listing (27)

Out of Area REO Agents

I received a call a few weeks ago from an agent in Tampa (I'm in Jacksonville) requesting that I list an REO for him and he would pay the referral fee. He then asked me to do a BPO and send my vendor out to rekey the property which was done and he would pay once I sent all the docs and invoices.

I'm sure you know the rest of the story. He's never paid or listed the property in my MLS. Now he won't even answer phone calls. I have had to pay my vendor so of course I got the lockbox back and took the keys.

Beware of unscrupulous realtors. They give real estate a bad name.

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Signs That You are Ready to Be a Home Seller

Selling your HomeMost people easily recognize when the time is right to buy their very first home. They are tired of their current situation and the appeal of getting their own place is too enticing to resist. However, the signs are not quite so easy to notice when it is time to sell the home. Some home owners have a long, drawn out inner debate before coming to the conclusion that they need to sell and move to another place. Here are some ways that you can know the time has come for you to sell your current home.

The Attachment to the Home is Gone

Many people hang on to a home for far too long because they are emotionally connected to the home. The nursery where they brought home their first born, the hallway where a baby took its first steps and other sentimental memories make it tough to part ways with a home. However, if the idea of selling the home brings about a feeling more of relief and not sadness then you are emotionally ready to move on.

A New Plan Has Developed

If you have already picked out another home, or decided what the next home should look like and what features are necessary, then you are ready to move on. Knowing where you wish to live and what the house should look like is a huge step in getting ready to sell your current home and move to a new place. This type of preparation is typically very motivating for most people and helps them to get everything in order for the move.

Your Finances are In Order

Getting ready to purchase that first home is quite an experience for most people. Monitoring credit scores, reducing debt and keeping all payments up to date while saving up a nest egg takes time and discipline. However, once those habits are in place it is easier to maintain a solid credit score. Also, if you have been in the home for any length of time it is likely that there is built up equity which can be used as a down payment on the next home. All of these factors make it simpler to sell a home and be in the right financial position to purchase another home.

It is Time to Move On

Lots of people have come to the realization that they need to change jobs, end a personal relationship or sell some of their long held items. When the thought occurs to you that you would be OK with the idea of getting rid of your house, then the time has come to move on to a new place.

Sell your home for top dollar, by putting it in front of the largest online pool of buyers! Check out the Rock Realty Marketing Plan.

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Rock Realty Client Testimonials

"I found Rock Realty on the internet while looking for someone to help us sell our house .. I called and talked to Mike, we set up an appt and he got the ball rolling... and wow did he get the ball rolling..he stepped up in every aspect.. the house was all over the net and we had people looking at the house right away .. he was right there every time we had questions and made us feel as if we were his only client.. he worked thru any difficulties we had without any negativities...our house sold Very quickly and Mike really stepped up through the whole process... Our thanks to Mike and Rock Realty"

Scott H. (Janesville, WI)
Rock Realty Seller Client

Rock Realty Client Testimonials

Thanks for the compliments, and Congratulations on your closing Scott!

Looking to sell your home at a great price!? Check out what Rock Realty can do for you!

Rock Realty Online Marketing Plan

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Rock Realty Client Testimonials

"Mike Collins helped us sell our home, he was a very nice guy and always there when we had any questions or concerns! Mike went above and beyond and even helped paint the house when there was a time crunch for the inspection. We appreciated all that Mike did!"

Katy K.(Janesville, WI)
Rock Realty Client

Rock Realty Client Testimonials

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As many of you know, I rarely.....RARELY, work with buyers...I have a team for that, at least I have referral agents for that however, I got a recent buyer referral and of course, I work those. So, I take the buyer out, we look at some homes and he finally decides to put down an offer. The offer is on a, I am thinking to myself, "I can do this in my sleep"...because I list REO's myself. Well, come to find out, I was completely mistaken.

So, we get our offer over to the seller's agent, let's call him Lionel the Listing Agent. A couple days later, I get a call from a member of his team, who works all the offers. She tells me the seller is countering and she sends me an email with the seller's terms. After some careful reading my buyer and I are a little concerned because the closing cost language isn't exactly the way we put it in on our offer. You see, I usually use the following closing cost language.....

"Seller to pay up to, $6,000.00 towards buyers; items payable in connection with the loan, items required by lender to be paid in advance, reserves deposited with lender, title charges, government recording and transfer charges, any additional settlement charges"

The seller replied back with, "Seller has countered the following items from your offer: Seller will pay $6,000.00 towards buyers closing cost and prepaids. Seller will pay title if Buyer uses Sellers attorney which is Super Title (Name changed to protect the innocent), Seller will contribute up to $500.00 towards a home warranty of Buyer's choice/plan. Buyer's agent will be responsible for ordering the home warranty"

Now, here is the problem, after speaking with the buyer and the buyer speaking with his lender, he isn't going to use all the $6,000.00 and suggested we add "upfront mortgage insurance", which many of you will know is covered under "items required by lender to be paid in advance"...hence why I use the closing language I do.

I countered the seller counter and said, we would like to add in "upfront mortgage insurance" in our special stipulations language and oh dear sweet baby was like we asked for the 2nd coming of Christ. The listing agents just couldn't understand it, went back to the seller, the seller couldn't understand it and everyone seemed like we were asking for green eggs and ham. We went round and round for like 2 days explaining over and over again, we want to add the "upfront mortgage insurance" because if your seller agrees to give us $6,000.00 we want to use the full $6,000.00. So, finally the listing agent team member doesn't know why the AM is having a problem with that and instead of getting us an answer, she resorts to telling us that either we agree to the amended terms, which changed to...,

 "All BCC (Buyers Closing Cost) to appear on the HUD and be approved by lender and title company"

As you can imagine, this was completely unacceptable to the buyer because now, after speaking with the lender, the seller just cut our closing cost credit in half because the lender's closing cost only accounted for about half of the money the seller agreed to provide. In other words, by using the latest wording, we could only use the funds for closing cost....and nothing else. We couldn't use it for pre-paids, incidentals or anything else. we go, around and around again and finally, the listing agent team member begins threatening that if we don't sign the deal as written, they are going to just reject the deal. The problem here is, all we are asking to do is to spend the money.....the dollars that the seller has agreed to as we see fit....................WHAT IS THE DAMN PROBLEM, THE NET TO THE SELLER ISN'T CHANGING?

So, after a day or so of crazy talk, listing agents who just don't seem to get it, my buyer says, let's just agree to their original terms .........

"Seller has countered the following items from your offer: Seller will pay $6,000.00 towards buyers closing cost and prepaids. Seller will pay title if Buyer uses Sellers attorney which is Super Title (Name changed to protect the innocent), Seller will contribute up to $500.00 towards a home warranty of Buyer's choice/plan. Buyer's agent will be responsible for ordering the home warranty"

.......and just be done with it.

I send it over to the listing agent and inform them via buyer agrees to your original counter. So, two days later, they send me over the REO addendum and it reads .....

"FM to pay up to $500.00 towards HOW to be selected by buyer. FM to pay $6000 towards bcc.", if you didn't catch the problem......I can't help you. None the less, this isn't going to work, for the same reasons I already stated above.

So, we go back to the listing agent team member, explain that we agreed to their terms and therefore, we would like to see those terms in the addendum. She tells me that we should write those terms in the state offer but, not to change the reo addendum. As we all know, if it's not in the reo addendum, it's not enforceable. So, I bring this up to her and we are threatened again....either we sign it the way it is, or they will reject the deal. DAMN, do you not understand, we are agreeing to your sellers terms....we are just asking that you put those terms in your sellers

After going around and around about that, finally my buyer says, let's stop talking to this listing agent team member and talk with the listing agent. He calls the listing agent, gets insulted by the listing agent before the agent realizes he is actually talking directly to my buyer.....and per my buyer, after about 10 attempts at explaining to him that we agree to your sellers terms, now put your sellers terms in your sellers addendum....the light switch catches and he goes....oh...yeah, we need to do that.

My problems are....

1. The listing agent obviously isn't involved in his own transaction.

2. No one is supervising the agent working the deal to ensure the seller's terms are actually put in the sellers addendum.

3. Rather than listening, talking and working together, the listing agents are hyper defensive and rather than negotiating, they would rather threaten the deal and strong arm the buyer into a signature when they themselves don't even know what is wrong with their own sellers addendum.

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What it takes to be a REO Listing Agent.


Here recently, my business has been going well enough that I am now at the point that I need to start looking at expanding the task I complete to another agent.....a co-list agent. In thinking about this, I did have a agent in mind however, I am not exactly sure he is a good fit for what it takes to do the things I do. That got me to wondering, what exactly do I do? Yes, that may seem like a silly question but, it got me to wondering even further about what exactly it takes to be a REO Listing Agent and thus, this blog.

So, before we get to talking about the day to day task, let's talk about some larger concepts that need to be realized by any REO Listing Agent.

First off, let's talk about commitment. Yeah, yeah, you know what commitment means but, how many of you actually put it in to practice daily. I suspect that many of us have so many commitments that sometimes we feel overwhelmed and can't actually get to all of our commitments in a day. In these cases where we put our commitments off till tomorrow because today was so busy, I have to stop and ask you, is what you put off till tomorrow really a commitment? To me, it sounds more like a obligation but, nothing like a commitment. The way I distinguish a commitment from an obligation is by using a time line. More specifically, if my Asset Manager gives me a task and says they need it completed in 48 hours or less, I am committed in that I no longer have the option to complete the task in 48 hours and 1 second later. This is different to me from an obligation because in my mind, an obligation doesn't have a timeline...a deadline. I am obligated to do something but, I can do it in my time....hence, my difference between a commitment and a obligation. In other words, are you committed to doing the task at hand in the time provided, regardless of other obligations you may have? If you are not because of priorities, ie.....I can't complete the assigned task because I have to pick up my child from school, then I would tell you that you may want to reconsider being a REO Listing Agent. At least my Asset Managers are looking for commitment from me and that means when they tell me at 3pm on Friday that they need a monthly marketing report completed no later than 4pm the same gets done because I am committed.

Secondly, let's have a discussion about priorities. Once again, I know you know what a priority is however, do you prioritize daily? Of course you do, we all do however, the better question is, are you prioritizing your commitments correctly. You see, many of us don't and it's not because we don't know how, it's because in many ways we have too many obligations. For example, I have a priority in my life to spend more time with my family however, that priority doesn't out weight my priority to my clients. Yeah, you heard me correctly, I said it, my family isn't a greater priority than my clients. Pick your jaw up off the floor and breathe. If you are going to be a REO Listing Agent, you need to know that your clients needs and priorities are more important than yours. As such, your clients priorities will always trump yours. For many of you, this is a problem because when I said that my client takes priority over my family, I am sure a lot of you bristled at the idea and some of you may have even said, HELL NO! It's for this very reason that you will not make a great REO Agent. Why? Because people like me will be ready to pick up your slack, show your Asset Manager that we are committed and that they are a great priority in our daily lives. Now, put yourself in your Asset Managers shoes, who would you want to work with? That's what I thought.

Thirdly, let's talk about balance. Believe it or not, you can be fully committed and, have proper priorities and still keep your life in balance. It's not easy....let's be real, it's almost impossible but, it can be achieved. You can give your client all they need....and more, as well as complete the task of other commitments, obligations , and or priorities. What does it take on your part? An incredible amount of attention to details, planning ahead, open dialogue with others, understanding your own limitations and most importantly, knowing when to ask for help. For me, balance is achieved by having the right people around me who share in the heavy burden that being a REO Listing Agent is. Team work is the only way a single person can achieve being a REO Listing Agent who close multiple millions of dollars in deals a year. Now, not all of us have the inventory on hand that would require us to have a team but, if you aren't there yet in your business, trust me, when it comes, this may be the most important thing you take away from this blog and that is Team Work.

Finally, I could go on with this blog and talk about trust, task, following instructions, etc...etc...etc... however, I have a sneaking suspension that for many of you, you never got past the second point I

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Are You Really Qualified to List Property?

Recently I read a post on the ActiveRain about being qualified to be a buyer's agent and it centered around an inspection item that apparently the buyer chose not to do.

I have however found that listing agents perhaps create more issues and I wonder what some of them told the seller to get the listing.

First off, is your listing accurrate?  If listing income property, are you listing ALL of the financials so the investor can make a good decsion?  IE rents charged, expenses, cap rate,etc?In a residential setting, are you also listing the SCHOOL DISTRICTS, the HOA contact information, all the ameneties,etc?  Is your listing description more than a few words?   I want to know about the property, etc. Also, flyers and a yard sign, at least...are they present?

What kind of photo do you have?  I still cannot believe the amount of listings that have no photo, despite it is MLS policy to have them. Why is the photo of the inside?  What is wrong with the outside that I do not want to see it?  Make sure your listing status is accurrate.  If it says active that means you are receiving offers!  Promptly acknowlege all offers even the bad one!

Are you able to coordinate all showings and inspection needs wth the seller? Do you have an electronic lockbox and do you follow up with every showing?

If a short sale, did YOU DO YOUR HOMEWORK and price it along with the area comps?  The bank will do its own evaluation and the truth will be told.

Have you counseled your seller on how the house should look prior to sale?  It should look ready for company every day!

Of course do you ANSWER YOUR PHONE? Don't try to say "text me or email me". THIS IS NOT CUSTOMER SERVICE.  Make sure your number is not disconnected.

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Normally there are two ways most REO agents handle their utility bills but wait, there is a third:

1. Pay each bill with a check and set the check aside for several weeks until it is due to minimize the leverage of funds

2. Pay by bill-pay through your banking website which only takes daunting hours of your time due to hundreds of accounts that are no longer used or require deletion

3. Use Realty Pilot's Concourse 360 to create the record of the check file and print one check for each utility company at the end of the month

Let's face it banks don't pay a management fee for properties as an REO and the longer the hold time of a property the more free labor the banks are squeezing out of you. One of the most important things to know is where your break even number with days to hold a property is. Is it based on the number of tasks that are involved, is it due to the price of the home or is it the amount of time the home stays in your inventory? All of these are concerns but the one most important is hold time. The longer the hold time the more chance the REO asset will cost you money rather than make you money. So what do you do? First, pin point what costs you money then find a way to minimize those costs. Since this blog is about utilities I am going to let you in on a little secret.

Utilities will cost you money by the amount of time spent paying the bill-pay through your bank and takes money out of your pocket immediately. They will also cost you money printing numerous amounts of checks every month only to release them strategically hoping not to miss one and you still have to scan a copy of that check for the invoice record. Additionally there could be deposits and bonds involved to support the volume of bills under your own name. So what do you do?

Realty Pilot's Concourse 360 has come up with a very unique check writing system that allows you create the check file within their system right from the expense record that looks just like your check without printing and scanning. This check file stays with the expense that is tracked for each property. This allows the agent to pay all bills for a utility company on one check at the end of the month. So now you only have to print one check for each utility company and your money is not immediately dispersed allowing you to reduce the amount of time your funds are leveraged for the bank or asset company.

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Some direction for your short sales

Today I got a call from an agent about a short sale I have listed. In talking I mentioned the current owner is not in default to which he countered "but he must be." I am here to tell you from experience, from closings, from approvals in my hand your client does not have to be in default to obtain an approval for a short sale. If the mortgage co tells you they must be ask them to show you in writing where this is their policy so you can show your client 9 out of 10 can't and this will get you past this hurrdle..
Myth #2, I get all the time, "once I short sale I can't get a mortgage to buy for some time." INCORRECT!! In July of 2011 I executed and closed a short sale on my listing and the same client was approved to purchase a new home and closed 3 weeks later. There is no rule that says you can't, if you keep your current mortgage current and the person negotiating your short sale gets an approval that say lender is going to except short sale as mortgage paid in full. We supplied the payoff (actually both it was a first and second) and credit showed always paid on time client upgraded to bigger and better house for same payment and maintained good credit.
This point brings me to myth #3 "it doesn't save me any to short sale I should let my house go and save my money."  NO NO NO! See above scenario if you bide your time and pay payments till your agent can negotiate a short sale for you, you can save your credit by paying your payments and getting that payoff showing paid zero balance! Just because a bank didn't go after your friend for his foreclosed home doesn't mean they won't come after you and garnish your wages, freeze your bank accounts, or harass you till you can't stand it any more. Problems don't just go away a short sale is a proactive solution to an economy induced problem.
Myth#4 I make to much money I will not get granted a short can make 500k a year and still be granted a short sale on your house and here is why. You bought 123 Apple St for 700k 4 years ago now it's worth 200k as it stands with you in it, looking nice and clean and put together. HOWEVER if 123 Apple street is foreclosed and then has chance to be stripped down or vandalized the bank knows it will then only be worth 100k so they are better off letting you short sale then risking another foreclosure on their books which will be supported when appraiser goes out and does BPO. This also disproves myth#5 that "I owe way to much compared to what home will sell for bank will never do it." I closed a home that had a $750k loan on it but appraised only for $295 so bank allowed the short sale after they did their bpo and we sent copy of FHA appraisal.
Myth 6 my agent is a "short sale expert" I'm here to say I have been doing short sales since 2006, I was taught by a bank how to structure and execute them and still I am not an expert and I'll tell you why. You can not be an expert at something that changes with every file, every day. You can be very good, you can be excellent but not an expert. There is no such animal for short sales.. I give the example that a short sale is like a snow flake, every single one is different! I have closed one in two weeks YES TWO WEEKS but in the same token I have had one take eight months. The eight monther was a first and second for a divorced couple with a husband that claimed bk on the second but none the less it took eight months to get to closing. I am great at them and many others are too but be wary of the self proclaimed expert as often they over promise and underperform.
These are all just my experiences as stated earlier there are many others out there and every file differs but I think education is important as many agents are telling people they can't when in fact they just don't know yet that they can! :-)

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YouTube Channels! - UNDER-UTILIZED!

Youtube can be one of the most powerful tools for both showing asset managers your marketing abilities and generating leads for yourself from around the world. With the correct use of Property Addresses through Google Maps your YouTube Channel can be a showplace for both you and your properties. Take a look at this example

Call me if you want to learn more Dominic (EMS) 239-200-8141. 

If you are a RE/MAX Agent your in luck!!! Ask me why. . .


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Close Your Eyes So You Can See

Close Your Eyes So You Can See 

I've always heard that when you lose one of your five senses that the other ones become more intense.  Recently I was resting my eyes (taking a nap), and I heard a commercial on the radio that has a TV counterpart.  When I heard it on the radio I recognizar130774297040606.jpged it right away.  Only this time, it was different.

This time, the sound was amplified, and I heard the emotion in the voice of the speaker.  Her voice was silky smooth on the radio.  It didn't seem that smooth on TV, but there were distractions on the TV ad that I couldn't see with the radio ad.  It was the same ad.  What was the difference?  Since I couldn't see her this time my hearing was making up for my lack of sight, and it was an amazing difference.  Wow!  I was so surprised.

What does that have to do with real estate?  A lot!  When you list a house ar130774305631776.jpgyou need to list it with a buyer's senses in mind.  I recently did a walk through of one of my own listings.  I made up my mind that I was going to walk into this house as if I had never seen it, and I was going to determine why it hadn't sold yet.  I exhanged my Realtor senses for a buyer's senses, and I found a lot of things that would keep me "the buyer" from buying the house. 

So, close your eyes and listen.  Listen to something that you're already familiar with.  What did you hear that you haven't noticed before?  Now carry that into one of your listings that is moving slowly.  What do you see that you didn't see at the initial listing?  Close your Realtor senses, and open your buyer senses.  You might be surprised.

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Sellers want to sell, and Realtors want to sell. So, what's the problem? 

Sellers want to sell, and Realtors want to sell. So, what's the problem? The problem is some sellers lie, and some Realtors lie (no offense to my colleagues embaressed_smile.gif), and it slows down the process. Yahoo Finance posted an article today called "The 5 Lies All Home Sellers Tell." Drop by and check out the article. We've all heard it before.

But what about Realtors? Most of my friends who are in this business are awesome. I am proud to call them friends, and we do business together constantly, but there is another group. Let me tell you about my day.

I just left a client's home. She has her property listed with another company. Actually, it has been listed for over a year. In that year's time, her Realtor has ar130756198194976.jpgnever been by except to have her sign documents. There isn't even a sign on the property. There have been three showings and zero offers. The sad part about this house is that it's a great house on 82 acres of beautiful rolling hills, but it's being handled by a Realtor who would say anything to get the listing.

Here's the irony. I did all of the CMA work, research on conservation easements and laid the ground work for her to sell two years ago. I never heard from her again, a la "Dear Customer - I have a favor to ask" by Karen Crowson. A local attorney in her area recommended a different Realtor, and here she is a year plus later with nothing. That Realtor promised the moon. He would market vigorously, he would send out fliers, he swore he had five clients right then who had cash and one of them would scoop the property up right away. Baloney!

Some Realtors will say anything to get a listing, and then what? If it turns out to be hollow promises, like this Realtor's promises, the client, who is in desperate neear130756230902144.jpgd, is left hanging and confused because she is holding on to the promises that had no substance. She believed in the recommended Realtor. She trusted his listing presentation, and he had a slick one. She was excited to get the property listed. Now, she is in financial trouble because she chose a Realtor who was only gathering listings to fluff his portfolio, and he didn't have a genuine plan for selling.

I once had a college professor who often said, "If you make a promise that something will happen you had better be prepared to make it happen." That's good advice for all of us. We should only promise what we know we can make happen because people trust us, and they need to know that we can do what we say we can do.

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Is Your Seller the Expert?

So I asked myself that very same question today and today again.

I have an investor seller that just built a brand new duplex and I got lucky to be able to list it for him.  Or was I? First off it was a FSBO that I ran into by accident  one day while I was shopping for another investor buyer.  I called the number and left a message.  Later that night , he called me and he grilled me about my real estate experience....he was open to listing with me  and I thought it was victorious!

That was three weeks ago.  Just this week I got the listing finally launched but already he insisits on calling the shots.  First he wants only preapproved buyers with their preapproval letter  in hand to see the home  ( he used to be a banker for the major banks he says)...and he wants this by appointment only and no lockbox or open house despite it being vacant...meaning I have to be at each showing.  I guess that was ok after all I can handle that requirement.

Then when I wrote the listing copy on the MLS, he wants to put his two cents in, revising it.  I wrote a whole paragraph about all its great features and potential about its community ( Watts near Los Angeles actually has new builder construction in it as well as new duplexes being built by individual investors.) and also wrote about the income potential to investors if they go section 8.  He wanted to eliminate that information saying that investors would know that already.  I Have a tremendous job  to market a property that is at a disadvantage because the seller does not want to let everyone see it not to mention that it is overpriced in realation to the comps in the area for even new construction.  ( I tried to tell he what it really would sell for but he said no closing costs either since he had cost over runs in building it).I wrote the copy to give it the most market appeal possible.  Since was he the expert?

Finally he wanted to have me put up and ad banner and get it ASAP which I was excited to do since I was marketing like a good listing agent!  What did he do?  Ask for the printer' s name and number so he could revise it because he did not think buyers were smart enough to know what a duplex was so he wanted it to say "two units". He said it was his building and he should have control over what the banner says.

I know he is from a  different generation than me but this just takes the cake.  I know he needs my help  because under this all, he may be panicky that he will not recover his outlay for this property.  He originated the loan for another seller who defaulted so he became the bank on this one.  Can he not jsut let me do my job?  Do you tell your doctor what medications you need?

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Listing Agent Mistake Part 1

Listing Agent Mistake Part 1


It has always amazed me why I get the following call

“ring, ring”---“ring, ring”

Jesse Gonzalez: Jesse Gonzalez

Suzy Super Buyer Agent: May I speak to Jesse Gonzalez

Jesse Gonzalez: Speaking

Suzy Super Buyer Agent: Oh…Hi Jesse, my name is Suzy and I am calling about that property you have listed on 19th Ave., are you working any offers?

Jesse Gonzalez: I don’t speak about the details of any of my offers I receive with anyone other than my client however, I can tell you that any offer you submit will be presented to my seller.

Suzy Super Buyer Agent: You can’t tell me if you got an offer?

Jesse Gonzalez: No, I am not at liberty to discuss my clients offers with anyone other than my client. I can assure you that if you provide me with an offer from your buyer it will be presented.

Suzy Super Buyer Agent: Well….(un-comfortable pause) I just want to know if you’re working an offer because I don’t want to waste your time, I know you are really busy.

Jesse Gonzalez: Suzy, it’s my job to present any and all offers to my seller so, if your client writes up an offer, it’s not wasting my time to present that offer to my seller.

Suzy Super Buyer Agent: So, you aren’t going to tell me if you have an offer?

Jesse Gonzalez: I can tell you that if your buyer wants to make an offer I will present it to my seller.

Suzy Super Buyer Agent: I don’t understand, does that mean you don’t have any offers?

Jesse Gonzalez: No, what that means is if your buyer wants to make an offer, I will present it to my seller for consideration.

Suzy Super Buyer Agent: Jesse, if you could just help me out here, I can prevent everyone from wasting a lot of time.

(long uncomfortable pause)

Suzy Super Buyer Agent: Jesse are you there?

Jesse Gonzalez: Yes, I am here

Suzy Super Buyer Agent: Did you hear the last thing I said?

Jesse Gonzalez: The last thing I heard was that you didn’t want to waste anyone’s time.

Suzy Super Buyer Agent:  So, are you going to help me out?

Jesse Gonzalez: What was it that you need me to help you with?

Suzy Super Buyer Agent: Never mind…don’t worry about it. (click, hangs up phone)


So, the conversation above wasn’t a hypothetical situation, it actually happened and happens often. In fact, it happens to me so often that I am 100% confident that many listing agents out there are complying with these request without ever once verifying what they can or can’t do from their clients, the sellers.

I don’t know about your State’s laws and regulations on client confidentiality however, I do know what is in my client’s best interest and many times….if not all the time, it’s not in my clients best interest to inform buyer’s agents if I my seller is currently working an offer.

For many of you, that is all I would have to say and you would understand why I believe this is the case but, I am sure I need to break this down for some of you so, let’s do it together.

So, my seller got an offer on his property, he has 2 days to consider the offer and get back to the buyer. To keep the timeline easy to understand, let’s say he got the offer on 1/1/11 and the buyer’s offer time limit is 1/3/11. Obviously, during negotiations, the property is still active in the MLS and the appointment desk is still scheduling showings. Why would I let this happen?

Simply stated, my seller reserves the right to continue to market the property up to Binding Agreement because, hopefully we will continue to get offers and hopefully, one of those other offers will be better than what we got. This is in my client’s best interest and truth be told, it’s my job to make this happen, if possible. This gives my client the potential to receive the maximum possible from the market place and as a broker who has a fiduciary responsibility to my seller……I better be making sure his interest is above my own.

Ok, so…’s 1/2/11 and my seller hasn’t made a decision, better yet, I tell my seller not to respond to the buyer’s offer till we absolutely have to in hopes of getting another offer. It’s early afternoon on the 2nd and I check my email….BOOM! Guess what, it’s another offer, from another agent for my seller. Now my seller has two offers to consider instead of one……..this is vagenious! (yes…I said VAGENIOUS, VAGENIOUS, VAGENIOUS) LOL

Now, could you imagine what would have happened if buyer’s agent number 2 would have called me before showing the property to his buyer and I told him….”Yeah, we got an offer, we are negotiating it now”? Do you believe this agent would have told his buyer that the property was under contract and no need to see it? As the guy from the Men’s Warehouse says…..”I guarantee it” That’s right, instead of my seller looking at two offers and being in a better situation than before, he would be looking at a single offer, struggling to decide how far he can push the envelope with this single buyer. At the very least, with two offers he can run the clock on the time limit’s, negotiate each one individually and take the best offer or, notify all agent of multiple offers and let them battle it out.

So, hopefully you see my point, it’s not in my clients interest to tell any buyer’s agent how many offers we are working if I don’t have permission from my seller and or if I don’t have a offer from said agent.

I get why the buyer’s agents are making the phone call….they don’t want to put their buyer’s in a multiple offer situation however, if you are a listing agent and you are disclosing to these buyer’s agents just how many offers you are working before you have talked this strategy over with your client, in my humble opinion, you are in violation of your fiduciary duty and are in breach of your client’s trust. Granted, you may never get caught doing this…..some of you may not even have any hang-ups working with buyer’s agents to cheat your sellers out of money but, make no mistake, if you disclose this information, that is exactly what you are doing.

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What does it take?

With a new year, comes a fresh group of REO Agent hopefuls, scratching at the door of the industry ready to eat their own just to get that first listing. With this feeding frenzy comes all the questions like, “How do I get my first REO?”

Almost like tradition, each year I have tried to write a blog answering just that question yet, I don’t find myself invited as a keynote speaker to any conference, or quoted in anyone else’s blog or better yet, asked for my advice on some cable television news network yet, here I am, writing away and sometimes, I feel it’s into oblivion.

None the less, let’s sit down together for just a moment and discuss what it really takes for an Agent to get that first REO listing.

Now, before I share the secret to my success, we need to build up the reader with suspense and excitement. One way you can accomplish this is by talking circles around the actual answer causing the reader to build excitement through the anticipation. The reader begins to wonder will the next line hold the secret but, of course, we have to let the reader down and say something that leads the reader on another path, which may seem far away from the answer. Just another way to build up excitement, ooooh I just love this, don’t you?

Well of course, let’s remember what the REO industry is. We need to understand that the REO Industry is all about money. Yeah, yeah, you most likely already know that but, what you don’t know and why you keep reading is because you don’t realize that the REO Industry is all about MONEY!

Ok, that last paragraph may sound a bit silly but, let me explain. Many of these Asset Management companies see these vacant properties not as vacant properties but as non-performing assets. We call them that because when we say “assets” it reminds people that the vacant house isn’t just a vacant house, it directly represents a dollar amount, money. It keeps it real for us.

Let me ask you a question, who would you trust with your money? Seriously…..think about it for just a second, who can you actually trust with your social security number, your pin, banking account numbers, credit cards, debit cards (for those of us getting out of debt), etc…? Many of us may be able to answer that question with just one or two names. I bet most of you would say spouse and possibly your parents, that would be it……no one else? Why not? Ok…..I know that answer and you do to, it’s a rhetorical question. We don’t trust anyone with our money because it’s our money. That is the exact same mentality of the REO Industry and if you haven’t clued in to that yet, that is likely why you are still waiting for your first REO. Maybe I am being a bit harsh and cruel, maybe I have upset your sensibilities but, you asked and more importantly you continued to read this blog. J

Ok, so now, let’s move from the metaphorical to the realistic and ask another question, a more appropriate question and that is, “How do I get a Asset Management company to trust me with their money?”

Now, it’s important that you understand something, every single agent who currently has REO inventory can answer this question differently. This phenomenon is because, most of us got into the business uniquely. Truth be told, very few us got in just because we were selected from a list of random applicants with shiny resumes that smelled like Chanel and were written on pink paper (name the movie if you can?) It’s true, some REO agents can regale you with stories about how they just got a random call from Joe Schmoe Asset Manager Extrodinare however, most of us, I guess about 90% of us, are going to have a much more interesting story about how we met an Asset Manager at a conference or were referred to one by a friend or….something like that.

Ok, this blog it getting to be a bit longer than ususal so, let me cut to the chase. I know my readers and they are already wondering why I have taken so long to just get to the damn point already…..aren’t you?

If I have said it once, I have said it a thousand times…’s Networking!

Ok, so the secret wasn’t so much a secret after all but, let me explain why so many of you aren’t working your Networks, building your Networks, making your Networks successful for yourselves.

First off, when you get up in the morning, you aren’t thinking about writing a blog, your thinking of getting the kids washed, fed and off to school, the husband / wife up, washed and off to work, yourself 1 hour on the treadmill, wash, fed and off to the office. By the time you reach the office, you are thinking of voice mail you have to return, which continuing education classes you need to take, how you are going to pay your office bill this month, explaining to that homeowner why you haven’t sold their home in 5 months or explaining to that buyer why he can’t get a loan. My humble point is, none of you make time to network or don’t have time to network or can’t network for this or that reason. This is exactly why you aren’t successful because no one important enough know you well enough to trust you with their money.

Let me say that last line once again because, I know many of you missed it.


Granted, it’s not just that simple but, that one line drills down to a foundation that answer the question you posed earlier and that was, “How do I get my first REO listing?”

I have written many….many blogs on how to network, where to network, when to network, what to say, what not to say and, still….I look back at some of my blogs and I see it appears they have been lost to the vastness of the blogosphere. Better yet, I get the wonderful question from the “default professional” who just joined REOPro and says, “How do I get a REO listing?”

Dear God, was I the first email you wrote on this network, was I the first name you saw, did you even bother to read some……3…..2…..or at least 1 blog?

No, you most likely didn’t, you most likely saw that I owned the network, assumed I was a fount of free flowing information, thought you would be bold and a go getter, sat down at your desk and wrote me a one line email, “How do I get my first REO listing?”

Let me just say, you would not be one I would trust with my money…..why on God’s green Earth would any Asset Manger trust you with his?

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REO listing assignment limits to radius

             I am sure you've heard stories about an REO agent in San Diego getting a listing assignment in Los Angeles, I am just really curious to see how many mile radius the asset management companies/banks are limiting you to I have had some companies cut back from 30 to 15 miles from office. Does anyone use their home address? If so how do they get away with it? I would like to hear seom of your feedback. Thanks, wish you all a productive 2011.


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Don't Bash the REO Agent - It's the market

It is all about the market, we will have fewer of frustrated buyers and buyer’s agents if there were 10 properties for each buyer not one property for 10 buyer’s. In that situation, REO agents will bend backwards to get all the paperwork on one or two offers they get, asset managers will accept buyer’s demands even on AS IS property. When fewer buyers out there one can get away with closing cost and other items but not in current market in 4th Quarter of 2009, when slightly lower priced or at the market priced properties are getting 10-20 offers.Price is but it is not the only determining factor. I have asset managers declined the higher priced offers for a better-financed offer. Also had the agents get upset why their offer was not accepted. Some even get more upset when they saw the property closed at lower than their offer price. They do not know the details what happened during the transaction, why it closed at the lower price, may be appraisal, may be some other issues with the property, may be first offer fell out then next available best one, who can close quickly was picked, instead of putting property back on the market.I am not saying that there are not agents out there who play the system. To buy property for my own self I had to write 5 different offers, offered the full price and over and got beaten up by other offers many times before I could get one accepted. It all matters, financing, FICO score, what buyer have in the bank and under whose name. If the proof of buyer's funds is not under buyer's name, then forget about it. I have seen those transactions fall out because of the donor issues. Being an REO agent, I screen all the offers and drawbacks of the offer, are written into my notes to the asset manager. I even call the lender to make sure it is legitimate pre approval. I had noticed fake pre-approval letters, written under the name of big banks.I had agents who will not listen what is being said, I had agents call and ask bunch of questions and will politely ask, if they read the private remarks in the MLS. Sadly, one answer that I still remember was “what private remarks, oh! you mean at the bottom, let me read those”.I have set up an offer submission system through so everyone gets a confirmation of the submission. Not only that, if their offer is deficient I could communicate with the agent as their contact information is right there and I don’t have to look on page 8 try to read fax of a fax or search my email to locate it. I have agents call me and ask that they do not know how to upload the file, that they do not have a scanner. In REO world, the whole transaction is done by scanning and uploading the documents. Who would want to deal with that agent for next 45 days? Does that go in the remarks, yes it does.Not all agents are alike, there are some very savvy buyer’s agents and I wish everyone to be that way. However, there is so much bash about REO agents, that one have to be on the other side to see what REO Agents go through, especially the ones who deal with their transactions first hand. At the end, in grand scheme of things, it is about: would it close and would it close on time?http://www.namneet.comREO Specialist Orange County CA
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Can't We All Just Get Along???

From the Blogs and Forums I read and the Agents I talk to, it seems most Realtors consider themselves either a Listing Agent or Buyer's Agent. Of course that isn't any different than it has been in decades of Real Estate Markets. BUT today's Agents seem to narrow their category down even further to a REO Buyer's Agent or a REO Listing Agent. That is the Market. There are hardly any Vanilla Sales out there to be had, so we are REO Agents.If you sit down with a group of "REO Buyer's Agents" you will hear a plethora of gripes about "REO Listing Agents"; they are selling everything 'in-house', they are purposely trying to drive up the offers, they make the requirements for submitting an offer 'too hard', they NEVER answer their phones....And the list goes on and on.On the other hand you have an entire set of complaints from the "REO Listing Agents" about the "REO Buyer's Agents"; these dumb Agents can't follow directions, how dare they call me on the phone as busy as I am....You know you've heard these may have even said them! LOLPersonally, I guess I can see each side as my Partner and I have tried to stay diversified. I spend the majority of my time focusing on REO's, my Partner is a great Networker and works with Investors, we have a wonderful Buyer's Agent, a terriffic short sale negotiator and of course our Transaction Coordinator who none of us could live without.Maybe I'm just being sappy with the holiday this week, but we should all be thankful for eachother. If there were no Buyer's Agents, the Listing Agents wouldn't have multiple offers on all their properties. If there were no Listing Agents, I guess the Buyer's Agents would be looking for a new career.So as you give thanks on Thursday, remember to be thankful for that REO Buyer's Agent who just can't seem to get an escrow check made out in the right Title Company's name, be thankful for that REO Listing Agent who you aren't quite sure exists because no one has ever actually talked to him on the phone or seen him in person. Without them, we'd all be working some boring job.Happy Thanksgiving!
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Seller%20Sign.jpgShould the REO Bank Sign and Approve the MLS Sheet? Yes, why not?After you receive a listing and have added it to the MLS (Active or Non-active status), send a copy to the Asset Manager for him/her to review and sign. Make sure you highlight the broker and agent remark section, commission, etc. Once the Asset Manager signs the active/non-active MLS sheet, activate the listing and return the signed copy along with the listing agreement in one secured PDF.Why? To prevent any miscommunication or problems after the fact with the information on the MLS. It may seem like a lot of extra work but you are protecting your agency and the REO bank from any claims of misrepresentation of information such as the commission terms, disclosure availability, repair and warranty statements, etc.A simple stamp with the Bank Name, Signature, and Date on each page will do. I have suggested this method to several of the brokers and agents I work with. The Asset Managers did not have a problem with signing the MLS Sheet. They have welcomed the idea! It’s all in the approach.You can also use the stamp for traditional real estate listings.Carolyn Nelson
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Wow, where has this week gone? I was going to be a good REOPro member and blog daily and stick to it for two weeks at least. Hello??? I think my last blog was last weekend!I want to know why it is already the 10th of October? Do you realize what is just around the corner? Fall!! And with fall comes winterization, oh please existing inventory, SELL!!! The price is right, the homes are great and I am waiting with pen in hand!What do you mean you found a short sale down the street for less money? Yeah, they advertise it that way, but look at all the time you have to waste to get it and then there is no guarantee until you get it at the closing table! The agent guarantees it? They have a 100% success rate, let me check that out. Look at the stats, ONE short sale listing and ONE short sale sale, and look, it was their own home. OK, I guess that would constitute a 100% success rate.....I love marketing gimmicks.At least with a foreclosure you know what it is - AS IS and it is AVAILABLE NOW!! Thank goodness for the few I've sold to this week that don't know about Short Sales! Of course my short sale agent is keeping busy, so I guess that's why it is good to diversify and take care of both Short Sales and Foreclosure properties.Just had to remind you all that Fall is coming. Gear Up for those calls of frozen pipes and people trying to get inside to stay out of the cold and wet!I hope you all have a Better Than Great Day!
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