A Guide About: How to Find an REO or Short Sale Buyer's Agent


Triston Martin

Feb 24, 2024


Buyers should seek out REO and short-sale agents, but few do. Bank-owned properties are "REOs," an abbreviation for "real estate owned." Buyers with expertise in the subject matter are the most likely to be interested in these deals. Through real estate owned (REO) and short sale listings, buyers frequently have the chance to purchase a home at a price below market value. Not all REO postings or short-sale listings will offer below-market prices, so keep that in mind. They share some traits with other kinds of listings but also stand out in their ways. As a result, it is crucial to have a precise grasp of the present fair market value of the real estate assets being evaluated. You can also buy these homes at the opportune time if you have enough cash on hand.

How Do You Find A Qualified REO Buyer's Agent?

Before you begin your property search, it is recommended that you find a real estate-owned (REO) buyer's agent. The following advice should assist you in selecting the most suitable individual to handle your purchase:

Get A Recommendation

One of the most acceptable ways to identify reliable experts is through personal recommendations. Inquire amongst others who have just bought or sold a home about the real estate agents they used, and see if they have experience with REO properties. Talk to people you know who have recently purchased a house through a foreclosure, short sale, or real estate-owned (REO) listing.

Consult with real estate agents you already know to find out whether they have an REO specialist on staff or if they know of anyone in your network who does. You could also approach investors in your area who focus on buy-and-hold or fix-and-flip investments. Investors often buy homes that have been foreclosed on or are otherwise in distress to maximize their profits. They probably know an excellent REO agent, but if they refuse to refer them to you, it's not because they don't want to help; they may view you as a rival in the market for the same homes.

Check Your Local Or National Realtor Association.

Since the buyer is working with a bank or government entity, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) offers a certification called "short sales and foreclosure," which is analogous to REO properties. A search in this database may turn up some helpful results. To find a real estate agent who fits your needs, select "accredited buyer representative" from the list of designations and "short sales and foreclosure resource" from the list of certifications.

Once you've tracked down a potential candidate, it's time to investigate their background. Please find out how many real estate-owned (REO) sales they've closed in the previous year and what happened during their most recent REO transaction. Problems with the title during the closing process or new damage to the home between your offer and closing are two examples of what could derail a real estate-owned deal.

Talk to REO Listing Agents.

A real estate-owned listing agent collaborates with local buyer agents during the closing process. It's possible that they know several reliable real estate-owned (REO) purchasers' agents in your area. Remember that the agents you're in touch with are likely quite busy with the many listings they're responsible for. However, they've been on the other side of many REO transactions, so asking them for the details of any REO buyer's agent could be worthwhile.

Search Online

Suppose you're looking for a buyer's agent that specializes in real estate that has been previously owned (REO). In that case, there's a high possibility that you'll be able to find one in your region online and that they may even have some blog posts that will help you figure out what to do next. Search online for "REO buyer's agent" plus the name of your city to see what comes up.

Homebuyers may find the best agent to help them with their search with the help of the HomeLight agent matching tool. It looks at comparable home sales in the area and your desired location, price range, and expected closing date to determine which real estate agents would be the most suitable for you. Once you and an agent have connected, you may begin screening potential matches by interviewing them about their REO expertise.


There are various benefits associated with using real estate-owned (REO) listings to find a home. There may be room for negotiation if the bank has held the property for a long time. The bank's ownership of the property will be a determining factor. Skilled real estate agents who know how to acquire REO and foreclosure listings may have a steady stream of leads regardless of the market situation. There is a correlation between economic downturns and an increase in home foreclosures as financial institutions try to recoup their losses. However, investors take advantage of the situation when purchasing houses from financial institutions improves the property market and prices. You can thank either of these things in part for your success as a foreclosure and REO listing agent.


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