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Old 06-15-2010, 07:54 PM
 
Location: Central FL
1,382 posts, read 3,258,858 times
Reputation: 1181

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We are ready and able to buy a house right now. Excellent credit, high amount to put down, job, etc. We (myself, my husband, two young boys, and two dogs) are living with my parents since we moved back from out of state. We need to find a house and buy it now.

We have been looking at houses for about 4 weeks now and have a feel for the market in Central FL. Homes that are priced right and in decent shape are going super fast. Even investor specials that are priced right go fast (like the ones with entire kitchen ripped out)

I have two issues:

1) We drove around at random today and stumbled onto the perfect house for us. It's a Fannie Mae REO. I called the listing agent and she said it is about to go on the market in 1-2 weeks because Fannie is still setting the price and doing some cleaning on the inside. This home is in an excellent neighborhood of very expensive homes. The agent told me the estimated list price will be $160-180k. (I was thrilled to hear that because my husband and I thought we could never afford such a nice neighborhood) The home sold for $237,900 way back in 1999.

2) From my experience in this market, this house will sell fast and possibly for over the list price. The listing agent asked me if we were working with an agent. I said yes, but (a) we are very unsatisfied with him and (b) we have not signed any buyer's agent paperwork with him. (in fact, he was supposed to take us to see houses on Monday AM. As of Sunday night 9PM, I had to contact him to see if we were still on because I had not heard from him since Friday and he didn't even tell me if the homes I wanted were still available.)We were originally with one agent but he passed us to this guy for whatever reason. The whole thing has been so frustrating and I am doing all of the work myself. Long story short, he seems to have little to no interest in helping us! So the listing agent on this property says she can get us in to see this REO house before it comes on the market, but we would have to use her as our agent to buy it. Otherwise, we have to wait until after it is listed to see it with our agent.

So my questions are (a) is this listing agent's proposal to us legit? If we used her for this transaction, she would be a transaction broker, representing both sides at the same time. The reason I am thinking of going this direction is (a) because our agent is just not working out and (b) I want to be ready to make our offer the second this home hits the market (not wait days to try and schedule a showing, etc. We are currently living over an hour's drive away, so it's not easy for us to house hunt anyway.) If this property doesn't work out, we could use this agent to continue our search. We really like this property and really want to get it. Any advice?
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Old 06-15-2010, 08:04 PM
 
Location: Tempe, Arizona
4,511 posts, read 11,883,460 times
Reputation: 2193
The agent's proposal is legit if she requires you to sign a buyer employment agreement with her. She's using her exclusive pre-listing access as the carrot. With no agreement, you could use any agent, however, she could possibly try to claim procuring cause and still get paid a commission even if you use another agent.
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Old 06-15-2010, 08:35 PM
 
Location: Columbia, SC
9,053 posts, read 18,012,377 times
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rj addressed part of it, so I'll discuss your other agent.

If you requested to see homes, and spoke to the agent on Friday, and had a Monday morning appointment to show those homes, I don't see why the agent would need to contact you over the weekend. I don't take that as evidence the agent wasn't doing their job at all. They didn't ignore you, they didn't not return messages, they apparently DID take your phone call at 9 pm on a Sunday night!

I see no reason based on what you've said to assume the agent hasn't done their job for you. In fact, in your examples I think you are being unreasonable and not the agent. If you have other examples and want to prove me wrong, now would be the time to present your evidence.

On the flip side, the REO agent sounds like a real slime ball because you did say you had another agent and they are trying to steal a buyer, the REO agent could just as easily meet you AND your agent at the house as they could just meet you. No way I'd let that slime ball REO agent represent me knowing what I know about they've both acted.

The REO agent already proved they are ethically challenged, they are greedy, and they are a liar. It really sounds like your agent has done the right thing, and the REO agent has done the wrong thing. I suggest if you really feel you can't work with the agent you've been using, at least interview a few others and have your own representation NOT THE REO agent.

Once you sort out your representation, then you should get the listing agent to meet you there with your agent, get your agent to write an offer if you still want the house, and have your agent present the offer PRIOR to the home going on the market. BTW, I bet the REO agent already put a lockbox on the home that your agent could access w/o the listing agent being there.
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Old 06-15-2010, 09:05 PM
 
Location: Central FL
1,382 posts, read 3,258,858 times
Reputation: 1181
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandon Hoffman View Post
rj addressed part of it, so I'll discuss your other agent.

If you requested to see homes, and spoke to the agent on Friday, and had a Monday morning appointment to show those homes, I don't see why the agent would need to contact you over the weekend. I don't take that as evidence the agent wasn't doing their job at all. They didn't ignore you, they didn't not return messages, they apparently DID take your phone call at 9 pm on a Sunday night!

I see no reason based on what you've said to assume the agent hasn't done their job for you. In fact, in your examples I think you are being unreasonable and not the agent. If you have other examples and want to prove me wrong, now would be the time to present your evidence.

On the flip side, the REO agent sounds like a real slime ball because you did say you had another agent and they are trying to steal a buyer, the REO agent could just as easily meet you AND your agent at the house as they could just meet you. No way I'd let that slime ball REO agent represent me knowing what I know about they've both acted.

The REO agent already proved they are ethically challenged, they are greedy, and they are a liar. It really sounds like your agent has done the right thing, and the REO agent has done the wrong thing. I suggest if you really feel you can't work with the agent you've been using, at least interview a few others and have your own representation NOT THE REO agent.

Once you sort out your representation, then you should get the listing agent to meet you there with your agent, get your agent to write an offer if you still want the house, and have your agent present the offer PRIOR to the home going on the market. BTW, I bet the REO agent already put a lockbox on the home that your agent could access w/o the listing agent being there.
I didn't get into all the details to save time.

First, I spoke to this agent on Friday and we agreed to see homes on Monday. The time was up in the air, but he knew I had to leave my house by 10AM for another appointment. He was supposed to set up the showings for the early afternoon. I e-mailed him all of the homes I wanted to see (about 5-6) and asked if they were even still available. As of Sunday night at 9PM, I still hadn't heard a peep about if these homes were even still available and what time/ where to meet him. I e-mailed him at 9PM Sunday and he resonded via e-mail that he was setting up the appointments. (why is he doing that last minute?) Then he said that he would contact me around 10-11 the next morning and "if you don't hear from me, call me at xxx-xxxx")

Meanwhile, he has not even bothered at ask us where we are in the mortgage process or anything! In fact, I spoke with him today and told him that we needed to find a company that would be able to close quickly (the lender I was going to use takes 45 days now) He said he had the name of someone and would get that info to me, but here we are 13 hours later and no contact from him.

Trust me, I am not a demanding client. We know what we want and we are practically spoon feeding him the information. Every single house we have seen with him has been found by us (total of about 10 max). I just feel that he should be able to do something for us and instead, he works at a snails pace and doesn't even answer my questions at all. I asked him a few questions about a place I liked and he never answered them. It's like pulling teeth, and in the Central FL market now, I don't have time for that. We need a house and we need it now. I need to feel that someone is out there "fighting" for us so that we can jump on a good opportunity.

I was also concerned about that REO agent. Why can't anyone else get in before the official listing date? She said we would have to wait if we had our own agent. Would other agents have the lock box combo?

Honestly, this process is more difficult than listing/ selling our out of state house, packing and moving ourselves down here using 3 rental trucks, and job hunting once we got here! Now that all of that is taken care of, I have to deal with more hassles during what is supposed to be at least a somewhat enjoyable experience! When I read on here about the things that agents are doing for their clients, I realize that we are getting absolutely zero of those services. I feel like ALL this guy does is unlock the doors to the houses. Everything else is up to me. (and I do know a few things about the RE market since I used to have a FL real state salesperson's license, but I just kept it on vol. inactive and then let it expire when we moved to GA and I had 2 kids)
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Old 06-15-2010, 09:29 PM
 
Location: Columbia, SC
9,053 posts, read 18,012,377 times
Reputation: 6649
Alright, you proved your case. I don't like either agent and don't think either of them should represent you. Interview multiple agents and hire the best one.

Other agents can probably get the lock box combo. Of course, your area may have supra lockboxes with keypad access. Check with agents and see what that area uses normally. The REO agent sounds crooked to me. Just a gut feel based on what she's been saying.

What area of Florida? There are a number of good Florida agents on here, maybe one of them is in that area or knows someone that is.
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Old 06-15-2010, 09:31 PM
 
Location: The Greater Houston Metro Area
8,985 posts, read 14,626,449 times
Reputation: 14868
Quote:
Originally Posted by MovedfromFL View Post
I didn't get into all the details to save time.

First, I spoke to this agent on Friday and we agreed to see homes on Monday. The time was up in the air, but he knew I had to leave my house by 10AM for another appointment. He was supposed to set up the showings for the early afternoon. I e-mailed him all of the homes I wanted to see (about 5-6) and asked if they were even still available. As of Sunday night at 9PM, I still hadn't heard a peep about if these homes were even still available and what time/ where to meet him. I e-mailed him at 9PM Sunday and he resonded via e-mail that he was setting up the appointments. (why is he doing that last minute?) Then he said that he would contact me around 10-11 the next morning and "if you don't hear from me, call me at xxx-xxxx")

Meanwhile, he has not even bothered at ask us where we are in the mortgage process or anything! In fact, I spoke with him today and told him that we needed to find a company that would be able to close quickly (the lender I was going to use takes 45 days now) He said he had the name of someone and would get that info to me, but here we are 13 hours later and no contact from him.

Trust me, I am not a demanding client. We know what we want and we are practically spoon feeding him the information. Every single house we have seen with him has been found by us (total of about 10 max). I just feel that he should be able to do something for us and instead, he works at a snails pace and doesn't even answer my questions at all. I asked him a few questions about a place I liked and he never answered them. It's like pulling teeth, and in the Central FL market now, I don't have time for that. We need a house and we need it now. I need to feel that someone is out there "fighting" for us so that we can jump on a good opportunity.

I was also concerned about that REO agent. Why can't anyone else get in before the official listing date? She said we would have to wait if we had our own agent. Would other agents have the lock box combo?

Honestly, this process is more difficult than listing/ selling our out of state house, packing and moving ourselves down here using 3 rental trucks, and job hunting once we got here! Now that all of that is taken care of, I have to deal with more hassles during what is supposed to be at least a somewhat enjoyable experience! When I read on here about the things that agents are doing for their clients, I realize that we are getting absolutely zero of those services. I feel like ALL this guy does is unlock the doors to the houses. Everything else is up to me. (and I do know a few things about the RE market since I used to have a FL real state salesperson's license, but I just kept it on vol. inactive and then let it expire when we moved to GA and I had 2 kids)
Based on what you have said, I don't think much of either agent - one is lazy and one is unethical. REO agents there are allowed to represent both sides? Here, the REO agent represents the bank, period. Some will have buyer agents that work for them to represent the buyer, but I have never seen one individual do both. A good point-blank question. Fannie Mae usually bends over backwards to avoid any hanky-panky scenarios. Maybe it's just here?
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Old 06-15-2010, 11:33 PM
 
Location: Salem, OR
13,981 posts, read 32,765,487 times
Reputation: 12696
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheryjohns View Post
Based on what you have said, I don't think much of either agent - one is lazy and one is unethical. REO agents there are allowed to represent both sides? Here, the REO agent represents the bank, period. Some will have buyer agents that work for them to represent the buyer, but I have never seen one individual do both. A good point-blank question. Fannie Mae usually bends over backwards to avoid any hanky-panky scenarios. Maybe it's just here?

Only the small REO agents out here will represent both sides. It is highly frowned upon out here as well. The big REO agents...only represent the banks and don't work with buyers.
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Old 06-16-2010, 02:41 AM
 
Location: Pomona
1,955 posts, read 9,501,694 times
Reputation: 1535
I'm not an agent, but here's my take on this ...

- You are unhappy with your current agent being unresponsive. Since you aren't that far into the process, and you don't have a buyer's agreement, you may as well tell him the truth and cut ties now.
- The listing agent sees an opportunity, and wants in on both commissions.

The thing is, by having you sign a buyer's agreement ahead of time, she can structure the sale on the day it's listed on the MLS to the bank that "my existing client really likes this house, and here's their very nice offer above the listing price, so lets take it off the market now, since I know they're good and pre-approved already." This way, she doesn't get questioned by the bank over what would've have been considered a pocket listing otherwise. She skirts by the legal aspects, gets more commission, the bank gets a higher return (though it may not be as good as it could've been), and you get a house.

Now whether that deal was as good to you is another story ... the thing about dual agency is that it's hard to be truly non-biased towards both sides of the transaction. Being a REO, and that the buyer pretty much has to play by the bank's rules, you could be very under-represented in the deal - and that's NOT good.
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Old 06-16-2010, 07:07 AM
 
Location: Central FL
1,382 posts, read 3,258,858 times
Reputation: 1181
Quote:
Originally Posted by Narfcake View Post
I'm not an agent, but here's my take on this ...

- You are unhappy with your current agent being unresponsive. Since you aren't that far into the process, and you don't have a buyer's agreement, you may as well tell him the truth and cut ties now.
- The listing agent sees an opportunity, and wants in on both commissions.

The thing is, by having you sign a buyer's agreement ahead of time, she can structure the sale on the day it's listed on the MLS to the bank that "my existing client really likes this house, and here's their very nice offer above the listing price, so lets take it off the market now, since I know they're good and pre-approved already." This way, she doesn't get questioned by the bank over what would've have been considered a pocket listing otherwise. She skirts by the legal aspects, gets more commission, the bank gets a higher return (though it may not be as good as it could've been), and you get a house.

Now whether that deal was as good to you is another story ... the thing about dual agency is that it's hard to be truly non-biased towards both sides of the transaction. Being a REO, and that the buyer pretty much has to play by the bank's rules, you could be very under-represented in the deal - and that's NOT good.
Yes, that is what we were hoping for. On this property, I think the ultimate "winner" will need an inside connection to get a good strong offer in front of the bank right off the bat. It will be tough to get this one. There is not time to schedule a showing, tour the place, think it over, make your offer on day 4, etc. (esp when your realtor isn't willing to act quickly and you live almost an hour and a half away)

Could we just sign a broker agreement for this property only? Then if it falls through, we could still give her a try, but that way if she turns out to be like our first agent, we can get out?
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Old 06-16-2010, 10:05 AM
Status: "Celebrating 30 years as a Broker" (set 19 days ago)
 
Location: Just south of Denver since 1989
10,882 posts, read 29,310,762 times
Reputation: 7085
Here in Denver, the big REO brokers have teams. Meaning, they have buyers agents. The REO broker lists, and someone on the team represents the buyers.

We are a designated agency state which helps.

This way the REO broker gets all the listing broker side of the commission and half of the buyer's agents side.
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