I love to park on the sideline and watch heads roll. That's what I've been doing with HomePath and Fannie Mae. But, finally, today, I've decided to put my car in drive.
Have you been following the saga of HomePath (the Fannie Mae division that managers the inventory of Fannie Mae owned homes) and the restrictions imposed on the number of listings assigned to individual brokers?
Apparently, last month, HomePath issued an REO Announcement that imposed a limit of 30 on the number of REO listings that a broker of record could have at any time. According to various online sites including www.realtoractioncenter.com, "the announcement warned companies that handle Fannie's REO inventory to apply the 30-property limit strictly and noted ‘100% compliance' was expected."
The Realtor® Action Center website further reported that NAR immediately heard from members raising concerns about the impact of such a low, arbitrary limit on their businesses. The report stated that "NAR agrees that Fannie should not have an inflexible limit on the number of REO listings. Instead, Fannie should rely on documented success and professional performance of real estate brokers."
On July 9, HomePath released another REO Announcement that relaxed the rules announced at the end of June. "The July 9 announcement states that Fannie Mae, as a general rule, does not allocate more than 30 active REO listings from any one Fannie source at any one time. It stated this has been long-standing practice. The new announcement went on to acknowledge that some higher-performing brokers can handle more than 30 properties at one time and still exceed Fannie's standards. Accordingly, Fannie Mae will approve special exceptions to the 30 listing limit in appropriate circumstances. In addition, the Announcement notes that the 30 listing limit is applied per source, so brokers may have 30 properties directly from Fannie and 30 from an outsourcer, without requiring Fannie approval. More information is expected soon."
I'm sure that Realtors® have strong opinions both for and against this issue. On the one hand, many of us live in communities where individual Realtors® were assigned well over 100 REO listings a few years back. This massive influx caused some of those Realtors® to devise systems which limited contact with the public and encouraged a less personal approach to real estate. On the other hand, many might argue that if you are intelligent and organized enough to manage a large influx of REOs, why not be permitted to take on such a large assignment? It is also notable that the commission is not great on REO listings; many Realtors® find that they earn the best REO income by developing a large REO department.
I'd love for you to weigh in and share what you think about this. It is certainly a hot button topic. The goal of this post is to generate a conversation, and I hope that it will accomplish that goal.
I know of one crew who is clearly against the policy... That's the crew at Keller Williams. Thanks to Lani Rosales' post on Agent Genius, I was pointed to a letter written by Mark Willis, the CEO of Keller Williams to the President and CEO of Fannie Mae.
So, what do you think about the policy?