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What you need to know

Before you decide to purchase a foreclosed property, it helps to educate yourself so you have realistic expectations.

What are foreclosed properties?
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A foreclosed property – also known as Real Estate Owned (REO) – is a home that was once customer-owned but has been turned back to the mortgage holder as the result of a foreclosure action or acceptance of a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure.

A foreclosure can occur when mortgage payments are not made over a period of time and efforts to resolve the default are unsuccessful. While we make every effort to help customers remain in their homes, sometimes foreclosure becomes the only option.

Are properties sold at a discount?
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Properties are listed at fair market value. We work with local real estate agents to review similar listings for price comparisons, assess the property condition, and set an accurate price.

Making properties attractive to buyers is important to us, so we make every effort to maintain and prepare homes for sale, making repairs as needed.

Do I need cash to buy a foreclosed property?
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No. Many REO properties qualify for financing. You can finance your REO purchase through Wells Fargo or a lender of your choice. Home inspections on foreclosed properties may be required for certain types of financing; speak with a home mortgage consultant for additional information.

If you have sufficient cash to buy a home, be sure to determine whether your needs are better met by using financing or buying with cash.

Our home mortgage consultants can help you to understand your financing options.

How quickly do I need to submit my offer?
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We want you to be comfortable and confident with your decision to place an offer on an REO property. Therefore, we will not review any offers placed during the first seven days of the listing. This allows you some time to complete your thorough due diligence prior to placing an offer.
Our calendar includes the following:
   - Days 1 through 7: we don't consider offers.
   - Days 8 and beyond: we consider all offers from all buyers.

How do I make an offer to purchase property?
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A prequalified mortgage estimate Preapproval or Prequalification:
  • Buyers must submit a prequalification letter from Wells Fargo or any other lender. If Wells Fargo is chosen, the prequalification letter may be requested from a Home Mortgage Consultant or by going online at Letters obtained from Wells Fargo are provided at no cost to the buyer.
Proof of cash funds If you’re a cash buyer, you don’t need a prequalification letter, but you may be required to provide proof of funds when you make your offer.

How quickly can I get a response to my offer?
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Typically, we respond to offers in two business days with either an acceptance or a counter-offer.

To streamline the process, promptly submit any additional information or documents the listing agent requests.
It can take Wells Fargo
months to negotiate a price on a foreclosed home.

On average, Wells Fargo
responds back to an offer on a foreclosed home within 2 business days.
You can find our REO properties with the property search page. It lets you:
  • View listings within a state by the desired city or county.
  • Search within a price range, and for the desired number of bedrooms and bathrooms.
  • See property descriptions and photographs.
  • To get contact information for a listing agent or mortgage consultant, view the property details page.

How do I estimate what I might want to borrow?
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Before you begin shopping for a home, it’s helpful to have an idea of your potential loan amount, monthly payment, and interest rate. When you work with Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, there are three free letter options that give you this information and let sellers and real estate professionals know you’re a serious buyer. Your home mortgage consultant will help you decide which letter is best for your situation.

Type of Letter When to get one How to get one
Gives you an opinion of your home price range based on non-verified information you provide.
You are thinking about buying a home, but have not started looking at properties, and are not ready to complete a mortgage application. Provide basic information, and if you are prequalified, we will provide you with a letter on the spot. Your credit is not checked with this letter option.
PriorityBuyer® preapproval
Gives you an estimate of your home price range based on an initial review of your application and limited credit information only.
You are ready to look at properties and want to focus your search. Fill out a mortgage application now that you are ready. Fill out a mortgage application, and we will review your application and limited credit information. If you are approved, we can usually provide you with a letter, right away.
Credit approval
Gives you an estimated loan amount based on an initial underwriter review of your credit and the information you provide. This letter is our highest standard of credit approval.
You are closing in on a property or expect to make an offer, and want to be well-positioned. You are also ready to fill out an application and provide us with financial documentation, like W-2s, paystubs, and tax returns.
Note: Although not required to begin a mortgage application, we need these documents to review your application for a credit approval letter.
Fill out a mortgage application, and provide necessary financial information and documents to us. A Wells Fargo underwriter will review your information, financial documents, and credit report — making an initial decision on your application. You will receive a letter within 3 – 5 business days, if approved.

These letters do not represent a final commitment to lend. After you finalize your mortgage application, we will review your information and financial documentation, as well as a property appraisal and title report, before we can make a loan commitment. Also, we may need to change or cancel based on regulatory requirements. Not available on all loan products.

Have questions? We’re ready to help you through the home financing process. Work with us online, over the phone, or in person with a local consultant.

Please submit all offers to the listing broker/agent. To report any concerns with a listing broker/agent, or to report any property condition or other concern needing escalation (including concerns related to a previously submitted offer), please call:1-877-617-5274
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1 Restrictions apply.
2 The interest on any portion of credit greater than the fair market value of your property is not tax deductible for Federal income tax purposes. You should consult your tax adviser regarding tax deductibility of interest and charges.
3 A prequalification lets you estimate how much you can borrow to buy a home, does not require a credit check, and is not a commitment to lend.
4A PriorityBuyer® preapproval is based on our preliminary review of information provided and limited credit information only and is not a commitment to lend. We will be able to offer a loan commitment upon verification of application information, satisfying all underwriting requirements and conditions, and property acceptability and eligibility, including appraisal and title report. Preapprovals are subject to change or cancellation if a requested loan no longer meets applicable regulatory requirements. Preapprovals are not available on all products. See a home mortgage consultant for details.
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