San Mateo Exclusive Home Buyer Representation Program


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What can you expect when you hire The RayChel Realty Group to help you buy your next San Mateo Home? Download our Exclusive Home Buyer Representation Program to learn how we provide our clients with technical expertise, 30 plus year os experience, advocacy and professional advice.

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San Mateo Exclusive Home Buyer Representation Program

  1. 1. Buyer Representation Program The RayChel Realty Group An integrated plan to find the right home for you. Telephone (650) 655-2500 Fax 1-(888) 739-8184 Blog: Dept of Real Estate # 00657178
  2. 2. Raymond Stoklosa and The Delivers... Advocacy We put your interests first --- Always. Technical Expertise We apply our training, knowledge, skills and experience for your benefit. Professional Advice We guide you to an informed purchase decision. Professional Advice dedicated to the timeless maxim... Protect thy Client. Our Mindset To Always Care Our Mission To Put Our Client’s Interests First Our Values We believe satisfaction starts with exceptional service We believe no transaction is worth our reputation We believe who we are in business with really matters We believe in personal growth through education We believe in helping others achieve their goals We believe in family first, then business Our Beliefs Win-Win ---Or no deal Integrity - Do the right thing Customers - Always come first Commitment - In all things Communication - Seek first to understand Creativity - Ideas before results Teamwork - Together everyone achieves more Trust - Starts with honesty Success - Results through people Our Vision To exceed the expectations of our clients so they will confidently refer us to their family, friends and co- workers.
  3. 3. About Raymond Stoklosa... Raymond Stoklosa has been exceeding his client’s real estate expectations since 1978. He is the Co-Owner with his wife, Chela, and Managing Broker of The RayChel Realty Group…learning-based real estate consultants. The RayChel Realty Group represents home buyers and home sellers in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties. Having a reservoir of experience in all types of markets, he is adept at tailoring transactions to achieve the best real estate experience possible for his clients and their referrals. With credentials indicative of professional commitment and accomplishment, Raymond is a Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), Certified Real Estate Appraiser (CREA), Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR), Certified Real Estate Buyer’s Broker (CREBB®), and is e-PRO Certified. He is a member of a select group of REALTORS who have developed the specialized skills and expertise to earn these elite designations. As a Certified Real Estate Appraiser, he is especially well-prepared to evaluate real property. Education is the cornerstone of his professional skills. Raymond has taught a variety of consumer protec- tion and professional development courses including “Real Estate Valuations”, “Real Estate Taxation and Exchanges”, “1stTime Home Sellers”, and “Smart, Savvy and Successful Home Buying” at the College of San Mateo and De Anza/Foothill College and other community education programs, corporations, consumer rights advocate organizations, adult education programs, senior citizens groups and community colleges throughout California. For real estate professionals, Raymond presents: “Seller Financing: The Ins and Outs” and “BUYER REPRESENTATION: The Art and Craft of Buyer Agency”. The author of two real estate books used by the California Community College System, A Consumer Guide to Residential Real Estate Transactions and Real Estate Valuations and Investments, Raymond has researched and written on a wide range of real estate issues important to consumers and professionals alike. He is the former host of the KCBS Newsradio 74 “Real Estate News” show, a listener call-in radio program focusing on real estate topics which was heard throughout northern California. Raymond is an active member of the San Mateo County Association of REALTORS (SAMCAR), MLSListings, Inc. Multiple Listing Service, California Association of REALTORS, the National Association of REALTORS, National Association of Real Estate Buyer’s Brokers, Real Estate BUYER’S AGENT Council (REBAC) of the Na- tional Association of REALTORS and the Residential Sales Council of the NAR. Coaching Clients Since 1978.
  4. 4. Buyer’s Agent Services to achieve these goals. We’ll show you how to recognize a good investment opportunity, and we’ll show you which Client Advocacy...Technical Expertise... Professional Advice houses not to buy. Client Advocacy As your Buyer’s Agent, we are your advocate. Our primary Due Diligence responsibility is to promote and protect your interests. We are on your side, not the seller’s. Each member of The The RayChel Realty Group guides you through the due RayChel Realty Group is dedicated to helping you secure diligence process. Here is where we help you understand the best business deal, and in having the best home about the condition of the property you are buying. As buying experience possible. Client advocacy based upon your advocate, we identify flaws and impediments to the timeless maxim: “Protect Thy Client.” resale so you can make a sound investment decision. We orchestrate inspections to uncover defects and deficiencies that might not be apparent to you. We help level the Communication playing field so that you’ll have a solid understanding about the good and not-so-good aspects of the property We listen to you. Together we explore your needs, wants before you take ownership. Protecting your interests is and special requirements. Particular attention is paid to a responsibility we take very seriously and we apply our your values and expectations. We continuously solicit technical expertise for your benefit. your feedback and impressions to ensure we are on the right track. And, we constantly monitor and apprise you of shifting market conditions so appropriate course Negotiations corrections can be made in a timely fashion. We know buying a home is about you, not us. We put your interests first --- always. We take great pride in our negotiating strengths. A strong negotiator What the Experts say about Buyers’ Agents: can mean the difference of thousands of dollars to your bottom line. The RayChel Realty Group never forgets that “Hiring a buyer’s broker costs the home buyer promoting your best interests is our overriding duty. As nothing extra.” your advocate, we will promote and protect your interests -Chicago Tribune ahead of all others including our own. As your negotiator, we will treat your money as if it were our money. Finding the Right Home for You A methodical search is implemented to find you the right home at the right price. With specially designed Oversee the Details technology and mapping capabilities, we constantly search We carefully oversee all of the details of the entire and automatically transmit information via email about purchase process. From our initial consultation through the homes that match your personal search criteria as close of escrow and beyond, we are there for you. Every they become available. We provide the fullest details on transaction has as many as 150 phone calls and emails to each property including school information, community deal with. Each one of them loaded with critical details. links and demographic data to help make finding the right The difference between a successful closed escrow and a home easier and less stressful. As Buyer Representation failed transaction is often skillful transaction management. specialists, The RayChel Realty Group directs a Our team of highly trained professionals adeptly manages comprehensive search to save you time. the details of your transaction in a business-like fashion. As your team leader, we orchestrate a bevy of ancillary service providers and vendors who perform an array of necessary Market Analysis and Home Evaluation functions to bring your transaction to closure. As a team, we all succeed. As a Certified Real Estate Appraiser (CREA), Raymond Stoklosa is especially well-prepared to evaluate and interpret the state of the residential real estate marketplace. All real estate is local. Using reliable data, Cost Analysis we prepare a thorough Competitive Market Analysis (CMA) All real estate transactions have closing costs payable at showing recent sales, pending sales, current competitive closing for ancillary services. The RayChel Realty Group listings, and expired/cancelled listings to give you the is careful about your costs. Accordingly, a “transaction most accurate view of the local housing market. And, we’ll specific” estimate of your closing costs is prepared prior to present you with a regular update of activity so we may the offer so you’ll know your total expenditures. Financial adjust to market changes and help you make an informed surprises are unacceptable. purchase decision. Our MarketWATCH surveys market activity, conditions and emerging trends in the Peninsula housing market. Local Knowledge With over 30 years of experience in the San Mateo/Santa Price Counseling Clara County and Bay Area real estate market, we can provide special insights, historical perspective and local You, like every home buyer, has two goals: Find the right knowledge. Buying a home is more than choosing a floor home and buy it for the lowest price. From strategy to plan and colorations, it’s a lifestyle decision. Nowhere is tactics, we at The RayChel Realty Group will counsel you
  5. 5. the quality of life more diverse than the Peninsula with In fact, the Buyer’s Agent works for free until you buy a over 288 micro-markets. We deliver vital information on home, and then the seller pays for your agent’s services. everything from school rankings to family recreation, The Buyer Agency Agreement is the agent’s guarantee that environment to civic issues, infrastructure to city services, he or she receives compensation from the seller’s agent for crime and commuting patterns, neighborhood nuances to the work done on your behalf. micro-climates. All this and more because you’re not just buying a home, you’re buying a lifestyle. Let Us Help You! No matter where you find a home that you may be interested in seeing, you need only call The RayChel Realty Group for help. We can show you property listed by every real estate company in the area, and We Represent You. We can also represent you in “For Sale By Owner” transactions, giving you leverage and bargaining power in any negotiation. Mutual Agreement If we will: n Give you a 100% commitment to find and negotiate the purchase of the home that meets your needs n Commit our money and resources to find exactly what you want n Apply our training, knowledge, skills, and experience toward your best interests n Continue your home search until you either find a home or tell us to stop helping That’s what we mean by value-plus service. Will you: n Let us know if your plans or expectations change? Professional Advice n Tell us when you want to look at a listed home or ‘For We promise to tell you not what you want to hear, but what Sale By Owner’? you need to hear. The RayChel Realty Group is committed in all things to putting your interests first --- always. n Tell us frankly what you like or dislike about homes we look at? n Tell me if you feel the need to talk with another agent? What is the Buyer Agency Agreement? n Work with us until we find the right home? A Buyer Agency Agreement is a legal document between you and the Buyer’s Agent that will establish a legal relationship with duties and obligations on the parts of both parties. Your agent’s obligations to you are set forth by law, as is your obligation. What the Experts say about Buyers’ Agents: Your obligation is merely this: You agree to allow your “You save big bucks by hiring a buyer broker... agent to represent you in the purchase of your home Unlike the traditional agent who looks out for exclusively throughout the duration of the agreement the seller, a buyer broker acts as your advocate, until you find a home and take title, or you terminate the helping you find the home you want and then agreement. negotiating the lowest possible price.” -Money Magazine Why a Buyer Agency Agreement? When you sign a Buyer’s Agency Agreement, you are simply agreeing to hire a personal representative who, by law, must represent your best interests to the best of his Risk-Free Guarantee or her ability. You are, in effect, ensuring that the agent’s training, skill and expertise is working for your benefit. All If at any time you feel that we are not living up to our end of this personal service is available at absolutely no cost to of the agreement (for any reason) you can cancel our you. The seller pays the agent’s fee. relationship, walk away without obligation.
  6. 6. The RayChel Realty Group Your Team Leader Finding the right home is only 1% of the job. The real work As your advocate, we use our technical expertise to begins once the home is identified by the Buyer. We at professionally advise you about which services and The RayChel Realty Group take very seriously our primary vendors would best protect your interests. As your agent, duty to provide you advocacy, technical expertise and we recommend, coordinate and oversee the activities of professional advice. As such, we act as your team leader a wide range of professionals whose job it is to help you orchestrating a core of people whose unity and purpose is make an informed purchasing decision. Among these to serve your needs. professionals are: n Escrow Officer n Title Officer What the Experts say about Buyers’ Agents: n Loan Officer n Appraiser “...ask about the newest wrinkle in the real n Property Inspector estate business-the buyer’s broker...instead n Pest (“Termite”) Inspector of representing the seller, they will work exclusively for you. That means they agree n Septic Inspector not to disclose confidential details to the n Well Inspector seller that could affect your negotiations.” n Surveyor -Smart Money: The Wall Street Journal Maga- n Roof Inspector zine of Personal Business n Chimney/Fireplace Inspector n Pool/Spa/Solar Inspector n Geo-Technical Engineer n Foundation Inspector n Structural Engineer n Soils Engineer Here’s What You’ll Get As Our Client: n Hazardous Material Inspector n Disclosure Coordinator n Real-time 24/7 MLS access so you can see everything n Tax Planner on the market anytime n Earthquake Safety Inspector n Customized home search so you see homes that meet n Mold & Allergens Inspector your purchase criteria n Natural Hazard Assessment n Drainage Inspector n Ongoing priority notification emails so you know about new listings before other buyers n Maps, driving directions, photos, audio and visual tours so you can easily find and distinguish a property What the Experts say about Buyers’ Agents: n Monthly area sales reports so you know what other “One problem in relocating employees is that buyers have really paid most real estate agents represent sellers, and the buyer stands alone. But now that buyer brokers n Comprehensive, pre-offer, market analysis so you don’t arehere...Everyoneinvolvedinrelocatingemploy- bid blindly ees has learned a basic fact about the real estate business.Therearetwokindsofbrokersoutthere: n Detailed, pre-offer, cost estimate so there are no those who represent the seller, and those who financial surprises representtheotherguy...Oneofthebestmethods to ensure that an employee gets the best buy is to use buyer brokers, and they’re now strongly recommended by some firms.” What the Experts say about Buyers’ Agents: - Human Resource Executive “Buyer’sAgent...This is your best choice. A buy- er’s agent has a fiduciary duty of utmost care, integrity,honesty,andloyaltytoyou. Byselect- ing this option, your real estate professional rejects any legal duty of care to the seller...” We give you 100% commitment and work for free until you -”HowTo Buy A Home In California”NOLO Press buy a home.
  7. 7. Don’t Just Take Our Word for It!... Client Testimonials Raymond Stoklosa’s professionalism and hard work brought us peace of mind throughout the home-buying process. Anyone hoping to buy real estate on the Peninsula needs an experienced advocate, and we could not have asked for anyone better than Raymond. Laurie & Mark, Foster City, CA He helped us find the perfect house for our needs and guided us through the inspection and financing processes. We learned a lot from Raymond about real estate above and beyond our home search. We highly recommend Raymond to our friends and hope to work with him again in the future. Julie & Marcel, Belmont, CA Raymond took the time to understand what our level of comfort was financially; what type of home we needed & wanted; the neighborhoods we We learned a lot liked and the future value of our investment. His attention to detail on every home we visited was incredible. We won the bid on the house even though we didn’t have the highest offer. We later found out that Raymond’s organization and thoroughness of the paperwork gave the seller the confidence in our from Raymond ability to close on the home despite our lower offer. Mark, San Jose, CA about real estate Raymond assisted us with the purchase of our two last homes. When it comes to real estate transactions, you need to trust the person representing you. Raymond not only won our trust, he also connected us to the right people for our financing needs. above and Alexander, San Carlos, CA I fondly recall nervously buying my first home ever -- I thought it was nearly impossible for a single woman to buy a home in the Bay Area, but with your beyond our home help, I did it! Joanne, Redwood Shores, CA search. We highly Raymond skillfully and patiently guided us through all the complex steps involved in a real estate transaction. He was an effective advocate and made us feel that our desires and needs were always his first priority. With his expert assistance and knowledge of Peninsula real estate, we were able to purchase recommend the perfect home at the perfect price. To anyone considering a real estate purchase, be it their first or their hundredth, we have only this to say: you cannot do better than to place your trust in Raymond Stoklosa. Raymond to our Anne & Peter, San Carlos, CA We are new homeowners thanks to Raymond. Our first-time home shopping experience was a challenging yet positive one because Raymond Stoklosa was friends and hope our agent…we had a really great experience. David & Renée, San Mateo, CA Raymond, thank you again for everything you’ve done for us. You are a true to work with him professional and gentleman. Remo & Kate, Woodside, CA again in the future.
  8. 8. Don’t waste your time looking for a home anymore... The RayChel Realty Group understands the importance of your decision to buy a home. We appreciate that you have definite ideas about what features and amenities you are looking for in a home, and most of all, we recognize that your time is valuable and limited. The RayChel Realty Group wants your home buying experience to be fun and exciting, not tedious or excessively time- consuming. Therefore, we utilize a priority listings notification program that is 100% guaranteed to be the easiest and fastest way available to find the home you want to buy. In fact, with The RayChel Realty Group notification program, we guarantee: n You will not waste your time or money blindly driving around looking for homes for sale n You will not have to guess about the price of a home n You will not have to call on signs to find out about the features of a property n You will not have to scan the newspaper and wonder what the advertised properties look like n You will not subject yourself to an interrogation by the Seller’s Agent by calling them for information We will do the work for you! The San Francisco Peninsula real estate market is unique, competitive and expensive. Nowhere is it more important to have a systematic, comprehensive plan to purchase a home. The market supply/demand ratio is continually shifting and buyers can be plunged into a whirlwind of time-consuming, ineffective approaches to buying. Unfortunately, the wrong approach to buying a home just might get you a home that you’re not completely happy with, or worse, one that costs you more than you could have paid. The RayChel Realty Group’s priority notification system will find the ideal home for you quickly, efficiently and save you time and money as a result.
  9. 9. How It Works What the Experts say about Agents: “Most people don’t realize – or they First, we construct in consultation with you a profile of the features, forget – (that the) broker (by law, business amenities, wants and needs in your ideal home, and load that ethics, and crass self-interest) is bound to information into a specialized computer program that is linked to look out for the seller’s interest – not yours. the most complete and up-to-date database of Multiple Listing Service (MLS) properties for sale The best thing you can do for your own peace of mind, however, is to buy through a real estate broker whose allegiance is to Then, our system continually searches the MLS systems for homes matching your personalized purchase criteria. We don’t want your interests, rather than the seller’s.” to miss a single property, so throughout each day, we email a “Dynamics Years” The AMERICAN password-protected list of every new and updated property that matches your criteria. ASSOCIATION OF RETIRED PERSONS (AARP) You’ll get the fullest details on every property listed for sale from every licensed real estate company complete with MLS #’s, prices, street addresses, maps, driving directions, pictures, school and demographic information, virtual and audio tours. Armed with this information, you’ll save valuable time by selecting only those homes you truly want to see. As a back up, if you do see a home you are interested in, simply call The RayChel Realty Group and we will fax, email, mail or call you with detailed information about the home as quickly as possible. And finally, when you are ready to preview homes, we are ready. This unique program makes buying the ideal home easy. Because it’s efficient, this free program takes the hassle out of buying and makes it fun. Getting started is simple. Just give The RayChel Realty Group a call at (650) 655-2500 and you can get started immediately. “Value- Plus Service in ALL Price Ranges”
  10. 10. The 12 Most Costly Home Buying Mistakes Even Smart People Make ... Mistake #1 --- Working with the wrong agent Not all agents are alike. For example, the Seller is represented by the Listing Agent whose job it is to get the Seller the highest price, best terms, fastest sale and fewest problems. The Listing Agent cannot do anything that will undermine the Seller’s financial interests or help the Buyer get a better business deal. Recommendation: Use a Buyer’s Agent Specialist A Buyer’s Agent’s duty is to promote and protect the Buyer’s interests...not the Seller’s. Select a Buyer’s Agent based upon knowledge, skill, experience and the commitment to exceeding your needs and expectations. The best Buyers’ Agents will offer a performance guarantee whereby if you’re not satisfied with the Agent’s performance you can terminate your Buyer’s Agency relationship. Mistake #2 --- Not being genuinely pre-approved for a loan before starting your home search Some lenders’ pre-approvals are nothing more than a condition laden, cursory pre-qualification. It’s only a best guess of what you can borrow without verification of your credit worthiness. Recommendation: Find a loan first, and then find a home A genuine pre-approval is the lender’s firm commitment to loan you money at a specific rate and terms. Have a “genuine” loan pre-approval in hand before starting your home search. A pre-approved buyer is tantamount to a cash buyer. And, a pre-approval demonstrates to the seller that you are a serious, credible and financially capable buyer. Mistake #3 --- Shopping solely online for a home Shopping for a home online may be convenient and fun, but it’s not without drawbacks and inefficiencies. Recommendation: Personally view 20 homes before you buy Gather first-hand market experience. Nothing can benefit you more than knowing what’s out there, and what your choices are. All real estate is local. The composition, structure and dynamics of the local housing market vary with place and time. Understanding its make- up and present market conditions helps you make a more informed decision. A professional Buyer’s Agent knows the market and is there to help you make the right decision. Mistake #4 --- Bidding blind Blind bidders ignore recent sales activity of competitive homes, and pay a steep price for their oversight. Listing prices are not indicative of the real value of a home. The Seller’s Agent (e.g. Listing Company) is working to obtain the highest price for the seller- not the lowest price for the buyer. Recommendation: Review a competitive market analysis Homes are worth what people are willing to pay for them. Actual selling prices of similar homes recently sold are the most reliable indicator of a home’s true value. A competitive market analysis shows the recent sales prices of competitive properties in the area. Your Exclusive Buyer’s Agent can provide and interpret the analysis for you. Get the facts and don’t bid blindly. Blind bidding leads to overpaying, and relying on gossip can be costly. Mistake #5 --- Not knowing your total financial obligation The average person spends more time determining the cost of a new dishwasher than the actual costs associated with buying a new home. Not knowing how many dollars you’ll need to close the transaction can be an expensive mistake. Recommendation: Obtain an estimate of your closing costs No one likes financial surprises. Know your total cost to purchase before making an offer. Your Buyer’s Agent will prepare a realistic estimate of all your closing costs and expenses so you can prepare for these expenditures. A thorough cost estimate will include all real estate related expenses (e.g. commissions, inspection fees, home warranty premium), lender charges, title insurance premiums, escrow fees, homeowner’s insurance and pro-rations. Mistake #6 --- Skipping a professional home inspection Why inspect? Because no home is perfect. Even repeat buyers can overlook serious flaws and deficiencies. Don’t be blind- sided by serious defects that may not be readily observable by the inexperienced eye. Recommendation: Thoroughly inspect the property There are no perfect properties. A professional inspection will help you understand the home’s physical condition. A professional home inspector will identify the red flags, defects and malfunctions visible in the home. Knowing the flaws, short-comings and potential repairs before you buy helps you get your money’s worth.
  11. 11. ...and How To Avoid Them Mistake #7 --- Declining a home warranty protection plan Trying to save a few dollars by declining a home warranty can be a costly error in judgment. For a relatively small cost a home owner can obtain a substantial measure of protection against unexpected breakdowns and malfunctions. Recommendation: Obtain a home warranty plan Home Warranty Protection Plans are contractual guarantees by an insurance company to repair or replace certain systems and components within the first year of home ownership with the payment of a deductible. Home warranties ensure you for the costs to repair or replace components like water heaters and furnaces. They offer an additional level of protection that may well prove to save you much more than their cost. Mistake #8 --- Putting on blinders The image you have in your head of the perfect home is probably not realistic. Unrealistic expectations have as a conse- quence a huge opportunity loss. Recommendation: Don’t let emotion cloud good judgment Be realistic, flexible and open-minded. Consult with professionals to test your expectations. Brainstorm how you might improve a house and create more value. A house in the right neighborhood, on the right street, at the right price can be made right over time. Don’t reject a house because it isn’t perfect- none are. Mistake #9 --- Not taking a long-term perspective It’s almost always a mistake to buy a home based upon your short term needs while ignoring your long term needs. A careful needs and wants analysis with the guidance of a trained professional can save thousands of dollars. Recommendation: See the big picture Evaluate your purchase based upon a five to ten year holding period. Ask yourself where you want to be in five years- Will your family grow significantly in the future? Might an elderly parent come live with you? These are just a few of the ques- tions left unanswered may be financially burdensome or emotionally draining. Mistake #10 --- Underestimating the importance of location The size and condition of the home are far less important than the property’s location. You cannot change the location of a home. Almost everything else is changeable. Location is the most venerable principle in real estate and the single most crucial influence on value. Recommendation: Buy the very best location you can comfortably afford Location is the key to how well you enjoy living in the home and how much you can sell it for when the time comes. The city, neighborhood, street and site are the prime contributors to value. Mistake #11 --- Ignoring incurable defects An incurable defect is any “adverse condition” deemed as such by the buyer that cannot be remedied with a reasonable amount of money or effort. Incurable defects include land prone to soil instability, neighborhood nuisances, proximity to undesirable land mark, such as, high voltage power lines, a fire station or hospital. A property with an incurable defect is worth less than another property that doesn’t possess the same defect --- all other factors being equal. Recommendation: Determine the effect of an incurable defect on the value of a home If you buy a property at a discount because of an incurable defect (and it should be discounted)- you will have to sell it at a discount, or you’ll have difficulties producing a timely sale. The cardinal rule of home buying is: the best time to think about selling your home is before you buy it. Mistake #12 --- Failing to recognize inept design flaws An inept design will negatively impact the value and marketability of a property. Flaws in style, proportion or function- ality reduce the value of an otherwise appealing property. Homes with reverse floor plans, 4 bedrooms/1 bathroom, isolated master bedroom, bedroom access through another bedroom are all examples of design flaws that detract from a home’s value. Recommendation: Objectively analyze design shortcomings and their affect on resale It’s all about value - and value means getting your money’s worth. Remember the value of a home with an inept design is diminished by the severity of the ineptitude. Before you buy, answer this question: How difficult or easy will it be to sell this home when that time comes?
  12. 12. 10 Questions to Ask Your Realtor® About Buying a House 1. Are you a full-time professional Realtor? How long have you worked full time in real estate? How long have you been representing buyers? What professional designations do you have? Knowing whether or not your agent practices full-time can help you determine if the agent has the time available to give you the time and attention to detail you deserve. As with any profession, the number of years a person has been in business does not necessarily reflect the level of service you can expect, but it is a good starting point for your discussion. Professional designations are one sign of professional commitment and accomplishment. 2. Do you have a personal assistant, team or staff to handle the different aspects of the purchase? What are their names and how will each of them help me in my transaction? How do I communicate with them? It is not unusual for agents who are successful to hire people to support them. Different aspects of your transaction will require different skill sets, and successful agents recognize the value a reliable support staff brings to the transaction and to the client’s overall satisfaction. You may want to meet the team members and learn what role each person will play in your purchase. 3. Do you have a website that will provide me with useful information? Can I have your URL address? Who responds to emails and how quickly? What is your email address? Many homebuyers prefer to search online for homes because it’s convenient, available 24 hours each day, and you can do it in the privacy of your home. By searching your agent’s website you’ll be able to get a clear picture of how much work you would be able to accomplish online. 4. Will you show me homes listed from other real estate companies? Some real estate companies do offer their buyers’ agents a higher commission when they sell “in-house” listings. So they have an economic incentive to push their company’s listings over another company’s listings. In such circumstances, there can be added incentive to limit the range of homes you are shown. This may adversely affect your home search, and how much your buyer’s agent will earn. 5. Will you represent me or will you represent the seller? May I have that in writing? How will you represent me, and what is the direct benefit of having you represent me? The goal here is to ascertain to whom the real estate agent owes fiduciary duties and obligations. In the past, all agents worked for the sellers. And, even though a buyer worked with an agent, all agents represented the seller. Dual agency is where the buyer decides to have the listing agent prepare an offer for him/her. If you are a knowledgeable and savvy buyer, you may choose to do this, but only with full disclosure to all parties prior to writing your offer. Ask about the practice of the agent and decide what kind of agent you have before you begin work with them. 6. How will you get paid? How are your fees structured? May I have that in writing? In many areas, real estate commissions are included in your purchase price. Occasionally, agents will have other nominal fees for administrative or special services that they charge to clients, regardless of whether they are buying or selling. Ask for an estimate of buyer costs from any agent before you contemplate employing them. 7. What distinguishes you from other agents? What is your negotiating style and how does it differ from others? What geographic areas do you specialize in? Each agent has unique methods of overcoming obstacles and negotiating transactions. The most important thing is to make sure your agent is an effective advocate. The agent’s value to your transaction should be built upon the agent’s ability to provide you with advocacy, technical expertise and professional advice that put your interests first --- always. 8. Will you give me the names of past clients? Interviewing an agent is similar to interviewing an employment prospect. An in-person, face-to-face interview is one of the best ways to evaluate whether you are compatible with the agent, his/her style, communication techniques and approach. For best results, the interview should be a broadly based free-flowing discussion of your needs, wants and expectations --- as well as the agent’s. Contacting references is just another way to cross check your impressions. 9. Do you have a performance guarantee? If I’m not satisfied with your performance, can I terminate our relationship, and at what cost? In the heavily regulated business of real estate, it can be difficult for an agent to offer a performance guarantee, and lack of one does not mean the agent has lower standards. Each agent should outline what you can expect from their performance. At the RayChel Realty Group, we believe in putting the client’s interests first, always…and we understand the importance of win-win business relationships: the agent does not benefit if the client does not benefit. 10. How will you keep in contact with me during the buying process? Some agents may email, fax, or telephone you daily about properties that match your search criteria. Others may keep in touch weekly. Asking this question will help avert communication miscues and determine whether the agent’s communication system is compatible with your’s.
  13. 13. Thank you for scheduling an appointment to meet with us. I hope you’ve been intrigued by our sys- tem and found the information here useful and informative. Before I go, I’d like to share a little bit about our philosophy. Many agents think their most important job is satisfying the client. I don’t think that’s correct. I be- lieve that satisfying the client is simply the minimum requirement for staying in business. My staff and I work diligently to improve our systems, processes and services to go well beyond the standard level of service provided by most agents. Simply put, our objective is to get you the best home at the lowest price in the most convenient manner. We want to provide the best service in the industry - period. We want to make you so satisfied you chose us that you will comfortably and confidently refer us to your family, friends and co-workers. I hope you will allow us to demonstrate our unparalleled service to you when you conduct your next transaction.
  14. 14. The RayChel Realty Group Telephone (650) 655-2500 Fax 1-(888) 739-8184 E-Mail: Blog: Dept of Real Estate # 00657178 ©Copyright 2007 Raymond Stoklosa • The RayChel Realty Group • (650) 655-2500