Welcome to the REO Business
How do you start? By getting to know your local bankers. (Note: most REO properties are coming from national banks, and bankers handling the mass volume of REO properties are just too busy and losing too much money to be friendly. So be persistent. And take donuts.)
We presume that you’ve been able to make the contacts necessary, and have established the relationships to be considered as a listing agent for a bank’s REO portfolio. Or a portion of it anyway. Now what do you do?
First, you read. Carefully. Get out the magnifying glass, and read everything. Especially the fine print. And always – ALWAYS – remember: The Banks are NOT Your Friend.
Listing Agreements: The First Step
Real estate agents get authority to sell property by way of a contract called a Listing Agreement. CAR (the California Association of Realtors, a terrific trade association that lives, breathes and exists for the purpose of helping its members) has prepared forms for use by its members.
To get paid as a listing agent, a written agreement, signed by the seller, is required. That written agreement can take many forms. Sometimes it can be a memo, or an email. Sometimes it’s a bank’s special form, and not a CAR Listing Agreement at all. That’s where you want to be most careful.
Remember Rule 1: Banks Are NOT Your Friend. Many banks have prepared their own form of listing agreement. And those forms contain all kinds of things that most brokers/agents are not used to seeing in a listing agreement. Review the listing agreement carefully – better yet, get a knowledgeable California real estate attorney to help.