Before You Make Unfounded Allegations …

avatarthumbnail.jpgOne of my favorite folks from Trulia Voices made another appearance the past couple of days. It seems the search for a bank owned property in Verrado has not gone well for Jane. Eight-six single-family detached homes have sold in Verrado, a master-planned community on Buckeye’s eastern edge, but Jane has not yet been able to get a home under contract after several months of trying.

The reason? Not the lowball offers, even as the bank owned market quickly became a sellers’ market with multiple offers. No, the issue here is the listing agents themselves.

EVERY time a foreclosure pops up for sale in this neighborhood, it seems like there are SEVERAL offers already made on the house BEFORE ANYONE else even gets the chance to bid. AND, I’m pretty sure MOST of the one’s that have SOLD that are REO, have been sold to the Listing Agent’s Clients so that the LA can get ALL the commission. I KNOW it’s ILLEGAL AND UNETHICAL, but I’m tellin ya, IT’S HAPPENING HERE, sad as that is.

Checking the Arizona Regional MLS, though, there were 25 sales of bank owned homes in Verrado. Want to know how many homes were sold by the listing agent to his or her own clients?


Bank owned homes in Verrado are remaining on the market an average of 31 days and are selling within a few thousand dollars of list price on average. Contrast that with a strategy that in the past has involved offering substantially below list price.

For several months I’ve wondered why Jane keeps asking the plebicite advice on how she should purchase a house, even once comparing the philosophy to trying to win a car on The Price is Right. Jane has an agent. I presume she even listens to her agent though it’s never been clear whether the agent’s advice matches that coming from the hoards hoping to pick up a scrap of business by helping the agent be cuckolded.

But she is right … Trulia Voices is a Q&A Forum by design. Agents need only choose not to answer should they realize they’re interfering with another agent’s relationship with his or her client, but that doesn’t happen. Instead, one can sit back and watch folks who presumably have other clients running full comps for someone working with another.

Bank owned homes are a different beast at the moment. I’ve written as much not so long ago when confronted with nine offers on one house in one day.

Still, one Canadian buyer just closed on a bank owned home in Goodyear. Another young couple will be moving into their soon-to-be-former REO property in Tolleson within the next couple of weeks. Another young couple moved into their former REO in April.

There’s no mass conspiracy to only sell bank owned properties to our own clients. Most agents here are so desperate for a sale that they’ll be more than happy with their own side of the commission without greedily lunging like the dog and the bone peering into the stream.

Before casting wild (and thoroughly incorrect) accusations about why a purchase has not been successful, perhaps it would be better to heed Albert Einstein …

“The definition of insanity,” Einstein said, “is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.

[tags]Phoenix real estate, Trulia Voices, Verrado homes for sale[/tags]

Jonathan Dalton

Jonathan Dalton is a 40-plus-year resident of the Valley and has been helping folks buy and sell homes since 2004. He can be reached at 602-502-9693 or info at


  • Bill Lublin 10 years ago

    Jonathan; Having sold REO properties for the past 20 years, I can tell you that often the properties do sell to investors that work with the listing agent, but not because of anything unethical or illegal (two words which often mean “I didn;t get the result I wanted”) but because those investors had been following the properties for months and make it their business to know whats for sale by whom and when.
    Great post, and timely in a market where REO properties are becoming a more significant portion of the marketplace.

  • ARDELL 10 years ago

    Are bank owned properties a large part of the current inventory in your area?

  • Jonathan Dalton 10 years ago

    Right now, about 1 in 8 homes in the local MLS is an REO.

  • "JANE" 10 years ago

    Hi there, I’m “JANE”, the one you are talking about in this post… LOL As you can see, I’m STILL doing my research, and I think you are CORRECT on atleast the part about NOT MAKING ACCUSATIONS. I’m just SOOOO tired of house hunting, and this area is IN DEMAND! Please forgive me for “spouting insanities”… I’m hoping my search has FINALLY met it’s end. Blessings to you all. Great Post BTW!!!

  • Jonathan Dalton 10 years ago

    Damn it all, you found me! 🙂

    Jane, I sincerely hope you find the right house … I’m getting tired of watching people try to “win” your business by spouting their own little insanities when it’s been clear from the start that you have an agent who’s working hard on your behalf.

    Best of luck to you and here’s hoping the search ends soon.

  • "JANE" 10 years ago

    Jonathan-LOL Yep, I found you. And I’m STILL cracking up. This is good info that you are providing here, regardless of the fact I’M THE ONE who INSISTS on repeating myself! haha I can actually agree with you and like I said before, I’m just exhausted by this whole “house hunt”… Anyhow, I hope you don’t mind but I’m going to copy and paste one of several posts by OTHER people, in order to give you some perspective on WHY I am thinking that these realtors are doing the DOUBLE COMM thing… see below, i hope it all fits. Feel free to post this stuff as well. Thanks! =) ________

    ***the comments below are made by OTHERs who have evidently been dealing with situations similar to mine****

    “As a buyer’s agent, I have to confess that I’m going through many of the same problems you are facing.

    I have a buyer that has made 4 offers on REOs. The last two were full price offers. In all cases, there was no communication regarding “where the offer was at”. I had to call and call. The listing agents continually told me “I haven’t heard anything from the asset manager. I’ll get back to you when I do”.

    Eventually, usually weeks after the offer expired, I’d get a call telling me the bank had rejected the offer or accepted another one.

    My partner feels that listing agents are just presenting offers they receive in a dual agency capacity. In other words, they want all the commission to themselves. He’s about to recommend to the buyer to do that, just so the poor people can buy a home.

    BTW, there are multiple offers on most REOs in my neck of the woods in CA. Ask a local agent how many properties are in escrow in that county. If it’s a lot, forget about getting a deal. Like Jennifer said, I’m seeing full price and above for most closings.

    We were off to a good start this year with REO deals, but lately I’ve seen more and more shady stuff. It gets frustrating.”

  • Jonathan Dalton 10 years ago

    I can understand your frustration and theirs as well … there’s one locally where we chuckle because there were multiple offers (or so we were told) when we didn’t think there were.

    In Verrado, though, the stats don’t bear this out. Only the 3 were dual agency situations.

    I don’t have any REO listings but I’ve got a half-dozen folks looking. Don’t you think I’d tell them what was coming onto the market once I knew? But I’d still send all the offers to the bank. It’s the law. My license isn’t worth the extra commission.

  • "JANE" 10 years ago

    I wish ALL the Listing Agents would adapt the same attitude as YOU! Maybe you should try to get some of the “next batch” of REO’s to list yourself!?!
    PS-We got the call today for “Highest and Best”, and I told them that I ALREADY submitted MY “highest and best!”… I’m tellin’ ya, I’m just about ready to pack it up and head outa this Pandamoneous mess out here! lol =)

  • "JANE" 10 years ago

    UPDATE: WE HAVE AN ACCEPTED OFFER!!! Hallelulah, Praise the Lord!!! Just thought I’d let you know! We’re so excited…. Thanks for putn up with me! Best Wishes to you all as well. Especially you Jonathan! =)

  • Jonathan Dalton 10 years ago


    That’s great to hear Jane … let me know when the first barbecue is scheduled and I’ll be happy to drop by. 🙂

  • "JANE" 10 years ago

    Jonathan: It’s funny you should mention a BBQ> I thought THE SAME THING. I thought it would be funny to invite you out to the new house when we have our first party, so that you could meet all my agent friends, and we can all compare notes IN PERSON! I’ll be sure to let you know. Sounds like fun… =)