LBPS/Seterus using 3rd party group to negotiate short sales and it only cost us 1%!

How clever some of these companies that keep popping up claiming to be our good buddies and stick with us throughout the transaction.

Something didn't sound right when I started questioning the guy. Sure he said he was with the National Group(s) or something. When I started to ask how they got paid he let me know that they get a 1% fee and that commissions are reduced to 5%. When I pressed about how they intend to get around Fannie Mae's guidelines that they're not allowed to reduce our commissions below 6% he started back pedaling.

In the end he said I didn't have to work with him and he could send my file back to LBPS/Seterus, although, he didn't know how long it was going to take for them to get to the file. Hmm...that sounds like a not so subtle intimidation tactic.

That begs the question of who they are working for and whether or not it's legal? You see, in the great state of Idaho, you're not allowed to collect a fee for short sale negotiation unless you're a licensed agent and it is standard of practice in your regular business of helping clients to list and sell homes or you're licensed with the Department of Finance.

If I'm given the choice of whether or not I want them to work my file and they're collecting a 1% fee taken from a reduction in my commission who's behalf are they working on?

Sure, I'm arguing semantics here, however, it's not right that they don't disclose their game up front. When push came to shove he hung up on me.

Should we as agents push back against the tactics and business practices of companies like this?

P.S. It reminded me of a similar go round I had with another company recently, Titanium Solutions, only in that case it was an agent who called upon one of my clients directly knowing full well the property was already listed. That's an interference with a brokerage agreement and against the law, I checked with the real estate commission. Same type of threat from them about not running the transaction through their company. Guess what? Bank of America said they could go pound sand and took the file and ran with it anyway. It's amazing the amount of knowledge and protection short sale agents have to have to service their clients properly.

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Comment by Brian Brumpton on November 15, 2011 at 8:59am

@Justin - Do you remember them disclosing up front how they are paid?  I know he didn't when he called me.  I'm ashamed to say that I belive OneWest uses them also and I didn't catch on until we were headed to close.

Comment by Brian Brumpton on November 15, 2011 at 8:54am

@Jen - My sentiments exactly. It's nice that lenders are staffing up and getting help to speed up the short sale process. It does limit their loss.

I didn't make the loan or default on it and I should not have to pay more than I already do for staff to manage the short sale process on my side. I work hard to protect my seller's and minimize the lender's loss.

If more banks viewed agents as an asset in loss mitigating they wouldn't hire 3rd party scammers that have done little more than insert themselves into something they more likely to get in the way of than help.

A fairly simple question to ask when you're contacted by someone is if they are an employee of the lender and if not how are they paid in the transaction?

Simple enough. Just be prepared for the person on the other end to get very defensive if they're looking to get a piece of your commissions.

Comment by Justin Berry on November 15, 2011 at 8:53am

I am working a few right now with these boneheads.  Just call Seterus and tell them you won't work with the National Group.  They pull the files from them and set those back up in their in-house system.  It make take a day or two but no more National Group.......  :-)

Comment by Jen Basnight on November 15, 2011 at 7:45am

If we aren't the ones hiring the 3rd party, then we should not be the ones paying for the 3rd party.  We need to always ask who we are dealing with and how they are gettting paid.  So for future reference, Are there any suggestions to agents on what to do when encountered with 3rd party theives? This is shady. 

Comment by Brian Brumpton on November 14, 2011 at 10:09am

Yes. They take 1% and reduce commissions to 5%. They don't tell you this until they instruct it to put it on the HUD when they're ready to issue final approval. It's fairly sleazy.

Comment by DON BUSH on November 14, 2011 at 9:27am

Why was he adament about reducing your commission?


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