Saturday, January 29, 2005

What Defines "Full Service" from an Agent?

The following is an excerpt from a recent Robert Bruss article in the San Francisco Chronicle. Click here to view the entire article.

Q: When we listed our home for sale, we followed your advice to interview three successful local agents. I'm sure glad we did.
The agent recommended by a neighbor turned out to be a part-time agent and full-time schoolteacher. We selected another excellent agent who gave very professional service. Our listing went into the local multiple listing service and on the Internet at
The first weekend our agent advertised an open house, she sold our home for $7,500 more than the asking price. There were multiple offers. Because she had our listing less than a week and sold it at the open house without having to split the fee with a buyer's agent, we asked her to reduce the 6 percent sales commission.
She refused and became very indignant. Except for that, we were very pleased with her service. Do you think she should have cut her commission for an easy quick sale?
Reneta H.
San Francisco

A: No. When you listed your home for sale with that agent, you signed up for full service, and you received it. Just because your agent was quickly successful and able to earn a full commission by obtaining a purchase offer from an open house prospect doesn't mean you should cut her fee.
But I don't blame you for asking. If I were in your shoes, I also would have asked for a commission reduction.
Depending on the amount of the commission, if I were in the agent's shoes. I might have agreed to adjust the fee a bit to make you a very happy seller who would refer her to your friends.
Experienced agents know their best source of buyers and sellers is happy past clients. If that agent had cut her commission by $500 or $1,000, you probably would have been satisfied, and she would get your referrals.

More questions about what defines "full service" from an agent? Questions about buying or selling a home? Contact me today for honest, experienced answers.

Amy Blakeley, Realtor®
ablakeley at

(415)296-2173 Direct

Friday, January 21, 2005

The Benefit of Working With Newer Agents

Ask most people who have recently sold or purchased a home how they found their agents, and they will advise that the agents were recommendations from friends or family. Although this is common practice, working with someone who you've been told is "the best" will not necessarily mean it is going to be the best agent for you.

There is no single definition of the "fanstastic agent." What your friend or family member found to be an asset in his or her agent, you may find devastating to the whole process. Additionally tenure, designations such as "top producer," or number of transactions do not dictate that you will have a smooth or happy real estate experience. If you ask the right questions of your real estate agent candidates (and you should interview more than one), you may just find that the newer agents will offer you the best service.

Here's why: new agents have fewer clients, and therefore are able to dedicate more time to assisting you with your real estate transaction. Make sure you are working with a Realtor®, not simply a real estate agent. New agents are eager to get their careers off the ground, and excited about exploring neighborhoods and available inventory. New Realtors® are also usually less financially secure than their more experienced colleagues, so every transaction has meaning and importance. That is not to say that all Realtors® are about the money; but when you have little money coming in and a lot of expenses, you can bet that missing an opportunity for income is not acceptable. Therefore, new agents want to service you beyond your expectations, and often do.

Regardless of whether you work with a new or experienced Realtor®, do your homework. Ask questions about how the agents like to communicate, and in turn let them know how and when you expect to hear from them. If the agent is new, ask what his or her previous work experience was. The best advice is to listen to your gut; having in-person interviews with prospective agents should reveal their demeanor and level of interest in helping you.

More questions about getting what you need from a real estate agent? Questions about buying or selling a home? Contact me today for honest, experienced answers.

Amy Blakeley, Realtor®
ablakeley at
(415)296-2173 Direct

Sunday, January 16, 2005

~ Welcome ~

Welcome to San Francisco Real Estate, a real estate blog offering imperative market information and advice for those investing in today's hot San Francisco market!

Whether you are a considering selling or buying a home, or investing in property, I provide this site as a resource to make educated decisions for your family, your sanity in a high-anxiety market, and your financial growth.

I am a full-service licensed Realtor® with McGuire Real Estate, a premiere real estate firm in San Francisco since 1919. I can assist you in all of your real estate needs.

Have more questions about trends in the housing market? Questions about selling or buying a home? Contact me today for honest, experienced answers.
Amy Blakeley, Realtor®
ablakeley at
(415) 296-2173 Direct