Market Wise Q&A: Why Would a Loan Officer be Hired as a Seller's Agent?

Pat Kapowich for the San Jose Mercury News Q: We are having a frustrating time buying a certain house. Our agent says this is the sloppiest sale he's had in his 20-plus-year career. Evidently, the listing agency is really a loan brokerage, but one would never know it from the wording on the for-sale sign in the lawn. Why would a loan officer be selling a house?

easy businessman

A: Good question. Prior to the Internet, we'd experience an occasional real estate agent geographically trespassing. However, once home listings started being posted on the Web, some licensed loan officers and property managers became industry interlopers, asking, Why should I refer good clients to a real estate agent? In practice, if a loan officer has to ask that question, he/she should not leaver his/her air-conditioned office.

Commercial real estate agents and real estate attorneys know the incredible amount of responsibility and liability they incur when representing homebuyers and sellers. These astute industry professionals routinely refer clients to residential sales agents and even (rarely) will represent themselves as home buyers/home sellers.

Not so with many licensed property managers and loan officers. Unfortunately, the best interest of the client and the firms they represent take a back seat to the licensee's short-sighted greed.

Many times it's the broker who puts his own firm in harms way. But professionals not trained in the care and practice of a trade and/or don't know the issues around which the craft will be plied should not gamble with a consumer's home.

Far too often I see seller's and buyers who engage such individuals. The result is sellers who lose thousands of dollars and buyers who lose the right house.

Saturday, 7/18/08

E-mail questions to Pat at