Demystifying REO Agents

Demystifying REO Agents

In the world of property and real estate, there are so many terms, so much jargon, and so many details that it can be easy to get confused… quickly. When it comes to managing REO assets and finding people to trust, it’s incredibly valuable to understand the importance of a great REO agent—and to understand what exactly it is that they do. 

By demystifying the roles and importance of REO agents, our clients and customers can get a better understanding of the process as a whole. Beyond that, understanding REO agents can add an entirely new level of confidence and structure to REO property.

So… What Exactly Are REO Agents?

REO agents work with real estate owned property, or the assets foreclosed upon and owned by the bank. These agents are the ones who will manage the sale of those properties, work with asset managers and lenders, and ensure that the property is ready to sell.

What Is It That REO Agents Do?

REO agents wear a lot of different hats when it comes to selling property, doing everything from securing the listings themselves to readying properties for sale. REO agents aren’t your typical realtor—though many of them also sell typical listings, as well—but are more so the liason. 

Basically? REO agents have a lot of responsibilities:

  • Securing the Listing: Most REO agents also work hand in hand with asset managers. This way, REO agents will usually pay a fee to the asset manager—but also find access to sell a property that they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to. REO agents can also work directly with banks and lenders themselves to get listings of REO property.
  • Coordinating Evictions: Oftentimes, REO agents are the ones who have to deal with negotiating evictions or coordinating cash for keys, which is where the bank will pay for the former tenants to move out. The REO agents are then the ones who will deal with the aftermath of the move out.
  • Prepping the Home to Be Shown: In many REO properties, the agent could be dealing with a home that’s completely trashed or with things like flood damage that they’re responsible for fixing. Most REO agents have trusted contractor relationships for this very thing, but it’s an example of a task that your typical realtor wouldn’t have to mess with.
  • Completing BPO’s on the Property: REO agents are in charge of completing the property’s BPO—or Broker’s Price Opinion—by essentially appraising the home, filling out the paperwork, and comparing it to other like properties.
  • Paying Attention to the Details: Foreclosed property is usually hot property, which means that REO agents tend to deal with multiple offers on tight deadlines. REO agents have to be considerably detail-oriented from the get-go all the way to the closing. 

What Is It That REO Agents Don’t Do?

REO agents report to the seller, not to the buyer—meaning that their priorities and responsibilities can be quite different than a buyer’s agent. One of the biggest misconceptions about REO agents is that they work for the buyer, but that’s not the way it goes. Essentially, REO agents are in charge of securing an REO property, fixing up said REO property, listing the REO property, and then coordinating its sale. While they’re a jack-of-many-trades in a lot of ways, REO agents aren’t a jack-of-all-trades. Instead, they’re the ones working with the bank or asset manager to sell the property. They’re not the spokesperson, the contractor, or the home inspector.

What Makes a Good REO Agent?

At VRM Mortgage Services, excellent REO agents are an integral part of our operations. As the people who help us sell REO properties quickly and efficiently, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do without them. Some of the most valued traits in a REO agent are:

  • Inclusion in VRMS: Our software is built to help us support our clients with top-notch agents, so it’s important for us to be able to verify the record and expertise of REO agents. By looking at VRMS, we’re able to pair the right agents to the right jobs.
  • Communication and Attention to Detail: From the speed of a returned email to the number of boxes checked during the entire process, we look for REO agents that are on top of their game, detail-oriented, and efficient at what they do.
  • Proactivity and Compliance: REO agents must be experts in their field, which is why we value agents who look ahead, comply with all regulations, and exceed expectations on every level. 

As asset managers, we understand the importance of finding team members that integrate with our mission. Since 2006, VRM Mortgage Services has listed, marketed, managed, and sold over half a million properties with the help of strong, smart REO agents. By seeking out REO agents that know their stuff, selling REO property is more profitable and less time-consuming.

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