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SURPRISE! No, I’m not talking about “Happy New Year,” but Happy New Year anyway because hopefully, it really is a happy new year for each and every one of you folks. If not, then perhaps this article might make it a teensy-weensy bit more fun.

SURPRISE! Nobody in the 19th Century ever had it as good as you will. Judging by the lithograph in the image above, Cinderella’s demure gaze seems more interested in the iRealty sign than the enamored Prince Charming trying to fit a little glass slipper on her foot. In fact, she seems rather nonchalant about her prince. The fountain looks far more surprised at the whole scene, enough that he coughed out his algae-flavored New Year’s cocktail into the water basin. The addition of that sign certainly lends a greater irony than what the artist obviously intended, a splash of bright color in a world of drab green.

This article offers a plethora of surprises involving you after years of media bombardment may have stunned you into a mood not very different from August-Lamy’s version of Cinderella. Regardless, Cinderella must have understood a great deal, screaming out in living color.

Still, surprises come in many forms, often defying our expectations.


Back in my university days, a Calculus professor told this story to make a point about bizarre and faulty uses of inductive reasoning.

The Foreign Legion seemed initially pleased to recruit a mathematician into its Africa force. Who can better judge the trajectory of canon fire so that they could effectively melt away any enemy force besieging their fortress? But pleasure turned to offense when the mathematician demonstrated his sympathies toward Berber tribesmen; determining trajectories that guaranteed the Legionnaires’’ canons would miss their targets. The commanding officer had the mathematician arrested and tried for treason. The presiding officer said at trial from behind his pencil-thin mustache, “You will be shot by firing squad at dawn this week, but I won’t tell you which day. I want it to be a surprise.”

“O GOODY!” the mathematician said.

How could he exude such joy? The mathematician reasoned inductively that he could not face the firing squad on Saturday because it’s the last day of the week, so it couldn’t be a surprise. It couldn’t be Friday either because Saturday was impossible and so Friday couldn’t be a surprise. Neither could it be Thursday because of his elimination of Friday and Saturday. So, he reasoned inductively from the end of the week to the beginning till no day in the week could possibly exist in which his execution would be a surprise. The mathematician felt certain that he would live.

But on Wednesday, they took him for execution. The mathematician protested, “You can’t do this today. You said this was supposed to be a surprise.”

The commanding officer looked over his shoulder and dismissively shrugged, saying, “Aren’t you surprised?”

What does this yarn of gallows humor have to do with real estate? More than you may think, especially as pertaining to inductive reasoning..


As Seller, you don’t want any surprises in your sale except 3:

· More money gained than expected

· Less time expended than expected

· Less hassle endured than expected

Let’s say the Seller may choose to place a home on the market as a “For Sale By Owner,” otherwise known as “FSBO” or “Fizbo”, fully believing that a willing and able Buyer would snatch up what the Seller believes to be a good and equitable deal.

SURPRISE! No Buyer emerges from that teeming ocean of humanity that makes Southern California… well… Southern California. Worse yet, Zillow has taken notice of the sale and that after so many months, the Seller gives up, and Zillow has published the fact for the entire world to see, leaving everyone in the real estate world to wonder what’s wrong with a property that really had nothing wrong with it. It just didn’t get marketed properly.

Inductively, the Seller should at least expect many inquiries because a lot of home-starved Buyers lurk in the masses of the megalopolis. You’d think that anyone may judge this bit of inductive reasoning as “valid”. However, inductive reasoning doesn’t prove anything to be certainly true or false. Instead, we judge inductive reasoning on a spectrum between “strong” and “weak”, and it’s weakened through faulty premises. The case of the Seller who didn’t properly address those premises tells why many Sellers need the expertise of a Broker with decades of success, at least in the capacity of an initial assessment of the property and help with marketing.

This, of course, leads to…


SURPRISE! In recent months you’ve received newsletters like this telling you about a new real estate service where you can shop for exactly what you need as a Seller. NOW IT’S HERE!

SURPRISE! In recent months we variously referred to this service as “iRealty Boutique” or some name to that effect. That name now has been changed to something simpler and more straightforward while conveying the same idea: iRealty Shop.

SURPRISE! 3 tiered services (MLS Plus, Broker Guided, and Full Service) appear on the front page of the website, spelled out as succinctly as possible so that you, the reader, can quickly grasp what iRealty has to offer you. ”Online Auction” and “À La Carte” services appear just below the 3 tiered services. You can fear less than Cinderella fearing the glass slipper in the image above because iRealty’s transparency about its services extend farther than just a foot, if you pardon the pun; and you have less worries about the glass shattering beneath you and leaving you to hemorrhage time and money. I mean, instead of a deal that shatters and injures you, you’d prefer a deal that shatters records with you as the winner.


iRealty Shop will make crazy deals: deals that don’t come along every day… every day. Here’s an outline of the tiers you’d find when perusing the front page:


In this tier, designed for skilled Sellers, you can do your own selling and reap savings so big they’d make the whale that swallowed Pinocchio look like a miserable guppy in a home aquarium. How big actually? Let’s say that you’re selling a $1 million home in Orange County. In traditionally commissioned real estate sales, 6% of commission amounts to $60,000. What’s the price of this plan? $497 plus $500 at closing. That saves you a bit over $59.000, enough to bless your socks off. Here’s what you get:

· Syndication to over 400 real estate websites

· Up to 90 days listing on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS)

· 20 property photos

· 3 MLS changes

· Buyer/Agent communication forwarding

· Title and Escrow set-up

· Preliminary Title report

· A professionally held open house

· A professional “For Sale” sign

· Access to a closed Facebook group

· Access to Q&A sessions with the Broker once a week.

SURPRISE! There’s more. If iRealty represents you in the purchase of another home, you get credited up to another $500. What a deal! Surely, it’s worth a call just to find out the details.


This tier, designed for Sellers with some experience but need some help, can also do much of the work and reap savings massive enough to make a wrecking ball look like it belongs in a BB gun. For that same $1 million home, your price comes to $997 plus $3,000 at closing. It’s a smaller return, but still a savings of just over $56,000. Like they say in Podunk, “That ain’t hay.” Here’s what you get:

· All the services included in the “MLS Only” tier, plus:

· An unlimited period for your MLS listing

· Unlimited property photo uploads

· Unlimited MLS changes

· A professional Broker lockbox (Supra type)

· A professional data-based Broker Price Opinion (BPO)

· A property pre-sale checklist

· Broker coordination of showings

· A professionally written marketing description

· Professional California real estate contract forms

· Professional California mandated disclosures and booklets

· Coordination of inspection and appraisal

· Escrow coordination beyond set-up

· A closing checklist

· Lifetime access to the online community and Q&A once a week

SURPRISE! There’s more. If iRealty represents you in the purchase of another home, you gain a credit of up to $1,000. Are we out of breath yet? Nope.


This tier offers you the highest level of protection of your interests with the Broker acting in the same way as in commissioned sales as your fiduciary. Even this tier offers massive savings to you. The price, $1,997 plus $5,000 at closing. That still amounts to just over $53,000 of savings to you. Anyone would consider this deal impossible to ignore. Here’s what you get:

· All the services in the “Broker Guided” tier plus:

· Professional property photography

· A professional property video

· Professional digital staging

· Contract Buyer/Seller negotiations

· Professionally designed property marketing flyers

· Pre-listing home improvement contractor coordination to assure the highest market value

· A designated property website and description

· Targeted professional social media marketing on Google, Facebook, and Instagram

· Inclusion on the local professional Broker Caravan to assure exposure of your new listing

· Direct prospective Buyer marketing via text, phone, and email

· Vetting of Buyers and Buyer Lenders for showings

· Assistance with Escrow and Title paperwork

SURPRISE! There’s still more. If iRealty represents you in the purchase of another home, you gain a credit of up to $1,500. The savings literally don’t stop.


SURPRISE! That still isn’t the end of what’s available to you as the Seller. Just scroll down a bit further on the page.

Check out that section on “Online Auctions.” Claims that include a higher closing rate, Seller control, Buyer urgency, fewer days on the market—none of this has been exaggerated. I’ve seen Mariella Agrusa, the Broker behind iRealty Shop, close deals quickly through the technique of auctioning real estate. She didn’t just close individual deals this way. She closed them in thorny cases like probate and divorce. This method has been repeatedly tried and proven to work to the greater benefit of pleasantly surprised Sellers.

Let’s say that you need help from one tier not available in another tier. You can order services “À La Carte.” You can literally build your own package to suit exactly what you need. It’s the essence of a boutique or a shop built for you… an “iRealty Shop.”

Does all of this sound like the greatest fantasy since Peter Pan, a story meant to evoke a smile before one turns away? It shouldn’t. It’s really foolish to turn away from this service. The real estate market is changing, folks. Traditional commission sales simply don’t work for people like they once did. In today’s market, it behooves you, the Seller who has shouldered the burden of paying commissions to look for new ways to save money and put those savings into real generational wealth.


Mariella Agrusa has truly proven herself to be the rare Broker who “goes the extra mile” for her clients and the iRealty website reflects this. After a couple of decades of real estate practice, one thing stands out: Mariella loves real estate and she loves people.

She has to have developed such affection after successfully taking on the hard transactions. Some involve the courts. Some involve trusts. Some involve short sales. Over time she has developed a profound array of connections through membership in the Orange County BAR Association, Pacific West Association of REALTORS®, and other organizations, contractors, and agencies. She has been licensed through the California Department of Real Estate and the National Multistate Licensing System (NMLS), applicable to negotiating financing. She understands Lender tricks because she worked as an analyst for the federal Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Few people can boast credentials like this.

Over the years, Mariella has listened to clients and other professionals to see how the real estate business could be improved for clients. The feedback she received enabled her to spend time during the COVID-19 pandemic to develop this heady new system for you and everyone: iRealty Shop…

and now it’s available to the world.


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