In most cases the bank will only work with a licensed real estate agent when it comes to REO properties. Most listing agents work for the seller so you will wnat to have a buyers agent representing you for the property that you are trying to get.
The REO broker representing the bank will do the transacting and communicating in regards the price and what the lender will approve with your offer. So there is no benefit for you to try and bypass the listing agent since they will be the ones interacting with the asset management of mitigation company.
Since banks can not broker sales that is why they need RE agents who earn listing referral fees. Banks are the owners of the property but they need the listing agents to find a buyer so if you are unhappy with your buyers agent its best to look for another real estate agent in your local area who can represent the property for you.
Buying REO’s directly from the bank will require them to be listed on the MLS list. You will most likely have to buy the home as is, and this is why a home inspection is necessary. The cost of rehabbing a home that has been stripped of its plumbing or air conditioning units can get costly.
Under-priced banked owned properties may seem like a deal but could have underlying problems, not to mention the high number of competing offers from other buyers. So it is in your best interest to get the property history of the REO foreclosure before you put in your highest and final offer to the bank.
Some listing agents are exclusive listing agents while others work for one or two banks, compare the price sales ratio’s of the homes sold in the last 3 months in the local area to determine if a chance of being considered for the sale.