Why Buyers and Sellers should hire a qualified, licensed and local Realtor when selling or purchasing a home in California.
As a Realtor since 1989 I highly recommend that both homebuyers and home sellers partner with a qualified, licensed, professional Realtor when buying or selling a home
The following highlight 5 reasons why it’s wise even imperative to hire a professional Realtor
1. For buyers, it’s the seller who is responsible for paying the commission in California, so it would be foolish not to take advantage of the opportunity to work with an expert. Home buying has many aspects involved from identifying a competitive lender, sifting through disclosures, understanding local ordinances and inspections, writing the offer which is multiple pages and is always being updated and charged, negotiation, title, insurance and the closing, not to mention the human element that occurs during a high stake, high price and personal experience. Buying a home is one of the most expensive events in a persons lifetime.
2. Would you choose not to hire an attorney if you were being sued? It goes the same reasoning it’s recommended that both homebuyers and home sellers hire or partner with a Realtor. Buying and selling a home is a very detailed and emotional process not to mention, costly.
3. A Realtor will guide you every step of the way; they will counsel, offer advice, break down the process and dissuade you from potentially making a big wrong decision or many small mistakes.
4. An agent will connect you with a variety of professionals from service providers to reputable lenders and efficient escrow officers, to inspectors, insurance reps and more. And long after the transaction is closed most Realtors will be there for you for as long as you need to provide further referrals, resources and recommendations from interior designers, landscapers, attorneys, and even use their local connections to get you into a school or club. My husband and real estate partner, Adam Betta, helped our client get their children into pre school
5. Your buyer’s agent will provide insight and expertise and know what sorts of questions to ask the listing agent, service providers, lender, insurance agent. Your listing agent will be an invaluable resource to bring your home to market looking its best, walk you through pre market inspections, educate you on the nuances of the current market, through disclosures, the offer, negotiation and close.
Working with a knowledgeable agent has big upside and not working with one may potentially cause you heartache, headaches, lawsuits and great financial loss.
Not all homes fit all. In this market Sellers must remain patient.
Buyers are more picky than ever, they aren’t in a rush, rates are up, and they are more thoughtful of the home they choose to invest in.
There’s more due diligence occurring before an offer is made.
Remaining patient is key, just ask a few of our recent clients who waded through the last year with their homes on the market, some, for months. But they did eventually sell and they did not change agents due to fluctuating market conditions due to local and national events.
Here are top 3 Things A Seller Should Understand In A Changing Market:
Teamwork and Collaboration: Cooperation between listing and selling agents is helpful, as is the teamwork between a listing agent and their client. Everyone has the same goal in mind, so being kind towards one another only helps to lessen the stress of a financially significant decision.
Open Communication: Open communication is quite important in any transaction. Speaking on the phone rather than through a text or email can be crucial to making a deal happen. What you learn in a live conversation only helps to clarify what may show up differently or negatively in an email or text. The tone of what is being relayed is significant.
Proper Preparation: Sellers need to understand that Buyers make a snap decision based on what they see online to whether they are going to preview a home in person or skip it, so a Seller must properly prepare their home for market. To prepare a home for market, painting and staging are first and foremost. Each home is at various stages at being ready for market, for a complete list please refer to a recent video blog which discusses what we did to one home.
We thank our patient clients who stood by us, as we stood by them as well, during this changing and evolving real estate market. Read a few testimonials.
For a complimentary personal audit of your home please reach out.
The following outlines the necessary elements of an offer to buy a house, helping you navigate this process with confidence and increase your chances of a successful purchase. Don’t get overwhelmed, just ask a lot of questions — now matter how small the question we can help.
Adam, Chase and I work as a team to make this experience as seamless as possible. Please connect us with your lender, if you are not working with one of our current partners, so we can position you for success when the time comes to present your offer. We will also refer insurance agents so when we enter into escrow you can obtain loan insurance for your new home.
- Purchase Price: The purchase price is the most critical element of your offer. It represents the amount you are willing to pay for the property. Determine a fair market value by considering comparable sales in the area. Depending on the number of offers being made comps will become irrelevant if you wish to beat out the competition. We will discuss appraisal and loan contingencies when contemplating the offer price
- Earnest Money Deposit: An earnest money deposit demonstrates your commitment to the purchase. It is a sum of money, typically 3% of the purchase price, held in escrow. Should the offer be accepted, this deposit is applied towards the down payment and closing costs. To insure confidence in the seller and seller’s agent we like to have funds wired within 24 hours, as per the default clause in the contract you have 3 days to wire funds to escrow which is to the title company who is the neutral 3rd party and takes instructions from both the sellers and buyers agents.
- Financing Contingency: Including a financing contingency protects you in case you are unable to secure a mortgage loan. This contingency specifies a timeframe within which you must obtain a loan approval. If financing falls through within the agreed-upon timeframe, you can withdraw from the transaction without losing your earnest money deposit. However, it is typical that a buyer in our competitive area, you may want to waive this contingency. This is one of the reasons we need to speak with your lender ahead of writing an offer. He/she will provide confidence in your ability to obtain financing and if he/she thinks you need this contingency or not. We can then share our confidence with the listing agent providing them a reason to take our offer over any others.
- Appraisal Contingency: Lender will lend up to 80% of the value of the home. If the home does not appraise a buyer will have to make up the difference in their down payment if there was not an appraisal contingency in the offer. We will discuss this each time we write an offer. If we are in agreement that the value is there a buyer will consider waiving this contingency. 90+% of our offers are non contingent.
- Inspection Contingency: Disclosures and Reports are typically provided ahead of time so this contingency (in our market) is typically waived in order to be competitive. On the contrary, in the LA area, agents/sellers do not provide inspections and/or disclosures ahead of time so there can be a renegotiation of price and credits. I prefer our area standards to theirs.
- Contingencies: Contingencies are conditions that must be met for the purchase to proceed. Common contingencies include a satisfactory home inspection, appraisal, and the sale of your current home if applicable. Clearly outline any contingencies you require, along with specific deadlines for completing them.
- Inclusions and Exclusions: Specify any items that you expect to be included in the sale, such as appliances, fixtures, or furniture. Conversely, outline any items you explicitly want to exclude. Being clear about inclusions and exclusions helps avoid misunderstandings during the negotiation and closing process.
- Home Inspection: Include a provision for a professional home inspection. This contingency allows you to hire a qualified inspector to assess the condition of the property. If significant issues are discovered, you can negotiate repairs, credits, or even withdraw from the offer, depending on the agreed-upon terms.
- Disclosures and Reports: Disclosures and reports are typically provided by the seller and their agent ahead of time —including property history, inspections, repairs, and any known issues. Review these documents thoroughly. Be sure to request the disclosure link for ANY property you are, or may be interested in, together we will be able to follow offer dates and obtain new information as it is made available.
- Closing Date and Timeline: Specify the desired closing date in your offer. This is the date when the ownership of the property will be transferred to you. Consider factors such as your financing timeline, the seller’s availability, and any other pertinent factors that may impact the closing date. A typical closing date is 21-30 days.
Interested in school information, local restaurants, cafes or activities? Need a doctor or dentist recommendation? We have you covered. We are also happy to make introductions to others who may help with school decisions, plus a myriad of other needs you may have as you target your search and settle into your new community. We are very connected and have a resource for anything you may need.
DiMaggio Betta Group
Debbi DiMaggio 510.414.6777 | Adam Betta 510.414.1250 | Chase Betta 510.418.3667
Knowledge is power. Experience is key. Relationships drive success. Follow these 5 steps to lessen the length of time it takes to prevail in the home buying arena.
- Identify the right Realtor. Ask a family member, trusted friend or colleague for a referral, speak to other professionals and do your due diligence. And not everything you see online from ranking websites are accurate. Take Yelp for instance. Not all, but some of those Realtors listed as specialists in an area may have never even sold a home there. It’s a pay for play site. Take the time to speak with the agent you’re considering using. You’ll learn first hand if they’re the best for you or not.
- Now that you’ve established who you’ll be working with, allow your Realtor to make an introduction to lenders they’ve had success with. It’s important that a buyer works with a reputable lender who your agent has worked with or at least confident the lender can get the deal done. How does your lender do this? Speak to the lender, ask questions and ask to speak to an agent they’ve closed deals with in the past. The listing agent will want that reassurance as well.
- Begin your search early in order to gain insight and gather information. Oftentimes buyers will begin their search online and preview homes on their own. That’s a better option for the future but when you’re just getting started it’s helpful for your Realtor to preview a few homes together with you so they can best understand your likes and dislikes. It’s difficult to verbalize when you’re not yet familiar with the homes available in your desired market. Allow your Realtor to educate, guide and set expectations so you’re not disappointed at the onset.
4. Open Houses — After you know what you can afford and you’ve learned more about the various neighborhoods and their amenities from your Realtor attending weekend open houses and mid-week open houses otherwise known as Broker Tour or Broker Caravan. In the past the agent tour days were for agents only but now buyers are welcome to attend. A buyer can attend with their Realtor or alone. Many real estate markets move so quickly and homes sell with multiple offers over the asking price. It’s a good idea to see a home as quickly as you can so as not to miss an opportunity. Each market is different so you’ll want to speak with a local Realtor so as not to miss out.
5. Best foot forward. Again, each area’s standards vary so we will highlight the East Bay —Piedmont, Oakland, Berkeley and surrounding communities. You may have heard about Seller Love Letters. In the past each offer presented by a buyer’s agent to a seller and his/her agent was accompanied by a note about themselves and their family — might that be children or their pet(s). It would detail what they did for work, where they were moving from and even shared their favorite hobbies or if newlyweds —where they met and married. It outlined why they love the home and how they would continue to take good care of it. These love letters are not required and are not a guarantee of winning the home, but we have stories where our clients prevailed due in part to their love letter. Of course, in any offer you’ll want to put your best foot forward and that includes a clean offer. When we write a clean offer that usually equates to a 21-30 day close of escrow, while waiving any and all contingencies —loan, appraisal and the home inspection. Again, in our market the seller will (99% of the time) provide a complete home, termite and sewer lateral inspection report and oftentimes a roof and chimney report and if warranted, foundation and/or drainage reports.
Preparation and knowledge is key in order to win a home in multiple offers, this is why it’s crucial to work with a local Realtor who is experienced, knowledgeable, connected and well-liked. Not only do you, the buyer, need to be poised and ready by doing all of the above aforementioned, but your agent should be connected with the agents in the community and have cultivated strong relationships so they are responsive should you or your agent have any questions. Time is always of the essence.