San Diego Real Estate Blog

Real Estate Contract Norms

I am yet to see a single real estate deal that is identical to another. It is amazing how many little things change from deal to deal. Nevertheless, there are certain real estate norms that all parties should be aware of. They are not all followed on every deal but it is good to be aware of them as a starting point for negotiations. Also, please be aware that these real estate norms apply to California only. Real estate transactions are very different across the country.  Some of this may apply to your location and some of it may not.

Home Warranty - It is customary for the seller to purchase a home warranty plan for the buyer. Notable exceptions are when trying to purchase a bank owned property or a short sale. In these cases I would not suggest trying to write this into your deal because you will most likely be facing a lot of competition from other buyers.

Escrow Fee - It is traditional that the escrow fee be split 50/50 by the buyer and seller. This is one of the real estate norms that I see followed most frequently. If you are ever in a deal where this is not the case you should make sure that you are being compensated in some other way.

Title Policy - The title policy is normally paid for by the seller. Every now and then you will see a deal where a seller will try to have the buyer pay for half of this fee. If you agree to that as a buyer, you should know that you are giving in on a very established norm so you should make sure that the deal is good enough to validate the cost.

Transfer Fees and Taxes - In California it is customary that all transfer fees and taxes are paid for by the seller. This includes city and county fees, HOA doc prep and transfer fees, and any community enhancement fees or transfer fees. That last item is the one that sees the most contention of any tax or transfer fees. The reason being that they are not seen as often and so people don't always lump...

In A New Relationship And Buying A Home Together? You Need To Read This!

Let me tell you, buying a home as an individual is a world of difference from purchasing a home with your spouse or fiance.  That probably holds true for buying a property along side anybody when both people, including yourself, have a high emotional stake in it. But for the sake of this post I am going to talk about purchasing with a spouse or fiance.

The fianace route probably being even tougher because it means it is probably the first time you go through it together and you may discover that you have very different ideas.

Having another person with huge emotional interest and their own pre-conceived notions of what qualities they would like to have in their home is a huge challenge.  If not planned for properly, it can cause a large amount of stress.  Take it from me, I just went through it. Eventually we figured out what was si-highlight--primary to each of us but it did not happen automatically.

What I wish someone had told me is that there are certain steps that we could have taken to avoid much of the stress and shorten our learning curve.  If you follow this advice you are destined for a smoother ride.

1.  Family - How many kids are you going to have?  When?  Will they each need their own room or can they share?  Does there need to be a room near the master for when you have a baby?  These are all key questions that you may want to think about.  They also may partially be dependent on your time frame, needs for a specific school system, and lifestyle, which are all discussed below.  The fact is that so many of these questions are interdependent on each other, which is why it is si-highlight--primary you take the time to sort through it all.

2. Schools - If you plan to have children what schools will you want them to go to?  Are there certain school districts that you prefer and others that your refuse to send them to?  How will that affect the kind of property you can purchase in said neighborhood?  If you are going to have...

The Millionaire Real Estate Agent: It's Not About the Money...It's About Being the Best You Can Be!

The Millionaire Real Estate Agent: It's Not About the Money...It's About Being the Best You Can Be!

  • ISBN13: 9780071444040
  • Condition: NEW
  • Notes: Brand New from Publisher. No Remainder Mark.

Anyone who wants to turn their real estate practice into a highly successful business must understand the fundamental models that drive the best real estate agents in the industry. In The Millionaire Real Estate Agent these models are revealed and explained. This book represents the culmination of decades of real estate experience, research, and consulting, with case studies from some of the top millionaire agents in the U.S.

In this revolutionary handbook youll learn:

* Three key concepts that drive mega-agent production.
* Essential economic, budgetary, organizational, and lead generation models that are the foundations of any high-achievers business.
* The distinguishing characteristic of Millionaire Real Estate Agents--the way they think!
* How you can get on the real estate career path to Earn a Million, Net a Million, and then Receive a Million dollars in annual income.

The Millionaire Real Estate Agent is not about quick fixes. It is about the innovative application of proven business techniques to the real estate industry. Isnt it about time you put your career on the path to becoming a Millionaire...

Would you consider selling your home "for sale by owner"?

Question by noonecanne: Would you consider selling your home "for sale by owner"?
In these days, if you had to sell your home or condo, would you consider selling it on your own?
On the flip side, would you prefer to do a private sale through the owner without the input of an agent?

Best answer:

Answer by Nick
have a place do it they advertise

Give your answer to this question below!


Q&A: Seller is requesting Escrow Extension, what are my options?

Question by Vincent: Seller is requesting Escrow Extension, what are my options?
Hi, when I purchase my home in CA, the seller agent included "close of escrow" date to be contingent in the offer letter. But they promised to close escrow in 45 days, which was supposed to be May 25, 2009.

Now, they are giving me an extension form to extend the close of escrow 1 month later, which is June 26. My questions are:

1) Do I have to agree to the extension since they have "contingency" on the original offer letter?
2) Let's say I agreed to extend the close of escrow date to June 26, 2009, can they still come back with another extension?
3) What rights do I have as a buyer in a situation like this?
4) Since the seller is having problem moving out and is not able to surrender the house, do I have the rights to cancel the deal? If I cancel the deal, do I have to be responsible for all the fees incurred from this transaction?

I am frustrated that the whole process is taking this long since my loan is already approved, and everything is ready to go. As much as possible, I do not want to do extensions. My real estate agent is not very helpful to help me with my rights. So if anyone can help me with my questions, I greatly appreciate it. Thanks in advanced.
I know, but the thing is, on the offer letter, we agree on contingent-until the seller found a house. Can we still force them out of the house?

Best answer:

Answer by L.G.
I've been in your situation, more or less, in that I agreed that the Seller could stay in the house for 3 weeks after the closing of the sale.

If you do this, be sure you do 2 things: have a "per diem" amount held out of the sale proceeds (that is, divide your monthly mortgage payment by 30, then multiply that answer times the number of days you agree the sellers can stay in the house; have that amount held by your or your bank's attorneys until the sellers move). If they move out...

What does it mean to "escrow" something?

Question by Heather S: What does it mean to "escrow" something?
An example: My husband and I are going to look at a house that needs a new roof. Our agent said that we can "escrow" the roof. Which meaning of escrow is she talking about?
The roof needs to replaced ASAP so waiting for that 8,000 form Uncle Sam-while it s nice thought-we can't wait if we do buy it

Best answer:

Answer by buz
Assuming that the seller is going to fix/replace the roof, part of the sale proceeds from the house will be placed in escrow - meaning that the seller won't get it until the work is completed

Add your own answer in the comments!


Is Santaluz A Safe Neighborhood In A Good School District?

Question by 123456yahooo: Santaluz community in San Diego? Is it a safe neighborhood in a good school district?
Or is it in a desolate or less desirable part of San Diego?
Thank you, star p. Can you tell me a little bit about Santaluz community?
Thank you, S

Best answer:

Answer by Daniel Beer

Santaluz is one of the cities safest neighborhoods.  In fact it is a guard gated community surrounded by very high end neighborhoods.  Crime is as low as you could hope to find.  Unfortunately no place is immune but this is as safe as it gets.  Best of all, the schools are very strong starting with the new elementary school, Willow Grove.  Del Norte is the new high school and it is also excellent.

Add your own answer in the comments!


What exactly does "under contract contingent" mean in real estate?

Question by Emily Dew: What exactly does "under contract contingent" mean in real estate?
When a house for sale is listed as "under contract" and it says "contingency" next to it, what exactly does that mean? I think it means the sale depends on the potential buyer selling their property first. Is that right? Can a potential buyer who also has sold their home on "contingency" buy another home on "contingency?" I live in Illinois, BTW. Thanks!

Wouldn't advertising that your house is under contract when it's a contingent offer scare off other potential buyers?
Do you have to put any money down when you "buy" a property on contingency?

Best answer:

Answer by 1 Hr Bookkeeper
You hit it square on the head. Buying a house "contingent" on anything means that the contract can be held up due to the possibility of something happening or not happening. If you were to put in an offer "contingent" on selling your house, then you are telling the seller that you will not officially close the house until your house is sold. In the same vein, the seller can say that the sale to you (the buyer) will not close until they close on a house they will move into. It basically slows everything down.

FYI, in a fast market, where houses sell really fast, many sellers will not even look at your offer if it is contingent on something. But, since this is a buyer's market, you could make an offer contingent on some factor and be the only one making the offer. You have the advantage right now as the buyer.

Hope this helps.

What do you think? Answer below!


Any hints/suggestions/tips for selling a home "as is"?

Question by Me Me: Any hints/suggestions/tips for selling a home "as is"?
A lot of the home selling guides and material out there seems to be geared towards people selling a home in pretty good condition. When many rooms in your house are "do over" why bother polishing the brass handle of the front door?

Best answer:

Answer by CJKatl
In today's market, your buyer will have a hard time getting financing. Could you fix the home up a little bit?

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!


Avoid This Common Seller Mistake

We have all experienced it and there is probably nothing more uncomfortable. See if you can relate to this:

You are excited to see a new property that you are may want to buy. You arrive at the home with your San Diego Realtor and guess what happens. The owner answers the door!

Why the exclamation point? Why the dramatic effect? Well if you don't know the answer to this you may be one of the people making this mistake. Here is the answer. THERE IS NOTHING WORSE THAN BEING SHOWN A HOME BY THE OWNER!!!

Sorry sellers, but that's the truth.

In a best case scenario the owner will casually show a buyer around the home almost in the same fashion that an agent would. The major difference is that because it is the owner doing the showing, the buyer is not as comfortable to comment on things they don't like or are concerned about, isn't comfortable sitting on the sofa, opening and closing drawers, and generally making themselves at home.

The ability to feel at home is a major factor in buying a home. If a comfortable environment is not provided it plays heavily to the seller's disadvantage. Like I said, that is the best case scenario.

In a worst case scenario, the seller explains to you where they purchased every bucket of paint, every plant, every toilet. The seller makes you walk into every closet, touch the shelves, and knock on the walls to prove how well built the home is. This is the nightmare seller that gives you WAY TO MUCH INFORMATION.

True, you may not fall under this later more deadly category, but really there is nothing to be gained by being present when a buyer comes to your home. They are not interested in knowing who lives there now and what your life story is. What they are interested in is picturing themselves living there, and it should be the same thing that you are interested in because it will get you closer to getting the property sold.

The more they...

San Diego Rock n' Roll Marathon 2010

June 6th starting at 6:30 a.m.  athletes from around the world are coming to participate in one of the nations premier marathons where live bands and cheerleading groups entertain athletes along a televised 26.2 mile scenic course that travels throughout San Diego.

If you have never been, it is just an awesome event. Three years ago was my first time attending, and honestly I was dragged there by friends against my will.  I figured that it would be terribly boring to just watch people run.

What I didn't know was how big a party this thing is.  There was so much energy in the air, people having a great time, eating, drinking, laughing, and playing.

Plus it never before had occurred to me that it is called the San Diego Rock n' Roll Marathon for a reason.  There are a ton of bands, people dancing, people wearing wigs, costumes, and nearly any other element of a good party.

This is all not to mention that there are 30,000 runners and walkers making their way through the city in what is really a great athletic, social, and cultural event.
Another great bonus to the festivities is that a significant amount of money is raised for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  In fact, there has been over $142 million raised in total over the years at this event.  That is nothing to sneeze at.

Now I wouldn't miss the event for the world.

The race begins at 6th and Palm.  Course guide below.

rock n roll marathon course