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But that  may not be the message you really want to scream. After all, selling real estate isn’t like selling a car. If you’re proficient enough to sell automobiles at a dealership, then no doubt you’re familiar with the legal gobbledygook applicable to motor vehicles. You may be able to finish off a deal that can turn customers white with horror, wondering at what had just happened—all in a tidy  couple of hours before breakfast.

But real estate sales don’t work the same way. I mean, Broker’s folders preserving the documents of these transactions make a pretty thick book and a mortgage on top of that can add another couple of inches. I’ve seen folders for some special cases so gigantico-maximo, I’d think it could double as a throne for the statue of the Civil War President in the Lincoln Memorial. It’s enough for anyone to say, “You actually do this for a living? Are you nuts?”

All the compounded legalities and financial minutiae can overwhelm anyone, even detail-oriented folks who take the pain like masochists take the whip on Halloween. I suppose real estate people are a little nuts.


Success in selling a home has 3 essential objectives for any seller:

1.        Obtain the best price.

2.        Close in the minimum amount of time…

3.        With the least amount of hassle.

Of course, in any FSBO, the Seller takes on a lot of that hassle. Given all the time that goes into the sale of real property, it’s easy to see how people reach for the Alka Seltzer, and before that journey even begins, one needs to determine a price that the market will accept while giving you, the Seller, the maximum return. This can get a bit tricky for most people, especially after Zillow changed some of the rules of the market. Today’s Buyers are able to view aspects of any property being sold that had previously been restricted to REALTORS®. Thanks to our frenemies at Zillow:

1.        Everyone can view the entire history of your property.

2.        Everyone can read the names of every Listing Agent you ever hired.

3.        Everyone can see every price reduction you ever made.

4.        Everyone can note every instance you de-listed and re-listed the property.

It’s enough to make anyone feel a bit like a sitting duck with one webbed foot away from the rotisserie when faced with hard negotiations. When people see price reductions, a massive number of days on the market, and a history of de-listing and re-listing, people begin to wonder what’s wrong with the property. It gets hard to hide the stigma.

Most of the time, however, a property doesn’t sell quickly because the Seller demands a price too high. Real estate, like any other commodified item, follows a supply and demand curve. Too high a price will attract few willing and able Buyers. Too low a price will attract lots of Buyers but will short change the Seller. Finding that virtuous sweet spot between these vicious extremes is an art in itself. Brokers do this by drawing recent comparable closed and pending sales in the area through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Of course, if you aren’t a REALTOR®, you won’t have access to this.

Alka Seltzer, anyone?

Plop! Plop! Fizz fizz…

A fizbo can be a grief in biz!


More than that, one needs to gauge the interest of potential Buyers. How do you do that?

You watch what they do and what they’ve done. If you haven’t done real estate sales, you might not yet have a good sense of this. A Seller might find it as difficult as trying to do a show for the first time on Radio KORN and not understanding which switch or potentiometer goes to what. You might wind up producing such a reverberation as if in a gigantic empty hall with an echo that says: “I have an announcement—ment—ment—ment—ment….”

Any property will generate the most interest when it first hits the market. That interest peaks a couple of weeks after it appears in the public eye. Of course, plenty of potential Buyers need to know that the property has been on the market in the first place. While a Seller can advertise on Craigslist, it won’t have the reach of an MLS. Here’s where a licensed real estate Broker can help, and in today’s market, you, the Seller, need not do a traditional sale to make that happen.

The following 3 weeks, in which showings most often occur, will be the time when you’ll probably see the greatest amount of offers. After that 2 week period, that number diminishes pretty fast.

All this, of course, presumes that the property has been properly priced in the first place. You’d be surprised at how many homes start out overpriced and end up selling below market value. Many Sellers will say, “I won’t sell for less than_____” and state a price of bunko dollars far above the market value. Chances are, a hard-nosed Seller won’t succeed in selling at all, and if that Seller closes a deal, it would probably have happened at a reduced price, all recorded by good old Zillow whether you like it or not.


But there are ways around both of these issues without costing you an arm and a leg (literally, if matters have been left over from Halloween). Perhaps you really are sales savvy, able to leap a tall deal in a single bound. You might have issues with a host of other items, some of which can make a Seller want to scream and run to Tahiti:

·         Prepping a home for sale

·         Marketing the property

·         Staging when showing property.

·         Open houses and dealing with looky-loos who have no intention of buying

·         Drawing up a Purchase Agreement and Joint Escrow Instructions

·         Helping Buyers to find financing in a tightening mortgage market

·         Dealing with Escrow people with a persnickety emphasis on legalities

·         Ordering a Preliminary Report in connection with Title Insurance

·         Dealing with Appraisers and Appraisals that can make you blush

·         Coping with Termite Inspection Reports and subsequent repairs demanded

·         Coping with Home Inspection Reports and subsequent negotiations over deficiencies

·         Ordering a Natural Hazards Report

·         Drawing up the entirety of Disclosures legally required by the state

·         Special issues surrounding Probate

·         Special issues surrounding Divorce and distribution of proceeds

·         Special issues in connection with the Seller’s own mortgage Lender with respect to any mortgage Payoff, especially if sale of the property amounts to a short sale

·         Issues surrounding tax liabilities

·         Special issues involving Mechanic’s Liens

Most of these issues can easily be addressed by most people if they’re experienced in these matters. But many feel intimidated by the legalese like they anticipate a giant squid to emerge out of the fountain next to the Escrow office ready to turn them into a snack.

Others, like a short sale, in which the Lender accepts the sale of property for less than what’s owed on it, can become particularly tricky, with epic battles between Lender and Seller one step away from a looming default. After all, sale of a property will trigger any Lender to call in the loan. The Seller’s obligated to arrange a Payoff of the balance of any mortgage plus any applicable fees the Lender’s Payoff Department may require.


So, is the matter hopeless for the Seller so that there’s no choice but to do a traditional listing? NOT AT ALL! NOT IN TODAY’S MARKET! Cue the floodlight indicating the freshly opening heavenly dimension upon the Seller’s glowing face while angelic choirs splash a divine chorus like those who contract out to sappy Hollywood commercials.

The savvy Seller can unite his/her/their efforts with a real estate Broker with decades of proven success and save manifold thousands of dollars!

Enter Mariella Agrusa and irealtyshop. This new service provides you, the Seller, with tiered service programs for Sellers with different skill sets:

1.        MLS Only. This level gives your property exposure on the MLS. You’ll handle any sales arrangements yourself.

2.        Broker Assist Service. This level assists you, the Seller, with those legal documents and possibly advise you on the best way you can approach your sale.

3.        Full Service. This follows the traditional model of commissioned real estate brokerage. You receive the maximum protection with the Broker as your fiduciary.


4.        Order A La Carte. This consists of any combination of the first 3 services. Order exactly what you need and pay accordingly. It’s like shopping at a real estate store…the concept of an “I”-Realty-Shop.

Let’s say that you, the Seller, has built up years of sales savvy. You may not need much help except with marketing, setting that initial price in that “sweet spot” that’s not too high or too low. But you don’t want the hassle of all those documents that Escrow insists on receiving before they’ll proceed to close a deal.

This is where the Broker Assist Program really shines. You see, your real estate Broker doesn’t take over like an Attorney would in a court case. Her job more resembles that of a Paralegal. She can advise you to determine a correct market price, a  marketing strategy, and assist with some of the paperwork as you need it. You arrange the rest.


Why choose iRealty Shop? Decades of experience and ethical practice don’t reveal the extent of just how effective she is. Neither does the fact of her licensure by the California Department of Real Estate as a real estate Broker, membership in the Pacific West Association of REALTORS®, and licensure in the National Multistate Licensing System (NMLS). She has far, far more to offer than what those essentials tell the public.

Broker Mariella has taken on the particularly hard cases of real estate sales. She specializes in Probate sales and Divorce sales, bringing results under court supervision, and at times testifying before the court as necessary. She has developed an effective strategy through open house and online auctions that has secured deals significantly higher than initially listed prices. She has closed some of the most difficult short sale cases I’ve ever seen, knowing the tricks Lenders may pull. After all, she worked as an analyst for the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, examining Lender practices for the federal government. She’s also served as a public official on the Planning Commission for the City of Buena Park.

These literally are dynamite credentials. They reflect an expertise far above those of her real estate peers. If there’s anyone who can offer you the kinds of advantages to you as Seller, including help with your FSBO, Mariella’s the one I’d choose any day.


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