Business booms for REO specialists

Experienced agents, brokers say networking is key for newcomers

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Business is booming for Ralph Barone, a New Jersey real estate broker, thanks to the housing market decline.

Barone owns New Jersey REO Asset Management and Realty — the largest brokerage company in the state focused on bank-owned foreclosure properties, also known as real estate-owned or REO homes.

Real estate agents and brokers who are experienced in handling REO properties are well-positioned to weather the market downturn, and membership organizations that serve REO brokers say they have seen rising interest as the number of foreclosures has c