Wednesday, May 19, 2010

HOA Demands?--You're Tell'n Me

As with all blog posts from me, comments are welcome--especially welcome on this post. I am a full-time Fremont-Newark-Union City Real Estate Broker, and I work hard in the office, on the phone, face to face and on the Internet. You probably work hard in your profession too.

BUT--Can I have some of your salary if I ever need your services?

No? Why not?

I have been asked to give away some of my commission from time to time since I started real estate in 2000. Perhaps it is just part of the business. But why? Do you ask a lawyer to lower their retainer? Do you ask the accountant to credit the expense column in your favor? Surely not!

Lately, buyers and sellers have been asking for significant portions of my commissions on a regular basis. I cannot discuss commission rates due to laws governing the subject, but I believe my skills, and knowledge of the real estate contract and the skill sets I possess in negotiating sales and the like merit my pay as well as other agent's and broker's pay. As awful as that may be, still another person has been asking for my commission as of late. Can you guess who it might be? The Home Owner's Association in a short sale of a condominium, that's who.

I have a short sale in Fremont that has been, for reasons beyond the scope of this post, in escrow for 1 year now. Now that we are on the very cusps of closing escrow, the HOA (of all people) wants me to "pitch in" in order to settle an assessment that is due upon the sale of the property. Whaaat?

Here is the math:

My pay on a successful close of the above-mentioned property is $6600 divided by 12 months of calling, disclosing, coordinating, compliancing, faxing, emailing, logging, filing, problem solving, driving, (my job) equals $550 dollars a month. Only if it closes escrow.

Another property in the same boat is $1060 divided by 10 months of the same equals $1060 dollars a month. Only if it closes escrow. And believe me--they do not always close escrow.

Asking for a piece of the broker's commission will never stop because that's how it is set up. It is illegal to fix a commission in real estate understandably, and brokers must disclose that commission is set by each individual broker and that it is never a "standard" rate. It keeps it competitive. So, in a sense, we advertise that our commission is negotiable. But what a broker can do is simply say, "no" when asked to "pitch in."

The reason why I and other brokers give their commission when they really should not (myself included) is because we work very hard and only get paid at the end of a successful close of escrow. The threat--if you will-- of losing all that hard work unless a little or sometimes a lot of commission is given away is the only way to get any money at all. I guess it is human nature to be so bold to ask for a piece of the broker commission. The only way for it to stop is for the broker to simply say, "no" and suffer any consequences that may fall.

In a moment, I will try to ask for a piece of my dentist's fees today when I go get my teeth cleaned. I will report back to you.

A few hours later

She said, "no." By Jeff Pereyda

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Fremont Homes For Sale--You thought your garage was bad

I see a lot of homes for sale in Fremont and their garages. Some owners are creative in they're use of the space while other homeowners are in survival mode. Some of my homes for sale in Fremont have used shelving and built-in fixtures to make the space very workable as a hobby shop and the like. I was taken a back lately by this townhome for sale in Fremont.

Do you remember the Tennessee Tuxedo cartoon? He and is pal Chumly would escape from the zoo on a mission to solve a problem. Armed with the voice characterization of Don Adams, Tennessee Tuxedo would demand that they visit Mr. Whoopee, a brilliant professor who knew all the answers. Upon arrival of Mr. Whoopee's office, it only took a matter of a minute or two until the professor had to open his closet to get use of his "3D-BB," his three dimensional blackboard. However, the closet was packet to the ceiling with stuff. I wonder why a tennis racket sticking out always seems to make it as a stereotypical junk thing. Anyway, when the closet is opened--all the junk spills on top of Mr Whoopee. Well, that almost happened to me.

While showing homes for sale in Fremont, an owner had stepped out prior to me showing one of the homes, and there were no images of the garage in the Fremont home for sale on the MLS. "Can we see the garage?" the buyer asked. "Sure," I replied. This is what we saw. I could not help but think of Mr. Whoopee's closet.

Here is an episode of Tennessee Tuxedo on YouTube (They want to make a light and learn about Thomas Edison). And, yes, the tennis racket is in the pile of junk in Mr. Whoopee's closet--see if you can find it.By Jeff Pereyda

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

SF bay area craigslist > for sale / wanted > garage & moving sales > Fremont CA

It was not too long ago, that I and many others suggested to Craig Newmark or staff that he should definitely have a section for Fremont garage sales & moving sales or estate sales on Craigslist.

We were heard. There is now a Fremont garage sales & moving sales section on Craigslsit.

Craigslist had created a Fremont garage sales & moving sales section in the Craigslist website some time ago, and now I will get to try it out.

My wife and I have come to realize that we have too many things, especially now that we have two new children and no additional storage. In a very real sense, our garage has become storage. Naturally, some things we do not want to part with like Halloween decorations and such, but why keep abandoned toys, clothes, and kitchen items that are never going to be used? I even found a dusty old Saguaro Cactus made of tissue paper in there. Maybe the Saguaro could be a FREE item.

Our goal is to find these things a new home soon by way of Fremont garage sales & moving sales. The items we do not want that did not sell at our Fremont garage sales & moving sales will be donated to charity.

One benefit of being a Fremont Realtor is having lots of signs to use in situations like this. I simply get out my Open House signs, reface them using a 20 X 24 piece of cardboard to say Fremont garage sales & moving sales and done!

Anyone need a large bin of Beanie Babies? By Jeff Pereyda