Banks nationwide — and the U.S. federal government — are sitting on hundreds of thousands of unlisted distressed properties at a time when housing inventory is at an all-time low.
Roughly 80 percent of all real estate owned (REO) properties — some 410,000 homes nationwide — are not listed by banks on local multiple listing services, according to RealtyTrac. Another 800,000 homes are in the foreclosure process but have not yet been repossessed, and are not being actively marketed. Of those 844,000 some 167,000 vacant foreclosure properties — sometimes called “zombie” foreclosures, where a homeowner vacates a property in foreclosure even before the bank completes the foreclosure process.
The result: over 1.3 million homes are waiting to be listed and sold, but most real estate agents have no clue how to find them, how to list them, how to sell them — or how to buy them.
But a growing number of real agents are starting to target these must-sell unlisted foreclosures.
Nobody is benefiting more from this boom in unlisted distressed properties than real estate broker John Murray, owner of Key Realty in Rockford, Ill., one of the nation’s top selling REO brokers.
In the August issue of the Foreclosure News Report we interviewed Murray and other creative agents. Murray revealed the secrets to his success. He knows how to harvest unlisted foreclosures — in any market. Last year, he alone sold over 1,400 REOs, generating some $100 million in sales. Over the years, Murray has built strong business relationships with some of the nation’s top banks and the government-sponsored agencies who have showered his firm with REO listings.
As one of the nation’s top selling REO brokers,
Murray attributes his success to the software and technology — called Realty Pilot — that he developed which helps him streamline the thousands of real estate transactions he manages. Realty Pilot is a software-as-a-service (SAAS) provider that simplifies the processing of properties.
“Using Realty Pilot, a user can type in a listing number and the program immediately fills in all the appropriate information, no cutting and pasting necessary,” said Murray, adding that the software is being used by real estate agents, lenders, servicers, the government-sponsored enterprises and others. “We automated things to do basic tasks like doing BPOs (broker price opinions). Things that once took an hour to do, now only take me minutes to do.”
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