Tag Archives: listing agents

Pre-Happy Independence Day 2014! A San Diego Real Estate Lawsuit has been settled

A San Diego Real Estate Lawsuit has been settled

buyers and sellers real estate disclosuresThis very interesting case is a mixed bag of “he said, she said” accusations and statements. All in all, when selling your home it always pays to DISCLOSE EVERYTHING  of past and present conditions, whether “latent” or “evident” and when buying a home, have thorough inspections while reviewing all paperwork from seller carefully.

In this specific case, the buyer sues the seller and agents for negligence and failure to disclose, withdraws suit to seller and buyer agent and keeps statutory failure to tell seller of defects in home since agent was selling same home for 2nd time after current seller bought home. Agent is awarded sanctions or damages for attorney fees in counter suit against buyer for incorrect lawsuit since the disclosures were provided to buyer by agent.

The following article was provided by California Association of Realtors, Real Legal Department. Continue reading

Five things to know about a home before committing to buy

Your due diligence inspections should include more than hiring a home inspector to look at the home and reviewing a current termite inspection. And your due diligence should start as soon as you have serious interest in a listing.

Making an offer to purchase a home consumes a lot of time and emotional energy. Before your real estate agent or attorney puts pen to paper, find out as much about the property as you can. In particular, you want to know if there’s any reason you shouldn’t try to buy the house.

Seller disclosure requirements vary from state to state, as does real estate practice and protocol. Find out if there are any seller disclosure statements and presale inspection reports. If there are, ask to see copies before you write an offer.
buy homeIn some areas, it is standard procedure for listing agents to provide a disclosure package that includes any existing reports and disclosures to interested buyers before they make an offer. In other areas, reports are made available only after the buyer and sellers have negotiated the purchase agreement. Get ahold of as much information as you can about the physical condition of the property as soon as possible.

After you review the seller’s documents on the property, you may discover that the home you find so appealing requires a far bigger investment in repair work than you can handle or afford financially. In this case, move on to the next property with no remorse. You’ve saved yourself from hassle and heartbreak.

On the other hand, if the reports and disclosures fall within your expectations, move on to investigating the local neighborhood. On closer look, you may discover that there are several large apartment buildings that back up to the house you’re interested in buying. This might create a noise factor. If you’re sensitive to noise, you might not be happy living in the property you’re considering.

Buyers sensitive to crime should check with the local police department to see if the neighborhood is being hit by waves of break-ins. Drive by the property several times during daylight and evening hours to see if the complexion of the neighborhood changes in any way that is disadvantageous to you.

Commuters should drive from the property to work and back during rush hour, and check into all the public transportation options that are available in close proximity. If you’re intent on buying within walking distance to shops and cafés, find out how long it takes to get from the house you think you want to the nearest commercial area.

HOUSE HUNTING TIP: It’s wise to include an inspection contingency in your purchase offer so that you have a time period to complete whatever inspections of the property you deem necessary before committing to move forward with the purchase. This is recommended even if the seller has completed presale inspections.

Some buyers who have confidence in the seller’s home inspector hire that inspector to do a walk-through inspection with them so that the inspector can explain his report and answer any questions. The fee for this sort of inspection will usually be less than what the seller paid for the initial inspection and written report.

Don’t skip inspections to save money. It could cost you plenty in the long run if uninspected items turn out to be faulty and you have to pay to repair them.

Order a home inspection as soon as possible after your offer is accepted by the sellers. Most home inspections include recommendations for further inspections. If you don’t have the home inspection done early, you may not have enough time to complete all the further recommendations recommended, like roof or drainage inspections.

THE CLOSING: If you run out of time, ask the sellers for an extension.

Dian Hymer is a real estate broker with more than 30 years’ experience and is a nationally syndicated real estate columnist and author.

Six ways to improve your odds with a contingent sale offer

From a seller’s point of view, contingent sale offers are risky. What if the buyers’ home doesn’t sell? Will the buyers list their home too high? Is their home in good condition and ready to go on the market? Many sellers would rather wait for their own home to sell to a non-contingent buyer than face the uncertainty of a contingent sale offer.

Buyers who can buy another home only if their current home is sold need to convince sellers that it’s worth the risk to accept their contingent sale offer. One strategy that can work in your favor is to list your home for sale before you present an offer on the home you want to buy.

This lets the sellers know you are serious about selling your home. Some buyers are tentative and won’t list their home until they have an accepted offer on the one they want to buy.

A lot of home-sale transactions are put together with the help of the agents involved who communicate freely with one another. As a buyer who must first sell his current home, your listing agent can help to convince the sellers to accept your offer by arming the agent who’s representing you as a buyer with information that will help sell the deal.

Ask your listing agent to prepare recent sales information of listings in your area similar to yours that sold recently to show that your list price is in line with current market conditions in your area. The sellers will want to know how long on average it’s taking homes like yours to sell. They also may want their listing agent to talk to your listing agent to confirm the information your agent provided.

Your chance of a timely sale will depend on buyer demand for homes like yours and on how many homes like yours are currently for sale in your area. In a low-inventory market where demand is high, your home may sell quickly. If there are a lot of listings in your neighborhood, you will need to be aggressive with your list price by pricing lower than your competition.

HOUSE HUNTING TIP: The sellers will want to know how long it will take for you to put your home on the multiple listing service. They are unlikely to wait a month or so for you to get your home ready for sale. As soon as you have made the decision to buy a new home and sell your current one, you should start preparing it for sale. This will make it possible for you to put your home on the market quickly.

If you find your dream home earlier than you thought you would and your home is not ready to market, enlist your agent’s aid in lining up a crew — handyman, painter, stager, etc. — to assist you with a fast prep-for-sale project. Ask friends and relatives to help with decluttering, donating what you no longer want, and packing up items to go to storage that you want to keep.

Before you make an offer, make sure you can provide the sellers with a letter from your loan agent or mortgage broker that indicates you are creditworthy and have the financial means to close the sale once your current home is sold.

Although it may seem silly, write a sincere letter to the sellers about how much you like or love their home and why you want to buy it. Sellers who have a pride of ownership and an emotional attachment to their home can be swayed in the right direction by a well-crafted letter.

THE CLOSING: Offer to pay the asking price, or more, if the market warrants it. Buyers usually pay a premium for a contingent sale offer.

Dian Hymer is a real estate broker with more than 30 years’ experience and is a nationally syndicated real estate columnist and author.

How to Interview a Short Sale Agent

Before I give my opinion on the best questions to ask an agent when selling a short sale, it is prudent to ask one question: were all the sellers whose properties were lost or failed trying to short sale their house? The answer would be that 90%-plus of why the short sale did not go through and the foreclosure did, was because the listing agent had insufficient experience or hired a short sale negotiator with the same problem. 

hiring a short sale agentAny agent who hires a short sale negotiator after taking the listing and does not interview for the job at the same time the listing is taken should not be hired. The agent can say they hire negotiators because they do excess volume, or use them for all their sales so they are fine while they don’t have the time to come to the appointment or the agent says they don’t have the time to do the work because they are busy getting new business, but the bottom line for a seller is to know exactly what the game plan will be for their particular situation, while meeting the pertinent parties face-to-face.

Wouldn’t you want to meet the doctor doing heart or brain surgery on you, the attorney handling an extremely important case for you, or the carpenter/contractor remodeling or building your home? I can’t tell you how many times I have seen the so-called gurus fail in a short sale because they do not get involved.  Or worse, they really don’t know how to handle certain situations that come up.  Since every transaction is unique in its own right, especially in a short sale, that is the simple reason why there is an unlimited price you can put on experience and handling business successfully.

Why do you think that I don’t care for agents who hire short sale negotiators even though they close a high percentage of their transactions? The answer is that, as a seller, you are hiring the person you sign up with on the listing agreement to handle all facets of your sale, correct? Actually, when a negotiator is hired in a short sale, the seller is not charged their fee which can run 1% of the purchase price, nor will the short sale lender pay it, so it should be charged to the agent taking the listing because they can’t or don’t want to do the work. But instead, it is charged to the buyer’s agent which is totally wrong. The market is getting extremely ugly with these circumstances after a buyer’s agent gets knocked out of getting properties time after time.

Now the question that comes to mind is: what do I do with this circumstance?  Do I believe the agent when he says everything will be fine or interview the negotiator–what is their experience and do they have a real estate license (since this is required)?

The only questions to ask are:

1. Do you negotiate the short sale yourself? Must be a yes.

2. How many short sales have you closed in the last 10 years? Should be an average of 20 closed per year, per agent or negotiator. Did you know most negotiators are agents who did not do enough business to survive in the real estate agent industry in the recent past?

3. What is your ratio of closed short sales? Minimum standard should be 10 a year for the past 10 years, minimum.

4. What knowledge do you have in settling liens?  These include liens such as: IRS, HOA, child support, credit cards, etc.

5. If the laws are changed in the near future back to the way they were before the law was in place, how many transactions did you close as short sales then? Should be a minimum of 20 per year for the previous 5 years. These are just some of the questions to be asked, so to be completely confident, you would want to call me to help you with your particular situation.

6. Do you know how much your home is worth?

7. What do you do if the property might be upside down?

Do you know how your agent or negotiator would answer these questions? If not, call me for honest, expert short sale advice.

– John A. Silva  |  (619) 890-3648

San Diego MLS fights for Zillow, Trulia exposure

 Agency wants agents’ info to be listed prominently on popular search sites

Article by U~T San Diego here: “San Diego MLS fights for Zillow, Trulia exposure“.  This story was updated Wednesday Feb. 8 with additional comments from a real estate syndicator and housing search sites.

Sandicor - MLSA debate over listing data continues between real estate brokers and websites like Zillow and Trulia as the San Diego region’s Multiple Listing Service seeks to control content to outside parties.

Sandicor, the county’s MLS, has added a text field to its listings that allows members to enter contact information, including names, email addresses and brokerage websites. The information, along with the usual listing data, would be disseminated by syndication websites such as ListHub and Point2, which are sources of information for popular real estate sites.

The main idea is that the contact information in the extra field would be displayed prominently for home hunters to see, nixing any confusion over the listing agent and an agent who is advertising on Trulia or Zillow.

The change, in the works since October, follows last week’s heated discussion after a San Diego brokerage cut ties with those two real estate behemoths.

“I think it will be clear to consumers if they want to contact the listing agent, they can,” Sandicor CEO Ray Ewing said. “If not, they can contact others who have ads around (the listings.) We give them the choice.”

Real estate brokers, who can opt-out of filling out the new field, also will benefit because the extra information will help drive traffic back to their websites, Ewing added.

It is believed Sandicor is the first MLS to make such a system change, Ewing said…

Want to read more about Sandicor’s latest change? Visit MLS Fights Back for Its Brokers, a blog from a real estate IT consulting firm.

Read more from this article by U~T San Diego here: “San Diego MLS fights for Zillow, Trulia exposure“. 

What do you think about this issue?  Obviously, this move to my local MLS, Sandicor, affects me–in that my listings have less visibility online.  But it does affect me on the flip side, with Zillow and Trulia not allowing my contact information to show up on my own listings.