Many buyers are looking for a deal. Georgia is third in the nation in foreclosures so you would think that banks would do their best to get their REO homes sold. You would also think that banks would demand the best services from real estate agents in order to maximize the amount they can salvage from a bad situation. They are professional business people, aren't they?
My typical experience with helping buyers pursue foreclosures is usually one of frustration. In my city, there are maybe 4 agents who get most of the bank foreclosures to list. They are REO listing specialists. From the few closings that I have had with them, they seem to get a full commission. From my perspective, it seems that they do as little as possible. I often wonder why a bank would pay full price for such little service. So am I must be missing a key piece of information?
First, the listing usually has only one picture of the house. It's usually not a very good one. Many of the listing remarks are the exact same comments that are used for every single home. Usually something about being sold as-is, where to fax offers, and maybe something about serious offers only.
The homes are always in terrible shape. Sometimes it's just dirt and dead bugs. How much would it cost to clean it up just a bit? Do the banks not know that a clean home will sell for much more?
Forget about trying to get the listing agent on the telephone in person. If you are lucky, you might actually get a live person on the telephone who will only be able to tell you if it is still available and where to fax an offer. Most of the time you'll get a message machine and probably will never get a return phone call.
When you fax over an offer, usually you won't get any confirmation that it was received. You'll be able to leave a message but who knows if anyone will ever listen to it.
Forget about any quick response. Usually 48 hours is the turnaround time. If it's a Friday afternoon, it's probably going to be Monday afternoon before they look at your offer.
One would also think that a quick closing would be desirable for the bank. I once had a cash buyer who wanted to close in seven days. I was once told the bank needed at least 21 days to process it through their system. Seven days was totally unacceptable.
I know it's not only me who runs into these problems. I get buyers who call me to recruit my services because they just can't get anyone to call them back when they call the listing agent directly.
So what am I missing? To me, there seems like a great opportunity for an agent to provide better service to banks in the sale of their REO homes. Is that market completely different than the average retail market or do banks really don't care about getting top dollar for their homes?