This has been troubling quite a few people based on the comments.
We all complain about foreclosures and short sales and the way they are handled. There's quite a few aspects of the system that many agents believe are broken. Some simple fixes could go a long way in getting some of this inventory cleared from the shelves, get people back into neighborhoods that have been devastated by foreclosure (especially in places like California, Nevada, Arizona, and Florida).
The bank CEOs and asset managers really need to listen up to those of us on the ground. We see these homes everyday. People want them, as they view them as bargains, but when they can't find them because of a lack of marketing or agents who don't work these listings as hard as they would a traditional re-sale home.
We can fix these problems. I personally would love to take on some of these REO listing. Just give me a few and let me show you how it can be done.
Rebecca's blog reflects the frustration and anger that many agents feel over these listings. There are good REO agents out there, I'm not calling them out as a whole, but the fact is there are a lot getting away with sleep-walking their way through these listings and I find it unacceptable.
Asset Managers - read this post, scroll through ActiveRain, google "foreclosure nightmare" and re-think your strategy in choosing your agents and what you demand from them.
Asset Managers - Are You Getting The Whole Truth on Your Assets?
At risk of potential Realtor backlash I'm putting this blog out there to Asset Managers. I can only imagine the job you have of trying to stay on top of your Assets; having to understand each individual market is next to impossible on your own so you have to rely on the help of team, data, appraisers, bpo agents, and most importantly your REO agents.
To help you, here are a couple of interesting developments I see regularly that are costing you money and my buyers opportunities:
- The out of area Listing Agent.
Many of you assign assets based on office proximity. You want to make sure that, if the agent you assign is in a different county, they have local MLS access. One of my favorite tricks for helping my Buyers get below market assets is to log into the MLS for the next County north of me. Lots of local listings and no one near your asset knows it. And that means lower price for my clients and more loss for you. I am in San Diego County and many of my Buyers are looking for homes in Oceanside (San Diego's northern most city). Orange County is within 20 miles so many of you are assigning these listings to Orange County agents who don't have San Diego MLS memberships. You are missing out on all the Realtor business in San Diego.
Looking at 2009 to now, Oceanside REO's listed only in the Orange County MLS sold for an average of $36,614 less than if listed on the San Diego MLS equaling a 17% added loss just for choosing the wrong agent.
Solution: Select an agent who has access to the local MLS as well as any Real Estate Boards that may assist in selling your asset.
- The impossible house to show.
Even more frustrating and frankly fraudulent is the house that just can't be seen. A great example yesterday was an amazing home high on a hill in La Mesa. Partially rehabbed and surrounded my homes in the 800,000, several of my clients were clammering to see it. And rightfully so as it was listed at 399,000. Incredible 5 mile views, great curb appeal, we couldn't wait to see inside. Two lockboxes, two keys, two doors, no way in. Obviously the locks had either been changed or the wrong keys were in the boxes. Why? Someone wanted to be sure no one else offered on this home.
I've heard all the stories of unscrupulous REO agents purposely hiding your inventory and investors changing the locks while their offer is submitted. Regardless, that house is underpriced by at least $100,000 and that Asset Manger will never know. What will be confirmed is the date the home was put on the MLS, and how many times that Sentrilock key box was opened.
Did we try to contact the listing agent? Of course we did. No answer, no response. Even if we did, how could I ever confirm my clients offer would ever be presented?
Solution: You can't teach an unethical person how to be ethical. You can only put a priority on selecting team that you can trust. Trust your instincts; if they seem like their priorities are in the wrong place, or if they seem desperate to you, they probably are. Talk to your agents and ask questions.
If you want to take trust totally out of the realm of risk consider a monitoring system that records all activity in your assets. We are testing a new monitoring device that is activated by any door opening or movement. It takes photos of everything and it also monitors for smoke and carbon monoxide.
There are many more ways to hide your assets and with inventory so tight, its critical you stay on top of your assignments.
Rebecca Austin is the Broker/President of New Team Realty in Carlsbad California. With 11 years experience, her team specializes in Short Sale and REO transactions. Rebecca@NewTeamRealty.com.