Lisa and Jim's Northern Nevada Real Estate Blog: The REO Sale Process

The REO Sale Process

The bank-owned property sale is fairly commonplace these days.  The amount of foreclosures in the Carson Valley is unprecedented, and has resulted in a niche real estate market with unique business practices.  When a bank owns a property the sale process is different than when dealing with a private party. 

The first difference comes when they value the property.  They begin before the foreclosure sale by getting a Broker Price Opinion, BPO.  After they obtain title to the property via the foreclosure sale they usually order two BPO's to determine value.  After that they select an agent to list the property with and ask that the agent prepare yet another BPO.  During this process the property value usually plummets due to the post-foreclosure condition of the property.  With one of the first lender actions subsequent to obtaining title being to turn off all utilities causing the value to continue to drop as the landscaping dies. 

Most lenders hire an Asset Manager, AM, to handle the sale for them.  The Asset Manager orders the BPO's, prepares the property for sale, hires the listing agent, negotiates the contracts, and sees the escrow through to close.  The BPO Listing Agent communicates with only with the Asset Manager, and primarily via computer.  

When an offer is presented it isn't emailed or faxed to the Asset Manager, rather there is a computer menu that the agent completes by checking and filling in the appropriate boxes to reflect the terms and conditions of the offer.  There is also an area for notes so the agent can make comments to the AM to provide some perspective about the offer circumstances.  Counter Offers are also made via computer.  We have actually received an AM Counter Offer at 6:00 p.m. on a Saturday.  That is refreshing as it is in keeping with conventional real estate to keep the negotiations flowing.  Historically, bank owned property transactions were a M-F/8:00-5:00 operation. 

Once accepted the offer and related documents are sent to the AM via email.  They are signed and returned with the AM's special Disclaimer documents (a must-sign, non-negotiable package) for execution by the Buyer, and the escrow is opened.  From there it is pretty much business as usual. 

Our Advice:  The REO sale process has been streamlined since we last wrote about it.  The AM's are more responsive, act quicker, and are willing to engage in "Ping Pong" negotiations until a transaction is put together or it is accepted that it cannot be put together.  The AM Seller has no emotion in the transaction - they are just dealing with numbers and circumstances - which can be a benefit to a Buyer making a reasonable offer.  The Seller isn't concerned about their next purchase, their perceived "loss" since the market dropped, or the memories incurred during the course of ownership.  Make a good clean offer that highlights your strengths and you can be making the proverbial "scream'n deal" in no time. 

REO's offer a realistic means to make a good deal today.  Their historical burdensome processes are now themselves history.  Don't fear the REO - consider the brown lawn a welcome mat to a green return on your investment.  

Experience is Priceless!  Lisa Wetzel & Jim Valentine, RE/MAX Realty Affiliates, 775-781-5472,,

Comment balloon 3 commentsLisa Wetzel • September 26 2008 05:39PM


Stockpiling and roulette with the property while the market slumps seems to be a characterisitic of the reo landscape. Somebody's waiting for the appreciation bell to ring.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) almost 12 years ago

Isn't that the truth.  The REO companies are there own worst enemy in driving down the value of their property via neglect.

Posted by Rob Arnold, Metro Orlando Full Service - Investor Friendly & F (Sand Dollar Realty Group, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

Here's one!  I have a prelisting pending ... waiting for the Asset Manager to allow me to input the info.  A selling agent has an offer that she communicated to the seller ... they referred her to me as the listing agent ... and she sent me a great offer to purchase.   The Seller (Asset Manager) says stall them until we get the second BPO in?????   We can sell this and we have to wait????

Posted by Lisa Wetzel, CDPE, SFR (RE/MAX Realty Affiliates) almost 12 years ago