Frequently Asked Questions

 

General Questions

 
 
How Long Have You Been Doing Real Estate? Do You Like It?
I've been in real estate for over 35 years servicing the Santa Clara and Santa Cruz areas. I enjoy the variety of both the clients and property scenarios the industry offers.
What Is A REALTOR®?
A REALTOR® is an agent or broker who belongs to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), adheres to its extensive Code of Ethics and pays annual dues. Not every real estate agent or broker belongs to NAR. NAR members also belong to state and local trade associations, and complaints against a REALTOR® can be filed with the local board.
What Is A Real Estate Broker?
A real estate broker is someone who has passed the state's brokerage exam. The broker's exam is longer and more difficult than a salesperson's (agent's) exam, as brokers are held to higher standards of knowledge.

In California, a broker's license is required to work by yourself and or hire real estate salespersons.

To qualify for a broker's license in California, you must:
  • Hold a four-year degree
  • Complete eight college-level real estate courses
  • Pass the brokerage exam

OR
  • Have two years of real estate sales experience and
  • Complete eight college-level real estate courses
What Is A Dual Agent?
Agents / brokers enter dual agency when they represent both the seller and the buyer. If two agents—the listing agent and a buyer's agent—work for the same broker, it's also considered dual agency.

Dual agency is not legal in all 50 states (but it's legal in California).
 
 

For Sellers

 
 
How Much Is My Property Worth?
The value of your property is dependent upon a number of variables including location, size, age, time of year, condition, market circumstances, etc. For an accurate estimate, a real estate professional needs to view your property.

I offer a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis), or Home Valuation at no charge and would be happy to help you in this regard.
How Much Do You Charge?
Commission is negotiable.
How Long Will It Take To Sell?
The length of marketing time depends most on current market conditions and correctly pricing the property.
 
 

For Buyers

 
 
Do I Need A Pre-Approval Letter?
While not legally required, it is a good idea. Often times sellers and their representatives will request or require it in order to consider your offer.

For example, if you want to buy a bank-owned property (like a foreclosure), the lenders often require a pre-approval letter and proof of funds.
Can You Help Me Find A Property?
Of course! If you are searching for a property within California, I can assist you.

If you are searching outside the Bay Area, I may have some reliable, professional REALTOR contacts I have previous dealings with that I can put you in touch with.
Why Should I Purchase Title Insurance?
While every title policy is slightly different, title insurance protects the buyer from title problems that may become known after the sale such as:

  • Unknown Liens: If the previous owners of the property didn't keep proper records or (consistently) pay their taxes, banks or financing companies can place liens on the property for unpaid debts even after the buyer closes on the sale.
  • Errors in Public Records: Clerical or filing errors could affect the deed or survey of the property, in which case the buyer would have to resolve them at their expense.
  • Boundary/Survey Disputes: While a buyer usually sees surveys of the property prior to buying, other surveys may exist that show differing boundaries. Therefore, a neighbor or other party could be able to claim ownership to a portion of the property.
  • Illegal Deeds: If a prior deed is discovered to have been made by a minor, someone of an unsound mind or someone who was reported single but is actually married, the enforceability of prior deeds can be affected, and present ownership may also be affected.
  • Missing Heirs: Sometimes properties are included in wills, and ownership may be passed to the heirs. However, heirs can be missing or unknown at the time of death. Family members can also contest the will for their own property rights. Both of these scenarios can happen long after the buyer has purchased the property but may affect the buyer’s rights to the property.
  • Undiscovered Encumbrances: When purchasing a property, the buyer may not know that a third party holds a claim to all or part of the property. A former mortgage or lien, or non-financial claims like restrictions or covenants limiting the use of the property may exist.

  • There are other instances that title insurance can protect you from, and you should discuss these with your real estate professional or a title company representative.