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Foreclosures v.s. Short Sales in Las Vegas

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Bank Owned Property (REO)

 

REO stands for “Real Estate Owned”.  These are properties that have gone through foreclosure and are now owned by the bank or mortgage company.

 

The REO property did not find a buyer during foreclosure auction.  The bank now owns it.  The bank will see to 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.  Do be aware that REO’s may be exempt from normal disclosure requirements. 

 

It’s commonly assumed that any REO must be a bargain and an opportunity for easy money.  This simply isn’t true.  You have to be very careful about buying a REO if your intent is to make money off of it.  While it’s true that the bank is typically anxious to sell it quickly, they are also strongly motivated to get as much as they can for it.  When considering the value of a REO, you need to look closely at comparable sales in the neighborhood and be sure to take into account the time and cost of any repairs or remodeling needed to prepare the house for resale. We are seeing more & more multiple offers on homes, sometimes as many as 10-20 offers. Stuart Shienfeld, a local realtor says, “The homes that have very little repair or upgrade work are flying off the shelves”. 

Most banks have a REO department that you’ll work with in buying a REO property from them.  Typically the REO department will use a listing agent to get their REO properties listed on the local MLS.  Before making your offer, you’ll want to contact either the listing agent or REO department at the bank and find out as much as you can about what they know about the condition of the property and what their process is for receiving offers.  Since banks almost always sell REO properties “as is”, you’ll want to be sure and include an inspection contingency in your offer that gives you time to check for hidden damage and terminate the offer if you find it.  The banks usually give you 7-10 days to do this Stuart Sheinfeld says.  As with making any offer on real estate, you’ll need to include documentation of your ability to pay, such as a pre-approval letter from a lender or a proof of funds if its a cash offer.  After you’ve made your offer, you can expect the bank to make a counter offer.  Then it will be up to you to decide whether to accept their counter, or offer a counter to the counter offer.  Realize, you’ll be dealing with a process that probably involves multiple people at the bank, and they don’t work evenings or weekends.  It’s not unusual for the process of offers and counter offers to take days or even weeks.


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Short Sales

The good news for short sales is that the seller doesn’t care what they sell for.  They will, or at least should, take whatever the bank will approve.  It is common for the owner of a short sale to still be living in the home, which can be a good thing.  The plants may still be green, the pool blue, and the home maintained.  Not all short sales are like this, but some are.  The seller will have to disclose any current or previous problems with the home.  A bank property will not provide this. But you still my need to sign a NRS 113 Waiver.

The bad news on short sales is the wait.  It can take a minimum of 2 months, usually longer, rarely shorter, to receive a response from the bank. Shienfeld says, “Due to this wait, I strongly recommend that buyer’s don’t fall in love with a short sale.”  Just put in your offer and continue to look at other homes.  If the bank responds before you have found something else, great!  If not, you can just rescind your offer at no cost.  The other bad news about short sales is that the bank may not accept the price you offered and it could be thousands more.  Last but not least, if you are moving out of your home you are selling, it can be hard to time/coordinate a move out of your old home into the new home.  You’ll probably have to rent in the interim.

FinallyBusiness Management Articles, sales are at record levels in Las Vegas. The city has a lot to offer from entertainment to food to outdoor activities. You can easily purchase a home for less than $150K and have a mortgage for less than rent would be. Many Las Vegas First-Time Home Buyers are realizing their dream of home ownership with the help of Foreclosures.  Why not you?


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