Home Buying in River Edge>Question Details

snoopy, Home Buyer in 07661

do I need a special agent for foreclosure or short sale?

Asked by snoopy, 07661 Mon Jun 15, 2009

Do I need a special agent to buy a foreclosure or short sale house? I noticed that most listing agents for REO properties are not responsive at all. I don't know why they never reply my emails and voice messages. If you don't want to sell, why list it? Is there any reason the agents don't want to sell?


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I think you would be wise to not only look for a good agent but to also look for an advocate for you who knows how to handle short sales. The short sale and REO process is changing all the time and although I have personally done some successfully, I am no longer going to do them because I feel the expertise level on this that is required to do an outstanding job is so intense is accelerating at such a rate that I no longer feel it is in my buyer client's best interest to rely exclusively on a real estate agent. As a result, I am only recommending a very few sources for my clients to interview and use. While I can certainly negotiate the sale on a NJMLS listed short sale, getting the short sale accomplished with the lien holders is a completely different task. We are definitely talking apples and oranges here.

With REO homes listed in the MLS, Marsha Bowen-Washington below is absolutely right. Basically you are talking to people who service the bank REO properties by putting them into the appropriate MLS systems and managing the properties until the close. I advise all my clients to put in their best and highest offer because most often there is no negotiaiton in my experience. Sometimes you will have to be qualified by the lienholder to be able to even make an offer. They set the rules - there's no debate here. You're really dealing with a bureaucracy and the agent is just the servicer.

So the bottom line is that you'll get no help from the REO company agent so find a good agent with whom you can work and on the short sales, you really need (in my opinion) to be sure that you have an advocate for you who is an expert at dealing with short sales in addition to your real estate agent. While I realize you are the buyer, I've seen so many listing agents and their attorneys here in Bergen County who simply are not astute enough to handle it and if your people know what to do, they can give the other side the necessary guidance to process the short sale once the contract is finalized.

Again - I am a very experienced and successful agent and I have done short sales successfully for my clients. I'm just saying that it is now at the point where you must have the right people to take over once you and your agent have negotiated the sales contract and make it happen with the lien holders appropriately.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 14, 2010
You don't need a special agent to buy a foreclosure, but an agent who has foreclosure experience will be able to better guide you. I suggest you find an agent in your area who will represent you. Your agent can get through the clutter and get your questions answered.

Best of luck to you!!
Web Reference: http://www.DesariJabbar.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 24, 2010
Hello Snoopy,

You've got a lot of comments already, but here is some sound advice.

There are REO buyers agents. These agents constantly write offers on foreclosed (REO) homes. In my opinion, they are better because they have a better idea of what will get rejected right away, and often can figure out the least you can offer without having a counter come back. These people are harder to find, but they often work under the REO listing agents. These people don't need to advertise because investors know they are good, and use them repeatedly. Other agents will disagree and they have every right to. If you believe me, just do a little looking by going to REO agent offices in your area. It's worth the time invested.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 24, 2010
Hi Snoopy, let me know what property your interested in and I'll get you all the answers.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 14, 2010
Short sales all have one common problem, getting the bank to respond and agree to your offer in a timely fashion. The other pitfall is a slightly better offer in the eleventh hour and you get knocked out of the deal.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 14, 2010
Dear Barbara,

You gave some very good advice here and I'm sure you mean well. However, I take exception to the comment you made about CDPE agents. I, along with other collegues of mine have taken this course in order to enhance our skills as agents that already have experience in the short sale and foreclosure sales.

In particular, you made the statement, "As for the CDPE course, ............. A lot of the program is teaching agents how to get into the distressed property business." This is simply not true and I'm not sure how you can make that statement, since you yourself said you haven't taken the course."????????????

Yes, there is a portion of the course that teaches you how to approach people with distressed property issues, but if and when you take the course, you will see that they impress upon us over and over how important it is to help people save their homes FIRST and FOREMOST. And as last resort to offer them short sale assistance in order to help them avoid Foreclosure which stays with them for life. The course also spends hours and hours going over the importance of proper package and what needs to be submitted to the lenders in order to insure that it gets top priorty once it reaches the lender.

All too often agents who have no training and/or experience in short sales will submit an offer that does not meet the requirements and that file gets thrown aside and they move on to the next. It is imperative that everything be included the first time in order to move forward quickly and efficiently to a timely closing.

P.S. I recently helped a past client not only avoid foreclosure, but he was able to renogotiate his loan and is now back on track and still in his home. There was no monetary value there for me, but I sleep better knowing that I helped just one more person save their home. By the way, I was able to do this as a direct result from what I learned in my CDPE course!

Good Day, Linda
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 13, 2009
I would also like to add that it is essential to hire an outstanding residential real estate attorney who is expert at short sales. It is not enough in Bergen County to have a real estate agent who is expert at negotiating with the bank - you must also have an attorney who is expert at short sales too. I do not know if its appropriate for me to send you an attorney's name here but one of the very best is located next to you in Oradell. You can email me for his name.

Short sales and REO's are the latest target of scam artists. Many companies claim to have some special/expert knowledge, skill or unique way to access bank officials to negotiate for you successfully on a short sale or REO for a "moderate" fee. Do not waste your money on any of these snake oil salesmen.

REO properties in Bergen County normally go right into the MLS listed by companies specializing in them. You're bidding blind because these companies are "order takers" who only tell you if a home is available and to fax your offer to their office. That's it. They send your offer to the bank and wait for an answer. I advise my buyers to send in their best and highest and we keep looking at homes until we hear something.

I find this situation as frustrating as do you. It's certainly not my definition of how to market a home. Again, these are just order takers who funnel offers in to a bank. I personally do not consider any of these folks to be professional real estate agents.

Short sales are completely different. They are much more involved and take months of work and negotiating to get to closing. As for the CDPE course, it is excellent but not all agents who know how to do short sales need this. A lot of the program is teaching agents how to get into the distressed property business. Frankly, I haven't had the time to take it. It is definitely worthwhile and agents who have taken this multi day course are committed to this aspect of real estate. If you have any further questions, just let me know and I'll answers to you quickly.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 13, 2009
Hey Snoopy, check http://www.rebac.net to find qualified buyers agents in your area.

Laura Giannotta
keller Williams Atlantic Shore
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 12, 2009
Thanks for your answers. I appreciate it. What I need is a good agent focused at Bergen county, NJ. Looks like you guys are not working in that area though. Thanks again.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 11, 2009
Hi Snoopy,

No special agent is needed for either. However, both types of transactions are highly specialized deals. Agents that deal with these on a daily basis know what you should be looking for as a buyer and can explain the process to you based on their own experience.

REO agents are busy at the moment, but not to the tune of not responding at all. We don't sell the bank's properties that way. Feel free to contact me and I'll be happy to talk to you in-depth about both REO and short sale process. I would rather save you the disappointments and point you in the right direction with just a few simple tips and tricks.


Jacobus "Jack" Vollenberg
RE Appraiser - Vollenberg Appraisers
Asset Manager - ERA Statewide Realty
Cell (973) 590-0142
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 19, 2009
Dear Snoopy,

The reason I asked what state you were in is because I would love to help you. I just closed an REO on Friday wherein my buyer originally called me while I was on floor at my office. The first thing they said is, "I'm trying to look at a home, but no one will show it to me." It was a long an arduous process, but I made it as simple for them as possible and held their hand through every step of the way. All of the previous answers are exactly right. Don't go it alone. You need not only a buyer's agent, but someone who is experienced in REO and short sales to get you through closing. There is another site that would be helpful to you. It is CDPE.com and stands for Certified Distressed Property Expert. I am part of this network in addition to having my ABR designation. Agents whom have taken the time to educate themselves and have the experience to get the job done are what you need right now. I hope we've helped.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 16, 2009
Hi Snoopy, agree with other posters - by all means get yourself a good agent - and one that has experience in short sales. Your experience in trying to reach the listing agent is not uncommon - and is frustrating for sure. The explanation that has been provided is on target - overwhelmed, but I would say this isn't a good excuse not to return calls, but it happens.

In any case, a good agent will be so important to the success of your seach and the successful outcome of your transaction - just no reason not to "employ" one. And remember, it is the owner/bank that pays the commission to both sides, so there is really no reason not to have the support and expertise that an experienced agent brings to the table.

Good luck and best,
Jeannie Feenick
Search and connect at http://www.feenick.com
Web Reference: http://www.feenick.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 16, 2009
Just need an agent that knows them. Blog posts below will help you come up with questions to ask and help you gauge the responses you're getting.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 16, 2009
It is best to find a buyers agent that has experience in REO and short sales. To find an Accredited Buyers Rep in your area go to http://www.rebac.net

Having represented buyers and sellers in the short sale process, and buyers of REO property, I know there are many problems that can crop up, so experience is key. The link above will give you realtors that have completed the National Association of REALTORS (NAR) buyers representation course, giving them an in depth knowledge of the process.

Laura Giannotta
Keller Williams Atlantic Shore
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 16, 2009
Hi Snoopy, most REO agents are overwhelmed with paperwork, managing and listing properties. It is very rare that they have time to show properties at all. These agents are in a unique position such that their properties are competively priced and in most cases the properties sell themselves. A professional Real Estate agent can assist you in purchasing REO and short sale properties.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 15, 2009
Dear Snoopy,

What state are you in?

0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 15, 2009
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