The Joys of Using an REO Listing Agent's Escrow Company - NOT

Real Estate Agent with Legacy International Realty

Okay, here's the setup; we are about to close on a lovely REO property this last Monday.  My client is signing loan docs at the Listing Agent's chosen Escrow Company. This is not a small escrow company, but more than likely this is a discounted project for them and they are overwhelmed or undermanned or unorganized or all of the above. They have not been highly responsive throughout the escow. Our close date had already been bumped from July 30th because they were overwhelmed with month-end closings. I can accept that ... sort of. But Monday morning, around 10:30, I received an urgent call from my Client at the Escrow Company signing loan docs, asking me to call the Listing Agent and find out where the Seller's (REO Lender) package was and to somehow get it there immediately.

I was baffled. I've never had to ask for the Listing Agent to provide the Seller's Package to escrow before. The Seller's package includes the Deed of Trust, their escrow instructions and few other items. Frankly, I didn't even know what a Seller's package was because this had been handled seamlessly, without my intervention or prepping, in all of my previous transactions.  But I was baffled, why is, after being handed off to by my client, the Escrow Officer asking me to call her client to get this package? I didn't mind doing it. I'll do WHATEVER it takes to close a deal but I found this extremely odd. I didn't hirer this Escrow company, the Listing Agent did. This Escrow Company is their provider of choice and I assume they are handling all of their current 30 transactions or so.

I made the phone call of course. The Listing Agent Transaction Coordinator, who is currently handling all 30 transactions, was startled but said she'd get on it immediately. Well, today, Wednesday, we still don't have the Seller's package. My Client's loanlock has expired and we have to redraw loan docs. The cost $300 to redraw docs and $5,000 to buy back that lower interest rate. To say the least I'm friggin' pissed at this Escrow Company. I realize now why they had me call their client to get the Seller's package. They were just too embarassed to have to explain to their client that they screwed up. This package should have been in place over a week ago.  I can also consider as a possibility that they had ordered these documents and were getting nowhere with Listing Agent or the REO Lender and were using me as pressure, but I don't think so. Too many things were just not getting done in a timely manner and there was no explanation at all.

Now what? My client wants this house - he loves it - and we will get it. But who pays for all of this. Of course I will go to the Listing Agent immediately and see if we can get the Seller to pay for this. Even though it wasn't ready by Monday if the documents would have just been faxed today, Wedenesday, we could have funded today and held off on the recording until we got the originals... but still no word on those missing pieces.

Anyone dealing with REOs and short sales, and that's everyone, know that these are the times we are working in ... with banks and their agents on overwhelm and nearly out-of control with severely limited staffing. But, hey, I'm still in a transaction and my client will be happy and I'm going to get paid (fingers crossed). Everything I do is to ensure my client's satisfaction but "the nature of times" interferes a bit with what could have been a delightful transaction for an amazingly priced home. These are the prices we seem to be paying to get these deals.  Unfortunately the fight is not over on this one. It's going to go on a bit longer ... wish me luck.

"When all else is lost, the future still remains."

--Christian Bovee


Comments (3)

Bob & Carolin Benjamin
Benjamin Realty LLC - Gold Canyon, AZ
East Phoenix Arizona Homes

Oh my, this sounds like a transaction with problems -- seems all the REO and short sales are headaches of one sort or the other.

Aug 06, 2008 07:13 PM
Kris Wales
Keller Williams Realty - Lakeside Market Center - Macomb, MI
Real Estate Blog & Homes for Sale search site, Macomb County MI


After my first reo trans went this way I learned to be more proactive.  I call and email the title company when I'm first given the contact so they know who I am.  I also let them know that I expect the sellers package to be there at the closing table.   

Now waiting on a signed deed is another matter...

Aug 06, 2008 10:58 PM
Chris Cliff
DDIY Home Renewal - Lynnwood, WA
The Home Repair and Painting Guy

From watching my wife work with REO properties and my experience with working with and being a real estate agent, I have learned that you almost have to be paranoid about whether the other agent is doing their job.  The fact is that a lot of them aren't. 

Personally I would be showing up at a certain agent's office looking for a check for my clients to cover their additional costs. 

And people don't like it when I show up looking for money...

Aug 07, 2008 12:14 AM