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What Is A Real Estate "Fiduciary? 12-01-2011

“An agent said that we should hire him because he would be a “fiduciary” agent. He explained that this meant he would give us all of the information we would need to make decisions and answer any questions about the sale of our home. Wouldn’t all agents do that?”  -    A longtime Santa Monica homeowner

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Anticipating and Solving Pre-Marketing Challenges 11-29-2011

We have often been asked what actions can be taken to maximize the benefit of the home marketing process. In considering these requests from a broad perspective, it became clear that many of the issues and challenges can be anticipated and handled effectively before they become problems to be overcome.

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When it Comes to Home Sales...Detch if Can, Adjust if Must 11-10-2011

Generally speaking, there are three critical areas of concern in the acquisition or sale of a property. They are shelter, safety and financial security. The emotional and economic importance of each of these factors assumes priority in each of our lives on a distinctly individual basis. The influence of each factor shifts to reflect the changes in our lives and it may become necessary for us to let go of previously held positions in order to move forward. As the economics of the real estate market continues to shift, we are best served by a willingness to adjust to realities rather than to hold on to our former expectations.

How do we determine the “value” of the shelter, safety and financial security a home gives us? For both the buyer and the seller, it may help to consider the long-range picture.

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How To Determine An Agent's Integrity 11-01-2011

“How can I tell if an agent is honest, sincere, and most appropriate?”

-  A long-time Santa Monica homeowner

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Responsibilities in Communications Between Buyers & Agents 10-25-2011

Previous subjects we have covered in this column include the value of working with a buyer’s agent, some of the risks of buyers being represented by the seller’s agent, and home searching on one’s own versus with the assistance of a real estate agent.

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Reasons to Buy Sooner Than Later 10-14-2011

It is almost impossible to perfectly time either the purchase or sale of any asset, especially real estate. Often when price movements have reached extreme highs or lows, they are about to change direction. With current average prices being 25-35% off from their 2007 peak, they are certainly far closer to a bottom if not already at that level.

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Third Quarter Palisades Market Analysis 10-10-2011

As we enter the final quarter of 2011, and take a look at the Palisades market so far this year, some noteworthy observations can be made. There have been some recent articles in different publications that report “another dip in home prices due to high foreclosure rates and weak demand.” Another suggested that, “home prices in a majority of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas posted fresh lows” earlier this year, but that in many areas prices appeared to be somewhat more stable. The creator of a widely-followed index of real estate values which that quote was based on felt there was a chance of a continuing decline in home prices.  However, their index showed serious weakness in cities such as Atlanta, Chicago, Miami, Detroit, Las Vegas, Phoenix and similar areas. They also noted that the Los Angeles area was down less than two percent from last year.

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12 Things I've Learned in 25 Years of Real Estate 08-15-2011

Since I have had nearly 1,000 escrows, a new agent recently asked me what key lessons I could share to help her successfully counsel both buyers and sellers. Although answering that could lead to a book, here are a dozen ideas I suggested:

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Tips for a Smooth Purchase Process 07-26-2011

Prospective buyers often ask us about what actions they should take to assure a successful purchase process with the least amount of stress or pressure. The following tips will assure a smoother process from start to finish:

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Home Searching on Own vs. With an Agent 06-15-2011

 “We are helping our son with his first home (condo) purchase, and really think he should work with an agent through the entire process. He and his friends feel sure that he does not need to engage an agent until ready to buy, and then he might do well to work with the seller’s agent. Could you please share your thoughts about this issue and also about the various search sites that our son is intending to use?”   - A Santa Monica Homebuyer’s Dad

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