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Home Buying in San Anselmo : Real Estate Advice

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  • Local Info11
  • Home Buying14
  • Home Selling0
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Activity 6
Fri Feb 15, 2013
Liz McCarthy answered:
The amount of possible foreclosed/short sale homes has decreased dramatically in the last 6-12 months. It's hard to "target" a distressed property, unless you have cash and can purchase it at the court house steps at foreclosure. (usually for experienced investors). Otherwise, homes that come on the market as short sale or as bank owned will become listed on MLS like any other non-distressed home.

I have a lot of clients that purchase homes from Tahoe area (I have a home in Truckee ), I would be more than happy to walk you through the process via phone if you would like.

Liz McCarthy

A great place to search for homes is on

it is linked directly to our MLS and is updated within approx 30 minutes of a new home being listed. Multiple offers have become the norm here in Marin sadly so you do have to know of homes as soon as they hit the market. Similar to the tahoe market, we have a serious lack of inventory and it is definitely a sellers market at the moment.
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Sat Feb 5, 2011
Centermac Realty answered:
You begin an arbitration by making a written demand on the other side to arbitrate the dispute. Of course, there must first be arbitration clause -chances are it's there if you have a standard CAR agreement. In addition, the arbitration clause must have signed been initialed by both sides.

A word of caution... If you have a CAR form contract, there's a mediation clause which requires you to attempt mediation before proceeding. If you don't do that, you may regret that when you try to seek attorney's fees as a prevailing party.

I wrote a couple of blogs on these issues. Here are the links:

After you've read my blogs above and if you still think arbitration is a good idea, you will then decide if you need an attorney. The decision is usually made by looking at the amount in dispute and the complexity of the issue and whether the other side is represented by an attorney.

If the amount in dispute is small, say less than $15,000, the issue is not too complicated, and the other side is pro per, then may be you should do this without an attorney,. Otherwise, it is highly recommended that you get an attorney - not just any attorney but a real estate attorney.
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Fri May 17, 2013
Joseph Jones answered:
Hello Scott,
A Short Sale from the buyer's perspective is very similar to any other type of transaction. You make an offer - the seller accepts, rejects or responds with a counter-offer. Once you have reached an agreement the offer is submitted to the bank for approval. This is the time consuming portion of a short sale transaction. It could literally take months for the bank to authorize the sale for the amount agreed upon between you and the seller. Patience is advised when dealing with short sales. ... more
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Fri Dec 3, 2010
Kelley Eling answered:
Scott, in order to give you a meaningful answer to your question, you will have to be more specific. Until then, when a buyer makes an offer on a short sale it is more or less the same as a traditional sale except that the bank that holds the existing notes on the property makes ALL the decisions, NOT the seller. At first, the seller will either "accept", "counter" or reject your offer. But all final decisions are up to the bank.

Typically, this takes a very long time. Unlke a traditional sale, which usually close in 30 days or so. Short sales can take several months, some times a year or more.

If there is something specific that you were curious about, let me know.

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Thu Mar 11, 2010
Anna M Brocco answered:
Since you stated you spent a week or two e-mailing the one agent after he/she showed you the property-- even though you didn't have a signed agreement an implied agreement could come into play -- since both parties--you and the agent did act in such a way that it became understood that an agreement was in place even though there was no signed documentation--so do be careful and proceed with caution with your other agent--you may end up paying one out of your pocket. ... more
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Mon Feb 8, 2010
Amy E Glaser answered:
The truth is, as a buyer are you are entitled to work with an agent of your choosing. Without a "Buyer/Broker Agreement" you have no contractual obligation to work with a specific buyer's agent. I would carefully read the fine print in the "Terms & Conditions" to see if by agreeing to the online terms & conditions you entered into a "Buyer/Broker" Agreement. I should also mention that there has been some debate regarding the enforceability of such an agreement. However, it would be a shame to end up in a court of law only to learn the "agreement," if any, is unenforceable.

With regard to whether or not it is wise for you to have an agent represent you when buying a house, I would say it is a must! The listing agent has a "Fiduciary" responsibility to the seller, not to you. It is very difficult to have this level of responsibility to both a seller and buyer. Especially since sellers want the most money for their house and buyers want to pay the least amount of money to buy the house. A good buyer's agent will be your local market expert, negotiate like a pit bull on your behalf and oversee all the transactional details. There is close to 100 documents you will be required to sign in the process of buying a home. An agent looking out for your interests is key to making sure you dot all your "i"s and cross all your "t"s and don't leave money on the table.

I can send a copy of a "Buyer/Broker" agreement to compare to the online terms and conditions so that you may better determine whether or not you are at risk.
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