A Short Clarification of The Definition of "REO" Properties

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For new investors and new agents here is a quick clarification of an often misused/misunderstood term. You will hear people saying "REO" in one form or another including "REO's" and "REO Properties" among a few others. REO simply means Real Estate Owned. Where it gets confusing to some is that REO does not only mean real estate owned by a bank or lender they have accepted in lieu of foreclosure or have foreclosed upon but the term also indicates any property held by an individual including their primary residence.

When a loan originator is accepting an application from a prospective borrower there is actually a section for the listing of real estate owned. When that part of the application is encountered the loan originator may use the abbreviation REO instead of saying the words "real estate owned". This is the time where all properties are listed whether or not there is a registered mortgage attached to them.

In the real estate investment industry when you see the words REO in an advertisement it is generally assumed the subject property is a foreclosed property or property that has otherwise come into the possession of the bank or lender. 

Novation Mortgage does provide financing for REO properties (foreclosures and pre-foreclosures) in Georgia, Florida and Alaska and can be reached at 866-946-0120 extension 101. 

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I started writing on Active Rain in 2006 when I was representing the mortgage industry. I am no longer in that industry and many of the older posts contain outdated information. Please do not contact me for LENDING or MORTGAGE questions but rather contact a licensed mortgage professional from your area. I have always been in marketing and branding and that is still what I do. Thanks for reading!


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Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital
Ken, thanks for your explanation.  I've been a Realtor forever, and I was reading a blog last night and realized I had no clue what REO meant and the implications to a buyer client who was trying to purchase one.  It sounds a lot easier than dealing with a not-yet foreclosed upon short sale.
Sep 21, 2007 12:27 AM #1
Al Maxwell
Keller Williams - Marietta, GA
Real Estate Agent
Ken....thanks for the clarification. By the way, are you guys still in that orange building on East Piedmont?
Sep 21, 2007 12:33 AM #2
Armando Rodriguez
Orlando Homes 4 Sale, Real Estate Broker-GRI

Great Post! Thanks for sharing with us.

keep'em coming.

Sep 21, 2007 12:39 AM #3
Ken Cook
Content, coding, marketing, host. - Marietta, GA
Content Marketer/Creator

Patricia - there are a lot of things we can all still learn - nobody knows it all. Well, I know a couple of people who know everything ;)

Al - AL MAXWELL! What is up old friend??? Yes, you still live in the neighborhood? Let's go hit some little white balls or grab a plate at Buffalo's soon. 678-946-0101 is my private line.

Armando - thank you! Remember I have my Florida license and I have the team that doesn't know when to stop closing loans. Commercial, jumbo/super-jumbo, construction, investment and homes for everyone. 866-946-0120 ext 101. Y hablamos espanol - yo y la esposa tambien.

Sep 21, 2007 01:10 AM #4
New Jersey Real Estate James Boyer Morris, Essex & Union County NJ Realtor
RE/MAX Properties Unlimited, Real Estate - Morristown, NJ

Real Estate Owned = Bank Owned = Forclosed On properties.

OK, good to inform

Sep 21, 2007 01:39 AM #5
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