FAQs from Buyers

By Lori Klindera, ePRO, ABR, RECS, Mentor
and "G-II" Varrato II, Realtor®, Retired USAF Red Horse 820th CES
ePRO 500, ABR, RECS, Mentor
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

We often field questions from buyers who find one of our web sites.  Their questions are usually well organized, indicating that a good deal of thought went into their Q&A.  We have been in the industry nearly two decades and it is always refreshing to see that people really do take the time to conduct their 'due diligence' when selecting a real estate agent to represent them.  After all, making a real estate purchase is perhaps the single most important investment in anyone's life.  Making a commitment to such an investment should not be taken lightly.

Now, on to your Q&A…

FAQ 1)  Do you work full-time or part-time as a real estate agent?

We are full time agents and have been since we entered the industry nearly two decades ago.  We began our real estate careers in St. Petersburg Florida, moving our real estate practice to Phoenix Arizona in 1997.

FAQ 2)  Is your license in good standing?

Yes.  Both Lori's and G-II's license in in good standing with the Arizona Department of Real Estate.

FAQ 3)  Do you tend to represent more buyers or sellers, or it is more a 50/50 mix of both?

My wife and I represent a mix of both buyers and sellers.  The buyer pool in today’s real estate market is not as robust as it has been in past years.  Today, only about 10% of the homes on the market, in any given month, sell/close.  That is true for all price points.  We track these statistics on our web site.  Every two weeks or so, we publish the latest MLS statistics.  You can view these graphs by CLICKING THIS TINYURL.

FAQ 4)  Are you also a broker and/or a REALTOR®?

We are both REALTORS®, although brokers can also be REALTORS®.  A REALTOR® is a licensed real estate agent who belongs to the National Association of REALTORS®™ (NAR).  There are about one million REALTORS® in the NAR.

FAQ 5)  How many years of education and experience do you have?

As we mentioned earlier, we have been in the industry nearly two decades, first in Florida then here in Arizona.  We are ABR, e-PRO and RECS certified.  We are mentors to new real estate agents who enter the ranks of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.

We both bring decades of life experience from two professional careers. 

Lori was a para legal for nearly 25 years, beginning her career in the legal field when she was still in high school.  Lori worked for such conglomerates at Montgomery Ward's Legal Council, Mc Donald's Legal Council, both in Chicago and the Law Firm of Randall C. Hype in St. Petersburg Florida.  G-II is an electro-mechanical engineer.  G-II was the lead engineer on several Department of Defense contracts during Desert Storm (Gulf War I), designing and acting as quality assurance engineer for these products before they were released into the war theater.

We write BLOGs for several BLOG-ispheres.  Our BLOGs have been elected "Feature BLOG" at Active Rain.  Check out two of our BLOG sites.  BLOG 1 and BLOG 2.

FAQ 5) How well do you know the valley real estate market?

Because we are eRealtors, we have vast experience in the valley.  However, that said, we tend to spend most of our time in Maricopa county, servicing clients from as far east as Apache Junction and west to Buckeye and from the north in Anthem south to Maricopa and all points in between.

FAQ 6)  How many other clients are you representing now?

At any given time, we may be working with as many as 20 sellers and 20 buyers.  Because our business model is Internet based, we choose to work ONLY with clients who have a good working knowledge of the Internet, eMail and the WEB.  This reality dovetails into the next question with understandable clarity.

FAQ 7)  Do you handle all aspects of a transaction, or do you delegate some tasks to a sales associate or administrative assistant?

Our team is comprised of G-II Varrato II, Lori Klindera, both REALTORS® for nearly two decades and a staff of real estate professionals with deep roots in our industry. 

Our Executive Team Coordinator, Della Anderson - (602) 432-3230 - Della@GoAirForceHomes.info manages the other members of our team.  Della oversees each client's transaction documents, ensuring that all necessary documents are collected and distributed to the appropriate venue, to include the cooperating REALTORS®, Lenders, Title and Escrow companies, Inspectors, the Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage document tracking system and all on-line venues where each transaction can be monitored by all parties to the transaction, 24/7/365.  Our systems are nearly 100% paperless.  But for the fact that the Arizona Department of Real Estate has not implemented written requirements for paperless record keeping yet, we must still distill the documents to the ever popular flimsy inked up pulp. LOL 

Lori and Della create and manage all of the marketing efforts for homes we are hired to sell.  Lori is also the socialite on our team.  She loves to preview homes with potential buyers.  G-II is the Contract to Close guy.  G-II's experience writing, interpreting, redacting and coordinating contract language is one reason our clients fully understand the process... from start to finish.  Interpreting each offer or counter offer as it is presented and then distilling the data and managing each component of negotiations for each offer and counter offer is an integral part of our system.

We have a great working relationship with two lenders, Vice President Deborah Lang, Coldwell Banker Home Loans, (602) 765-8824 - Deborah.Lange@MortgageFamily.com and with Mr. Mark Schmidt, President & CEO, Pacific Funding Group, (800) 245-6722 - mschmidt@pacificfundinggroup.net

We also align ourselves with Kim Farnsworth, Sr. Escrow Officer, Equity Title Agency, (623) 580-1218 – KimF@ETA-AZ.com.  Whenever possible, we suggest that our clients’ transactions be managed by familiar camp of affiliated vendors.  And… while doing so does not necessarily give our clients “PREFERENTIAL” treatment, doing so does afford our clients an all important “DIFFERENTIAL” treatment during the escrow period of our transactions.

We have 110% confidence that all of these individuals and their organizations, members or affiliates of Lori & G-IIs eTeam of Professionals, will support us and our clients 110% of the time.

FAQ 8)  Many times we are asked to provide names and contact information for recent clients from whom references can be obtained.

From time to time, we are given permission to actually publish letters of testimonials from our clients and collogues.  PLEASE CLICK THIS LINK for access to our Testimonial Web Page.  Feel free contacting any of these folks.  They welcome the opportunity to share their real estate experiences with you.  Testimonials are not always offered by satisfied clients.  Many of the protégés we have trained have added their thanks to our testimonial page.

For more recent transactions, you may want to drop an eMail to BUYERS Linda & Jeff Chicots at TheChicots@Cox.net.  You may also like to send an eMail to SELLER Jason Worff at JWorff@YaHoo.com.  First Time BUYERS Paul & Janna Willingham at JannaWillingham@YaHoo.com would also be a great place to learn about Lori & "G-II".

FAQ 9)  How many real estate transactions did you complete in each of the last 2 years?

Our production is in the top 1% to 3% of the entire Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage agent population in Arizona.  We were ranked 25th in the state in 2008, arguably one of the worst years for real estate agents in the past half century.  We personally close between 50 and 60 transactions each year and mentor another 150 yearly.  That means that we manage over 200 transactions every year, that is nearly 4,000 transactions in nearly two decades.

FAQ 10)  What was the dollar volume of your transactions in each of the last 2 years?

This questions almost always amazes us.  Sharing the dollar amount we transact is a pretty personal disclosure.  There are a multitude of reasons, both ethical and financial, why we choose not to disclose this kind of information.  Oh... wouldn't the IRS love to see these numbers... LOL  Suffice to say that we make a good six figure living and give a good amount of that back to the community and charitable organizations.

FAQ 11a)  What percentage of your business is with home buyers?

About half of our clients are buyers leaving the other half to be sellers J.

FAQ 11b)  What percentage of your home-buyer business is with first time buyers?

About 90% of our buyer clients are first time home buyers.  This is primarily a bi-product of our target market, the Air Force client.  Many of our buyer clients are Air Force F-16 Falcon Fighter Pilots, transitioning from out of country duty stations, here to Luke AFB.  Many of our clients use their VA benefits to make their real estate purchase.  Because "G-II" is retired USAF, we fully understand the needs and potential anxieties of our military transferees, having "Been There, Done That".

Many of our buyer clients secure their financing through conventional channels, however we are experts in the Ginny-Mae (VA) and Sally-Mae (FHA) lending arenas as well.

Did you know that the conforming conventional loan limit is $417,000.  That means that loans greater than $417,000 fall into the Jumbo Loan category.  VA Loan Limits are up to $417,000 in Maricopa county and FHA Loan Limits are up to $346,250.

Our clients buy homes in all shapes, varieties and price points, from $75,000 to just under $1,000,000.  Territorial, Ranch, Multi-Level or what ever they hearts desire and their pocket book can afford. J

FAQ 12)  How old are your clients, on average? Do they have children?

We do not field these question too often... and before we offer our response we want to preface the response with the following.  Although AGE is not one of the seven protected classes, defined under the 1968 Fair Housing Act,  which prohibits discrimination in housing on the basis of five protected classes: race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. However, the act was amended in 1988 to expand the protected classes to include FAMILIAL STATUS and the handicapped for a total of seven protected clases.

Now, that said, our clients are from all walks of life, all points of the globe and all incomes.  Folks we have represented in the past have purchased homes for as little as $10,000 and upward to $1,000,000.  We have helped buyers who have just emerged from high school and have represented folks who... well... let's say, are old enough and nearly ready to greet Saint Peter at the "Pearly Gates".

All are welcome and all are tendered the dignity, honesty, courtesy and integrity we expect to be reciprocated.

FAQ 15a)  Are you an exclusive buyer broker?

We are not Exclusive Buyer Brokers.

FAQ 15b)  Do you ask home buyers to sign an exclusivity contract?

We do not us an Exclusive Buyer Broker agreement, although we did about 15 years ago.  We have found, over the last decade and a half, that today's Internet Empowered Consumer (IEC) is an extremely loyal lot.  Today's IEC is hundreds of times more educated to the process of buying and/or selling a home.  And... although they usually are not fully schooled in the art of our craft, they know what they are looking for in terms of representation, property location, property features, price points of comfort and many have even conducted a considerable amount of research about financing.

We have found that there is little need to deploy a "Contract for Loyalty" between us and a buyer with today's IEC.  Heck... if reciprocal dignity, honesty, courtesy and integrity cannot develop in the relationship, then there is really no reason to begin the relationship.  By the time the IEC has concluded that he/she would like us to represent them in their real estate transaction, we too have assessed the quality and character of the IEC.  If we don't feel the fit is good, then we kindly bow out of the relationship, before it ever gets off the ground.  It's really that simple.

FAQ 15c)  Do you charge an upfront fee that is later applied to the commission?

We do not charge an upfront fee for representation.  Real estate commissions and/or fees are addressed in the AAR Residential Resale Purchase Contract, Page 8, Section 8, Sub-Section 8f, Lines 324 through 329.  Real estate fees/commissions are never part of a purchase contract and always agreed to, in writing, between the broker and client.

Our business model subscribes to the Seller Compensation as defined in the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service system.  Buyer Broker fees are disclosed to both the public and to the Buyer Broker in the MLS listing data sheet.  We do not charge buyers a separate fee.

FAQ 16)  What are the primary neighborhoods or communities in which you work?

This question may seem a bit redundant to FAQ 5 but truly, it is not.  Even though our clients take us all over Maricopa county, many of our clients are in the north east, north, north west and west part of the county.  There are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of subdivisions within Maricopa county.  And while we are familiar with many of them, we do not know all of them.

This question often is the birth of debate among practitioners in our industry.  One school of thought is that it is impossible for a real estate agent cannot possibly offer competent council to his/her client if the agent is unfamiliar with a particular community. The counter point made to this argument is that with the advent of the Internet, much of the information needed to provide competent council is simply a mouse click away.


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This article written by "G-II" Varrato II, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. All rights reserved

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