In the world of real estate, finding a great deal on a property can feel like striking gold. One way to increase your chances of discovering that hidden gem is by searching for bank-owned homes for sale. These properties, also known as REOs (Real Estate Owned), are homes that have been repossessed by banks after a failed foreclosure auction. But how do you find these bank-owned properties, and what should you know before diving into this type of real estate transaction? In this guide, we’ll discuss the ins and outs of finding and purchasing bank-owned homes for sale.

How to Find Bank-Owned Homes for Sale

Finding bank-owned homes for sale can be a bit trickier than searching for traditional listings. However, with the right strategies and resources, you can uncover these hidden treasures. Let’s explore several methods for finding bank-owned properties.

Online Resources

The internet is a treasure trove of information when it comes to finding bank-owned homes for sale. There are several websites and online resources that can help you in your search:

  1. Bank Websites: Many banks have dedicated sections on their websites for listing their REO properties. Simply visit the bank’s website and look for a link to their REO or foreclosure listings.
  2. Real Estate Websites: Several real estate websites, such as Zillow, Trulia, and, allow you to filter your property search specifically for bank-owned homes.
  3. Government Websites: The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Fannie Mae also maintain lists of REO properties for sale on their websites.
  4. Online Auction Sites: Websites like and specialize in auctioning off bank-owned properties.

Local Real Estate Agents

Another effective way to find bank-owned homes for sale is by working with a local real estate agent who specializes in REO properties. These agents often have access to exclusive listings and can help you navigate the process of purchasing a bank-owned home. To find an agent with expertise in REO properties, ask for recommendations from friends, family, or do a quick online search.

County Courthouse and Public Records

Searching public records can be a more time-consuming method for finding bank-owned homes for sale, but it can also yield valuable information. Visit your local county courthouse or access their online public records database to search for properties that have recently entered the foreclosure process. This information can give you a head start on finding potential bank-owned homes before they hit the market.

Newspaper Listings and Legal Notices

Don’t overlook traditional newspaper listings and legal notices when searching for bank-owned homes for sale. Keep an eye out for foreclosure notices in the legal section of your local newspaper. Some banks also advertise their REO properties in the real estate classifieds.

What to Know Before Buying a Bank-Owned Home

Now that you know how to find bank-owned homes for sale, it’s essential to understand the unique aspects of purchasing this type of property. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

Property Condition

Bank-owned homes are often sold “as-is,” meaning the bank won’t make any repairs or improvements before selling the property. This can lead to some properties being in poor condition, , with potential issues such as mold, structural damage, or outdated systems. It’s crucial to get a thorough home inspection before purchasing a bank-owned property to fully understand the extent of any repairs needed.

Financing Options

Obtaining financing for a bank-owned home may be more challenging than for a traditional property. Some banks may be hesitant to lend money for properties in poor condition, while others may require a higher down payment. It’s essential to explore various financing options, such as FHA loans, which may be more forgiving when it comes to purchasing distressed properties.

Negotiating with the Bank

When purchasing a bank-owned home, you’ll be negotiating directly with the bank rather than a homeowner. Banks are typically more motivated to sell these properties quickly, which can work in your favor when negotiating the purchase price. However, they may be less willing to negotiate on terms or make concessions, such as covering closing costs or making repairs. It’s important to approach negotiations with realistic expectations and be prepared to compromise.

Closing Process

The closing process for a bank-owned home can be longer and more complex than for a traditional sale. Banks often have additional paperwork and legal requirements that must be completed before closing, which can lead to delays. Be prepared for a longer timeline and be patient as you navigate the process.


Finding and purchasing bank-owned homes for sale can be a rewarding venture for savvy buyers willing to put in the time and effort. By using the strategies outlined in this guide, you’ll be well on your way to discovering hidden gems and potentially scoring a great deal on a property. Keep in mind the unique aspects of buying a bank-owned home, from the property’s condition to financing and negotiations, and arm yourself with knowledge to navigate this type of real estate transaction successfully. Happy house hunting!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I find REO properties in my area?

You can find REO (Real Estate Owned) properties in your area by checking with local banks and credit unions, as they usually list these properties on their websites. Another way is to use online real estate marketplaces, such as Zillow,, or, which often have sections dedicated to REO properties. Additionally, real estate agents who specialize in foreclosures can also provide listings of REO properties.

How do I get a free list of foreclosures in my area?

Many online real estate platforms, such as Zillow,, and, provide free lists of foreclosure properties. You can filter the listings by location to find foreclosures in your area. Additionally, local government websites often provide foreclosure listings, as do some banks and credit unions.

Which bank has the most REO properties?

The bank with the most REO properties can vary depending on the time and location. Banks with large mortgage portfolios, like Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and Chase, often have a substantial number of REO properties.

What is REO properties in the US also known as?

REO properties in the US are also known as bank-owned properties. These are properties that have gone through foreclosure and are now owned by a bank or a lender.

What does REO stand for?

REO stands for “Real Estate Owned.” It refers to property that a lender (usually a bank) has taken possession of due to a foreclosure.

How do I get a list of local foreclosures?

You can get a list of local foreclosures by visiting online real estate platforms such as Zillow or, which offer foreclosure listings. Local county or city websites may also provide lists of foreclosed properties, as they often publish notices of foreclosure sales. Additionally, you can work with a real estate agent who specializes in foreclosures.

How accurate is foreclosure com? is a widely used platform for finding foreclosure and distressed property listings. While the site is generally considered accurate and up-to-date, like any platform, it may have occasional inaccuracies or delays in updating information. Always verify details from multiple sources when considering a foreclosure purchase.

What does EMV mean in real estate?

In real estate, EMV usually stands for “Estimated Market Value.” It’s an estimate of a property’s likely selling price in the current market, based on comparable recent sales, the property’s condition, and other factors.

How do you find the EMV?

The Estimated Market Value (EMV) is typically determined by performing a comparative market analysis (CMA), which involves comparing the property in question to similar properties that have recently sold in the same area. Real estate agents often perform CMAs for their clients, but you can also use online tools or hire an appraiser to estimate a property’s market value.

What does pre foreclosure NOD mean?

Pre-foreclosure NOD refers to a “Notice of Default,” which is a document that a lender sends to a borrower who has fallen behind on their mortgage payments. The NOD informs the borrower that they are in default and starts the pre-foreclosure process.

What is the EMV rule?

The EMV rule in real estate investing, particularly in house flipping, suggests that investors should not pay more than 70% of the Estimated Market Value (EMV) of a property after repair, minus the cost of the repairs needed. This rule helps investors ensure they maintain a profit margin.

Why do banks sell foreclosures so cheap?

Banks often sell foreclosed properties at lower prices because their goal is to recover the amount owed on the defaulted loan, not to make a profit on the property. Additionally, foreclosed properties can be expensive for banks to maintain, and they may need repairs or improvements, which can make them less attractive to buyers. Therefore, banks may price these properties lower to sell them quickly.

What is the disadvantage of a foreclosed property?

Some disadvantages of buying a foreclosed property include potential repair and renovation costs, as foreclosed homes are often not in the best condition. Also, the buying process can be more complex and longer than a traditional home purchase, and there’s often more competition from other buyers. Finally, the home may have liens or other outstanding debts attached to it, which the new owner would be responsible for resolving.

What is the downside of a foreclosure?

For the homeowner, the downsides of foreclosure are severe. It can significantly damage their credit score, making it difficult to obtain loans or credit in the future. They also lose their home and any equity they had in it. For buyers, the downsides can include dealing with a complex buying process, potential repair issues, and possible title problems if there are unpaid liens on the property.

What are the pros and cons of buying a HUD home?

Pros of buying a HUD home include potentially getting a lower price and less competition from other buyers, as HUD homes are not always on the radar of traditional home buyers. HUD also offers special financing programs, like the FHA $100 Down program.

Cons include the fact that HUD homes are sold as-is, meaning you may end up with a home that requires significant repairs. Also, the process of buying a HUD home is bureaucratic and can be confusing to navigate without the help of a real estate agent familiar with the process.

Can you use a VA loan to buy a HUD home?

Yes, you can use a VA loan to buy a HUD home. A VA loan is a mortgage loan backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs, and it’s available to active service members, veterans, and eligible surviving spouses. Just like with any property, the home must meet certain conditions to be eligible for a VA loan.

What is HUD Homes USA?

HUD Homes USA is an online platform that provides listings of HUD homes for sale. HUD homes are residential properties that have been foreclosed on and are now owned by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. These properties are typically sold at reduced prices and are available to all types of buyers.

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