Tuesday, March 18, 2008

And Then I Became That Buyer's Agent

I recently wrote about Short Sales: For Buyer's Agents. Well, I just became that agent! Having practiced real estate for almost nineteen years, I have spent the last many specializing in listings. I work with buyers infrequently, and almost always on a referral basis. That is because I enjoy the listing aspect more. Yes, after I end up working with a buyer, I usually find it rewarding. But it is not my normal modus operandi. Today I had an interesting scenario arise where I became the Short Sale Buyer Agent. A little background....

About three weeks ago I received a phone call from a gentleman who had three properties he needed to sell short. He was a retiree who had made some investments in condos in Destin about three years ago. He thought he could flip them for a profit, but was never able to. Meanwhile, his rent revenue had diminished and he was several months behind in his mortgage payments. I told him I could help him, and referred him to my website www.ShortSaleForeclosureHelp.com. After a day of discussions, he said he felt guilty he was not working with an agent who tried to help him previously. I understood perfectly well, and let it go at that. Today, I noticed his three listings came on the market with that particular agent. One was substantially underpriced. I received a phone call from one of my out-of-state sellers who was shocked at the price, as I have one of his units for sale in the building, at a much higher price. He referred a friend of his to me to write an offer on the new listing.

I called the listing agent to inform her I was writing an offer. I gently (I thought) asked if I could be of any assistance regarding the Short Sale aspect. (Short Sales are 90% of my business, and I often have local agents refer their Short Sale listings to me). She said, "No, I do these ALL the time." Of course, I had seen in my MLS statistics that she had only sold five houses in the last 18 months, none of them being Short Sales. I asked, "Who is the lender?" She said, "I don't disclose that." I asked why, and she said "I am protecting my client, and that's how things are done." I automatically told her it was public record. She then told me she had had enough of the "Drama" and "didn't have time for this". Etc., etc. I, stunned, asked if I had missed something? She again repeated she did not have time for the "Drama". I did find the previous lender authorization her seller had sent me a few weeks prior indicating the bank was Countrywide.
Hmmm. Having to be diplomatic to protect my buyer's interest is going to take some restraint on this one.

UPDATE- DAY 2: The offer I submitted yesterday had a response deadline of 6:00 p.m. today. I just called the listing agent at 5:45 p.m. I asked if her client was going to make the response time. She said "No, we have multiple offers, and I am going to present them all at once." She had not intended on notifying me that the response time would not be met. I then called and told my seller that we may be in an "auction" situation since the listing was underpriced, it probably generated offers above asking. He said he was not going to participate in the game.

Wendy Rulnick, Broker, CRP, CRS, GRI, ABR Rulnick Realty, Inc.
Specializing in SHORT SALES and FORECLOSURES on the Emerald Coast of Florida: Destin, Fort Walton Beach, Niceville, Navarre, Crestview, Grayton Beach, Sandestin, Seaside, Rosemary Beach, Dune Allen, Blue Mountain Beach, Bluewater Bay, Mary Esther, Shalimar, Freeport and vicinity. 1-877-487-9639


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