The latest edition of RealtyTrac’s Foreclosure Report News (or Foreclosure News Report) speaks of the threat of undisclosed REOs and zombie foreclosures.
The problem is that banks (and to a lesser extent the government) own a lot of properties that they aren’t putting on the market — and in a time where inventory is at a premium, it would be very good for that to change.
Roughly 80 percent of all real estate owned (REO) properties — some 515,000 homes nationwide — are not listed by banks on local multiple listing services, according to RealtyTrac. Another 803,000 homes are in the foreclosure process but have not yet been repossessed. Of those, some 167,000 are vacant — sometimes called “zombie” foreclosures, where a bank starts the foreclosure process, but then cancels the foreclosure sale.
The result: more than 1 million homes are waiting to be listed and sold, but most real estate agents and investors have no clue how to find them, how to list them, how to sell them — or how to buy them.
(Pro tip: One of these homes is across the street from me, at 9523 Catesby Lane, in Henrico. Bank of America owns it now. We’d love a family to move in.)