the cost of repairs typically becomes your responsibility. Make a list of everything that needs to be fixed, research the costs, and factor in those costs to any offer you make to ensure you could cover the costs on top of your new mortgage payment. Please keep in mind, de-winterizing a home may be necessary to complete the inspection.
A property inspection is encouraged and will help you determine:
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