While flipping through the channels on a Sunday night recently my husband stumbled across a show called Catch a Contractor. Figuring it was time to take a break from a busy week in the world of Orange County Real Estate I plopped down on the couch next to him to check it out.
Sure it’s reality TV but what I noticed is how often homeowners tend to be too trusting. They don’t do any real due diligence on their contractors, they don’t check out references and often they don’t even make sure their contractor’s license is valid and in good standing. On the show homeowners typically pay their contractors almost all of the agreed to fees upfront only to have the contractors do horrible work and often not even come back and finish what they started. Considering this is the premise for a TV show you can safely guess that this is a pretty common occurrence.
As I thought about that I saw some parallels to the Orange County Real Estate market. Those parallels were highlighted a couple days later as I spoke to a new client for over half an hour about the experience he had when he sold his home and purchased a new Orange County home. The client never checked the agents license status on the Bureau of Real Estate which shows when the real estate agent was licensed, the level of their license (sales license or broker license) and if there are any past or current violations (you can do so here http://www.dre.ca.gov). The client also never asked them for and the agent never offered any past client referrals. In this case on top of doing a sub par job representing the client the agent also referred a close friend of theirs to do the loan and that lender put the client in a loan that did not best serve their needs. They almost lost their home when the market took a dive in 2008 because as prices were plummeting their loan balance was rising because they had a negative amortization loan. In a perfect world the client did nothing wrong, they found someone they liked and wanted to work with and trusted that person to look out for their best interests. Unfortunately we don’t live in a perfect world, so all of us must do some due diligence on who we are going to be working with. I know it creates a bit of extra work, but as someone who refers trades people on a regular basis trust me it is worth the extra effort.
So if you are looking to buy or sell your Orange County home or know a friend that is please make sure to check their license status for any violations as well as get and check references of buyers and seller that they have worked with. Make sure you find an agent that knows the particular area your interested in, an agent with the knowledge and experience to fully understand the contracts and disclosures, has the experience to work through all the obstacles that come up in any given transaction and last but not least hire an agent that puts your needs above their own.
Next time you are in the market to buy or sell your Orange County home contact me for a complimentary consultation to go over your real estate needs. I am glad to provide you with references from my past clients and go over the process or buying and selling so you know exactly what to expect.
949 599 6860