Short Sales - WHY do We Need to Educate the Buyers to Expect Horrible Service?

By
Real Estate Agent with Realtor®, Photographer, Artist

Short Sales - Excuse me, WHY do We Need to Educate the Buyers to Expect Horrible Service?

Okay, I'm sorry, but a post I read this morning just sent me over the edge. I said I wasn't going to rant anymore for a while, but... I have my limits! We are in Bizarro World again! Who needs to educate WHO???

Here, I'll put my closing comment right up front so you can avoid the whole rant if you wish.

Tell me again - why do we need to educate buyers to expect dreadful service on short sales?

Rather than needing to educate buyers on how low their expectations of success for actually closing a short sale in a reasonable amount of time must be, maybe we should be educating asset managers, short sale listing agents and banks on how to do their JOBS in a reasonable amount of time, with a normal level of customer service and professionalism. At what point do we all put our foot down and say, "Enough is enough?" It doesn't have to BE like this! Gears

A very nice person on AR here was trying to help us all to understand why we as buyer's agents shouldn't be bugging short sale agents for updates more than once a week, if that. I'm not going to put a link to it because I don't want to pick on that very nice person at all. It's the industry mentality that is driving me insane.

Bah, humbug. Listing agents - listen up. What would it take to eliminate the whole problem by doing a simple weekly email update to each buyer's agent? How the heck long can that take? Fifteen minutes out of your day would eliminate 90% of the calls you get, I'm fairly certain. You can probably cut and paste the same response to most of them : no news this week. At least they'll know you're alive and that you care, or at least pretend to care.

Sorry, short sale listing agents, I don't mean to pick on you! I know that you are frequently caught between a rock and a hard place, too.

Here's my problem. I am just truly sick of those people who just assume that they are busier than anyone else, and that their time is more valuable than anyone else's, and that is what too many of the asset managers, short sale listing agents, loan processers and even escrow officers and others involved seem to be saying to us. Their work load and schedule and committments matter, and their customers (buyer's agents and buyers) don't. It's all about the short sale listing agent or the asset manager or whoever these days - they matter, the buyer and the buyer's agents are just barely necessary evils.

Y'know what? Someday, we'll be past all these short sales and REOs and those of us still in the business will remember which agents, escrow offices and others gave us good service and which treated us like annoying beggars at the gate. There are some "very effective ways of dealing with" arrogant short sale listing agents and asset managers, too. Don't give them any more business is one good start.

In the meantime, buyers will continue to say to us, "I don't want to see ANY short sales", and many agents will continue to put them last on the list of what is shown each day.

There are many GOOD short sale listing agents. You know who you are - you care about your business partners, and this isn't directed at you. The other sort seem to spend more time explaining why we should all learn to live with bad service than they do working on their files. Well, that's how it looks to everyone else involved! Perception and reality sometimes are the same.

I know that very nice blogger was trying to do a service to us here on AR. The intentions were good, I get that. I even appreciate that!

But still, that post really struck a nerve with me. I've said it before: If there isn't time to email or answer the phone or return calls, then maybe a listing agent has more on their plate than they can handle, and they need to either hire an assistant or place some of the listings elsewhere. My opinion. I am sick to death of agents and processors and all the others who "just don't have time" to answer the phone or return calls. It's part of the job, just as much as collecting that commission or pay check. COMMUNICATION IS PART OF THE JOB! I don't care how many asset managers, loan officers, agents or escrow officers may tell me otherwise. They can take that corporate culture and ... do something appropriate with it!

The poster said that weekly communication just isn't enough for "some personalities". OMG. Gee, excuse us for even breathing when we were born! We're just trying to do OUR job as best we can, just like the exalted short sale agents or asset managers. We have buyers to answer to, and they need to know where they stand. God forbid, maybe more than once a week! If I get hammered for answers from my buyer, you'd better believe that I will pass along the grief to the one who is NOT communicating enough.

Listing agents eventually get paid no matter who buys the home, no matter how long it takes, unless they lose the listing. Buyers are interested in buying and moving, in general. If they can't reasonably expect to buy your listing, they really just need to move on to something they can get in a normal escrow time frame. They need upfront answers on how long it will take, they usually can't afford the time to mess around. They can't interface with the seller, so they depend on their agents to do that. If the sellers and their agents don't communicate with the buyer's agent, the buyer's agent looks like a moron or a liar. Unfortunately, a lot of short sale listing agents and asset managers and banks aren't like the very nice poster - many just plain don't tell the truth even when they do bother to communicate.

So buyers will continue to avoid short sales like death. Who can blame them! Fool me once...

Once again:

Rather than needing to educate buyers on how low their expectations of success for actually closing a short sale in a reasonable amount of time must be, maybe we should be educating asset managers, short sale listing agents and banks on how to do their JOBS in a reasonable amount of time, with a normal level of customer service and professionalism. At what point do we all put our foot down and say, "Enough is enough?" It doesn't have to BE like this!

Flame suit on now.

flamesuit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Information and content in this blog is original to Virginia M O'Connor. Photos are from various free or paid stock photo sources, used with the owner's permission or are original photos by Virginia M O'Connor.

Contact:

Virginia O'Connor - Temecula, CA RealtorVirginia M O'Connor
Temecula, CA Realtor
- Garner Valley, Mountain Center
Temecula, CA Realtor®/ Windermere

vmoc39@gmail.com
909 996-4962

Serving the Inland Empire and North San Diego County areas includingTemecula, Murrieta, Winchester, Garner Valley, Mountain Center, Anza, Aguanga communities and other surrounding areas.

Copyright © 2011 by Virginia M O'Connor

 

 

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Comments (5)

Deborah Byron Leffler BzyBee Real Estate Lady!
Keller Williams Realty Boise - Nampa, ID

I would have to agree with your post...especially how some agents are just busier than anyone else!  THat drives me crazy as well!  

Sep 29, 2010 08:15 AM
Virginia OnullConnor
Realtor®, Photographer, Artist - Temecula, CA
Realtor - Temecula, Anza, SoCal

Hi Deborah, I will just never understand this. Sometimes they are even "too busy" to answer or call when we want to sell their listings! It is beyond me...

Sep 29, 2010 08:58 AM
Ryan Case
SCA Real Estate - Anaheim, CA
877-828-0710

This is the reason I rarely show short sales! They rarely close and are a pain in the butt!

Sep 29, 2010 05:16 PM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

This is a really great piece, Virginia!  It has bothered me that as real estate professionals, we have spent decades trying to improve service, education and disclosure for homebuyers, and sellers.  The short-sale environment has significantly diminished the "service" and "professionalism" that agents generally like to provide to clients.  Education has to be kicked up a notch, to provide insight into the murky world of short-sales.  I avoid short-sales at all cost. 

Sep 30, 2010 01:38 AM
Virginia OnullConnor
Realtor®, Photographer, Artist - Temecula, CA
Realtor - Temecula, Anza, SoCal

Tom - I know! I closed a couple, but many more were just disappointments to the buyer. Thanks for the comment!

Myrl - Thanks so much! I hate it that we agents and our profession are getting tarred with much of the odium that really should belong to the banks and mortgage brokers. As if WE have any control over any of them!  If enough of us would just avoid short sales all together, the banks and asset managers would get a real wake-up call. Let them sit on all that inventory for months on end and maybe they will get a taste of what we all go through with them.

Furthermore, we need to contact each short sale agent and maybe the bank that owns the note and tell them "I would love to show this property, but I WILL NOT as long as you hold the note as a short sale. This is due to your horrible track record to date."

Sep 30, 2010 05:01 AM