I get multiple phone calls from home buyers and home sellers weekly. Most folks that call me are very courteous and need guidance and advice with their real estate decisions. Some, unfortunately, are not as up front and honest and call me to pick my brain so that they can then turn around and advise their real estate agent (who is usually working in real estate part time and in many cases is a friend or relative) on how to approach a situation or understand the local Pasadena real estate market.
Let me be very clear, I do not have a problem helping fellow realtors. All your realtor has to do is call me directly and ask for help. I do have a problem when people call me and pretend that they're going to use my services when they know that they will not. I've heard it all and have seen it all over my years as a real estate broker. You can call it a 6th sense... whatever it is, I have it. I know that I shouldn't get irritated, but honestly, I still do. So here is my list of when NOT to call a real estate agent.
When NOT to call a real estate agent:
1. Do NOT call a Realtor if you are working with another real estate agent. Most people work for a salary. Real estate agents work on commission. We do not get paid until we find a property, negotiate a home price, oversee all the transactional details, and close escrow. We will get paid last - after the home seller gets paid, the lender is paid off, title and escrow fees are taken care of, etc. it's similar to working on a contingency basis - we get paid after the transaction closes - not a moment earlier.
Our time is limited. There is one agent to multiple clients. A smart real estate agent will work with a small number of pre-approved home buyers and a small number of motivated home sellers. The agent's sole responsibility is to help their clients understand the real estate process, narrow down their choices by having a comprehensive home buying or home selling consultation, address most of their clients' concerns and find resources to address the ones that they can't and help them accomplish their goals successfully with as little hassle as possible.
If your agent is not doing that - find another. But, do not call me because your agent doesn't have time to answer your questions. And, please do not call me because your agent is too busy with other clients or their personal life or another job to show you a property.
2. Do NOT call a real estate agent unless you are ready to engage in a two way conversation. People call because they want information, but start acting evasive when we ask questions back. The questions real estate agents ask are usually three-fold:
- We ask questions to pre-qualify a potential client prior to setting up an appointment to meet with them. For example, are you currently working with an agent? Have you talked with a lender? When do you anticipate buying or selling a home? And, so on... It's important to make sure that we are not interfering with another agency relationship and are working with willing and able clients.
- We ask questions for our personal safety. it is important to get a feel for the person on the other end of the line before heading out to meet with them.
- We ask questions to see if we're the right agent to help the client. I do not want to waste my time nor the client's time. I need to clearly understand what the potential home buyer is looking to buy. Maybe, they are looking to buy a home in an area that I do not specialize in, etc?
Most real estate agents will not ask questions just to be intrusive and nosy. They are legitimate questions that we need answers to. If you do not feel comfortable answering honestly or feel that as one of my callers told me yesterday, that the information is "irrelevant", please don't call me. If I ask, it's relevant.
3. Do NOT call a real estate agent if you are not ready to follow their advice. I am so impressed with many of my readers who call me after doing substantial research on-line and have a pretty clear idea of the steps they need to take to begin their home search. Some, though, just want to do things their way and only their way. My responsibility as a real estate agent is to guide you through the process to make a home buying or home selling experience as smooth and as hassle-free as possible. There is a strong and compelling reason for everything that I ask my clients to do. I take the time to explain these reasons and will only work with clients that will take the time to understand the process and follow my guidance. If you are going to fight me every step of the way, there's no reason for us to work together.
If you fall into any of the above categories, there are plenty of resources on this real estate site that are free and available to anyone with access to the Internet.
Free Home Search: you can set up a VIP account that allows you to search all MLS (Multiple Listing Service) listings for sale. These include properties like single family homes, condos, townhomes and income. There's also access to land and lease listings. Foreclosures can be easily found here as well. You can even program free mls system to send you emails anytime a listing that fits your criteria is available. You can search homes for sale in Pasadena as well as the surrounding areas. In fact, you can search most property for sale in Southern California. As of the time of this post, there are over 74,000 properties available for sale on this site.
Free Real Estate Market Analysis: I have hired Altos Research, one of the premier real estate market tracking companies, to provide my readers with real-time real estate data and statistics for Pasadena, South Pasadena, San Marino, Los Angeles, Alhambra, Altadena and San Gabriel. You can sign up to receive weekly emails directly from Altos on a weekly basis. This subscription is a service that is offered to all my readers and does not cost you a dime. In fact, it's pretty cool the amount of information that you can get. I also do my own analysis on a monthly basis for different cities in the area. You can find it in the real estate market report section of my site.
Home Buyer and Home Seller "how to" articles and posts - including advice on how to stage your home, how to find a loan, what kind of closing costs to expect, how to get your offer accepted and much more.
Read More: Pasadena Real Estate Guide
Area information including schools, restaurants, shopping and attractions can be found in individual city guides below:
If you are looking for a real estate advocate to guide you through the process of buying or selling your home in Pasadena and items 1 through 3 above do not apply to you, please DO give me a call to discuss your needs. I'd love to help!
IRINA NETCHAEV & ASSOCIATES
Pasadena Real Estate Agents