REO properties are properties owned by a bank. In many cases, these homes are priced to sell quickly. This is because the banks don't always want to deal with the burden of managing and maintaining the properties until they are sold. While these REO houses can be a great value, they do come with some complications you won't necessarily find in a traditional home sale. A real estate attorney can help you navigate the buying process and protect your interests. Here are three reasons to consider hiring an attorney before you purchase an REO property.
Help With Negotiations
Unlike purchasing a home from an individual buyer, banks may not be as willing to negotiate when it comes to contingencies and other issues that can come up in contract negotiations. The bank may not be willing to perform repairs to meet the value expectations for the home, and it may also decide not to lower the asking price. This is because banks must answer to their shareholders, which can make it more difficult to get a counteroffer. Your attorney can help you to work with the bank and its attorneys to find a compromise that meets your needs and your budget. Ask your attorney to look over the bank's contract before you decide to close so you can be sure you are getting the best possible deal. With out the assistance of an attorney, you'll be left to deal with the bank on your own.
In some cases, there may be complications with the title. A bank may technically have possession of the home, but if the previous owner refinanced the property and ceased payments, there may some issues with determining who actually has the right to sell the home. You may also find that there are unpaid property taxes or liens on the property, which become your responsibility unless you and your attorney make arrangements with the bank to cover this unexpected cost. Your attorney can search the title of the property and determine if there are any issues with taxes or titling before you begin the purchase process. The attorney can also advise you on different options for title insurance to protect your investments should any other issues with the title come up later.
Unlike a real estate agent, your real estate attorney does not have a vested interest in which home you purchase. A seasoned real estate attorney will likely have seen his or her share of good and bad properties on the market. You can take advantage of this experience and ask the attorney for advice, such as whether or not the as-is condition of a home is worth your investment. Be sure to ask your attorney plenty of questions throughout the purchase process so you have a clear understanding of any risks you may be taking when purchasing an REO property.
REO properties can offer a great option for home buyers looking to get a good deal on a new house. Hire a real estate attorney to protect your interests and your investment to ensure a painless purchase process. For more information, contact a real estate lawyer, such as Iannello Anderson.