Section 1: Questions and Answers with Jerry & Rachel Hsieh, Realtor

Question: “I recieved an email and postcard from your website. What kind of services are you providing? Are you licensed to list my property or help me find a new home?”

A: The Jerry & Rachel Hsieh team is a top-producing real estate team at Keller Williams Realty that focuses on the Miracle Mile and Pico Area of Los Angeles. We are a full-service listing team that specializes in marketing properties at maximum exposure and contract negotiation. A few of our most recent listings and sales can be viewed in the “see our listings” section. JerryandRachel.com is the website for husband and wife realtors, Jerry and Rachel Hsieh, and we are also local homeowners. We are one of the top teams helping buyers and sellers in the Miracle Mile, Picfair Village, Faircrest Heights, Longwood Highlands, Wilshire Vista, and Mid-City Neighborhoods. We are also experts in the Beverly-Grove, Hancock Park, Windsor Square, Westside Los Angeles, Silver Lake, and Los Feliz areas.

Sample of high quality Marketing for our listing at 900 S Ridgeley Dr; Miracle Mile

If you received a postcard or email from us, it is because we’ve been successfully selling in your neighborhood, believe in the real value of property there, and are looking to help more neighbors in the area. The JerryandRachel.com website is a valuable resource for all our clients, but we’ve found it especially useful for our sellers, who benefit from our internet-focused marketing and our popular website. If you are interested in listing a property for sale, feel free to contact us directly at jerryandrachel@NewHomesLA.com with any questions or for a free comparable market analysis. Likewise, if you are interested in buying real estate, feel free to contact us for a free no-obligation list of available homes in your criteria.

Question: “What areas do you specialize in?”

A: We specialize in the Miracle Mile and Mid-City Area of Los Angeles. We are neighborhood experts for the zipcodes of 90036, 90019, 90035, and 90016 and are top producing realtors for Miracle Mile, Picfair Village, Faircrest Heights, Longwood Highlands, Mid-City, and Wilshire Vista. If you live in one of these areas, we have probably sold a home on your street in the past 6 months. For instance, we listed or sold over 30+ homes in or within a 1 mile radius of the popular neighborhood restaurant, BLOOM CAFE, on Pico/Fairfax this past year.

Question: Do you have access to foreclosure lists?

A: Absolutely, and these days, the best foreclosure deals are here and gone in the first week. The public internet usually only gives access to foreclosures that are overpriced and have been sitting on the market for months. In order to find the best foreclosure deals, you need a team like Jerry and Rachel Hsieh searching the market for the best deals as soon as they hit the market. Feel free to contact us jerryandrachel@newhomesla.com for access to the best foreclosures lists.

Question: “How qualified are you to list my home? Will your website benefit my property?”

A: Since 2007, we have been consistently listing and selling homes in the Miracle Mile/Pico Area and Beverlywood neighborhoods and surrounding in Los Angeles. We take pride in gaining maximum exposure on each of our listings and our goal is always to sell for full list price or more. We take each client, each sale VERY seriously and with the utmost integrity. We believe that we have a level of quality in our listings that is unparalleled in our industry. We do not believe in compromising our marketing quality regardless of the size, style, or price point of your home – We will always market our properties like multi-million dollar homes – After all, if we put our name behind your home, our reputation is on the line too! The Proof? Last year, our homes sold on average for within 2% of original list price, one of the best track records in the area.

We understand that each sale is unique and that each client deserves maximum personal attention and each home deserves maximum marketing. We have a marketing coordinator on staff, listings agents who are always accessible and a transaction coordinator. All available for you. As a Jerry and Rachel Hsieh client, we are happy to feature your property on our website. More importantly, since we have such a strong internet focus, your home will easily have as strong of an internet and MLS presence as any home in Los Angeles.

Question: “Jerry and Rachel, I would like to get more information about the market, but I have to be honest, I’m not looking to buy/sell for awhile….I’m really just curious, but not buying this year or maybe even next. What should I do?”

A: Most people searching on our page or who submit an inquiry are, like you, in the information gathering stage of your search. We at Jerry & Rachel Hsieh Realtors fully respect your situation and your privacy, and are always happy to help you regardless. If you’re asking us personally what to do in your situation, we would tell you to, first, keep an eye on the market through our website. We update it daily. If you have a question, don’t hesitate to call or email us. We would rather get you informed than have you get haphazard information from an unreliable source. We don’t worry about when people buy, and if we’re talking, we honestly don’t care if you buy next month or next year. We believe that people do things when they’re ready, and being in their corner when the time is right for them, not when it is right for us, is what good customer service is all about. We love the fact that we get to be in the business of sharing knowledge and helping people, and are always open to chat with anyone about real estate.

Question: “Do you charge a commission for sales? If so, how much do realtor fees? Are their discounts and are they negotiable?”

A: This is a great question. If we are helping you on a purchase, our commission is 100% and always paid for by the seller. This is standard for Los Angeles, and a buyer’s agent should never expect you to pay for a commission unless it’s something that you have specifically agreed to. When you are listing your home, most full-serve standard realtor fees are 6%. We are a 6% listing team based on our productivity and full-service brokerage reputation. However (Most agents don’t want you to know this), fees for full-service brokers like Coldwell Banker and Keller Williams Realty are still negotiable. Personally, we are always willing to stay flexible for our clients because we understand that each situation is unique, and ultimately, we are looking to create a win-win scenario for everyone. We can say that we have felt very comfortable listing homes as low as 5% or 5.5%. Though we are confident that our team will net you more on your sale regardless, we are always open to listen to your proposal. In the end, it really just depends on your home, our rapport, and what we all feel comfortable with at the time we meet. On a standard listing, our 6% fee breaks down as follows:

To agent bringing the buyer 2.5 – 3%
To Keller Williams Realty from Broker splits 1 – 1.5%
To Keller Williams Realty from Royalty splits 1/4%
To upfront marketing including photog, web setup fees, Just Listed cards $2,000
Continuous Print and Internet Advertising $100-300/week
Legal Service and Association Fees $500
To Jerry & Rachel Hsieh team for listing and transaction service 1-1.75%

Question: “Jerry, why did you decide to create a webpage like this, when most agents don’t seem to want to give up this kind of information you provide for free?

A: Buyers and sellers go to Real estate websites to learn about real estate, not to meet realtors. Unfortunately most realtor websites we saw when we became an agent were full of “gimmicks” and outdated “Top 10 lists”. Most consumers view realtor websites today as hard to navigate and even, in some cases, deceptive. In creating our website, we wanted to create a website that was really useful for buyers and sellers. Fortunately enough (thought we are happy to say we don’t believe on accident!), our business has substantially increased as a result of our website. We are getting more clients who appreciate our upfront style, customer service mindset and actively approach us. Our clients tend to trust us more and our transactions have become increasingly successful for our clients.

Question: “Can I post my home for sale on your website if I’m not ready to officially list it yet?”

A: This is known in our industry as a pocket listing, and we are ALWAYS happy to do this for any potential seller. However, you should know that, in this changing market, it is very difficult to sell a property without officially listing it for sale on the Multiple Listing Service. Back in 2012, when everything was selling in a week, pocket listings often had no problem selling. Our website can and will expose your property hundreds of web surfers each month and you can expect that we will probably schedule a couple of private showings for potential buyers a month. However, in this market, most experienced brokers will tell you that it often takes hundreds of brokers and thousands of buyers seeing your property before you may even get ONE offer! If you are a seller who would like to post your home for sale for FREE or may be considering listing your property for sale, contact jerryandrachel@newhomesla.com, and your home will be listed on our site as soon as 24 hours.

Section 2: Questions and Answers with Dana Dukelow, Mortgage Consultant

Question: “What are closing costs?”

A: Closing costs are any fees and any prepaid interest charges that a buyer or seller can anticipate during a transaction.

Question: “How much are closing costs?”

A: About 1-2% of the purchase price is a good range for the buyer. Included in this range are lender fees which can vary from .5% and up. Seller closing costs can range from 1.5 to 3 percent of the purchase price. In Los Angeles, 1.5 – 2% is a good range to estimate for closing costs. This includes City and County Transfer Taxes as well as title insurance (which is usually always paid by seller). In addition, the seller pays broker fees which will additionally increase seller closing costs by about 6% more for a full service broker (or as little as 2% for a discount broker).

Question: “What do my general monthly payments include?”

A: Monthly payments will include: mortgage payment, a portion of the annual tax bill, a portion of the annual home insurance bill and home owner’s association fees (if the property is a condo or townhouse).

Question: “What does buying down points mean?
A: This refers to when a buyer chooses to pay a higher origination fee in order to secure a lower interest rate.

Question: “What are lender fees and what should I expect?”

A: Lender fees can range from a half percent of the purchase to one and a half percent of the purchase price, depending on the rate and program that the buyer is choosing. The buyer usually has option available that can secure him a lower lender fee in exchange for a higher interest rate.

Question: “People talk about bad or sneaky lenders. Is there anything I should watch out for?

A: Yes, you should use a lender that has been referred to you by a professional that has had experience with that lender. You might also consider obtaining more than one quote. Most lenders should have information about their career history and information about the company they work for. There are sneaky or bad employees in every industry; we see it first hand everyday. Consumers should take it upon themselves to screen their lender and ask pertinent questions before proceeding with any professional.

Question: Should I plan to refinance? Are there benefits of taking equity out of my home?

A: One would refinance if rates have fallen to where it makes sense to refinance. Keep in mind, when refinancing, there is usually a lender fee involved, so it is important that you are getting enough of a rate change to substantiate the fee for you. Taking equity out of your home should be something that is being done for a financial purpose. It should be considered after consulting with your lending professional. Often times financing school tuition, car purchases or investment property by means of refinancing your home can have a lot of tax benefits.

Jerry & Rachel Hsieh Realtors is a family-run, people oriented team that is friendly and available. If you would like us to follow up with you, please fill out the Contact us form or call us direct at 424.242.8856. Someone will return your inquiry promptly and usually within 4 hours.