True Tales


I always appreciate referrals, but it is just a little bit more gratifying when another realtor chooses you from the 1000 plus Realtors in Santa Barbara to represent her in-laws.  Such was the case last month. 

After interviewing several of my colleagues, the agent chose me and my marketing plan for the home in Goleta.  The unique challenge was that for medical reasons the elderly father-in-law was not to know that the home was listed since it would cause too much anxiety and I couldn’t see the inside. This same condition necessitated obtaining documentation from the doctors verifying that he wasn’t competent to sign the necessary paperwork and working with his wife to fully explain all those confusing forms.

Before they moved out, I was able to take photos from the outside and prepare announcement postcards for the neighbors, an individual website for the home, and flyers to be activated when I could get in and show the home.  Once they moved, I had it cleaned, held broker and public open houses and sold the home in less than a week for full price.  Thirty days later that nice couple had the money necessary to fund a comfortable retirement closer to their family. 




He lives in Bonn, Germany, but had a house in Santa Barbara.  While there was the hope of return it made sense to keep it; but after a marriage to a German lady he found that his roots were deeper there than back here.

When his neighbor approached him about selling the house he agreed that it was time and called me to facilitate the transfer.  Why use a Realtor when you already have the buyer?  Because there is much more to a real estate transaction than just finding someone to purchase it.

Inspections, disclosures, appraisals, escrow documents, loan verification and documents all needed to be ordered, reviewed, explained and sent in both directions.  In his particular case I needed to assist in securing a CPA to advise him on his tax situation as well as (and this turned out to be a biggie) arrange for a non-resident to receive such a large amount of money in this post 9/11 world.


A wonderful young woman was referred to me by a friend as she wanted to buy a condo in Carpinteria and have me represent her.  No it all the time. There was one significant detail that made it more unique. She was currently working in Afghanistan. 

I put her on an automatic email for appropriate properties when they came on the market.  Some time later, she sent me a message that she had seen a unit that she liked, could I please check it out.  I did the next day, sent tons of photos and my positive evaluation.  She said, "I want it?' I crafted a compelling offer that enabled us to beat out two other buyers, and after daily (11 hrs. time difference) messages and the electronic transference of paperwork, I was holding the key to her new home which she purchased sight unseen in two weeks.  She arrived later that month and was delighted to move in and enjoy it before returning overseas. "I will be so happy in Afghanistan now, thinking about my home!"

Real estate representation is based upon trust.  I consider it an honor every time a client trusts me to put their needs first and get them the best deal possible in today's market. 


An out of town owner with a most undesirable tenant called to ask for help. The house was totally trashed with holes in the walls, vermin, leaky roof, termites, inoperable appliances etc, etc, etc. He wanted to sell it quickly to take advantage of another investment.
We discussed the difference in price if we sold it “as is” or spruced it up.  It was obvious that a property in good condition would be much more desirable and would bring a higher price. I planned the remodel, found the workmen and supervised their work, all the while watching expenses carefully.

Was it worth the time and money spent?  I believe so.  We were able to get at least $2.50 for every $1 spent on the remodel when I sold it for full price 12 days after it came on the market.  The neighbors are pretty happy to have that eye sore eliminated as well.


My relocating clients and I had been looking for the ideal home for some time.  We heard a rumor that a lovely Riviera view property would be coming on the market.  I continually checked the Multiple Listing Service for new listings and within a few hours of its posting the wife and I were in the door and immediately knew that it was right for them.
We went back to my office and crafted an offer for her to discuss with her husband, who saw the home early the next morning.  He agreed that it was perfect and I was able to present and get our offer accepted that night.  The broker caravan was the next day and there were a number of agents who were extremely disappointed that their clients did not have the opportunity to purchase.


Since my picture and telephone number were in front of the house when the fire department arrived to discover that the sprinkler system had broken and the vacant house was flooding, I was the one they called at 5 am one Saturday morning.  
This was a problem that couldn’t wait until Monday when my client’s office opened since the house was full of water and the ceiling had collapsed.  I arranged for a service provider to pump the water out, start the drying process and begin the clean-up.
All of the contingencies for the transaction had been removed and everyone was preparing for the move. Obviously, this emergency changed everything.   It took considerable effort, but I was able to keep the transaction together while the repairs were being made.  We completed the sale a few weeks later and the buyers got new flooring, paint and plumbing.     All’s well that ends well.


The first time I walked on the property, it was obvious that it was special.  My mission was equally special.  I was asked to locate a property for Visiting Nurses and Hospice Care of Santa Barbara.  They needed a location to build an end of life care center.  This was an ideal site.  

Escrow was opened early August, 2004 and closed November, 2005.  There were many, many things to study and negotiate but at the end this marvelous, serene five acres now stands ready for a great new building. 

 As you know, I never mention the names of my clients, but I have made this exception with their permission because I hope that you will join with me in helping support this great project so vital to our town.  Call me for information on how you can make a donation.  I would also appreciate a call if you or your friends need someone to search for that perfect property. I would be honored to help.   



More cash - Much sooner – Win-win real estate


A nice couple that had seen my sign on another Goleta property contacted me.  They wanted to fix up a long-term rental and then put it on the market.  They wisely asked my input as to what improvements would make financial sense.  The unit was in deplorable condition:  the ceiling was falling down, there was a significant amount of termite destruction and the backyard was basic brown.  They were planning on spending up to six months and $25,000 or more to fix it up before sale. 


I suggested that since there were contractors and handymen out there who would be interested in fixing up a property to their own needs and standards that we should take advantage of the strong seller’s market and sell it “as is”.  Five offers above asking price later we sold the home to a young family with plans for a nice remodel who might not have been able to afford a totally refurbished house.  


My client was relieved of the pressure to use his leisure time to work on the house and had significantly more cash, much sooner than he had planned. They are planning on spending that time and money on a kitchen remodel on their own home instead. 


If you or someone you know needs advise on the appropriate investment for upgrading their home, I would gladly share my thoughts. I always value your referrals.