This is the question that I hear more often than not as it relates to bank owned properties. I've personally had REO properties listed that have literally gotten 20+ offers submitted by perspective buyers. This article hopefully will explain the process of gettinng a bank owned property to the market, sold and closed.
Depending on the state you're living in the process will vary. Typically once the foreclosure process is officially started, It may take anywhere from 8 to 24 months for the bank to foreclose and take possession of the property.
At some point during the foreclosure process the bank will assign an asset management company to the property. The job of the asset management company is to basically take the property from the foreclosure process, to possession and ultimately to closing. How the asset management companies do this is actually very interesting. As a side bar, banks are NOT allowed to sell real estate. Not even there own. You read correctly. Even though the bank can legally foreclose on a home, it can't market the property itself.
Ok, I'm back. Now, instead of working with real estate brokers (directly) on the local level where the property is located, the bank contracts with asset management companies to get the property through the system and sold. The asset management companies then contracts with the local brokers to walk the property through the steps. Below are the steps. Again, some states may vary. But the over all process is still the same. Keep in mind these step have been drastically abbreviated. But you'll get the point.
1. The asset management company gets the property assignment from the bank and then assigns it to a local broker.
2. Typically when the broker gets the assignment their job is to determine the occupancy status of the property. ( is the owner or tenant in the property)
3. If the property is found to be vacant the broker reports the status of the property to the asset management company.
4. At this point the broker will attempt gain access to the property by having a locksmith change the locks on the doors. At this point the broker will generally take interior photos to document the condition of the property and complete a BPO (broker price opinion) this is basically a shorten version of an appraisal. The asset management company usually orders additional bpo's from other brokers to confirm your estimation of value.
5. Once the asset management company and the bank agree to a price the broker then completes the listing agreement with the asset management company and the property is put into the MLS (multiple listing service)
Ok, so now you have a brief idea of what goes on behind the scenes of that. Once the property is on the market other brokers and agents request to show the property to their clients. Generally if the property is priced correctly for the market and its condition, it will receive more than a few offers. So now to the question. What's taking so long? Is my contract accepted? Here are a few answers:
1. Many banks will not allow the asset management company to review or accept an offer on the property for the first 15 to 20 days that the property is listed. That's right. It's bank owned, they want to sell it as fast as possible, but they won't even entertain a offer for 15 to 20 days. Go figure! So guess what? The offers pile up during that period.
2. Now when the 15 to 20 days are up the asset manager will review the offers. At this point. More often than not. There is more than one offer on the same property. So now the asset managers call for what's known as highest and best. This means the listing broker has to call all the other agents and let them know that there are multiple offers on the property and that they need to inform their client to make their highest and best offer.
3. Once the highest and best offers are submitted to the asset manager. They will then pick the deal they feel is best for their client. This is of course is based on offering price. But just as important is the ability to close. This step can take anywhere from 1 to 30+ days depending on the bank and the actual asset manager.
The delay is usually because the offer has to go through the channels at the asset management company and then go through the channels at the bank. Then back to the bank and finally to the listing agent and then the selling agent and the buyer. I hope this sheds a little light on the process and what really goes on behind the curtain.
About the author: I'm a licensed real estate broker in the state of Illinois and have been in thre real estate business for 20 years. for more information on real estate and bank owned properties visit the listed site.