Take The Quiz

Spending a ton of time on real estate blogs and Zillow, Trulia and Redfin?? Friends and family have purchased homes and filled you in on the process?  Pretty sure you know how the buying and selling process works? Take this fun little quiz to see if you may be missing some important and valuable information about real estate in the state of California! The answers may surprise you!

THE QUIZ:

After a sale of a property, can a real estate agent be paid a commission directly?

NO: A real estate agent can not collect a commission. Only a real estate broker can collect a commission and then pay the real estate agent through their brokerage.

What is the difference between a real estate agent and a real estate broker?

Real estate broker’s are real estate professionals who have worked as a real estate agent for over three years. They have passed a completely different and much longer and extremely difficult test. One created by the real estate commissioner. This test is based on a high level of analytical thinking and an extreme knowledge of all aspects and principles of real estate. Once the test has been passed a new license is issued giving the broker the highest level of real estate abilities.

What is the difference between a mortgage broker and a mortgage banker?

A mortgage banker lends funds directly from the bank they work for. They are also called a direct lender. These lender’s usually have about 4 to 10 different types of loans they offer and the process is pretty seamless due to the repetition of the same types of loans repeatedly. In comparison, mortgage brokers may work with 25 to 50 different types of investors and loan packages. They will shop your loan to get you the best interest rate as well as a cost effective origination fee. That’s a great upside, the only downside is that these loans and investors sometimes change their qualifying terms during a transaction which can cause a goal post movement that may upset the buyer or seller..

Do most real estate agents have a clear line of communication with their broker so they can for help ask advise?

NO: Most brokerages are run by office manager’s who are often hard to get a hold of, are over worked and have little knowledge above a real estate agent regarding real estate transactions. When buying or selling you want to ask your agent:

Does your broker work along side you where you have direct contact with them?

At Realpro Eastside, our agents have direct physical, electronic and verbal communication with not one broker but two.

Why doesn't every real estate agent obtain a Broker's license?

The real estate broker’s license has been referred to by many real estate attorneys as an exam that is more difficult to pass then the BAR. Of the agents who do attempt to obtain their broker’s license, many will never be successful in passing the exam regardless of how many times they attempt to do so.

When you list your property or are purchasing property through a real estate agent, who is in the highest control of your sale or purchase?

Your listing or contract to purchase a property belongs to the broker your agent is working under. Meaning at anytime that broker can fire your agent and take over the sale of your home or the purchase you are making.

What happens if I end up in mediation, arbitration or court after I buy or sell a home? Does my real estate agent have insurance to protect me if they made a mistake?

NO: Your real estate agent does not have insurance. Their real estate broker does. That policy can be for 20k or as in the case of Realpro Eastside 1 million dollars. This type of insurance is called E & O and it stands for errors and omissions. So if you end up in mediation, arbitration or a court of law, the broker will be there. Someone you  probably have never met, was most likely not involved in your transaction and potentially not even located in California.

Are there any "tricks" agents use when they are representing a seller on a listing that promise the seller will get the highest price for their property but that often does not work out ?

YES: The biggest trick is to state, “Let’s under list your property (If you want 850k let’s list your property at 729K) then we can get a bidding war and drive the price up to 850k or higher through human psychology for that need to win. Does this work sometimes? Yes it does, but often times it will generate a multitude of offers around the list price of 729k and some higher. That is then where the listing agent will ask for highest and best trying to drive the price up. They also will sometimes come back and say purchase price to be 850K and represent they have many many offers even if they do not. By under listing homes, many buyers eager to purchase may take time off work or cancel plans they had to come to the open house. These home buyer’s have spent time, energy and built up anxiety around a home and price that was never going to sell for the list price.  The main reason this practice is done is not for the seller’s benefit at all. This is done for direct interest of the listing agent for two reasons:

  1. If they list your home low they know it will sell ie. they guarantee a commission to their broker then ultimately to them.
  2. By under valuing your home the listing agent can count on many buyers coming to the open house. By getting as many bodies into an open house as possible, it allows the agent to try and find new clients. The listing agent will then spend time taking to potential buyers asking them if they have an agent, if they are pre approved and what type of home they are looking for. This practice does a huge disservice to the seller’s and the sale of their property. If the listing agent is busy trying to find new clients they are too busy to answer questions about the home they are holding open. Making them too busy to point out potentially over looked benefits to the home, neighborhood or upgrades that have been done. Which is a huge disservice to the seller.

*** Please note Realpro Eastside has a strict policy regarding this issue. We do not discuss any topic at an open house that does not directly pertain to the home we are holding open. All Realpro Eastside agents hold their own open houses and we do not allow anyone else to hold our homes open.

What is a POF?

A POF stands for Proof of Funds. a POF is a visual declaration to a seller that a buyer has the funds to close on a property they are writing an offer on. The POF can come from one bank account or several. It can also come from stock holdings, IRA’s, CD’s and so on. It is important to note that 100% of a down payment on a home used as the buyer’s personal residence can come in the form of a gift (Mom, Dad, your Boss and so on). If you are receiving your down payment in the form of a gift, you may use the giver’s account as your POF. Please remember you will need to make a deposit of at least 3% of the purchase price three days after you open escrow . So note that if you are receiving your down payment as a gift, your giver will need to have at least 3% ready to wire to escrow immediately.

Are there any banks that if I use them to obtain a loan it may make my offer more difficult to get a seller to accept it ?

YES: Most agents have horror stories involving buyers using very large lending institutions to obtain their loan. We call these “Loan Mill” lenders. The two most common Loan Mill lenders agent’s dislike are Wells Fargo and Bank of America. These banks are very hard to work with due to the volume of loans they produce and the lack of communication agents have with these lenders.  Smaller banks who lend their own funds as direct lenders and mortgage brokers are preferred as communication is much easier and consistent.

What is a DTI and why is this an extremely important part of obtaining a loan?

A DTI (or debt to income ratio) is the percentage of your monthly income that goes towards paying debts. Lenders look at this information when they are deciding to approve you for a loan. The lower the number the better your chances are to obtain a loan. Generally you will want to keep that number below 36 but the lower it is the better. If you have debt that can be paid off easily, your lender may advise you to do so before you purchase a property. This will increase your FICO score as well as you DTI. The DTI is so important you can potentially be earning 3 million dollars a year and not qualify for a loan for 500k if your debt ratio is too high.

What should I NOT do when I am in the process of buying a home with a loan?

There are many factors that can effect your qualifying for a loan while you are in the process of obtaining one. Some of these factors we can control and some we can not. Below is a list of what we can control and what we should NOT do when we are looking for homes or in escrow to purchase:

  1. Do not quit your job! This will almost 100% get you disqualified for a loan.
  2. Do not drain your bank account. If you are looking for a home you will need  as much proof to purchase as possible to sweetest your qualifications in the eye of the seller. If you are in escrow, all large purchases will need to be accounted for with handwritten letters from you to the bank. A drop in your bank account when in escrow can instantly disqualify you for a loan.
  3. Do not start racking up your credit cards.
  4. Do not open any new credit cards or any new bank accounts.
  5. Do not buy a car with a loan.
  6. Do not take on a new student loan.
  7. Do not allow your current employer to relocate to a new location (unless the location is closer to to property you are buying and you are making the same or more income pre month). A current relocation with a commute of an hour or more will raise a huge red flag with the lender. They will assume you are not buying the home as a personal residence and will ask for pages and pages of additional documents from you and your employer.
  8. Do not put yourself on any type of payment plan ie. having a ton of dental work done and establishing a payment plan to pay off the amount due.
  9. Do not let any current credit cards or other debt payments get 30, 60 or 90 days behind.
  10. Do not get divorced if your husband or wife is being used to obtain the loan. When married and when both parties are taking out a loan together, the lender uses both parties qualifying documentation to approve you for a loan. A change in marital status could destroy your loan.
  11. If you are paying child support or alimony payments do not fall behind on those payments.

What questions should I ask an agent when I am choosing one to list my home?

When you have decided to sell your home you will most likely use a listing agent. If you are interviewing agents they will try and wow you with their drone photography, or their glossy flyers and overdone websites. That’s great I guess… but here is what you need to ask your listing agent before you hire them:

  1. Are you a broker? If not who is your broker? Have you ever met your broker in person?
  2. Does your broker work in your office? If not do you have an office manager who has an active real estate broker’s license?
  3. Do you hold your own open houses? Will you be at every open house and private showing requested personally?
  4. In the private agent notes who’s phone number will you request other agents call to gain information and ask questions about my property?
  5. Do you have an assistant or anyone else who will be helping in this transaction?
  6. Will you allow anyone into my property without you there?

These questions are very important. Your listing agent should personally work with their broker. They should hold all their open houses personally and all contact information in the agent notes of your listing should directly link to your agent. If your agent has an assistant they should participate in a very limited capacity. No one should be allowed on or in your property (unless approved by you) without your listing agent there.

What does it mean to double end a deal and why is it dangerous?

The phrase “to double end a deal” means that an agent who is representing the seller is also representing the buyer.  If this arrangement doesn’t seem strange to you it should!!!! Real estate transactions encounter issues and problems almost 100% of the time. When they do you need you need your agent to fight for your best interest. When an agent is representing both sides how can they do that? When a listing agent is also representing the buyer several issues arise:

  1. If a listing agent has a buyer for the property they have listed and multiple offers come in that agent can advise their buyer to write a offer just above the highest offer to obtain the property. This is unfair to all the other buyers as the listing agent is holding all the cards and the other buyers never had a chance.
  2. If you are a buyer and are willing to use the listing agent as your agent that listing agent may lie to you to get a high price for their seller. Ie. the highest offer they received was 729k however they tell you they have offers at 849K and advise you to make an offer at 850K. They are representing you but clearly looking out for their commission and the seller’s proceeds.
  3. If you enter escrow you will want to do inspections, your agent (also the listing agent) will recommend inspectors for you. They may recommend inspectors who are not as good as others to hope the property is under inspected. Which would be in the benefit of the seller.
  4. If you as the buyer want to ask for a credit, a price reduction, or want a request for repairs, your agent might advise you against it. Remember they already represented that they have offer close to yours, and may advise you not to do so as to not jeopardize the transaction.  (This is why you need your own agent! So they can fight for you!)

 

*** Greed is the motivation for this practice. The agent receives two commissions to their broker and then ultimately to them. The agent has puffed up the price based on mistruths and can now brag about selling a home for 100K over list price. But…what about the buyer? They over paid…under inspected…and were never represented in the process.

What do I do if I find out the property I am buying has property condition issues?

If you are in escrow to purchase a property and your inspections reveal issues with property condition far and above what is evidenced by the naked eye you have several options:

  1. If the issues with the property are minor you can submit a request for repairs asking the seller to complete those specified repairs before close of escrow.
  2. If the property condition is more then minor repairs you can continue obtaining inspections. Your general home inspection may advise you to get separate: plumbing, foundation, HVAC, electrical, structural, soils / geological and roof inspections.
  3. Once you feel that you have full inspected the property and are aware of the conditions you can either obtain bids from vendors to repair/ replace failing or failed elements of the home or estimate the cost.
  4. Once you have done this you can submit a request for repairs either asking for the repairs to be done by the seller. If you request repairs to be done, the seller may agree or choose to get their own bids for the work you requested.
  5. Your other two options would be to request the seller to reduce the purchase price down the amount needed to repair / replace failing and failed items. If you are requesting 30k back the seller would reduce the purchase price down 30k.  If the amount you are requesting back is below the cost of your closing and finance charges, the seller can issue you a credit at the close of escrow. In this case the purchase price would remain the same but now you do not need to use your money for escrow and loan charges, the seller would be paying for them.

*** The seller may choose to grant your wishes or ask you to meet in the middle of your request ie. you want a price reduction for 30k you agree to take a 15k price reduction or credit. The seller may choose not to do anything with a take it or leave it attitude and then you must decide to proceed or cancel.

Can a real estate agent work independently without a real estate broker?

NO: All real estate agents must work under the employ of a broker. This process is known as “Hanging your License”. The broker is responsible for all actions of an agent who has hung their license with them.

Are there any "tricks" agents use when they are representing a buyer that they promise will get you the best deal but often do NOT work?

YES: When you are buying a home, your agent will encourage you to make a very high offer, sometimes 100K + over the list price. The agent will tell you, “Don’t worry we will over inspect the property, disparage it through bids and inspections and then come back and ask for a large credit or price reduction after those inspections are complete.”  This tactic often times does NOT work. Once a seller opens escrow they want to stick to the agreed upon purchase price. They may be willing to do some repairs or give a small credit but large price reductions are difficult to get. Once a seller knows that someone has offered to pay a certain amount for their property they will want that amount. Usually the listing agent will have several back-up offers a little lower or higher then your purchase price you the buyer agreed to.  The seller will be more incline to cancel you and sell to a back-up offer if you are asking for a large price reduction.. The best part is that the seller’s agent can send the other buyers all the inspection you have paid for and ask them if they are still interested. If they are you may only be out of luck but out of pocket several thousands of dollars on inspections you paid for and someone else saved money on. After being promised a price reduction by your agent you are stuck at a price much higher then what you would have agreed to, now that you have paid for inspections you may be incline to proceed with the sale at a purchase price you never though you would end up at. Even though your agent promised that their “trick” would work.

Do all broker's managing their real estate agents live in California?

NO: It is possible for a broker to be out of state (while holding a California broker’s license). It is also possible that a real estate agent will never meet their broker and will not be able to communicate with them. A transaction gets tough, questions need answering…the agent is on their own.

What about agents I see with company names that are not big brokerages like "The Joe Smith Group" or "Jeff and Jane Real Estate" that must mean someone has their broker's license their group right?

Those are called agent teams and they do not have their broker license. They will be working under a large brokerage such as Compass, Keller Williams, Sotherby’s, or Coldwell Banker to name a few. They have positioned themselves to look like brokerages however on any printed material you will notice a larger brokerage in fine print. This is where their licenses will be hung. There are several court cases moving through the supreme court currently to expose these agent teams and how they may be defrauding consumers.

What about the agent's I see with other agent's working with them. They must be a broker right?

No: Agent teams are under larger brokers. They may have buyer agents or listing agents that work with them but 9 times out 0f 10 no one in an agent team is a broker.

Why was the broker and real estate relationship created?

Years ago real estate was much simpler. The contract to purchase a home was 1 page long as opposed to the 10 page contract we use now. Real estate brokerages were smaller and based on clients walking in off the street to sit down and inquire about homes for sale. The broker would sit in their office with their agents ready to help, answer questions, step in when need be and be the sounding board for their agents. Boy have times changes! Often times real estate agents never meet their broker at all and when they have an question or an issue arises they can not communicate with their broker. This forces the agent to make decisions based on little knowledge of the problem without anyone there to lend a expert opinion and advise. This in turn unfortunately,  can cost a buyer or seller thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars and may lead to a mediation, arbitration or court.

What are the three basic inspections I should obtain when buying or selling a home?

You will want to obtain a general home inspection, a sewer inspection as well as a wood destroying pest inspection. These are a must when buying a home either a single family residence (one home on a lot) or a multi family (more then one home on a lot or multiple units on a home such as a duplex or triplex. When you are going to sell your home it is wise to conduct these inspections as well. If you find defects with your property, it will be much more cost effective for you to complete some of those repairs before listing your home as those issues will continue to arise once in escrow.

 

*** Note many sellers do not perform these inspections, and it is fine to do so. If you do however, want top dollar for your home it is wise to do these inspections and invest some money into your home before you sell. If a buyer does many inspections and knows more about the property condition then you do, it can land you in a position where you will be asked to complete repairs, reduce the sales price or provide the buyer with a credit. Often times the seller could have saved thousands of dollars had they completed these repairs before listing their property.

Many are interested in buying a multi family property to offset their mortgage through rental income. How many units can I buy with a standard loan?

1 to 4 units. If a property has over four units to becomes a commercial property and a commercial loan must be obtained. These loan are based on much more then down payment and ability to qualify. Commercial loans approve you the buyer first ie. have you even owned a multi family or commercial property before? Does the bank think you can handle becoming a landlord for at least 5 units? If you are going to hire a property management company how will you perform in selecting one and making sure they do their job? If a buyer can prove they will be a successful owner of  a commercial property they can proceed with the loan process. The pre-qualification process will be based on income, projected rents of the units to be rented and your ability to pay for the down payment and closing costs.

What is an EMD?

An EMD stands for an Ernest Money Deposit. Almost every transaction requires an EMD. The common amount of an EMD is 3% of the purchase price. Once a has been accepted and escrow is open, will need to transfer their EMD into escrow. This is most often done by bank to escrow wire transfer. The EMD will need to be deposited into escrow by the third day escrow is open. A buyer’s EMD is protected through out the escrow process and would only NOT be returned to the buyer in the event the purchase is not complete in the following ways:

  1. Buyer removed all contingencies and can not close on the property.
  2. The seller had been obviously damaged by the buyer who could not complete the transaction ie. the buyer committed fraud to represent they were qualified to purchase the property when the were not.

*** Even in the above mentioned situations occur it still may be viable that the seller can not retain the buyer’s EMD.

What is a Pre- Qual vs. a Pre -approval vs. a Direct DU approval and why is this important?

There are three types of ways you can demonstrate to a seller that you are qualified to purchase their home or multi family residence.

  1. A Pre -Qual stands for a pre -qualification. A Pre- Qual is a statement by a lender that they have reviewed you preliminary documents and think they will be able to produce a loan for you. However they have only merely looked through your documents, the Direct Underwriter has not reviewed your documents and if anything changes before you purchase the home, or once they look deeper into your documents they may not be able to produce a loan for you.
  2. A Pre -Approval is where the lender has looked even deeper into your documents and is 100% sure they can produce your loan as long as nothing changes in the interim. A pre -Approval is strong however your documents have not been evaluated by the underwriter.
  3. A Direct DU Approval is the strongest of all approvals. This approval is where the underwriter has reviewed all your documentation and has approved you for a loan. As long as nothing changes before you purchase a property you WILL be approved. This is the highest level of a  approval you can submit to a seller.  This type of approval with strengthen your offer.

*** What is an Underwriter? An underwriter is the guard dog at the gate of a loan. Your lender will need to submit your loan package to an underwriter before your loan can be approved. The underwriter is there to poke holes in your qualifications to purchase.  Unlike a lender, the underwriter does not work on commission, and therefore has no real incentive to approve or deny a loan. Once your loan package has been submitted to the underwriter, they may approve your loan, ask for more supporting documentation that you can produce and then approve the loan…or they can ask for more supporting documentation you can not produce and deny the loan. Again demonstrating how powerful a Direct DU Approval can be when submitting an offer.

What will a lender need from me to qualify me for a loan?

The basic documents a lender will want to see from you will be:

  1. Two years of W2’s or 1099’s
  2. Two years of tax returns
  3. Two months of bank statements
  4. Documentation that you have funds or will be receiving funds needed for your down payment and closing costs.
  5. Your social security number, address, full name and date of birth so they can run your FICO scores.

*** Your FICO (or Fair Isaac & Company which is the company behind credit scoring) is an main determining factor when qualified for a loan. A lender can not qualify you if your FICO score is not above a certain number . The FICO report will also show the lender what debt you have, what accounts have gone to collections and which debt is currently in good or bad standing.

Can I buy a property alone if I am married?

Yes: When married all income and property acquired becomes community property. If a husband or wife wants to purchase property without their spouse holding any interest in that property they can do so. The way one would accomplish this would be through a five step process:

  1. The spouse refusing interest would need to agree to it
  2. While in escrow to purchase the property the escrow officer would draft a QuitClaim Deed ( a deed to the property from a spouse who is not taking title to the spouse who is buying the property)
  3. The QuitClaim Deed will need to be signed an notarized by both spouses and returned in hard copy (the original form not a copy) to escrow
  4. Escrow will then sent the QuitClaim deed to the County Recorder’s office
  5. The County Recorder’s office will then record the QuitClaim Deed along with the deed to the property. This will now produce a deed in only one spouse’s name and remove the property as community property.

What will a listing agent want to see if I am submitting an offer to purchase their clients home?

Sometimes a listing agent will require that all buyer’s who want to submit an offer on their listing get cross-qualed with their lender of choice. This means that although you have a pre-qual or pre-approval through the lender you will be using to obtain your loan, the listing agent wants to prove that. They will ask you to submit all your documentation to their lender of their choice and you will need to get a pre-qual or pre-approval from them before you can submit your offer. The easiest way to do this is to put your current lender in-touch with the preferred lender so your lender can take care of it for you.

Although it can be common for listing agents to ask for more documentation the minimum you will need is the following:

  1. A pre-approval or a pre-qual
  2. A POF or a verification that you have enough cash for the down payment and closing cost.
  3. Obviously an offer signed by you and your agent. A RPA (residential purchase agreement for one home) or a RIPA ( residential income purchase agreement for 2 to 4 homes or units)

A listing agent might also want to see your credit scores as well. These will be easy to get from your lender, they will have a copy  used to approve you for a loan.

What is an appraisal and why is it important?

An apprasail is paid for by the buyer of a property. When one is purchasing a home the name for that property is “The Subject Property” in terms of an apprasail. An apprasail is required by all lenders when they are lending funds. The apprasail is used to evaluate similar properties that have recently sold as well as similar properties currently on the market to the subject property. Appraisers use a system of subtracting and adding value to similar properties based on the size of the home, bedroom and bathroom count, lot size, location and improvements made on and in the property. The appraiser will use these calculations to establish a value for the subject property. Usually if an appraiser finds the value of the home to be worth more then the agreed upon purchase price, the appraiser will state the value at the purchase price. This is usually done as to not jeopardize the sale of the home. If a home value comes in higher then the agreed to purchase price, the buyer will be very pleased but the seller will not. The seller may then be less inclined to move the transaction along and may be unwilling to negotiate with the buyer on other elements of the transaction. The seller might be thinking, “I know my property is worth more money now so if I go back on market I can get more.”  If an appraisal value is found to be lower then the agreed to purchase price, this will stop the transaction until the low appraisal is worked out by buyer, seller, listing agent and selling agent.

What happens in I am buying a property and the appraisal comes in low?

“Comes in low” is the term we use when a property is in escrow with a buyer and seller for a certain amount but the apprasail value comes back at a lower price. When this happens there are really only 7 viable options:

  1. The seller agrees to reduce the purchase price to the appraised price.
  2. The buyer agrees to pay the difference between the purchase price and the appraised price in cash so that the appraised vale does not effect the loan.
  3. The buyer and seller agree to meet in the middle. The seller reduces the purchase price 1/2 of the difference in value and the buyer comes in with 1/2 the value in cash.
  4. The buyer and seller can not agree on a meeting of the minds and they agree to cancel the contract and the buyer’s EMD is returned.
  5. The buyer drops their current loan and tries to get another loan with a different appraisal which will hopefully come in at value.
  6. The buyer tries to obtain a hard money loan (a loan when a lender gives you the money in cash to purchase a property and an appraisal is not required). This would be an extremely exotic move as hard money loans are usually 10 to 15% interest. One would hope that the market would go up rapidly so there would have higher comps in the coming months so they could refinance their hard money loan into a traditional loan.
  7. A Hail Mary appears!!! One of your relatives, your boss, or a friend says, ” Hey I’ll lend you the money in cash!” You close the property all cash the apprasail goes away and you make payments to your giver of the cash or take out a loan in 6 months or so when if the market has gone up.

What are Contingencies and why are they important?

Contingencies and contingency removal are an  important in any standard transaction. Contingencies are basically three large walls barring you from the front door of your new property. Each one must be knocked down in order to purchase a home. These contingencies are in place to protect the buyer and it is the buyer who demolishes wall by wall. What are they? The standard contingencies set in-place to protect to buyer are: Inspection, apprasail and loan. The common timeline for contingencies are 17 days for inspection and apprasail and 21 days for loan. This means that if all goes well a buyer would perform all their inspections to their satisfaction and then remove their inspection contingency and demolish one wall. Keep in mind after inspections have been preformed, the removal of you contingency may be held up based on asking for a price reduction, a credit or repairs to be done based on property condition. The next contingency is apprasail. If the appraisal comes in at value the buyer can remove apprasail and demolish another wall. Again keep in mind if the appraisal comes in low the buyer and seller will need to work on a resolution before the buyer can safely remove their contingency. The final contingency is loan. Once a lender gives the buyer the OK to remove the loan contingency the buyer can do so. This is done after the lender is 100% sure that the loan has or will be approved and by doing so the buyer demolishes the final wall and the front door is now ready to be opened.

Why do we have these contingencies? We have them in place because the buyer has deposited 3% of the purchase price into escrow and they want to keep that money safe and refundable. The seller likes the contingency removals because it demonstrates the buyer is moving forward with the purchase.

Besides my inspections is there anything else my agent should be looking for to protect me as the buyer?

YES: Your agent should check at least two spots online. The first thing your agent should check is the tax report / property profile. This is where your agent can verify certain elements about the property you are buying. For example if the property is listed on the MLS as a triplex but records show a duplex we have an issue. If a property is listed on the MLS as a two story but only listed as a one story we have an issue. Good things can come out as well! The property may be listed as a single family residence and zoned R1 but a search may reveal the property is zoned R2 (meaning you can build additional units or homes on the property) we like that!

The other place your agent should look is online on the City of Los Angeles Permit site. This is where your agent can search for any open or closed permits, or lack of permits. If a property is being marketed with new windows, new electrical, new plumbing, new foundation  and new HVAC put there is no record of these permits, one can assume all work was done without permits and we have a problem. On this site your agent can also check to see if there are any open code violations on the property. If there are and they are not cured before close of escrow the new owner will inherit these violations and will need to incur the cost to fix them. This can cost time, obviously money as well as a huge headache and multiple visits from the city. Although the seller who passed title would be liable for these violations, mediation to recoup the money can be expensive and stressful.

SO WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE WHEN WORKING WITH REALPRO EASTSIDE?

Realpro Eastside is a small boutique brokerage consisting of two brokers and two senior agents. As the owner and broker of Realpro Eastside Kendall Key is available 24/7 for her agents to advise, support and ofter speak with their agent’s clients.  All transactions are discussed  within the brokerage and every element along the timeline of a transaction the broker plays a role in. Having the owner and broker in the office, with her agents is invaluable. It is a absolute crucial tool to create the highest level of knowledge, guidance, compassion and expertise for our clients. Kendall is involved in all transactions that run through her brokerage and is always there to answer any questions a potential new or old buyer or seller may have. We are old school. We like it that way and so do our clients. I’m sure you will too. If you are interested in working with Realpro Eastside contact us today.

Buying or selling a home can sometimes include new language. The guides and booklets below can help cure some confusion and help educate you when buying or selling a home!

*** This Guide Covers Mold, Lead, Energy and Earthquakes (If you are only going to read one, read this one!):

Combined Hazards Guide

*** This Guide Covers Earthquakes:

Earthquake Homeowners Guide to Earthquake Safety

*** This Booklet Covers Lead Based Paint:

Lead Paint Booklet

*** This Booklet Covers Environmental Hazards:

Environmental Hazards Booklet 

*** Home Warranty Information.

Which plan should I Choose?:

Standard and Upgraded Policy Information

 

Are you a little nervous about the school choices in the 90042, 90041 and 90065 zip codes? Please click on the link below to view some great 8,  9, and 10 out of 10 rated schools in the above mentioned zip codes!

Great Schools