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Remember to use patience and BITE YOUR TONGUE

Well, I have learned a big lesson in getting frustrated with an asset manager, whom will remain nameless!

I had a condo that I had been hired to "Set for specific open house dates and times" for an auction about four months ago. I did the required three weekend sitting and answering all questions and getting the HOA information together, along with the utlities. Auction came, they sold it, I thought it was over and my 1% would soon be coming. About two days before closing I am told that the unit would not be closing and it would be going back on the market and I was awarded the listing.

During this process an HOA assessment as unearthed as being past due. Work was needed on all the buildings and the 8,000 was in addition to the regular monthly dues. It was to be paid back over 2 years. I went ahead and made those notations in the MLS and then finally "quite awhile later" - YAY, I got a contract, almost full price with the seller to pay the HOA assessment and make sure there was a clear marketable title. The offer was signed, became an executed contract, everything goes to the lawyers for final closing instructions and title searches. Yes in SC we have to use lawyers!

Two weeks later my asset manager calls me and tells me the bank has changed their mind, they are not willing to pay the assessment and for me to go back to the buyer and see if they still want the property without that being paid. )(@!#*)(!@*# To me, it is a legal and binding contract, but I do as I am instructed ( NEVER ARGUE WITH YOUR ASSET MANAGER) and I go to the buyer's agent and let them know about this small item and his buyer decides not to pursue the deal, seller gives them back the earnest money and all is happy (I am gritting my teeth, but hey, I do my job).

THEN about two weeks later, the asset manager again contacts me and says the seller has changed their mind and they are willing to pay the assessment, and wants me to go back to the buyer and see if he still wants it under the initial terms. By that time the buyer has found another property and says no. I let the AM know and three days later I get another offer 2,000 under asking price again asking for the assessment to be paid. I get the contract Saturday morning, BUT on FRIDAY NIGHT I had received an email from the AM telling me they were pulling the listing immediately as I wasn't performing well and I needed to cooperate with the new listing agent and give them everything I had on the property and keep the utilities on in my name until they were able to get the switch done the following week.

I tried to submit the offer on Saturday morning but the property was gone from the que and when I was able to get hold of the AM on Monday I was told that I would have to give that offer to the new listing agent. Well, I wasn't the buyer's agent on this one so I had to tell the other agent that I no longer had the listing and she would need to contact the new listing agent and present it to them. They got it that same day, and the unit was in pending within 2 days.

I had told my AM on the day I spoke to him that I thought had a legal right to my commission as I had brought them a qualified buyer on the previous contract, they had accepted the terms and signed the paperwork. The AM told me I was wrong and that since there was never a closing with deed transfer, I was entitled to nothing and I am now on this companies bad list. He told me I needed to get the new offer to the new listing agent and see if they would work with me on a split of the commission. DUH! Do you think they did? Nope! Plus now I understand they are now bragging that they were able to sell this unit within one day using their marketing system!!!

So, I guess out of my frustration I just want to forewarn all of you, PLEASE BEWARE what you say, how you say it, keep your cool, don't lose your temper and document everything no matter what company or person you are working with!! And keep getting yourself educated at least by gaining knowledge of what is going on in our industry. It is changing quickly and we all need to stay on top of it to do a Better Than Great Job!

Green River will hopefully put me back in their good graces, but all I can do is continue to ask for the work but so far nothing and it has been over a month.

Thanks for listening!

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Comment by Cesar Khandjian on October 1, 2009 at 4:39pm
I should have read this blog Monday morning....lol. oh well too late.
Comment by Brenda Singletary on August 4, 2009 at 12:10am
Great post Beth. I have wanted to say some of these words the past 3 years. I know for fact I have hit the black list recently for one company, I won't mention their name, but they stopped reimbursing about 6 months ago. I too am not too proud to roll up my sleaves and get dirty to make a better showing. Keep up the great work, believe it or not, even with that black list going round, some AMs won't pass you by just for being you and telling it like it is. Sorry you lost your commission. Remember one door closes another opens.
Take care and thanks for the post.
Comment by Beth Ross on August 3, 2009 at 8:02pm
Hi Terrence - Thanks so much for the input. That is what I love about this forum, is we can vent and realize that no one is whining, we are just venting. And we can agree and disagree without being punished for it. If we get punished for our thoughts or feelings on a subject, then shame on the company/person that does that.

This is the real world and yes I did and continue to read the listing agreements and addendums. That doesn't mean I agree with them nor does that mean that I don't believe they should change. Continuing to do things the way they were done, just becuase they were done that way, doesn't always mean that it's right for the times. Often, change is good and change is brought about with new and innovative ideas. That is what this wonderful forum is about and for.

Yes, the REO busienss follows the old Golden Rule, and they do make the rules, but as shown in the current market, that doesn't mean that is or was the right rule to make. And it doesn't mean that it can't be changed. If everyone does the same thing over and over and no one tries to make something better, than why are we here? We are supposed to be a new breed of REO agents helping the current market, the existing banks and asset managers get rid of the inventory that is on hand.

By doing this the proper way, we should be able to not flood the market with extremely low priced homes, just to unload them, this means making them marketable and appealing to the buyers.

I am not too proud to roll up my sleeves and get dirty and I have to share with you that by doing just that this weekend I got another listing from this same prominent area because the seller was impressed that I would "get in the trenches" myself and he drove by while I was there cleaning this property. Did I keep someone from getting a trashout? No, as I have a friend in that business that is getting paid for this because they came and helped me.

Rich Dad, Poor Dad - yes wonderful book, great concepts, but sometimes, you have to do things that show others the importance of being a Can Do Realtor. That includes doing the dirty work yourself sometimes.

Do I like doing the trashouts and the cleaning? No I have someone that cleans my home, but that doesn't mean I'm above doing it on a weekend when I am given a listing at the last minute on a Friday night and we all know the clock starts ticking right then on how long we have to market it. I wanted it ready for showing on Monday and along with the listing I got, another agent was able to write an offer on the property Sunday night because their client was able to see a clean home on Sunday afternoon. That wouldn't have happened had I waited for someone to trash it out.

I can only hope that banks and asset managers do not have a "Black List" and that they realize that agents that are giving their all are working to help them look better. Because believe me, with a good sell and quick close, I help my asset manager shine in her clients eyes. That's what it is all about, helping them look good, getting the property marketed quickly and sold for an adequate price and going on to the next assignment.

Do I believe my REO asset managers and banks are "Big Dumb Machines" as you tell your buyer clients? Heck no, they are overworked, bogged down and need people like all of us in the trenches helping them through this tough time.

Action group humorous? I do not think so, I think it is a great idea to help an overworked and stretched too thin industry try to find someway of solving problems before they happen. No one has all the answers but we all have ideas and suggestions. Keeping quiet and keeping a low profile is not doing a Better Than Great Job in my book.

I do what I am asked, usually more, I give my suggestions, for what they are worth, and I am there to help my clients (the banks and asset managers) shine. Am I perfect, no, none of us are, but if we can help someone close one of their files quickly and correctly, that's what I am here for.

OK, that's my three cents worth. Thanks for taking the time to read my musings, commenting, and allowing me to comment also. Good luck to all of us and thank you for reminding me of Rich Dad, Poor Dad, it reminded me that it is time to read another book.

Good luck to all of us. These are not really strange times, they are just new times with new challenges!!
Comment by Terrence Cook on August 3, 2009 at 6:47pm
A few suggestions, read completely the listing agreement and the REO Purchase Addendum. Just about every REO Listing Agreement I have seen states that no commisions will be paid unless a closing takes place. Actually, I cannot remember one that did not. As for the REO Purchase Addendum, just about every one states that the Seller can cancel the contract at anytime for any reason.

I was told early on that the REO business follows the Golden Rule - He who holds the gold makes the rules. The banks are the ones with the assets and the ones that pay the commisions. They make the rules. I do the best job that I can and keep a low profile. Properties get reassigned all of the time, price is reduced, and the new agent gets the sale and the commision. That is the REO world. Period.

As for the question from Glenda H about why the banks stopped dealing with Realtors directly, lets just say that there is a wide range of abilities among REO agents. The banks most likely got sick and tired of dealing with agents that were not performing, whined, and complained. They are good at lending money and not that good at managing REO's. It is more efficient for them to farm out the job to someone else. Anyone who thinks that liquidating REO's involves common sense and logic, has not sold enough REO's. I tell my REO buyer prospects that we will be dealing with a big dumb machine.

Beth, congratulations on your new assignment. May I make a suggestion? Take photos of the current condition of the interior of the home, email them to the asset manager on a photo addendum, and request a proper trash out and sales clean. We are licensed professionals with specialized education and experience. Leave the trash out to the trash out company. That is what they are paid for, and they have a right to earn a living as well. Have I paid to have certain things taken care of rather than bother with bank's company? Absolutely. Do I roll up my sleeves and do it myself? Absolutely not. I remember reading "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" and his comments on owning rental property. If you are going to fix the toilet yourself, you are no longer an investor. You are now the plumber. Same goes for REO's.

The idea of the creation of an "action group" is humorous. Being a member of that group sounds like a real good way of getting on the bank's black list. Good luck with that.

These are strange times we are living in. Just my three cents worth.
Comment by Beth Ross on July 31, 2009 at 7:33pm
Thanks Glenda -

I appreciate the input, I think Jesse is on the right track with creating an "Action Group" of some type.

I am late answering this post as I just received a listing on a 400,000 home and went to go get the pics as I have 24 hours to get it in MLS. I am the second agent, the first one, from a very prominent company, had the listing for the last 5 months and didn't get it sold. I felt bad for her, called her, gave my condolences and got the information I needed to gain access to the gate and the home.

Went to the home within 2 hrs of being assigned the listing and I was appalled, this beautiful all brick home was not trashed out, very little effort would have been needed for the trash to be removed, the kitchen trash and bathroom trash cans were still full and rotting and stinking and there were bags of trash in the garage. The cupboards and drawers were still full of the stuff people leave behind that they don't care about. The refrigerator was horrible smelling (at least there wasn't any food in it) the place had not had maid service done on it and the utilities were not on. Don't get me started on the grass and flowerbeds! If all agents that got foreclosure listings would try to sell them, sure the bank often times sets the price ridiculously high, but we are still given a job to do and I don't know about the rest of you but I don't feel right unless I try the right way to do that job! I'm not perfect and I do make my mistakes (thus the reason for this blog in the first place) but you can't say I don't try!!

I personally am going tomorrow while it is daylight and do what I can to get it ready to sell. That's my job is to market it and sell it and even if it takes me a couple of hours to take out the trash, clean out a couple of drawers and cupboards, vacuum, dust and wash the windows, it will make a huge huge difference and I sure hope it will sell quicker or at least generate an offer to start some type of negotiations.

I know people are willing to do a little work for a foreclosure, but marketing it in this condition is riduculous. I'll try to get paid for it, but even if I don't I know that I am doing my 125% by doing what I can to help the home sell. I'll even put in the charcoal bags to get rid of the cat pee odor throughout the home.

GEE, I wonder why it never sold! It wasn't overpriced, it showed HORRIBLE!!

Oh well, enough venting. On to better and brighter thoughts so I can write an award winning MLS verbage tonight and get it turned in to my asset manager. Thank you for your kind words!!
Comment by Glenda S. Howell on July 31, 2009 at 5:38pm
Do anyone know why Bank stop dealing directly with Realtors anyway? Correct me if I am wrong, but it appeared things went smoother when we deal directly with the bank REO department. . Communication was better, emergencies were addressed in a more timely manner, REO was sold at higher rate and much quicker.

How we have layers of third party escrow companies, asset companies etc., to go through. What happened? How did we get here? Beth I feel for you.

I've had SOME similar experiences, put myself and other at risk negotiating CFKs with angry tenants facilitating and paying for trash outs only to have reassigned to another agency. I also had an offer
in hand, but wasn't able to present, because it was reassigned almost immediately after I had complete
the CFK negotiation and preservation.

Beth, the sad part about it the bank don't have a clue their rate of return could have been greater had that first offer been accepted.

I don't know what's going on now.....we have Realtors, AM, Escrow companies and others in the professional not acting in the best interest of the client...it's a little scary and it hurts everyone involved.

I am lost for words, I thought I was the only experiencing this kind of behavior from Asset Companies. Just wanted you to know you are not the only one this has happened to.
Comment by Beth Ross on July 31, 2009 at 10:23am
Hi George - You are presenting a good thought. No I am not going to small claims court, I am a firm Believer that what goes around comes around and though I negotiate well and stand up for my clients rights, I find that I work best by monitoring the clients I do work with and if I don't like what they are doing, it is ok to "fire" them but what I really like is that Jesse has put this forum together so we can network, vent a little and network to come up with good ideas and a hopeful solution to an ever increasing problem. I am a very positive person and I don't look back (Too often) but I do learn from my mistakes and I continue to Have A Better Than Great Day, which is my tag line!! All I can say is I wish this new agent/BIC good luck and prosperous times, he will learn also as we all do, and hopefully my speaking to him has helped a little, however, sometimes people are just focused on the money instead of the overall picture of doing a good job 125% of the time. Thanks for sharing!!
Comment by George Kenner on July 31, 2009 at 10:01am
Beth: What you have run into is one of the Reasons that Asset Managers need to have their real estate license. Some of them have no clue of what they are doing. They are not the seller they are third party agency. As is proven by your comment that they were instructed by the bank. Of course you have thought of takeing them to small claims court for the commission.

Also you may want to discuss with the other agent and the board if they violated any rules going after or taking an already listed property. This was not new stock this was stock that was listed. By taking the listing so quickly .. well you can see the arguement. Dont forget to keep marketing, that is how the other agent got his hands on the property you had listed. Look forward from this and stay profit motivated.
Comment by Beth Ross on July 31, 2009 at 9:43am
Jesse - I like that idea and I think that it is time that we help ourselves AND our asset management companies. As in any business you are going to get Rogue agents, rogue asset managers on up the line, HOWEVER just as government and police forces have rogue officers and other people, there are systems in place to help get the bad weeded out. I know that the overall aspects of Green River are good and I realize that the bottom line is numbers, but to be honest, this is the second time with this same company this has happened and if being an agent that gives 125% ALL THE TIME, I think it is a great idea that we tackle the idea of an action group, let's hear some input from the other members of this forum!
Comment by Jesus (Jesse) Gonzalez on July 31, 2009 at 7:45am
DAMN.

The reality is, this happens all the time and, it's unfortunate however, it's one reason why I created this community.

Maybe we should form some type of "action group" that can take on these complaints and maybe help work out some type of solution?

Maybe we should start with an exploratory team and figuring out even if a "action group" is possible? Maybe something like a BBB for just REO Agents and Asset Management Companies?

Thoughts?

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