Behind The Scenes With AHP: Working With Real Estate Agents

Published on August 4th, 2014 by AHP Administrator

Behind the scenes at AHP. From left to right: Alison Lundberg, Business Development Manager. Michael Nelson, Document Specialist. Jake Laffey, Senior Asset Manager

From Idaho to Florida, AHP owns mortgages backed by properties scattered all over the United States. AHP has a dedicated staff working diligently day in and day out coordinating the purchase of mortgages and managing the properties attached to them. Yet with AHP based in Chicago, the company must rely on an outside source to be their eyes and ears in evaluating these properties and neighborhoods. This is where the unsung hero of AHP’s everyday operation comes into play: real estate agents.

Reliable agents are vital to AHP’s success. They play an important role before mortgages are purchased as well as afterwards. Before AHP places a bid on a distressed
mortgage, it must get a firsthand account of the property and its location.“In order to bid on pools we need broker price opinions (BPOs),” said Jake Laffey, AHP’s Senior Asset Manager. “The agents go out they do a BPO on the property to give us a value to bid on– we bid based on the value of the property.”

Once AHP purchases a distressed mortgage, its main objective is to keep the borrower in their home. In buying the mortgage at a discount, AHP can significantly reduce principal balances and monthly payments for borrowers. The calculations for mortgage modifications are not randomly determined and the work of trusted agents factor into this equation.

“We look at the value of the property, the current value– not necessarily how much the borrower owes, because a lot of times these people are underwater which is why they are in the foreclosure process,” Laffey said. “So we look at reducing the payment and discounting the principal based on a percentage of the current value.”

When agents perform BPOs, they also relay to AHP whether the property is vacant or occupied. In the instances where AHP acquires vacant properties or borrowers do not wish to stay in their homes, AHP relies on agents to list the property on the market and assist in showing and selling it.

Agents can register on AHP’s website with their contact information, and when AHP’s asset managers have a property in a new area, they can use this directory to find an agent who can list the property. Once asset managers work with agents and the experience is mutually positive, a relationship is developed for future listings.

“We have a lot of agents that we continually go back to because of the work they have performed on our behalf, and they understand our process may be different than a bigger bank,” Laffey said. “It’s been wonderful having those agents that continuously look to do more work with us.”

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