Stop Foreclosure NOW: Are real estate agents scammers?

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Riverbend Realty, Cape Girardeau, MO 2004008944

Liz Lockhart, Cape Girardeau real estate agentsAVOID FORECLOSURE! I see the billboards. I see it on the internet. I see the ads for agents who claim to be foreclosure prevention experts. And while those claims are technically correct, I believe many of the advertisements are misleading and purposefully so.

The billboards appeal to homeowners who are in danger of losing their homes to foreclosure. Hoping against hope, these borrowers pick up the phone and call the number. They then learn that the person smiling back from them on the billboard is a short sale agent who wants to list their home for sale, not a person who will somehow work magic that will keep them in the home.

Where the homeowner probably expects to connect with an expert who can help them explore several options, they instead find an "expert" who has one card in their deck, "Let me help you sell your home."

Now I know that I may start a firestorm of criticism, but I would like to hear some rational discussion about where agents should draw the line when advertising their services. I believe that the more vulnerable the target audience, the more careful a professional should be. At the least, I would like those STOP FORECLOSURE ads to be upfront about what services the advertiser actually offers. If the practitioner is a "one card in the deck" short sale expert, they should disclose that what they are actually advertising is short sale services.

Let's put a stop to the misleading advertisements. Be part of the solution, not part of the confusion.

Posted by

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If you are looking for a foreclosure in Cape Girardeau, Perry, N. Scott, or Bollinger counties, I am the region's most experienced REO agent. As the area's ONLY Fannie Mae direct listing agent, I list more foreclosure properties than any other agent in this MLS. I am among the few local agents approved to both list and sell HUD properties. Give me a call if you are looking for help with the purchase of a foreclosure property.

______________________________________________________

http://www.homepath.com/  for Fannie Mae properties

http://www.homesteps.com/  for Freddie Mac properties

http://www.hudhomestore.com/ for HUD properties (foreclosures that were FHA financed)

____________________________________________________________________________________________

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Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Not a real person 07/02/2011 11:54 PM
Topic:
Real Estate General Information
Location:
Missouri Cape Girardeau County Cape Girardeau Cape Girardeau
Groups:
REO
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Ambassador
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Ralph Gorgoglione
Maui Life Homes / Metro Life Homes - Kihei, HI
Hawaii and California Real Estate (800) 591-6121

Gotta be real careful about that.

Yes, you can help as a realtor if a short sale is a viable option to foreclosure.

But to solicit anything more than that is probably not a good idea.

Jul 01, 2011 05:53 PM #1
Rainmaker
303,659
Liz Lockhart
Riverbend Realty, Cape Girardeau, MO - Cape Girardeau, MO
GRI, Cape Girardeau Real Estate

Ralph~ Truth in advertising is what I am advocating. I <THINK> you are agreeing with me??

Jul 01, 2011 05:58 PM #2
Rainer
18,170
Simon Webster
CRE Credit Services - Plano, TX

Seems like there is a lot of that everywhere.  Everyone is thinking how they can "trick" people to call.  

Jul 01, 2011 06:02 PM #3
Rainmaker
303,659
Liz Lockhart
Riverbend Realty, Cape Girardeau, MO - Cape Girardeau, MO
GRI, Cape Girardeau Real Estate

Simon~ You nailed it. It's a trick, and I believe real estate agents cheapen their value in the market when they resort to trickery.

Jul 01, 2011 06:04 PM #4
Ambassador
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Debbie Laity
Cedaredge Land Company - Cedaredge, CO
Your Real Estate Resource for Delta County, CO

Yes a short sale is a way of stopping foreclosure. I work short sales, but I don't advertise that. It's misleading to give people false hopes.  People with financial issues need to seek legal and tax help. That might lead them to a real estate agent and a short sale situation.

We have an agent in our area that preys upon people in need. This agent lists the seller's house so low even the bank won't take a look at an asking price offer for a short sale. This agent paints such a good picture of what this agent can do, that the sellers believe in this agent. The prices are so low the banks won't take the offers and the buyers get disappointed and the seller frustrated. The sellers think it's the bank's fault. Meanwhile this agent is continuing to drop neighborhood property values by listing houses at a price that even the banks won't take. This agent does get a lot of sign callls on the under priced listings.

Jul 01, 2011 06:10 PM #5
Rainmaker
303,659
Liz Lockhart
Riverbend Realty, Cape Girardeau, MO - Cape Girardeau, MO
GRI, Cape Girardeau Real Estate

Debbie~ Meanwhile, that agent pushes those clients ever closer to foreclosure, the opposite of what is promised in those advertisements. I work some short sales, too, but I do not mislead people into thinking I am in the business of "saving" their homes.

Jul 01, 2011 06:24 PM #6
Rainmaker
169,067
Larry Bergstrom
Crescent Realty, Inc. Spanaway, WA. - Spanaway, WA
CNE, CRS, GRI

When you actually look at the true results of a short sale, you will usually find that the listing agent (and selling agent) are the only ones who make money on these sales.  Of course title and escrow make a buck too.

Like you, I believe that the short sale agent is only serving themselves and their best interest.

Jul 01, 2011 06:31 PM #7
Rainmaker
303,659
Liz Lockhart
Riverbend Realty, Cape Girardeau, MO - Cape Girardeau, MO
GRI, Cape Girardeau Real Estate

I actually do believe that short sales have a place in the market. The lender may be able to cut their loss, if the house sells quickly and at a price near or above what it would have sold for in an REO situation. When that is the case, the short sale helped the lender and the investors. It probably did not do much to help the homeowner, though, whose credit rating still takes a tough blow. The short sale does relieve stress for the homeowner.

Jul 01, 2011 06:37 PM #8
Rainer
478,183
Not a real person
San Diego, CA

Hey, Liz — There’s a surprise for you in my blog today. Let me know when you find it. What? You thought I was going to tell you where? Ha!

Jul 02, 2011 06:33 AM #9
Rainmaker
908,388
Pamela Seley
West Coast Realty Division - Murrieta, CA
Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA

Liz, I found your blog courtesy of Russel Ray. I agree ads that say "STOP foreclosure now," are misleading, especially coming from an agent who is offering to short sale.

Jul 02, 2011 06:46 AM #10
Rainmaker
597,276
Carla Freund
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Raleigh, NC
Raleigh - Cary Triangle Real Estate 919-602-8489

Liz - I took visited your blog because of Russel. I do think agents need to be very careful and make sure they're looking out for the clients best interest.

Jul 02, 2011 06:51 AM #11
Rainer
243,739
Brenda Whitman, Live in Laramie Real Estate
Live in Laramie Real Estate, Laramie, Wyoming - Laramie, WY
Broker/Co-Owner, Laramie, Wyoming

Gosh, and I thought those ads were just merely annoying!  I agree - they should reveal just WHAT it is they are actually advertising.

Jul 02, 2011 09:17 AM #12
Rainmaker
160,717
Retired Notworking
Tallahassee, FL

I agree that this is false advertising and wrong to set false hopes for those in trouble.

 I strongly disagree with comment #7.  I make the least amount of money on short sales.

Jul 02, 2011 11:55 AM #13
Rainer
126,957
Stephanie Leon | Miami Lakes Realtor®
Realty Empire Incorporated - Miami Lakes, FL
Turning For Sale Into SOLD!

Russel's blog sent me over here, so I decided to check it out.. I agree this is very misleading advertising and agents should refrain from giving false hope to those in foreclosure distress. Great post... 

Jul 02, 2011 02:56 PM #14
Rainmaker
88,748
Charles Gardner-Realtor/Investor
ZIP Realty, Inc-Houston District - Humble, TX

Hello Liz,

You have 'peaked' my interest in the STOP Foreclosure ads and how misleading they may be.  I do short sales and I also offer other potential alternatives to my clients.  As we realtor continue to learn to be more professional, posts like yours will keep us on our 'toes'.  Thanks

Jul 03, 2011 04:48 AM #15
Rainmaker
925,594
Ron Marshall
Marshall Enterprises - Saint Michael, MN
Birdhouse Builder Extraordinaire

Liz, I suggested this because I see these signs all around the area.  I know better, but as you say, homeowners are hoping against hope that they can stay in their homes.....too little, too late.  

Check out the HUD site or the Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac sites if you have those type of loans.  Sometimes there are government programs there for really distressed homeowners.

Jul 03, 2011 11:19 AM #16
Ambassador
1,240,901
Joni Bailey
101 Main St. Realty - Huntsville, TX
Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR®

I have not seen one of these billboards yet! YES! That is VERY misleading! This kind of  behavior gives agents a bad name!

Jul 13, 2011 05:12 PM #17
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Liz Lockhart

GRI, Cape Girardeau Real Estate
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