As a real estate agent, you can opt to work generally, pursuing any and all opportunities as they arise, or you can choose to specialize in a specific property type. Are there advantages to being an REO agent versus a non-specific agent? Yes.
Types of Real Estate Agents
While each working agent is required to hold a license, not all licenses confer the same privileges. First, it’s worth noting the distinction between the two types of real estate professionals: real estate brokers and real estate salespersons.
Brokers have met their state requirements to manage or own a real estate company. In addition, brokers often manage and supervise multiple real estate salespersons. Salespersons, on the other hand, have taken the necessary classes and are licensed to sell property.
There are also different types of agents.
- Seller’s agents, or listing agents, work for the seller. They represent the current owner of the property.
- Buyer’s agents represent the potential buyer. They help buyers throughout the purchasing process, from searching for a house all the way to the closing.
- Dual agents, where permitted by state law and when properly disclosed, can represent both the buyer and the seller in the same transaction.
Then, there are REO listing agents. These professionals work with banks to sell real estate-owned or foreclosed properties owned by banks. They have the additional training and tools to help banks sell their real estate-owned properties.
REO Agent Advantages
There are many REO listing agent benefits, and because of them, many agents choose to work solely in this area rather than operating as a non-specific agent.
As home prices increase, more and more people are looking in to purchasing foreclosed properties. They appreciate the potential savings of buying a bank-owned property and see it as an easy and safe way to purchase a house. This provides ample opportunities for REO listing agents.
Also, REO properties are sometimes less of an investment risk for buyers than foreclosure properties sold at an auction, since potential buyers are allowed to tour the home and have the property professionally appraised and inspected prior to purchasing. This increases the chances of selling the REO homes for agents.
Additionally, homebuyers may actually save money when they work with an REO agent versus a non-specialized agent. Since many banks want to release the property from their books, they price the properties to move.
There are some obligations that must be fulfilled prior to selling an REO home, such as clearing the title, evicting occupants if necessary and preparing the home for showings. Many REO agents find that these hassles are outweighed by the advantages that come from selling properties quickly to motivated buyers.
Whatever side of the real estate market you want to represent, consider all of your options and weigh the advantages and disadvantages of focusing your expertise towards the REO marketplace.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Altisource Online Auction, Inc., Altisource® or any Altisource affiliate. The foregoing content is not intended to constitute, and in fact does not constitute, financial, investment, tax or legal advice by the author, Altisource Online Auction, Inc., Altisource or any Altisource affiliate.