Weasels in the Chicken Coop?

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by Roberta Murphy

phantom agents

As a San Diego Realtor, I am very frustrated at the number of non-responsive and phantom agents representing San Diego foreclosures, REO’s and bank-owned homes. I wonder why on earth lenders would choose such inept real estate representation to list their properties.

I also wonder about the wisdom of placing weasels as keepers of the chicken coop.

We have close friends who have moved in and out of real estate investments very profitably over the past few years—and it is/was not unusual for them to be holding several properties at once. Good friends they are, but they never took our advice about mortgage financing.

Instead, they always used some loan hack who never returned phone calls, was late on all commitments, but somehow managed to get the loan funded—several days late. According to our friends, he could “get any loan funded.”

And he did.

This hack, they tell us, has relocated from the Los Angeles area to San Diego and is now one of those non-responsive real estate phantom agents who list foreclosures.

It’s deja vu all over again.

It absolutely baffles me that the very folk who helped create this real estate implosion are now being rewarded by the lenders they duped. I am amazed at the number of listing agents who are also former loan brokers–and wonder how this came to be.

And like Brian Brady and other concerned real estate professionals, I believe that separate licensing should be required of mortgage originators and real estate agents—and that banks and lenders should be vetting their foreclosure representatives more closely.

Far too often, in my opinion, these foreclosure listings are being placed with those who helped put the real estate industry into the tailspin it is today.

More and more, I believe our industry needs to tighten licensing requirements—and offer stiffer penalties for those who knowingly place clients in harm’s way. Consider the licensing requirements for selling stocks and bonds—and the SEC penalties given for misrepresentation.

Does real estate, the most significant investment in most people’s lives, deserve any less-qualified representation?

I think not.

A version of this article originally appeared in the HomeGain Real Estate Blog.

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2 responses to “Weasels in the Chicken Coop?

  1. Irwin:

    Many of our San Diego real estate problems can be traced to unfettered greed. Loans were made to people who had no prayer of ever being able to repay them.

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