Although the market has definately improved in the past year bank owned, or REO Properties as we call them, are still prevelant in our the real estate world.  Purchasing them can be a frustrating process but with a little help can be rewarding.   I specialize in listing REOS for many companies including Fannie Mae, Bank of America and Chase to name a few. 

                     Here are a few of my tips.

1. Make an offer close to the asking price.  The seller prices their property based on appraisals and broker price opinions and only have about a 5 percent margin to accept the offer. 

2. Sellers typically do a price reduction after the home has been on the market for 30 days.  If you are trying to obtain the home at a lower price wait for the 30 day mark before making your offer.  If it hasn't sold already this is a great time to make an offer.

3. Use a realtor that is familiar with the contracts that accompany a REO Property. So many times an  offer is rejected by the listing agent simply because the contract is incomplete.   We are not allowed to submit incomplete contracts. 

4. Make sure you have an updated proof of funds letter and / or approval letter so your offer will be considered. 

5. View the property and remember cosmetic repairs are often not very costly and the seller will not address any of these repairs.  If there are any major items you can ask the seller to fix them.  In many cases they will.

6. Visit websites like and for upcoming properties so you can be prepared to make an offer quickly.