Elevator phobias (#7), offer strategies (#15), leading real estate economists (#44), real estate jargon explained (#51), and only-in-San-Francisco stories (in every episode). Our podcast, Escrow Out Loud, is a little like driving around in a car with us between properties on a home tour.
Except it’s on your schedule. Listen anywhere, anytime:
A house in Idaho, a house in Colorado, a house in Michigan, and a house in New Mexico! Matt’s parents', (the Fullers) home journey of the Wests: Northwest, Midwest, and Southwest. This week on Escrow Out Loud, our San Francisco Real Estate podcast, Matt interviews his mom about her real estate experiences from the first 1977 property purchase to the present home.
[00:21] The Fullers bought and sold their first house in Boise, Idaho all within a 4-month time period – AND netted a profit. The quick turn because of a work re-direction back to Denver.
[03:48] The Fullers arrived in Denver with a whole weekend to find and buy a home. Fortunately, a great real estate agent was connected via Matt's Dads work. In 1977, to get on the property ladder of home ownership, the Fuller’s needed a 20% down payment. While they had most of the money in savings, family helped a little too. Family gift money continues to be allowed within certain parameters today with required disclosures.
[07:50] Next stop: On the Midwest and home in Michigan! The Fullers found that the houses were often dark and scoured for a property with numerous, large windows and lots of natural light. Light is only possible when it exists which it doesn't in the winter; the Fullers couldn’t wait to get out of Michigan. An opportunity to relocate to New Mexico was a quick decision to move toward the sun!
[13:54] Settling first in Gallup, New Mexico; a small, rural town surrounded by the Navajo and Zuni reservations. The reservations prevented expansion of the town creating a competitive real estate market. Once the next Fuller home was identified, it was a quick sale from the owner. For Sale By Owner (FSBO) was also the Fullers choice when their travels took them to Albuquerque. So, how did this process turn out?
[16:24] What are some of the things to look out for in a realtor. Matt’s mom shares some of the good and the bad experiences while Matt reveals what exactly ‘cute’ means in “realtor” talk.
[20:10] From the first purchase in the seventies to the latest one in the new millennium, how much have things changed over the years? The process of buying and selling a house remains fundamentally the same, however, real estate has evolved with the internet and modern connectivity. To wrap up, we share two perspectives on this, the buyer vs the realtor.
Thank you for joining us for this week’s episode. We hope you enjoyed it and join us again next week for more interesting stories!
Amazing shoe collections, a toilet in a closet, and steel reinforced doors are just some of the unusual things we see in this business. Some amazing, others…not so much. This week on Escrow Out Loud, our San Francisco Real Estate podcast, we focus on the things we wish we could un-see.
[01:34] Britton and Matt share stories of some of the more unpleasant things they have come across working in real estate. We hear about the time Britton showed a house that could have been a good set for the show “Hoarding: Buried Alive” and Matt’s experience seeing a home he wasn’t allowed to see!
[05:07] Occasionally, there were listings where you can only see the inside of the house once your offer is accepted, i.e., make your offer subject to inspections. This leads us to ponder a question. With marijuana now legal in California, how does it affect things? Will there be more grow houses in San Francisco, or fewer?
[05:57] Circling back we continue to share some more stories featuring cats, toilets in places they shouldn’t be, as well as indoor barbeques.
We hope you enjoyed this week’s episode and join us again next week for more interesting stories!
Britton, Britney, Britanny? What's in a name…? This week on Escrow Out Loud, our San Francisco Real Estate podcast, we talk about some commonly mispronounced place names in San Francisco, many of which have been named after notable people.
[01:20] We discuss different pronunciations of Noe Valley, Gough, O'Shaughnessy, Phelan Avenue, Duboce, Bernal Heights, Marin County, San Rafael and more.
[6:09] Pronunciation of some street/place names in SF seems to be perpetually debated. So, what is the right way and who's in charge of pronunciation anyway?
We hope you'll enjoy this week's episode and join us again next week!
This week on Escrow Out Loud, our San Francisco Real Estate podcast, we wrap-up our first podcast visit to the San Francisco home of our past clients, Josh and Carlos. If you missed the previous two episodes in this three-part visit and would like a little intro to our guests Josh and Carlos, please listen to episode 27 and episode 28. Otherwise, welcome back to the final episode of the house tour!Misconceptions, Lessons Learned and Good Advice
[00:50] The biggest misconception about buying a San Francisco home is about the length of the home buying process itself. Josh and Carlos explain that, while the negotiation and the offer process itself was quick, they expected the overall process to be a lot quicker. So don’t schedule your holidays ahead! Another misconception is that you will only be dealing with professional individuals on the other side.
[7:50] Advice from the couple that made it through the house buying experience in San Francisco, successfully. To begin with, choose the right realtor team. The right agents will know the market, the neighbourhoods, other agents, and that makes all the difference. They can help guide you and provide invaluable advice making the whole process easier and a lot more enjoyable. Which leads us to the second great tip. You’ve probably heard this one before, but it holds true: know what you really want!
[14:28] Moving into a fixer upper was a fun experience. Carlos and Josh share some more fun stories and how the house inspired bursts of creativity, especially for Josh.
We hope you enjoyed these interviews and a huge thanks to Josh and Carlos for welcoming us into their beautiful San Francisco home!
This week on Escrow Out Loud, our San Francisco Real Estate podcast, we continue the interview with our first guests. If you missed last week’s episode and would like a little intro to our guests Josh and Carlos, click here for the part one of this three-part interview. Otherwise, welcome back to part two of the house tour!
[00:46] We pick up the tour in the downstairs area, where Josh and Carlos did an incredible job tidying up the space for various creative endeavors. We also find out what happened to the little house that was outside on their deck… with a shoutout to local store Scrap.
[11:28] How do you make a room appear bigger? Get some scale sized furniture of course! Looking at some furniture around the room, Matt is reminded of a staging company that did this.More Chandeliers!
[14:30] When they bought the house (REO) it didn’t come with any fixtures. Josh, who is particularly fond of chandeliers, took advantage of this opportunity to put up as many of them as he wanted. Urban Ore in Berkeley became a great resource as they look for authentic or vintage finishings for their home. But how does he keep them sparkling? He has a system he shares with us.
[15:57] Buying and working on a fixer-upper can become a full-time hobby – especially when you do some of the work yourself. However, Josh and Carlos explain how it's also extremely rewarding seeing it all come together. We talk about, what can sometimes be, an overwhelming cost of some of the repair work and how they found a great painter who did an amazing paint job on the outside of the house (to the great approval of the neighbors, too!)
[17:27] Finally, we talk about what might have been. When house hunting, there are sometimes properties we love but miss out on for various reasons. One of the properties we reminisce about was the castle in the Bayview area with an exceptionally exceptional toilet, amongst many other exceptional features. Current city law requires water-saving toilets, which has us wondering about the exceptional toilet.. and Matt's memory is correct – the SF Water Dept. documentation includes the information about exempting toilets of historical significance.
Tune in next week for the final part of our interview!
And now for something completely different! This week on Escrow Out Loud, our San Francisco Real Estate podcast, we interview our first guests. Josh and Carlos are clients who purchased their San Francisco home in a very different market – they purchased a REO property during the downturn. They termed the phrase “Shivering Heights” for their neighborhood and they agreed to let us come over to their house, interview them about buying in San Francisco, and just chat about owning a home in SF. It's a 3 episode interview, this is part 1 and covers our drive over and the beginning part of our home tour. It was still a bit messy since the have recently started renovation.
[00:33] When Josh and Carlos bought their house the property market in San Francisco was completely different than it is today – in fact, we were in the midst of a property downturn. Seven years later, we visit them at their place to see how they have settled in!
[01:47] We kick off part one of our three-part interview with Matt questioning the suitability of using the Comic Sans font on the first page of the REO addendum document. REO addendums are horrible things that haven't been a regular part of the SF market since the last down turn. What is it about that font that screams unprofessional? Everything!
[03:06] As we arrive at their San Francisco home we meet our client’s huuuuge, Scooby Doo-like dog and hear his story.Fixer-upper
[08:34] Starting in the foyer, it is clear Josh and Carlos have done quite a bit of renovating since we last saw their place! What was once sad and neglected but a huge amount of space is now a beautifully updated, very functional, modern space.
[12:03] It is great to see how well they have settled into their new home, meeting their neighbors, and what it was like getting to know their new neighborhood.
[17:27] We talk about how different the market was back in 2011, but even then getting your first offer accepted was rare. Prices have sky-rocketed since then… Tune in next week for part two, where we learn some more fascinating things about their home and the remodel they did.
Re-cleaning carpets, installing cabinets and adjusting tracks for closet doors. This week on Escrow Out Loud, our San Francisco Real Estate podcast, we are talking about strange terms in contracts that we’ve either received or written or heard about before!
And now, based on your requests, some time markers to help you find your favorite part of the episode quickly!No Contingencies, Please!
[00:59] In San Francisco’s competitive property market there is usually no contingencies, so we don’t often see strange terms in contracts – the cleanest terms possible are typically your best bet in a competitive market! Price and terms are the two basic factors that affect how a seller will view an offer, and in a market with rising prices and multiple offers, how “clean” the terms are will often be one of the first items considered.
[01:51] Having said that, we do have some interesting stories to share of terms we have come across during our years in real estate. Would you agree to let the buyer sleep in the house before writing an offer? Clean the carpets two or three times? Make dinner for the seller after they move out?
[06:59] These types of requested terms might sound quirky and entertaining, and often they are easily handled in the context of one deal. However, when the contingencies included within one contract depend on the purchase or sale of another property, an issue with one escrow can have a serious cascading effect. We see this when the buyer’s offer on a property depends on a sale a property that the buyer currently owns. The Real Estate business can be very difficult at times, but from a project management software for creatives, it can be very easy if it is well organized.
Thank you for tuning in! We hope you join us again next week, when we will be welcoming our first podcast guests. Josh and Carlos take us on a tour of their home and talk about buying and owning in San Francisco.
A deal is a deal and an agreement is an agreement, right? Last week we talked about ‘real houses’ and the trend that sees developers building more condos in the city. So, this week on Escrow Out Loud, our San Francisco Real Estate podcast, we thought we would talk about new construction commission agreements in San Francisco.New Construction
New construction differs from resale transactions as most new construction is not in the MLS – which is not just a database of homes, it is also an offer of compensation. Britton explains more about how this works and how, in new construction sales, the agents often have to sign a commission agreement with the developer which outlines how they will be paid by the developer and typically states that they are not to share their commission with the buyer. In addition, there are a variety of laws that deal with issues such as: who can receive a commission, who can receive a commission that you need a licence for etc.Outside Escrow
But let's talk about the commonly used, straight-up agreement between a developer and agent where part of the agreement is that no part of the commission received by the agent can go to the buyer. We discuss why this makes a lot of sense from a developer’s point of view. There are ways people try to circumvent the commission agreements, but because federal lending law requires that any money exchanged in a transaction is accounted for on the closing statement, it involves going outside escrow. And guess what? This is a slippery slope to committing loan fraud!
While we always endeavor to do everything we can and go the extra mile for all our clients we also value our reputation in this industry…
Thanks for listening!
Happy New Year everyone! This week on Escrow Out Loud, our San Francisco Real Estate podcast, we start off the year with an interesting question: what makes something a ‘real house’? Recently Britton discovered that, according to some, the home she has been living in for the past decade + isn't a "real" home. Apparently, the only "real" home is a completely detached stand-alone, single-family house?
Where does that leave condos? Are these homes not real? Of course, they are! Does owning one mean less somehow? Of course, it doesn’t! While some condos are seen as a more affordable option, here in San Francisco you can easily spend upwards of 4 million or 40 million dollars to purchase a condo home in San Francisco. Luckily with this emergency water leak repair company, they can easily help you with any other repairs too for a reasonable cost.
Drive to Qualify
Matt and Britton take a look back at what the house prices looked like years ago and the huge appreciation we saw in San Francisco over the years. It is increasingly difficult getting into the market and purchasing a starter home in San Francisco. Is moving further away from San Francisco the answer? Matt explains the ‘drive to qualify’ concept; often, driving a little bit further means people can qualify for a house. In San Francisco, this, of course, means adding to the already significant commute time. For most people, this is not a tradeoff they are willing to make. When you are going to make renovations in your home, make sure you add these Kitchens designs.
Condos are the Future in SF
In response to the high population density within the city, we have been moving away from approving and building single-family houses and building condos. If you buy a new house or rent a new place, then mkae sure it comes with a modern style storage building.
Getting back to our original question, we would argue that the legal description of the property does not make it a home, a real house is where you make your life. Whatever the shape and size of a home may be, it is undeniably very real!
That’s all for this week! Join us again next week as we share more of our stories about San Francisco Real Estate.
While during this festive time of the year many of us are taking the time to be with our loved ones and think about all the things we are grateful for, for some, the holidays can be an especially challenging time of year. Most people know about the big national projects such as the SPCA and Best Friends etc., but there are a lot of great causes to consider right here in San Francisco. So, with that in mind, this week on Escrow Out Loud, our San Francisco Real Estate podcast, we go through just a few of the local charities that we love and have worked with in the past.
We start things off with mentioning some great San Francisco based dog rescues. As dog lovers, both Matt and Britton have adopted their current pets from Rocket Dog Rescue, but Muttville Senior Dog Rescue is another great group which rescues older dogs and dogs usually deemed unadoptable and finds them good homes.
Some non-animal-related charities and groups we love include, Meritus College Fund, which does great work with students providing mentorships for high school students and four-year college scholarships, Project Open Hand deliver meals to elderly and low income or ill people who are homebound. Matt shares a story about doing a Project Open Hand delivery route and what an eye-opening experience it was that really brought home the realities of the poverty gap that exists in San Francisco.
Another great group is The Welcome Home Project – a San Francisco Association of Realtors project – which helps people who were formerly homeless to set up their new homes with all the necessities they need. Currently, they are doing a big project for formerly homeless veterans.
Finally, we would like to mention the Rebuilding Together group which helps people with lower incomes fix and clean up their homes to make them more liveable.
People often have a hard time asking for help but the human connection is an invaluable gift. So if you have been looking for a great cause to give your time or your money to, these are just some of the many very worthy organizations in San Francisco to consider.
That’s a wrap!
2017 has been an eye-opening, crazy, intense year. And, while opening a brokerage was not on our to-do list at the start of the year, it ended up being a real highlight of the year for us! Thanks to www.virtua-marketing.com, we were able to improve our marketing strategies so much this year.
This week on Escrow Out Loud, our San Francisco Real Estate podcast we look back on the past year and share more amazing professional experiences.
So, what are some more highlights of the last year? Well, we left Zephyr (which was really hard!) and started our own brokerage, we went to the top of 181 Fremont, as well as the 61st floor of the Salesforce tower – the view from these high places was breath-taking! What’s more, Matt’s presidency at the Association of REALTORS® is coming to an end, while Britton's position as chair of the San Francisco Standard Forms Committee is commencing in 2018.
We wrap up this episode by sharing some unexpected things about starting a brokerage.
‘Tis the season, but is it the season to buy a home? On this week’s episode of Escrow Out Loud, our San Francisco Real Estate podcast, we talk about timing and if there is such a thing as the perfect time to buy or sell a house.
So, when is a good time to buy or sell? A somewhat flippant answer would be something like, 8 years ago, and while the property downturn was a great time to buy in hindsight, a more practical answer is, it is ALWAYS the right time to buy or sell.
The reason this question gets asked often is that people tend to think that there is a certain time of the year when they will get the best price. The reality for the San Francisco property market is that on the whole there is a general upward trend in house prices. It is true that during the November and December holiday season there is usually a lot less inventory to choose from and the sellers may be particularly motivated to sell by a certain date – this does not mean reduced prices. So, while inventory changes by season the price doesn’t. There are no Black Friday house sales!
While in theory, the best time to buy is when nobody else wants to, in practice, the right time is when you find the house you like or when life events dictate that it’s time!
Matt and Britton also chat about the wonders of real estate reality shows. The biggest issue with these is the unrealistic expectations they create. While Britton will occasionally indulge in some real estate related reality TV, Matt has an aversion to their staged nature. Britton manages to convince Matt to give the Property Brothers a try, though!
Happy holidays everyone!
How do San Francisco home buyers go about choosing a neighborhood to live in? One of the things we love about San Francisco is that each neighborhood is unique with its own particular character and feel. Choosing a place that feels right can be a very subjective process. This week on Escrow Out Loud, our San Francisco Real Estate podcast, we talk about a few of our favorite streets, and how those thoughts might help you consider your priorities when choosing a place to call home.
We are particularly partial to the brick streets in San Francisco and while there are very few of those left, it is interesting to note that most steep streets in San Francisco used to be brick for one very practical reason. Hint: it involves horses. This reason could also just be horse*&^%...
Matt loves Edgewood St. in Parnassus Heights, and some other favorites include classics like: parts of Broadway, parts of Jones, parts of Vallejo, Lombard. Lombard St. is often lauded as being the curviest street in San Francisco but it’s not (we share what is), would you want to live on a street frequented by tourists or noted in guidebooks?
So, what do buyers want to be close-to or far-away from in the city? Has this changed over the years? We call it the latte-factor. Finding the ideal location always seems to involve that perpetual battle between wanting to be in a quiet area while still enjoying the convenience of walkability to all your favorite San Francisco essentials. Being latte-factor adjacent seems to be that sweet spot.
When we show houses, we are honest about whether we would choose to live there and our reasons why. More often individual lifestyles will dictate what our ideal neighborhoods look like! Our reasons are just ours, and hopefully help you think about your home priorities.
Finally, we wrap up this week by talking about why it is often a good idea to start broad when choosing a neighborhood to live in!
Small rooms, smaller closets, chamber pots and formal dining rooms. Welcome to another episode of Escrow Out Loud, our San Francisco Real Estate podcast. On this week’s Thanksgiving episode we talk about houses and house styles!
The layout of a home often reflects the cultural values, attitudes or norms of the time period and what people want out of their houses has changed significantly in San Francisco over the years. The classic Victorian layout was all about lots of small rooms. Perhaps for heating purposes? Nowadays, everyone prefers the big open space that is the living/dining/kitchen area. Everyone knows when people get together the hub of action always seems to be in the kitchen! But do we prefer gas, electricity or induction in the said kitchen?
Matt and Britton talk about how the house layouts changed from the Victorian era, through the 1920s/30s, to now. They share their favorite layouts, which leads to an interesting side-bar – why does the term ‘open concept’ irritate Britton so much?
Finally, we reflect on how much we have to be thankful for this year. One of the things we are thankful for, of course, is all of you lovely people listening in! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Britton, I Need A Man To Sell My House. Or, sexism in real estate.
How would you respond to the following comment: “It’s too complicated, I need a man to handle it.” Is sexism in real estate okay? Is it okay if an older person says it? Do generational differences excuse sexism in real estate? Would you give it a pass if it was coming from another man? How about a woman? Should we be giving comments like this a pass at all, and if not, what can we say in the actual moment when it occurs? San Francisco has a reputation as a very free-thinking, egalitarian city, but the above example is an experience many women in the real estate industry – and we’ll wager women in general – deal with on a day to day basis. If you want to be sure of how to sell your home and where to buy your next one, then check out this DWH conducted survey.
#MeToo spread virally to share awareness about sexual assault. Numerous women have been encouraged to come forward with their experiences in the hopes of showing how common this problem really is. This week on Escrow Out Loud, our San Francisco Real Estate podcast we do our part to spread awareness as we talk about sexism.
In today’s podcast, we are clearly not discussing assault, rather, we are sharing some ‘mere annoyances’ in the form of sexism. These ‘annoyances’ are a form of harassment that we shouldn’t just simply wave away. Undeniably, just because a person is misogynistic it does not mean they will ever graduate to committing major assault, but by dismissing the female gender in a myriad of little ways are we chipping away at the foundations of equality and paving the way for major violations to be tolerated as well?
Listen in as Matt and Britton share some of their personal experiences about sexism they've personally experienced and how hurt and bewildered it left them feeling.
A legend exists in San Francisco about a secret, tree-lined, magical area of affordable houses. Off-market homes for sale in San Francisco - opportunity or offal? Personally, we don’t know of any magical place with easily affordable San Franciscso real estate, but we sure wish we did. Welcome to another episode of Escrow Out Loud, our San Francisco Real Estate podcast. This week we talk about non-MLS (Multiple Listing Service) listings and finding off-market homes for sale. Join Matt and Britton as they guide us through some of the pitfalls to avoid when searching for that perfect property!
Why don't sellers typically answer letters?
While (unfortunately!) we can’t conjure up awesome and cheap houses for our clients, we have on occasion sent letters out to homeowners of off-market homes when buyers were interested in a specific block or particular property. Although this method has been known to result in them selling their house with us, more often than not, these letters will go unanswered. There is good reason for this – Matt explains.
Pre-Foreclosure, Foreclosure, Probates, Bankruptcy
What are some other avenues people might consider when trying to snap up a property for cheap? We talk about pre-foreclosures, foreclosures, probates and bankruptcy court sales. What are some of the risks with these types of purchases? No contingencies. No inspections. Taking on whatever is on the title report including any, and all, unpaid bills.
All things considering, it doesn’t sound like we can really count on pre-foreclosures, foreclosures, probates or bankruptcy court for a good deal.
So, what can we count on? Paying market value for a property if you're lucky.
Out of Area Agents are Easy Marks
What about out of area agents?We get a lot of complaints involving out of area agents. We talk about the practice of listing a property outside of its home MLS and why hiring one as a seller is one of the best things you can do to help our buyers get a below-market-value deal.
Pets in condos. Cats. Chinchillas. Iguanas. Dogs. San Francisco is, after all, rumored to have more dogs than children. What happens when dangerous animals roam the halls? Or when innocent Fido gets heavier than the building weight limit? This week on Escrow Out Loud, our San Francisco Real Estate podcast, we talk about a subject that’s near and dear to a lot of people’s hearts – pets and homeowners’ associations (HOA’s).
Being able to finally take give a home for a pet is a very common reason people think about switching from renting to homeownership. However, communal living requires shared agreements about when and where you can do your own thing, and animals tend to want to always do their own thing. Condo homes always have HOAs which, among other things, include rules about animals.
We talk about covenants, conditions, and restriction (CC&Rs) set by HOAs about pets in condos; what kind of restrictions are sometimes put in place? Common restrictions for pets in condos can include the number of pets allowed but current state law requires that at least one pet per unit is to be allowed.
Each HOA can also set restrictions on breed, size or weight. Hmmm… We can see there is a lot of potential for complications around some of these restrictions. People often think of their pets as family members, but to what lengths would people go to keep their pets with them?
Matt and Britton share some interesting stories of people and their pets, as well as some terrible stories of incidents that have happened.
Hearing about just a few incidents with pets in condos we can see how having some of the rules in place makes good sense. On the other hand, it is often true what they say: there is no such thing as bad dogs, only bad owners. We would love to hear more about your experience with HOAs enforcing rules about animals!
If you are thinking of adding a pet to your family we urge you to adopt, not buy!
Also, remember to always spay and neuter your pets!
A Realtor in San Francisco is required to present each and every offer received on the property, right? Well, not exactly. While a seller can absolutely be discriminating in the review of offers, they may not discriminate on an illegal basis. This week on Escrow Out Loud, our San Francisco Real Estate podcast, we talk about offers.
Does a Listing Agent Have to Present My Offer to the Seller?
There is a misconception that the listing agent is required to present ALL offers to the seller. This is only true if the seller and agent have not had a prior conversation with regard to acceptable offers. A seller can instruct an agent about the offers they will review, some common examples being: no offers before a certain date, no offers below a certain price or only offers with certain contingencies.
Does this mean the seller can choose to only view cash offers that close within 10 days?
What it doesn’t mean is that the seller can choose which offers to view for reasons that are discriminatory in nature! The conditions set must not violate the Fair Housing Act. Unfortunately, discrimination in housing isn't something that only happened in the past, which leads to a short tangent about a housing lease from the 40s/50s.
Matt quotes the definitive source on presenting offers: The California Bureau (Dept) of Real Estate on the presentation of offers.
May a Seller Discriminate When Accepting an Offer?
To repeat: while a seller can provide any instructions they wish to their agent, an agent may not break the law and present or not present an offer if the seller instructions with regard to offers are illegal.
Offer Dates & Rejecting Offers
With a little clarity on requirements around presenting offers, we shift gears and chat about rejected offers and what rights a buyer has about rejected offers. While the Bureau of Real Estate is clear that a seller is not required to reject offers in writing, doing so does makes the best risk management practice.
Matt and Britton explain the reasons why it is good to have something in writing from a compliance and management point of view, however.
Finally: Best practices (in our humble opinion) with regard to offer dates and pre-emptive offers and why it might be a good idea to stick to the advertised offer date!
We hope you enjoyed listening to this podcast as much as we enjoyed recording it and tune in again next week for more interesting tidbits on San Francisco real estate.
Loyalty, confidentiality and the exercise of the utmost care are just a few of our duties to our clients, what are some others? This week on Escrow Out Loud, our San Francisco Real Estate podcast, we talk about one of the most important, and at the same time least understood, concepts in real estate – agency relationships.
Welcome and hello to our new listeners, you might want to Begin at the Beginning, otherwise, we jump in with a look at real estate agency - what an agent does and what our fiduciary duties entail.
Now that we know what an agent does, let’s talk about who they do it for. There are three types of agency relationships in California, but keep in mind that this does differ by state. Britton gives an overview of buyer agency, seller agency, and dual agency.
People often think dual-agency means that both the buyer and the seller must be working with the same individual i.e, the same exact person with the same exact face! Britton and Matt myth-bust this assumption for us! They explain that the fiduciary relationship goes a level higher than that; the agency relationship is not with an individual agent, it is with the brokerage that holds the license for that agent.
A real-world example: if two different real estate agents from the same brokerage are involved, one representing the seller and the other the buyer, the relationship is dual-agency. This is quite common and is perfectly legal in California but it must be disclosed and accepted. While we are on the subject of agency relationships we also explain the three parts in an agency process relationship; disclosure, election and confirmation.
Finally, how important is the selection of an agent in the process of buying a house? A home is one of the biggest assets you are likely to ever purchase. It makes sense then, to take time in selecting the best people to work with and to have advising you throughout this process, right?
Matt and Britton take us back to a time when information wasn’t so readily available on the internet and share their own experiences in buying their first houses! Back then listings were sent through to them using something called a fax machine and people engaged with an agent much earlier in the process than they do today.
We hope you enjoyed this week’s episode and picked up some new information about agency relationships.
Next week, tune in as we talk about all things offers!
Important Reminder: We aren't attorneys! We can't give you legal advice and this isn't legal advice. If you need a real estate attorney or have a legal question we can suggest some legal resources, but our podcast isn't a legal resource.
Should you walk into an open house and ask the agent standing there to write an offer for you? That's the heart of this week's episode. But first... Matt and Britton have started a new real estate brokerage, Jackson Fuller Real Estate! Congrats to Matt and Britton for their new San Francisco real estate offices in the Westfield at 845 Market St., Suite 450. It[s quite a drive from their old office, but since they got i4mt, they have nothing to worry about. Unfortunately, in his excitement to move into the new offices, Matt messed up and armed the wrong mic when recording this podcast episode. Our amazing audio engineer did his best, but we apologize Matt sounds so distant.
Matt and Britton started their real estate blog in 2006 and have always had an active online presence, so we start an episode about agency with a comment from one of our listeners. Our listeners wrote in about an experience with a listing agent who was acting as a dual agent at their request, based on one of the many articles we've published about real estate agency.
This story illustrates a few of the pitfalls of modern San Francisco real estate, especially when it comes to agency and dual agency. Our listener's comment really captures so many great topics of discussion, from agency relationships to points around offers and offer strategies as well as all the frustration clients often experience with the market – so many potential future podcasts!
But, back to agency and dual agency and strategy. Does saving the seller commission balance out in the cost vs benefit analysis? What about when there are multiple offers? What is one of the most common assumptions potential buyers have? Matt and Britton explain why going directly to the listing agents doesn’t always mean a better deal for the buyer. The seller hired the listing agent to get the best price for the property which in turn might not be in the buyer’s best interest. Having the right mindset is essential for a dual agency – which represents multiple parties – to work.
Finally, Britton and Matt share their own experiences as dual agents. Sometimes it worked out well. Sometimes not so much!
Don’t miss our next episode where we will talk more about agency relationships – what they are and what the big misconceptions, and confusions are.