Brainiest Californians, In Richest Housing Market, Make Costliest Mistakes.Astounding numbers of upscale home sellers, and, buyers, leave no stone unturned to make sure that they lose huge dollars, and, have maximum aggravation. Let's be frank, you and I, tell me your immediate reaction. How about, "Oh, this isn't me, or, my social circle. We are aware, educated, sophisticated, and, Real Estate savvy 'in-the-know' movers and shakers.
This TOPDOLLAR Senior Real Estate Specialist is about to take you behind the scenes, to look at behaviors in the Pleasanton, Danville, San Ramon, Alamo corridor, out here in the Diablo/Dougherty Valley, the paradise cities that straddle San Francisco, and the Silicon Valley.
The middle management seller of the standard 3 bedroom, 2000 square foot, $800,000 ranch, is a conscientious textbook case of methodical, rational, action. These midlevel managers are easy to work with, because accountability, not smoke and mirrors drama, is the main component of their upwardly mobile existence. They are honed in on the numbers, fact driven, just as they, themselves, were hired, and pay their mortgage, on the basis of their own, constantly reviewed productivity numbers. It is inconceivable that they would list their home with a Realtor who's own market numbers aren't rock solid, and, who's TOPDOLLAR productivity isn't documented. What, then, is going on with their bosses, who own the $1.5 Million - $3 Million homes? What causes these otherwise brilliant, successful professionals to hire under-performing, less informed Realtors (their words, not mine)? They would never practice such low hiring standards in their corporate setting. Say, you're the CEO, or, near-CEO of your company. How long would the board of directors tolerate your stacking the most critical and sensitive positions with people you "like", or, a needy relative, or, someone who whispers phantom numbers, rather than what you need to know?
I just clicked the California Department of Real Estate, DRE, to learn that the Department regulates over 280,000 brokers, agents, and, related entities. In 2003, alone, mortgage bankers made over $402 billion in home loans to Californians, plus, they serviced $293 billion in home loans. Since 2001 the department has brought approximately 2,156 enforcement actions. As a Realtor, My personal understanding of the cornerstone, the bedrock, of my responsibility toward the owner/seller of a property is that I am ethically obligated to do everything in my professional capacity, to help insure that the client reaps the highest, possible yield on his/her sale, that the competitive market dictates. This is not, simply, my personal credo, though it is, this is incessantly drummed into the skull of every Real Estate licensee: this is repeated, over, and, over, year in, year out, as we all must attend continuing education courses to maintain our licenses.
So, you ask, why don't all Realtors do everything in their power to achieve the very best deal for their clients? I can't answer that, I'm not clergy, nor, a psychiatrist. All I know is that my all out TOPDOLLAR strategy benefits my clients, and, my telephone rings with referrals. Win/win. My interest, and, my client's interest, are one and the same.
Not all responsibility lies with the Real Estate professional. Surely, your own life's experience reflects that people tend to gravitate toward people just like themselves. Those who deport themselves on the highest professional plane will associate with peak level professionals. With that in mind, here is a surreal situation.
Our upscale city of Walnut Creek has a population of 60,000. Approximately one in four Walnut Creek homeowners reside in gate Rossmoor. That's an appreciable chunk of people. A handful of Real Estate offices have clustered to focus primarily on Rossmoor. Here is where it gets odd. One office focuses only on Rossmoor. That's approximately 45 Realtors who are all licensed by the same DRE, Department of Real Estate that issued my license. Those agents are legally, and, ethically, bound by the same regulations, and, guiding principles as I, they even are paying members of the same Regional Board of Realtors. Yet, as a group, they avoid to feature their listings on the Multiple Listing Service, MLS, they do not seek out to expose their listings to the highest available bidder, and, they block a Realtor who is not of their "club" to present a competitive offer to their listing clients, even if that offer is substantially greater than offers that they had been able to generate within their little cabal. But, wait. Let's not point the accusatory finger solely, at this group for this uncompetitive, un-American, behavior. Doesn't the seller bear responsibility for not insisting that the property bring in the absolute TOPDOLLAR, as professional standards require? My point is that ownership has its privileges; it also has its responsibilities. In a perfect world, every property ought to come with an owner manual. Imagine if every new property owner had to pass a comprehensive examination to qualify for property ownership. I can see one of the test questions: when you decide on a listing agent, your criteria should be:
1) which Realtor will expend the greatest resources to generate maximum offers
2) or, which Realtor will expend the least resources, because maximum selling price is NOT the goal
3) which Realtor possess rock solid market data
4) or, the Realtor who speaks the nicest sounding price trash
5) which Realtor accesses the deepest network of MLS Realtors
6) or, the Realtor who ignores every canon of ethics, by placing greater importance on a commission, than, the client's TOPDOLLAR yield.
Just wait until I become the Commissioner of Real Estate (ha!); I would immediately order the drafting of a Property Sellers Code of Responsibility. Here might be some of the points:
1) Highest property value is determined by the market. To achieve the greatest price every potential bidder in the market must be afforded the opportunity make an offer.
2) A listing Realtor, who fails to undertake the basic steps to get his client the greatest selling price, should be forced to pay money damages to his /her client, and permanently lose the Real Estate license.
3) The selling property owner should be required to sign a due diligence document, that states, "Before I signed the listing agreement I required that the Realtor document a track record of expended resources to extract the greatest selling price for listed properties".
4) If the Realtor is a dues paying member multiple listing, MLS, the property must be listed on MLS, so as to attract the greatest number of offers.
5) If the Realtor does not list on MLS, then Realtor must guarantee that final selling price will equal, or, surpass, what it would have yielded on MLS.
6) If the Realtor represents that it is not in the seller's interest to be listed on MLS, the Realtor should be required to state this in writing.
You've heard of the saying, every people has the government they deserve. Here is my Real Estate version; every Real Estate client has the Realtor he/she deserves.
I don't mean to suggest that any Real Estate client cuddle up with thousands of pages written in governmentese, but, wouldn't it make sense to invest a few minutes to click on those subject headings on the DRE website that peak your interest?
Real Estate Law and Subdivided Lands Law Business and Professions
Code Sections 10000 through 11288
Regulations of the Real Estate Commissioner
Title 10 of the California Code of Regulations
Administrative Procedure Act
Government Code Sections 11503 through 11528
Pertinent Excerpts from the California Codes
Various other code sections applicable to real estate including additional sections of the Business and Professions Code and Government Code
Here is my main point. Say, you are one of the overachievers who is are looking to sell your home in Pleasanton, San Ramon, Danville, Alamo, or Walnut Creek. This is one of your most valuable financial assets. Correct. How would you go about the selling of one of your firm's most valuable assets? Wouldn't you cover every base to make sure that your actions won't be called into question, downstream? Wouldn't this be a career maker, or, breaker? Wouldn't your board require that you document, and, justify, your actions? My point is this. You owe yourself no less professionalism to help insure that those, who can seriously impact on your personal net worth, act with identical professionalism, to protect your bottom line.
About the author:
Judith Brickman is the Senior Real Estate Specialist in California's Pleasanton, San Ramon, Danville, Alamo, Walnut Creek valley. All her listings receive her TOPDOLLAR marketing so as to attain the highest market value.
Judith’s email: showme@ TOPDOLLARrealtor.NET