Real Estate Owned Foreclosures

What You Need To Know

RE/MAX Distinctive is the current listing broker for the following Government Enterprises, Financial Institutions and Asset Management Companies:

Our Current Clients


District of Housing Authority

1133 North Capitol St NE, Washington, DC 20002


US Department of Housing and Urban Development

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development 451 7th Street S.W., Washington, DC 20410


Residential Mortgage Services

24 Christopher Toppi Drive South Portland, ME 04106


Shellpoint Mortgage Servicing

Shellpoint Mortgage Servicing PO Box 10826 Greenville, SC 29603-0826


Chronos Solutions

1199 S. Belt Line Rd. Suite 105 Coppell, TX 75019


PEMCO Limited

PEMCO Limited



6800 Burleson Road Bldg 312, Suite 125 Austin, TX 78744

Our Past Clients




US Department of Justice

950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20530-0001


Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

550 17th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20429


Fannie Mae

Midtown Center 1100 15th Street, NW Washington, DC 20005

What is REO (Real Estate Owned)?

REO refers to a home that the homeowner lost in foreclosure. If the lender who foreclosed on the home can't sell the property at a foreclosure auction, then the lender takes over ownership of the home. The lender then tries to sell the real estate-owned property to minimize their losses.

Verification of Occupancy

Distinctive REO communicates the occupancy status (complete online task and communicate by e-mail) to asset manager within 24 HOURS after the property assignment regardless of weekends or holidays. 

Our Methods To Determine Occupancy

Visit the Premises
Agent should leave their business card on the front door if it appears there is no one home. 

Contact the Local Utility Company
Inquire if the utilities have been disconnected.  If they are connected, the name on the account is acquired.  

Contact U.S. Postal Service
Verify if change of address has been initiated.  

Visit Neighboring Properties
Visit the neighbors on both sides of the property to inquire about any activity at the property. 

Contact the HOA (if applicable)
Upload the “Property, Tax, HOA & Utilities” form through Client Portal 

Property Registration
Within three days of property assignment, Distinctive REO registers properties with local municipalities following specifically mandated guidelines for vacant, non-owner occupied and occupied properties.  

Distinctive REO confirms with the local housing authority any procedural requirements and specifically required forms for the area before submission, this will expedite the process.

Vacant Property Procedures

To prepare the vacant property for marketing, please ensure the following steps are completed.

Vacancy Notification: Notify Client of the vacancy status within 24 HOURS. Distinctive REO puts up a “Coming Soon!” sign if the property is vacant (both of occupants and personal property).
Regarding Personal Property on the Premises:: In the event personal property is found on the premises, Distinctive REO contacts the asset manager immediately for further instructions.  
Secure the Premises: All locks are re-keyed by a licensed, bonded locksmith, and the premises secured within 48 HOURS of vacancy.  Lockbox codes will be provided by Distinctive REO unless otherwise instructed but the Asset Manager
Have the Property Winterized (as applicable): In general for northern cold weather states, winterization is completed no later than September 30th and southern states no later than November 30th. 
Complete the Broker’s Price Opinion (BPO): Distinctive REO completes the Broker’s Price Opinion (BPO) online through the REO system within five (5) days of vacancy. Distinctive REO includes a minimum of 30 photos detailing the interior and exterior of the subject property, and one photo of each comparable. 
Complete the “Initial Condition and Inspection” form: Distinctive REO will complete an initial property condition report of the property with photo addendum. 

Initial Services & Repair Procedures

Distinctive REO has an established network of contractors who are able to provide initial services.  Initial services include trash out, lawn service, providing repair bids and inspections as well as pool service and snow removal, where applicable.  

Initial Services Bids.  All properties will be bid out for the completion of initial services.  Initial services include trash out, interior cleaning, lawn service, pool service, snow removal and boarding (if applicable).  
Order Bids and Inspections: Two (2) complete contractor’s bid for repair is required on all files. Distinctive REO may also conduct a roof, pest, and HVAC inspection and additional rehab bids. 

Occupied Property Procedures 

A timely eviction is critical in saving money and valuable marketing time. Distinctive REO opens dialog with the occupants to understand their needs and concerns and convey the specifics to the asset manager. 

Complete a Drive-By BPO
If the property is occupied, a drive-by BPO, which includes exterior photos of subject and street scenes, is provided to the Client within 24 hours of determining occupancy.

Obtain Occupant Information
Distinctive REO opens dialogue with the occupant(s) to obtain the following information:
1.Names of all Occupant(s)
2.Confirmation of Occupants are borrower or tenant
3.The time-frame Occupant(s) plan to vacate the premises

Coordinate Cash-For-Keys When Possible
Inform the occupant that Client has initiated an eviction preceding, which will continue until property is vacant. Distinctive REO will discuss relocation assistance and point out that, should cash for keys agreement be reached, the eviction action will continue until the actual cash for keys settlement at the time the property is vacated.

Marketing an Occupied Property
If Distinctive REO feels that an assignment might be a good candidate to market occupied, we will discuss the situation with the Client and get their prior approval. If the Client is considering marketing occupied, Distinctive REO requests permission from the occupants to view the interior.  Distinctive REO will offer a dollar incentive for cooperation in allowing us to inspect the property and complete your BPO.  Distinctive REO will inform the occupants that a second broker price opinion will be ordered as well.

Cash-For-Keys Procedures

To encourage occupants to vacate, a “relocation assistance” cash-for-keys offer must be extended within 3 days of determining the property is occupied.  Unless the occupant is a tenant; Distinctive REO provides prior lease and will review prior to offering CFK.

Have the Occupant(s) Sign the “Cash For Keys Release Agreement”
Client “Cash For keys Release Agreement” is completed and executed by Distinctive REO and the occupant(s). In addition, a W-9 must be completed and signed by the occupant(s).

Request Cash-For-Keys Check Issuance
Once the “Cash for Keys Release Agreement” and W-9 is signed by the occupant(s), Distinctive REO e-mails the signed documents immediately to the Client.
Day of – Cash for Keys (CFK) Requirements
In order for the occupant(s) to receive the cash for keys relocation assistance check, the following minimum requirements must be met the day the property is to be vacated: The check should only be released to the occupant(s) after you have confirmed the following conditions are satisfied.
General Property Condition
The property must be in “broom cleaned” condition upon vacancy, and all personal property and trash is removed.  Exterior trash and debris must be removed and the lawn mowed as well (weather permitting).
Fixtures and Appliances
All attached fixtures and installed appliances will remain as installed. All permanent landscaping features (items not “potted”) must also be left unharmed. 
Release of Keys
All keys, garage door openers, community keys, gate openers and cards, must be given to Distinctive REO
If the above conditions have been met, the Cash for Keys Acknowledgement will be signed by both Distinctive REO and the occupant(s) before the occupant(s) are given the check.
Photograph the Interior/Exterior of The Property
Photograph the interior and exterior of the property once the cash for keys settlement with the occupant(s) is complete and the premises have been vacated.  Please provide these photographs immediately to the Eviction Coordinator.
Rekey the Property
A Locksmith will accompany Distinctive REO to the property on the day of the scheduled cash for keys. Upon delivery of the cash for keys check, Distinctive REO ensures all locks are re-keyed and the property is secured. 

BPO Guidelines

Distinctive REO will complete a BPO and all of the sections must be completed with detailed information.

- The prior sales price of the subject, along with the approximate rental income the property will produce
- Comments on the Sales and Listing comparisons. If three comparisons are not available, then the reason for the lack of comparisons are noted.
- All comments sections on the neighborhood are completed. 
- Recommendation of the repairs that are completed, along with best estimate of the cost of those repairs.
- ALL of the comments sections MUST be completed.

A minimum of 30 photos are taken to give client a clear vision of the condition of the property including photos of each room, all appliances, roof, and any damage to the property. The photos are interior and exterior of the property, along with appropriate examples of street scenes which may affect the value.  In addition, photos of the comparable properties that are included in the BPO – both Listed and Sold.


Water, sewer, gas and electric are turned on in Distinctive REO’s name.  Unless it poses a risk, electric is turned on.  Utilities are terminated as of the closing date of property.  


At the onset of winter weather, all properties are winterized following Client winterization guidelines unless otherwise directed.  Any problems detected in the plumbing system are made known to the asset manager immediately. 

Once bids have been approved by the Client for the trash-out or initial clean-up of the property, Distinctive REO authorizes the contractor of the approved bid. The work is completed according to Client instructions and as bid by the contractor. The contractor’s responsibility is to submit both before and after photos of the work.
No property will be listed until photos are submitted to indicate the property has been prepared for sale as directed by the Asset Manager.
All exterior trash and debris is removed, lawns are mowed, always rake; blow clippings off drive and porch, edge driveway and walkways.
Whether the property has been repaired or is being sold as is, the following criteria is met.  An Initial Sales Clean bid is provided as part of Initial Services Bid:
2.Clean flooring 
3.Window coverings have been removed if worn/old/dusty/smelly.
4.Install air fresheners in strategic areas throughout the home (“neutral” odors, please – citrus, vanilla, etc.)
5.Toilets, tubs and showers are cleaned.
6.All appliances are cleaned inside and out. Clean or replace drip pans at range.
7.Wipe down all counter tops, clean out all cabinets and drawers.
8.Replace missing light bulbs. All lighting fixtures are operational.
9.Flyers, newspapers, advertising materials and mail are removed.   
Property is inspected weekly by Distinctive REO.  A light cleaning and “refresh” of the property is completed every 30 days:
1.Vacuum floors and window sills; remove all dead bugs, cobwebs…
2.Clean flooring.
3.Clean toilets.
4.Wipe down countertops. 
5.Install new air fresheners.   
6.Flyers, newspapers, advertising materials and mail are routinely removed.   
Listing the Property for Sale
Prior to listing the property for sale, the following actions are completed:
•Property value reconciled
•Sales strategy set
•Property trashed out and readied for sale
Distinctive REO ensures a for sale sign is posted in the yard or front window as appropriate.  In addition, a lock box is installed to facilitate access to the property by cooperating brokers, contractors, real estate agents and Client representatives.  A complete listing is entered in the MLS within one business day of the notification of the listing.  
Once the property is listed, a copy of the MLS print out is emailed to the Asset Manager.
Broker advertising and flyers do not include references to “REO” or “Bank Owned Property” or “Foreclosure” unless approved by Asset Manager.
Periodic Inspection during the Listing Period
Distinctive REO provides weekly photos of the properties. The photos, of the front yard, back yard, side yards, the pool if applicable and one of the interior looking in through the front door are uploaded into documents as one PDF file and be noted as “Weekly Inspection photos.” These photos will serve as confirmation that our properties are being maintained, as well as alert us to any possible city violations that may be avoided.
The photo(s) show that the yard is being well-maintained and that the property is being actively marketed by evidence of the marketing sign either in the yard or in the window.  If the property is a condo, the photo(s) are of the lockbox and the marketing sign. 
If asked to provide bids, Distinctive REO obtains bids from licensed and insured contractors only.  A copy of the license and insurance information is submitted with each bid.  
Once a bid has been approved, Distinctive REO monitors and manages the repair process.  Distinctive REO keeps in regular contact with the contractor to determine the progress of the repairs and the expected completion date.  The agent will inspect the contractor’s progress weekly and e-mail a progress report to the asset manager.
Once the repairs are completed, Distinctive REO goes to the property and take photos of the completed work, independent of the contractor.  If there is any work that is not done properly, Distinctive REO documents the deficiency with photos and submit along with an explanation of the deficiency the Asset Manager. 

Do you have to buy HUD homes through a realty agent?
You can only purchase a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development property through a licensed real estate broker. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Are foreclosures an option?
A foreclosure property is a home that has been repossessed by the lender because the owners failed to pay the mortgage. Thousands of homes end up in foreclosure every year. Economic conditions affect the number of foreclosures, too. Many people lose their homes due to job loss, credit problems or unexpected expenses.  It is wise to be cautious when considering a foreclosure. Many experts, in fact, advise inexperienced buyers to hire an expert to take them through the process. It is important to have the house thoroughly inspected and to be sure that any liens, undisclosed mortgages or court judgments are cleared or at least disclosed.

How do you find government-repossessed homes?
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development acquires properties from lenders who foreclose on mortgages insured by HUD. These properties are available for sale to both homeowner-occupants and investors. You can only purchase HUD-owned properties through a licensed real estate broker. HUD will pay the broker's commission up to 6 percent of the sales price. Down payments vary depending on whether the property is eligible for FHA insurance. If not, payments range from the conventional market's 5 to 20 percent. One caution. HUD homes are sold "as is," meaning limited repairs have been made made but no structural or mechanical warranties are implied.

Can I get a HUD home for as little as $100 down?
If you are strapped for cash and looking for a bargain, you may be able to buy a foreclosure property acquired by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for as little as $100 down. With HUD foreclosures, down payments vary depending on whether the property is eligible for FHA insurance. If not, payments range from 5 to 20 percent. But when the property is FHA-insured, the down payment can go much lower.  Each offer must be accompanied by an "earnest money" deposit equal to 5 percent of the bid price, not to exceed $2,000 but not less than $500. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs also offers foreclosure properties which can be purchased directly from the VA often well below market value and with a down payment amount as low as 2 percent for owner-occupants. Investors may be required to pay up to 10 percent of the purchase price as a down payment. This is because the VA guarantees home loans and often ends up owning the property if the veteran defaults.

If you are interested in purchasing a VA foreclosure, call 1-800-827-1000 to request a current listing. About 100 new properties are listed every two weeks. You should be aware that foreclosure properties are sold "as is," meaning limited repairs have been made but no structural or mechanical warranties are implied.

Where do I learn about HUD foreclosures?
One good source is their web page. Click Here for more information. 

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