I was wondering if anyone had any input or suggestions on finding good REO properties (esp. here in Columbus Ohio). I have a realtor who searches the MLS for me but doesn’t seem to be finding many. I keep hearing that there are so many out there; either they are being snatched up quickly or I need a another way to look for them. I am in the process of securing private money to buy them quickly, and then either to fix and sell, or preferably to use as a long term rental or L.O. Any help would be appreciated! Thanks.


Try this website This has links to the REO’s of a lot of major banks. I looked at Countrywide and found about 20 properties for Columbus. There are other websites like it. I’m sure if you do a little googling, you can find more. Hope this helps

The best way to get Ohio REOs is to build a relationship with about 5-10 local bank brokers. One of my business associates only gets properties straight from the bank before it is listed in the MLS because he will get a call from the broker and told about all of the properties that fall under his criteria as soon as the bank has it. I hope this was helpful!

There is certainly nothing wrong with a banking relationship, but I don’t think there is anything magic about buying an REO straight from the bank. Unless you are looking for something unusual, these are generally not especially hot properties. I find that when properties first hit the MLS they tend to be priced high and then drop over time. My concern would be unrealistic expectations from the bank if you bought directly from them.

It sounds like you’re using the wrong agent. I use a few very aggressive agents and buy directly off the MLS. There’s no magic here. The agent will typically scan the listings for properties that meet my criteria. He or she then performs the preliminary inspection (which is often the last) and pulls comps. Depending upon my trust level with the agent, and my specific knowledge of the neighborhood, I may or may not see the house. We then make aggressive offers according to my criteria. There are so many deals available, I don’t have to be the first at the bank and I can’t buy them all anyway. You just need a few knowledgeable agents you can trust.

If your current agent is not able to help, or is not aggressive enough, find a few others and try them out. As a sign of the times, many agents now specialize in finding REOs for investors since we seem to be the only ones buying. Most importantly, make sure your agent knows exactly what your criteria is or you risk wasting everyone’s time and you might buy a mistake.

I find that this is the easiest and most fun part of the process.

That is true, if you find an aggressive agent then you can get some good deals. I have just found that many times realtors and bankers increase the price just because of holding costs and listing/marketing costs. Whereas you can bypass all of these costs if you are directly speaking with bank brokers and they also know your criteria so that you don’t get those extra costs above applied to you. This also helps the banks get them off of the books faster and they are more willing to accept your offer since it is the only offer.

Thanks to all of you for your advice! What criteria do you guys use? I am looking for the standard 3-4 BR home, mid range price (40-120k) in decent areas with a good amount of turnover. I would like to put in long term tenants and do LO’s. Any other suggestions? Thanks again.


Try to see whether REO’S are being auctioned by banks and lenders in your area? The REDC is one of the big auctioneers and may handle REO liquidations in your area.

There are actually 3 or 4 or more big auction companies disposing of bank owned properties.

You could put together some investors with a little cash to buy a property or two and turn it over to other investors at wholesale pricing.

Make sure you really look at area and get a feel for general property conditions in your area. When you get an auction list try to look at everything you might bid on prior to the auction.

Just be careful what you buy!


You might try finding a experienced REO agent by checking out these sites to see who has properties listed in your area so you can work with the best agent possible for your needs.

If you come across what looks like an asset mangement company marketing a foreclosure as who they work with in your area. You can tell the asset managmetn companies by the fact that their listed out of state. You might eve find yourself a great deal along the way. Good LUCK :biggrin