Connect with us

Residential

Real estate video – the disappearing real estate agent

Published

on

One of the biggest complaints we hear about agents is that they disappear into the ether and fail to communicate with clients and especially fail to communicate with other agents. We know none of you reading are the disappearing agent featured in this humorous video above (why would you be reading up on how to improve your business if you were Mr. Disappearo?).

Have you ever seen an agent act this way toward you or maybe even in your office? Tell us your story in the comments.

The American Genius is news, insights, tools, and inspiration for business owners and professionals. AG condenses information on technology, business, social media, startups, economics and more, so you don’t have to.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. Andrew McKay

    March 29, 2011 at 7:28 am

    Oh yes. It never ceases to amaze me how many agents talk in a derogatory fashion about their clients (I hear especially hear this when we are on the MLS tour with other brokerages.) It’s as if the buyers and sellers are an inconvenience. These people pay us and should be treated like gold dust.
    Communicating is so easy. If the phone call is too painful just email a la the recent post by Lani about those young whipper snappers who don’t use a phone 🙂

  2. Sherri Loomer

    March 29, 2011 at 8:08 am

    If you won’t call your past clients then they were just a paycheck to you. Other than sellers with equity, the biggest payment at the closing table is invariably to the agents. The HUD reveals this fact to all parties at the closing. Sellers may already have expectations based on estimates provided earlier, but now your Buyer clients know exactly how much you stand to gain (before your broker split if you’re not in a 100% model).

  3. Fred Romano

    March 29, 2011 at 8:20 am

    It is a lot of money, but was it worth it? I can only wonder if the seller is thinking “wow $25,000 for commission?.. for what?..” or “my agent earned $2,000 and hour?..”

  4. Garreth Wilcock

    March 29, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    There are so many tools out there to help communicate with sellers – even if the phone is a dreaded instrument of torture for you. You either have to give results or stats. After all, they’re paying for marketing skills and advice and opinion. The cost of real estate agents in the US is crazy compared to other countries.

  5. Andrew Mooers

    April 2, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    Real estate is an emotional experience. A lot is riding on this sale that needs to happen for the buyer and seller. And if the real estate agent, broker, REALTOR is built to wear the “R”, well, they don’t go months without seeing buyers and sellers. House tours for real they see, but hundreds, thousands of them from a well designed real full motion video shows them you are working hard on the sale. Going easy on their carpets.

    The blog posts about their property with better, wide, more plentiful images, boatloads of copy, maps, aerials and helpful time and money saving links. All designed to show you “think customer”. Sellers don’t get upset when they know you are doing one bang up job. Priced right, marketed correctly property translates in to you making multiple, lots of trips to the long simulated wood real estate closing table with all those chairs around it. The place they slide the check for both sides your way. Don’t kinda, sorta list and sell. Have “fire in your belly” and swing with both hands, kick with both feet. And have fun grabbing way way more market share than others in your zip codes wished you did.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Residential

Short sales: the top 3 title insurance troubles

Short sales are not without challenges, but knowing the answers to the most common obstacles and questions can aide in a less stressful transaction.

Published

on

short-sales

short-sales

The importance of title insurance

When my husband and I purchased our first home, I was very young and very green. At the closing, our agent passed us our title insurance policy and said, “Put this in a safe place, and do not EVER throw it away.” At the time, I had absolutely no clue about title insurance, why it was important, and how it could save you from a world of trouble.

Decades later, working short sales, it’s the title reports and those dreaded liens that seem to be what gets us into all sorts of trouble. In fact, most of the reader questions that I received this past week related to title woes.

Three common short sale questions

Question: When I run the Statement of Information for my seller, it comes up with a child support lien and a mechanic’s lien. My seller says that he is aware of those liens, but has no money to make good on those debts. What should I do?

Answer: In short sales, the first lien holder will authorize funds from the proceeds to pay off a variety of expenses associated with the sale. These include commission, settlement fees, title insurance fees, and other mortgage liens. However, it is extremely uncommon for the short sale lender to offer to pay off a seller’s personal debts. Before you spend months and months processing the short sale, I’d strategize to ascertain whether you will be able to help the seller make good on these debts prior to closing. Otherwise, you should probably run like the wind.

Question: I am dealing with the IRS on a tax lien that needs to be released prior to short sale closing, and the IRS won’t budge. What should I do?

Answer: First off, it’s always a good idea to get non-institutional liens released early. At the time that you take a short sale listing, work with the title company to run a Statement of Information on the property owners. That way, if something comes up (like an IRS lien), you have plenty of time to work it out.

Generally, the IRS and the state tax authorities have mechanisms in place to remove these liens from title at no charge, since there is no equity coming from the sale. A tax attorney can guide you through the process. However, ask your title officer or title representative if they can work with you on this problem. The good news is that some title companies can help agents and you can avoid working with the IRS.

Question: I have a second lien on title with Chase Bank. Yet, when I contact Chase Bank, they tell me that the loan has been charged off and I need to contact the company where they transferred the loan. However, they do not have a record of where it was transferred. I’m between a rock and a hard place. What do I do?

Answer: This kind of chaos happens all the time with short sales, and it is very frustrating. Generally, if you contact the executive offices at the bank where the loan was held originally (in this case, Chase Bank), they can have their research department obtain information about where to call.

Another option might be to ask the lender for a “zero demand”. If they charged off the loan and show a balance of zero, then maybe they will send a zero demand and not further short sale negotiation would be necessary for this lien. Hey… without a second lien on title, maybe this won’t even be a short sale any longer!

Continue Reading

Coaching

How to avoid short sale buyer frustrations

Minimizing the frustrations that come with a short sale is often seen as a mythical possibility, but with these simple tips, any short sale transaction can go more smoothly.

Published

on

stress

stress

Short sale frustration all around

Representing a buyer in a short sale can often be very frustrating. Primarily, that’s because of the unknowns associated with the short sale transaction. For one, nobody knows how long it’s going to take to obtain short sale approval. Actually, you don’t even know if you will get short sale approval. Not only that, but you also have to wait a fairly long time to learn the approved terms of the purchase. It’s frustrating to wait and wait, and then learn that the direction of the short sale is not the direction that the buyer is interested in taking.

Good communication is the key to short sale success. It’s vital for short sale listing agents to make communication with the buyer’s agent a regular and systematic part of the week. No matter how insignificant the short sale task, it is important to communicate with the buyer and the buyer’s agent and let them know that there are baby steps towards short sale approval.

One significant step towards short sale approval often comes after the bank’s valuation (BPO) when the bank makes a counter offer. Depending upon the short sale lender, this counter offer can come via email (in an email message), via telephone, or through an online platform such as Equator.

And then there are the counter offers…

Buyer’s agents and buyers often request to see the counter in writing. However, depending upon the short sale lender, this is often just not possible. Bank negotiators have contacted the short sale agent via phone, reviewed the settlement statement, and alerted the short sale agent as to what they will approve and what minimum net they might take accept in order to move forward with the short sale.

Since these counter offers usually do not come in writing, it’s important for the buyer’s agent to set the buyer expectations accordingly. Make buyers aware that there is lots of ‘verbal’ back and forth during the process. Many times it is only the short sale approval letter, the document that allows them to close, which comes in writing.

If buyers are willing to wait and keep the faith and understand that this process is a little more challenging and unique then most, they may find that they are getting a great deal on a wonderful property—often in better condition than the abandoned REO down the street.

Continue Reading

Coaching

Short sale: are there situations when agents can’t earn a commission?

Short sale: are there actually situations where an agent would not get paid? There are some complicated situations when it comes to short sales, and we address one here today.

Published

on

short sale agent

short sale agent
A short sale listing agent recently reached out to me to ask whether an agent principal can earn commission in a short sale transaction. This agent, Agent Alice*, was told that there are certain situations where licensees cannot earn a commission when buying a short sale.

The question:

Agent Alice received an offer on her listing from Agent Alex. Agent Alex is both the buyer and the principal. Agent Alice wanted to know whether the bank would pay a commission to Agent Alex at closing, since he is both the buyer and a principal.

The answer:

All of the major lenders including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac employ some sort of arm’s length affidavit in which the buyers, the sellers, and the agents acknowledge (often in front of a Notary Public) that none has a business or familial relationship with another party outside of the transaction. Between this affidavit and investor guidelines for short sale commission, it is uncommon for the short sale lender to permit a commission to be earned by an agent principal.

Agent Alice then asked me whether Alex’s Broker, Broker Bob, could represent Agent Alex and earn a commission. While I do not work for the short sale lenders and cannot predict each short sale lender’s response, I’d say that it would be best to avoid this scenario, since the two have a business relationship outside of the transaction.

My two cents:

When I recently posed these scenarios to a group of agents, many shared creative ways to obtain a commission for Agent Alex. Remember that any creative solution whereby Agent Alex earns commission must also show his commission on the HUD-1 that is approved by the short sale lender prior to closing. As such, it is highly unlikely that there is a legitimate workaround for this problem.

The solution:

The easiest and safest way for Agent Alex to purchase Agent Alice’s listing is to seek representation outside of his brokerage. Not only will this assure that the buyer’s agent earns a commission, but it will also assure that all parties comply with the requirements of most lender short sale addenda.

 

*The names of the agents and the brokers in this post are pure fiction. Any relation to real listing or buyer’s agents is merely coincidental.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Our Great Partners

The
American Genius
news neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list for news sent straight to your email inbox.

Emerging Stories

Get The American Genius
neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to get business and tech updates, breaking stories, and more!