Murfreesboro TN Homes: Has Professionalism & Courtesy Been Lost In The Sea of Foreclosed Listings?

Has Professionalism & Courtesy Been Lost In The Sea of Foreclosed Listings?

I’m beginning to wonder if the days of being courteous and professional in our industry are gone.  The market is tough and it has become tougher to close real estate transactions in our competitive market.  So many good agents have given up and gone into other industries.  For those that remain, I have to wonder if this never ending down housing market has caused a permanent change in some agent’s attitude?  


I had a potential offer on a foreclosed home.  I wanted to speak with the listing agent over the weekend to see if they were working any other offers and find out how quickly the bank was responding to offers.  Unfortunately, the agent did not list their cell number anywhere on the listing, the MLS roster, or yard sign.  That’s a sure sign that they do NOT want to be bothered outside of normal office hours.  


So, I waited until this morning and called his office.  Naturally, he was not in as early as ten on a Monday morning, so they directed me to his voice mail where I left a message.  I stated that I had an offer to submit and needed to know the best way to get the offer to him, via fax, email, or in person.  I also stated that I wanted to confirm that he wasn’t working any other offers.  


By 1:00 and no response, I decided to go ahead and get the offer submitted.  I contacted his office and got the fax number.  The offer was faxed and I got a confirmation that the fax was successful.   Then I sent a PDF file to his email address on the MLS roster.  


After I googled his name, I found his cell number on his website that stated he specialized in working with banks and was an REO listing specialist.  Surprisingly enough, he didn’t answer his cell so I left a message that I had already left a message on his office phone and wanted to let him know I had faxed over the offer and sent a PDF file to his email address.  I asked for him to confirm that he got the offer and let me know if I needed to submit the offer to a different number or email. 


By 8:00 PM I still have not gotten a response.  Murfreesboro short sales I reluctantly dialed his cell number and amazingly enough he answered!  His tone of voice indicated that he was not very receptive to me calling his cell number in the evening.  When I asked him to confirm that he had received my offer, he asked me what house I was talking about and gave no recollection of knowing my name or that I had called, faxed, and emailed him multiple times today.  When I told him which home, he wanted to know how much the offer was for.  I’m assuming that even though this home has been on the market for over three months that he must have received multiple offers today which was why he was confused and needed to know which offer was mine.  When I stated the amount, he responded with a flat tone and short answer of, “oh yeah, I got it.”   I tried to stay upbeat and asked if he had any idea how long it would take to get a response from the bank.  His reply...”I’m sure it will just be rejected tomorrow.”  Nothing else was said and no additional information, guidance, thank you for your offer, sorry I didn’t get back with you earlier, nothing.  I thanked him for his time and asked him to please let me know even if the bank didn’t counter. 


What happened to the courtesy of returning a phone call about one of your Murfreesboro short saleslistings?  What happened to the courtesy of confirming that an offer has been received?  What happened to the courtesy of just being polite?  Isn’t the goal to get the listing SOLD?  At this point I get the feeling that he won’t even send our offer to the bank but has decided on his own that it should be rejected.  


Bank owned properties should still be represented by agents adequately.  Whether they are bank owned or individually owned, listing agents should be available to answer questions about their listings!  That means providing a cell number and answering phone calls on the weekends.  In the minimum, it means returning phone calls during the business week!  Lastly, agents submitting offers deserve the courtesy of a phone call or email to confirm that their offer has been received.  


The market may have changed to support more foreclosures and short sales and agents that specialize in these type of properties.  Hopefully, the lack of professionalism and courtesy that I have received from more than one of these type of agents it not the wave of the future.  The housing market and the way agents do business with the large number of REOs and short sales will always change.  But, I sincerely hope that courtesy and professionalism between agents will always remain as a part of this industry and will never go out of style. 



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Sherri Wellborn, Keller Williams Realty

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640 Broadmor Blvd
Murfreesboro, TN 37129

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Comment balloon 31 commentsSherri Berry • November 14 2011 10:52PM


Wow - thanks for sharing this experience. I learn a lot from posts like this. I appreciate the time, thought and effort you put into creating this post.

Thank you

Posted by Paul Dougherty Associate Real Estate Broker, Trusted, Tested & True. Our Results are Better! (Coach Realtors) almost 9 years ago

Hi Sherri,

Sorry to say I can't begin to tell you how many times we've had similar experiences just like this. As far as I'm concerned, there is NO excuse for the gross lack of professionalism, or even just plain courtesy, REO agent or not!

Posted by Lynda Eisenmann, Broker-Owner,CRS,CDPE,GRI,SRES, Brea,CA, Orange Co (Preferred Home Brokers) almost 9 years ago

Sherri ... this market will not last forever ... when the tables turn, many of these "creepy" Agents will not know how to react.  I handle many REO's and I always go out of my way to appreciate my fellow agents and work with them.   

Posted by Lisa Wetzel, CDPE, SFR (RE/MAX Realty Affiliates) almost 9 years ago

Sherri, this is typical behavior for most REO listing agents. I think they take lessons from the banks they work for. Their defense usually is that they have too many listings and the banks are paying about half of a 'normal' commission so they don't have time for niceties. I suppose that's why they don't post photos on MLS. Some of these agents never see the properties they list. They pay someone to stick a sign in the yard and put a lockbox on the door. Banks want to make this an unpleasant, beaurocratic, impersonal experience and they seem to be doing a fine job of that!

Posted by Maria Morton, Kansas City Real Estate 816-560-3758 (Platinum Realty) almost 9 years ago
If only we could get the guilty agents to read this. Here is my take on the situation, agents working a ton of REOs are dealing in volume, so don't have time for professional pleasantries. They have all their eggs in the REO nasket, and their clients are banks. When the REO market dries up, they'll no doubt dry up too.
Posted by Karen Crowson, Your Agent for Change (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) almost 9 years ago

WOW, how unprofessional, annoying, and discouraging is this situation. I feel for you, and I had lunch with an agent today who was telling me the same kind of thing about the lack of courtesy among some agents. I'm a stager, not an agent, but I couldn't agree with you more about the importance of common courtesy in our day to day lives. I don't think this agent should be in business, judging by his neglect and lack of providing a cell phone number or any response to you. What a shame you had to chase him down when HE should have been getting back to you and thanking you for the offer, even if it was too low in HIS opinion. 

Posted by Amy Bly, Styling Homes for Selling and Staying (Great Impressions Home Staging/Interiors) almost 9 years ago

Did your offer ever get presented?  What was the final outcome?  Don't leave me out in the cold.

Posted by Kathy Toth, Ann Arbor Real Estate Experts - Kathy Toth Team (Ann Arbor Market Center Keller Williams) almost 9 years ago

Yes, it is a sad thing. I just had the same thing today-Full voicemail for weeks at a time.

Posted by MichelleCherie Carr Crowe Just Call...408-252-8900, Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years (Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty) almost 9 years ago

Sherri, I was getting worried, I thought this kinda of thing was only happening in S. Florida. It's a breath of fresh air to think it must be happening in lower the 48 too. I'm not sure where we rank but never thought the nice folks of Nashville acted like this. My advice is to write a letter to the asset manager and the bank. If more Realtors would complain, perhaps this treatment will turn around.   

Posted by Winston Heverly, GRI, ABR, SFR, CDPE, CIAS, PA (Winston Realty, Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Sad to report that it happens here, too.  It seems ro me that professionalism and customer service have gone by the wayside in nearly all areas of the business world.

Posted by Ed Gillespie (WealthWise Mortgage Planning, a Division of American Pacific Mortgage Corporation NMLS #1850) almost 9 years ago

Sherri - sadly we've been dealing with this type of behavior for the last 4 years.  It is interesting  - when  agents reo listings dry up they somehow find a way to become more civil.  I've experienced this so many times.  I know it's not fun and not normal BUT.....this market will shift at some point and this type of agent will not have much of a place in the market at that point. Hang in there!  Good luck and let us know how it turns out.

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten Arizona's Top Banana!, 602-380-4886 (HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000) almost 9 years ago

Lynda - Sorry that you too have experience such lack of professionalism and courtesy!  What a sad change in our industry! 



Posted by Sherri Berry, Murfreesboro TN Homes & Real Estate (Reliant Realty, Murfreesboro) almost 9 years ago

Lisa - I love your "creepy" agent description!  Kudos to you for handling REOs and STILL treating your listings with the same expertise as a "real" listing!  I'm sure your name is recognized as being an agent fellow realtors enjoy working with which results in more closings for you!  I will certainly stay away from this agent in the future because of his attitude.

Posted by Sherri Berry, Murfreesboro TN Homes & Real Estate (Reliant Realty, Murfreesboro) almost 9 years ago

Luz - I don't think these type of agents can function in a normal market - but maybe they can rise to the occasion when they know they HAVE to if the market shifts!  They are certainly making a reputation for themselves that will be hard to forget in the future if the market shifts!

Posted by Sherri Berry, Murfreesboro TN Homes & Real Estate (Reliant Realty, Murfreesboro) almost 9 years ago

Marla!  I didn't even comment that the only picture of the home was ONE exterior shot!  Guess that was too much work for the agent.  And I believe you are right that he hasn't even been in this home.  I took the time to write an explanation as to why our offer was low and pointed out the extensive repairs that the home needed.  I also included the last address in this subdivision to close that was in excellent condition and closed WAY below what the bank is asking.  I got the feeling the agent has no idea since he doesn't even have an office or list much in our city.  It went right over his head.  He is comparing this home to others that have been updated and in excellent condition.  What a disservice to the bank.  This home will never sell anywhere near the current list price in the condition it is in.  

Posted by Sherri Berry, Murfreesboro TN Homes & Real Estate (Reliant Realty, Murfreesboro) almost 9 years ago

Karen - I agree with your take on the situation.  No one should be too busy for pleasantries!  I know lots of mega agents that are always pleasant and courteous when working with agents.  After all, they wouldn't be mega agents if they didn't get along with other realtors!  REO agents that deal in high volume are unique beause you are right, their eggs are all in the REO basket and they don't depend on other agents for their business.  But all too soon, that will change.  I would hope the banks would eventually see that they deserve better representation that they receive!!

Posted by Sherri Berry, Murfreesboro TN Homes & Real Estate (Reliant Realty, Murfreesboro) almost 9 years ago

Kathy - We will wait and see!  I will possibly never know if he really presented my offer.  My gut feeling is he didn't and will just call me tomorrow and say they rejected it with nothing in writing. 


Michelle - How sad that so many agents are responding that they have had the same experience!  We should unite in some way and refuse to show REOs to these type of agents.

Posted by Sherri Berry, Murfreesboro TN Homes & Real Estate (Reliant Realty, Murfreesboro) almost 9 years ago

Hi Winston - Your comment made me smile!  Yes, even here in Nashville us southerners are getting the rude treatment!  I'm so glad that made you feel better!  I actually thought the asset manager has the right to know that his listing is grossly overpriced for the area (I gave the latest sales to the REO agent today) and that his home is in extremely poor condition but priced with homes that are in excellent condition.  When you are sitting behind a desk in NY only looking at one exterior shot and comps from six months ago it looks like it is priced correctly.  I had hoped by attaching the latest sales and list of repairs it would make our offer very attractive...but tht would require rational thinking and help from the listing agent.  If I knew HOW to contact the asset manager I would as long as it didn't violate any ethics rules on my end!

Posted by Sherri Berry, Murfreesboro TN Homes & Real Estate (Reliant Realty, Murfreesboro) almost 9 years ago

Ed - thanks for your comment.  I've noticed a lack of courtesy becoming more common in society.  It just seems like with REO agents it is becoming the "norm" to be rude and unprofessional.  Sadly the comments here confirm that it is a nation wide problem with agents!

Posted by Sherri Berry, Murfreesboro TN Homes & Real Estate (Reliant Realty, Murfreesboro) almost 9 years ago

Thanks Anna!  I will keep you posted and also keep my fingers crossed we get a counter and not just a verbal rejection. 

Posted by Sherri Berry, Murfreesboro TN Homes & Real Estate (Reliant Realty, Murfreesboro) almost 9 years ago

Well howdy Ms. Sherri! Very frustrating indeed! The REO agents are the worst-I think here in Florida there is 1 agent based in Orland that covers all of the foreclosures for a big bank. No pics in the mls (he never visits the properties), never calls back even after an offer is faxed. So very annoying and frustrating for all.

Posted by Marco Giancola, Realtor (305)608-1922, Miami Beach Florida (Beachfront Realty) almost 9 years ago


 So sorry to hear - you must be so frustrated. I too have had that happen with the REO listings. Not sure how these losers get these cushy jobs with the banks...but most don't deserve the listings.

 Hope you're doing okay, I saw a comment in Mimi's post and know that we're worried about you. If you need any support give a shout.  D

Posted by Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD, REALTORS® in Clark County, WA (ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors) almost 9 years ago

Sherri - it's so disheartening to read a story like this! This guy shouldn't be in real estate and how rude to treat you or anyone else like this. You were nicer than I be! Best of luck and I hope this all works out for you and your client. Just read Debb's comment - don't know anything, but hope you're okay and we're all here for you should you need some support!

Posted by Kristine Ginsberg, NJ Home Stager (Elite Staging and Redesign, LLC) almost 9 years ago



The big companies have burnt out so many of the good REO agents that now they have dropped down to the next level. Hopefully they will figure out sooner than later that you get what you pay for and start treating the A Team agents better



Posted by Laura Gray (RE/MAX Realty Group) almost 9 years ago

Howdy Marco!  Thanks for making me smile!  Doesn't it seem crazy that the banks don't check to see how their REO properties are marketed?  I would think the asset managers would demand more than one outside picture.   It seems like the banks don't care about getting the homes sold any more than the listing agents do!

Posted by Sherri Berry, Murfreesboro TN Homes & Real Estate (Reliant Realty, Murfreesboro) almost 9 years ago

Thanks Debb!  Read your comment and it really picked me up today!  So nice to know people care about ya!  It is frustrating to see agents get the "cushy" jobs that really aren't doing a darn thing!  This agent claims to have over 15 years in specializing in foreclosures.  

Posted by Sherri Berry, Murfreesboro TN Homes & Real Estate (Reliant Realty, Murfreesboro) almost 9 years ago

Thank you Kristine!  I can always use support and someone to vent to when things are frustrating!!  I will wait and see what happens but I really don't think we will get a counter.  I've found that being nice, no matter what, usually works out best in the end...but there are some situations where being nice is just so darn hard for me!  

Posted by Sherri Berry, Murfreesboro TN Homes & Real Estate (Reliant Realty, Murfreesboro) almost 9 years ago

Laura - I would think the banks would get higher nets on their listings by using better quality agents.  Go figure why the lazy and rude ones seem to have cornered the market.  Listings with no pictures, homes that are a mess, out of whack comps and list prices!  Isn't there someone in asset management that checks this stuff!  

Posted by Sherri Berry, Murfreesboro TN Homes & Real Estate (Reliant Realty, Murfreesboro) almost 9 years ago

It's not just in real estate. I think it started shortly after World War II when both parents started working in order to make ends meet and/or keep up with the Joneses. Now we're in a circle that can't be broken.

Posted by EC, JF, Double R and Zoey the Cool Cat (Russel Ray Photos) almost 9 years ago

It sounds like the agent you mentioned has more business than he can handle and he's not doing a very good job for his client. If I ran my business that way I would be broke in a hurry.

Posted by Hal Tennant, Get a Zero Down Mortgage - How to buy a home with no money down (HomeTown Lenders) almost 9 years ago

Sherri how agents like this can con banks in giving them REO property listings totally baffles me ! Let's send each other a referral in 2012 !

Posted by Michael J. Perry, Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist (KW Elite ) over 8 years ago

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