REO Property Investing: A Step-by-Step Guide

Dec 02, 2023 By Triston Martin

Flippers and would-be landlords alike may benefit from investing in REO homes, but it comes with many obstacles. It's good to familiarise yourself with how REO properties function and what to expect as an investor before diving in.

Investing in real estate does not come without risk. Gambling on an REO property can pay out handsomely, but it can also backfire if no buyer or reputable tenant can be found for the property.

REO Properties: What Are They?

Foreclosed properties that the lending institution has repossessed are known as real estate owned (REO). In many cases, REO properties are sold at auction and provide investors the chance to acquire homes at a discount.

Due diligence is the most crucial factor in making successful REO offers. Real estate investors who do their homework are more likely to have their REO bid accepted since they are well prepared for any eventuality and outcome.

REO Listings: How to Find REO Properties

Investors are drawn to REO properties because they provide the chance to purchase homes at a discount to their market value. The problem is that they're usually more challenging to discover than traditionally listed houses.

Fortunately, there are several tools to assist you in searching for an REO property investment opportunity. Some expert advice on where to discover listings for foreclosed properties:

· Brokerages of Real Estate

There are frequently postings that aren't available to the general public that real estate agents can assist investors in finding. In some brokerages, REO properties are handled by just a few realtors, while in others, an entire section is dedicated to the management of REO properties. Ask a friend or a business associate for a recommendation, or do a Google search to discover a real estate broker.

· Listing Sites for REO Properties

REO homes may be found on several websites, including foreclosure and auction sites.,, and are a few examples. It's worth noting that some listings websites demand a price for their memberships.

· Bank and Government Loan Websites

Foreclosure-buying financial organizations frequently have a website dedicated to foreclosure listings. Large banks like Wells Fargo and Citi Bank, or regional banks like Regions, are among the options. Under the domain names of HomePath and HomeSteps, the government-sponsored mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac provide their REO and short sale property listings.

Why Invest in Bank-Owned Property?

When it comes to real estate, an REO is a bank-owned property that went through an auction and failed to sell and is presently owned by the bank.

Attempts to recuperate losses by selling REOs below market value are subject to the norms and criteria of each lending institution. REO properties have several advantages for investors, including:

· Lowest Price Available

REO real estate will not be sold for pennies on the dollar, but investors may get a good deal if they know what they're doing. Investors must act quickly since REO homes are often priced to sell quickly. Investors will be better equipped to seize an opportunity if they are well-prepared.

· No Unpaid Claims

REO properties have no liens, making them an excellent option for buyers. Any tax liens and HOA costs accrued on an REO property will be addressed through the bank's negotiations with the IRS. This is a rare chance for would-be investors to take up a cheap investment property.

How to Make Your REO Offers BulletProof

REO properties have a draw most of the time because of their capacity to be negotiated. When the bank is trying to acquire as much money as possible for the property, the investor is seeking to get it for the lowest sum that the bank will take.

Remember that an REO property does not have to be purchased at the total asking price set by the bank. Quite the contrary! The following real estate negotiating techniques will help investors put together a solid offer:

· Find It First!

If you want to make an offer on a foreclosed property, one of the finest real estate negotiating strategies is to identify it early—preferably before it's put on the market. The bank saves time and money by not having to put the property on the market, which is a win-win for both the bank and the investor.

Investors could begin by following REO properties slated for auction, examining classified advertisements in the local newspaper, and visiting the county recorder's office to identify properties that are about to be auctioned. Pre-foreclosure and REO property databases may be found on several websites, which can be pretty helpful to real estate investors.

· Be Prepared

Preparation is the final piece of advice for making REO bids. A lack of planning can hinder you from receiving amazing real estate deals, even if they fall into your lap. Investors need to know who to contact before making an REO bid, whether the bank or an agency. Direct communication with the REO property manager will increase an investor's chances of their bid being approved.

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