I know a lot of Realtors out there think that the life of an REO broker is pretty much a cakewalk. Bank calls up, gives you a nice juicy listing, you put it on the market, collect multiple offers, sell it for way over asking, and then just wait til escrow closes and you can pick up your check, after your assistant finishes up all the paperwork for you.


Am I right?

Well….sometimes it is like that, but listings like that are few and far between. Even the simplest condo can have it’s share of issues associated with it which requires a steady hand at the helm to keep buyer, seller, and lender all on board until closing. Issues like lack of FHA approval for the complex, insolvent HOA, upcoming assessments – the list goes on.

I had a little fun out in the woods this afternoon. I have a property in escrow where the buyer is asking for a price reduction, to compensate for some repairs the property needs. Never mind that the properties are usually sold as-is and it says so right in the contract – buyers often ask for something. In this case, there was a broken baffle on the septic system, and they wanted a credit for it (among other things).

Before the asset manager would consider granting a reduction based on this (and other) repair, he wanted to see pictures of the damage and get a second bid from another septic company for the repair. That’s a little tricky, because of course the bank (almost) never pays for bids, and the tank was buried in the ground. I found a company to come out and give me a bid on the tank repair – free, provided they didn’t have to dig out the tank – digging out the tank would cost.

I thought about sending my assistant out there with a shovel and asking him to dig it out, but it’s not really in his job description, and I suppose there’s a chance he could get injured. It is, however, in my job description, since my job description is “do whatever it takes to get it closed” (so long as it’s legal and ethical, of course).


So out I went with a shovel and, under the warm sun of an Aptos summer, I dug up the tank and pulled off the lids and lo, there was the damaged baffle. Now I have the pictures, just waiting on the bid. All in the glamorous, fun-filled day of an REO broker.