Please. I’m begging. If you are a buyer looking to purchase a foreclosure property, do your best to ensure that you’ve hired a Realtor well-versed in REO transactions. I can not stress this enough!
I just stopped in the middle of submitting an offer on an REO property in Paradise, CA to write this. It is so frustrating to me when I see offers come in from well-qualified, strong buyers who have unfortunately chosen the wrong Realtor for the job. The Realtor may very well be an excellent choice on a normal, retail purchase transaction. However, REO is a niche market, and not all Realtors take the time and effort to learn the nuances, and therefore effectively represent their client. I have seen Realtors make the same mistakes repeatedly, despite my efforts to provide them with the exact information they will need to ensure the success of their clients. It’s mind boggling!
I would suggest specifically asking your prospective Realtor about the number of REO transactions they have closed. Hopefully they will answer truthfully. Another good question would be regarding the percentage of accepted offers versus the number of offers they have written. While we are all new to REO at some point, the key is to find a Realtor that has the willingness and inherent ability to learn the necessary differences between an REO transaction and a retail transaction.
If, as a buyer, you are coming to the table with a strong desire to purchase the property, and you’ve got your cash in hand or a prequalification letter in place, you don’t want to shoot yourself in the foot by hiring the wrong Realtor!