A Guide to Buying REO bank-owned properties in Hawaii

REO bank-owned properties often present buyers with unique investment opportunities—especially in the Hawaii market, where lower priced listings are hard to come by. REOs, as they’re commonly called, can often be well-priced alternatives to traditional listings.

If you’re already familiar with the term real estate owned (REO) or bank-owned property, then this guide will help answer your questions about their advantages, where to find them, and how to purchase an REO bank-owned property in Hawaii.If you’re still wondering what an REO bank-owned property is, then check out our recent article REO Basics – What is an REO bank-owned property?

Why Choose an REO Specialist in Hawaii?

REO properties aren’t like traditional real estate listings, which is why you really need the help of someone with specialized training and skills who understands the intricacies, potential pitfalls, regulations and strategy involved in buying or selling an REO property in Hawaii.

Our team of REO specialists can guide you through this unique area of Hawaii real estate sales.
Agents and savvy buyers looking for REO bank-owned properties will almost always turn to an REO bank-owned specialist to learn about new listings of this type.

Why? Because our experienced REO-specialized Hawaii Life agents know how to help buyers solve unique and complex problems that may arise through the purchase process of bank-owned real estate in Hawaii.

An REO bank-owned specialist is a licensed real estate agent. Their experience often stems from being chosen by banks and lenders to market and sell bank-owned properties on behalf of the lender. Through this process, they’ve learned about the regulatory issues around REO properties.

REO bank-owned specialists like those at Hawaii Life are in the unique position of understanding this distinctive pool of property sellers (banks and lenders), and the regulations that govern them.

On the flip side, Asset Managers at lending institutions look for high levels of market experience and want to work with real estate agents with considerable listing agent experience, and ideally, they choose real estate agents with expertise as REO bank-owned specialists.

Why? Because Asset Managers at banks and lenders typically assign the marketing and sales of bank-owned properties to a small handful of highly experienced listings agents with specialized knowledge of banking regulations, as they apply to the sale of REO bank-owned properties.

You can connect with our REO bank-owned team of experts to learn more and benefit from their specialized knowledge, experience and skill in navigating the purchase of your REO bank-owned Hawaii property.

More FAQs About REO Bank-Owned Properties in Hawaii

You may have additional questions about buying REO properties in Hawaii. We’ve got you covered.

Can an REO bank-owned property purchase be financed?

Yes, an REO bank-owned property can be financed for purchase, just like you would apply for financing for any Hawaii property for sale listed on the MLS. Conventional, VA, FHA and other traditional financing are available to Hawaii homebuyers looking to purchase an REO bank-owned property.

While REO bank-owned properties don’t have unique financing requirements, the purchase process can be somewhat more complex than the purchase of a home on the MLS. There are some unique things to watch out for during the contract negotiation and purchase.

Most Hawaii real estate professionals may not be experienced in the purchase of REO bank-owned properties, and as such, may not know what to look out for in a property purchase of this type. That’s why we recommend turning to our team of highly qualified and experienced REO bank-owned specialists.

What are the advantages & disadvantages of an REO property?

Often, REO properties can be purchased below market price. Especially now, as Hawaii market property values are accelerating at an almost unprecedented rate. Note that in 2021, Hawaii real estate inventory on the MLS is extremely low and bidding on available properties has been swiftly driving home prices up.

Now is a great time to purchase an REO bank-owned property because banks are limited by regulations and can’t raise prices at rates commensurate with the swift pace of today’s Hawaii real estate market.

How do I find REO properties?

We have a team that specializes in REO bank-owned property purchasing and sales and more than 350 licensed real estate agents across our island chain. Meet Our Hawaii Life REO Specialized Team.

What are the advantages & disadvantages of an REO property?

While federally-backed lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac display some REO properties, we compile a comprehensive list of REO bank-owned properties for sale in Hawaii on our website.

You can search for all active REO bank-owned properties for sale in Hawaii on this page, which features REO bank-owned homes, condos and land for sale in Hawaii.

Our comprehensive database includes not only Hawaii REO bank-owned properties for sale, but also Hawaii property auctions, Hawaii trustee sales, and Hawaii short sale properties that are currently listed and in the pre-foreclosure stage.

Is renovation financing available for REO bank-owned homes?

It’s important to note that renovation financing may also be available to help you purchase an REO bank-owned property. As a buyer, you simply need to qualify for the purchase price and for the repairs and renovations you’d like to make to the home.

Typically, the appraisal that is part of every home purchase will include both a before and after appraisal —for the purchase price of the home and for its value after your proposed renovations. These may include not only repairs to make the home more habitable, but loans of this type can cover things like a large lanai that will add value to the home aesthetically.

You can learn more about financing for REO bank-owned properties and for renovations when you Meet Our Hawaii Life REO Specialized Team.

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Frank Beam

December 23, 2021


I like to hear about REO BANK-OWNED properties: one and two bedroom condos.


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