Preconceived Notions About "Discount" Brokerages

Real Estate Agent with Long Realty - Dove Mountain, Marana AZ BR564219000

Preconceived Notions About "Discount" Brokerages

I admit it, there's a little corner in my mind that was worrying when my clients wanted to submit an offer on a REO listing, listed by Help-U-Sell.


I've worked for Tierra Antigua Realty for over 6 years now, and I've been very happy with the rapport, feeling of team, education, and support my brokerage has shown me.  I've worked enough transactions during those years to know that all brokerages are not equal, and not all agents put the same amount of effort into communication and follow-through.

So, like I said, starting out the transaction I was just a little bit nervous.

My clients submitted their offer on July 16, 2011.  I gave them my usual spheel about needing a sense of humor when working with REO properties, being prepared to wait, highest and best offer scenarios, and all the other items I touch upon when working with these sorts of transactions.  In my experience, some of them go off without a hitch...and then there are the truly memorable ones.

Little did I know that my clients and I were about to open our own long-version Memory Book with this particular contract.

First there was the highest and best scenario, which my clients happened to "win" based on area comps and knowledge of homes in the area. Then came the wait for the REO addenda and counter-signed contract.  Escrow finally opened with the fully executed contract on August 6, 2011.  You can bet that my emails got considerably less patient as I waited for documentation securing my clients as the buyers during this three-week period.  I naturally assumed it had much to do with discount service brokerage hours.


Well, without writing a novella here, I'll skip to the ending, the closing, on October 26 2011.  The jist of the situation was that the original transfer of ownership involved a Deed In Lieu back to the VA, which was incorrectly signed by a third party handler through Chase Bank.  Without proper recording, Chase re-sold the property to my clients and AS THEY WERE SIGNING closing docs on September 8, we got the call that they needed a two week extension because the property wasn't clear to sell..

Here's where the broker of Help-U-Sell really came through. Veronica Scott, broker at Help-U-Sell in Rita Ranch, Tucson, AZ worked her butt off.  Phone calls, emails, visits to Phoenix, more phone calls, more emails -- constantly and daily keeping the finance officer and myself in the loop.  When she didn't get communication from one staffer at Chase, she went above their head to a higher authority.  Each time she received emails mentioning another name, she emailed ALL to keep the information coming.  In short, she lit a fire under Chase until the VP of Chase REO got involved.  

Talk about diligence, customer relations, and communications.  Veronica actually forward email trails between parties to show "transparency" in the transaction.  On October 17 she sent an email hoping for a "miracle", and on the 19th, out of the blue, the transaction was cleared to close.  She shared with us her personal interpretation of the words, "Help You Sell": " I want all to know that we are called HELP U SELL for a reason the emphasis is on the Help  - we all want to work together to get this done for your client! " 

My clients had chosen October 22 as the last possible day they would allow another time extension, as they had been without a permanent home since flying in from Germany on Fourth of July weekend, the wife was expecting TWINS, almost all of their belongings were in storage, their dogs were in temporary care and separated from them for all of this while,  and the husband had taken the last "leave" in order to close and move, that the Airforce was willing to extend. (he took three)

Hal Timinsky, Senior Mortgage Advisor at Fairway Mortgage, also worked tireless hours, and managed to have closing docs within 48 hours of the surprise news from Chase.

More snafus ensued until the actual closing on October 26th, but the good news is, my military clients relocating from Germany are in their new home, unpacked and eagerly planning for their two little girls to join them early spring.

Good things come to those who wait, I guess.  I can wait for another REO transaction like this one, but I will always remember the diligence of Veronica Scott at Help-U-Sell, and I'll not be generalizing brokerages ever again.  This brokerage was simply priceless.

Posted by

If I can assist you in your home buying or selling in Marana, Tucson, Oro Valley, or Vail, please don't hesitate to call me!  Email at

Cara Marcelle Mancuso, Long Realty,


Regarding the material posted in my blog postings, these are my personal opinions and not those of Long Realty Company. 

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Noelle Stevens


Bravo to you for this post! As a Limited Service Provider in the Madison, Wisconsin area, I work hard to let buyer agents know that I am always there to assist my sellers with every aspect of the sale, no matter how complicated! There has been the perception that sellers who use limited service providers are left to work through the intricate details of a real estate sale alone. Many of us offer assistance to sellers from offer to closing, and many of us are highly experienced former full service agents. I'm so glad to hear that your experience was positive and glad you took the time to sing the praises of the limited service provider and lender. Way to go!

Nov 09, 2011 02:41 AM #23
John Cannata
214-728-0449 - Frisco, TX
Texas Home Mortgage - Purchase or Refinance

Usually people are slamming these types of businesses. Its nice to see a positive post about your experience with this company.

Nov 09, 2011 03:56 AM #24
Patricia Aulson
Realtor - Portsmouth NH Homes-Hampton NH Homes

Nice to hear about this blog today,  thanks for sharing with us.


You can't judge a book by it's cover,  thanks,


Patricia Aulson/ Seacoast nh & ME REALTOR

Nov 09, 2011 04:03 AM #25
Cara Marcelle Mancuso
Long Realty - Dove Mountain, Marana AZ - Tucson, AZ
Call a Marana neighbor, I'm THERE! LONG REALTY

Bruce - Thanks for the reminder that every transaction is "fresh".  No use dragging our baggage along!

Randy - I try to work with folks that aren't so focused on price, but more on the big picture of value.

Donna - we were pretty mad at Chase for awhile, but they pulled it out - no hard feelings!

Beth - Thanks!  I suppose it seems funny to endorse the competition, but it's a big city and enough to go around.  Hard work like Veronica's just needs to be applauded.

Hi Lori - love your profile photo - so friendly!  The feature was a huge surprise - talk about a plug for Help-U-Sell!  :)  Options are the American Way - competition keeps us on our toes.

Gary - I'm glad that Veronica and her office "had it", as it was necessary in this deal.

Howdy Sir Richie - I hope all is well in your little corner of California!

Lori - I started another transaction the very next week that was showing all the signs...and then it just "turned" and everything's coming up roses.  Yay!!

Shelly - it sounds like you have had plenty of experience!  I've been real happy with Tierra Antigua and love the brokers.  I think it really helps when you are surrounded by those that share the same ethics, professionally and personally.

Hi Michael - my buyers are happy that they let patience win the day NOW.  Boy it was close!!

I will be careful to shut down any pre-conceived notions from now on, Noelle.  It would be interesting to read why you would switch from full-service to a limited service brokerage.  Thanks for sharing your story.

Hi John - I've worked with a few other limited service companies - this one is top of the list for communication and service - to ALL parties.

Hi Patricia - do you know how many library books I pick up just because I like the cover??  Lol.

Nov 09, 2011 04:25 AM #26
Martin Kalisker
Greater Boston Association of REALTORS - Boston, MA
Professional Standards & Legal Assistant

Sounds like you got lucky with a competent agent on the other side of the transaction.  But I don't think this has anything to do with the brokerage's business practices.  It boils down to the individual.  There has to be something on the inside to motivate someone to work REO sales besides the desire to get a large commission check (which is rare).  I'm glad that things worked out for your buyer clients.  I've heard several of the large lenders comment on enhancing their availability to agents and creating avenues for escalation of issues.  All of this is good news.

Nov 09, 2011 05:58 AM #27
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Cara - I'm glad there was a happy ending after all of that waiting.  It sounds like the other broker did all she could.

Nov 09, 2011 06:17 AM #28
Sandy Acevedo
951-290-8588 - Chino Hills, CA
RE/MAX Masters, Inland Empire Homes for Sale

Hi Cara, so nice of you to praise the other side of the transaction. Now I won't generalize either!

Nov 09, 2011 06:54 AM #29
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

As an EBA, I don't care who is listing the property . . . if it meets the needs/wants it's shown.  If my clients want to write up an offer, again, I don't care who the listing brokerage is -- but I do care about who well we will communicate throughout the transaction.  I've worked with all different types of brokerges and have good things and bad . . . and it's not about their business model.  Good shout out to an agent who helped you sell!  ;-)

Nov 09, 2011 08:30 AM #30
Lloyd Binen
Certified Realty Services - Saratoga, CA
Silicon Valley Realtor since 1976; 408-373-4411

Cara, congrats on the closing and congrats on the Feature.

I always say: "Nothings easy."  It's so nice to hear about good, hard-working agents.  You're included--it takes two to tango. 

Nov 09, 2011 09:30 AM #32
Jeff Pearl
RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA - Lovettsville, VA
Full Service Full Time Realtor

Great for Veronica, but no agent should have to go through scenarios like this. These effin banks need to get their act together and hire compentant people to get these deals done in a more efficent process.

Nov 09, 2011 10:13 AM #33
Lisa Glowacki
Lisa Glowacki - Rhode Island & Massachusetts - Tiverton, RI
Real Estate Broker - RI & MA

Great story!  Great team work! Great patience! And a happy ending.  I love when all parties involved work their hardest and don't take "No" for an answer.  I think you all did a great job.  Bravo for mentioning all involved.  At the end of the day kind words and recognition is a nice reward to keep you motivated, make you feel proud, and do a great job in the future.

Nov 09, 2011 10:36 AM #34
Ross Therrien
Prudential Verani Realty, Londonderry,New Hampshire - Londonderry, NH
Realtor, Broker Associate

Wether your the buyer, seller or cooperating broker good service goes along way to get the job done. Generalizing a whole brokerage seems to be a thing of the past as more agents are promoting/branding themselves.  After all its you and I the client signs with your brokerage is one of your benefits you offer. Hards part is when bad service comes from an agent thats in your firm.   Very rare but possible and the public can be mean when provoked.;-)

Nov 09, 2011 10:44 AM #35
Michelle Francis
Tim Francis Realty LLC - Atlanta, GA
Realtor, Buckhead Atlanta Homes for Sale & Lease


Fabulous shout out to Veronica at Help U Sell.  She went above and beyond and sounds very impressive. 

God bless her how she could have made any money on that transaction.  

All the best, Michelle

Nov 09, 2011 01:00 PM #36
Cara Marcelle Mancuso
Long Realty - Dove Mountain, Marana AZ - Tucson, AZ
Call a Marana neighbor, I'm THERE! LONG REALTY

Martin - Nice to meet you .  One of the UPS of this transaction is that a bigwig from Chase took the time to explain in writing exactly the challenges they were facing in rectifying the situation and the time that it took.  I really appreciated being forwarded that apology and email and quickly sent it to my clients.

Christine - I think she did.  We tried to make it clear to her in the second half of all of this, that we appreciated the effort she was putting forth and was just frustrated at the lack of communication at that time from the third party assisting Chase.

Sandy - see, good news grows.  :)

Carla - There are a few agents/firms I cringe over when I show one of their homes in my area, but that's my problem, mostly.  I just give my clients a heads up after, that there may be some additional challenges but I will do everything in my power to keep the lines of communication open.  Most of the trouble comes from out-sourced third parties - not agents.

Hi Erica - obviously a lesson well learned!

Hi Lloyd - feel kind of funny about the feature, but I'm sure it will help Veronica with a little extra google juice.  Thanks for your kind words.

Jeff - I think the deeper the USA gets into the REO home situation, because it's not going away, the more efficient they will become.  Time is money, and wasting it will bring about change.

Hi Lisa - I can't say I was always patient, and there were some sleepless nights at times...I felt so bad that my lovely little military family had to go through such stress.  Sure, you tell them beforehand, but it's still difficult to experience.  Kind of like  And they got their baby at the end!!  :)

Hi Ross!  Nothing like a spurned buyer or seller!!!  Initially my clients were going to blast Chase, but the communication and follow-through at the end left us all with relieved, rather than angry feelings.

Michelle - I don't think she did, but maybe she'll get a listing or buying client from this endorsement.  That would be icing on the cake.  :)

Nov 09, 2011 01:49 PM #37
Lottie Kendall
Compass - San Francisco, CA
Helping make your real estate dreams a reality

Great tribute to Veronica Scott with Help-U-Sell. I'm so glad you two were able to see this one through to conclusion. I bet you're a star in your clients' eyes, Cara.

Nov 09, 2011 04:36 PM #38
Michael Collins
*ROCK REALTY|Broker|Realtor|Real Estate|WI Short Sale Agent* - Janesville, WI
CDPE, SFR , Wisconsin Short Sale Specialist Realto

Good for you! It's nice that you publicly acknowledged others in the industry who exceeded expectations. We need more of this attitude between agents.

Nov 10, 2011 02:18 AM #39
Juli Vosmik
Dominion Fine Properties - Scottsdale, AZ
Scottsdale/Cave Creek, AZ real estate 480-710-0739

Cara, how gracious of you to write a glowing blog about a competitor.  However, from the sounds of it, this broker deserves a big shout out - she went over and above to help in a sticky situation.  Great job. 

Nov 10, 2011 03:42 AM #40
Mel Ahrens, MBA, Kelly Right Real Estate
Kelly Right Real Estate - Hood River, OR
Customized Choices for your Real Estate Needs

I love your blog. I know such a comment can get folks here on AR all riled up, but times, they are a changing. There is no one way to sell real estate any more. You've got to give the public what they want and need. For some, that's a full-service real estate brokerage, for some it's places like HelpUSell, for others it's selling their properties themselves, with help from folks like us.


Nov 10, 2011 08:53 AM #41
Curtis Van Carter
Better Homes & Gardens Wine Country Group - Yountville, CA
Your Napa Valley Broker Extraordinaire


Just goes to prove, great agents are great agents. Unfortunately for the Veronica, she didn't get paid for what she deserved. cheers cvc

Nov 13, 2011 05:50 AM #42
I guess finding uesufl, reliable information on the internet isn't hopeless after all.
Jan 24, 2012 10:42 AM #43
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Call a Marana neighbor, I'm THERE! LONG REALTY
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