After the Sale

[dropcap character=”C” color=”blue”]Congratulations! You’re a homeowner! After all of the stress of sorting out your mortgage, signing deeds and finding local movers livonia or similar movers in your local area, you’re finally ready to sit down and enjoy your new home. Well, almost. Yes, your furniture may all be where you want it, but there are a few more important tasks to note of. Take a look below to check what else you still need to do:

1. Keep your closing papers in a safe place. They are valuable! You will use them to figure out tax deductions for the year and in the future, they will come in handy when the property is sold again.

2. Confirm with your insurance professional that your homeowners insurance is active and in place, including fire, theft, and liability insurance.

3. Purchase or renew a Home Warranty, which can safe-guard against costly, unexpected repairs and replacements on the home’s critical systems and appliances. (See our list of referred Home Warranty vendors). You may wish to check out the available plans so that you can compare them and ensure that you are getting the best deal; see this website to get started –

4. Call the Utility Companies. Gas, electric, cable, telephone, garbage service, and any other providers for your home must be called to ensure service is in your name. You can also double-check what day your garbage will be picked up and when your bills will be due.

5. Two weeks after closing, contact the property records office to confirm your deed has been officially recorded.

6. Find Your Main Circuit Breaker. Take the time to locate the main breaker box for your home and label each breaker correctly.

7. Extra Paint. Many new homes will have cans of unused paint left in them. These are great for touch-ups and for getting an exact match when re-painting. Make sure these cans are stored all in one place where they are free from freezing or getting too hot.

8. Find the Off Switch. Locate the main water shut-off and make sure all household members know where it is located. It is also not a bad idea to purchase a water cut-off wrench in case it ever is necessary to turn off your water supply from the meter.

9. Some homeowners find it helpful to make a photo or video record of the home and their possessions for insurance purposes, and then keep the records in a safety deposit box. Contact your insurance provider for recommendations on what to photograph and how to secure it.

10. Enjoy! Homeownership can be a fulfilling and wonderful experience. Congratulations on this exciting stage of your life. We at Bella Casa hope that you and your family make many cherished memories in your new home.

Published on: Dec 11, 2012

Do I Need a Realtor®?

You be the judge.

[dropcap character=”R” color=”green”]Real estate transactions involve one of the biggest financial investments most people experience in their lifetime. Transactions today usually exceed $100,000. If you had a $100,000 income tax problem, would you attempt to deal with it without the help of a CPA? If you had a $100,000 legal question, would you deal with it without the help of an attorney? Considering the small upside cost and the large downside risk, it would be foolish to consider a deal in real estate without the professional assistance of a REALTOR !

  • Realtors are educated, licensed, trained, experienced, and insured for your protection.
  • Their expertise in an extremely complex industry increases the odds of making profitable decisions.
  • Our continuing education never ends and with every challenge we learn more to spare you the pains of what others have endured.

The real estate industry is one of the most heavily regulated industries in Oregon and other parts of the US. A major part of a real estate broker’s responsibility is to help reduce your risk, keep you well informed, and guide you through the buying process so that all that happens is proper. Our greatest asset to you is not when things go well, but when things go wrong or obstacles are faced, or when uncommon issues arise. With the help and guidance of a realtor or real estate agent Winston Salem (or elsewhere), you can get a solution to every problem related to buying or selling a home or property.

Protection from Lawsuits

Oregon and a few other states are not a ‘buyer beware’ state. They are a full disclosure state. Sellers who do not disclose all that they know about their property risk a lawsuit for withholding material facts. This can result in financial loss and in some cases nullify the sale.

But we don’t want buyers to ever be put into that miserable situation. We will do everything we can to prevent such a surprise. This means you the buyer must seek to know as much about the property before closing. While we are prohibited from performing your due-diligence, we will guide you in yours. We will also keep our trained eyes open for issues. A good home inspector is indispensable and your curious and suspicious mind will also assist you in preempting issues that could later result in a lawsuit.

For professional-grade advice, the best resources, better protection, and wisdom, use the services of someone who works his or her craft every day. Our philosophy of business is to give you access to the best information, the best guidance for your due-diligence, to watch over all aspects of the search and transaction, and to apply our negotiation skills and problem-solving skills for your best interest.


Published on: Dec 10, 2012

What is a Buyer’s Agent?

[dropcap character=”A” color=”gray”]A buyer’s agent represents home buyers exclusively, instead of both buyers and sellers. We believe a Bella Casa buyer’s agent provides a distinct advantage for Yamhill County home buyers by offering dedicated, focused, and expert services for buyers alone. There are almost 200 functions that can be identified as responsibilities for a real estate broker. That is too much for any one person!

The needs and services for a seller are radically different than those necessary for buyers. We have seen too many cases where a seller’s agent ends up compromising the services a buyer needs and the reverse is also true. For example, a buyer’s agent is on-call virtually around the clock. He or she needs to take personal downtime when the demands are light. But the most common times an agent is needed are on weekends, evenings, and for several days in a row – all day- when clients are in from out of town.  In times like these, who takes care of the responsibilities for a seller to meet advertising deadlines, set up showings and follow-up? If seller’s agents are serving a seller well, when can they drop everything and work with a buyer for 8 hours a day for 3 days?

There are several functions in the real estate industry:

  • Listing and marketing property for a seller
  • Assisting a buyer to find property
  • Property Management for investment properties
  • Property Appraisals

Appraisers have their own licensure, as do property managers. One cannot do both or be a real estate agent at the same time. Historically, real estate agents represented only the seller who paid the commissions but they had ethical responsibilities to the buyer (disclosure, honesty, etc.). Traditionally, agents worked with buyers and sellers and often with both sides of a transaction.

Because of the increasing complexity of real estate, the greater demands on agents, and recognition that agents have become more sophisticated and able to take on more responsibility, real estate law changed in 2002. All agents had to increase their education and pass tests to become licensed as full brokers, not just agents of a Principal Broker.

It is for those same reasons that we believe there is an advantage to separate the responsibilities for representation of sellers and buyers. Some states have made this a legal requirement. While we do not think this is necessary, we do believe it is a wise practice. We believe a buyer’s agent provides a distinct advantage for home buyers by offering dedicated, focused, and expert services for buyers alone.

Bella Casa Real Estate Group fosters a corporate culture of sharing. We all give and we all receive; we are all the richer for it and our clients enjoy the best service available. For the really tough or unique challenges we have an enviable depth of experience and industry memory. Bella Casa Real Estate Group employs a model of multiple Principal Brokers for supervision, assistance, and problem solving. Currently we have 11 principal brokers for 30 brokers and that ratio will only increase. We also enjoy a healthy ratio of the most experienced and respected brokers in the area.



Published on: Dec 9, 2012

Understand the Lending Industry

[dropcap character=”L” color=”yellow”]Lenders are the companies that give you the money to purchase a property; they actually fund the mortgage for you at closing. In reality, they will ‘own’ (hold legal interest in) more of the property than you do. Whether the lender is a bank, financial investment brokerage or institution, or a small local company, they all represent groups of investors who pool their money to make a return from the interest you pay on the loan. Some of them could even help with debt consolidation further down the line if this is something that needed to be done after borrowing a loan. Often once your mortgage is closed, it is sold on the secondary market and may become part of investment funds sold on Wall Street. Most people’s retirement funds are invested, to one degree or another, in mortgage vehicles, or mortgage-backed securities (MBS). Traditionally, mortgages represent a safe, reliable, and lucrative investment for investors.

Banks historically have been the most common source for loans. There are local and national banks, each with their own advantages and challenges. However, the lending industry has changed dramatically in the past couple of decades. Thanks to the development of revolutionary financial industry software such as appointment setter services and other marketing tools, financial experts have been able to reap the rewards of new and exciting ways of managing clients, dealing with money related matters and, most importantly, getting down to business. Now even credit unions offer mortgages. Most commonly, there are many mortgage brokerages, and the Internet has become a prominent source to find these companies and for virtual mortgage brokers to work through.

A mortgages broker can broker loan products from a wide array of sources. In fact they usually have access to anything on the market. Often the number of loan products is in the hundreds. Banks and credit unions have Loan Officers to work with you, and they often have their own portfolio of products available for numerous applications. Sometimes loan officers can broker market products just like mortgage brokers. You could even look towards the value that you already have tied up in your car using a title loan (, if you’re looking to get a loan even without the best credit.

You will work with a loan originator of some kind who will choose the best applicable product for your specific need. The loan originator is more than a salesperson. They are the face of the lender, the only face you will see, voice you will hear, or phone number, address, and email address you will have. They are your guide and advocate through the whole process. You will never know the underwriter and the many other people involved in your loan acquisition. The loan originator must get to know you, your situation, your goals, and all the challenges that apply to getting you the desired effect. They must also be expert in the paperwork, managing the process, and they must be competent problem-solvers.

[button size=”large” link=”” target=”_self” color=”yellow” align=”left”]Find a great mortgage lender.[/button]

Published on: Dec 2, 2012

The Selling Process

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Step 1 of The Selling Process: Contact us for a complimentary market analysis.

A market analysis will supply you with current and relevant information about home value, based on recent comparable property sales. Your Realtor will discuss with you what your home could sell for in the current market.

Step 2: Interview and Hire a Realtor .

We recommend interviewing several real estate agents to get a clear idea of what each Realtor will do to list and market your property.

Step 3: Sign the Listing Documents.

  • Listing Contract (between you and your Realtor )
  • Data Input form (the specific information to be published in the Multiple Listing Service )
  • Disclosed Limited Agency (Representation of you by your Realtor according to the Oregon Real Estate Agency)
  • Property Disclosures (4 pages of questions regarding any and all information you need to disclose to the Buyer purchasing your home)
  • Siding Disclosure (Required by the OREA)
  • Smoke Alarm Disclosure (Required by the OREA)
  • Lead-Based Paint Disclosure (only required if your home was built prior to 1978)

Step 4: Begin the Marketing Process.

Your Realtor will extensively photograph your house and property. Preparing marketing materials for to promote your home is time-intensive, but it’s very important to present your home at its best to the purchasing public. Keep in mind that the marketing process is one that will continue until your property is sold.

Step 5: Receive an Offer for Purchase.

Once you have a willing and able buyer for your property, the negotiations begin. Upon mutual acceptance, your Realtor will submit property disclosures to the buyer.

Step 6: Talk to Your Realtor About Relocation Plans.

Your Realtor can assist whether you are relocating locally, in state, or across the country. Be sure to ask how he or she can make the transition simplified and seamless for you.

Step 7: Negotiate Repairs and Cleaning.

Based on the inspection report, the buyer has the option to submit a Repair Addendum. Suppose the buyer inspection report has a mention of a pest/wildlife infestation problem in the house (that might require hiring Bat Removal services or any other relevant service providers) or has any important repairs that need to be done, this brings the buyer and seller (and their Realtors) back to the negotiation table so they can come to an agreement regarding any concessions or restorations.

Step 8: Perform Repairs Agreed Upon.

Keep in mind: though many repairs seem simple to the do-it-yourself-er, because you are in a real estate transaction, they may be required to be performed by a licensed contractor for example if you need some water pipework fixing you may look for either a professional such as I Need The Plumber & Air Conditioning or you may use a local professional if you find that more preferable. Ask your Realtor if you have any questions about what can be finished by you. Keep your receipts! The buyer may ask for them.

Step 9: Appointment to Sign at Escrow.

You will be contacted by the escrow officer of the title company where the transfer of title and funds will take place to schedule an appointment to come in and sign the final documentation.

Step 10: Pack Up! You’ve Sold Your Home!

Though nothing is finalized until the transaction has funded and recorded, it’s not a bad idea to begin the moving process. The contract between you and the buyer will specify how many days after closing you have to move out. (Sometimes it’s the day of closing, though!)

Step 11: Closing.

Closing officially occurs the day funding is released and the documentation is recorded with the county courthouse.

Published on: Nov 30, 2012

Determining Property Value

[dropcap character=”A” color=”blue”]Accurately determining property value is the most critical task to getting your property sold. It’s best to use a professional realtor, similar to these phoenix az realtors, to have your property valued. This will ensure an accurate valuation, meaning you’ll get everything your property is worth. Factors influencing home value include location, condition, appraised value, the lender, and of course the marketplace.

[accordion_group] [accordion title=”Location, Location, Location”]Location dictates value more than anything else. It also means that all real estate is quintessentially local; it can only be evaluated in light of its community, neighborhood, and even the placement of a home on a lot or parcel. Value-added examples include being near a desirable part of downtown, enjoyable views, seclusion, proximity to critical services like a hospital or shopping, good schools, backyard privacy, and the list is extensive. Negatives include railroad tracks, busy streets, neighborhoods with high crime rates or in disrepair, commercial areas, properties near noise, congestion, even light pollution, etc. A professional can help you understand the context of your home better and how your property might fare.[/accordion] [accordion title=”Floor Plan”]The floor plan will kill interest or bring the buyer back for a second look. Does it flow well; is it logical, does it use space well? Think about the master bedroom in relation to other bedrooms in light of children or guests. Where is the guest/half bath located; is it off the dining room, the living room, or is it discretely located for privacy? Do you have to walk through a bathroom to access a closet or another room? When we see homes designed by some homeowners, or many times by builders (sorry, but most homebuilders are men!), we are reminded why a professional home designer or architect is a good value at any cost![/accordion] [accordion title=”Condition of the Home”]Condition of the home begs these questions:

  • Is the home ‘dated’ or ‘updated’ with things like new windows from a website like this one? It is a sad reality that a state-of-the-art home today can be harshly criticized 10-15 years later. Homes have become like wardrobes; you do not have to update them but it will be noticed if you do not, and talked about negatively.
  • Is the property well maintained? Except for investors who are eager to improve homes for large profits, most buyers want a home that has been loved and cared for. Deferred maintenance issues frequently kill deals during the inspection phase, or cost the seller money to fix problems before closing. Unfinished remodeling or overdue maintenance is expensive to a seller. If for example, the roof is due to be redone, this can look really unappealing to a buyer as roofs are expensive to replace and maybe something they are unable to do after moving into the property. As a home seller, you could contact and search for Denver roofing companies or local roofing contractors to see if anyone can possibly help you with quickly solving this if it was an issue.
  • Is the home attractively decorated and furnished? Proper staging is an art. Not staging a home will cost you showings, perhaps offers, and likely money during the negotiations. A well-presented house may net you more money, or it could just make the home more saleable, meaning it will sell quicker because it competes better against other properties. Appropriate condition correlates to the market expectations for the price range. You do not have to follow every home fashion or trend, but you should do what is expected for the price range.

So what should you do?

De-clutter. Less is always more. Pack up everything you can live without and store the boxes in the garage, shop, or a storage facility. Remove unnecessary furniture to open-up walkways creating a home that feels spacious and lighter.

De-personalize. The best showings are when buyers see less of you and YOUR home, and more of them and their new home. Galleries of personal pictures on walls or the refrigerator distract buyers. Create an opportunity for the buyer to mentally place themselves and their furniture in your home. Selling your home is not about you – it is about your buyers. You are not showing off your possessions or family, instead you want buyers to envision themselves in your home and to imagine what they could do with your home-canvass.[/accordion] [accordion title=”Appraised Value and Lenders”]The reality is that most properties are purchased by a lender on a buyer’s behalf. Because of the risk to the lender of having to take back the property and re-sell it, the issue is really about what a lender is willing to pay. The lender will not pay more than the current dictates of the marketplace. In a declining market those assessments will be very conservative as they hedge against future lower prices. The data that is used to analyze the market is the actual sold comparables. ‘Solds’ alone have authority to establish value. The closest sales geographically, statistically, and chronologically are used to establish value. A seller’s opinion (they usually love the property) and a buyer’s willingness to pay the price (they also love it) mean nothing to a lender.

Professional technicians (appraisers) are hired by the bank to determine the value of your property. Your Realtor’s job and primary goal is to understand the market and your property well enough to price your property so that it does not conflict with an appraisal. There is no worse feeling than being 3 weeks into a transaction and having the appraiser come in thousands of dollars under the agreed-upon price. Most buyers cannot, and will not, pay more than the appraised value. In this situation, the seller always feels violated and must drop the price. It is a bitter experience.[/accordion] [accordion title=”The Marketplace is the last court of appeals”]You may list your property at a verifiable and attractive price but still not get an offer. A lack of showings might communicate that people think the property is overpriced. It also might be that there are no buyers in the marketplace at this time. If that is the real problem, then dropping the price will do no good, and plenty of damage. It will get you less money and bring down property values in the neighborhood. An experienced professional will know how to test and discern the causes. Other factors include the property’s location, condition, or presentation by the Realtor .

Markets do change, sometimes suddenly. Bank-owned homes, short-sale properties, and discouraged and desperate sellers can cause prices to drop suddenly making your property appear over-priced. The ‘active comparables’ while not definitive for appraisals, must be closely watched because they are your competition. Sellers should know their competition and learn to think like buyers, not sellers! You do not need to be the lowest price on the market, but you must be the best value, or at least unique enough so that your particular kind of buyer will want your home even at a higher price.[/accordion] [accordion title=”Overwhelmed & Hopeless? “]No one has the perfect property. There are many things we cannot control (like gravel roads, a poorly managed rental in the neighborhood, a funky floor plan, etc.). Additionally, some sellers cannot afford the time or money to change things that could be improved. This does not mean you cannot get your home sold, it just means that the price should reflect all these issues in order to keep your home strategically competitive. Your Realtor will be able to do this for you and periodically track your property against changing market conditions.

Buyers are savvy, and in this age of instant and vast information they will know your property and the competition well before they write an offer. Buyers will not be fooled. But the good news is that they also will recognize your good value. Their desire for good value and your desire to take the market seriously and offer a good value will eventually be a win-win deal. At that point both of you can move on with your lives.[/accordion] [/accordion_group]

Published on: Nov 30, 2012

Top 5 Realtor® Responsibilities

[dropcap character=”Y” color=”green”]Your expectation of a listing agent is to get your property sold within your time constraints and for the most money possible in the current market. While we can’t manufacture buyers, what we can do is to increase the odds of grabbing more buyers’ eyes, achieving more showings, and hopefully receiving more and better offers. We can then professionally negotiate the best value possible, hold it together, and close the transaction. If you understand more than this, you can also judge your agent accurately and either correct your Realtor or reward your Realtor with a renewed listing.

Here are our top 5 Realtor responsibilities for getting your property sold:

[accordion_group] [accordion title=”Price Your Property Properly”]Pricing is not about what the seller needs or wants for the property, nor is it about one’s intuition or the impression the home gives. Pricing is about hard-core research data obtained from comparable sold properties (real value), and then strategically assessing the competition to achieve the seller’s goals. There is no responsibility more important than this. An honest Realtor will still occasionally be corrected by the marketplace (that keeps us humble) but no Realtor can pull-one-over on the marketplace. The market is the most powerful force; no one controls it.

We have a saying that the listing agent begins as a hero in the eyes of the seller (great expectations!), but it goes downhill from there, sometimes way down because the end result is less than the dream. On the other hand, a buyer’s agent, begins at a disadvantage without trust from the buyers, but in the end achieves a dream for the buyers, and so ends the transaction as a hero. While it is good to interview more than one Realtor , sometimes the competition to win the client can cause the promise of price to be overstated. Learn more about establishing value and ask your Realtor to show you the data to support their claim.[/accordion] [accordion title=”Promote Your Property Far & Wide”]Your listing agent’s commission includes the marketing budget. Be sure your agent uses the resources well to get your property exposed to both Realtors and the public. Realtors are hand-in-hand with most of the prospective buyers in the marketplace. It is important to have a strategy to get your property at the fingertips of every agent in the nation. Ask what Multiple Listing Services your agent belongs to. Ask about IDX (Internet Data Exchange) to get your listing on thousands of agent websites.

The buyers agent commission is strategic here. We want to make it worth the effort of the best Realtors with the best buyers to show your property and then to negotiate in good faith. If we do not reward them well, we might lose the best opportunities. [ul_list]

  • Will your broker put the property on a Realtor property tour for professional viewing?
  • Will they provide extra information in the agent private remarks section of the listing so the showing agent is better informed when showing the property?
  • Is your agent immediately accessible by cell phone to set-up showings and assist a busy buyer’s agent?
  • Does your Realtor have a good reputation in the local community for working well with other agents?
  • Will there be follow-up calls or emails to get feedback for showings, and more importantly, to learn about obstacles to buying your home?
[/ul_list]Your agent will have several strategies to accomplish these most basic points. Promoting your property far and wide to the public is essential to insuring that no potential buyer is missed. Today, most of the best places to advertise are online. Review your agent’s advertising plan in detail. You will then be able to hold your broker accountable, and you will know that everything reasonable is being done to help you succeed in achieving your goal. Review the listing itself for completeness and accuracy, flyers, print advertising (magazines, newspapers, local publications), and websites. There are many strategies to getting your property noticed. Just ask your Realtor for their plan.[/accordion] [accordion title=”Present Your Property in its Best Light”]Every home has flaws and weaknesses. Our job is to present your best features and do so in an attractive and professional manner. Choose an agent who can take quality photographs with proper lighting (and blue skies!). Read the listing comments and edit the amenities list for accuracy and completeness. Why did you choose to buy this property? It is likely the same reason the next buyer will love your home. Are the flyers enticing, the ads creative, and the most important features floodlighted?

A professional realtor learns what appeals to the public and knows what will sell your property. Too good can be not so good. If there is too much ‘puffing’ in the descriptions, and if pictures create an unrealistic view of your property, then the disappointment experienced by buyers when they arrive at your home will actually destroy any chance of a buyer choosing your property. It takes wisdom to use marketing well.[/accordion] [accordion title=”Persuade the Buyer of Your Property’s Value”]Our intent is to find buyers looking for a property such as yours. When we find prospective buyers, it is to engage them in discussion of your property and persuade them that your property is worth every penny you are asking for it. We lobby for the right person to buy your property, help the buyer to raise concerns and objections, and then we apply what we know to remove these obstacles. This applies to our marketing messages, to the first showing and the follow-up feedback, in the process of negotiating terms and conditions for the offer, and in the transaction (after the inspection).

Sales is assertive, not passive. The process preempts problems, resolves difficulties, and broadens the buyer’s vision of what your property can do and be for them.[/accordion] [accordion title=”Persist Through Challenges Until Closing”]The process from listing your home to closing the transaction is long and littered with mines. The challenges are great. Inspections cause buyers to change their minds and kill the deal, but so does ‘buyers remorse’. Appraisals may throw everyone back into negotiations. Closings are late about 30% of the time, and coordinating the closings and possession of 3 or 4 transactions (that are strung together like a train) will stretch patience to the breaking point and require exceptional diligence on the part of your Realtor . Issues, questions, disclosures (or the lack thereof) erupt at the most inopportune times.

Your agent will protect you from most of the stress, keep you informed, solve myriad problems, find key answers, and negotiate skillfully to hold things together and get the transaction closed for you. Most importantly, he or she will maintain their cool and resist reacting to provocations in order to make this happen.[/accordion] [/accordion_group]


Published on: Nov 30, 2012

Should I Call the Listing Agent?

[dropcap character=”I” color=”blue”]It has become increasingly common for buyers to call the listing agent and ask to see the property. If the property is right, then the listing agent is asked to write the offer.[space5]

Is this legal? Is it wise?

Oregon allows for dual representation (a single agent representing both the seller and the buyer) if there is full disclosure. There is an Oregon Agency Disclosure that states the client’s rights and the broker’s responsibilities. This is not quite as shocking a conflict of interest as one might fear. In real estate, the client wants to buy and the seller wants to sell. A broker is trying to bring both parties together for the proverbial “win-win.” It is not like the criminal justice system where the outcome seriously affects your life. In that case no one is seeking a “win-win.” The prosecutor is trying to destroy you and the defense attorney is trying to save you, or at least minimize the damage to you. That system depends on aggressive representation; it is an adversarial system.

But that said, is it wise to use the listing broker? Even with dual agency representation, we think the buyer is at some disadvantage. Where is the primary allegiance of the listing agent? Is it not with the seller, with whom there is a longer term and contractual relationship? And does the listing broker want you to consider other properties? Certainly not until you write off this one! The listing agent is ethically required to represent the best interests of the seller and not interfere with your possible desire to purchase the seller’s property. In other words, you will not get any help from the listing broker until you decide not to buy that property. And then what? That listing broker wants to help you buy any property AND WORK WITH YOU LIKE A BUYER’S AGENT!

The needs and services for a seller are radically different than those necessary for buyers.

We have seen too many cases where a seller’s agent ends up compromising the services a buyer needs and the reverse is also true. For example, a buyer’s agent is on-call virtually around the clock. He or she needs to take personal downtime when the demands are light. But the most common times an agent is needed are on weekends, evenings, and for several days – all day- when clients are in from out of town.  In times like these, who takes care of all the responsibilities for a seller to meet advertising deadlines, set up showings and follow-up? If seller’s agents are serving a seller well, when can they drop everything and work with a buyer for 8 hours a day for 3 days?

If you choose a Bella Casa agent, then you work throughout the entire buying process with someone who has no other interest than what is best for you and what best matches your interests. No conflict of interest no matter how insignificant that conflict might be.

Bella Casa Real Estate Group fosters a corporate culture of sharing.

We all give and we all receive; we are all the richer for it and our clients enjoy the best service available. For the really tough or unique challenges we have an enviable depth of experience and industry memory. Bella Casa Real Estate Group employs a model of multiple Principal Brokers for supervision, assistance, and problem solving. Currently we have 11 principals for 30 brokers and that ratio will increase. We also enjoy a healthy ratio of the most experienced and respected brokers in the area.



Published on: Nov 30, 2012

Can’t I Work with Multiple Agents?

[dropcap character=”F” color=”green”]For some people, business is only about the cost. For money they will take advantage of anyone and do whatever they want regardless of how it hurts someone else. But most of us eventually learn that the lowest price is rarely the best value. Money alone satisfies no one.

Others may think that an industry professional has nothing more to offer them than what they already have. These people think they know it all. In reality, there is nothing I can do as well as a focused and experienced professional who spends his or her time dedicated to the intricacies of the trade.

Some think about the easiest, simplest, and most efficient use of time to accomplish something.  That is the best reason to use a professional. A true professional is a great financial value, offers protection and expertise, and will do so in the most efficient way to minimize negative impact on your life.

We are committed to being the very best for our clients and providing them with the finest service they will ever know. The satisfaction of being the best, giving the best, and accomplishing the best, is most rewarding to us. Yes, we are rewarded financially and can pursue our dreams in life but that is not the most important aspect. There is the intangible satisfaction of accomplishing the difficult task of pleasing people and building a valuable reputation.

We cannot provide the level of service we enjoy giving without knowing that the people we serve will be loyal to us until the end. We are paid only when the property closes. If we provide excellent service for 6 months and then the client buys with another broker, we gain nothing and have lost much. If we do not know that someone will reward our faithful efforts with the loyalty to work with us to the end, then we must over-commit to too many people and compromise our service. This runs contrary to our passion. Businesses who under-serve their customers lose the commitment of the very people who make them successful. We do not want to be counted among them.

A Safe Way of Committing to a Realtor®

  • Interview a prospective agent to learn about personality, experience, specialties, values, and manners. You can begin this process by reading the broker’s bio or website. You can interview by email with questions and comments. You can talk by phone, or, the best? come into our office and sit and talk face to face.
  • Test-drive a prospective agent. Ask to be taken out to see 4 or 5 properties in a day and see the broker in action. Are you comfortable? Do they present themselves professionally? Do they act professionally? Are they helpful and knowledgeable? Do they listen to what you say and understand what you want? Do they continue to keep you informed and send value-added information for your quest?
  • When you are comfortable, communicate your intention to work solely with your broker until closing. At that point you will be placed on the Priority Service List. When our Realtors® are able to do this, then they are willing to turn down other work and reserve that premium level of service for you. Your loyalty allows us to guarantee our service.
  • Still not a committing person? Of course, we hope that if we serve you well that you will reward our efforts with payment for services. That only can happen if we write the offer for you, represent you in a sale, and close it to your satisfaction. If you ask us to write the offer for you, you are automatically on our Priority Service List.
  • Our guarantee insures you will not be locked into a relationship that does not serve your interests before ours. If we fall short of your expectations, please tell us so we can correct the oversight. If desired, we will provide you with another professional to serve you. If that does not satisfy you, then we will not hold you to any expectation of loyalty.


Published on: Nov 30, 2012

How Does a Buyer’s Agent Get Paid?

[dropcap character=”L” color=”red”]Like every other product or service in the world, a ‘cost of sales’ is built into the product or service charges. It takes money to design a functional product that meets needs, to appeal to the public, promote the benefits of it, and invites the customer to buy. There are substantial costs building ‘brands’ and identity, packaging strategically, marketing goods and services widely, and advertising precisely. At the point of sale, there are significant labor costs to get the product to you in a way you like.

If you happen to notice, many retail operations tend to invest in a retail pos system that has the most advanced features on the market, like a reporting suite, advanced inventory management, a credit card processor, and almost any integration you can dream up. When comparing that process with the current market situation, you can see that marketing and sales are both essential elements of any product or service. Any time you buy something, you’re paying fees, commissions, and expenses that allowed the product or service to be sold, pique your interest, make your life better and more enjoyable, and allow you to achieve your goals.

In one way there is no difference in real estate. The costs of providing the real estate industry infrastructure, the development of professional salespeople, the marketing and advertising budget for the property, and a thousand miscellaneous expenses are attached to the product being sold; in this case, the property. Most commonly the commissions attached to homes for sale run from 4-7% but are fully negotiable by law. These costs are paid by the seller.

In another way, real estate is unique. ‘Commissions’ in our industry is a very public issue. Even though most products and services have commissions hidden in their costs, real estate commissions are public and often misunderstood.

In most cases, the commission fees built into the cost of the property are divided 4 ways. At the closing of a sale the commission fees are first split between the listing brokerage and the selling brokerage. Commonly the split is 50/50% or 55% to the listing office and 45% to the selling office. Once fees and expenses are taken by each brokerage (the company), then a further split is dispersed to each broker.

The listing broker’s compensation pays for their marketing expenses, personal business expenses, and personal income and profit. The buyer’s agent receives his or her portion for the business expenses of finding buyers and successfully assisting them to buy the property of their choice. It is in the seller’s best interest to motivate agents to ‘sell their property’ and the motivation for agents is the same as for anyone in business: money to support one’s life and achieve one’s dreams.

So using a specialist, dedicated and focused on the needs of buyers has no effect on the cost of the property. We believe you get so much more quality service without any additional cost to yourself.



Published on: Nov 30, 2012