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Asked by Julie Anderson, Los Angeles, CA Fri Jan 25, 2008

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Answers

10
Dave Rivera &…, Agent, San Francisco, CA
Fri Jan 25, 2008
This listing agent is behaving unethically. There is no legitimate reason for him to insist that he must represent you if you want to get the property. Ask your agent to speak with him directly, and find out what your agent thinks of this situation. If your agent agrees that this is bogus, ask your agent to report him to the DRE, and you should do the same. Yes, we've seen agents like this, and, no, it's not ok!
1 vote
Dot Chance, Agent, Burbank, CA
Sat Jan 26, 2008
Maeve, sometimes dealing with REOs does take a bit longer. I'm not as concerned about the length of time the bank is taking to answer as I am about the agent you are using.

Did you make an appointment for the agent to show the property and then tell him/her you want to involve another agent? If so, it is only right that he be the one to write the offer...HOWEVER...it seems the bank would ask a third party agent to do the BPO...the listing agent was in on setting the listing price to begin with, so why do they want him to re-evaluate the price?

You are correct that other offers could be coming in while you are waiting. To ease your mind, dual agency is done often in California, but ONLY if the buyer and seller are okay with it!
Web Reference:  http://www.DotChance.com
0 votes
Sylvia Barry,…, Agent, Marin, CA
Fri Jan 25, 2008
First, no, the listing agent should not 'insist' that the buyer works with him 'alone; and not bring the buyer's owner broker into the transaction; the listing agent also should NOT 'insist' on being a Dual Agent, and the listing agent should not be unspecific when asked if his valuation should be different from the listed price, especially since he INSISTED on working with the buyer who asked him the quetion.

Second, you should be extremely careful when dealing with short sale, foreclosure and REO properties. The are mostly none warrantyedl. A recent trend I have been seeing is a rush of so called 'expert' in distressed properties - some of those boarderlined on taking advantages of the over zealous buyers and anxious sellers. Be watchful when you deal with those houses.

I will ve very interested in finding out if there will be a lot of lawsuits later where a buyer or seller feels that they are cheated out thousands of dollars or even the whole property because they are either too greedy or too too anxious and lost out on getting good advise.

Best luck,
Sylvia
0 votes
Ute Ferdig, Agent, Newcastle, CA
Fri Jan 25, 2008
Hello Maeve. Many lenders will not make decisions on offers until the property has been in the MLS for at least 48 hours. It's not uncommon for a listing broker to submit a broker price opinion, but usually lenders will also ask for a BPO from other agents to arrive at a list price. What I am not clear on is how you came up with an offering price if the property is not yet listed in the MLS. Somehow I feel that I am missing a piece of the puzzle. I am personally not a big fan of dual agency. I would want to know if this agent has a lot of listings with the same lender. If he does, it may be advantageous to work with the listing agent as he is very familiar with the lender's business practice. It's also possible that the listing agent has an agreement with the lender that the total commission that the lender pays will be less if the listing agent also brings the buyer, which would be beneficial to the lender and could also help you get your offer accepted. Without more information, it's really impossible to judge the situation. Dealing with banks requires patience and many times we don't understand why the bank does not act more quickly.
Web Reference:  http://www.theMLShub.com
0 votes
Tisza Major-…, Agent, Upland, CA
Fri Jan 25, 2008
Hi Maeve,

There is a legitimate reason why an agent representing an REO listing would suggest that you allow him to double end the deal. It can sometimes speed up the process slightly because the listing agent should be able to help you write an offer that the bank can accept without a flurry of counter offers flying back and forth.

However, based upon what you have shared here it sounds like the actual reason the agent is behaving this way has more to do with protecting his interests than it might with protecting yours. As a Realtor you are not allowed to act in a manner that puts the agent's interests above that of their client. I also don't remember being allowed to insist that ANYONE work with me, under any circumstances. That just seems fishy to me.

As for the length of time elapsed thus far, while REO's have slightly fewer hoops to jump through than Short Sale's do, they are by no means speedy transactions from initial offer to acceptance. After the offer is accepted, in writing however, things can and do tend to move with the speed of light.

Good luck with your transaction. I will hold good thoughts for you.
Take care,

Tisza Major-Posner, Realtor, Keller Williams (909) 837-8922
Web Reference:  http://Route66Living.com
0 votes
T.E. & Naima…, Agent, Dallas, TX
Fri Jan 25, 2008
So Todd, is this an ethical behavior in California? I don't know your market and your rules out there but I know enough that if a customer tells me that they are working with a broker, I would ask if they have a representation agreement and if yes, I redirect them to their agent.

I wonder if you would feel the same way if they were your buyers. They have no representation and nobody to look after their best interest. May be they made an offer that is way higher than what the house is worth.

He put himself in a tight spot by writing the offer for them instead of acting ethically and have them work with their broker, instead he is greedy by ignoring to treat all parties fairly.

Is he going to manipulate the numbers when he does the BPO for the bank too?

These are the type of agents that give us a bad name and I look forward to seeing NAR clean house one of these days but it's not going to happen unless these actions are reported.
0 votes
Kelley and T…, Agent, Santa Monica, CA
Fri Jan 25, 2008
Everyone seems quick to advise the buyers to call the DRE & an attorney. I say give the guy a few days. While he may have used strong words when trying to get you to work with him, they aren't dumb, they knew they could have worked with their own agent. He explained why it was best to work with him and they went with it.

The problem is he is already in a tight spot with his clients wondering if he is really acting in their best interests. That is the dilema with representing both sides.

Why not call the agent & have a conversation with him about your concerns. If he is any good, I'm sure he will be able to reassure you about the process.
Web Reference:  http://www.kelleyandtodd.com
0 votes
Ray Calnan, , Los Angeles, CA
Fri Jan 25, 2008
Todd is correct in that it does take time and can include more and differnet challenges as compared to a normal transaction. However, I also agree with Dave and Sheila that you should be careful. It does appear as though the agent is acting suspicious. He may not be acting unethical, but certainly suspicious. You may want to consult your attorney or another RE broker to ensure that your interests are properly considered. Be careful and good luck.
0 votes
Julie Anders…, Home Buyer, Los Angeles, CA
Fri Jan 25, 2008
Dave and Sheila:

I forgot to mention -- the home is not officially listed yet. It is not yet on the MLS.


Todd:

Thank you. This is the answer for which I was hoping. And it IS logical, but a bummer as we ht the weekend (especially knowing the place is probably still being shown and he can say there is an offer already...)
0 votes
Kelley and T…, Agent, Santa Monica, CA
Fri Jan 25, 2008
You have to understand that banks are bureaucracies and bureaucracies move sloooow. In a normal sale, the agent meets with the seller who either accepts the offer or writes a counter offer. With a bank, the agent calls the bank and waits for a call back. The bank bureaucrats have other duties to attend to and they have no personal stake in selling the property so it is not their top priority. When the bank person finally does call back, they tell the agent that they will review the offer. This means meeting with other bankers and coming to a consensus about what to do. This consensus can be delayed because of meetings, vacation days, sick days and people being busy with their other work. It is only when this consensus occurs that you will get your counter offer.

So give the agent the benefit of the doubt. He is likely just waiting to hear back. The positive thing for you is that since you are working with the listing agent, he is motivated to get your offer accepted because he will get to keep all of the commission.

This is the small price you pay when dealing with REO's. I imagine you are getting a great deal so it should be worth the aggravation. GOOD LUCK!
Web Reference:  http://www.kelleyandtodd.com
0 votes
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