Real Estate Owned (REO)

The New Western Team


Real Estate Owned (REO) refers to properties that have been acquired by a lender, typically a bank, through the foreclosure process. These properties are owned by the lender and are available for sale to the public. As a real estate investor, understanding REO properties can present potential investment opportunities at potentially discounted prices.


Real Estate Owned (REO): Practical Example

Let’s imagine John, an experienced real estate investor, who comes across a property listed as “REO” in his local market. Intrigued by the term, he decides to investigate further.

John learns that REO stands for Real Estate Owned, and it refers to properties that have been foreclosed upon by a lender, typically a bank, due to the previous owner’s failure to make mortgage payments. These properties have gone through the foreclosure process and are now owned by the lender.

One day, while browsing through real estate listings, John comes across a house listed as an REO property. He discovers that the previous owner had defaulted on their mortgage, and the bank had repossessed the property. As a result, the bank is now the owner and is looking to sell the property to recoup their losses.

Intrigued by the potential opportunity, John decides to further research the property. He learns that REO properties are often sold at a discount compared to their market value since the bank is motivated to sell them quickly. This presents an opportunity for investors like John to potentially acquire properties at a lower cost.

John decides to reach out to the bank’s designated agent to gather more information about the REO property. He learns that the house requires some repairs and updates, but the asking price is significantly below the market value for similar properties in the area.

Recognizing the potential for a profitable investment, John decides to make an offer on the REO property. After negotiating with the bank, he successfully purchases the property at a price lower than its estimated market value.

John plans to renovate the house and either sell it for a profit or rent it out for a steady stream of rental income. By taking advantage of the REO opportunity, John has acquired a property at a discounted price, potentially increasing his return on investment.

Inspired by John’s success, his friend Lisa, an aspiring real estate investor, becomes interested in REO properties as well. She sees the potential to acquire properties at a lower cost, which could be a great entry point for her into the real estate market.

In conclusion, the term REO refers to properties that have been foreclosed upon by a lender and are now owned by the bank. Investors like John can seize the opportunity to purchase these properties at a discount, potentially increasing their investment returns. Aspiring investors like Lisa can also explore REO properties as a way to enter the real estate market at a more affordable price point.


Q: What does the term Real Estate Owned (REO) mean?
A: Real Estate Owned (REO) refers to properties that have been foreclosed by a lender or a bank and are now in their possession.

Q: How do properties become REOs?
A: Properties become REOs when the owner fails to make mortgage payments, leading to foreclosure. After a foreclosure auction, if the property does not sell, it becomes an REO.

Q: What happens to a property after it becomes an REO?
A: Once a property becomes an REO, the lender or bank takes ownership and assumes responsibility for maintaining and selling the property to recover their investment.

Q: Are REOs a good investment opportunity?
A: REOs can present investment opportunities for those looking to purchase properties at potentially discounted prices. However, thorough due diligence is crucial to assess the property’s condition, market value, and potential for profitability.

Q: How can investors find REO properties?
A: Investors can find REO properties through various channels, including working directly with banks, lenders, or asset management companies, utilizing online platforms specializing in REOs, or working with real estate agents who specialize in distressed properties.

Q: What should investors consider before purchasing an REO property?
A: Investors should consider factors such as the property’s condition, market demand, potential repairs or renovations needed, location, and the overall investment strategy. Conducting thorough research and inspections is vital to make an informed investment decision.

Q: Can investors negotiate the price of an REO property?
A: In some cases, investors may have room to negotiate the price of an REO property. However, it depends on various factors such as market conditions, the lender’s motivation, and the property’s condition. Working with experienced real estate professionals can help navigate the negotiation process effectively.

Q: Are there any risks associated with investing in REO properties?
A: Like any investment, there are risks associated with investing in REO properties. Some potential risks include unforeseen repairs, liens or other title issues, market fluctuations, and difficulties in securing financing. Conducting thorough due diligence and working with professionals can help mitigate these risks.

Q: Are there any financing options available for purchasing REO properties?
A: Yes, there are financing options available for purchasing REO properties, including traditional mortgages, private lenders, hard money loans, or cash purchases. It is important for investors to explore their financing options and choose the one that best fits their investment strategy and financial situation.

Q: Can investors rent out an REO property?
A: Yes, investors can rent out an REO property after purchasing it. Renting out the property can provide a steady income stream and potentially increase the property’s value over time. However, local rental market conditions and regulations should be considered before deciding to rent out an REO property.