In Northern Virginia we have agents who specialize in REO properties. In some cases when I’ve called them to ask about a property I learn it is their only business. They have dozens of properties and in one case there is an agent with over 80 current active listings. Other agents have built relationships with asset managers and have both REO and regular listings. Having toured some of the REO properties for sale I can’t understand why most agents would want to jump into the REO business.
However, I also come across foreclosure properties which you wouldn’t be able to distinguish from any other listing if it wasn’t for the remarks in the MLS. They are clean, in good condition and show well. Some of them have never been lived in. Yet they are marketed by the agents the same way as the “sweat equity” properties. The information in the MLS is often rudimentary “WOW” doesn’t tell me much (is that good or bad WOW) and rarely any photos. . Trying to show these properties can be tricky and one time I waited for 3 days for an agent to call me back. Of course my buyer had moved on by then.
So it made me wonder. Do the asset managers that are placing these properties realize the differences between the properties? Would they have a better chance of moving inventory if they did a better job of marketing them? Perhaps they need to rethink how the assign properties to REO agents. Since most of these properties have been seen by multiple agents as part of the pre-foreclosure or BPO process they have to know they a marketable property. Pricing is still the number one priority but we all know that how you market a property and bring traffic to the door is also important.
As the asset managers continue to push these properties out to a select few agents as if they were part of a “mill” they may find they are short changing themselves in getting a home SOLD.