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Bad occupant, no cash!

I had to do three Cash for Keys today. And it's labor day. An REO agent's work is never done. The first one went smooth as silk. Exept that the guy didn't actually have the keys. A lot of that going around. "We never lock the doors, I don't know where the keys are." I believe it. That's how it is out here. Bucolic, like.

Fortunately, I always bring my locksmith with me when I do my CFK. No keys, no problem, especially when the doors are at least unlocked.

I had not… Continue

Added by Seb Frey on September 1, 2008 at 11:50pm — 1 Comment

REO paint job

Did an interior BPO on a property that'll be listed (by someone else) in the next week or two. I love what they've done with the paint job!…


Added by Seb Frey on August 25, 2008 at 11:30pm — No Comments

Thar she lows!

I did an interior BPO a week or two ago on a rural property out in a kind of exclusive part of Santa Cruz county. None of the homes are alike, the parcel sizes and qualities are all different, the houses range from brand new estate-type properties to...well, older estate-type properties. There are probably a few normal houses thrown in here and there, tucked away behind different hills and knolls.

One thing I sure hate to do is tell a client the asset is worth more than it is.… Continue

Added by Seb Frey on August 21, 2008 at 11:22pm — No Comments

High-End Homes going REO

I don't know if you've been hearing the rumors, but there's a gathering consensus that the sub-prime mortgage market was just the beginning of the REO wave, that next up we're going to see more "prime" mortgage defaults and foreclosures. Check out this article from the New York Times, for example.

That's my sense of it, surely. Most of the REO listings I've been getting have been in Watsonville,… Continue

Added by Seb Frey on August 15, 2008 at 12:17am — No Comments

IndyMac, DefaultSchool

Hey, did you get the invite to sign up for IndyMac's new mandatory training at DefaultSchool? I did, and I'm not even an IndyMac-approved broker! My application is pending, and has been for some time now. Fortunately, I am already and REO Default Certified Professional with DefaultSchool, so all I had to do is fork out $399 to take the IndyMac Policies and Procedures course.

Of course, right after getting my cert, I e-mailed it off to IndyMac along with my existing RDCPro Certificate… Continue

Added by Seb Frey on August 15, 2008 at 12:06am — 4 Comments

Short sale BPO turned into REO Listing

The other day, I got a new property assignment. "Hmm," I thought, "that address looks familiar." Turns out, I had done an interior BPO on the property back in December of 2007, for a short sale. That was kind of a puzzler - I know I turned in a value higher than the contract price (the seller's agent met me out at the property and said, hey, this is our contract price) - but considering the location and lot size, the value I gave it was fair to all concerned.

But OK, say that my… Continue

Added by Seb Frey on August 7, 2008 at 8:30am — No Comments

The REO Agent's Image and You

When you think of a REO Agent, what image pops in your mind? Do you see some well dressed, luxury car driving, wildly sexy, speak with a foreign accent Realtor or is it more of a blue jean and polo wearing, pick up truck driving, only sexy after a few drinks, sounds like they just walked off the farm Realtor?

The reason I ask is because, I recently walked into a group of older, mature no less successful than myself Realtors only to discover, my “image” didn’t fit their crowd. It was… Continue

Added by Jesus (Jesse) Gonzalez on August 1, 2008 at 9:06am — No Comments

Contrary to what you may have heard.

According to a recent report by Managing REO Online Magazine dated July 9, 2008 Volume 3 Issue 8

Link: (

Housing starts in 2008 are expected to be 36% lower than 2007 levels, creating three straight years of decline.”

Contrary to what you may hear from bullish or optimistic real estate industry guru’s the state of our national economy, credit crisis, high housing inventories, fall of the sub-prime market, closing bank lending… Continue

Added by Jesus (Jesse) Gonzalez on July 10, 2008 at 8:33am — 1 Comment

Yo yo, Yo Hablo Español

So the other day, I was supposed to do an Interior BPO for a listing that got assigned to another one of them infamous out of town agents. It was over the 4th of July weekend, actually - I had called on Thursday, no answer from the Interior contact (the out-of-area REO agent). So I drove by, because I know that this agent uses pretty much the same combo lockbox code all the time, figured I would see if that worked.

But lo and behold, the house was not vacant. Totally occupied. I… Continue

Added by Seb Frey on July 9, 2008 at 12:08am — No Comments

Careful with that foreclosure notice!

Yesterday, I was assigned a new property out in the country. I drove out there after completing a Cash for Keys with a property closer in to town. I approached the subject property and parked outside the driveway. There was a big truck parked by the side of the house - but it was a commercial vehicle, not a personal vehicle. I went down and knocked on the door - nobody home, but by all appearances, someone was still living there.

I went back to my car, grabbed my camara, and took a… Continue

Added by Seb Frey on July 4, 2008 at 12:00pm — 1 Comment

Floggin' them BPOs

Sorry I haven't posted in a little while, I have been busy. I got another REO or two, but I have been consumed with doing BPOs lately. I view BPOs as kind of a loss leader, but I think they are an excellent way to stay on top of the market and to keep your name in front of the eyeballs of some unknown person or persons who may well one day stoke you out by sending you that fattie REO...

I've also been busy workin' a few buyers. Oy vey, that's a hard way to make a living. Still,… Continue

Added by Seb Frey on June 28, 2008 at 10:48am — No Comments

Short Sale and REO Myths

Common Short Sale and REO Myths.

I am shocked and this misinformation out there that is being passed as reliable. To combat some of these silly and often gullible myths, let me outline some for you today.

1. You can ridiculously low ball banks because they have built in projected losses on their REO’s and Short Sales. In other words, they all have a “sweet spot” selling price and if you know what it is, your offer will be accepted.

a. The first problem I have with… Continue

Added by Jesus (Jesse) Gonzalez on June 27, 2008 at 8:58am — No Comments

Classic REO Improvements

I don't know how it is in your area, but in my area, a lot of the REOs have illegal improvements. I am currently dealing with one that has two red tags, and it is a total friggin' nightmare. But don't get me started.

I was down there a couple of times this week (and it's only Tuesday) with some contractors, trying to figure out what it will take to satisfy the county (they are deliciously vague about this). Anyway, I found a handy diagram showing what the former owners had… Continue

Added by Seb Frey on June 25, 2008 at 12:30am — No Comments

Whats an REOSpeedwagon?

OKAY - I just used that name to draw attention. REO Speedwagon are a 70s band that I grew up with.

I love trendspotting and thought we might enjoy a creative challenge. So here's the drill: Come up with trend names for items and activities surrounding REOs. Below are a few I've used recently...

REOnly... This is used to describe Buyers who are only interested in viewing REO/Bank Owned properties.

REOhMy... An adjective used to describe the… Continue

Added by Dee Dawson on June 24, 2008 at 2:55pm — 2 Comments

Looking to expand my REO Business

Hi All!

I am now in a postion to seriously expand my REO business. If you have any suggestions on websites, AM Companies or people I should, meet greet or become a member of, please let me know. By the way, I am in Tennessee so I would only be interested in companies that do business here in my state.


Added by Jesus (Jesse) Gonzalez on June 22, 2008 at 7:57pm — No Comments

How Do We Really Prepare Our Buyers?

Today was supposed to be the most exciting day for my buyers~the closing of their first home. Well, it did not quite work out that way. Boy, were they disappointed.

A little background....We submitted an offer on an REO property on March17. The offer was accepted by the lender. However, it took the bank almost 30 days to sign and execute the contract. Once escrow opened, we were told by the escrow company that we were not "priority" and we would get escrow instructions within 2… Continue

Added by Kim Lineberger on June 19, 2008 at 11:34pm — 3 Comments

Lazy, good-for-nuthin' REO agents

I got a request to do an interior BPO for a house in my service area. D'oh, another listing that wasn't assigned to me. No worries, I really can't complain, I'm busy enough. So I call up the agent and say hey, I want to get in there, what's the combo box code?

He says, "I don't know. You know, I don't really work in that area, it's a bit far for me, so I'm having a local agent I work with there put the lockbox on and he's working on getting it trashed out."

Ahem. I know… Continue

Added by Seb Frey on June 19, 2008 at 9:26pm — 4 Comments

Tales from a CFK Completion

The days on the calendar swirled by, and before you know it, two months and a week had passed, and it was time to do the actual Cash for Keys - get the keys from the former owners, and give him the keys, and everyone goes on their merry way.

I don't know how it is with everyone else, but here's how my CFK goes. A day or two before, I call up the former owner and arrange a time to do the exchange. I go over the requirements again (that the place be clean, the appliances in place,… Continue

Added by Seb Frey on June 19, 2008 at 9:18pm — 1 Comment

Just back from Vegas

Hi, I just got in from the week spent in Las Vegas. I was there for the CRS Training, which was so-so, and also the "secret" Vegas conference put on by AVM (Asset Valuation and Marketing), CalREO, and Atlantic Pacific REO. I have done some BPOs for AVM (probably a couple of dozen?), and long ago I signed up with CalREO but never heard a peep back out of them.

At the conference, we got to meet the boss of CalREO. I asked him if they did any work in Santa Cruz county, where I am based.… Continue

Added by Seb Frey on June 15, 2008 at 11:52pm — 3 Comments

A Test: Will Staging Help Sell A Vacant REO Property?

I recently listed an REO: a spacious 3 Bedroom/2 Bath condo. This condo was "aesthestically-challenged", with drab colors on the walls, ceilings that were painted shoddily, crown molding installed upside down, some faux-pax rooms, and even some crown molding used as chair rail in the dining room. The Asset Manager agreed to have it freshly painted and professionally cleaned - and then to lure buyers with photos, I decided to stage the property (absorbed into my costs).…


Added by Dee Dawson on June 14, 2008 at 9:48am — 8 Comments

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