Dual Agency in a real estate transaction happens when an agent or broker represents both the buyer and the seller in the transaction. In California, this is perfectly legal, and many people wonder just why that is. After all, a lawyer cannot represent both sides in court, so why can a real estate agent represent […]
I said that prices have now reached the point where, in some situations, for some people who want to make Santa Cruz home and plan to be here, either as property owners or not, for some years to come, that it may be about the same expense to buy as to rent – or less, depending on where they want to live and what kind of home works for them. My colleague then said something I had not heard before: “rental prices are dropping in Santa Cruz.” … My colleague figured that the reason rental prices would be dropping in Santa Cruz is that many sellers, rather than selling in a declining market like this one, have opted to just put their houses up for rent rather than try to sell in a market like this, and wait to sell when times are better. Well, I thought, that’s a possibility – I believe there are a lot of would-be home sellers , especially in the mid-county area, who are bursting at the seams to sell their real estate but are putting it until the market exits this cycle. … However, they speculated that the market is soft at the moment because it’s the middle of winter, and this is a time when students are not looking to move into housing, they should have settled in by now.
A month ago, I wrote a blog entry about a homeowner in Soquel who was having a blue light special on the sale of his home. I guess it didn’t work out so well – his Soquel home is now back on the market – for $829,000, or about $79,000 more than it was on for sale about a month ago. … Of course, this home is in Soquel, which is considerably more expensive, but the median there is only $610,000 (although the average is $843,000). This time around, rather than trying to catch the buyer’s eye with a lowered price, the seller is trying to catch the Realtor’s eye – with a juicy 4% commission to the buyer’s real estate agent. … A strong incentive, to be sure – but of course, we Realtors are duty bound to hold our clients’ interests above our own, and persuading your client to over-pay on a real estate purchase in exchange for a healthy commission seems like a breach of fiduciary responsibility to me.
This is the guy who sent me an offer, and after I received it, I called him to let him know I’d be e-mailing him a “multiple offer disclosure” which I would need to have him get his client to sign and return to me by the end of the next business day, along with what his client’s “highest and best” offer might be. … Well, that’s possible , we all know that e-mail isn’t 100% reliable, but even so, you think he would have followed up with me when he didn’t receive it. … Later that afternoon, I called up all the agents who had submitted offers, and I let this agent know that a different buyer’s offer had been accepted, but thanks for putting his offer in. … It may work out such that my colleague, who is not a discount broker and who works very hard to fulfill his responsibilities to his clients, will pick up a new one as a result of this other broker’s negligence.
That’s a good sign, I think – there’s a different class of buyer out there now, the kind of folks who were sitting on the sidelines in ’04 and ’05, who thought the market was too high and that the values couldn’t be sustained, and they should wait a bit.
…Now, you’d think that in a market like this, where there’s so much competition in the low-end of the market, that the listing agent would pull out all the stops to get potential buyers in to sell the homes, right?
…Now, I can appreciate that many of these homes are not exactly beauties – but a lot of buyers aren’t expecting them to be, when they’re looking at the bottom of the market.
…It does seem reasonable to me, though, that if you want to sell a property in today’s market, that you at least put up a picture and some remarks that would make a buyer at least want to drive by.