Frequently Asked Questions - Real Estate

Pacific-Realtors.net

Serving Southern California Since 1987

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Q. How long has Pacific-Realtors.net been in business?

A. The firm started doing business in 1987, but the broker for the firm, Michael Chulak,

has been licensed as a real estate broker since 1971.

 

Q. How long has Pacific-Realtors.net been a member of the

potential buyers and Conejo Simi Moorpark Association of Realtors®?

A. The company has been a member since its founding in 1987. Michael Chulak

became a member in 1982. He became a real estate broker in 1971 .

 

Q. What is a CMA?

A. A CMA is a comparative market analysis. A CMA helps sellers determine an ideal

listing price and the probable selling price of a property. CMAs are prepared by

all of our agents for both sellers and buyers.

 

Q. Can I reliably determine how much my home is worth from an internet website

such as Zillow or Trulia?

 

A. No. These sites provide only rough computer-generated estimates based upon

averages as opposed to specific data. Their valuations can easily be 5% high or low.

If you want a reliable estimate of the value of your home, you should have one of our

real estate agents prepare a comparative market analysis (CMA).

 

Q. What is the best way for us to search for a new home?

A. After being pre-qualified by one of our real estate agents, the best way to get started

is by engaging in an advanced search on our website. The search feature is on the

home page. For instructions: Search for Real Estate Listings Like a Realtor.

 

Q. How much does it cost to hire a buyer's agent?

A. It doesn't cost anything. Agents that are hired by buyers are a paid portion of the

commission paid by the seller of the property. See Buyer's Agents.

 

Q. What is earnest money?

A. Earnest money is money deposited into escrow in connection with a purchase

agreement to demonstrate good faith that the buyer serious about closing the

transaction. Earnest money protects the seller if the buyer backs out after all

contingency periods have expired or is unable to perform. The lack of performance

by the buyer for any reason can cause substantial financial harm to the seller,

who has taken the property off the market and has probably made plans

based on the sales agreement.

 

Q. What type of credit score do I need to buy a home?

A. The answer depends on the type of financing you will obtain. Most conventional real

estate lenders require a FICO Score of 620 or better with the lowest interest rates going

to borrowers with scores above 700. FHA lenders generally require a minimum FICO

Score of 500 with 10% down and 580 with 3.5% down. VA lenders generally require a

minimum FICO Score of 580 but prefer a score of 620.

 

Q. How much cash do I need for a down payment?

A. The answer depends on the type of financing you will obtain. Conventional lenders

require 10% to 20% down unless the loan is very large and then they may require 30%

down. FHA lenders require as little as 3.5% down. VA lenders generally do not require

Score of 500 with 10% down and 580 with 3.5% down. VA lenders generally require a

any down payment.

 

Q. Is it possible for me to earn real estate commissions by simply referring

potential buyers and sellers to a full time, experienced real estate agent?

A. Yes. By becoming a referral agent, you can avoid joining the Board of Realtors and

Multiple Listing Service while earning commissions. Referral real estate agents can

earn thousands of dollars consistently each year without showing homes or selling.

Call Michael Chulak for details.

 

Q. Do you do more than sell homes?

A. Yes. We are involved in property management, commercial leasing, and the sale of

apartment buildings, commercial properties and land. Our affiliate, Pacific Business

Advisors represents people wanting to sell or buy a business.

 

Q. Does Pacific-Realtors.net receive referrals from out of the area real estate

brokers?

A. Yes. Our firm receives both buyer and seller referrals from:

Broker to Broker Referrals and other referral sources.

 

Q. Does a large number of agents with a real estate brokerage firm increase the

probability that a property listed with the firm will sell fast and at a higher

price?

A. No. The size of a real estate brokerage firm does not matter because the

overwhelming majority of real estate sales are the result of agents using the

Multiple Listing Service. The MLS has thousands of member agents.

 

The Multiple Listing service, or MLS, is a marketing database established by its

member real estate brokers who cooperate with each other by providing accurate

data about properties each broker has for sale or lease.

 

Nearly all real estate brokers are members of the MLS. This includes the large

franchise brokers as well as small independent brokers. The MLS has the effect

of making every brokerage firm equal in that every property listed for sale can be

sold by any real agent employed by any member broker. It is usual for a listed

property to be sold by a firm other than the listing firm.

 

The concept of the MLS is that each brokerage firm working through its real estate

agents will attempt to sell any of the properties listed because commissions are split

between the listing firm and the selling firm with each firm compensating its own

agents.

 

The MLS, with its large inventory of listed properties, is designed to provide every

real estate agent access to the total inventory of available properties. Most

importantly, the shared system of property listings gives every property equal

exposure to the market. This arrangement is in the best interest of sellers, buyers,

brokers, and real estate agents.

 

When it comes to selling or buying real estate, the size of the firm is of little

importance. It is the performance of the individual agent that matters. His or her

dedication, knowledge, and experience is what really counts.

 

Q. Should I list my house high so that I have plenty of room to come down during

the negotiating process?

A. When you decide to sell your property, one of the most important decisions you must

make is your listing or asking price. While you don't want to underprice your real estate,

overpricing it has many disadvantages. See: Consequences of Overpricing.

 

Q. When I sell my home, can I take my favorite light fixtures (or other attached

items) with me?

A. You can take them provided that you have reserved the right to remove and take

them in the agreement to sell your home. If you don't include such a written

provision, anything attached to the walls, ceiling, and floors will be included in

the sale.

 

Q. Is the assessed value of my house an indicator of its market value?

A. No. The assessed value is the number assigned by the real estate taxing authorities

and is not indicative of the fair market value of your home.

 

Q. What happens if the appraisal for a home comes in lower than the purchase

contract-amount?

A. There are four possibilities: (1) The buyer can accept the lower appraisal and

loan amount. and come up with the difference. (2) The seller can reduce the

sales price, (3) the buyer and seller can compromise the sales price amount, or

(4) The transaction can be cancelled by the buyer.

 

Q. Pacific-Realtors.net has an excellent website and reputation, but I noticed that

you are not listed as a "Top Realtor" on any of the websites that recommend

"Top Agents" in Agoura Hills, Oak Park, Westlake Village and other nearby

communities. Can you explain why you are not listed as a top real estate

agent or broker on any of these websites?

A. Yes. The websites are advertising websites where real estate brokers and agents

pay to be listed as a 'top agent'", "best agent", or "top rated agent". When you

receive a referral from one of these of these websites, what you are getting is a real estate

agent that was willing to pay for advertising on that site. There is of course, nothing

wrong with advertising. Nearly every real estate brokerage firm and agent advertises

in one form or another. Some use these paid referral sites, and others like Pacific-

Realtors.net, use other means to attract clients such as our own websites,

our signs which can be seen throughout Southern California, direct mail marketing,

and referrals. Referrals come from satisfied clients, referral agents, and other brokers.

 

Q. Are real estate brokerage commissions set by law in California? It seems that

every firm is charging 6% to sell a home and 10% to sell land.

A. Broker commissions are not set by law. Every real estate brokerage firm

establishes what it will charge to market and sell a given property. Commissions

and levels of service vary from firm to firm.

 

Q. Does Pacific-Realtors.net offer any commission discounts or rebates to

buyers or sellers of homes?

A. Yes. In appreciation of their extraordinary service, Pacific-Realtors.net is pleased to

offer a $1,000 commission discount or rebate to all active-duty military and

reservists in the United State Armed Forces, sheriffs, police, fire fighters, and

paramedics who buy or sell a home through our company.

 

 

Q. Does Pacific-Realtors.net recommend that buyers of real estate utilize the

services of a mortgage broker, a commercial bank, or a credit union?

A. While mortgage brokers have differing levels of knowledge and experience, and

some have better reputations for performance, a good mortgage broker can nearly

always outperform a commercial bank or credit union when it comes to originating

real estate loans. The reason is simple. Mortgage brokers develop multiple sources

of mortgage loans, provided by wholesale lenders, allowing them to shop for their

clients in order to obtain the best loans available.

 

Q. How important is it for a buyer to obtain a formal home inspection when

buying a home?

A. It is absolutely essential for a buyer to obtain a professional, objective, written report.

If the inspector determines that substantial work is required before the end of the

buyer's contingency period, the report may justify the buyer asking for either a price

reduction or that repairs be made by the seller.

 

Q. What are lender required repairs?

A. There are specific repairs required before a lender will commit to make a loan to a new

buyer. They are normally identified in the appraisal report. Roof leaks and code

violations are the two most common types of lender required repairs.

 

Q. Do you have contractors and handymen that you can recommend for work on

my house?

A. Absolutely. Pacific-Realtors. net has a full-service property management division that

has an extensive list of contractors and handymen that areavailable to our clients.

 

Q. We own a condominium that we really cannot afford, but don't want to move.

Is it possible for you to find an investor who would buy a partial interest in

our property so that we are able to lower our monthly housing expense?

A. Yes. Call Michael Chulak to discuss the various options that are available.

 

Q. Does your firm ever joint venture the purchase of investment properties with

others?

A. Yes. We will consider the joint venture of homes, rental homes, apartments,

commercial properties, and land. Call Michael Chulak to discuss a potential joint

purchase of any type of real estate.

 

Q. When Pacific-Realtors.net lists a house for sale, do you hold open houses?

A. We strongly believe that holding open houses helps to sell houses and have sold

many properties due to the fact that we hold open houses. As long as we have the

consent of the seller, we will hold open houses until the property is sold. Open

houses work because many buyers understand that there is no substitute for seeing

properties in person. While photographs and videos have their place, open houses

have proven to result in sales. Some of our competitors will not invest

their time in holding open houses.

 

Q. In your experience, what percentage of homes are sold to people who

visited the home at an open house held by your firm?

A. In our experience, which dates from 1987, approximately 7% of homes we have

held open sold as a result of an open house.

 

Q. If we list our home for sale with Pacific-Realtors.net, are we required to hold

open houses?

A. No. You are not required to hold open houses, but it is advisable to do so because

they increase demand and they usually result in faster sales and higher prices.

 

Q. Can a non-citizen own real estate in the United States?

A. Absolutely. Whether you are a citizen or a non-citizen, we would be pleased to help

you purchase a home, land, or any other real estate.

 

Q. When I sell my house, I intend to move out of California and retire. Can you

refer me to a reliable, knowledgeable real estate agent?

A. Almost always.

 

Q. I would like to start a career in real estate. Do you have any suggestions?

A. You have already made a good start by visiting our website. You will need to

take certain required courses which you can take through First Tuesday. They are

an excellent company and you can contact them through our site. They will give you

a discounted price when you contact them through Pacific-Realtors.net. They also

offer an excellent, prelicensing exam crash course which we highly recommend.

Our firm also offers a real estate licensing crash course which is absolutely free.

Information is on this site.

 

After you pass the state exam, we would like to meet with you in person if you are in

Southern California or via Zoom if you are not local. After learning more about you

and your career goals, we will assign a mentor to you and will provide you with

excellent training. Of course, you many contact us at any stage or at any time.

Please ask for Michael Chulak.

 

Q. Is Pacific-Realtors.net a discount broker?

A. No. We are a full-service real estate firm that provides our clients all of the necessary

services to sell, buy, or lease real estate in California. Our fees are very competitive

and we have been in business since 1987. See: Discount Brokers.

 

Q. When I sell my property, who receives the commission I am paying?

A. Generally, 50% is paid to the selling office and 50% is paid to the listing office. Each

office must pay their agent from its share of the commission. This is typically

between 50% and 80% of the amount received by the office. Every office is different

so the formula will vary from office to office.

 

Q. If I obtain a real estate license and join your firm, will I be assigned someone

to assist me through my first few sales transactions?

A. Absolutely. All new real estate agents are assigned a mentor and receive extensive

training both in the office and in the field. A knowledgeable experienced, financially

successful senior agent will be available 24 / 7 to help you and will be available to

meet with prospective clients as needed.

 

Q. Does Pacific-Realtors.net have an experienced transaction coordinator?

A. Yes. Our transaction coordinator has been providing our real estate agents with

excellent services for many years.

 

Q. Is it possible to be successful selling real estate part-time?

A. Yes, assuming you have no other employment, or your other employment is

compatible with selling real estate. If your other employment allows for flexibility in

your time requirements, there should be no problem. If your other employment is

rigid in its time requirements, it will not be compatible with serving as a real estate

agent which often requires you to be available on short notice. It is for this reason,

that many successful part-time real estate agents choose to manage rental homes

part-time and/or team-up with a full time agent. We encourage this at

Pacific-Realtors.net and help agents develop rental home management business.

 

Q. Is your company familiar with the sale of stock cooperatives?

A. Yes. We have represented many buyers and sellers of coops in Southern

California.

 

Q. I would like to join your real estate company but I live very far from your

corporate office in Agoura Hills. Can I work from my home in Northern

California if I join Pacific-Realtors.net?

A. Yes. It is not necessary to work from Agoura Hills. Today, most real estate

agents do most of their work from their home.

 

Q. I am a very successful real estate agent with a dedicated team located

within ten miles of Agoura Hills. Will you consider opening a

Pacific-Realtors.net office for my team?

A. Yes, assuming you have a proven record of success over a period of at least

two years.

 

Q. Does the opportunity exist within your firm for a successful Realtor to

become a part owner of the company?

A. Yes.

 

Q. Is Pacific-Realtors.net interested in acquiring small independent real

estate brokerage firms in Southern California?

A. Yes. Please call to discuss.

 

Q. How much are real property taxes in California and how are they

calculated?

A. Real estate taxes in California consist the 1% rate established by

Proposition 13 in 1978 plus voter approved debt and district levies.

Voter approved debt and districit levies vary, but average about .25%

for a total average tax of 1.25% of the fair market value. This is an

estimate only.

 

Q. How big is an acre?

A. An acre is 43,560 square feet and approximately 208.75 feet square. A large

residential lot is typically one-quarter acre or 10,890 square feet. Further information

on the size of land parcels can be found at: Land Dimensions and Descriptions.

 

Q. We own some desert land that is located in an extremely remote area. It does

not have water or utilities, and is not located on an improved road. We have

tried to sell it without success. Can you help us sell it?

A. Yes. If you are wiling to carry financing, we have buyers who are long term land

bankers who are in the market for inexpensive rural land including desert property.

 

Q. If I sell my desert land with 10% to 15% down, carry back financing to make

the sale, and then pay a commission and closing costs, I will end up with little

cash. If I list my desert property with your firm, are you willing to take all or

some of your commission as a note secured by a deed of trust?

A. Generally, yes. If we recommend that the seller carry back financing, we are almost

always willing to convert all or some or all of our commission into financing.

 

Q. Should I buy land in California using a land contract or land sales contract?

A. No. Land sales contracts or land contracts are full of risks for buyers of land. We

recommend that you receive a grant deed and that any real estate financing involve

the use of a standard promissory note and a recorded deed of trust. A neutral escrow

holder should always be used and you should always insist on a policy of title

insurance. Please refer to the article on our website: Land Sales Contracts for more

information.

 

Pacific-Realtors.net
818-991-5200