Many REO Realtors who were closing a record number of deals in 2012 may not be able to close that same number of deals, or anything close to it in 2013. This really shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone considering, we have been noticing on dramatic pull back in REO now....for about 6 months or so, This all cumulated for many of us when Fannie Mae decided to fire all of thier outsourcers...or at least, the vast majority of them. None the less, this has many speculators out there talking up the "Rise and Fall of REO" and yes....make no mistake, it is definitely in declined however, let's not forget one, simple, truth. Home sales are directly correlated to jobs. No jobs = REO.
Now, it's true, short sales are playing a much larger role in the default real estate industry...in fact, as the article outlines, they seem to be up....much more than REO. In fact, from what I am hearing in the industry, many of these lenders and participants in "community stabilization" programs are seeing that short sales do a much better job at maintaining home values than REO ever could and as such, are holding back from foreclosing and giving bank directed short salesa much stronger look.
I have heard, the word on the street is, Fannie Mae and HUD are very likely going to be coming out with their own "Pre-Approved Short Sale" .... which isn't anything new however, it will have one dramatic change and that is, it will be bank directed. What that means is, instead of waiting on a homeowner, desperately trying to save their home, holding onto it from either desperation or flat out resolve, banks will hire their REO agent to go out, make contact, discuss options and give the REO agent a "Pre-approved Short Sale".
If you want to read the article, "The Rise and Fall of REO" I referenced it below however, make no mistake people, REO isn't going to fall....untill unemployment falls. These two are one in the same and as long as we stay over 7% unemployment, REO will, at the very least, level out but, it will stay strong.
By the way, for all you agent out there who are just hating the idea of doing a short sale, won't do a short sale or simply think its too much work for the money.....you might want to be changing that attitude because, as Corelogic reports, short sales had a banner year in 2012 and no one expects anything less in 2013.
Link to: The Rise and Fall of REO
Link to: Short Sale Symposium