How much rehabbing of a listing can a Realtor do?

Licensed contractor neededHome sellers appreciate it when their Realtor takes some of the workload off of their shoulders.  In some places, we are seeing real estate licensees overstepping their professional boundaries, though, and acting as if they are general contractors and overseeing the complete rehabilitation of properties before they go on the market.  Unless those agents are also licensed contractors, they likely are acting illegally, though.

A few years ago, I had a listing appointment in Milpitas with a home owner who felt that my job, as a seller’s agent, would be to get the home ready for market. “I work full time, I cannot supervise all these people coming in to fix up my house,” she said.  I explained to her that I am not a licensed contractor and it would be illegal for me to take responsibility over the plumbers, electricians, and the rest of the trades.  She truly believed that these functions were part of a real estate agent’s job and nothing I said could convince her otherwise, so I told her that I could not work with her in the sale of her home.  Where did her expectation come from?  Most likely, she’d heard stories of other people selling their homes and having the listing agents do the lion’s share of organizing and supervising the fixup-to-sell jobs.

When is a contractor’s license needed?  It’s simple.  Here is a quote from the California State Contractors Licensing Board:

“In California, anyone who contracts to perform work on a project that is valued at $500 or more for combined labor and materials costs must hold a current, valid license from CSLB.”

When in doubt, check with the Contractors State License Board!

What can the Realtor do legally to assist a home owner in preparing a property to sell?

As a listing agent who is not a licensed contractor, I can (more…)

Myths and Misconceptions about Buying a New (or Newer) Home

Many Silicon Valley home buyers prefer to purchase a brand new home, or at least a younger one.  (Through my web tools, I that see a lot of people search online for “New San Jose Homes” or “New Los Gatos Houses for sale” or “new construction in Silicon Valley”.)

Often this is partly because real estate consumers believe that a more contemporary home will be better structurally and have nicer amenities – those are often true. (New home construction may include better materials, a more open floor plan, walk in closets and other features that are not so commonly found in resale properties.)

Just as frequently, though, a priority for these home buyers is that they expect that a new home will require little or no maintenance.  Further, some buyers are so confident in the perfection of a new home that they decline the chance to have the new home professionally and independently inspected.

Finally, some consumers are so blinded by the love of new (or remodeled) housing that they aren’t very selective and sometimes view all contractors or builders as equal.

All of these are mistakes and today I want to discuss each one.
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