1. Import all purchase offers through a “Central Offer Department” that logs all sale’s contracts, bids and offers from buying agents.   Institute a department called the “Central Comment Department” to handle all good comments and complaints from agents, buyers and escrow people who have suggestions or comments to make regarding the escrow process.  The whole purpose of this department would be to track the listings from marketing to close of escrow.  Sophisticated software could be used to spots patterns of good and questionable behavior of affiliates that are involved.  The right software and tracking system would point to some problems and patterns in the REO system.

2. Spruce up the the properties before listing them.   Back in the early 1990’s, the banks would have the houses outfitted with new carpet, paint and appliances.  The properties sold faster and at better prices without having to make such drastic cuts in price. Today, the average REO listing has repair issues, brown landscaping and deferred maintenance.  This results in lower priced offers and escrow cancellations.

3. When a REO listing falls out of escrow, each buying agent and buyer who lost out in original bidding would automatically be e-mailed and given a new opportunity to bid before listing goes back on open market.  This is highly important as many REO’s fall out of escrow.   Then, instead of contacting all the original bids, we see banks drastically cutting the price to perpetuate a fast sale.  Many times, the original rejected offers are much higher than the new slashed price. We then see the property get sold immediately while buyer agents sit there with buyers that were willing to purchase the property for a higher price.  Buyers and agents just keep scratching their heads.

4. Hire more escrow companies to handle the on-slaught of escrows.  This would spread out the work and processing times.  Believe me; most escrow companies will discount their fees for bulk business.  It doesn’t make any sense to reward some escrow companies with hundreds of files while other really good escrow companies sit there with nothing to do.

5. Interview and recruit more agents for disposing of  REO properties.  There are 1000’s of high quality educated agents who have a severe lack of listings because most of the listings are being sent to the same agents over and over again.  Trying to get a call back from some of these agents who have massive listing portfolios is almost impossible in many cases. The buyers of buyer’s agents are constantly complaining and asking why the listing agent will not call the buying agent.  This is an absurd situation which is hard to handle.

6. Clear up all title issues and grant deed problems before listing and selling REO property.  The banks have plenty of time while taking back a property to work on title and grant deed issues.  It seems some banks wait until the buyer has signed loan documents before they start work on clearing title and coming up with an acceptable grant deed.  

7. Send out a “Quality Service Survey” to every REO Buyer Agent and Buyer from each and every closed escrow.  Have a “Central Comment Department” oversees these automated comments.  This department will look at patterns to determine if any said agent has a recurring problem.

These are just 7 ideas to streamline the REO disposition process.  It is in every body’s best interests to streamline this REO selling process.  By sprucing up the properties, it is obvious that these homes would sell faster and stay in escrow.  By tracking purchase offers and comments, the process will evolve and make more money on the bottom line for shareholders of these banks.  Please feel free to check out what I’m saying here.  Try interviewing 4-5 experienced buyer agents who don’t have foreclosure accounts but who work with buyers.  Ask them about the process and the experiences they are having.  I believe you will come to the same conclusions as me. 

Do you have an idea or would you take the time to improve on my ideas?