DMV Clerks Make Lousy Salespeople

J Philip Faranda March 20, 2009

I have voiced my displeasure at the antics and poor professionalism of certain REO agents in the past. Some REO brokers in my area are fantastic. Some flat out suck. And I don't for a second think that REO agents have it easy. Evictions, trash outs, overseeing vacant property and the demands of asset managers are not for the feint of heart.

Yet I have to remind everyone that we are in sales. Selling in real estate requires diplomacy, collegiality, and sometimes, even charm. If you act like a DMV clerk, you'll find that your children will get very, very skinny. That is unless, of course, you are an REO broker and you'll do fine no matter how much of a schmuck you act like. Here is part of an email I received this morning from an REO broker on a deal we have going where the buyer is being difficult (Imagine that!):

However you have been non compliant with us which shows that you have not been acting in good faith and your client will loose there down payment if this file does not close by the deadline.

This was sent to myself as broker, my agent representing the buyer, and the buyer's attorney. Let's ignore the spelling errors, etc and get to the message. Accusing us of acting in bad faith is, in my view, so over the top that it is beyond absurd. It is like calling a jaywalker a felon. And we aren't even jaywalking! The issue is a mortgage extension, which is understandable for the type of loan in our locale.

In New York especially, closings take far too long. In a 203(k) mortgage, you introduce red tape and administrative delays. Apparently, following up with our buyer client and her lender daily, and the listing agent frequently is bad faith. Amazing. Here's the kicker: On examination of title, we found that the referee didn't file the deed properly, so the agent is technically not even representing a legitimate seller.

God help agents like this when the market changes again and they have to relate to people again for a living instead of getting away with being abrasive and miserable for a few years. Getting listings from an out of state entity that the public buys no matter how miserable you act is not the real world, and when that pipeline dries up these agents will be in bad shape. They'll have a reputation for being jerks, and if they can somehow redevelop the ability to behave, it will be seen as duplicitous.

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