Mean REO Agents . . . Are You One Of Them?

It never fails that during and at the end of each transaction I have a co-op Agent tell me what a pleasure it was to work with me and my Team. I don’t take these compliments lightly and am grateful for the pleasant relationships I have built with these agents over the years. I also know that by continuing to treat people with kindness and respect, they will want to show my properties and write offers every opportunity they get.

On the other hand, I have found my kindness abused by seemingly aggressive agents who would like to tell me how to do my job and what my client can and can’t do. Very politely I explain what the requirements are and that their client agreed to these requirements when they signed the Addendums.

On the flip side, I received a number of buyer referrals this year that did end up buying REO properties. Need I say, I was not treated nearly as well as I treat others. Now I know you may be thinking, this is another Agent bantering about REO Agents doing a poor job in hopes of securing more listings. While I love the idea of more listings, that is not the purpose of bringing this subject to light.

I remember at Five Star last year a number of Agents whining and complaining to a panel about what a poor job the REO Agents in their marketplace do. No one wants to hear that, and the panel quickly addressed the topic and said that they would not listen to any of it. That was not the purpose of the panel/forum.

I have read nightmare stories of Buyer’s Agents experiences and how REO Agents are such villains. I just figured they were all jealous of the Agents being assigned listings, but I gotta tell ya, after a few of my experiences this year, there may be more truth to that than I ever imagined.

While I realize with the heavy flow of business some of us saw the last two years, that from time-to-time calls were not returned promptly or we didn’t immediately respond to a request for more information as quick as someone would have liked. (It was typically due to their inability to read MLS Remarks). However, is it really necessary to treat a co-op Agent like they are a complete idiot? FYI Listing Agents I have sold more than one REO in my life! On both the Listing Side and the Buying Side!

How about inspection repairs? How often does an Agent come to you requesting repairs on behalf of their Buyer when all of our client’s have “As Is” clauses? Do you tell them to go pound sand? I sure hope not, because in not so nice of terms, that’s precisely what I was told.

Is it really so hard to realize we are dealing with human beings with feelings on the other side. Real live Buyers who are emotionally invested in the process, and in short supply I might add. And, while I believe it is our duty to protect our Asset Managers from these emotions and turmoil, I do not believe it necessary to treat the co-op Agent and ultimately their Buyers with anything but respect.

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  • Right you are Kandy! Many REO agents forget that the selling agent is the closing 1/2 of the transaction. Being 'Realtor Friendly' is in everyone's best interest...after all, the REO agent was hired to get the asset sold. I have been fortunate to have many REO listings which I genuinely love, however my passion is CLOSINGS (with a timely DOM) rather than listings or pendings.
  • You are exactly right, It just makes sense. But like Steve said, until banks start "shopping" their listing agents, I'm afraid the trend will continue.
  • It just makes no sense to me. What's the old saying, "You can attract more bees with honey?" Or in this business, "You can attract more money with kindness."
  • I agree, Kandy. I was once cussed out (no kidding-Fbombs and everything) by an REO listing agent because he had shown the house to my buyers at an open house prior to my meeting them. They chose to work with a buyers agent, rather than use the listing agent for fear of conflict of interest. I even offered him a referral fee because they had seen it during his open house! Needless to say, my team avoids his listings like the plague because of his anger control issues... and I know we aren't the only ones.

    On the other hand, one of the top REO agents in our county is the sweetest person I've ever met, answers texts/emails within a few hours.... agents bend over backwards to sell her properties. Personality matters in this game, and it's nice to know there are other kind REO agents out there.
  • Very good blog Kandy! I too have worked both side of this REO market and have seen exactly what you are describing, more then once. And just in the last week I have attempted to call 2 different REO listing agents and have yet to get a call back.

    This time last year I was blessed with a heavy load of REO listings. A couple were really hot properties that generated 150 to 200 calls a day! Yes, A DAY! This went on for 3 weeks, even so the properties were all under contract in 3 days (16 offers and then 2 counters each and then finally highest and best all in 48 hours). Then the print advertising kicked in (that is automatic with our brokerage) around week 4 or 5 and the calls started again. Now if I can handle 1000 incoming calls a week, along with balancing additional incoming listings and offers, an agent with 5 listings (4 of which were the listings are more then 90 days old) can handle a return call sometime within the next 12 hours?

    Until the asset managers and banks start "shopping" their listing agents, this will continue to be a problem in all markets!
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