How to handle REO and Foreclosures

Bank OwnedREO vs. Foreclosure: What's the Deal and How to Seal It?

Ever hear of an REO and think someone was just bad at spelling OREO? Well, REO stands for 'Real Estate Owned'—not a delicious cookie, sadly. But, it might be a treat if you're into real estate deals.

Buying home foreclosures are homes that had a starring role at an auction but didn’t get sold. It's the result of a bank foreclosure. Think of them as the unsung heroes waiting for a fanbase. If the property isn't snatched up at auction, primarily because of those pesky details like unpaid mortgages and lawyer fees, they’re taken back by the bank.

If you’re brave enough to bid at an auction, remember you need to have the full payment ready. It's not a "pay later" situation; banks aren't into IOUs. Winning the bid might also mean winning some unexpected "bonuses" like the previous owner still lounging on the couch or hidden debts. Surprise!

So, many homes remain unsold, and banks, not wanting to play real estate mogul for too long, designate these as REOs.

Ready to Buy a Bank’s House?

If you fancy an REO property, here's a mini-guide:

  1. Show Me the Money: Before you start daydreaming about homes, ensure your finances are in check. A bank won't give you the time of day without it.
  2. Making the Offer: It's kinda like dating. Make your move but remember, banks have a type—they love cash and serious intentions.
  3. Choosing the Title Company: Normally, you’d pick the title company, but with REOs, banks usually take the lead. Sometimes, their pick might be the equivalent of an inconsiderate dinner date, but hey, it's part of the package.
  4. Paperwork Galore: Banks will give you what's called a "Bank Addendum". It's less fun than it sounds. It's their way of repeatedly telling you, "You're buying it as-is!"
  5. Closing the Deal: It’s mostly done via mail, since banks often choose title companies based on their own convenience and not yours. So, stock up on pens!

Questions You Might Be Asking

  • Will the bank fix the leaky roof? Unlikely. Unless it's essential for financing.
  • Can I move my stuff in early? No. Patience, young grasshopper.
  • Will I get a discount if I bank with them? Nope. Nice try though!
  • But can I get a fantastic deal if I play by the rules? A resounding YES!


Yes, buying an REO might seem daunting, like assembling a piece of IKEA furniture. But, if you're up for the challenge and savings, it can be rewarding. Plus, with the right real estate agent by your side, you're in safe hands. Like getting an IKEA expert to help with that furniture.

Contact us at (941) 800 1680 when you are ready to dive in to potential great real estate deals.

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