Virginia Beach Home Loans: Hey, What's Your Problem Coldwell?

Hey, What's Your Problem Coldwell?


I don't know what the deal is with Coldwell Banker. One of my colleagues here in my office recently handled the financing for her friend on the purchase of a new home. The agent on the other end of the transaction was a Coldwell Banker Realtor®. That Realtor® actually recommended to my colleagues client that she go to Wells Fargo for financing.

Of course the person making the purchase is friends with my colleague and did not budge... From what I hear the agent was putting quite a lot of pressure on my colleagues client to go to Wells Fargo to get approved. She kept insisting that Wells can do it faster and at a lower interest rate.

I thought that maybe it was an isolated case. Now I have a client in a totally different part of the state of NY. I have been talking with this person for more than 6 months now and she finally has found a place that she thinks she'd like to put an offer on. I was dealing with this person well before she had a Realtor®. I originally recommended John Murphy because she was originally going to be shopping in the Malone NY area.

 She decided to find something closer to her current home so that she could remain close to family. She just wants to lower her expenses so she is downgrading in preparation for retirement. The agent close to her home area who she decided to go through happens to be a Coldwell Banker.

 My client called me up and told me that her real estate agent says that she "has to go through Wells Fargo" and that the agent does not deal with any bank or lending institution except Wells Fargo.

 Whoa! I deal with a whole lotta real estate professional from many different firms across the state of NY. I have never heard anything like this before and I can't believe it! I thought that Realtors® had to follow a code of ethics which includes refraining from "steering".

 Now I am wondering what the deal is between Wells Fargo and Coldwell Banker. Is there some kind of affiliation there? Or is this just a coincidence?

Christopher Ohlsen

37 Boynton Ave

(845) 243-5293 (Office)

(518) 565-0799 (Cell)



Comment balloon 8 commentsChristopher Ohlsen • April 15 2008 09:51AM



NOT cool.  I don't see how they can get away with that.  That doesn't happen here, so maybe it's not widespread?  I was at Keller Williams ebfore, and our in-house lender gave our clients $250 off closing costs for using a KW agent so we'd often recommend them to save costs.  But I can recommend lenders, my client has the actual choice! Geez! 

Posted by Joel Weihe, Helping you to use your VA home loan benefits (Realty World Alliance) about 11 years ago
We are to give 3 lenders if the client asks us for a referral. We can get in alot of trouble if something goes south with a lender and we were the ones that sent the buyer there. We do not get anything off we just use lenders we trust and know they can get them closed in a timely manner and will compete to get the best rates
Posted by Cathleen Rodgers, e-Pro, ASP (North Texas GMAC) about 11 years ago

Sheree - Not cool at all. I can see making a referral but it is absolutely up to the individual with regard to whom they work with. Now on a side note, I can see your reason for recommending clients to your in house lender because their best interest should be at the forefront and if you can save them money then by all means make the recommendation. However, if the person is already working with a lender unless you know that the lender closes 2 out of of ten transaction... you should not make a recommendation that the person seek financing elsewhere. The only time that really should be a topic of conversation is if the client has told you that they do not have a lender... and although I am not a real estate person I always ask my clients if they are working with a Realtor®. When they are not I have a great opportunity to make a referral to one of the agents whom I prefer to work with in the area and if they are I simply ask for their contact info (if I don't have it). I never ask if my client has a Realtor® then tell them that Realtor® is low quality and that they should use my Realtor® of choice instead. I do not believe that it is ethical for a Realtor® to recommend another mortgage professional if the client is already working with one.

Cathleen - I like how you provide a couple of reliable names if ASKED referral. Your methodology makes sense to me. I work with quite a few agents locally and I have a very good reputation in town. Strange thing though; I have reached out to the local Coldwell Banker. I've sent them literature and emails and they've never once so much as responded. I have never begged them for business but I figure that if we are going to both co-exists as high ranking professional firms in the town that we do most of our busniess then we ought to know each other. I have at least one great agent whom I work with at every firm except Coldwell Banker. Locally they seem to be "stuck up" and regionally they seem to be the same way. They try to take my clients away from me even though they have never had a bad experience with me and all of the attorney's in town know that it is typical for me to get purchase transactions completed in 2 weeks or less when everyone involved is motivated and ready to move forward.

Posted by Christopher Ohlsen (Credit Werx, LLC.) about 11 years ago
The only time I've heard of buyers being told who they had to go to for financing is with BANK OWNED properties. Banks are not held to the same ethical standards as REALTORS.
Posted by Rosario Lewis, GRI, SRES - DDR Realty - Orange County, NY (DDR Realty) about 11 years ago

In house they probably pay rent to that broker!  Without an undisclosed business arrangement agreement - many are now getting in trouble for not showing clients they get a rebate, or are part owners, or have a cash benefit for doing business with and affiliate (title company, lender, attorney, home warranty company etc!)  You just haven't been around long enough to know what's going on.

Posted by Jim Crawford, Jim Crawford Atlanta Best Listing Agents & REALTOR (Crye-Leike REALTORS®) about 11 years ago

Rosario - I have heard that Bank Owned Properties sometimes require a certain lender. That is not the case this time though. Although I have heard that I have done quite a few Bank Owned Properties without a problem. Usually they just require that I get a signed pre-qual from the lender whom I am taking the loan to.

Jim - I've been around through the hard times and I have been around long enough to know what is going on. I know that there are back door affiliations and undisclosed business arrangements... My firm has an arrangement with a title company in where we receive an incentive for sending our title work to. Still, the title company that we are affiliated is slow as death and I would personally rather serve the best interest of my clients than make a couple of bucks on the back end. This however is an entirely different thing... I don't see how a Realtor® who is required to follow the Realtor® code of ethics could possible steer a client from me (someone who will certainly treat them right) to another firm because they stand to benefit from some incentive.

Posted by Christopher Ohlsen (Credit Werx, LLC.) about 11 years ago

Christopher Ohlsen  Maybe their friends at the other company are starving to death!  Many in real estate neglect to tell us that it is their relatives that work in that company also!  Real estate can sometimes be very incestuous!

Posted by Jim Crawford, Jim Crawford Atlanta Best Listing Agents & REALTOR (Crye-Leike REALTORS®) about 11 years ago
Jim - LOL... <-- Guenuine laugh... Jim, we don't know each other but I like your practical outlook on things. Thanks for the bright outlook and the laughs. I hope all is well with you... Let make a great 2008!
Posted by Christopher Ohlsen (Credit Werx, LLC.) about 11 years ago