Sometimes we arrive at a property with no realtor sign in the yard but find a Supra box on the door. The yard is a mess and the inside is littered with trash, the power is off and the water is off. We see these often. They are considered neglected listings. We place the Supra box inside the home and proceed with preserving the asset. A few days (or weeks) later there is an angry Realtor wondering why they can’t access the listing.
This problem usually stems from the client hiding the fact that they were in trouble. With their permission, get a contact name or number for the bank (they would have plenty to give at this point in the game). Communication with the lender is key. This can be difficult with national banks so when you call, try to get a last name and extension if you get someone who is actually helping.
If you run into resistance with the bank it might be wise to walk away from a stale listing before you spend another dime. Once contractors start work on a property, the potential to sell it drops dramatically. And when it becomes REO, you’re out of the picture.
If you push through and are getting activity on the listing, it always helps to leave a note on the counter or on the door. Banks want to know if the listing is active, how long you have tried to sell it, the initial and current price, if you are maintaining the utilities and the yard, if there is an offer to purchase, and if a closing date is set. A sign in the yard (or window) will always render a call when we show up. Remember, our crews are not given any contact info with your client or with the bank. Our services are through the AM (Asset Management company) 99% of the time. Nevertheless, we can relay information back to the asset managers and possibly buy you a little more time to solidify the deal. Communication is key. We want nothing more than for you to sell the house. We have plenty of work in this area on unlisted homes.
If you are aware the home is going into foreclosure, here are some things to consider:
- Have the client remove all belongings from the home and put them in storage. The sooner, the better as vacant homes are targets for vandalism and theft.
- Activity will also pick up at the home. Bi-weekly inspectors, preservation contractors, 3rd Party BPOs, bank reps, and insurance agents will all be visiting. The banks provide access in the home to all those involved.
- Always have a sign in the yard or window and make frequent visits. The homes I described at the beginning of the article are the ones that are targeted.
Keep your listings looking good. We can help if you need a hand.