REOPro - Real Estate Default Professionals

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As a licensed real estate broker and professional Realtor® with an operating brokerage here in Nashville TN, I have experienced my fair share of marginal agents in my time. Truth is, it seems to have gotten exceptionally bad here recently with the Nashville housing market exploding as Freddie Mac ranked us #1 in the nation last month. It seems with this real estate boom, everyone and their granny is coming out of the wood work to help you buy and sell a home for the promise of fast, easy money. Unfortunately, the majority of the agents here in Nashville are either ignorant, immoral or just plain stupid. These marginal agents account for such a great number of practicing agents that they have a very negative impact on the consumer perspective of our industry and essentially myself.

The really sad part of this never ending nightmare is that I am not the only one who sees this problem and yet, nothing is getting done about it.  Even NAR the National Association of Realtors, which is this country’s largest real estate trade group put out a report a couple years ago where they admitted to the fact that…..

“The real estate industry is saddled with a large number of part-time, untrained, unethical and or incompetent agents. This knowledge gap threatens the credibility of the industry”…NAR DANGER Report

 ….so, as you can see, you don’t have to take my word for it. This industry is broken and when your largest trade group, representing over 1 million individuals and over 14,000 local associations comes out and says things like the quote above, bet your bottom dollar, “Houston, we have a problem.”

Just this week, I had a very interesting email conversation that you might find insightful, take a gander below for yourself…..

From: John Doe, Buyer’s Agent
>> Sent: Friday, August 26, 2016 12:09 AM
>> To: JGonzalez@LHRLLC.com
>> Subject: 574 Joyce Ln
>> 
>> I have been trying to contact you regarding the listing at 574 Joyce 
>> ln. I have a client that would like to make an offer on this. I need 
>> lead base paint discl and property cond. discl. as soon as you can get 
>> it to me. I have a cash buyer and we are ready to roll.

From: Jesse Gonzalez, Seller’s Agent,

On Aug 26, 2016, at 8:01 AM,
>> Thanks for reaching out however, this is the first correspondence I 
>> have from you. Not sure why but, the first none the less.
>> 
>> As for disclosures, they can always be found in the multimedia section 
>> of the MLS. If they aren't I apologize however, I did check the MLS 
>> this morning after receiving your email and they appear to be there.
>> 
>> Some friendly advice: When in a market like Nashville, where Freddie 
>> Mac has ranked us #1 in the country and properties can be sold in 
>> hours of them hitting the market, it's not in your clients best 
>> interest for you to wait on communication, forms, or anything else for 
>> that matter before you send their offer in. Just so you know, there 
>> are no statutory or common laws, rule or procedures that would ever 
>> prevent you from submitting a client's offer immediately. Not to 
>> mention, even if there had been, you can always make your clients 
>> offer contingent on those forms, rules or procedures being completed. 
>> The lesson here is, never....absolutely never delay in sending in your 
>> clients offer...for any reason. To do so could be argued that you 
>> didn't represent your clients best interest and at the very least could be
> argued as negligent.
>> 
>> With all that being said, attached are the disclosures as requested. 

From: John Doe, Buyer’s Agent
> Sent: Friday, August 26, 2016 9:53 AM
> To: Jesse D. Gonzalez Jr a href="mailto:JGonzalez@lhrllc.com">JGonzalez@LHRLLC.com>
> Subject: Re: 574 Joyce Ln

> Thank you for your intended guidance but as an experienced and highly
> trained ***** agent I am choosing to represent my buyer in a professional
> manner and we wanted to gather all the facts before making an offer. Thank
> you for emailing me the disclosures and will be sending an offer your way
> shortly. Thank you and look forward to working with you.

From: Jesse Gonzalez, Seller’s Agent,

> On Aug 26, 2016, at 10:30 AM, Jesse D. Gonzalez Jr a href="mailto:JGonzalez@lhrllc.com">JGonzalez@LHRLLC.com> wrote:

> Ok....well, that's good to know however, I wonder what your client would say
> if in the name of "professionalism" and being a "*****" agent you lost the
> opportunity to get their bid in on the home. Not to mention, by doing
> so....it could be reasonably argued you were acting negligently. 

> None the less....good luck. 

Here’s the lesson that Mr. Professional Buyer’s Agent Extraordinaire “John Doe” seemed not to grasp. As a licensed agent, we have a fiduciary duty to our clients. Specifically, that means, we exercise the highest standard of care when representing their interest. It was in this buyer’s interest to get his offer to the seller as quickly as possible however, the buyer’s own agent threw up a road block in the name of his brokerage and professionalism. This road block demonstrates a serious lack of competency as to his fiduciary / legal requirements to present his clients best interest by submitting his buyer’s offer immediately. It’s important to note, his duty to get that offer to the seller immediately, supersedes any and all self-imposed or brokerage imposed internal processes, procedures or for that matter, expectations. I argue that the agent is actually negligent in his duty and opened his client to unnecessary risk this his clients offer would not have been seen and for that matter considered due to the fact that in the meantime, the seller could have been presented a competing offer and essentially make a decision and therefore, his offer would have been…at the very least, held as backup, if not flat out rejected.

Here's the sad part to all this, I am positive the buyer has no clue what his agent wasn’t doing for him and thinks he’s working with the best agent in town…..what a joke.  

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Comment by John Hoffman on March 31, 2017 at 6:39am

Hi Jesse! I always enjoy your postings, makes me realize I am not losing my mind! I totally agree with you on the incompetence of the current agents across the country. When I first got into the business in 1994 I was told 20% of the agents do 80% of the business. That ratio is probably now around 94-6. The buyer agents bringing me offers on my listings are never filled out right, don't make sense and are sloppy at best. Trying to get ahold of that agent when they are working their "other" full time job at Walmart gets frustrating too. Also, too many agents whose spouse has the real job in the household so they treat the real estate "career" they are in like a skydiving hobby, to be done once or twice a year. I always wondered why the realtor boards/NAR whatever could not get together and get a group policy health insurance program going to help lower my obnoxious premiums...I realize now it is because 90% + of the agents out there already have insurance, through their spouse or at their other real job.

Comment by Jesus (Jesse) Gonzalez on November 17, 2016 at 11:46am

Just a follow up....the agent John Doe didn't get his client's offer in till we were Binding with another buyer. His buyer ended up in 3rd back up position and never had a chance. I wonder if the buyer knows this, understands why this happened or if John Doe took the opportunity to blame me and throw me under the bus to cover his own negligence?

Comment by CECILIA D FOX on November 3, 2016 at 12:17pm

My instructions say to use a specific Subject line in the email that starts with the word OFFER.  This is so I can separate offers from all my other email.  It also instructs to send fully documented offers and send all documentation in a single email.

Offer from an experienced agent on an REO property. Subject line just has a street name in it. Barely legible. No proof of funds. Then I get proof of funds which is a bank letter with no date on it.  I also notice the barely legible offer has a buyer with the same last name as the agent.  Oh that's my husband....

I tell her that she needs to write that disclosure on the offer.  Duh.  Ethics. She then sends me a dated pof and an agency disclosure with a hardly legible hand written note that says "buyer is related to ????illegible????? real estate agent- spouse".  The offer is missing.

I ask for everything in a single email.  The response is 'you already have it'. 

I do a lot on the road on a tablet so I don't always have easy access to old docs.  Why make it so hard on me? What if I re-assemble their offer with old docs?

Comment by Marce Barrera on October 28, 2016 at 10:37am

The National Association of Realtors won't cull the herd because it's not in their financial interest to do so.  At the present time, NAR has 1,232,568 members.  Multiply that amount by the amount of annual dues a member pays each year, and you can see how much money we pay to NAR.  

I looked at our local MLS statistics earlier this year and was shocked to see that almost 60% of our MLS members don't even reach $1 million in annual sales.  The reality is that there are simply too many Realtors for the amount available work. Raising the barrier to entry such as requiring more education, apprenticeship would certainly help in raising the bar in Realtor quality and reduce the high number of marginal agents.

 

Comment by Sam Shueh on September 9, 2016 at 8:11am

It is the state licensing bureau that loosely regulated the education required. I think barbers probably require more time study licensing than realtors.  If one changes the requirements to a 4 year, 2 yr college degree, 600 hour studying the quality of realtors are better. At least these agents are more opt to operate professionally. They should stipulate on those with poor credit not eligible for licensing.

In CA a barber needs 300 hrs, a meat cutter needs 400 hrs. A realtor needs 90 hours only.  As for broker it does not need more than other professions,

Comment by Kristine LaDue-Klink on August 30, 2016 at 11:22am

Gotta love those emails.  If people would only read the world would be a better place. I find so many people read what they want and skip the rest.  It's such a shame reo agents have to list a step by step accounting of procedure on submission of offers, documents etc.  Maybe we should just do it for all listings, cya so to speak. No electronic signatures is the best.

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