Thursday, June 18, 2020

3 Common Misconceptions About Real Estate Agents

3 Common Misconceptions About Real Estate Agents

A colleague of mine was watching a video on YouTube and I asked her what she was watching. She showed me this episode of "Actor & Actor Answer The Web's Most Searched Questions" and out of curiosity, I googled what people have been asking about real estate agents and questions such as "Why are real estate agents so rich?" and "What real estate agents do?" and "When real estate agents lie?" came up.

I wasn't really taken aback because these are questions I've been asked before by people who's had a bad experience with a different agent before or by someone who just didn't know any better. I see these questions as opportunities to educate clients, friends, family and everybody else on what it is I do and address some misconceptions about agents. So, in today's blog, I want to discuss three common misconceptions about real estate agents. 

#1. Real Estate Agents Make Lots of Money

Now, let's talk about agents making lot of money. The brokerage, not the agent, gets the commission unless the agent is its own broker which most agents are not, by the way. You have to hang your license under a broker if you are to work as a real estate professional in the state of California.  Depending on their contract, the agent gets a split of the commission. Most new agents I know of, started at 50/50. That immediately takes away half of the commission. The broker gets paid because they are taking a lot of risk and liabilities. So, agent gets half of the commission minus and other fees they have to pay for every transaction. Some agents I know pay for fees I've never heard off but it is the cost of doing business. Below are some of the most common ones. 

Broker fee
transaction coordinators fee
franchise fee
office fee
tech fee
E/O insurance fee

The list above does not include what they paid for advertising the property, for photography, videos, for brochures, for their gas etc. Whatever is left is what they're paid for their time. It really isn't that much if you divide it with the amount of time spent on the clients as well as the transaction. Most agents are not listing or buying million dollar homes like they do on HGTV. 

#2. Real Estate Agents Are All The Same

I've heard of people's horror stories when purchasing or selling  their home. I've had someone vent to me at an open house about how they have the worst experience because their agent do not answer their phone, have horrible customer service and that they took care of everything themselves. People have said that agents lie all the time. Just like in every other profession, there are some bad apples in the industry but majority of the us are good agents, excellent agents even. We have different experiences. The seasoned agents will know more than the part-time newer agent. I know some "kill them with kindness" negotiators and some aggressive ones. We market our listings differently. Some take the photos with their phone and some use professional photography and videos. Some work on their customer service and some focus more on the process. You have to interview agents (with an s) so you can find someone that you would be comfortable working with because agents are not all the same. In the future, it's best to set your expectation with the agent from the get go so you're both on the same page. 

#3. Real Estate Agents Do Nothing

As an agent, it is our job to make the transaction go as smoothly as possible and stress-free or at the very least, less stressful for you. What makes selling or buying a house complex is the many people involved in one single transaction. You have the brokers, the real estate agents, the transaction coordinators, the sellers, the buyers, the home inspectors, the escrow officers, the loan officers, the loan assistants, the appraisers, the underwriters, the lenders, the title company along with the county working together to close this deal. In some instances, there would be more people involved. It is a lot of work. A capable agent will make it look like he or she has done nothing. Putting a house on the market or getting an offer accepted is the easy part. Keeping the transaction from falling apart is the real hard work. There's so many things happening behind the scene that you do not know about. We do all the worrying for you so you do not have to. Clients not getting stressed and closing escrow is the goal. 


If you or someone you know is looking to own, sell or invest in real estate in Canyon Lake - Menifee area and the surrounding cities, I'd love to help! 

Angela Carpio, Realtor



Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Why Is Selling A House Stressful?

Out of curiosity, I asked multiple friends what would they ask an agent if they were to sell a house. "Why is selling a house stressful?" is the frequently asked question so I decided on today's blog to answer this.

The number one reason why sellers find it stressful to sell a house is because of the number of factors that is out of their control and their agent's control. When things doesn't go as planned, it can leave you feeling anxious and stressed. Believe me, I feel it too. I just hide it better because it is my job to be objective and not to cause you any more stress than you have to. When selling a home, fear, stress and anxiety is a product of unanswered question. Here's what you do. 

First, don't look for the worst case scenario before it happens. It will drive you crazy. Why are you worrying about things that hasn't happened yet? It is an unnecessary stress you put on your self and you have an agent for that. Seriously, let us worry about it. Before you've even thought about it, your agent has proactively thought of ways to negotiate should certain situations occur. 

Secondly, the sooner you understand that the market is what dictates the price of your home, the less stressful you will be. You want to sell the house for the best price possible. So do agents. As an agent, here's what I usually do for my sellers. I send them a weekly update of what's active, what's pending and what sold in the area. That way, you know who your competitions are and what the homes are selling for. This takes care of your fear of selling your house for less. You'll have a better understanding of what's happening in the market. 

Thirdly, do not worry about buyers. I don't know a single agent who doesn't require a preapproval letter when submitting an offer. I go a step further and ask for proof of funds and buyer cross-qualification if seller is okay with that. As an agent, I want to make sure that the buyer has indeed been preapproved before we take your property off the market. This usually put a seller's mind at ease. Also, negotiating with a buyer is normal. Agents' goal is to, #1, sell the house and #2, to make our clients happy. Don't let your fear lose your focus on the goal and definitely do not make decisions based on fear.

Next, don't stressed out about keeping your house clean for tours and open houses. We'll take care of that too. We can ask for two hour notice for showings at a minimum so you can clean up a bit, find a place for your pets and you can take care of what you need to take care of prior to showing. We can even set showings at specific days and time if that works better for you.  Bottom line is, do not sweat the small stuff. 

To the biggest worry of them all, clients worry that the transaction will fall through. In a perfect real estate home selling world, every transaction goes smoothly and every escrow will close. It happens, just not all the time. It fails when seller and buyer cannot agree on the repairs or appraisal may have come in low, the house needs too much work or loan didn't go through. Agents will advise accordingly to keep this transaction going but the ultimate decision lays on you. Again, the goal is to sell the house AND to make you happy. Here's the good news, there's always a buyer out there willing to buy your house.

Finally, do not be afraid to ask questions. That's what your agent is for. When you're unsure, ask questions. When you don't understand, ask questions. When something's bothering you, ask questions. Getting an answer to your question might help minimize your stress. 

Selling a house doesn't have to be stressful if you focus less on the uncertainty and more on the goal.

With that, I leave you with a quote from Tony Dungy:

"You can't always control circumstances. However, you can always control your attitude, approach and response. Your options are to complain or to look ahead and figure out how to make the situation better."


If you or someone you know is looking to own, sell or invest in real estate in Canyon Lake - Menifee area and the surrounding cities, I'd love to help! 

Angela Carpio, Realtor



Monday, June 1, 2020

5 Things You Shouldn't Do Before Buying A House

As a real estate professional, I get asked this question a lot. It is good information to know before buying a house and something you have to remember while on the process of purchasing one. The last thing you want to do is jeopardize the purchase of your new home when it could've easily been prevented. 

Here are the top 5 answers I give my clients when asked what they shouldn't do before buying a house:

Don't miss loan payment.

Missed payments will affect your credit score negatively. Good credit score is one of the many factors required by lenders in order to loan you money. They also want to know that you can pay your commitments and pay them on time. 

Don't buy a new car.

It's not about the car, it's about your auto loan monthly payments. You could have a $20,000 car with a monthly payment of $500. That's $500 a month that is added to your liabilities that could affect your purchasing power. You want to keep your debt-to-income ratio low if you want to own your home sooner. Once you close escrow, you can go crazy. You can, but you shouldn't cause now you have a mortgage payment to make. 

Avoid changing jobs.

Changing jobs could affect your loan approval. Lenders want to lend money to people with predictable income. Employment history and income are key considerations to your loan approval. Changing jobs may make you seem like a greater risk.

Don't Shift Finances Around

Making unusual large deposits and withdrawals between different accounts may raise a red flag for the banks. Underwriters would need to establish where those money came from thus, creating unnecessary paper work that you and the lender will have to do. A quick phone call to your lender and he or she can advise you accordingly.

Don't be a cosigner for anyone.

Cosigning for a loan, such as student loan or car loan, could affect your ability to qualify for a home loan. Why? When cosigning for a loan, you share full responsibility for said loan. If that person missed a payment/payments, it will show up on your credit history.

Yes, this answer addressed the financial aspect of the home buying process more. That's because without the loan, there is no house, unless of course you have cash lying around. So if you're a home buyer looking to purchase your home with a loan, then this is definitely for you. 


If you or someone you know is looking to own, sell or invest in real estate in Canyon Lake - Menifee area and the surrounding cities, I'd love to help! 

Angela Carpio, Realtor



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