feel free to browse our collection of answers to frequently asked questions

you'll find that this is a rare source of sincere and honest answers about how the real estate industry works

enjoy

 

1.  how do i know my agent will really do what they say they will do for me?

A.  good question, while it may appear that there are real estate 'companies' and 'teams' and other such groups that can benefit you, it all really comes down to what is the moral character of the person in front of you and do they have the skills to get the job done

some real estate agents have the skills but are lacking severely in the moral character to use those skills to your benefit, many, unfortunately will actually use their skills on you rather than for you

others have, eh, 'ok' morals but are only moderately skilled in their abilities

but there are a very few truly decent people who also happen to have incredible skills

so how do you know who is who?

well, its just like choosing a friend or a partner, you have to really pay attention to the subtle cues: are they flighty, do you 'feel' a little uneasy around them, does you intuition tell you that they might be 'ok' to use for a short time as an agent but you wouldn't leave them alone in a room with your wallet... ...or your wife/husband

if you feel the need to keep an eye on them or check up on whether or not they are actually doing the work the whole time, your real estate experience is going to be pretty stressful

just like in life, if you can't relax and know that this person has your best interests in mind, you should keep looking

we would love to meet with you and see if we are a good match

if so, we can continue on, and we'll check in from time to time to make sure you are getting everything you need from the relationship

 

2.  does it really matter which company i list my home with?

A.  it doesn't matter which company so much as which individual person you list with

at any company you will be getting your home listed in the Multiple Listing Service for San Diego County, and about half the time this is what will get your home sold

the real difference in agents is what they do about the other half

many agents do nothing about the other half, they just list your house, put it on the MLS and wait for someone else to show it and hopefully bring a buyer with an acceptable offer

then there are the agents that do a little more, they do some passive advertising, at least at the beginning, and a few open houses (which can work well if you really know how to do them), and they call you every couple of weeks to tell you what is going on and to try to talk you into lowering your asking price

and then there are the ones who really know what they are doing

passive advertising is actually very unlikely to sell your house, it is all the active selling and presenting that makes the difference in how fast your home sells, how many offers you get, and consequently how much your home sells for

some of the active techniques include actually talking to your neighbors to see if they have any friends who would like to live in your area and doing active open houses (getting everyone's information and actively following up to guage their interest in your home, qualifying them, and writing an offer)

how you price the home and write the comments section on the MLS also make a huge difference

there are several more activities and techniques that i am happy to share with you (and teach you if you would like to use them in your business) when we meet in person

these active techniques make all the difference, and very few people use them

feel free to contact us, we can get together and let you know more

 

3.  how do i figure out how much my home is worth?

A.  it depends on why you want to know how much your home is worth

if you are refinancing, your lender may get a real estate agent's opinion or may require a new full appraisal

if you are splitting up assets, the court may require an appraisal and/or some agent opinions, or may just force you to sell the home and split what you get

if you are ready to sell the home, you simply call a real estate agent or two and get their opinions

but consider the character and abilities of the person giving the opinion

some real estate agents (often the inexperienced or the immoral) will actually tell you that your home is worth quite a bit more than it is, hoping that you will choose them over any competition believing that there is a chance at a bigger payday

after they get the listing they do little to actively sell it and become your adversary as they beat you up constantly to lower the price

as this happens, your home is being stigmatized as the house that is overpriced and never sells

eventually they fail to sell it and you go shopping for a much better agent

you actually make a lot more money, and a lot faster, by pricing your home correctly in the first place and finding an agent that is supremely honest with you and who is ready, willing, and able to actively sell your home

as far as the exact value of your home, the only day that is known is the day you sell it

it is worth exactly what someone will pay for it, after it is actively marketed for an appropriate amount of time

nearly every home that sells is financed, which means it will have to be appraised, and the bank who finances it will not allow the buyer to overpay

the few all cash buyers are certainly not the type to overpay, they actually expect a bargain because of their ability to close fast with all cash

so there is no legal way to get a lot more for your home than it is worth

a selfish agent can get it sold quickly for less than its worth

a lazy agent can get is sold slowly for less than its worth

a foolish agent can overprice it and get nothing because it won't sell

and a great agent can do a lot of legwork and get you every penny of what it is worth in a fairly quick amount of time

the great agent will help you set that initial price too

feel free to give us a call, we will educate you on exactly what homes like yours are selling for, which way prices are moving and how quickly, how long it's likely to take, and what you can reasonably expect for your home if it is actively marketed by us

so, the simple answer is, contact us by email, phone, or text and we will give you everything you need and take care of the whole thing for you

 

4.  do i need a buyer's agent in order to buy a house?

A.  you don't 'need' one, but there is no benefit in doing it yourself and a lot of benefits to having a buyer's agent when buying a home

if you are just looking at houses because it is fun and interesting, you definitely do not need a buyer's agent

but once you are actually interested in buying a home, a buyer's agent can do a lot for you, and they are paid by the listing agent on the home you eventually buy

the money that pays for the buyer's agent is not refunded to the seller just because you don't use a buyer's agent, so it doesn't save you or the seller any money for you to not have your own agent

if you, for example, go to an open house and the listing agent greets you and shows you the home, gets you qualified and writes an offer that gets accepted, that listing agent simply keeps the cooperating broker funds for himself, and you did a whole real estate deal with no-one looking out for your best interest

the selling agent represents the seller, anything you tell him in confidence he shares with the seller, any information he shares with you is shared in a way that benefits the seller

this is not devious on his part, it is his job to represent the seller's best interest

it is a buyer agent's job to represent the best interests of a buyer

if you are a buyer, then yes, you should get a buyer's agent

and not just any warm body with a computer and an access card

you need someone who is brilliant at reading people and situations, completely understands your wants and needs, and is a great person to be around, because you will be around this person for quite a little while during the buying process and you will need to be able to trust the information they give you

feel free to  contact us here at love real estate, we are happy to help you in every aspect of real estate and make it a fun and enjoyable process

 

5.  what order do i do things in to buy a house?

A.  the simple answer is, find a great real estate agent and he/she will walk you through the order of operations and do a lot of it for you

here is some of what you need to know, for more detail feel free to contact us by email, phone, or text

if you are a buyer, the first thing you need to do is get the financing in order

this allows you to make offers on homes you like (financially pre-approved buyer's offers are considered 'real' offers, non financially pre-approved offers are not considered at all), it also lets you and your buyer's agent know what type of housing you should be looking for

remember that lenders qualify you for a payment, not for an amount

this means that your lender and buyer's agent can do the math to figure out what that payments aligns with as far as a purchase price on a home or condo, but it also means that if rates change, the amount you can offer on a home changes, and if a home or condo has a high HOA fee, then you can't offer as much because that changes the math of how monthly payment calculates out to a maximum sales price

With pre-approval in place, your agent can search the MLS (Zillow and Trulia are fun, but when you are actually ready to buy you need correct information, the MLS is updated every 15 minutes), and you can choose which homes to see in person

your agent will make the calls and set up the showings, he/she will show you the houses and, if they are a really good agent, will watch you very closely and ask you questions to help you be clear on how you feel about each house

if your agent walks into the kitchen ahead of you and says outloud, "and this is the kitchen", you should kindly make some excuse to end the tour, cancel your buyer's agent agreement with them, and find a much better agent

a great agent is a master at reading your interests and uses this information to quickly get you only the information that will really help you

if the house you want is not currently available for sale, a great agent will go talk with everyone in the area you want to live in and find someone who with a perfect house for you that hadn't had their home on the market but is happy to sell it you, you know, since your agent asked

when you do find the perfect home for you, your agent will help you figure out what it is worth by looking up what homes very similar to it are selling for and making adjustments based on the ways in which this one is different

a great agent will also call the listing agent and get a read on the sellers position that could let you know if you can offer a little less or if you need to step up and pay full price because someone else has an offer in too.

a supremely great agent will actually go and present the offer to the seller directly, which allows for an even better read on the seller's position and an opportunity to sell them on why they should specifically sell to you and at the price you are offering

at love real estate, we do all of these things for you, and make it fun, light, easy, and enjoyable

after your offer is accepted, your agent will walk you through the closing process, letting you know what you need to do and when, and doing a lot of it for you

feel free to contact us in whichever way is easiest for you

we'll help through it all and you will be well educated on each step so you feel completely comfortable and at ease while getting exactly what you want

 

6.  is the experience of working with love real estate really that much different than working with someone from one of the big corporate real estate franchises?

omg, yes

so, very, very, yes

the way the corporate real estate franchises are set up and run is based on pushing through a large volume of sales, without regard to quality beyond making sure they don't get sued and their Yelp reviews aren't absolutely terrible

you might think that this would mean that they would have an appropriate number of well trained agents who do a lot of work, but it doesn't

they actually have, at any time, a great majority of brand new agents coming through

i say coming through because a year from now 90% of the agents currently working at any of these corporate real estate firms (all the big names you are familiar with) will have actually lost money by being a real estate agent (the overhead is quite expensive) and will not even renew their license, they will go back to whatever type of work they did before trying their hand at real estate

so if you walk into one of the large offices, you have a 9 in 10 chance of being someone's only client before they run out of money and quit the business

the big company makes money off of these unfortunate people, charging them high upfront fees and taking very large percentages of their commissions, so rather than train a few very good people to do a good number of deals, they just take a small number of deals from each of a very large number of agents, and keep rotating them through

the big company advertising implies that you get more solid experience from them, but you actually are much, much more likely to get a very inexperienced agent at a larger company

alternatively, you could choose your agent based on perceived success in the business

perhaps they have a lot of yard signs around town or drive an expensive looking sedan, or simply tell you how super successful they are

but consider your real estate agent in the same light as you might consider a love partner, do you want the one with the most conquests, or do you want the one who treats you the best

we created love real estate to be the opposite of the high volume low quality corporate real estate brokerage houses

we don't actively recruit new agents, we don't do huge volume at the expense of taking care of the person in front of us, and we don't consider our own interests when we should be considering yours

we are simply very talented, very honest, wonderful people who are ready, willing, and able to help you get what you want in real estate and in life

feel free to contact us, we can get together and talk and see if we are a great match

if we are, we'll take care of you every bit as well as we take care of ourselves, usually even better