Stacie's REO etiquette Part 1

Real Estate Agent with Altera Real Estate

 Inventory has been low for the past year due to moratoriums and it has brought the worst out in some agents. On an average my listings see between 2 and 40 offers. Which means that every listing I have has multiple offers on it and I get to work with one happy buyer and one happy buyers agent. What else do I get????..... 1-39 mad buyers and 1-39 mad agents. Lucky for me right?? Thought being a REO agent was easy?? Well sit in my shoes just for a moment. I have to manage not only the expectations of the banks, asset managers, my team, agents but buyers and their agents as well. The agent etiqutte I have seen lately is very shameful so let me help by giving a coulpe etiqutte pointers so you are not "That" agent.

Calling on availablity and Offer status. All of my listings are updated daily. If it's in MLS as active it is. I am not sure why I still get calls when I put in the MLS not to call and if they see it in MLS it's still active. REO's are always active until we have sellers signatures on the contract and addendum's thus the reason why you want to write your highest & best the first time since it may take some time to get sellers signatures on your offer. Calling on offer status....I know buyer wait anxiously to hear any news about their offers but calling the list agent everyday on status is kind of a no no! Think of it this way.....The banks have thousands and thousands of REO's across the country, Asset managers have thousands or REO's to manage and REO agents have many (some have a fleet and some have a basketball team) but to your client their is only one. It is your job as the buyers agent to manage their expectations. Calling on offer status you are most likely going to hear " I have no news for you yet but as soon as I do I will call you." The banks are inudated and they don't have time for status updates on all the offers that come in on all the properties they have across the country. Tell your clients "If it is ment to be it will happen."And insead of calling list agent send a quick email asking "any new news?" You are more likely to get a responce.


Blaming list agent for your offer not getting accepted. When did my role as list agent turn into the seller as well?? I get calls all the time from agents who are mad and want explainations and I start to give them what they ask for and as soon as I start talking they talk over me or try to explain why I did something wrong. This does nothing but waiste my time. I am limited on that so I ask that as a buyers agent you take into account that your client is not the only one out there and that when writing an offer on a REO you give it your Highest & best the first time so you don't get beaten out and have the rug swept out form under your clients. If they want to play around and see if they can get a REO for less then asking price then it is their gamble they are taking and maybe they will listen the next time you write an offer.

That is all for now cause I can go on and on and on but I will save that for future blogs.........

Comments (28)

Jeffrey Dolfinger
24/7 Realty Inc. - Poughkeepsie, NY
NRBA Member

Stacie:  How have you been?  Its been a while, you are so right, i get alot of the same issues. I dont take it personally.  Old dogs can learn new tricks, the market will change again and all things will again be normal for most.

Jul 22, 2009 04:21 PM
Jasleen Allyse
Century21 Gold Medal Realty Inc - Conyers, GA

Hi Stacie,

The problem I've seen here is that before the property can hit the MLS its already sold! I just got an accepted offer on a property for my client. I had to "literally" sit in front of my computer for hours until something new hit the system.  Its hard to nail properties down here. I wish I could say if shows active in the MLS its available here. I've seen more than once that the property is under contract still showing active.

Keep up the good work!

Jul 31, 2009 10:49 AM
Rob Arnold
Sand Dollar Realty Group, Inc. - Altamonte Springs, FL
Metro Orlando Full Service - Investor Friendly & F

There are plenty times that the bank has accepted an offer but have not signed off on it yet.  And they don't want to look at other offers.  Typically I will pend the listing in MLS just to keep other agents from wasting their time and mine, even if the seller has not signed off on it.  The other issue is that some buyers want to close in 3 weeks time, but the seller takes 2 weeks to sign the contract.  Makes it hard for the buyer to get the job done with those kind of delays.  Any advice?

Aug 16, 2009 04:05 AM
Leila Mortaz
Homestretch Properties - Los Gatos, CA
Leila Mortaz

Stacie, we are experiencing similar challenges in managing the communication requirements with 40 offers on each REO.  We finally developed some recommendations and some pointers on writing offers and communication tips!   But from the feedback that I am seeing here, it will not be enough to satisfy all the agents.  But Vickie is on the right track by switching from phone calls to email.  I am certain we are frustrating some of them too since we now insist on EMAILs for communications.  Catching an REO agent on the phone and asking for an update, is as productive as shopping for PC in an Apple store!!  If an offer is countered, we communicate back within few hours and notify an agent. 

We had to develop REO Offer Guidelines and Offer Summary Worksheet to help us manage the flood of offers.   One challenge was to associate a buyer with the their agent since the portals where we upload this data don't require this information!  Also, some of the offers were missing the critical information our Asset Managers require for a complete offer.  So, these 2 documents have helped us manage the flood of offers specially the Summary Worksheet which has been a life saver.   We are looking to automate more of our processes that since we anticipate this situation will continue.

We have it posted on our website.  Feel free to use it if you think it helps.






Aug 19, 2009 11:58 AM
J. Philip Faranda
J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY - Briarcliff Manor, NY

We have some REO agents in NY that aren't like you. We get wrong lockbox combos, empty lockboxes, no calls for showings returned, we'r e told on Friday that a home is available and then when we fax an offer Monday someone else tells us it is under contract, and places that won't answer calls on a weekend.

Today, I drove an hour to show a home and the lockbox was wrong. I couldn't even leave a voicemail. No cell info for the listing agent. Multiply that by  about 20 from your colleagues and that might explain why agents call you.

Aug 29, 2009 08:49 PM
Julie Martin
Port City Realty - Mobile, AL
Realtor, Broker - Gulf Coast Real Estate


I would love to work with you. Our town's busiest REO broker only does e-mails and texts and I don't blame her one bit. While I hear a lot of complaining about it I find her extremely easy to work with and very professional. The only reason I don't go to that is I don't exclusively list REO properties, so I have to answer my phone.

However, part of the problem are the REO listing agents that are not as professional as you are. Just today I posted a blog wondering what I could do about a very unprofessional REO listing agent. If you have any feedback on it, on or off activerain I would love to hear it.

Sep 13, 2009 09:01 AM
Robert L. Brown - Grand Rapids, MI
Grand Rapids Real Estate Bellabay Realty, West Mic

Some REO agents here frustrate me to no end. They think they are so much better then you are and speak to you in a way that's disrespectful. The system is so flawed with the whole process. That's why there are agents who stay away from these types of deals and i can see why.


Sep 26, 2009 07:40 AM
John Occhi
Mason Real Estate - Temecula, CA
SRES,CPRES.ePRO - Temecula-Murrieta CA Real Estate

And I was feeling so all along....well if misery loves company I know where to turn next time I deal with a frustrating buyers agent.

Keep in touch,


Oct 01, 2009 02:58 AM
Carol Zingone
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Florida Network Realty - Jacksonville Beach, FL
Global Realtor in Jax Beach, FL - ABR, CRS, CIPS

I've had my share of less than stellar REO listing agents in NorthEast Florida - some are better than others, but there are a few brokerages/agents in particular I really hate to even call....

Oct 11, 2009 04:50 AM
David Jordan
RE/MAX Lakeland - Cypress, TX

Great post!!! I also handle alot of REO listing in the Houston area and unfortunately I have to deal with REO agents are not as thorough as they should be.

Oct 27, 2009 07:56 AM
Rosemary Brooks
BMC Real Estate - 209-910-3706 - Stockton, CA
The Mother & Daughter Realty Team

I do agree that it is a bit confusing out here with the listings being so limited in many cases and especially the lower end listings.  Most agents say right on the MLS - no calls, no emails to inquire about the property --- > and some of those agents do not have websites to go to try and find out your answers that are not on the MLS.  Yet your buyers are asking.

Then if you wait to hear from the agent.... you look back up and the listing is gone.  Now you have to deal with your buyer.

Can't wait until things change and the communication gets better.

Nov 07, 2009 12:45 PM
Marina Kocian
DPR Realty - Phoenix, AZ

many good point were covered,  There are the good apples and bad apples of both sides. I agreed on both sides, some buyers agents don't read the realtors remarks, and some times REO listing agents fail to do everything. Be sure whether side you are working with, do it right. Communication and professionalism are key factors. Sometimes bad REO reputation will affect their  listings.


IT IS KNOW EASY TO BE A REO AGENT, IT IS HARD WORK, I STILL REMEMBER HOW STARTED AND HOW HARD WAS TO STICK TO IT.   and thanks to many courses and certification and seminars, personal growth etc. It never ends, more education and knowledge is required, but I am still the same person that plans to stay in the business even when the old reo days are gone.

Anyway whatever side you represent do your best and be professional.


Nov 24, 2009 03:16 PM
Robert L. Brown - Grand Rapids, MI
Grand Rapids Real Estate Bellabay Realty, West Mic

Piggybacking on Marina above to do your job and do it in a professional manner. That i think is the key to this whole dilemna.

Dec 06, 2009 05:33 AM
Deron Young
REONLS - Easley, SC

We are one of the top REO companies in South Carolina and I can tell you some of the calls we get from agents are down right nasty!!. We are all trying to do the same thing place a family in a home that they want and love. Some agents need to go back to Real Estate 101. 

Dec 10, 2009 02:40 AM
Bobby LehmKuhl
4 Malibu Real Estate - Malibu, CA
Exceeding Every Clients Expectations. Every Time.

Stacie, thank you for the post and creating great comments. . .

Jan 26, 2010 03:30 PM
Jake Forbes
United Country Forbes Realty & Auctions - Hertford, NC


Great post! I can understand your situation as every REO property I have had lately has involved multiple offers.

Feb 16, 2010 02:23 AM
Keith Sellers
Sellers Real Estate - Kalamazoo, MI
Greater Kalamazoo and Lakeshore

Wow ~ I better keep my mouth shut; just when I thought I had too many offers to deal with...7...looks like a pittance compared to 39!!!  What a conundrum.  With all that traffic being driven to your phones and web sites, you ought to sell advertising over your voicemail!!! 

One thing that helped me manage time from too many voicemails was getting transcripts of the voicemails over email.  Then I can read them and see right away what is priority and what is not.  The only drawback is...Google voice is about 10% accurate on dictation/transcripting the messages, so you have to be somewhat of a Wheel of Fortune whiz.


Feb 20, 2010 12:21 PM
Jarrod Westerlund
Big Block Realty - San Luis Obispo, CA

My market is very similar.  We have less than 2 months of inventory so I get multiple offers on every offer I revieve.  I am one of the main REO realtors in my area, I have plenty of angry agents but its not because I don't communicate.  I make it very clear that email and text is the BEST way to get ahold of me.  I do return voice mail the same day but it might not be for several hours, but I can return a text or an email within the hour.  My emails go to my assitant first and if she can respond for me then she sends it out on my behalf.  Still I get plenty of angry Realtors and buyers.  The cool thing about email and text is that I have a time stamped paper trail where voice mail is more difficult. 

Feb 23, 2010 09:05 AM
Ginger Harper
Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage~ Ginger Harper Real Estate Team - Southport, NC
Your Southport~Oak Island Agent~Brunswick County!

Any advice in how to hook in with a lender?  Still trying to move on to REO rather than BPO's.


Mar 04, 2010 06:59 AM
James Angelo
Florida Homes Realty & Mortgage LLC - Jacksonville, FL

Pricing the property to sell is really a challange - price it too high - it just sits there - too low - and the offers start rolling in - wish I had a crystal ball.


Mar 10, 2010 12:45 AM

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