REO Home Inventory Outstripping Current REO Broker Network

“You pretty much need to be breathing and have a license.”

That’s what Chris Tiller, who runs the application process at Fannie Mae had to say about the requirements to become a listing agent for Fannie Mae’s HomePath REO Sales program – very encouraging words for any agent or broker wanting to become a part of the nationwide Fannie Mae REO network.

During the recent National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB) conference, Fannie Mae executives revealed that, in many areas, they have too much REO inventory – and too few REO brokers to service these properties.

Most of Fannie Mae’s REO properties are listed with real estate agents – the remaining homes are run through asset management companies to outsource to brokers.  When the number of foreclosures in an area becomes too much for the existing REO agents and brokers, Fannie Mae hires more.

And more will very likely be needed.  Foreclosures rose in 154 of 206 metropolitan areas in the first half of 2010 over the same period of 2009, according to RealtyTrac.com, which analyzed the foreclosure rates from metro areas with 200,000 people or more.

In addition, most financial institutions with REO holdings are reporting marked increases in REO inventory – the latest being Altisource Portfolio Solutions, who reported an 18% increase in REO properties in the second quarter of 2010 from the first quarter.  JPMorgan Chase, Citibank and Wells Fargo had already reported a big rise in their REO homes inventory in 2010.

“You’re our eyes and ears, our feet on the street,” said Jan Severn, director of new business initiatives at Fannie Mae, said of their REO agent network.  Over the next 18 months, Severn added, Fannie will be “trying to expand as much as possible.”   This creates excellent opportunities for anyone wanting to become an REO agent or wants to know how to get REO listings.

The first step for anyone wanting to hook up with Fannie Mae is to fill out their online application, found at https://www.efanniemae.com/is/npdcvendors/vendorapp.jsp.   As indicated, the application requirements are very minimal.  Fannie Mae will also question REO brokers and agents as to what their qualifications are so they can meet Fannie’s business needs.  Those questions will involve what MLS services the broker belongs to, if the broker has any REO experience, and if they have the cash flow that will enable them to handle day-to-day expenses.

With REO inventories rising across the board in 2010 – and foreclosures hitting new record rates again – Fannie Mae surely realizes the importance of having enough agents and brokers in place to handle the upcoming overload.

One valuable resource for both experienced and novice REO agents wanting to work with Fannie Mae is ASREOS.  ASREOS (the American Society of REO Specialists) is the first professional association for REO agents created by REO professionals and contains numerous tools to maximize REO opportunities and find REO listings – as well as the ability to interface with other REO Agents across the country in an exclusive forum.  Find out more about ASREOS and what it has to offer at http://www.asreos.com.