- Make sure to read all instructions in MLS.
Most REO (Real Estate Owned) agents will attach a list of instructions for all agents to read before submitting an offer on a bank owned property. Please keep in mind that agents handling the bank’s listings are subject to bank requirements. Documents and disclosures may need to be signed prior to submitting your offer or the asset manager won’t even look at the offer.
- Submit the offer with the required mortgage pre-approval letter from a preferred lender.
Most banks that have foreclosures in their inventory will require buyers to have a pre-approval letter from a lender in their own system. This does not mean your buyer can not use a lender of their choice — but the bank will not review your buyer’s offer unless this step is completed.
- ‘Submit your best and final offer.’
If your buyers have their hearts set on purchasing the bank’s property, advise them to submit their best offer in writing as soon as possible. Calling the listing agent to see how many offers she has on a particular property may yield a response such as “submit your best and final offer.” Plus, the listing agent may be too busy to get back to you in your client’s time frame. Many REO agents have hundreds of listings at any given time — along with others that they are in the process of listing (BPO stage).
- Be considerate to the listing agent and their staff.
The Golden Rule applies with listing agents: “treat others as you would like to be treated.” An agent may likely have 50-150 escrows running at any give time. Being patient and considerate will help you gain an advocate in the negotiation process. Keep in mind, the agent is at the bank’s mercy. They want to close the deal as badly as you do.
- Get all required signatures back immediately on counter offers.
As soon as the bank submits a counter offer, the pace of the transaction speeds up — even if it took them 3 weeks to review the initial offer on the property. The quicker you respond, the better off your client will be. In order to secure your buyer’s position, get all signatures back immediately or the bank will consider other offers. Note: the bank may also require a “wet” signature — an original signature on paper rather than a faxed or e-mailed copy.