Thursday, July 31, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Realtors a vital resource, whether you’re buying, selling or exploring options

By
From page AHW5 | April 05, 2014 |

During the past seven years everyone, or at least almost everyone, in America has experienced a real estate market that only a few years earlier was unimaginable.

Homes were selling in 2005 at record levels. On average, a home that was purchased for $250,000 in California in 2002 saw its value shoot up to more than $600,000 as 2005 drew to a close.

By 2009, that same home had plummeted to $220,000. By 2010, fully 85 percent of the homes for sale in Solano County were distressed properties, either foreclosures or short sales.

But, oh, how things have changed in a year.

As recently as 2012, more than 30 percent of all homes in California were worth less than the owner owed on them. Almost a third of which were at least 50 percent underwater. As of the beginning of 2014, only 13.3 percent of homes were underwater with a majority being within 20 percent of appraised value.

Realtors report that the average time on the market for a property that is not distressed is anywhere from a week to six weeks, depending mostly on the home’s price range. The less-expensive homes typically sell relatively quickly.

So now’s a good time to quickly review how to begin the “normal” California real estate sales and purchase process, something we haven’t experienced for a long, long time.

The seller

If you’ve been fortunate enough to be able to ride out the housing bust in your own home, you may be thinking it’s finally time to sell, perhaps to move up while the prices for higher end homes are still relatively low.

Even if you just want to explore your options but aren’t ready to commit, having a relationship with a Realtor is absolutely your best bet.

The real estate business is usually a mystery to the average homeowner. That makes perfect sense considering most people won’t use the expertise of a Realtor more than a few times in this life.

Many homeowners are slow to call a Realtor just to explore their options. They may feel they’d be getting the agent’s time and energy without paying them. Something just seems morally wrong about that.

Others aren’t quite honest about their uncertainty, afraid the Realtor won’t give them his full attention if the homeowner is just shopping.

Neither is correct.

Realtors, or at least the best Realtors, make their careers out of developing relationships. Providing “free” counseling has always been a part of what Realtors do. The agent knows that even if the advice she provides leads you to not sell your home, her professionalism might lead to you telling your friends.

That’s how her business grows.

So if you are thinking about selling, now or in the future, get referrals from friends if possible to Realtors they’ve been happy with. If you can’t do that, call several different agents and ask them for an interview. But please, be honest about where you’re at in the decision-making process. You’ll figure out pretty quickly who you’re comfortable working with.

The buyer

If you’ve been thinking that now may be the time to finally buy that first house, or maybe you lost your home several years ago and your credit has recovered, it’s time to take the first steps.

You, too, will need a Realtor. You’ll also need a lender.

The choice is yours whether you want to shop for a lender first to see if you’re qualified and what the upper limit of your price range is. Or you can first find the Realtor you’d like to work with. All Realtors can help you find a lender.

If you decide to find a lender first, you still can’t beat personal referrals from people whom you respect.

Checking out the programs available through the bank or credit union you do business with is also a good place to start. Finally, independent mortgage companies offer a wide range of loan programs from many different lenders. They can often qualify a buyer with a program that’s not available to a bank’s loan officer.

The bottom line is you need to shop around. Don’t take the first “no” you get as gospel.

Finding your Realtor is pretty much the same as it is for sellers. The important thing is to find someone with whom you feel comfortable.

Buyers, particularly buyers who are very new to the real estate game, need a Realtor who they can call on a Saturday night because they’re losing sleep with worry over some new issue that’s cropped up.

At the end of the day for both sellers and buyers, Realtors, much like attorneys, are counselors. They earn their pay by giving valuable advice and direction to their clients.

Tim Jones of a real estate attorney based in Fairfield. Reach him at 425-1963 or Tim@TJones-Law.com.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Cities dealing with state drought rules

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1, 4 Comments | Gallery

 
Muralist helps locals ready for some painted wall history

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1 | Gallery

It’s ‘camping for 30′ at the Solano fair

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Rejection makes us each stronger

By Angela Borchert | From Page: A2, 1 Comment

 
Highway 12 crash sends 2 to hospital

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3, 11 Comments | Gallery

 
Police release name of Vallejo homicide victim

By Glen Faison | From Page: A4, 8 Comments | Gallery

 
Mall to host Ultimate Army Throw Down

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

 
Fairfield police log: July 29, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: July 29, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Police investigate Fairfield shooting

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

.

US / World

Peace Corps evacuates over Ebola as 2 isolated

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Pipe break that flooded UCLA dumps 20M gallons

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Obama takes tougher line against Gaza casualties

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 7 Comments

 
AP Analysis: Amid war, endgames in Gaza emerge

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

2 women survive ordeal along Indiana rail bridge

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Ex-IRS official called conservatives ‘crazies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 6 Comments

Dissent quieted with most Israelis behind Gaza war

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Deadly Israeli strikes hit UN school, market area

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 3 Comments | Gallery

Sanctions will damage Russia if not lifted quickly

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
Clashes prevent experts from reaching bodies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

Suing Obama: GOP-led House gives the go-ahead

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12, 14 Comments

 
Congress cooperates – and fights – as recess nears

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

Powell maybe not told early about CIA techniques

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
Crews work to keep Yosemite fire from sequoias

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12, 1 Comment

.

Opinion

What happened to the US?

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 18 Comments

 
Am I blaming victims?

By Kelvin Wade | From Page: A11, 10 Comments

 
Cruz gets border crisis wrong

By Ruben Navarrette | From Page: A11, 8 Comments

 
Editorial Cartoons: July 31, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

.

Living

Today in History for July 31, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: July 31, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes for July 31, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

 
I want to change my daughters last name to my maiden name

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Commentary: ‘Orphan Black,’ Emmy snubs and questions of identity

By Los Angeles Times | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Allison Williams headed skyward as NBC’s Peter Pan

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Contract dispute delays ‘Big Bang’ production

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

.

Sports

Lloyd’s film watching impresses 49ers teammates

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
SF benefits from Pirates’ blunder, ends skid at 6

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Complete game shutout lifts Expos to State Tournament win

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Hammel fails again for Athletics in loss to Astros

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Ray Guy’s long wait for Hall of Fame comes to end

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Raiders owner confirms talks with San Antonio

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Stanford star Ty Montgomery rehabbing shoulder

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Greg Ives to crew chief Earnhardt in 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

Riley speaks out, insists Heat will be competitive

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Nadal out of 2 tournaments because of right wrist

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Pipe break that flooded UCLA dumps 20M gallons

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Steelers to retire Hall of Famer Greene’s No. 75

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Fairfield-Suisun 6U Bobby Sox win titles

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B4, 1 Comment

 
Usain Bolt in controversy at Commonwealth Games

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Indians trade pitcher Masterson to Cardinals

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
.

Business

US judge slaps $1.3B fine on Bank of America

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5, 1 Comment

 
A more vigorous US economy appears to be emerging

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

Overhaul approved for troubled California refinery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Judge says Crystal CEO should testify in lawsuit

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7, 1 Comment

.

Obituaries

Louise Scholten

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Ronald Witt Escue Sr.

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Scott Allen Shaver

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9