My agent refuses to show me foreclosed properties. Does she get less commission or is she looking out for me?

Asked by Tamara, Monroeville, PA Mon Jan 5, 2009

I recently asked my agent to show me a foreclosed property and she hesitated and then outright refused. I asked her why and she brushed me off. Do agents get less commission for bank owned properties or do you think she was only looking out for my best interest? I see a lot of foreclosed homes that I am interested in atleast taking a look at. How do I go about looking at these properties if my own agent will not show me the process? I realize that there can be more paperwork and fees associated with it. Any help you can give me is greatly appreciated. Thanks

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Midi Shaw, Agent, Saint Simons Island, GA
Tue Oct 13, 2009
If your agent isn't showing your bank-owned properties, there might be several things going on. Initially, I'd have to agree with Debby - are you getting an FHA loan? REO properties can present issues for FHA approval. Also, are you a first-time homebuyer? Dealing with a normal seller can be difficult enough, but dealing with an asset manager for a bank that is inundated with foreclosed properties to unload can be a nightmare. I often recommend that my buyers consider long and hard before pursuing a bank owned property..

But what I find interesting is that you outright asked her why and she brushed you off. So perhaps the issue is not with the lending issues presented by the REO property nor with the additional fortitude required in dealing with bank... but rather your agent's own comfort level with dealing with foreclosures. She may not have the experience or training. She may have had a bad experience with asset managers in the past. Who knows! If she is your agent and you are her client she has obligations to be honest with you and not brush you off. She is also under obligations of obedience... so if you want to see a bank owned property, she has to comply and do as you say. You may need to address this with her and not let her 'brush you off'. You may need to remind her she works for YOU and your wishes come first unless she can validate her reasons otherwise.

Outside of being a complete whack job, I'm sure she has some reasonably explanation for not showing you the bank owned properties.

There is usually no difference in commission - but there is a difference in the amount of aggravation, stress & frustration when dealing with a bank entity who operates by their own strict rules and timelines.
1 vote
Waleed Gobran, Home Buyer, Queens, NY
Mon Dec 18, 2017
Sometimes, they sell it to big rich developers whom they may payback.
0 votes
Jennifergras…, Home Buyer, Carmichaels, PA
Thu Jul 13, 2017
I am having the same issue in NJ. There are several foreclosed properties I absolutely love. We are not first time buyers, are in no rush whatsoever and have no issues with financing, in fact I have enough cash to purchase a few of them outright but the agent we were working with refused to show them to me. I've gone so far as to contact the listing agents on all and not one has returned my call. Apparently no one wants to work for me. It's been absolutely unreal. I am from out of state, 400 miles away so it's even harder for me to get scheduled .... but I can't even get them to return my calls.
0 votes
As a former realtor in the NYC area and life long resident, the issue is being a realtor is expensive in the NYC area, so real estate agents want to work with financially qualified buyers who will submit offers quickly and can close quickly. Meaning they can collect their commission check fast. So when calling, sound like you're in a hurry to buy, you're paying cash and can close fast. This will get agent's to return your calls.
Flag Thu Jul 13, 2017
Terry Yimin, , Pittsburgh, PA
Tue Oct 13, 2009
Hi, Tamara. I saw this question and your other regarding real estate agents. I am an individual broker in Pennsylvania as I work across the State. I grew up in Pittsburgh and have an office here and know the entire area and not just one focused area. Obviously, I drive quite a bit. I developed real estate throughout the entire State of Florida and did it very well for the clients. I do it because I love the business; for residential, I love helping and working with people. I am a broker in many states and am able to satisfy my clients' needs and wants. If a client is looking for the best asset (which a home is considered), then one needs to be able to impart all knowledge of the area, what makes it a good asset and how it fits your needs. A good agent should be able to educate her client so that they learn in the process; then that client will not forget them for assisting in a good investment in the first place.

I have been in business since 1990 and find it amazing what a good bit of the real estate industry has become. Many forget that when we take a license, it is like taking an oath to best serve the public for which we are licensed to assist. I even run into some difficulties when trying to work with others for my clients --- anyway can post a sign on a property or have a lockbox key. I believe that it is an effort on all parts to reach a successful outcome for all parties involved.

Feel free to email me with any questions. I deal in all facets of real estate including being a HUD broker and finding investment properties. I am very familiar with Monroeville, and the surrounding areas. Thank you. If you were able to already find a good agent in assisting you, then I am pleased for you and commend the agent.
0 votes
Debby Thomps…, Agent, Wauwatosa, WI
Mon Jan 5, 2009
Sometimes a foreclosed property will not work with the type of loan a buyer is getting. Because foreclosed homes are sold as is. FHA loans can sometimes be a issues with a foreclosed home. If you have a home to sell this would also be an issue. As long as you do a home inspection and you know what is wrong with the home and are ok with it. Then this should not be an issue. If I were you I would tell your agent again that you want to see foreclosed homes. Make the agent tell you why if they won't show them to you. Commissions should never be a reason for not showing a home. An agent should show all homes no matter what the commission is or what company has it for sale.
0 votes
Keith Sorem, Agent, Glendale, CA
Mon Jan 5, 2009
It sounds to me that you two have a communication issue. Unmet expectations are the biggest reason that people have problems with other, not just Realtors and clients. Particularly with buyers, some agents don't ask the right questions up front and end up wasting the buyer's time IF they have unrealistic expectations.

OTOH, if the agent in fact has certain "criteria" or specialty, then the buyer needs to make sure up front that they are in fact a good match. Remember that Realtors are only paid when a transaction closes, so if for some reason the Realtor thinks that the buyer may never buy, then may not know how to have a heart to heart conversation regarding unmet expectations.

Good luck.
0 votes
Heather Mart…, Agent, Catasauqua, PA
Mon Jan 5, 2009
Well, my impression is that your agent is looking out for you. Our commission is not less on foreclosed homes but could be at risk on short sales. But, how or how much we get paid should not matter when we are helping protect your best interests.

I would have a heart to heart with your agent and they should explain why they are blowing you off about this. There are greater risks involved with this kind of purchase but as long as the risks and fees are outlined for you and you want to go this route, you are the boss!

You are the one paying for the home, right. If your agent is not helping you or explaining things to you, then maybe you should shop for another agent.

I hope this has helped you.
0 votes
Karen Wenzel,…, Agent, Brookfield, WI
Mon Jan 5, 2009
I'm not sure why your agent would refuse to show you foreclosed properties. I have not seen any indication (at least here in Wisconsin) that agents are paid a lower commission for a foreclosure.
Is there anything in your financing requirements that may affect you possibly purchasing a foreclosure? Almost all of them have no disclosures and are as-is. Some properties can need major repairs and would not qualify for FHA financing possibly. But you don't know that until you try.
One suggestion would be to talk to your Agent's office manager, explain your frustration and see what the real reason may be. Maybe your agent isn't familiar with foreclosures herself- and would benefit from some assistance by her manager or another agent.
It would probably be in your best interest to have agent representation when dealing with foreclosure properties, as some of them can be pretty involved and tricky....
I'm sure you can at least get a resolution to your question

All the Best to YOU!!
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0 votes
Kevin and Mo…, Agent, Ocean City, MD
Mon Jan 5, 2009
That is an excellent question. Yes, foreclosed properties may take more time, paperwork, and extreme patience on everyone's part.

Do you have special circumstances that require you to get into a home quickly? If so, possibly a bank owned property may not work for you.

If a home is listed in your area's Multiple Listing Service with an offer of cooperation and compensation to participating members, there "should be" no reason that you would not be shown those houses that you fiancially qualify to purchase.

Again, unless there are extenuating issues that you have not discussed in this forum.

Good luck.

Monica McNanmara
Ocean City, Maryland
0 votes
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