The Questions You Should Ask Your Realtor and Our Answers (Revised 2.20.2007)

We published post about a year ago. This is the updated version of the same. If we don’t answer your question here, feel free to ask.

Q: How has your team evolved since the last update?
A: We are now assisted by Lisa Nylander and Susan Horvat. Lisa is a licensed Realtor in Portland and works as a buyer’s agent. She also manages our office. Susan is licensed and works out of Stayton to serve our clients around the Salem area. She is a member of the Willamette Valley Multiple Listing Service.

Q: Are you a full service brokerage?A: Yes. We work for Prudential Northwest Properties, the largest locally owned real estate firm in Oregon. We do not offer discount commissions nor discount service.

Q: How long have you been in real estate and how many transactions have you closed?
A: A combined 10 years. In the last couple of years, we’ve closed more than 100 transactions. Real estate is our full time profession.

Q: What education and real estate designations do you have?A: Charles and Jenny both have MBAs. Charles is e-PRO certified and Jennifer is an Accredited Buyer’s Representative. We both completed the final part of the three part Graduate Realtor Institute program. Lisa and Susan are newly licensed and have not needed to complete any continuing education yet.

Q: How do you give back to the community?
A: Charles is on the Jr. Board of the Oregon chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Jennifer is on the Board of Fruit and Flower Child Care Center. We support these charities and Transitional Youth with our charitable dollars.

Q: Do your represent both buyers and sellers?
A: Yes, but not in the same transaction. We do not practice dual agency where we represent the buyer and seller. If we list your property and find a buyer that needs representation we will refer them to another Realtor. We work for you. If we are working with you as a buyer’s agent, the same is true.

Q: I am a first time buyer. Can you help?A: Yes, we can take you through each step of the transaction including mortgage, title and escrow.

Q: Do you use a contract with buyers?
A: Yes. Our Buyer Service Contract clearly defines what you can expect of us and what we expect of you. We prefer to work with a few committed clients rather than a large pool of potential clients. We don’t work with everyone that wants to work with us. We work with serious, qualified buyers and realistic sellers! In most cases, the seller of a listed property pays both the buyer and listing agent’s commissions so the buyer does not pay their agent. In cases where the seller is not offering our minimum commission, the buyer may have to make up the difference. It is clearly outlined in our Buyer Service Contract and we will let you know if a specific property falls into this category before we show it. We do not boycott listings based on the offered commission. It is up to the buyer to decide if they want to see the listing. The contract is a standard Oregon Real Estate Form. We did not make it up!

Q: How do you use technology? What if I still use a typewriter?
A: We can use as much or as little of our technology to meet your needs. We have the ability to execute a near paperless transaction which is cutting edge in our industry. We can access MLS information from our cell phones and tablet PCs. You can sign documents right on the screens of our computers. Email is delivered to both our computers and cell phones. We can convert any paper document into a format that can be emailed. We provide access to some of the most advanced technology in the industry. Our website has powerful search tools and allows you to save searches and favorite properties.

Q: Do you know where you are going?
A: Yes! Our vehicles all have GPS navigation

Q: What properties will you show me?
A: Properties that we think meet your needs and properties that you search out on your own. We will show properties listed by all brokerages that meet your criteria. We’d like to show about six properties in an outing. If we’re not finding the right house, we need to adjust the search.

Q: What about For Sale By Owners?
A: We will work with you to buy a FSBO. If the seller is offering “courtesy to brokers” at or above our minimum commission level, it is just like buying a listed property. If the seller is not paying commissions, the buyer may have to pay. We cannot guarantee that we know about all FSBO properties that meet your requirements. There is no way to know how they are marketing their property and they are not in RMLS system. If you are a FSBO and are having trouble selling your property, we have to tools to sell your house for top dollar as a listed property.

Q: How do I reach you? Do you work weekends?
A: We are available by email and phone the majority of the time. We both have toll free numbers that ring to our cell phones. Faxes and emails also come to our phones. Our assistant is in the office Monday through Friday. We don’t have set hours of business but work hard to make your transaction as smooth as possible. When we do get a chance to get out of town, we make sure that our business is covered by another agent in our office.

Q: Where are you licensed?
A: Charles is licensed in Oregon and is a member of RMLS. Jennifer is licensed in Oregon and Washington and a member of both RMLS which covers the Portland Metro area and Southwest Washington. She is also a member of WVMLS which covers the Salem area. Lisa is a member of RMLS and Susan is a member of WVMLS. Both are licensed Realtors in Oregon. Outside of these areas, we can help you find an agent that will be able to assist you.

Q: How much is your minimum commission charge?
A: That depends. We have to consider a multitude of factors when deciding what an appropriate commission rate is. Every transaction is different. Since it is a percentage, not flat fee or hourly based, we might actually lose money if we had a low dollar transaction like bare land where we’d be perfectly happy with the same percentage on a million dollar home.


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