Mortgages /

Choosing a Mortgage Lender

Optimize the timing
One of the first things a prospective buyer should do is find an experienced and responsive mortgage lender before making a purchase. In many cases, this could be six months to a year prior to when you want to buy a home. People often delay reaching out to a lender until they have saved a sizable down payment and are ready to put an offer in on a property.  

Industry Knowledge /

Buying and Selling in the Age of Coronavirus

Since the warnings about a virulent virus rapidly spreading across the globe emerged, the real estate industry has been tasked with finding a way to prioritize public health while continuing to help clients buy and sell properties. Ten days ago Alameda County deemed real estate agents as essential workers under the shelter in place order. There has been significant effort at the local and National level to interpret the restrictions agents, buyers, and sellers must adhere to. The rules of engagement have been changing on a nearly daily basis but as of now, this is what we understand:

Buyers /

Coronavirus and the Future of Real Estate

We are living in challenging times. Our daily routines are being disrupted and many people fear for their health, safety, and financial future. This is an understandable response to a global pandemic that we still don’t completely understand. 

Yet despite this uncertainty, the virus will eventually run its course and our lives will return to normal. That may be weeks or months from now, but there is little doubt that years from now most of us will look back on this time and recognize the fear of this moment for just that.

Industry Knowledge /

The Difference between Travel Agents and Real Estate Agents

The travel agent industry has been decimated over the past two decades due to the internet. Information asymmetry has effectively evaporated with online travel marketplaces. Airlines no longer need to give up 10% of their revenue to an intermediary to play matchmaker between travelers and flights. Airlines can now easily connect directly with their customers over the internet, driving down transaction costs, increasing transparency, and improving the customer experience without the need for a third party.

Buyers /

Winning the Seller’s Heart and the Home of Your Dreams

Many home buyers find it surprising that building personal rapport with the seller of a property can actually make a meaningful difference in winning or losing the home of your dreams. Most buyers assume that price is the only thing that really matters for sellers and there is little else to be done to influence the outcome of a deal, other than be the highest bidder.

Buyers /

Should Home Sellers Beware of iBuyers?

A new real estate business model has emerged over the past several years that is creating confusion and fear among home buyers, sellers, and real estate professionals. Under what is known as an iBuyer or ‘Instant Buyer’ model, Start-up companies and established players in the real estate industry are purchasing houses directly from property owners.

Escrow /

Details of Closing a Home Purchase

The details around the process of a home purchase can seem daunting. Especially for first time buyers, the legal requirements and seemingly arcane group of vendors to work with is particularly confusing. However, with a little bit of knowledge and an experienced real estate agent, navigating this process can be much less stressful than you might think.

Escrow /

Tips For a Smooth Escrow Process

The escrow process in a real estate transaction often feels mystifying and opaque for first time home buyers. Having a better understanding of the reason for an escrow period and what occurs during this stage will enable you to better communicate with all parties to the transaction, aid them in meeting key timelines, and dramatically improving the likelihood of a drama free closing.

Mortgages /

The Myth of Overpaying for Real Estate

Many new buyers are fearful of overpaying for real estate when purchasing a new property. Given that buying a new home will likely be one of the largest investments you make in your life, this is entirely understandable. However, the market conditions in which you are considering a purchase play a big role in determining what might be a fair value vs. overpaying.

Financial Review /

When to Engage a Real Estate Agent?

Thinking about buying or selling a house is a major life decision.  You may wonder when exactly is the best time to seek the services of a real estate agent.  While you may just be information gathering, engaging an agent as soon as possible in your process can help inform your strategy and set you up for success.