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Seb Frey's Blog (21)

A little update from Northern California

It's been some time since I've written a blog entry - so many REOs, so little time. OK, there have not been that many REOs, we are probably averaging only about one new listing a week these days. We are still anticipating this big flood of REOs in California that everyone still says is coming, although it keeps getting pushed back until later in the year. I just attended a meeting sponsored by RELS (a joint venture between Wells Fargo and FIrst American) where they did indeed confirm they are… Continue

Added by Seb Frey on August 20, 2009 at 12:00pm — No Comments

Real Estate & REO Outlook for 2009

It's been a while since my last blog post - too long! It's not because I'm lazy, it's because of my crushing workload. My team has been expanding to keep up with it all, but even so, I find myself at least as busy as ever, and possibly even more so.

I wanted to share with you all my view of where we are headed for the rest of the year. There's a lot of talk about bail-outs and hitting the bottom and market rebounds, and there's also a lot of talk about falling off the economic cliff,… Continue

Added by Seb Frey on March 14, 2009 at 11:47am — 3 Comments

Talk about stiff competition

I often wonder, how good am I doing, really? You always hear about how the asset management companies grade and score you. A few of them, you can actually see your score - but the rest? Pfft. Who knows. So long as the listings keep coming, I guess we're doing OK.

This morning, I got a broadcast BPO request from a company that also does REOs, but I have never listed an REO with them. The guy who sent the request out mistakenly did not use a "bcc" - blind carbon copy; that is, every… Continue

Added by Seb Frey on September 10, 2008 at 11:30am — 5 Comments

BPO tells Sad Tales of Woe

Back in November of last year, I did an exterior BPO on a rural property. When I do a BPO, I pretty much always do this: find "neighborhood" actives, "neighborhood" solds, and then comparable actives and solds that are ideally within a mile of the subject, but for these rural properties, the distance is often much greater than a mile.

I put the "neighborhood" in quotes because out in the sticks like that, it's kind of hard to say where exactly the neighborhood is. In these cases, I… Continue

Added by Seb Frey on September 7, 2008 at 10:25am — No Comments

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

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

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

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

REO Party Place

So last night (Friday, mind you), I'm working on my ad for the DSNews REO RedBook (hey, I noticed a couple of big producer REO agents have hads in the current RedBook, I figured what the heck, give it a shot), and I get a phone call. It's the cops. Yay.

It turns out that one of my REOs - the one that's got two red tags on it for illegal improvements, located right across the street from the neighborhood mini mart/beer outlet - the property was the scene of (apparently) a… Continue

Added by Seb Frey on June 7, 2008 at 8:43am — 5 Comments

Top 10 NOD Surnames in Santa Cruz, San Benito, and Monterey

A few weeks ago, we had some guy come to our regular office meeting to do a presentation about something. He trotted out a list of the top 10 surnames of new home buyers in California. One of my colleagues made a wry comment that that list of names probably looks a lot like the list of surnames of the folks who are presently losing their houses to foreclosure.

I am getting ready to go to that "invitation only" REO seminar in Las Vegas next week (I didn't get invited, but I asked if I… Continue

Added by Seb Frey on June 6, 2008 at 10:20am — 2 Comments

New Property Assignment in Salinas

I got a new property assignment today, way out in Salinas. Naturally, I had to rush right out and do an occupancy check. I've never had a property assignment that far out before, it's a good 45 minute drive from my office. Salinas is a town that has been very, very hard hit by foreclosures, and property values have been crushed. This particular house is a single-family attached residence, in a neighborhood that seems nice enough.

The house had been listed for much of the year… Continue

Added by Seb Frey on June 5, 2008 at 11:52pm — 1 Comment

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