News

When it comes to full service discount real estate brokerage in the San Francisco bay area, Baron & Chestney Real Estate is the original and the best….you can forget about all the rest! As a result of the industry pressure that our business model has brought about, we are pleased to announce that the old “6 % commission” has been placed on the “endangered species” list. It is not extinct, yet, but it is a severely threatened species, and on the verge of extinction. Our competitors, including the big “old guard” 6% real estate companies, have been forced to do business differently — or face the prospect of not doing business at all. SO, what does this mean for you, the home selling public? Great news. While in the past, we could offer you TOTAL commission rates with a ceiling of no more than 4%, we now can say that in the overwhelming majority of cases, that ceiling is now only 3.5%! Why is this? Well, we have not changed one bit. Baron & Chestney Real Estate has always taken a 1% commission per transaction side as our compensation. The reason for the additional 3% was the commission that goes to the OTHER company — i.e., the one that brings the buyer. Thanks to the relentless competitive pressure that we have brought to bear upon the real estate industry, the old 6% total commission (3% on each side) has been whittled down to a 5% commission (2.5% on each side) for the vast majority of listings. Remember, we still take our 1%. However, it used to be 1% + 3% = 4% maximum. Now, it is 1% + 2.5% = 3.5% maximum. Great news, isn’t it?!

Of course, we always said that with Baron & Chestney Real Estate, you will pay a maximum of 4%, and that remains true….but you will not pay more than 3.5% in most cases now….AND, of course, always remember the “jackpot” scenario, which is why we say you COULD pay AS LOW AS only a 2% TOTAL commission. When does THAT happen? You hit the 2% jackpot when Baron & Chestney Real Estate ALSO represents the BUYER….in that case, we charge 1% per transaction side, and of course, 1% + 1% = 2% TOTAL COMMISSION to sell your home. While the “old 6% commission” national chain big name real estate companies have been forced to drop their rates to 5% in most cases, to try to stay competitive, they are of course still lagging way behind. They want to be competitive….well, most of them do, at least…… they really do. However, they simply cannot. Their business models have very high overhead, and require the “retail” markup they must use because of employing sales agents instead of our “wholesale” model which lets you work directly with a broker and eliminate the agent middleman/middlewoman. Those business models simply do not allow them much leeway, and they are already stretching themselves to the limit to make a profit at 6%, let alone at 5%…. SO, some of them have gone out of business. Many of them have consolidated offices and/or merged with others, to reduce overhead and stay in business. They of course have their big names and reputations to fall back on, at least for a while. Eventually, even those will not be enough to protect them, and they will need to drop their rates even further to stay competitive. The big question that challenges and vexes them, however, is HOW? If you need to pay a broker, plus a salesperson, plus administrative staff, you just need to keep marking up your fees so that everyone gets paid…..oh well, that is their problem, not ours…..

HOWEVER, a whole new wave of “copycat” companies have recently popped up, offering all sorts of different business models. These are even worse than the old guard companies! The old guard companies at least offer stability and reputation. They are solid companies with years of experience. We respect that. They are our professional colleagues. This new wave of copycats and pretenders, however, offers NO stability, NO reputation, and NO experience. Many of them are not even located in California!!! Some are not even located in the United States!!! They are “e-companies”, “i-companies”, out of the country companies, out of state companies, and out of the bay area companies. They are computer programs and algorithms and “apps” that propose to walk you through the sale of your home via phone counselors, customer service lines, and chatrooms…. REALLY?! Oh, but don’t worry — they have a customer service person in some foreign country who is standing by to take your call or chat with you online and try to help you through the process of selling and/or buying a home! You can even chat with them, “live”, in their “help forum”! They’ve got lots of flash and dash, and plenty of venture capital cash! Now, doesn’t THAT all make you feel safe and secure?! Wow. What is this world coming to?! Well, do not despair…we have even more great news for you! We DO realize that you want to save money on your real estate transactions. We get it. We were FOUNDED on that principle. However, we ALSO believe that you should have a veteran broker working with you, IN PERSON, every step of the way. You should NOT have to use a computer program to sell your house and save money doing so. With Baron & Chestney Real Estate, you still get the best of both worlds — huge savings, and the experience, knowledge, and expertise of real, live, in-person, flesh and blood veteran brokers, who work with you, who meet with you live and in person, AND, who are RIGHT HERE in the bay area, NOT out there somewhere in cyberspace, or in Timbuktu….no chat rooms, no customer service reps in foreign countries…just good old fashioned veteran brokers with decades of experience who are right here in the bay area, where you are…imagine that!…live, local, veteran brokers with the knowledge and experience to see your transaction through from start to finish, and everywhere in between — not some “phone counselor” or “chat room monkey” who is hiding behind a rookie smoke screen…

This brings us to the latest and greatest news of all…..at Baron & Chestney Real Estate, we DO realize that there is NO such thing as a “one size fits all” business model. While the overwhelming majority of folks have been delighted with our standard business model, we do realize that there are special cases and exceptions to every rule and that a “cookie cutter” approach does not work for everyone, especially not all the time. Baron & Chestney was founded upon the principle of delivering MAXIMUM real estate VALUE for a MINIMUM real estate COMMISSION. Indeed, we do just that. However, we have now come up with several NEW programs to give our clients even MORE options and choices…..so as to uniquely customize our commission structure to fit our clients’ special needs and circumstances. Of course, our standard business model shall remain and will still be the best choice for the vast majority of our clients. However, as always, we believe we should give the people what they want. For those who want something different, we now offer exactly that. And now for something completely different: The Baron & Chestney “Your Real Estate, Your Way” Program! Visit our PROFESSIONAL page for all the details about this exciting new program!

Thought

Buying a home, selling a home, or selling one home and buying another home are probably among the most, if not THE most, important financial decisions of your life. Whom do you want to entrust with the responsibility of guiding you safely and securely through such a transaction or transactions? Hopefully, you would insist upon a real estate professional with the knowledge, expertise, and experience required to guarantee that everything is handled properly. Here are a few things to keep in mind and factor into your decision making process when it comes to choosing the correct real estate professional to represent you:

1. Is the person a sales agent, or a broker? Sales agents must be employed by brokers in order to work in the real estate industry and conduct real estate activities in the state of California. A sale agent cannot become a broker without at least 2 years of experience, plus successful completion of 8 college level real estate courses, as well as passing a broker’s exam and criminal background check. You should hire a broker, not a sales agent. Most brokers have WAY more than the minimum 2 years of experience required. Ours have DECADES of experience. Most agents have only a few years of experience, or even less! If the person is a broker, it will clearly say so on his or her business card. Sales agents may try to put all sorts of things on their business cards to impress you (MBA, JD, CPA, GRI, CRS, top producer, top 1%, gold circle, diamond star, Team Hotshot, a legend in my own mind, etc, etc, etc), all of which are just peachy, but, honestly and truly, the one thing they cannot put on their card is the one most important thing of all that should be there: the title of BROKER. Look for it. Insist upon it. After all, don’t you deserve the best? Do you want a doctor, or a nurse? A dentist, or a dental assistant? An attorney, or a paralegal? You are paying good money. Get great help.

2. Is the person a Realtor? Not all salespeople nor even all brokers are Realtors. Realtors are members of the National Association of Realtors and California Association of Realtors. These are professional organizations whose members voluntarily subscribe to a code of ethics. Look for the term “Realtor” on their business card. Insist upon it.

3. So, just how many years of experience does the person have? Here is a little known fact that is a foolproof, guaranteed way to find out. All California real estate sales agents and brokers have a license number that was issued by the California Department of Real Estate (DRE) (also known as the California Bureau of Real Estate (BRE)). The DRE changed its name to the BRE on July 1, 2013 and then BACK to the DRE on July 1, 2018, just for kicks, and to keep everyone on their toes… it is the same department, whether called DRE or BRE. The abbreviation “CA DRE #” or “CA BRE #” will preceed the license number of all real estate licensees in California. BY CALIFORNIA LAW, THE NUMBER MUST BE DISPLAYED ON THE BUSINESS CARD OF ANY REAL ESTATE LICENSEE. Ask for it. Look for it. Insist upon it. It must ALSO be displayed on their advertisements, meaning, ALL advertisements, of which the business card is considered one, as well as flyers, mailers, brochures, pamphlets, door hangers, websites, shopping cart ads, magazine ads, billboards, tv commercials, etc, etc, etc. It must even be stated in radio and other verbal (non visual) advertisements. Why? It is very similar to an attorney’s state bar number, or a contractor’s state license number. The beautiful thing about a DRE/BRE license number is that it gives away a lot very valuable information about the real estate licensee — just like the license plate on a car gives away information about the car and its registered owner. The DRE/BRE # will tell you: agent or broker, number of years of experience, AND, other things as well….but HERE IS THE LITTLE KNOWN FACT that all rookies hope you will never find out about: DRE/BRE License numbers are SEQUENTIAL. THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS. IN OTHER WORDS, THE LOWER THE NUMBER, THE MORE YEARS OF EXPERIENCE, AND THE HIGHER THE NUMBER, THE FEWER YEARS OF EXPERIENCE. The agent or broker cannot hide from his or her DRE/BRE license number, nor can he or she change it. There is no amount of money he or she can pay to have it altered, and no one can “purchase” a lower number. It might as well be tattooed an a rookie’s forehead, along with the words, “I have no idea what I am doing”. Look for it. Insist upon it. Research it at https://www.dre.ca.gov. ;

Rookie? “Crookie?!”:

Is the person you are interviewing to sell your home a rookie? Even worse, is the person a convicted felon?! Although hard to believe, he or she just may be! That DRE/BRE license number will also tell you that. Just as you would check out a contractor’s license before hiring a contractor, the DRE/BRE licens number is most definitely something you should check! Simply visit https://www.dre.ca.gov , and use the “verify a license” feature…..you may be SHOCKED at what you find! Besides the person’s personal information and date of licensure, you will also find a history of any disciplinary actions that the Department of Real Estate has taken against the person, including legal actions, fines, penalties, and even, yes, imprisonment! If you see ANY of these items whatsoever, that is a HUGE red flag!!! Stop and read further into it. You may indeed find that the person you almost entrusted your home to is not only a “rook”, but even worse, ALSO a CROOK!!! You do NOT want to be “sellin’ with a convicted felon”, do you?!

Hire a broker. Hire a broker with decades of experience. Hire a broker who is also a Realtor. Hire a broker with a CLEAN BRE/DRE record. You deserve only the best. Don’t hire a rookie. For heaven’s sake, don’t hire a “crookie”, either! If the person is a “rookie” AND a “crookie”, show them the door, and give them a kick in the “bootie” on their way out!!!

SO, REMEMBER, ” Don’t get TOOK by a ‘ROOK’ ! “, AND, “You do NOT want to be SELLIN’ with a licensed convicted FELON!”

Ask B&C

Baron & Chestney Real Estate offers FULL SERVICE discount real estate brokers who will sell your San Francisco Bay Area home for a discount realtor commission of only 2% to 4% in TOTAL. Home buyers who purchase a home using our home buyer rebate program will get a realtor rebate of up to 2% of the selling price of the home. Serving your discount real estate needs throughout 10 San Francisco Bay Area counties, our discount realtors will save you THOUSANDS of dollars in real estate commissions, whether you are selling a home or buying a home, or BOTH! Call a Baron & Chestney Real Estate discount real estate broker today, and let our home seller discount real estate commissions and home buyer discount realtor rebates save you thousands of dollars in realtor commissions on your next bay area realty transaction! Call US first!