How to Buy a Bank Owned Home

Did you know that the national rate of homeownership in America is 64%?

Buying a bank-owned home can be a great way to get a good deal on a property, but it’s important to know how to do it the right way.

There are a lot of things you need to know before buying a foreclosure, and if you don’t do them correctly you could end up losing money or getting stuck with a property you can’t sell.

But don’t worry. Keep reading because we’ve written this guide to show you how to buy a bank-owned home the right way. We’ll walk you through each step of the process so that you can make an informed decision and get the best deal possible.

What Is a Bank Owned Home?

A real estate-owned property, or REO, is a piece of real estate that has been foreclosed on and repossessed by a lender. Once the foreclosure process is complete, the lender becomes the owner of the property and must then try to sell it to recoup their losses.

The term “REO” stands for “real estate owned.” This designation is used to describe a property that has been foreclosed on and repossessed by a lender. Once the foreclosure process is complete, the lender becomes the owner of the property and must then try to sell it to recoup their losses.

Many lenders are unwilling or unable to take on the responsibility of owning and selling a foreclosed property, so they will often hire a real estate agent to list the property and handle the sale.

10 Steps to Buying an REO Property

The process of buying an REO property is not much different from the process of buying any other type of property. However, there are a few key steps that you will need to take to successfully purchase an REO property.

  1. Browse Available REO Properties

The first step is to browse the available REO properties in your area. You can search for REO properties on RealtyTrac, which is a website that lists foreclosed homes for sale.

There are several ways to browse available REO properties. They include:

Checking the website of a local bank or credit union: Many lenders post their REO properties on their websites.

Searching online listings: Websites like RealtyTrac and Zillow list REO properties for sale.

Working with a real estate agent: A good real estate agent will have access to MLS listings of REO properties.

  1. Research the Property

Once you have found a few REO properties that you are interested in, it is time to do some research. You will want to find out as much as you can about the property before making an offer.

Some things that you will want to research include:

The property’s history

One important step in the process is to check the public records to see if the property has been foreclosed on before. This information can be used to negotiate a better price for the property.

Foreclosure information is typically available online, and it is important to search for any liens or mortgages that may be attached to the property.

In addition, it is also a good idea to check with the local zoning office to make sure that there are no outstanding code violations. By taking the time to do your homework, you can ensure that you get the best deal possible on your new home.

The Condition of the Property

Inspecting a property before you buy is essential to avoid any unpleasant surprises down the road. There are two main ways to do this.

You can either drive by the property to get an idea of its condition, or you can hire a home inspector to do a more thorough inspection.

The latter is generally recommended, as it will give you a more complete picture of the property’s condition. However, even a drive-by can help spot any obvious problems.

Once you have an idea of the property’s condition, you can start to formulate a budget for any necessary repairs. This will help you to make an informed decision about whether or not to buy the property.

The Value of the Property

One of the most important steps in purchasing a property is to research its value. This will help you to make sure that you are not overpaying for the property. There are a few different ways to research the value of a property.

You can check online real estate listings to see what similar properties have sold for in the past. You can also hire a professional appraiser to assess the value of the property.

This information will give you a good idea of what the property is worth, and it will help you to negotiate a fair price with the seller.

  1. Find a Lender and Discuss REO Financing

If you plan to finance your purchase, you will need to find a lender who is willing to loan money on an REO property. Not all lenders are willing to do this, so it is important to shop around.

Once you have found a lender, you will need to discuss your financing options. There are a few different ways to finance an REO purchase, including:


One of the most important decisions that buyers will face is how to finance their purchases. For some, paying cash outright is the best option. This strategy has several advantages, chief among them being the avoidance of interest charges.

When you take out a loan to finance a home purchase, you will be required to pay interest on the outstanding balance. This can add thousands of dollars to your overall costs.

By paying cash, you can avoid this expense and keep more money in your pocket. In addition, buying with cash gives you greater flexibility when it comes to negotiating prices.

Sellers are often more willing to accept a lower offer when they know that there will be no loan involved.

Hard money loan

A hard money loan is a short-term loan that is backed by collateral. This type of loan can be difficult to obtain, but it can be a good option if you are unable to get traditional financing.

Private loan

Private lenders, such as family members or friends, can often be a better source of funding. This is because they are typically more willing to work with borrowers on repayment terms.

In addition, private lenders may be more interested in the borrower’s ability to repay the loan than in their credit score. As a result, borrowers who have been turned down by banks may still be able to find funding through a private lender.

When taking out a loan from a private lender, it is important to develop a written agreement that outlines the terms of the loan, the repayment schedule, and any other relevant information.

  1. Find a Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Who Knows REO Homes

If you are not familiar with the REO process, it is a good idea to find a real estate agent who specializes in REO properties. A good agent will be familiar with the process and will be able to guide you through it.

  1. Make an Offer on the Property

When you find a property that you’re interested in, the next step is to make an offer. The offer should be based on the value of the property and the amount of money that you are willing and able to spend.

There are a few things to keep in mind when making an offer, such as the current market conditions and your financial situation. You’ll also want to leave some room for negotiation, as the seller may not be willing to accept your first offer.

Once you’ve submitted your offer, the waiting game begins.

  1. Negotiate With the Seller

Once you have made an offer on a home, the seller will have the option to accept, reject, or counter your offer. If they choose to counter your offer, they will make a new offer that is usually higher than your original offer.

For example, if you offered $200,000 for a home and the seller countered with an offer of $225,000, you would then need to decide whether or not to accept the new offer. If you accept the new offer, the home will be sold to you for $225,000.

However, if you reject the new offer, the negotiations will come to an end and the home will likely be sold to another buyer. Therefore, it is important to carefully consider any counteroffer before making a final decision.

  1. Get a Home Inspection

A home inspection is an important step in the home buying process. It allows you to have a professional examine the property for any major problems. This is important, as it can help you avoid buying a home that needs expensive repairs.

The inspection will cover all major systems of the house, including the roof, plumbing, and electrical system. It is important to note that the inspector is not responsible for making any repairs.

However, they will provide you with a report that details any problems that they find. This report can be used to negotiate with the seller for a lower price or to request that the seller make the necessary repairs before you finalize the purchase.

  1. Close on the Property

The final step in the process of buying an REO property is to close the deal. This process can take a few weeks, but once it is complete, you will be the new owner of the property.

The closing process involves several steps, including the negotiation of a purchase price and the execution of a sales contract. Once the purchase price has been agreed upon, a closing date will be set.

On this date, the buyer and seller will sign the sales contract and all necessary paperwork will be transferred to the new owner.

After the closing, the buyer will be responsible for all future payments on the property, including mortgage payments, property taxes, and insurance premiums.

Although the process of buying an REO property can be time-consuming, it is well worth the effort for those who are looking to purchase a property at a great price.

With a little patience and perseverance, you will be sure to find the perfect property at a great price.

  1. Post-Closing Issues to Be Aware Of

Once you have closed on your REO property, there are a few things that you need to be aware of. First, you will need to get insurance for the property. This is because most lenders require it.

You will also need to make sure that you keep up with the repairs and maintenance of the property. This is important, as it will help to keep the value of the property up.

Finally, you need to be aware of the possibility of foreclosure. If you stop making your mortgage payments, the lender may foreclose on your property.

However, if you can make your payments and keep up with the repairs, you will be able to keep your property and enjoy it for years to come.

  1. What to Do If You Can’t Afford the Property

If you find an REO property that you are interested in, but you can’t afford the purchase price, there are a few things that you can do. First, you can try to negotiate with the seller. You may be able to get them to lower the price of the property.

You can also try to get a loan from a family member or friend. If you can get the money that you need, you will be able to purchase the property.

Finally, you can look into government programs that may help you with the purchase of an REO property. These programs can provide you with the money that you need to buy the property.

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How to Buy a Bank-Owned Home

Bank-owned homes can be a great deal, but there are some things to watch out for. By knowing how to buy a bank-owned home, you can avoid making costly mistakes and get the home you want at a price you can afford.

Check out our blog for more articles like this, where we will continue to provide tips and advice on purchasing foreclosed homes. Thanks for reading!

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