The Oklahoma City, Oklahoma real estate market has been relatively sheltered from the housing bubble and sub-prime mortgage crisis that has plagued other areas of the country. However, foreclosures occur in every real estate market and Oklahoma City is no exception. Foreclosures represent an excellent opportunity for investors. If your 401k or other investments have been losing value and you’re looking for somewhere else to put your money, consider buying real estate. Cash buyers are especially likely to find good deals. Home buyers with excellent credit and cash flow can also find bargains.
Many institutions, including the VA, HUD, and local banks and credit unions, end up with the deed to properties that the buyers could no longer afford. These properties show up on the institution’s books as Real Estate Owned (REO) and represent a liability. It’s in the institution’s best financial interest to find a new buyer as quickly as possible, which is why cash buyers are in the best position to negotiate a good deal.
Buyers searching the Internet for foreclosures in Oklahoma City will find numerous sites, both free and paid, offering to show you the properties available. The problem with most of these sites is that they are not updated often enough to give you a good picture of what’s available. As a former real estate sales professional, I believe most of the time it’s best to go directly to the holders of the foreclosed properties or to a real estate agent who specializes in foreclosures. If you’re interested in VA or HUD homes, you’ll have to work with a registered real estate broker in order to make a bid, so you might as well find someone qualified up front. In addition, most banks and other financial institutions in Oklahoma City contract with local real estate brokers to manage and sell their REO.
Mary Berry, Broker/Owner of Century 21 All-Pro, was named America’s top real estate professional in 2008. She handles many foreclosed properties in the Oklahoma City area in every price range. If you want to work with a real estate agent who knows the market and has experience dealing in foreclosures, then Berry is probably a good choice. You can visit her Web site at Century 21 All-Pro to see a long list of the REO properties she is currently handling.
Prudential Alliance Realty in Oklahoma City is another good company to work with when you’re interested in REO. Prudential not only handles foreclosed properties, they often are the listing broker on corporate owned homes. You can see their current listings at pruhumequest.com.
To see what HUD and VA have available, you can browse the listings online. HUD homes (i.e., homes with FHA-insured defaulted loans) are listed on their BidSelect Web site. You can search and browse the listings, but you will need to find a real estate agent who is registered to make an offer. Luckily, the site offers a Find An Agent tool to help you if you don’t already have an agent. The VA contracts with Ocwen to manage their REO. You can view the listings on the Ocwen Web site and when you click to view a property you’ll find the name of the listing agent. Just remember, you don’t have to use that agent if you are already working with another real estate agent.
You can also browse free foreclosure listings on the Free Foreclosure Database Web site. Just remember that the information may not be current. Also, don’t bother paying any Web site to view or receive a list of local foreclosures. Any experienced real estate agent in the Oklahoma City area can provide you the most current information for free. In addition, if you choose to work with an agent as your “buyer’s agent” then you can expect that agent to represent you fairly in the transaction. The listing agent on a property must put the property owner’s interests before yours, so there is some benefit in working with an agent who is not also the listing agent.
In many ways the Internet has made finding foreclosures in Oklahoma City easier. However, when it comes right down to getting in to see the properties and making an offer to purchase, you’ll have to go through a local real estate company. Start with the resources in this article, but you may also want to call your local bank and a real estate professional you’ve worked with in the past to find the best agent for you to work with.