Finding an REO agent in your area can be a daunting task. You want someone who is reputable, hard-working and most of all, an excellent communicator. Today, nearly all searches for REO agents begin online; you can search for properties by location and find qualified REO agents in your area with the click of a button.
What is a Realtor?
While the terms realtor and real estate agent are often used interchangeably, there is in fact a difference between the two. The designation of Realtor® (often accompanied by a registered trademark symbol and spelled with a capital R) is a federally registered collective membership mark which identifies a member of the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.
Although there are other real estate trade organizations, NAR boasts over one million members while setting the policies for most Multiple Listing Services (MLS), and overseeing a database that allows brokers to list and exchange information on available property listings.
Multiple Listing Service
To find an experienced Real Estate Owned (REO) agent in your area, begin your search with the MLS. On the MLS, real estate agents list properties for sellers or find properties for buyers. Conduct a search for properties, and then contact the listing agent.
Establishing a relationship with a qualified REO agent who specializes in bank-owned properties is key to gaining an advantage over other home-buyers or investors. Agents have their finger on the market’s pulse and may know of properties that have not been listed on the MLS yet. This gives you a leg-up in the fiercely competitive world of REO realty.
Word of Mouth
While it may seem passé, good, old-fashioned word of mouth is still one of the best paths to take in your REO agent search. Asking friends, coworkers and neighbors is a great way to find a qualified REO agent. These references will save you hassle, wasted time and frustration later.
What to Ask Your REO Agent
- Ask your agent which trade organizations they are members of — qualified REO agents are often members of several. What additional accreditation have they earned?
- Test their good faith and eagerness to work for you. Ask if they know of any unlisted properties.
- Find out which lending institutions or banks they have established relationships with. A real estate agent that has multiple working relationships with these institutions will be able to show you more properties, including unlisted ones.
Finding an excellent REO agent takes time and patience. You want to establish a solid working relationship with your agent. They, too, value word-of-mouth referrals and will be more inclined to go the extra mile to earn your business.
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.