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THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY The truth about Real Estate & Loan Agents

 The purpose of this article is twofold: 1. To encourage Buyers to find an agent who will competently represent them in the purchase of a home and 2. To be prepared to dump any agent who demonstrates anything but number 1. I know this article will ruffle some feathers, but who will it ruffle? There is an inherent flaw to the current traditional means of selling a home. The flaw is that the listing agent and the selling agent do not get paid unless the home sells! So the worst thing about the current home selling method is also the best thing about the current home selling system – it gets people into homes because everyone wants it to happen! The seller wants to take the money and move on. The Buyer wants a new home.

The listing agent and the buyer’s agent (sometimes they are one and the same) desire to be paid for their efforts and also want the seller to accomplish his stated goal and the buyer to get into the home. The above is the ideal scene, of course. But here we are on planet earth, the site of Murphy’s Law – simply stated “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” After 23 years of real estate sales and lending, I’ve learned just that. Especially overseeing an office of 16 loan agents, 7 real estate agents and all the necessary support staff during the heydays of the market in Northern California. For 50 to 70 hours a week, my job was to train these folks and then “oversee” their transactions. “Oversee” really meant MAKE SURE THEY GOT DONE and a lot of the job was simply cleaning up the messes that really were the result of a lack of experience or honest desire to help.

I always preached to my agents that there were really no “problems” in a real estate or loan transaction, just items that had to be checked off a list. I assure you though, that if an agent did not have an honest desire to push through the transaction and well communicate whatever necessary to all involved parties, well, here came the problem(s)! One thing that I know with certainty from all these years of being in the business, is that when someone came to me to help them buy a home, they wanted to buy a home – NOW. When someone came to me to refinance a loan, they wanted to refinance their loan – NOW. So the job really became finding the easiest, quickest path to that stated target on their behalf. True professionals accomplish just that. The truth is “professional” in a lot of circumstances has nothing to do with years of experience.

It is really more of a viewpoint to get the thing done in spite of barriers that will come up. You want to avoid Buyer’s agents who are adversarial in their approach to the purchase. It is not rock ‘em sock ‘em robots. You want to buy and the seller wants to sell. How do you get a meeting of the minds in a boxing match? This comes in varying degrees too. How about the real estate agent who counsels you to back out of a contract because the seller won’t pay for the home warranty? OK, maybe that’s an exaggeration but you get the point. Avoid agents who are alarmists. To them everything is a problem and a big deal. Here is an example of an alarmist: You see some mold in a home you are viewing and the agent makes it out to be a huge big deal. Maybe it is maybe it isn’t. As I mention above, it’s just something to be checked off a list. The alarmist will try to stop your progress towards this purchase because of the mold.

A true professional would move the purchase along and do the reports necessary to have the appropriate professional, who knows mold, tell you it’s a problem or not. I could go on and on along these lines to include agents who will not communicate or answer your questions, those who are always late or no-show’s for appointments, agents who reschedule everything, those that are negative, have steered you wrong, those that continually bad-mouth others, are opinionated, agents who are just out for the money and not to honestly help, etc. People innately know professionalism when they see it.

You should demand that for yourself in the most expensive purchase you will make in your life.

Forest Tardibuono- the Guy in the White Hat – is a CA DRE Broker with more than 23 years of experience in real estate and lending. His phone number is (707) 523-2099. Email is Forest@sunpacmortgage.com. See website @ www.sunpacmortgage.com.

YOU CAN SELL THAT HOUSE

Homes that are staged sell at a higher price and faster.  Like a car most people want a good looking car, not a car with dents and paint missing or garbage in the back seat!  There are many shows on TV (especially HGTV) on staging to sell.  Here is a partial list of the benefits that home staging provides:  1) Staged homes SELL FASTER.  2) Staged homes get higher offers  3) Staged houses look better in the MLS pictures, getting more potential buyers to actually come see the house in the first place  4) Staged houses have an edge over competing properties, and the staging can often sway the final decision.

Studies have shown that most buyers make a decision about a house within 15 seconds of walking in the door.  Many other buyers make a decision without ever getting out of their car.  The message here is that first impressions are very, very important when selling a home.

Home Staging Tips:  Curb appeal – eliminate any and all clutter, trim the bushes and do a thorough clean-up.  A fresh coat of paint goes a long way in making a house look good.  Fresh sod or landscaping can make a major difference.  Flowers!

Home Staging Tips:  Inside the House – eliminate all clutter.  Homes look bigger and more stylish without clutter.  Take all pictures off of the refrigerator; remove any stacks of paper on your desk, etc…  Also, having a professional house cleaning service come in and do a thorough once-over is almost always well worth the cost.

Fresh paint can make a real difference!  It is the frosting on the cake.  Use colors that will appeal to the greatest number of people.  You may prefer something bolder for yourself, but when selling a house, neutral-colored interior paints work best.  Also, replace any worn carpets or other flooring.  If you have hardwood floors that are in rough shape, having them refinished can often return many times the cost and sell the house much faster.

Make sure there are no unpleasant pet or cooking odors.  Use size-appropriate furniture.  Clear high-traffic areas of excess furnishings to maximize feeling of space.  Leave the lights on during the day to make the home as bright as possible.