REO Agent Won't Respond.....Options ?

45 Replies

I found an REO my 85 year old Mom wants to buy in lieu of getting a place in FL. It is closer. I finally got in touch with the listing agent and he said he could get me a good deal if I went with him. I was not comfortable with the dual agent thing for conflict of interest, so went with a buyer's agent. We submitted the first offer, no response, he resubmitted it, and got a counter with only a few dollars off, we submitted a 2nd offer, and the counter was higher than the last. At this point, I got confused. My agent tried to get in touch with the listing agent to find out what was going on, and could not reach him. He basically said he could not help me with this and for me to go to the listing agent and call him out on his offer. Talk of ethics was brought up and bypassing the agent to the seller, but he did not want to do anything to stand in the way of getting this house for my Mom. I finally reached the listing agent again, and he basically said there was another offer, and if I were to offer such and such, I would probably get it. I over bid just to be safe, and he was supposed to submit it that day, and call the seller at my request to say we were putting in a bid. I did not hear from him for days and days. He did not submit it that day, but 3 days later, and after my persistence, and more days passing, he emailed that a higher bid got it, and after further persistence, he said it got multiple offers. No more response from him. Found out all of that was untrue, and it has no offers on it right now. My question is how do I buy this house for my Mom ? Can I bypass him and go straight to the seller ? Noone will tell me the sellers name. Do I call his agency ? Since ResNet is a portal for agents, then he has control of the bids, rejecting, and so forth, right ? If the seller gave him directions to just get the highest bidder or whatever terms, then it's up to him, right ? I don't know how to do this. I would of walked a long time ago, but my Mom loves where this is, and I want to do it for her. She needs a peaceful place to enjoy. Please, if anyone has any advice or suggestions, it will be greatly appreciated.

This whole deal sounds very odd. Both realtors are flaky?  You really should probably walk away but if you want some answers, contact the broker.   An agent does not have the option to NOT submit offers to a client.  

@Pamela LEE   Talk to his boss.  He is not behaving ethically or in the best interests of his client.  If that doesn't work, report him but first have your mom go by the house and see if she can catch the owners at home and talk to them saying she wants to make an offer.

I thought about contacting the agency he works for, but won't they be in fear of trouble too ? I would hope they would pull him off this deal and let me submit an offer, but not sure who to trust at this point. 

It's a foreclosure,  so nobody lives there.

Thank you so much for your replies.

Sorry, didn't mean to do that twice. 

I actually think the listing agent is trying to create a bidding war maybe. It has alot of views, but maybe he's not answering their calls either. Still don't understand. We are willing to buy it, then why wouldn't he want it sold ?

If I could just secure the house for my Mom, I could deal with him later. Does anyone know if I can go directly to the seller and make an offer ? Noone will tell me the name of the seller. It is not on tax records. I'm sure they would not be happy to know he is representing them this way. If I go to the court house, will the bank be listed on the deed ?

The #1 thing you can do - right now, just you - is to stop making this one property a "gotta have at all cost" home.  When you do, you lose all negotiating power.   

The second thing you can do is to stop making this about the REO agent. You need to understand how that world works and the role of the REO agent: The REO agent prepares the property for market on behalf of the institution, completes the valuation and marketing of it. What he doesn't do is award bids. He's not the owner. He is not the decision maker. The financial institution (the owner) decides which bids are the best in terms of price, terms, and best chance of closing the quickest. It's an analytical process - not emotional. The institution counters and awards bids and communicates through the REO agent. Bottom line: The REO realtor cannot tell you what to bid or accept your bid. Stop dealing with him. You're wasting your time and energy.

So-o-o, what's the real problem here?  It may be your bid - or the terms, or the way it is written - or the lack of proof of funds/pre-qual, or a whole host of factors. It may be that there's been so much interest that the institution is willing to hold out a bit longer for a cash offer or higher one. You should also know that REO properties are a favorite with cash buyers and both local and out-of-state investors so the competition can be great.

What to do?  Get another realtor. Find a realtor who is a high producing buyer's realtor in your market.  Someone who knows how to win. The realtor will write the offer - provide supporting documentation proving you can close; you need to stay out of the way and let the realtor advocate and win this for you.  You should have no communication with the REO Agent or the institution.  None.

And, I simply cannot believe that this is the only house - on market or not - that is the only right one for Mom.  That's a lot to put on something that is simply brick and mortar.  

Your mother is blessed to have a daughter who so wants her to have what she wants when she wants it.  You can't win if you don't know how the game is played - and if you make it an emotional play.  I hope you'll find the right realtor to represent you and Mom - and let that person get it done for you.  

@Pamela LEE   If you want it, call the office and let his boss know you've submitted an offer through your realtor. Get a realtor that wants the sale. If it is a foreclosure, perhaps the bank is also not that concerned about selling it.  Look for other places as I'm sure there are a few that meet your mom's criteria and budget.

@Pamela LEE The agent has already let you know he is trying to double end the deal, totally out of line. Your buyer's agent walked away because of this. Definitely, email and call the Broker of the agency, let them know the situation and that you will let the owner of the REO know.

I find it hard to believe the owner can not be determined....if not through property records, then a search of the foreclosure suit against the former owner.

WOW Patricia !!!! You brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for the information and direction and insight. You are right about emotions. Thing is, we have been looking for 9 years !!!! This place is private, and peaceful, and she loves it !!!! Yes, I want it for her. God has not told me to give up on it yet.

So, I did find out the seller's name. I was concerned that if I went past him, they would lead me back to the listing agent, then the deal would be shot.

I also located another buyer's agent who seemed like she wanted to help me. She took it upon herself to go see the property saying afterwards she wanted to see the houses personally that she was assisting the buyer with. OK, so I thanked her. Then she said, "it was a pretty place, but not to redo." Then said she had redone a few and would not take that on. Then said she would tear down and build or bring a mobile home on it. Seems an odd thing to say to me the buyer, and then said she would put in an offer if I really wanted to. Now I have to wonder if she wants it. I have had that happen to me countless times. Trusting a realtor with my finds only to have them buy it themselves, or sell it to a client they already have. Now you see why this is extra difficult. I wish I could find just one realtor that I could trust. 

The other buyer's agent requires a commission fee if I get them involved again.

Do I just stick with my current one, and put in my best offer, and hope for the best ? 

You guys are so great !!!! Thank you all so much for your help. So get another agent to put in an offer and call the agency to tell them, or stick with this last one?

@Pamela LEE   If the new realtor buys it herself after showing it to you, she's going to get in trouble.  If you don't make an offer on it and she does, that's another story.  Don't worry about 'what ifs'.  If you really want the place, get her to put in an offer and move forward.

Did it again. Sorry. 

If I tell the agency about these problems, won't that leave the current new buyer's agent free to bid herself, against me, if I dont submit an offer through her ?

Sorry about the what ifs !!!! Just seems like I'm surrounded by craziness !!!!

Believe me, I just want to get it done.

What's the offer price you made compared to LIST price?

Typically residential REO is a VOLUME game for brokers. They get paid very paltry minimums on each sale so they way the tend to make money is with direct buyers. Use to at the bottom of the cycle many years back REO was a huge business for residential brokers. It's been dried up for awhile. There tend to be more HUD homes for sale now than REO's for purchase. Lot of the REO brokers left the business or went into short sales. More banks liked doing the short sales as it was usually quieter with less news stories on them than foreclosures. 9 years is a long time to search and surprising you have not found a property that works because the markets have been at the bottom a long time and recovering towards the top so the odds are with pricing of more inventory on the market at the bottom of the cycle something would have worked.

Sometimes on REO's the banks think they have clear title but then a challenge appears from the previous owner or other situation so they halt the sale temporarily.

Does your mom like the building OR the land?

@Pamela LEE REO agents are notorious for poor service because they are often on a super low commission structures with the bank(s) in return for repeat business. I've stated this before and been attacked by angry REO agents but the truth remains extant. Poor service is normal in this area as there motivation is low

If they sre using the resnet online portal for bids, then the offers are put in. The portfolio manager is likely in Deleware, Charlotte or NYC. They have never seen the property and likely have little to no contact with the actual listing agent. Most reos do not allow the listing agent to collect both sides of the commission. 

There can seem like no rhyme or reason to the reo process, and that is because the sales price of this property will be influenced by thousands of other properties in that asset managers portfolio.  The price they are willing to sell it for today could be X, tomorrow as that portfolio changes it could be higher or lower. Just resubmit an offer if its rejected.

Just a few thousand off list, so are they waiting for list price  ?  Keep putting in offers until I get some feedback ? The last buyer's agent never did hear back from the listing agent, so we dont need to worry about that ? How will we get word, if he wont respond to us ?

Mom likes the land and the house. It reminds her of growing up 

"back in a holler."

(In reference to people back then having to holler to each other, because you were way back in the woods.)

Originally posted by @Steve B. :

@Pamela LEE REO agents are notorious for poor service because they are often on a super low commission structures with the bank(s) in return for repeat business. I've stated this before and been attacked by angry REO agents but the truth remains extant. Poor service is normal in this area as there motivation is low

 Then shouldn't they want to sell it to get it off the books if the offer is reasonable?

@Theresa Harris Yes, but what I am saying is their commission, and thus incentive, is so low, especially on cheap properties, that sometimes if they think you are a tire kicker or an otherwise a non-serious buyer who is unknown to them they will often not deal with you directly.  They also may have preferred buyers they will market a property to first for a round-trip commission before they will want to talk to you.