I think you have some excellent information already provided to you in the previous answers. I just have a couple of points to add.
1.) Do not use the list price to judge what to offer on a property. For example if you are looking at purchasing a 2000 sq foot single story home in Southern Highlands. Have your agent pull all the closed recorded sales of similiar homes in this area in the last 90 days. In my example, lets say the sales price of these comps range from $170k to $200k. If a new listing comes on the market and the asking price is $150k even if you offer $15k over list price you are setting yourself up for failure. Base your offers on the comps not on the list price.
2.) Maybe you should be looking at Short Sale properties in addition to the REO's. I know they can be frustrating, but there is way less competition making offers on these right now. If you had originally made an offer on a short sale when you first started looking you might be in your new house already. I am advising my clients to not rule out short sales. Short Sales can be a good option for buyers who are finding it tough to compete with the all-cash offers that are common on REO's right now. Short sales also usually have no problem paying up to 3% of the sales prices towards the buyers closing costs and it is really tough to get the REO's to agree to this right now with the competition.
Good luck with your search.
I have read some of the other responses and they are incorrect. Either the agents are new or woefully uninformed, since this trend is fairly recent. Those of us who do steady business are able to adapt as these situations come along having seen them in the past. If you offers aren't getting accepted, change agents.
The current market is a wonderful opportunity for first time buyers, investors and anyone that was priced out of the market in years past. Any agent who says that foreclosures are bad news doesn't have the best interest of their buyers in mind.
This market is definitely trying for buyers. Your agent should be guiding you regarding offer price, etc. If you're not jumping on the property the first day or 2 its listed, you are competing against multiple offers. The bank is going to take the cleanest offer that nets them the most money. Asking for certain things from a bank can get your offer discarded or ignored.
Also, make sure your offer is complete with all the documents or prequalifications requested. If the REO wants a BofA prequal, then they will ignore your offer if it only has a Wells Fargo prequal. Are you offering enough earnest money? Too low earnest money may get your offer ignored as well.
The good news is more REOs are coming. The bad news is this market will continue this way for a while.
Also, most REOs are being listed and managed by teams. It doesn't help to bug the listing agent every day, mostly because most REOs teams don't respond to calls, they only respond to emails or sometimes text messages.
Remember, the pretty houses are getting up to 80 offers, and not all offers are good, but they still have to be waded through. Keep trying. Let me know if I can help.
Rosen & Company West
Most of the REO's coming on the market in Las Vegas are getting multiple offers within days of the listing (like 7-10 each). As of today, most are at or above the listing price. This is due to the shortage of properties on the market. But you need to be careful with the amount you are offering since your loan bank may need an appraisal and you'll need to make sure the house will appraise to the full price you are offering. Also, make sure you are putting enough down pymt to be taken seriously as well. Your Realtor can help you with this process.
To see the latest listings feel free to use my website search - http://www.andreapacko.com.
Representation with Integrity
Keller Williams the Marketplace 1
Welcome to the world of the REO. Your application can sit on the bank's desk forever. Sorry about that. Check with your REALTOR and ask if they have hired someone or are qualified to follow up on your purchase offer everyday. That is what it takes. Also be aware that someone may come in with cash. You want an agreement in writing that the bank is accepting your offer. Look for signatures on a purchase agreement. The price is determined by the bank and will depend on what if any other offers are on the property.