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Why Trust Diamond Certified Real Estate Agents Rated Highest in Quality?

Photo: Julie Flouty - Alain Pinel Realtors (2016)

You are the customer. If your goal is to choose a real estate agent that will deliver high customer satisfaction and quality, you’ll feel confident in choosing a Diamond Certified realtor. Each has been rated Highest in Quality in the most accurate ratings process anywhere. And you’re always backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. Here’s why the Diamond Certified ratings and certification process will help you find a top-rated real estate company and is unparalleled in its accuracy, rigor and usefulness:

1) Accuracy: All research is performed by live telephone interviews that verify only real customers are surveyed, so you’ll never be fooled by fake reviews.

2) Statistical Reliability: A large random sample of past customers is surveyed on an ongoing basis so the research results you see truly reflect a Diamond Certified company’s top-rated status.

3) Full Disclosure: By clicking the name of a company above you’ll see the exact rating results in charts and read verbatim survey responses as well as researched articles on each qualified company.

4) Guaranteed: Your purchase is backed up with mediation and the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee, so you can choose with confidence.

Click on the name of a Diamond Certified company above to read ratings results, researched articles and verbatim customer survey responses to help you make an informed decision.

More than 200,000 customers of local companies have been interviewed in live telephone calls, and only companies that score Highest in Quality in customer satisfaction–a 90+ on a 100 scale–as well as pass all of the credential-based ratings earn Diamond Certified. By requiring such a high score to qualify, the Diamond Certified program eliminates mediocre and poorly performing companies. Read detailed information about the ratings and certification process.

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DIAMOND CERTIFIED EXPERT CONTRIBUTORS IN THE San Mateo County – Real Estate Sales – Agents CATEGORY

Christine Stahl is a 30-year veteran of the real estate industry and partner at Lommori Stahl Group of Re/Max Star Properties, a Diamond Certified company. She can be reached at (650) 525-4162 or by email.

Christine Stahl

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

Christine Stahl: In Her Father’s Footsteps

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

PACIFICA — When asked how she became involved in the real estate industry, Christine Stahl credits the early influence of her father. “My father was a real estate broker and had his own office in Pacifica,” she explains. “When I was deciding what I wanted to do with my life, my father’s business partner suggested I go to work for him and have him teach me the business. I took her advice, got my real estate license and joined my father’s team.”

Five years later, Christine’s father unexpectedly passed away, which left her not only in a place of personal grief, but also at a professional crossroads. “After my father passed away, I had the choice to take over his company or continue working solo as an agent,” she says. “I decided on the latter, as I really enjoyed working hands-on with buyers and sellers.” Not long after, Christine was offered a proposition from industry colleague Pete Lommori. “Pete and I knew each other from working together on past transactions, and after my father passed, he suggested we join forces and form a team. The more we talked about it, the more it seemed like a good idea, so we made it official in 1995 and have been working together ever since.”

Today, as partner at Lommori Stahl Group of Re/Max Star Properties, Christine says her favorite part of her job is helping clients prepare for major decisions. “For most people, purchasing or selling a home is one of the biggest decisions they’ll ever make, so I like being there to walk them through that process. By sitting down with them, determining their needs and putting together a plan to meet their goals, I’m able to give my clients greater confidence in making their big decisions.”

A longtime resident of Pacifica, Christine expresses her adoration for the Bay Area. “I was born and raised in Daytona Beach, Florida, so I’ve always loved the coast and the ocean. When I came to the Pacific coast, it immediately felt like home. The surf, the sunset, the mountains, the clean air…we’re simply surrounded by beauty, so I feel very fortunate to live here.”

Outside of work, Christine spends much of her time enjoying the local landscape and searching for hidden gems. “I like to explore different areas of Northern California, including the coast and Wine Country,” she says. “There’s so much to see and do around the Bay Area, and I’m always coming across new things.” Additionally, Christine enjoys spending time with friends and family; going on walks with her dog and company mascot, Rockaway Ricky; and volunteering her time to benefit her community. “I’m on the board of a local nonprofit called Pacificans Care, which raises funds for the four core social service agencies here in Pacifica.”

When asked the first thing she’d do if she were to retire tomorrow, Christine says she would expand her exploratory horizons beyond the California border. “I would definitely travel more. In particular, I’d like to visit some of the national parks around the country. I love nature and have been to a few parks, but there are a lot more I still want to see, so maybe I’d rent an RV and go on a national park tour.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What was your first pet?
A: A cat named Girl.

Q: Reality TV or documentaries?
A: Documentaries. I like history and enjoy learning the facts behind major events.

Q: What’s your favorite winery?
A: Chateau St. Jean in Kenwood.

Q: What kind of music do you like?
A: Classic rock and Motown.

Q: Do you collect anything?
A: Succulents—they’re fun to collect because you can simply take a branch from someone else’s garden and transplant it into yours.

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Measures to Maximize Property Appeal

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PACIFICA — Prior to putting your home up for sale, you’ll want to take measures to maximize its appeal to potential buyers. While there are several avenues for boosting your property’s appeal, it’s best to focus on those that are likely… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: Preparing Your Home for Market

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Complete Video Transcription:

PACIFICA — Host, Sarah Rutan: If you’re planning to sell your home, you’ll want to take every available measure to get it ready for market. To learn… Read more

Michael Kenny is a 34-year veteran of the real estate industry and president of Kenny Realty, Inc., a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (650) 276-4436 or by email.

Michael Kenny

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

Michael Kenny: Realty Roots

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO — Michael Kenny has always had roots in the real estate industry, so when he decided to pursue it as a career, it felt practically second nature. “My dad started Kenny Realty in 1967,” he explains. “Growing up with a father in real estate, I was always sort of immersed in it—I’d hear about it around the dinner table, and when I was in high school, I worked for him painting rentals. After college, I decided to give the family business a try, and I absolutely fell in love with it. I know it thrilled my dad to see the company stay in the family.”

Today, as president of Kenny Realty, Michael says his favorite part of his job is the opportunity to make a positive impact. “I’ve always considered myself a positive person, so real estate has provided a great way for me to live that out. At the end of the day, when I’m handing my clients a set of keys, I get a lot of satisfaction knowing I’ve helped them start a new chapter of their lives.”

A resident of Foster City, Michael spends his time outside of work on a variety of active pastimes. “My wife, Caryn, and I are very active and love spending time at Lake Tahoe,” he affirms. “Depending on the season, we might be skiing, water skiing, hiking or paddle boarding. We also enjoy following professional sports—Caryn is an avid basketball fan, so we have season tickets to the Warriors.” Additionally, Michael likes gardening and spending time with friends and family, including his and Caryn’s two daughters, Danielle and Christina.

In regard to his professional career, Michael espouses the importance of maintaining a good reputation. “My dad taught me to never compromise my reputation,” he says. “When I took over the business, I was really motivated to preserve the reputation my father had built for the company, which meant maintaining his high standards for quality and client satisfaction. To this day, I strive to maintain a level of professional excellence I know my father would be proud of.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Michael says he wouldn’t. “My dad worked until he was 90, so, like him, I don’t think I’ll ever fully retire. However, I definitely see myself taking more time off to travel. A few years ago, my wife and I took a three-week trip to Europe, and it made us realize how hard we’d been working for the last two decades and how little time off we’d taken. So, from now on, we plan to take a long vacation at least every couple of years so we can relax.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
A: When I find something I like, I tend to stick with it, so I’d probably go back to Europe—specifically, the town of Positano, which is on the Amalfi Coast in Italy. It’s right on the water, the food is great and it’s very relaxing.

Q: Reality TV or documentaries?
A: My wife and I are big reality TV people—we’ve always enjoyed shows like Survivor, Big Brother and American Idol.

Q: Music or talk radio?
A: I enjoy both. I listen to a lot of sports talk radio, but I love music as well.

Q: What’s your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?
A: Sit by the fire and watch sports.

Q: Do you collect anything?
A: Sports memorabilia. I have several autographed jerseys and about 40 bobbleheads.

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Inherited Properties: Renting vs. Selling

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SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO — If you’ve inherited a property, you might be wondering whether it’s more beneficial to sell it or rent it. While either scenario has its advantages, there are some important details to consider before making your decision. One… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: Rent or Sell?

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Complete Video Transcription:

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO — Host, Sarah Rutan: If you’ve inherited an investment property, you’ll need to determine whether it’s a better idea to rent it or sell… Read more

SELECTED PHOTOS FROM THESE TOP RATED COMPANIES

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INDUSTRY INFORMATION AND RESEARCHED ARTICLES BY THE DIAMOND CERTIFIED RESOURCE

chalet-style homes
beach homes
A-frame homes
split-level homes
commercial properties
high-end homes
vacation homes
luxury homes
modular homes
green homes
Craftsman homes
Victorian homes
condominiums
rental properties

new homes for sale
commercial property sales
undeveloped property sales / land for sale
luxury homes for sale
rent-to-own homes
mobile homes / manufactured homes for sale
foreclosed homes for sale
bank-owned homes sales
investment properties
home listings
vacation home sales
townhouse sales
condominium sales
apartment sales

Atherton
Belmont
Brisbane
Broadmoor Village
Burlingame
Colma
Daly City
East Palo Alto
El Granada
Emerald Hills
Foster City
Half Moon Bay
Hillsborough
La Honda
Loma Mar
Menlo Park
Millbrae
Montara
Moss Beach
Pacifica
Palomar Park
Pescadero
Portola Valley
Princeton by the Sea
Redwood City
San Bruno
San Carlos
San Gregorio
San Mateo
Sharp Park
South SF
West Menlo Park
Woodside

94002
94005
94010
94011
94014
94015
94016
94017
94018
94019
94020
94021
94025
94026
94027
94028
94030
94037
94038
94044
94060
94061
94062
94063
94064
94065
94066
94070
94074
94080
94083
94096
94098
94128
94401
94402
94403
94404

Know What You Want
Questions to Think About Before Hiring a Real Estate Agent in San Mateo County

Many factors should be considered before selecting a real estate sales agent in San Mateo County that will meet your needs the best. Write down everything that you’re searching for before you begin your research. Think about the following questions before making your final choice regarding a real estate sales agent.

1.     Do I want a Diamond Certified real estate office that is rated best in quality and backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee?

2.     What is my budget?

3.     What personal and professional characteristics would I like my San Mateo area real estate agent contractor to have? (These may include good communication skills, honesty, reliability, cleanliness, etc.)

4.     What is the time frame that is most optimal for me to purchase or sell my real estate property in San Mateo County, including the larger cities of Pacifica, East Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Foster City, and Burlingame?

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What To Ask In Person
Questions to Ask When Speaking in Person with a San Mateo County Real Estate Agent

The next step in the process of hiring a real estate sales agent in San Mateo County is to interview them. Consider asking the following questions.

1.     What sets you apart from other real estate sales agents?

2.     What if I am unhappy with your service? Do you offer a guarantee?

3.     Can I get references for your last five deals?

4.     Can I list the house with you for 60 to 90 days?

5.     Has a client ever filed a complaint against you?

6.     Considering the current market, at what price do you think my home can sell?

7.     Other than a CMA (comparative market analysis), what does your marketing package contain?

8.     Do you represent buyers and sellers on the same house?

9.     Can you give me a comparative market analysis of recent home that are on the market as well as recent sales in the area?

10.  How many other sellers are you representing now? (Keep in mind that the busiest real estate sales agents are often the most efficient.)

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  • What To Ask References
    Speaking with Previous Customers of a San Mateo County Real Estate Agent

    It’s best to choose a Diamond Certified real estate sales agent in San Mateo County because all certified companies have passed an in-depth ratings process that most other companies can’t pass. If you want quality real estate work in San Mateo County and the greater Bay Area, you can have confidence choosing a Diamond Certified company. Diamond Certified reports are available online for all certified companies. And you’ll never be fooled by fake reviews. That’s because all research is performed in live telephone interviews of actual customers.

    If you can’t locate a Diamond Certified real estate sales agent within reach in San Mateo County, including the smaller cities of Broadmoor Village, Atherton, Hillsborough, Millbrae, Palomar Park, and Woodside, you’ll have to do some research on your own. If you do, it’s wise to call some references provided by your real estate sales agent.

    Keep in mind, though, that references provided to you by the real estate sales agent are not equal in value to the large random sample of customers surveyed during the Diamond Certified ratings process. That’s because references given to customers from companies are cherry-picked instead of randomly selected from all their customers. So the real estate agents will likely give you a few customers to call that they know are satisfied.

    If you do call references on your own, specifically ask for a list of the company’s 10 most recent customers. This will help avoid them giving you the names of only customers they know were satisfied.

    1.     Do you feel that the real estate agent was pushy when it came to selling or buying?

    2.     Was the deal was complete, were you satisfied with the real estate agent?

    3.     Did the real estate agent help you devise a selling/buying plan and help you stick with it?

    4.     If you sold real estate with this real estate agent in San Mateo County, including the larger cities of Daly City, San Mateo, Redwood City, South San Francisco, and San Bruno, did they do a good job of showcasing and showing your property both in person and on the listing sheet?

    5.     If you need a real estate sales agent in the future, will you consider hiring this real estate agent?

    6.     Was this real estate agent respectful of your time and property? Were there any issues of theft or damage during showings?

    7.     Was the real estate agent helpful in guiding you during the offer process?

    8.     Was the real estate agent helpful in guiding you during negotiations?

    9.     Was the real estate agent knowledgeable about the community, town, and market you were interested in?

    10.  Do you believe that the real estate sales agent was working with your best interest in mind? Or did you feel like the real estate agent was influenced by other motivations or agents?

    11.  Would you recommend this real estate sales agent to your family and friends?

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  • Review Your Options
    Choosing to Hire a Real Estate Agent in San Mateo County

    The Diamond Certified symbol has been awarded to companies that scored Highest in Quality in an accurate ratings process.

    Your choice of real estate sales agent is important to you and your family. So before making the final decision on the best real estate sales agent in San Mateo County, you may want to consider the following questions:

    1. Is my real estate agent flexible regarding the commission rate?
    2. Is my real estate sales agent of choice applying pressure or sales tactics in order to get me to sign a contract before I am ready?
    3. Do I trust my real estate agent of choice?
    4. Does my real estate agent have good references that I have checked?
    5. Does my real estate agent have a good record for selling real estate property in a timely fashion by using successful marketing strategies?
    6. Is my real estate sales agent well-respected in the community?
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  • How To Work With
    Considerations Before Signing the Buyer’s Agent Agreement

    If you are purchasing real estate in San Mateo County, including the larger cities of Pacifica, East Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Foster City, and Burlingame, your real estate sales agent my ask you to sign a “buyer’s agent agreement.” This agreement protects the real estate agent if you, the client, choose to switch to a different real estate agent at the moment of signing a contract for real estate property for the purpose of saving money, etc. This contract ensures that the real estate agent will be compensated for their work. It specifies rights and duties of the buyer as well as how and when the agent will be compensated. If your real estate agent wants you to sign a buyer’s agent agreement, here are a list of issues you should carefully consider:

    • Compensation. Be sure that total compensation is covered in the buyer’s agreement. Any commission that is paid by the seller to the buyer’s agent will reduce any commission owed by the buyer. Avoid paying a retainer fee. Also check to see how to cancel the contract if you are unhappy with the real estate agent’s performance.
    • Term. You can always renew later, so determine a reasonable time period for working with the real estate agent. Remember that if you purchase a property that the real estate agent showed you a few months after the contract has expired, the agent is still entitled to a commission.
    • Geographic area. Make sure the real estate agent is experienced in your area. If it is possible that you will venture outside of the comfort zone of the real estate agent, make a provision in the contract that the real estate agent will refer you to another agent and collect a referral fee. Or that, in this type of case, the contract will be void.
    • FSBOs. If you don’t want to pay a commission on For Sale by Owner properties, make sure to put that in the contract. Keep in mind, however, that the real estate agent may be able to save you money by determining a fair purchase price and negotiating the deal.

    The contract should clearly define both the duties of the agent and the buyer. These duties should include:

     Responsibilities of a San Mateo County Real Estate Agent:

    • Continued, reliable effort to identify properties that meet the needs of the buyer
    • Assists with obtaining financing
    • Arrange for properties to be inspected
    • Negotiate contracts
    • Unless requested to do so in writing, the real estate agent is not obligated to show properties that are not available in the Multiple Listing Service.
    • Discloses any information that would affect the buyer’s decision to purchase

    Responsibilities of a San Mateo County Buyer:

    • Cooperates with the agent in order to fulfill the terms of the agreement
    • Be available to view potential properties
    • Pays compensation
    • Work exclusively with the agent to find real estate property while the agreement is valid
    • Provide the agent with adequate financial information to research appropriate properties

    Real Estate Listing Contracts
    A listing contract is the contract between a real estate agent (if the agent is acting in a broker’s name) and a seller of real estate property that gives the agent the right to offer the property for sale. The listing contract must include the following:

    • A beginning date and a termination date
    • The list price which the property will be offered for sale
    • The amount of compensation offered to the real estate agent. This can be in the form of a percentage of the sales price or a flat fee.
    • The terms and conditions under which the brokerage fee will be paid by the seller
    • Authorizes the agent to cooperate with other agents as sub-agents and also details the compensation that will be offered to those agents in the event they secure a buyer.
    • Authorizes the real estate agent to disclose or not to disclose the existence of offers formerly received.
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  • Be a Good Customer
    How You Can Be a Dependable San Mateo County Real Estate Sales Agent Customer

    It’s the real estate sales agent’s responsibility to work for you according to your needs. But you play a big part in the success of your real estate sales agent, too. Here are a few simple steps you can take to be a good customer when hiring a San Mateo County real estate sales agent.

    • Before hiring a real estate sales agent in San Mateo County, including the larger cities of Daly City, San Mateo, Redwood City, South San Francisco, and San Bruno,  restate your expectations and goals, and reiterate to the real estate sales agent your understanding of the agreement. Most problems with local real estate sales agents occur because of a breakdown in communication. By being clear about your expectations and theirs, you can avoid most conflicts.
    • Ask your real estate sales agent if you should call to check on the progress or if he will call you with updates.
    • Be sure your real estate sales agent has a phone number where they can reach you at all times while they’re helping you look for real estate. The real estate project will move along more smoothly if your real estate sales agent can reach you for any necessary updates or questions.
    • Be honest and upfront with the real estate sales agent. Let them know what you want from your real estate sales agent, the long-term outcome you’re expecting and specific ways they can satisfy your expectations.
    • When your real estate sales agent contacts you, return calls quickly to keep the real estate project on schedule.
    • Remember, a friendly smile goes a long way!

    Why would you want to be a good client? Real estate sales agents in San Mateo County appreciate clients who are straightforward, honest and easy to work with. Your good customer behavior sets the tone from your end and creates an environment conducive to a good relationship. Things may very well go smoother and any problems may be more easily resolved.

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Check The Work
Making the San Mateo County Real Estate Contract Official

In order for your real estate purchase or sell to be official in San Mateo County, including the smaller cities of Colma, El Granada, Half Moon Bay, Emerald Hills, Sharp Park, Princeton by the Sea, and San Gregorio, you must sign a written contract. It must include the following:

  • Identification of parties involved: both the seller(s) and the buyer(s) of the real estate
  • Identification of the real estate property
  • Identification of the purchase price
  • Signatures by all parties involved
  • A legal purpose
  • Consideration: This is something of value that is bargained for in exchange of the real estate. Usually the form of consideration used is money, but, for example, other property could be used in the exchange.
  • Contingencies (conditions) that must be met if the contract is to be performed. Certain types of contingencies include inspection, appraisal, another sale contingency, etc.
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Written Warranties
Top Service Requests from Real Estate Sales Agents

There are many types of real estate sales agents in San Mateo County that provide all types of real estate services. Following is a list of the most popular real estate agents.

Buyer’s agent
A buyer’s agent is also known as a selling agent. Though a buyer’s agent may work with both sellers and buyers, it is not usually in the same transaction.

Dual agent
A dual agent represents both the seller and the buyer.

There are many types of real estate sales agents in San Mateo County that provide all types of real estate services. Following is a list of the most popular real estate agents.

Buyer’s agent
A buyer’s agent is also known as a selling agent. Though a buyer’s agent may work with both sellers and buyers, it is not usually in the same transaction.

Dual agent
A dual agent represents both the seller and the buyer.

Broker associate
This is a real estate broker who works for another real estate broker. Though they could choose to work independently, many real estate brokers choose to join a larger real estate network.

Transaction agent
A transaction agent writes an offer for the buyer. They do not represent either party but, rather, facilitate the transaction.

Realtor
This is a title that simply means the individual belongs to the National Association of REALTORS (NAR). A realtor can be either a real estate broker or a real estate agent. Members of NAR also belong to state and local trade associations.

Real estate agent
This is a licensed salesperson. Unlike a real estate broker, a real estate agent must work for an employing real estate broker rather than independently. Requirements for a real estate agent vary from state to state.

Real estate broker
A real estate broker usually has more education than a real estate agent. A real estate broker typically has a four year degree as well as the completion of eight college-level real estate  courses that qualify them to take the broker’s real estate exam. However, if the real estate broker does not have a four year degree, two years of real estate sales experience will qualify them to be able to take the eight college-level real estate courses. Thirdly, lawyers who belong to the bar can qualify to be a real estate broker if they pass the exam.

There are also many different types of listing agreements. The best choice for you will depend on your ability and willingness to undertake some of the home selling requirements. It also depends on the climate of the real estate market in your area.

Length of the real estate listing
This listing agreement negotiates the duration of the listing. Common terms include 30 days, 90 days, six months, one year, or more.

Exclusive agency listing
In this type of listing, the broker represents the owner; however, the owner still has the right to sell the property without paying a commission.

Selling commission
This determines the total percentage of commission that will be paid to the selling agent versus the listing broker. By determining a larger amount to the selling office, it can motivate a real estate agent to worker harder to sell your property.

Cancellation of contract
This type of listing allows you as a client of the real estate agent to be released from a contract if you are unhappy or dissatisfied with the service.

Exception to the contract
This type of listing allows the seller a certain number of days to sell the property without owing a commission.

Exclusive right to sell listing
This type of listing gives the exclusive right to earn a commission. The broker represents the owner and is responsible for bringing a buyer either directly or through another brokerage. The owner is responsible for paying both the selling broker fees and the listing. If you as the owner sells the property in your own, you must pay a commission to the broker.

Open listing
This lets owners sell the home by themselves; however, they must pay a broker to represent the buyer if a real estate agent finds a buyer to purchase the real estate property. If, on the other hand, they find a buyer themselves, they won’t owe anybody a commission.

Expiration of contract
This type of listing means that, if the owner and broker do not renew a contract, the owner must still pay a commission to the broker if the property is purchased by a prospective buyer (whose name is given to the owner by the broker) within a specified time period.

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Top 10 Requests
Top Service Requests from Real Estate Sales Agents

There are many types of real estate sales agents in San Mateo County that provide all types of real estate services. Following is a list of the most popular real estate agents.

Buyer’s agent
A buyer’s agent is also known as a selling agent. Though a buyer’s agent may work with both sellers and buyers, it is not usually in the same transaction.

Dual agent
A dual agent represents both the seller and the buyer.

Broker associate
This is a real estate broker who works for another real estate broker. Though they could choose to work independently, many real estate brokers choose to join a larger real estate network.

Transaction agent
A transaction agent writes an offer for the buyer. They do not represent either party but, rather, facilitate the transaction.

Realtor
This is a title that simply means the individual belongs to the National Association of REALTORS (NAR). A realtor can be either a real estate broker or a real estate agent. Members of NAR also belong to state and local trade associations.

Real estate agent
This is a licensed salesperson. Unlike a real estate broker, a real estate agent must work for an employing real estate broker rather than independently. Requirements for a real estate agent vary from state to state.

Real estate broker
A real estate broker usually has more education than a real estate agent. A real estate broker typically has a four year degree as well as the completion of eight college-level real estate  courses that qualify them to take the broker’s real estate exam. However, if the real estate broker does not have a four year degree, two years of real estate sales experience will qualify them to be able to take the eight college-level real estate courses. Thirdly, lawyers who belong to the bar can qualify to be a real estate broker if they pass the exam.

There are also many different types of listing agreements. The best choice for you will depend on your ability and willingness to undertake some of the home selling requirements. It also depends on the climate of the real estate market in your area.

Length of the real estate listing
This listing agreement negotiates the duration of the listing. Common terms include 30 days, 90 days, six months, one year, or more.

Exclusive agency listing
In this type of listing, the broker represents the owner; however, the owner still has the right to sell the property without paying a commission.

Selling commission
This determines the total percentage of commission that will be paid to the selling agent versus the listing broker. By determining a larger amount to the selling office, it can motivate a real estate agent to worker harder to sell your property.

Cancellation of contract
This type of listing allows you as a client of the real estate agent to be released from a contract if you are unhappy or dissatisfied with the service.

Exception to the contract
This type of listing allows the seller a certain number of days to sell the property without owing a commission.

Exclusive right to sell listing
This type of listing gives the exclusive right to earn a commission. The broker represents the owner and is responsible for bringing a buyer either directly or through another brokerage. The owner is responsible for paying both the selling broker fees and the listing. If you as the owner sells the property in your own, you must pay a commission to the broker.

Open listing
This lets owners sell the home by themselves; however, they must pay a broker to represent the buyer if a real estate agent finds a buyer to purchase the real estate property. If, on the other hand, they find a buyer themselves, they won’t owe anybody a commission.

Expiration of contract
This type of listing means that, if the owner and broker do not renew a contract, the owner must still pay a commission to the broker if the property is purchased by a prospective buyer (whose name is given to the owner by the broker) within a specified time period.

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Glossary Of Terms
Q: Why choose a Diamond Certified real estate sales agent?

A: Diamond Certified helps you choose a real estate sales agent with confidence by offering a list of top-rated local companies who have passed the country’s most in-depth rating process. Only real estate sales agents rated Highest in Quality earn the prestigious Diamond Certified award. Most companies can’t pass the ratings. American Ratings Corporation also monitors every Diamond Certified company with ongoing research and ratings.

A: Diamond Certified helps you choose a real estate sales agent with confidence by offering a list of top-rated local companies who have passed the country’s most in-depth rating process. Only real estate sales agents rated Highest in Quality earn the prestigious Diamond Certified award. Most companies can’t pass the ratings. American Ratings Corporation also monitors every Diamond Certified company with ongoing research and ratings. And your purchase is backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. So you’ll feel confident choosing a Diamond Certified real estate sales agent.

Q: How do I know if a certain property is a good investment?
A: Your real estate sales agent should be able to help by providing plenty of information regarding property in the area from low end to high end. They can even provide historical information regarding how properties in the are have performed as well as an educated guess as to where they are going.

 Q: How should I choose a realtor?
A: Ask about experience. Learn how many clients that real estate agent worked with in the last year or so and request permission to contact them.

Q: How can I maximize the value of my home?
A: There are several things that you can do to make a house more desirable for potential buyers. This is called staging. A good real estate agent will be able to help you stage your property in an effective manner.

Q: What about doing more extensive improvements?
A: Some improvements will pay for themselves when you sell the property. But this all depends. A knowledgeable real estate sales agent will be able to advise you.

Q: How can I build equity into my home besides making monthly mortgage payments?
A: Always try to send in a little extra. This extra amount will go directly to the principal of the loan rather than interest. Even $50.00 per month extra can build your equity quickly. It can also knock years off of your loan.

Q: If I want to purchase a home and I know the seller already has an agent, can I act as my own agent and negotiate a lower fee?
A: Most likely, you don’t have the knowledge needed to represent yourself. The seller pays the real estate commission rather than the buyer. The real estate commission is already set in the listing contract. It actually doesn’t cost you anything to have your own agent represent you because the seller is paying for it already.

Q: What is a housing ratio?
A: This is the percentage of your housing payment to your monthly gross income. Lenders use this ratio to determine how much money they will loan you.

Q: What is a spec house?
A: This is a home that was built without it being requested or ordered by a buyer. A spec house is not customized or built to a particular buyer’s tastes.

Q: What is an appraised value?
A: An appraised value is an opinion regarding a property’s fair market value based on an appraiser’s analysis and inspection of the property.

Q: What is an assessed value?
A: This is the public tax assessor value of a property. It is determined for the purpose of taxation.

Q: What is depreciation?
A: This is a decline in the value of property due to general wear and tear.

Q: Why should I use a real estate agent?
A: A real estate agent acts on your behalf by providing you with guidance and advice while helping you buy or sell a home. An agent will be able to provide you with current information in a fast changing market that will be critical to your success in either purchasing or selling a home.

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Frequently Asked Questions
Consumer Agencies

ACRE Association of Commercial Real Estate (http://www.acre.org/)
AIR Commercial Real Estate Association (http://www.airea.com/)
BBB Better Business Bureau (www.bbb.com)
CADRE California Department of Real Estate (http://www.dre.cahwnet.gov/)
CAR The California Association of Realtors (http://www.car.org/)
CRE Counselors of Real Estate (http://www.cre.org/)
DCA California Department of Consumer Affairs (www.dca.ca.gov)…

ACRE Association of Commercial Real Estate (http://www.acre.org/)
AIR Commercial Real Estate Association (http://www.airea.com/)
BBB Better Business Bureau (www.bbb.com)
CADRE California Department of Real Estate (http://www.dre.cahwnet.gov/)
CAR The California Association of Realtors (http://www.car.org/)
CRE Counselors of Real Estate (http://www.cre.org/)
DCA California Department of Consumer Affairs (www.dca.ca.gov)
NAEBA National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents (http://www.naeba.org/)
NAIREB National Association of Independent Real Estate Brokers (http://www.nationalrealestatebrokers.org/)
NAR National Association of Realtors (http://www.realtor.org/)
NAREB National Association of Real Estate Brokers (http://www.nareb.com/)
NBAR North Bay Association of Realtors (http://www.norbarrealtor.com/)
NCCAR Northern California Commercial Association of Realtors (http://www.nccar.org/)
REEA The Real Estate Educators Association (http://www.reea.org/)

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