Have you had the misfortune of working with a realtor representing a bank with hundreds of listings? If you have, then chances are that you have been burned by this situation. Orlando foreclosure listings have quite a few power teams that just flatout won't repsond reasonably to other realtors. You don’t ever really know if you’ll get a call back on detail questions, you have almost zero negotiation leverage because you can’t speak to anyone, and at the very worst – you might not even know if your offer was even accepted. Fortunately, not all REO listings work like this, and typically my listings are very easy to get information on because accessibility is the key to my selling strategy.
Having lived life on both sides of this arrangement, here are my quick tips for agents working with heavy listing agents:
- Understand that not all agents are created equal, just in case you didn’t already know it. Know that with this in mind, your agent could take days to get back with you, or there assistant could take days to get back with you and know next to nothing. The best thing you can do in these cases is to not get your client’s hopes up. Let them know that if a property is a short-sale or bank-owned property with a notoriously poor communicator, that it’s not a slam dunk. Some people speculate that these agents don't want to sell listings unless it's their buyer. I think that is a non-issue because their ability to receive more listings depends on the success of selling those listings.
- Know the market, or talk to someone that does. If you don’t regularly deal in bank owned properties, try to talk with someone that does in your office. In a typical week I get lots of the agents in my office asking me questions because I know these deals extremely well. If you’re lucky, you’ll have an experienced agent in your office ready to help. If you don’t, really look at the home values for recent bank owned properties and try to compare some of a particular agent’s listings you’re interested in to see the starting price versus the selling price. Whereas, some agents (or more likely, the investor pushing them) may have a bias to price low to get multiple offers, or price high and cut as the listing ages.
- Read all the fine print. Not only can being lazy on an REO deal likely kill it, if you’re dealing with an agent that is impossible to get a hold of – getting the contract and addendums in both timely and accurately is paramount. Now, I’ve never done this, and good agents don’t, but if they are handling too many properties and have multiple offers, your offer could get tossed in the abyss if every detail wasn’t in order. If you didn’t understand the required addendums and completion dates try to get help from whatever means you have. Contact your broker or call a friend. You must communicate details to the loan officer too, or your customer could lose the deal, and possibly pay interest or lose a deposit if they decide to walk.