Profile picture for natewolf

REO / Foreclosure Monopoly

Am I the only agent/broker who gets tired of dealing with REO/Foreclosure agents who barely answer their phones? Or barely enter information on the property in the local MLS system?

And when you try to approach a bank about becoming a REO/Foreclosure agent, you realize you're never going to get that business because it's all back-room deals?

Sure there's probably some good, competent agents who are listing some of these properties, but more times than not, there is ONE photo of the house (from the tax records office), and there is no property description or material facts listed regarding the title status or the condition of the property.

Does this happen to you? Are you the rare exceptional REO Listing Agent? Comments?
  • February 05 2009 - Charlotte
  • 0
    0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Be a Good Neighbor. Be respectful and on-topic. No spam or self-promotion! See our Good Neighbor Policy.

Answers (19)

Wow, Nathan, were you just in the Prescott area or something?  Some of the REO agents here are content to use 1 photo that they lift off the previous agent's MLS listing.  Not even posting interior shots, never mind a virtual tour...response times are crap, etc.

I read something today about a petition that foreclosureu.com was starting that would force banks to open up their kimonos a little on their REO practices.

Thanks for posting!

:) PS
  • February 05 2009
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

I sooo agree. I've had a shot at two bank owned properties and I think I did 100 times better job than most of these REO agents that have listings. 
  • February 05 2009
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

I think all of us in the industry are in agreement on this one... I attend the REO conventions, the asset managers say they don't want to leave money on the table and yet they will give one agent 300 listing... even with full staff there is only so much a team of 7 can do with that many listings... they are giving away money right left and back.. in my office we have gotten thousand in repairs/termite etc that we didn't even ask for when the REO counter (standard) comes back for acceptance...it will be great when they start handing out to more agents... but I just don't see them doing that any time soon...
  • February 07 2009
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

The REO business is completely different than non REO. Agents with no experience in REO may be suprised to find that it takes usually over a year to get their first listing. In the meantime, you will be providing BPOs many times for free with only the hope of getting future listing. While doing these bpos, you will be under tight deadlines and you will likely need to sacrifice time with your personal life and family. When you do get your first REO listing, you will often be required to put the utilities in your name, pay the bills and then submit reimbursement forms that may take several months to be paid. You will have to deal with inexperienced agents who place offers but do not understand the REO process.They will in their ignorance, hound you because you dont call them to tell them you dont know anything yet. If only they understood most REOs are handled through automated systems and they respond on a case by case basis. It is usually the agent who submits a rediculously low offer who calls the most to see why the bank did not respond to their offer the first day. Agents who wish you submit offers on REO's should be required to attend classes on common sense. Experienced REO agents understand the process and can hold the deal together while the process follows the course. Unless you like shoveling snow, mowing lawns, cleaning rotten meat out of refridgerators and scouping human fesces out of toilets regularly, then REO may not be for you. REOs are very hard work. Most agents complaining arent investing 60 hour weeks in their current business. Try registering with ClearCapital.com, get paid to do a few hundred listings. Then you may be ready to consider REO listings. And guess what, you would then have a reference to prove your not like the agents who have not proven themselves. I hope this helps.
  • February 08 2009
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

No question that many REO agents are challenged, but the whole industry is not dissimilar.  How many luxury homes have you seen listed by nincompoops (sp?) too?

But for the fun of it, check out my post on bad REO agent MLS pictures...

Examples of bad MLS pictures that cost REO asset managers money

Good advice, Richard!

The whole industry needs to come up to speed on this market so that banks have more options out there.  As you mention, many agents do not have the aptitude or knowledge for foreclosures and short sales. 

In AZ, the AAR came up with this guideline:

Tools for agents: Are you qualified to do a short sale?

Hopefully, the sea will rise, the rats will drown, and the good boats will stay afloat and cruise around the flotsam.

:) PS

  • March 05 2009
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for natewolf

It's only different because we allow it to be different.


That's why Fannie Mae just announced that they are no longer allowing banks to treat short sales any different. Because banks are arbitrarily cutting commissions-- violating state licensing and contract laws.


And not responding to offers in a timely manner is a huge issue in states like South Carolina where "time is of the essence." It's a crock to say "it's a different business." I put in an offer yesterday on a property and the bank responded with a counter today. So, some banks handle their assest like assets.


They pay their REO agents to handle their assets. They trust their agent when he tells them-- the place needs $10k in repairs or it will never sell because either some investor will buy it and want an even bigger reduction, or else a FHA/VA buyer will want it, but it won't pass inspections or appraisal in the current condition. It's only because as an industry that we put up with it that it does not change.


Be a part of the solution. Through complaints and suggestions to our local MLS, we have seen courses on Short Sales and REO Transactions. But even more, we have instituted policies requiring certain disclosures of material facts-- which include the addendums, special requirements, and even the extended response and approvals processes. Because in some states, time is of the essence with respect to contract dates, and a buyer's offer could expire by the time the bank responds.

  • March 05 2009
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Hey Nathan:

I completly understand your frustration. I feel That if the banks would wake up and spread the listings around a little bit.We could provide a lot better customer service, keep the properties in better shape,Maybe, even get a better price by being able to focus on the marketing a little more.Also an added benefit for the bank owning the property .with increased exposure , the new buyer might be more inclined to get their financing from the current bank.  Just a Thought!

  • March 06 2009
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Nathan's orginal question was actually two questions. It seems that one has been properly answered. REO's are not as easy to deal with as most agents think. They do require a lot of hard work and as stated often require advance cash investment. They are not a quick listing source of income.

The unanswered question is why do banks fail to review the work being done by so many of the agents? Particularly those wo do slack and can't seem to do a simple thing like properly complete all the MLS fields including photos. Seriously, if they can find the time to place a sign and lockbox on the property, they cancertianly snap a few more photos and complete and MLS entry. But as I stated above, why are the banks failing to follow up. Again, it takes very little time to look at an MLS listing to determine whether the agent has properly done their job. Local boards could easily determine rules that encourage correcting the issues.

I believe there may actually be some ethical violations on the part of some agents.

Note: I am also aware of many agents that treat REO listings in the MLS properly and answer their phones ina timely manner.
  • March 07 2009
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

i just think it is a shame that banks don't spread the REO's around to many different agents.  I and everyone else know that there is an unethical racket going on in many cases on who gets these listings.  It is my hope that NAR steps in and stands up for all of us agents that do the right thing and represent our clients properly.
  • March 08 2009
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

No Nathan you're not alone in your thinking.  I agree with all the posts except the one telling us that selling REO's is different than selling regular homes as if we don't know that and as if it would make a difference.  It has absolutely nothing to do with what is going on with the REO Agent Monopoly we're in today and I am personally fed up with it.  I have never seen anything like this in my 26 years in the real estate business.
  • June 02 2009
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

I worked with an REO "Team" all of 08  The left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing.
  • June 03 2009
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for real estate mike
Here's the worst part of my experiences with buyers on these. A reo sits for 100 days or more on the market and this is one of my buyers criteria. Then suddenly day 115 I submit an offer and the listing agent says they got four in that day(no price reduction,etc.). So now they want our final and best offer the next day and we're competing with all these mysterious offers that just happen to show up. I don't understand it and don't have the time or my clients time to work with these deals.  This happened over five times in one year, all the same listing broker, with one of my investors so we went a different route.  With other reo brokers I've had some good and some bad luck. With one exception I had to call a minimum of 5 times to speak with an assistant or team member. In regards to Richards comments, if you stop working for pennies a listing then mowing a yard or cleaning up a listing isn't that bad. 
  • June 03 2009
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Here in San Diego, there are just about a handful that control the entire REO/Foreclosure Listing Market.  Same complaints here as well- calls not being answered, emails not relied to, etc., etc.  It really makes you wonder how the banks chose these agents???
  • June 07 2009
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Phil is right on....... Phone???

These people don't know the meaning of a phone call
  • June 07 2009
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

So true, Phyllis.  I can't tell you how many offers I've written and submitted and never even got a phone call back.  The buyers get very frustrated as well!  Also, recently I've noticed that some of these REO Agents are taking it upon themselves to stipulate "cash offers only."  And most of these are properties that would be eligible for either conventional or FHA financing.  It seems like if you have an approved buyer you are still out of luck!  I've never seen anything like this in the past 15 years (even during the down market and foreclosures of the early-mid '90s)!!!
  • June 07 2009
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Phil, Keep on it, You'll be Ok
  • June 07 2009
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Ditto what Michael, Phil and Phyllis said. One time the house went on the market Thursday night and we had a full price offer in the agents office at 9 am the next morning.  No response from this agent for two weeks. Then I got a text saying there was a multiple offer situation now and of course we did not get the house.  Since I had the first full price offer why didn't my client get the house?

Then on the flip side was the idiot REO agent who told me she could not take my clients offer because she had an offer. I asked her if it had been accepted and she said "no but it should have been."  I asked if she represented the seller or the buyer. She said the seller and assured me it was not her buyer but added it would be "unethical" and "unfair" to the offer she had to take my clients offer. I should have reported her to the real estate commission.  

These REO agents either have no time to put the photo or any listing information in the MLS. or they purposefully don't put the information in.   So you have to look each house up on the tax records for size and room count and then go see for yourself what the house looks like.  Once you write the offer and take it to the agent you still get NOTHING. You did all that work for absolutely nothing. No response except the occasional "sorry they did not accept your clients offer."  I would like proof my client's offer was even submitted.

 There is no way to avoid the REO houses because that's all there is here.  Ethical REP agents are few and far between. I have never seen anything like it in my 25 years in the business. 

  • June 07 2009
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

I agree with most of the comments.  About 50% of my sales are foreclosures.  We have a few select agents in the Raleigh/Durham area that handle most of the load of REO's.  Our HUD agent is in Virginia?!  I still haven't figured that one out!

It's a pain, and there always seems to be mystery offers too.  I just do what I think is right for my buyers and investors.  Look at the comps, look at the repairs and keep the dollars on the line, not the emotion of the sale.
  • June 11 2009
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

It is not widely known but it should be...have you looked at the commission disclosure on the closing statement from a REO property sale?  The listing agent often gets very little of the commission - of 3% designated, 1.4% may go to the management/vendor and another .5% to a referring lender. That leaves a 1.1% commission for the listing agent.  Many of these listing agreements forbid the listing agent to reduce the selling agent's commission in any way.  The low compensation can only be made up by volume and reduced services. 
Changes the picture a little, doesn't it?
  • July 07 2009
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.