This is my third lap, if you will. Having been in the business since 1978, I've seen three full market cycles. The slow cycle for most agents comes when homes stop selling overnight and inventories creep skyward. This is when you need to ramp up for REO's. (REO = Real Estate Owned) This is the shorthand used by the industry to discribe the inventory of property owned by the financial institutions. Most of which come through foreclosure.
Being an REO Broker can be very rewarding. One such individual in Los Vegas claims to hold more than 400 properties that are listed or prelisted. Another in California's central valley said that he has 105 active and 120 in the pipe.
If you want to jump in, there are places you can go start the process. I recommend becoming a member of the National REO Brokers Association (NRBA) then look for The Insiders Guide to REO it is a complete "How To" book for successfully listing and selling bank-owned properties.
You will need to register with what seens like thousands of Asset Management companies . Most start by doing BPO's or Broker Price Opinions. These pay $25 to $100 for a mini appraisal with photos. Some people actually make a full time job out of just doing BPO's. 5 per day average $50 ea and boom $60k a year job with little overhead.
Some of those BPO's will get you in the door at the REO dept. Then when you get an "assignment", the fun begins.
You get to go to all kinds of neighborhoods to see if the property is still standing and determine if anyone is still living there. If they are, you get to infom them that they no longer own the house and attempt to negotiate a prompt move. Most lenders prefer to grease the tracks by allowing you to offer Cash for Keys. What they usually forget to tell you is that they expect you to write the check and submit your proper paperwork and copy of the check for reimbursement. I have about $15,000 out waiting for reimbursment. I can't immagine what the guy in Vegas must be going through.
Then you get to make reports, find contractors, haulers and cleaning people, get bids, submit for approval, make sure the work is performed properly, pay them and then wait to be reimbursed.
Okay, the house is now ready for sale and you get the "Listing". It looks like no listing most agents have ever seen. Don't read the fine print, it will only scare you out of the businss.
Bing, bang, you get an offer. Well you upload it to their website, fill out forms and wait for a responce that usually resembles a short HUD-1 with the offer on the left and changes on the right. It's their way of making a counter offer. Be sure you also find their standard "Addendum". Take the addendum and email and create a counter that they will not sign until the buyer signs and gets it back to them. Then it goes up for Lender approval, Mortgage Insurance approval and 15 other people in the chain. Of course the Buyer has a Verbal acceptance and is expected to close in 30 days or pay a per day penalty. In the mean time the Buyer's lender is twiddling his thumbs because he can't start the loan until he has a signed contract that he is expected to close about a week after the paperwork actually trickles back down to the Buyer.
Are we having fun yet?