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Podcast title The Clarified Realty Podcast | Real Estate Secrets Your Agent Doesn't Want You To Know!
Website URL http://clarifiedrealty.com
Description In my years as a real estate agent — I’ve seen one single unifying theme that seems to rear its ugly head in almost every single transaction — Fear. Fear of the market — “Is now the right time to buy?” Fear of making a mistake — “What if there’s something wrong with the house I want to buy?” And, yes, even fear of Realtors themselves, “What if I pick someone that won’t protect me?” It paralyzes people from taking any sort of action. Rather than POTENTIALLY making some sort of error, they prefer instead to sit endlessly in their rented apartments, flushing month-after-month of money down the drain — when they could be taking real, tangible steps to getting a home of their own. Here on the Clarified Realty Podcast, week after week, we will be interviewing experts in every facet of real estate (lenders, accountants, financial advisors, home inspectors — just to name a few) and provide realistic insights and advice into how you can make the process more understandable and less overwhelming. Whether you’re buying or selling, we will take you step-by-step down the path and show you that real estate is nothing to ever, ever be afraid of. All you need to do is take the first step. For more, visit: www.ClarifiedRealty.com
Updated Fri, 13 Sep 2019 09:56:06 +0000
Image The Clarified Realty Podcast | Real Estate Secrets Your Agent Doesn't Want You To Know!
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Link to this podcast The Clarified Realty Podcast | Real Estate Secrets Your Agent Doesn't Want You To Know!


1. How Do I sell My Home During A Divorce?
http://clarifiedrealtypodcast.... download (audio/mpeg, 83.21Mb)


People mainly buy or sell real estate because they are going through some sort of transition, i.e.: they are getting a new job or someone has passed away. One of the most prevalent reasons is divorce. We're talking to Douglas Wolf, a family law attorney who specializes in the worst of the worst of these cases involving spousal abuse cases. He takes us on a step-by-step guide of how someone can sell their home during a divorce. Hopefully, it can help reduce the stress of an already awful circumstance.

2. Keeping Yourself Healthy When You Buy Or Sell A House
http://clarifiedrealtypodcast.... download (audio/mpeg, 97.38Mb)


This is an episode Tom has wanted to do for a while. We are talking with fitness expert, J. D. King about how people going through the stressful process of buying a home can avoid the pitfalls of eating poorly and stay healthy. He gives great advice about what types of foods are best when you need the energy to get through a full day of open houses and how you can better wind down (without alcohol) afterwards. We also talk about caffeine, its role in adding to stress, and how to ease off of your addiction.

3. The Latest Real Estate News - 04/04/18
http://clarifiedrealtypodcast.... download (audio/mpeg, 78.30Mb)


In this episode, we cover the latest real estate news for the week. First, is news that Facebook has come under fire for facilitating de facto housing discrimination in their ad targeting platform by restricting who sees what types of ads. After that, we discuss a new real estate artificial intelligence company called "Rex" that is attempting to replace your real estate agent. And last, we discuss how a seller in California has told their agent that they do not want any buyers who voted for Donald Trump.

4. Finding The Right Remodeling Company For Your Home
http://clarifiedrealtypodcast.... download (audio/mpeg, 78.02Mb)


Trusting someone with the remodeling of your home can make even the most courageous tremble with fear. That's why we're talking to J. R. Mariano of Jamie's Kitchen Cabinets and baths about how contractors as a whole don't have the most stellar reputations and how that image is well earned. He gives us tips about how you can separate the mercenaries and amateurs from the talented and the experienced. He also discusses how he goes about bidding projects and the latest technologies in the business.

5. Real Estate Data Mining And New Pool Regulations
http://clarifiedrealtypodcast.... download (audio/mpeg, 98.89Mb)


Real Estate Inspector extraordinaire, Ian Mayer, is back again and we've got two very interesting topics we're covering. Ian starts off with a conversation about how different companies are now trying to mine customer data much earlier in the process. By the time it becomes public record, it's much too late for some companies, so they're trying to get it from home inspectors. And then we move on to the new pool inspection regulations mandatory in the state of California and their impact on transactions.

6. Tax And Legal Impacts Of Foreign Real Estate Investment
http://clarifiedrealtypodcast.... download (audio/mpeg, 87.15Mb)


In this episode of the Clarified Realty Podcast, we're talking Real Estate with Ani Galyan, a CPA and an attorney, with a specialization in the tax and legal aspects of foreign investment in Real Estate. We discuss things Americans need to watch out for when buying real estate overseas -- and what non-Americans need to watch out for when buying real estate here in the U.S. We also discuss how the EB-5 program was used to encourage investment by offering green cards in return for purchasing real estate.

7. Taking Care Of The Real Estate Needs of Seniors
http://clarifiedrealtypodcast.... download (audio/mpeg, 71.13Mb)


We're interviewing Sandy Rosenholz of Senior Resources Inc. regarding the real estate needs of the elderly. We ask him who usually reaches out to him (is it the person that needs to move, or a relative/freind). We then talk about different forms of senior housing (+55 communities, independent living, assisted living, and finally, memory care) and how they used to be considered as inhumane places to now - "cruise ships without water." We also discuss the process of selling the real estate of the elderly.

8. Interview w/ Dina Newman
http://clarifiedrealtypodcast.... download (audio/mpeg, 76.55Mb)


We're talking with Dina Newman of Organizing Concepts And Designs about how to prepare for selling your home by decluttering prior to your move. Also, we cover how many people don't understand that a good percentage of "staging" is about removing things from the house and not adding furniture. Dina then talks about the emotional issues people sometimes have giving up possessions during periods of transition. We also talk about how moving the elderly has it's own challenges and how to work with them.

9. Interview w/ Richard Hayes
http://clarifiedrealtypodcast.... download (audio/mpeg, 81.17Mb)


We're talking with Richard Hayes of G & G Granite about home remodeling and just how far homeowners should take their projects. We discuss a recent study that showed that most full kitchen remodels are less likely to get their value returned than "facelifts" where only minor changes are made. We also discuss the current climate of the kitchen remodeling industry and how the companies advertising on HGTV are dictating the tastes of and potentially spreading disinformation to the general public.

10. Interview w/ Richard Hershey
http://clarifiedrealtypodcast.... download (audio/mpeg, 76.25Mb)


We're speaking with Richard Hershey of WeReduceTaxes(dot)com, an expert in 1031 exchanges and their alternatives. We discuss 1031 exchanges in an easy-to-understand way -- and how they help sellers defer the payment of capital gains taxes. However, because of the lack of inventory in today's market, there is a lack of viable properties to exchange. Instead, his company has another alternative -- a "Deferred Sales Trust." He let's us know in detail how the trust works and how it can be another option.

11. Real Estate News Of The Week
http://clarifiedrealtypodcast.... download (audio/mpeg, 59.83Mb)


We start off talking about how inflation could create four interest rate hikes over the next year, making buying a home even more expensive. Then, you won't believe the latest fad in real estate development -- sleeping! Developers are studying sleep patterns to create better environments for their purchasers to get their rest. We finish by discussing something new in real estate - LetGo. Until now, it's an app that's sold junk you don't want, like Craigslist. Now, they want to start selling houses!

12. Interview w/ Stephen Rischall
http://clarifiedrealtypodcast.... download (audio/mpeg, 77.16Mb)


In this episode, we talk to Stephen Rischall of 1080 Financial Group about the specific obstacles Millennials need to overcome in order to become home owners. We discuss the importance of home ownership as a facet of a healthy financial future and how YouTube "Do-It-Yourselfers" hacking their own finances can lead to dangerous and unfortunate results. We also talk about the downside of millennials being drawn toward bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, when it's really the blockchain technology that's where the future is leading.

13. Interview w/ Jordan Scheltgen
http://clarifiedrealtypodcast.... download (audio/mpeg, 89.45Mb)


This episode, we interview Jordan Scheltgen, host of the Mind Your Marketing Podcast and founder of Cave Social Marketing Agency. We discuss about what both buyers and sellers should be looking for in the social media feeds of agents they might be considering hiring, how great marketing is about making a deeper connection and "telling a story" in order to connect with a specific audience that might be interested in your home, and how agents can continue to keep you in love your house, even after the sale.

14. It's The Weather, Stupid! Or, Is It?
http://clarifiedrealtypodcast.... download (audio/mpeg, 63.78Mb)


This week, we're looking into the real reason real estate is more expensive in California. It's the weather, right? But it turns out the answer is much more complicated than that. While the sun and celebrity lifestyle might be the main reasons people come to West Coast, they instead find high housing prices created by over regulation, hypocrisy, and a general philosophy of NIMBYism (Not In My Back Yard). We discuss how all these contribute to our drastic housing shortage and what can be done about it.

15. Interview w/ Alionso Angel
http://clarifiedrealtypodcast.... download (audio/mpeg, 72.18Mb)


In this episode, we're talking to termite specialist, Alionso Angel of Two Guys Termite in Burbank, CA. He takes us through a step-by-step walk through the average termite inspection.. He then discusses what he considered to be the priorities that should be fixed compared to those that aren't as serious. Ron then chimes in on how a termite inspection can affect a loan closing. We then go into tenting and how termite issues are remedied. We close up discussing the worst nightmare he's seen in his career.

16. The Best Of Real Estate - 2017 (Part 2)
http://clarifiedrealtypodcast.... download (audio/mpeg, 97.29Mb)


It's another look at the year with part two of our "Best Of 2017" episode. We start off talking negotiation and how Tom was taught to haggle by his wife -- and how he applies this in his real estate career. After that, it's part of our interview with David Duley, a serial real estate investor, about the current real estate market. And then, it's Eric Petz, a specialist in distressed properties. And we round it all up with my wife, Julie Clary, about estate plans and how important they are to real estate.

17. The Best Of Real Estate - 2017
http://clarifiedrealtypodcast.... download (audio/mpeg, 85.24Mb)


It was the first year of the podcast, so we thought it would be fun to start off by going back to our first episode and hear how it all began. We follow that with a great clip from CPAs extraordinaire, Steve Landsman and Vahan Papyan, about how freelancers can overcome obstacles to buy a home. Next up, a segment from one of our most popular episodes with Ian Mayer of IM Home Inspections talking about what to look for when hiring an inspector. And then a final rant from me about how to avoid helplessness.

18. How To Buy A House Without Getting Sold
http://clarifiedrealtypodcast.... download (audio/mpeg, 95.70Mb)


The pressure is intense. You went to an open house and gave all your personal information on the sign in sheet. Since then, you've been inundated by endless emails -- and potentially -- unsolicited phone calls. This is a situation all too common in the real estate industry. We'll go through the ways real estate agents "trap" your information and put you into their marketing campaigns, harassing you until you cry for mercy. We'll show you how to avoid this mess and choose a real estate agent you can trust.

19. A Real Estate Conundrum
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Tom is getting the same question over and over - "Should I buy a house now? Or, should I wait?" He likes to hear folks be cautious when buying a home, but facts have come to light regarding the real estate market that may mean waiting is not the best choice for them. Inventory is at critical levels (meaning prices will continue to rise) and interest rates will go up. These mean that buying a house will soon be even more expensive to do. Buying a house sooner rather than later might be a better strategy.

20. Talking Turkey - Surviving Holiday Real Estate Conversations
http://clarifiedrealtypodcast.... download (audio/mpeg, 36.13Mb)


It's the holiday season, so we're giving out tips about how you can discuss the real estate market with your family around the Christmas buffet. We know that Aunt Beatrice has heard on the news that it's a terrible time to buy a house and Uncle Bernie is saying "Bah-Humbug," telling you we're in a bubble and it's about to burst -- so, we thought it would be helpful to arm you with all the facts and strategies so you can hold your ground when you tell everyone you're looking to buy a home.

21. Real Estate News This Week
http://clarifiedrealtypodcast.... download (audio/mpeg, 90.52Mb)


We're back and we've got lots of news to talk about. First, we discuss how the National Association of Realtors is finding new ways and options to help buyers save up their down payment. Then, we discuss how Millennials are coming off the bench and buying homes, leaving large scale landlords like Blackstone, who had made big bets in rentals, in the lurch. Then, we talk about the use of augmented reality in real estate and how some folks are building their entire homes around one piece of art.

22. Interview w/ Ted Cotter
http://clarifiedrealtypodcast.... download (audio/mpeg, 107.25Mb)


 In this episode, we're helping out with your move! Maybe not in the "heavy lifting" in exchange for cold pizza kind of way, but with lots of great advice from moving expert, Ted Cotter of Inside Moves Relocation Services, Inc.. Ted has amassed an incredible amount of knowledge and expertise when it comes down to the moving process with his over 30 years of working in the field. We discuss the process of training movers, how to protect your belongings, and the biggest mistakes people make when they move. 

23. Episode 042 - Spotlight: On Communication
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In this episode, we take a closer look at one of the most important facets of the real estate transaction - communication. Deals can fall apart if not enough attention is made to keep everyone talking. We focus on the topic of communication by breaking it down into the three main stages of the transaction: before the offer (How do you want to be spoken to as a client?), during the escrow (Are both parties talking to each other?), and after the deal closes (Do you want to stay in touch with your agent?).

24. Episode 41 - The Latest Real Estate News
http://clarifiedrealtypodcast.... download (audio/mpeg, 76.85Mb)


It's time for a very special Halloween episode of The Clarified Realty Podcast. First up, we discuss word that real estate will appreciate at a slower level next year in California (Tom disagrees). Then, a study says there might be a correlation between crime and rent control. In extra scary news, Ron brings up the possibility of the new Trump tax plan gutting the mortgage interest deduction. Finally, we cover a spine-tingling survey done to see what it would take for someone to buy a haunted house. BOO!

25. Episode 040 - Interview w/ Geoff Jaime
http://clarifiedrealtypodcast.... download (audio/mpeg, 91.35Mb)


We're talking with Geoff Jaime of GT Investments about how he started buying apartments buildings and managing them. He talks to us about his first multi-family property purchase and how he made that move after some good advice from his landlord. He then discusses what potential investors should look for when they are going to buy properties and what they have in store for them as they manage their purchase. We also discuss the pros (and mostly) cons of rent control. It's a very interesting conversation!

26. Episode 039 - The Latest Real Estate News
http://clarifiedrealtypodcast.... download (audio/mpeg, 91.31Mb)


Ron and Tom start start with The Fed and will it be increasing rates by the end of this year and how that could affect the real estate market. They then discuss Blackstone's big bet the American Dream is dying, evidenced by their purchase of thousands of single-family homes to rent out. The conversation then moves towards the re-emergence of appraisal free loans and how that could mean transactions takes less time. Then things take a "Minority Report" turn with new real estate A.I. backed by Kobe Bryant.

27. Episode 038 - Interview w/ Mark Trachtenberg
http://clarifiedrealtypodcast.... download (audio/mpeg, 72.72Mb)


This episode couldn't be more timely. We talk to Mark Trachtenberg, an investigator with the U.S. Postal Service about the recent Equifax security breach and how that can affect homeowners. Mark has been chasing down con-men and ponzi-schemers for almost a decade and has some very good insight. He also tells us about the latest scams, who are the most vulnerable when it comes to getting scammed, and what to look for so don't get taken in the first place (hint: if it's too good to be true -- it probably is).

28. Episode 037 - Interview w/ Michael Micheletti & Lara Watson
http://clarifiedrealtypodcast.... download (audio/mpeg, 70.70Mb)


They've been maligned and misunderstood, but home equity sharing programs may just be a helpful way that buyers can either provide more of a down payment to potentially get more house or even keep their monthly payments lower. In this episode we're talking to Michael Micheletti and Lara Watson of Unison Home Ownership Investors about how their company provides these programs to potential home buyers and home owners (for improvements), how the perception of these programs is changing, and how the programs can help homebuyers and homeowners in very specific ways.

We start off with with the mechanics of their programs and what it entails. In short, Unison will double your down payment (up to a certain amount). In return, when you go to sell, they will share in the appreciation that your home has experienced (not full equity of your home) over the time you have had it. If you wish, you can also buy yourself out early for a lesser amount.

Michael and Lara then discuss the rough road to acceptance of these programs and how most people above a certain generation are very hesitant to be involved in anything that "takes away their piece." Tom talks with them about how it will take interfacing with the parents of the potential customers in order to help make the transition happen.

The conversation also turns to very specific ways that the Unison programs can be of assistance. The big one that changed Tom's mind was realizing that many people who want to move into specific school districts -- but can't traditionally afford the homes there -- could potentially now be able to afford a home in the area and, thus, save a small fortune by not having to send their kids to private schools. This was a game changer in his mind and started him thinking on other ways that Unison and their programs could help.

This is a really fascinating episode with some very interesting ideas for using Home Equity Sharing as a process to get more millennials introduced to the housing market. Great conversation!

29. Episode 036 - Interview w/ Steve Hochman
http://clarifiedrealtypodcast.... download (audio/mpeg, 85.74Mb)


This episode is blazing white hot with the energy of the sun! We're talking to Steve Hochman, the owner of Solarhawk Renewable Solutions. He starts off by letting us know what inspired him to turn from a life as a producer in the entertainment industry into working to bring more environmentally friendly energy solutions to the public.

He explains to us the importance of renewable energy and how just one day of sun, when harnessed, can power the world for a very, very long time. We then discuss how the public is starting to embrace renewables like solar -- and what can be done to make even more see the reason that it is the wave of future.

We then discuss how various organizations, like the military, are incorporating solar into their energy solutions and saving tons of money by doing it. We then finish up by going into the economics of getting solar installed on a house -- and how it can pay for itself over time.

By the end of this episode, we were all impressed by the passion that Steve showed for what he does and how this is more than just a job to him -- it's a movement. We hope you give it a listen and tell us what you think!

30. Episode 035 - Hey! You’ve Got Your Rant In My Real Estate News!
http://clarifiedrealtypodcast.... download (audio/mpeg, 77.26Mb)


This week on The Clarified Realty Podcast — we were supposed to talk about news stories, but we got a rant instead! Tom starts off the podcast with a story about a phone call with a real estate agent that goes from bad to worse when, even though he admittedly called the wrong number, the agent treats him like a three-year old and spends the rest of the conversation making Tom feel like crap. Tom tells the story in order to give fair warning to homes sellers out there that the agent answering their phone is the first line of defense when it comes to customer service. If a buyer’s agent is not treated nicely, or with respect, it could really cool the agent’s enthusiasm for working with you.

We follow that story up by discussing some of Ron’s tough transactions working with an agent that is less that cooperative. He tells a couple of stories about how he’s been able to keep deals on track, even though the agent on the other side is being difficult or downright uncooperative.

Tom then tells a story of another agent that was playing games during one of his current transactions. He gives us examples about why that doesn’t work to the seller’s advantage in the long run — and could have ruined a very sweet deal. When you have a golden opportunity in your hand, don’t let the get away because of greed. Recognize the sure thing and grab it with both hands. The unknown of having to start the deal fresh with someone new is never worth it.

And then, just when things couldn’t get any worse, Tom goes into a story about a Realtor he saw in the checkout line at his grocery store. The poor checker off-handedly mentioned to him that someone she knows was looking for a house — and they guy just couldn’t help but give the her the hard sell. Tom talks about his disgust agents like this and his overall condition of the industry and how guys like this make all agents have a bad name.

When the guys are able to get to the news, Ron tells us about how Blackstone, one of the biggest landlords in the country has merged with another company, Starwood Waypoint Homes, to become the biggest landlord in the country. They believe there is a movement of millennials away from buying homes and they are making a big bet on it. So, what are millennials spending their money on if not real estate? Apparently, bachelor parties.

For an episode that was supposed to be news, there sure was a lot of rant in there! But it’s a really fun listen! We hope you enjoy it — and please leave your comments below or leave us a review on iTunes!

31. Episode 034 – Interview w/ John Ales & Vahan Papyan
http://clarifiedrealtypodcast.... download (audio/mpeg, 62.24Mb)


In this episode, it's a recast of an awesome Facebook Live of The Clarified Realty Happy Hour we did at the Wework in Burbank, CA. The focus of this episode is on freelancers and people who go from gig-to-gig. How do they make it work for themselves so that they can last until the next job or show? We were lucky enough to have John Ales, an amazing actor from  Bosch (Amazon) Sex, Drugs, & Rock and Roll (FX) and countless other movies and TV shows discuss his life and what he focuses on each day to keep his career on track. We cover such topics as second or third jobs, working on your craft for 40 or more hours a week, and when you should or shouldn't say "no" to a non-paid opportunity. It's a fascinating conversation and he takes us behind the curtain of what it takes to be a "working actor" in the entertainment industry.

We then talk to Vahan Papyan, CPA and owner of Papyan Accountancy Corporation, who specializes in working with freelancers. He guides sole proprietors, self-employed individuals, and freelancers into how they can maximize their deductions, while at the same time preparing for large purchases (like real estate). He speaks about the pros and cons of becoming incorporated and gives us advice about the best ways to go about implementing a strong tax strategy.

It's a fantastic episode and we really think there is a some amazing content for everyone to hear. Please note that there is a little bit of an audio problem with the microphones, but we felt that what went down in the discussion was incredibly valuable and worth listening to. And we hope that you will join us at our next Happy Hour! "Like" our Facebook page and we will keep you in the loop!

32. Episode 033 - More Real Estate News Than EVER!
http://clarifiedrealtypodcast.... download (audio/mpeg, 56.78Mb)


In this episode of the podcast, Tom and Ron are talking about the latest and greatest in Real Estate news. There's a lot of interesting ground to cover this week, so they dive right in.

They start off the episode by taking on the topic of home buyer's remorse. A recent survey from Trulia found that almost half of Americans have suffered some sort of buyers remorse when they purchased their home -- though not the type of remorse you would expect. They actually wish they had bought a larger home! On top of that, most renters say they are remorseful that they haven't bought at all. Tom talks about how to look at the big picture when home shopping and trying to find larger homes by expanding your search -- not necessarily by spending more money.

Up next, Ron tells Tom about an article from the New York Times reporting on the worsening housing crisis here in California. We discuss the different ways governments are trying to alleviate the problem (Property Tax Initiatives, Zoning De-Regulation), while also going into how there is a growing YIMBY (Yes In My Backyard) movement trying to get the developments happening where we need them most. It's a fascinating conversation about how residents of certain areas actually do themselves a disservice by not allowing growth. When it gets to be too late -- they are out of control of the process and could have had more of a say along the way.

Next up, we talk about a new trend in home burglars where they are casing their hits virtually through home listing photos left on Zillow. We discuss the dangers of leaving your listing photos online and not taking them down after the sale.

And speaking of home break-ins, we talk about Ryan Lewis (the other guy who isn't Macklemore) selling his 7 million dollar estate with the help of a video where a friend/musician pretends to break in and take a tour. We discuss what it takes to market your home with an original and clever video like this -- and the potential ways it could actually work against you if you're not careful.

It's an awesome news-packed episode and we hope you'll listen and enjoy!

33. Episode 032 - Interview w/ Lauren Senecal
http://clarifiedrealtypodcast.... download (audio/mpeg, 80.15Mb)


You may have never heard of them -- and there might be a very good reason for that. Most Real Estate Agents don't want you to think that they exist -- but the Transaction Coordinator is the unsung hero of the Real Estate Industry. On this episode, we interview Lauren Senecal, a Transaction Coordinator and owner of TC Advantage here in Southern California and we find out a lot about what happens behind the scenes when you are buying or selling a home that you may have never have even guessed.

We begin by speaking to Lauren about how she started in the industry and what has brought her to opening her own TC (that's what they're known as in the biz) company -- TC Advantage. We then talk about her day-to-day duties and how she assists agents with the process of buying or selling a house from beginning to end, making sure that deadlines are hit, the proper forms are filled out by the right people, and making sure the entire process stays organized.

We then talk about the various reasons why agents prefer to keep Transaction Coordinators a secret in order to create the illusion that they do everything from beginning to end. Lauren also talks about the things that she thinks makes transactions run smoothly and how she would change the process if she could. We also talk about various horror stories she's seen and how they could have been avoided beforehand.

It's another very interesting episode and we're so glad that Lauren could stop by to show us her wealth of knowledge and expertise. Please listen and give us comments below! We'd love to hear what you think and to know what we can do better. Also, if you have any ideas for future episodes, please let us know! 

34. Episode 031 - Interview w/ Julie Clary
http://clarifiedrealtypodcast.... download (audio/mpeg, 87.55Mb)


Well, we've got an extra special guest on today's podcast and we just couldn't be happier. This week we're talking to an incredible woman, an accomplished Estate Planning Attorney, and -- oh, yeah -- she just so happens to be our intrepid host's wonderful wife, Julie Clary! This week's episode is incredibly informative and lots of fun, too!

Ron starts us off by stopping everything and bringing us back to one of Tom's earlier episodes and rants about negotiation. He asks Julie if it was true that Tom had learned how to negotiate from Julie during their trip to purchase his wedding ring in the Los Angeles jewelry district. Julie confirms the story and also gives some incredibly useful advice on how to negotiate and never pay full price if you have to! Julie and Tom also discuss how important it is not to show how much you may love a house (you lose all the leverage in the deal) and how you should not get emotionally invested right away in your potential new home (you may have to walk away from the deal). A bit off on a tangent -- but incredibly useful information when it comes to purchasing a new home.

Afterwards, we get into the main reason for Julie's visit -- to discuss estate planning, wills, trusts and how someone can help their heirs avoid the mess of the probate courts. She tells us how the process works when done correctly, what "no contest" clauses are for, and how to potentially avoid issues with family members that may want more than their share. We also have a great conversation about what someone should look for when choosing an Estate Planning Attorney that will make sure their trust is "tailor made" for their specific situation and that their wishes are taken care of after they pass.

Julie really is an incredible attorney and this conversation is full of fun and great advice. We're really excited to have her as a guest and we hope that everyone will give this episode a listen and tell us what you think! 

35. Episode 030 - Interview w/ Cheryl Courtney
http://clarifiedrealtypodcast.... download (audio/mpeg, 68.75Mb)


It's the day after July 4th and we're back with a BANG! (Get it? A BANG? You know? Fireworks? Oh, nevermind...)

When we first started The Clarified Realty Podcast, we promised that we would be learning right alongside all of you. This episode is definitely no exception. We're talking with Cheryl Courtney of Polycomp Administrative Services who has over 20 years of retirement planning experience.

Cheryl starts off by talking to us about her role as a Third Party Administrator and what that has to do with Real Estate in general. She explains to us how someone can own Real Estate as part of a retirement account and what other financial vehicles can be used to house Real Estate investments. She gives an introduction to REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts), which are a lot like mutual funds for properties -- as well as what their pros and cons can be. We talk briefly about how someone can borrow (briefly) from their 401K in order to purchase a home and we wrap up with a discussion about how business owners who are used to spending all their money to re-invest in their companies can structure their 401k plans to put away large sums of retirement in a shorter period time when they need to.

I'm not ashamed to admit that I learned a lot during this episode and I'm pretty certain that if I did -- you will, too. Please give it a listen and let us know what you thought. And, as always, we'd always appreciate if you'd take a moment and give us a review on iTunes!

36. Episode 029 - Stop The Presses! Stop The Presses!
http://clarifiedrealtypodcast.... download (audio/mpeg, 62.89Mb)


The news is back! After we had such a great response from our last "All News" episode, we thought that we'd do another one. This episode is chock full of interesting real estate news and views. 

We start off with a conversation regarding whether or not foreign buyers are the cause of the lack of inventory we are now seeing in the market. Turns out -- not so much... Even if the source telling us has a very silly name and Tom doesn't completely trust it, either (I mean, "BuzzBuzz?" -- c'mon!). It does appear that buyers from other countries are not grabbing up properties like they used to and Tom gives reasons why this is no surprise to him at all.

Next up is a story regarding the news that the Fed's Robert Kaplan is sticking to his forecast that there will be two more rate hikes in the coming year, which leads to a conversation about Fannie Mae relaxing its regulations on potential buyers that carry student debt. Both Tom and Ron are optimistic about the move and hope that it is a shot in the arm to get Millenials off the bench and into the game.

And last, but not least, we take a trip into Margaritaville! Everyone's favorite "parrot head," Jimmy Buffett is expanding his empire to include developing a retirement community for baby boomers. We take a look at the project and how he has found ways to appeal to this generation throughout his career -- all from just a catchy tune and a whole lot of really smart entrepreneurism.

We hope that you enjoy this episode as much as we did making it. Please, please, please... Leave comments below to let us know what you think! And we'd be so grateful if you'd take a moment and leave a review on iTunes, too!

37. Episode 028 - Interview w/ Ben Rocca
http://clarifiedrealtypodcast.... download (audio/mpeg, 84.23Mb)


This episode is a real fascinating one, delving into an aspect of real estate that few ever see. Have you ever wondered how real estate developments start? How a city or county agrees to allow a building to be built in the first place? Well, we're talking to one today -- Ben Rocca of Rocca Development Group. In a nutshell, he works with developers and the local governments to expedite projects and keep everything running on schedule. Whether it's getting permits or doing due diligence, he makes sure that any bureaucratic blocks are taken care of in order to make sure a project completes.  His process is very interesting and he takes us through what he does during a project from beginning to end. We also discuss how neighborhoods interface with new projects -- how initial resistance can be overcome and developments are eventually accepted. This is a really interesting episode and I hope you guys like it! Please let us know what you think in the comments!

38. Episode 027 - Real Estate Market Driving You Crazy?
http://clarifiedrealtypodcast.... download (audio/mpeg, 63.79Mb)


In this episode, we are giving tips on how to get your offer accepted in this crazy seller's market. Whether it's making sure you're completely approved by your lender BEFORE making your offer, shopping below your top price, or finding out things (other than cash) that the seller might want... There are lots of way to give you more an advantage as you go up against the multiple offers and deals that are cash. Ron and Tom give 10 solid ideas for shaking up your home search and keep you from getting frustrated at every turn. Buying a home in a seller's market may be a lot of work, but it doesn't need to be painful or scary, either!

39. Episode 026 - Interview w/ Marisa Azra and Tony Taranto
http://clarifiedrealtypodcast.... download (audio/mpeg, 66.03Mb)


Welcome back! In this episode of the podcast, we're taking a look at an often-times misunderstood aspect of the real estate transaction: Title Insurance. To start off though, Ron and Tom discuss the news of the day -- a story regarding the CEO of Redfin being "freaked out" by the lack of inventory out in the market. They discuss why inventory is such a growing problem and why Redfin is ill-prepared to deal with it. They then bring in their guests, Marisa Azra and Tony Taranto of Chicago Title Company, who take us through the process and explain what exactly title is. At its most basic, it means "Do the people who are selling me their home -- actually own it?" Tony and Marisa explain that title insurance is insurance that protects a homeowner should anyone come along later and claim that they have a right to the property. We then chat about how the process has changed through the years through the incorporation of technology. We then talk about the several types of Title Insurance and how each one affects/protects each type of transaction. The conversation then moves into potential problems that can happen in title and how they can be resolved (Quiet Title Action). We then wrap up with a conversation about the worst "horror stories" they've seen in their experience. It's an incredibly fascinating and educational episode -- and pretty fun, too! We hope everyone enjoys it and leaves lots of comments below! 

40. Episode 025 - Extra! Extra! Extra!
http://clarifiedrealtypodcast.... download (audio/mpeg, 78.85Mb)


We’ve reached Episode #025 of the Clarified Realty Podcast and we’re trying something a little new! This week Tom And Ron are taking a look at some of the latest news stories having to do with Real Estate.

The first news item they discuss is how home values, contrary to current popular opinion, still have not risen to meet what they were prior to the crash. For some areas, there is still a very long way to go. This also appears to have less to do with the quantity of jobs and more to do with the level of wages. Cities with higher wage jobs are also doing better when it comes to the values of their homes. Also, in a related story, Redfin is claiming that buyer demand is down. We dissect this idea and find that the headline is a bit misleading. We use this as a cautionary tale to show people that you shouldn’t always make decisions without having all the information first, as well as a more complete understanding of the big picture.

The second news story is regarding a lawsuit against Zillow and their “Zestimate.” A homeowner is having a difficult time getting the price she deserves for her home because the Zillow’s estimate is erroneously including homes from a cheaper area as comps. We discuss how even Zillow admits that they estimates are inaccurate and not to be relied upon.

The next item is really a combination of two stories. Ron brings up a survey that was done to gauge different generations’ knowledge of basic financial terms (like 401k, CDs, HELOCS). Tom is discourage to hear that the numbers are not adding up to what you would hope them to be. This brings up another article regarding a new mortgage website called “Morty” that allows buyers to be more involved in the process. Tom brings up the question — if most people “don’t know what they don’t know,” should they really be trying to do the job traditionally done by an expert? While both Tom and Ron are firm believers in educating their clients, at some point a line can get crossed and the client is actually hurting themself more than helping.

And lastly, we talk about the new 100 million dollar listing here in Los Angeles… Opus. The agent has made news recently because he is using naked women in his marketing video for the property. While Tom has no objections philosophically about this… He does think the video sucks and also sabotages the message that the agent really should be trying to communicate.

It’s a great episode with lots of fun and interesting topics. We hope you enjoy listening and that you’ll leave us some comments or give us a review on iTunes. We’d be forever grateful!

41. Episode 024 - Interview w/ Brian Darling
http://clarifiedrealtypodcast.... download (audio/mpeg, 97.06Mb)


It's Episode 24 of The Clarified Realty Podcast and Tom and Ron hit the ground running with a discussion about the difficulty companies in Los Angeles are having hiring employees due to the high cost of housing here. They discuss various ways that governments can help -- by changing zoning laws so that more inventory can be built, bringing prices down. They then bring in their guest, Brian Darling. Brian is a business manager and owner of Darling Business Management. We start off with a conversation about how someone finds that they need a business manager and how he gets to know the idiosyncrasies of each of his clients. He then talks to us about his role he takes with his clients when they tell him that they wish to purchase a house. We then discuss how working with artists and creative people is completely different that working with others -- and how they very often want others to deal with the details of their business. We finish up by talking about Brian's work with the LGBT community and if he approaches his work with them any differently. This is another really interesting episode and we hope that you'll give it a listen and tell us what you think in the comments. And if you like what you've heard, we'd really appreciate it if you could take a moment and review it on iTunes!    

42. Episode 023 - The Thrill Of The Hunt
http://clarifiedrealtypodcast.... download (audio/mpeg, 41.94Mb)


In this episode of The Clarified Realty Podcast, Tom is taking a deep look into the sparse inventory out in the real estate market right now and how buyers need to embrace the "Hunter Mentality" for finding a home. When fewer and fewer homes and condos are for sale in your price point an entirely different strategy is needed. Right now is an optimal time to purchase a home; prices are still rising and interest rates are going to rise soon, too. That means that waiting on the sidelines will only make buying a house more expensive the longer you wait.  

Tom starts off by discussing how the market got this way in the first place and what it would take to get more supply to open up and provide more opportunities for those who want to enter the market. In all likelihood, the market will remain in this condition for some time, so there are some key things that buyers can do to make things a bit easier on themselves. They are:

- Actually go and see as many places as you can in-person.
- Make sure to pick an agent that is ok with seeing more places.
- Be ok with only putting down 3%.
- Don't fall in love with a house until it closes.
- Don't get tricky with your offers.
- Have the right strategy for bidding wars.
- Lowered expectations are a bonus.
- No whiners.

All of these strategies will help someone not only survive a tough real estate market -- but maybe even enjoy it, as well! If you're thinking that you are in the going to be buying in the next 6 to 12 months, you definitely need to give this episode a listen. We hope you enjoy it! Please leave us a comment and let us know how you liked it!

43. Episode 022 - Interview w/ Zack King
http://clarifiedrealtypodcast.... download (audio/mpeg, 81.84Mb)


On this week's Clarified Realty Podcast, we're taking a trip into territory that's a little less traveled -- Vacant Land. When people talk about real estate, they're usually thinking mostly about purchasing or selling a pre-existing, pre-owned, pre-built single-family residence or condo. But, it doesn't have to be that way. There's another option -- buying land and building your own. But as our guest for this week, Zack King, will tell you, it's definitely not always that easy. Zack is a rock star when it comes to representing buyers or sellers of vacant land and he is an expert of determining whether or not building your "dream home" from scratch is really a viable option in the first place. We start off by discussing an interesting fact -- that only 30 years ago, 1 in 3 houses were owner built. We talk about what type of atmosphere could have possibly led to such a change in attitudes in the market since then and how realistic it is for someone to build their own house on land that they purchase. We talk about challenges that need to be overcome, like zoning, easements, and getting utilities to the property (spoiler: there's only one utility that is the most difficult, but, unfortunately, that's the one you most need to live). We also go over the types of inspections that a potential buyer should need to have done (soil, perc, etc.) and how they impact whether or not the land is buildable in the first place. We then talk about how developers are primarily the main purchasers of vacant land and what they seem to be building these days. We then wrap up with a conversation with both Ron and Zack about how lenders deal differently with vacant land compared to homes. It's a really fascinating episode and definitely off the beaten track! I really hope you'll give it a listen and tell us what you think in the comments! 

44. Episode 021 - Interview w/ Eric Petz
http://clarifiedrealtypodcast.... download (audio/mpeg, 98.44Mb)


So you say you really want to buy a foreclosure -- or a short sale -- but do you really know that that means? In this episode, we take the topic of buying distressed properties head-on and reveal the reality (and oftentimes... futility) of making one of these transactions. Our guest today is Eric Petz, a long-time, incredibly successful short sale negotiator. He takes us step-by-step through the terminology of distressed properties (Notice of Defaults, Trustee Sales) and tells us how each of these apply to the foreclosure process.

We then take a short side-trip to the courthouse steps where he let's us know how developers and investors make sure you never come back to future auctions by, believe it or not, helping you win your bid -- but making sure you lose a whole lot more. They want to make sure you not only lose your appetite for foreclosures, but that you never, ever want to pull your chair up to the table for a meal again.

The topic then turns to the multitude of people that approach Eric and Tom about "buying a foreclosure" without ever considering how that's a next-to-impossible thing to do. Just because someone has missed a few payments and the home has received a Notice Of Default, they almost never have any desire to sell -- and that's what you really need to get the home in the end.

We then talk with Eric about the best strategy for buying a short-sale. Eric let's us know that there are two things that his all balances on -- close ability of the buyer and how much the listing agent is going to make from the deal. He discusses a couple of strategies for maximizing these priorities and potentially getting the job done.

We then close up with a conversation about how to figure out purchase price for the short sale -- here's a hint, it ain't full price..

Eric has so much experience and success in this field that every bit of advice is like a masterclass in how to buy a short sale. For anyone who has ever thought about investing in real estate — or just about how to purchase a short sale, this episode is a definite must listen! Please let us know what you think of it in the comments!

If you’d like to talk to Eric, drop us a line on our Contact Page and we’ll get him in touch with you.

45. Introducing The Clarified Realty Podcast Happy Hour
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Instead of our usual episode this week, we're telling you a little bit about something else special we're doing -- The Clarified Realty Podcast Happy Hour! That's right, tomorrow, April 6th, we're taking our show on the road and we're going to be on Facebook Live! This month, it will be two of our previous guests -- Tim Denton and Zack Schneiderman. We're also being joined by the hysterical comedian, Daniel Weingarten, who is going to give the millennial POV on home ownership. It's going to be an amazing time and we hope you join us either on Facebook or -- in person! That's right you can be there and watch it all go down in person! If you're interested, just leave a comment below and we'll in touch with the details. Have a beer, have some laughs and get your weekend started with us! You know, as they always say, Thursday is the new Friday! 

46. Episode 020 - Interview w/ David Duley
http://clarifiedrealtypodcast.... download (audio/mpeg, 87.62Mb)


We've reached episode 20 -- and we've got a special treat for you. Today our guest is David Duley, the co-host of The Controversial Truth Podcast and author of the book, "I Can Fix America: 52 common sense ways YOU can make the United States great again." Not only is David a serial entrepreneur, inventor, and businessman, but he is also a very successful real estate investor. On this episode, David takes us through how he got started investing in real estate, how he overcomes the "fear" of being a Landlord, and the economics of buying rental property in today's market. He has incredible advice for anyone just getting into buying their first rental and a fantastic strategy for how take advantage of the next down market. It's an episode chock-full with great information and advice. Please let us know what you think in the comments!

47. Episode 019 - Interview W/ Daren Schlecter
http://clarifiedrealtypodcast.... download (audio/mpeg, 80.34Mb)


This week on the podcast, we tackle the tough subject of bankruptcy. When should you declare Bankruptcy? What are the different types of bankruptcy? And more importantly with regards to real estate -- if I declare bankruptcy, will I be able to keep my house. Our guest, is Daren Schlecter, a real-estate attorney with a specific focus on helping clients going through this incredibly stressful time. He starts off by letting us know about what can be done to possibly avoid declaring bankruptcy in the first place (re-organizing your debts, negotiating with your creditors on your own). We then go over the various types of "Chapters" in bankruptcy law, discussing what each one means, what they cover, and what potential impact they have on a homeowner. We then move on to -- moving on. If you do need to declare bankruptcy, how long is it before you can buy another home? It turns out, it may not be as long as you think! Ron covers the timeframes that lenders make you wait before they will loan to you again, and you'll be surprised by how short that time actually is. We also talk about the "stigma" of declaring bankruptcy, how to deal with it, and more importantly, how to get up off your couch and get on with your life.  If you are going through a tough time financially and you're not sure what might be your next move -- this podcast has lot's of great information for you and advice.  We hope you'll give it a listen -- and please leave comments and reviews!

48. Episode 018 - Real Estate Agent Tricks And Traps
http://clarifiedrealtypodcast.... download (audio/mpeg, 56.62Mb)


In this episode, we cover several ways that Real Estate Agents trick and trap their clients into making the choices that are beneficial to them. They either get more commission or they spend less on marketing your property. Either way, potential buyers and sellers need to educate themselves and be aware of how cherry picking comps, bait-and-switches, and misleading marketing promises can hurt them and their bottom line. Please give it a listen and leave your comments below! We'd love to hear what you have to say!

49. Episode 017 - What the Hell Are You Waiting For?
http://clarifiedrealtypodcast.... download (audio/mpeg, 35.33Mb)


You know that you've wanted to buy a home or condo for a while now, so the real question you need to ask yourself is, "What the hell are you waiting for?" For the very near future, it looks like prices are only going to go up and mortgage prices are rising... Buying a house is only getting more expensive. So, why haven't you even made a single phone call? Why haven't you spoken to a financial planner or a lender about the reality of whether or not you can make a purchase? In this episode, Tom takes a look at some of the fears that keep most people on the sidelines. The first thing up is the factor of "Unrealistic Expectations" and how that can ruin a home search before it even begins. Second, is the idea that potential buyers think the "sacrifices" they need to make will be too much, that suffering won't be worth what they will get in return. Tom also covers the idea of what he believes to be the reason most millennials are as staying out of the market -- an irrational fear of another crash. They witnessed many other people lose their homes -- what kind of psychological damage has this done to this generation? And lastly, Tom covers what part negative peer pressure, from both family and friends, has on potential home buyers -- and what can be done to overcome it. It's another great episode! Please let us know what you think!

50. Episode 016 - Interview w/ Pamela Sandall
http://clarifiedrealtypodcast.... download (audio/mpeg, 87.03Mb)


On this episode of The Clarified Realty Podcast, number 016, we've got an incredible guest -- Interior Designer and Real Estate Stager, Pamela Sandall. She's got an lots of great advice and tips for how to stage your home in order to help get it sold. But before we start, Tom and Ron have a conversation about a new loan product that could shake up the industry. Unison, is an investment company that is providing matching funds for down payments for potential home buyers. Some of the benefits of such a program is that by helping to get a 20% down payment (10% from you, 10% from them), a home buyer avoids the necessity of mortgage insurance. This can either reduce the monthly payment -- or give them more buying power to purchase more house. In return, Unison ask for repayment and a percentage of the home's appreciation over a certain period of time. Tom and Ron go into the details, but it is an interesting new option for folks thinking about entering the market. We then bring in Pamela, who let's us know how she got started in Interior Design (hint: it started with a Barbie and a dream). She then tells us how she approaches each home that she stages and how her process is different that most home stagers. We then go into detail about how she and Tom "Tell The Story" of the home (see episode 012 for more detail) and how, room by room, you can make small changes to remove any question marks from buyer's minds and, hopefully, get more money for your home. This is a great episode and we can't wait to hear what you think about it. Please leave comments!

51. Episode 015 - Interview w/ Zachary Schneiderman
http://clarifiedrealtypodcast.... download (audio/mpeg, 89.78Mb)


In this episode, we are taking a much closer, fascinating look at home insurance and the way that you can protect your home should disaster strike. But first, as usual, we start off with a little bit of news. Tom and Ron talk about a survey regarding the lack of knowledge most buyers have regarding closing costs -- and Tom reads them the riot act. We then move into a study about cats, dogs, and family pets done by the National Board of Realtors that seems to get Tom a lot more worked up than what the subject would suggest. We then bring in our guest Zachary Schneiderman of The Schneiderman Insurance Agency. As Tom says, "Zach is a wizard of all things having to do with insurance" and he doesn't disappoint. We go over the types of insurance that you can get, but more importantly, we talk about what kind of insurance agents would get for themselves. We discuss how to find a good agent in the first place and what major items a policy should cover. We then go a little deeper with a talk about umbrella policies (are they needed and what do they cover?), earthquake insurance, condo insurance, and even inspections that can be done AFTER you buy your house. This conversation has lots of interesting new information about home insurance that you may have never considered. If you are a potential buyer and looking to buy a house soon, we highly recommend giving this podcast a listen.  

52. Episode 014 - The Heart Of The Deal
http://clarifiedrealtypodcast.... download (audio/mpeg, 46.60Mb)


In this episode, Tom takes us into the topic of Real Estate Negotiation for buyers and sellers. He starts off by telling us how he was introduced into the world of negotiation and haggling by his wife, Julie and how she got him over his fear of asking for what you want. He then discusses how most people fear the process of negotiation because they have a false image in their head about what that means. Tom then discusses how Real Estate transactions are slightly different because you are not actually negotiating yourself -- your Real Estate Agent is doing it for you. That's why it's incredibly important to find one that is a good negotiator in their own right -- and he's got a way to find one that might just cause a few feathers to ruffle in the Real Estate Industry. Tom then goes step-by-step through a transaction and discusses when negotiations take place and how buyers and sellers should handle them. It's a very helpful episode for both buyers and sellers to prepare them and show them ways that they can protect what is important to them and potentially win things that they ask for from the other party. We hope it's helpful and we encourage you to leave comments and reviews! 

53. Episode 013 - Interview w/ Cindy Nasser, Mike Baz
http://clarifiedrealtypodcast.... download (audio/mpeg, 87.64Mb)


We've reached lucky episode number 13 -- and this one it packed full of really helpful information. In this episode, we ask the question, "How can I help my house appraise for the purchase price -- and what do I do if it doesn't?" Before we get started, as usual, we start off with the news. Tom and Ron have a couple of very interesting stories regarding the pending repeal of Dodd-Frank and a looming potential crisis of HELOCs (Home Equity Lines Of Credit) starting to default en masse. They discuss what (if any impact) either of these will have on the Real Estate Market, as well as ideas for how to make sure that you can take care of your resetting HELOC before it creates a problem. We then introduce our guests, Cindy Nasser and Michael Baz from PCV Murcor, an Appraisal Management Company whose task is to assign and manage appraisers when lenders request appraisals. We go into the details of how they both got started and then discuss the current appraiser shortage currently threatening the market. We then go into the nuts and bolts of an appraisal and what exactly an appraiser does to prepare before even arriving on the property. Tom then asks Cindy and Mike if there is anything a seller can do to help the home appraise for higher (i.e.: "Does making the bed actually help?") and ends up getting some very solid advice for several things that can potentially make a difference. We then move into a discussion about what can be done if there is a disagreement with the appraiser and what is the best approach for challenging their valuation. Then, if all else fails, and the appraisal does not change, Tom gives a strategy for dealing with it in such a way that the transaction won't necessarily fall apart. This episode is chock full of really interesting information -- please tell us what you think in the comments!    

54. Episode 012 - Telling The Story Of Your Home
http://clarifiedrealtypodcast.... download (audio/mpeg, 54.90Mb)


In this episode of the podcast, we go into detail about what Tom believes is the ultimate secret for getting your house sold -- it's what he calls the idea of "Telling The Story Of Your Home." The best way to get a potential buyer interested in purchasing your home is to create an emotional connection with them by "writing" an impactful and interesting narrative that "hooks" them into the house. When done correctly, this usually translates into higher nets and hopefully quicker sales for you the seller. Tom starts off by discussing his experience in the entertainment industry, working with some of the greatest storytellers alive. Through this experience, he was able to create powerful tools to develop compelling, interesting narratives that draw "audiences" in and connects with them on a deeper level. and then how, after you've done that, find the audience that is out there looking for you. He discusses how it is important to create a consistent and congruent story that about the home -- as well as the dangers of telling one that is contradictory to the home. He then goes step-by-step through the various tools agents can use to tell their stories: staging, photography, property descriptions, and video -- to name a few. He talks about how each one can and should be done effectively in order to evoke a feeling inside of the potential buyer searching for a home in front of their laptops at home. Then, after a compelling story has been written, it needs to be told to an audience! Tom guides you through the process of finding where the attention is that will get your listing noticed. This is an episode that anyone trying to pick an agent to help sell their house will want to hear!

55. Episode 011 - Interview w/ Veto Ruiz
http://clarifiedrealtypodcast.... download (audio/mpeg, 82.03Mb)


What is an escrow? Do I really need to go through an escrow if I'm buying a house? For those who are new to Real Estate, the escrow process can often be a mysterious and misunderstood one. But, in Episode 011 of the podcast, we're going to do all we can to remove all of that confusion and stigma in order to make it easy to understand! We talk with Veto Ruiz, an Escrow Officer at Glen Oaks Escrow -- and an expert in all things having to do with escrows. But first, as usual, we start with a little news -- and this week's item is a doozy. Within an hour of being inaugurated, Donald Trump dismantles a program started by Barack Obama to reduce the Mortgage Insurance Premium on FHA loans. Ron and Tom discuss the impact that this could have on the housing market and what it means in the general scheme of a Trump Administration. The conversation then turns to our guest, Veto, and his incredible know-how of the steps needed to complete a valid escrow, the role of the escrow company as a neutral third party to the transaction, and the need for confidentiality between the escrow company and the buyer and seller. We then go step-by-step through the process (i.e.: tips for wiring a deposit, creation of escrow instructions and deeds, the role of title and vesting). We end up at the close of the process and recording of the deeds -- as well as some items that may come up after everyone thinks the escrow is closed. We also go in-depth into how escrows can go "bad" and be cancelled if necessary --  along warnings directed towards For Sale By Owners (FSBOs) about why it's always better to get a Real Estate Agent involved. It's another great episode, chock-filled with easy to understand information to help with your home sale or purchase. Please give it a listen!     

56. Episode 010 - Interview w/ Evelyn Alexander
http://clarifiedrealtypodcast.... download (audio/mpeg, 73.99Mb)


We’ve made it to episode 10 -- hurrah!!! In this episode, we delve deep into the all important intersection of schools and real estate with our incredible guest Evelyn Alexander of Magellan College Counseling. Before things get started, though — Ron has the news and he’s got a whopper of a headline. It seems that Wall Street Investment Firms and Hedge Funds, the nation’s largest investors in rental properties, are evicting people at a higher rate than ever before. Taking this into account, we discuss how Millennials who prefer to rent (even if they could buy) could be at the mercy of these corporate landlords and at considerable risk. After that, Evelyn starts off our informative talk with a conversation about what she does as a Certified Education Planner and the services she provides. We then go into detail about the types of schools: Public, Private, Charter, and Magnet. We discuss their pros and cons along with how they are different. There is also a conversation about how much more home purchasing power a buyer can gain by going to a public school, rather than having to pay tuition at a private school. Then, Evelyn has some excellent advice about a little known document that goes along with every transcript when a potential student applies at a college. We then wrap up by going over some various things a potential buyer should look for in a good school and a good school district — as well as some really helpful ideas for how to make up for it if the home you can afford doesn’t belong to one. This is an incredible, informative episode covering one of the most important things people are usually looking for when buying a home. We definitely think it’s worth a listen.

57. Episode 009 - Interview w/ Jon Wax
http://clarifiedrealtypodcast.... download (audio/mpeg, 64.85Mb)


In today’s episode, we go right to the news and Tom and Ron are already salty about something they’ve read — something the “journalist” is calling Shadow Banks. Ron takes issue with how deceptive the term is and how they are throwing around the label onto mortgage institutions that don’t necessarily deserve it. Tom chimes in to take the financial journalism to task for how everyone wants to call “first” to claim that Real Estate is in a bubble or headed to catastrophe in a desperate grab for “clicks” on their website — when nothing could be further from the truth (or at least a very long ways away). Tom then introduces us to the concept of “What is a Natural Hazard Disclosure?” along with our guest, Jon Wax of American West N.H.D.. Jon and Tom discuss what the N.H.D. covers and how it can instill confidence by providing information of material facts and helps the buyer sidestep surprises. Jon then briefly discusses the difference between the N.H.D. and the T.D.S. (Transfer Disclosure Statement). After that, Tom and Jon talk about the importance of getting the N.H.D. delivered from the seller to the buyer as soon as possible in order to avoid potential delays in the escrow process. We then discuss Mello Roos fees and how it is the N.H.D. company’s responsibility to report them. Jon also let’s us know about the various things a seller should be looking for when choosing a competent Natural Hazard Disclosure company and how the companies compile all the hazard information they receive. We close up by discussing if there is anything like the N.H.D. in any of the other states. There’s a lot of great, often overlooked information in this episode! We hope you’ll us know what you think in the comments!  

58. Episode 008 - Interview w/ Tim Denton
http://clarifiedrealtypodcast.... download (audio/mpeg, 57.14Mb)


Happy New Year! And if your resolution was to save up for a down payment for a new home -- this is the episode for you! We interview Tim Denton from Capstone Partners and get financial guidance on how you can put money into your pocket in 2017 and then keep it. We start off by talking about how timeframes and temperament and how that should dictate how aggressive a financial strategy will be. We then chat about doing a spending audit and how different potential sources of income, fixed costs, and discretionary spending affect a specific plan. Ron talks to us about how money that is already invested is discounted by underwriters and will apply as less towards qualifying for the loan. We then talk about the role that real estate can have in someone's wealth portfolio. This leads to a conversation with Ron about the common misconception that you need 20% down in order to buy a house. There are programs (FHA, Down Payment Assistance Programs) where you can put down as low as 3%. All this and a whole lot more great information and advice to help you save up for a down payment for your new home in 2017!

59. Episode 007 - The Fallacy Of Hopelessness
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On this episode, Tom takes a look at what might be expected from a Trump Presidency with regards to real estate. Because of changing opinions about what type of leadership style Trump will have — along with no specific policy or strategy being disclosed — there is a general, pervasive feeling of uncertainty and powerlessness that is overwhelming many in the country. But nothing could be further from the truth. Many have no idea the power they actually do wield in their lives and how they can take steps to actually get what they want. Tom takes an in-depth look at the American addiction to helplessness and how it is many times used selfishly to avoid the potential of making a mistake. He rounds out the episode by talking about how you can take real, positive steps towards home ownership by picking a team that will support you and protect you along the way — and help you to leave helplessness behind. Hopefully, this episode will get you up and motivated to making real change in your life!

60. Episode 006 - Interview w/ Ian Mayer
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It’s a very important question that happens at the start of just about every home purchase - “How do I find a good home inspector?” To help us with this, on today’s podcast is Ian Mayer, the owner of the IM Home Inspections. Ian is an InterNACHI (International Association of Certified Home Inspectors) certified Home Inspector -- and he's a graduate of the American Society of Home Inspectors. He's been working in real estate since 2004 and is incredibly knowledgeable about home inspections and really making sure that buyers know what's going on inside and out prior to when they buy their home. We start off with a little chat about how Ian came to do Home Inspections indirectly from underwriting loans and purchasing his own home. We then discuss that there is no license (at least in California) for Home Inspectors, so you need to take care in who you choose and do your due diligence to look for quality. Ian gives great tips on how to choose a good Home Inspector (technology they use, membership in professional organizations, insurance, etc). He then describes what you should be looking for in a sample report. We then go into several things that a buyer can look for in the house before they even call a Home Inspector. We wrap it all up with his awesome common sense advice for home buyers when it comes to getting over their fear and worries about potential problems with the house. It’s a really informative episode and we were incredibly lucky to have Ian stop by. Take a listen!  

61. Episode 005 - Interview w/ Steve Landsman & Vahan Papyan
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Episode 005 of the podcast is a very important one for anyone who have ever asked the question, "How do I get approved for a loan if I'm a freelancer or go project-to-project?" The process can sometimes be a frustrating one, but doesn't have to be -- with the right strategy and team. Ron and I are joined by Steve Landsman and Vahan Papyan, accountants with the firm Squar Milner LLP and we start off with a quick conversation about the potential tax advantages of buying vs renting and how Steve and Vahan help build the plan to help the freelancer get qualified. We also cover what type of income verification you need, the pros and cons of incorporating, and how having a home office can provide a good deduction on you income tax. All-in-all, it a very informative episode and a great, interesting listen!

62. Episode 004 - Interview w/ Ron Bruno (Part 3)
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Our third and final part of our interview with Ron Bruno (Lender at Guaranteed Rate and co-host) starts off bang! Tom’s starts off with a rant about how Real Estate Agents bend facts to fit whatever narrative they want to tell. He warns everyone that there is a big difference between being guided by a Protector Agent, who is looking out for your best interest, instead of being led by Salesperson Agents (S.A.’s) and Weak Agents (W.A.’s). We go on to talk about why PMI needs to be added to a loan and the potential tax advantages of rolling it into the balance mortgage. We also go over the loan contingency in the California purchase contract — and when it needs to be released. We go over the “know before you owe” guideline — or TRID — and then wrap up by discussing the high likelihood that your loan will be sold to another financial institution. It’s a great way to wrap up our “deep dive” into home lending and mortgages. 

63. Episode 003 - Interview w/ Ron Bruno (Part 2)
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It’s the second part of our interview with Ron Bruno, lender from Guaranteed Rate and, oh yeah — co-host of the Clarified Realty Podcast! In this episode, we look at the life a loan from acceptance of offer, all the way up to the close. We start off by taking a little bit of a step back to discuss A.P.R. (Annual Percentage Rates) and what does A.P.R. actually mean? If used correctly, it can be a very effective tool that helps potential home buyers compare apples-to-apples when choosing their lender. We then move on to discuss certain fees figured through escrow (appraisal fees, pre-paid interest, property taxes, etc.). We then go on to talk about how an interest rate gets locked and how they can get extended should any days need to be added to escrow. We also take a close look at how a loan gets underwritten and ways to make the process run smoother (hint: give the lender everything they ask you for as soon as you can — and nothing more). We finish up by talking about acceptable sources for a down payment that won’t hold up the loan being approved. All-in-all, this episode is chocked full of helpful information to clear up the process — and there’s still a part 3 to go! 

64. Episode 002 - Interview w/ Ron Bruno (Part 1)
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For our second podcast, we’re staying close to home (so to speak) with an interview with our incredibly knowledgable co-host, Ron Bruno, and the first of three episodes where we take a deep dive into the  process of lending and mortgages. We start off the conversation by talking about how the biggest mistake buyers usually make is to get ahead of themselves by shopping and falling in love with a home before they even talk to a lender. If they have found a place that they think is their dream home, it’s usually too late at that point to start the process. The first step is actually to start looking for a lender they can trust, be it a direct lender (the big banks), a mortgage broker, or a third option — a mortgage bank. We go over the benefits (and cons) of each of the options and then talk about the first steps potential buyers need to take in order to get approved prior to shopping. We then wrap up by asking how lenders like Ron should help his clients — and their agents — “tell the story” of their clients and get their offers accepted. Ron provides a lot of great information and a whole lot of clarity to the topic and helps illuminate the first steps of what can be an incredibly exciting journey.

65. Episode 001 - Buy The House, Not the Market
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Description: It's the inaugural episode of the podcast and we're coming out swinging! We start off by discussing the one thing that seems to pre-occupy all of our clients whenever they go into the process of buying or selling a home -- FEAR. You'll find ways to overcome being so afraid and embracing the process, the most primary of which comes from a very odd source -- the works of Plato! Tom then takes a look at how investors took advantage of everyone's fear of the market during the crash, when everyone was running the opposite way, and made a killing buying houses when no one else was even thinking about it. We then start the conversation about what types of agents you want to avoid (the Weak Agents or WA's -- and Salesman Agent SA's) and what type of value an agent should bring to your home purchase or sale. We wrap up with our 10 Commandments or promises we pledge to provide to our audience. It's a jam-packed first episode and we're incredibly excited to be bringing it to you! [spp-transcript] Announcer: Welcome to the Clarified Realty Podcast — exposing the real estate secrets your agent doesn't want you to know. Here's your host Tom Clary. Tom: Hi there and welcome to our inaugural podcast Clarified Realty episode 001. We’re so happy to took the time to give us a listen. I'm hoping that we'll have some great adventures ahead of us and we'll be able to learn a lot about the great big world of real estate together. Some introductions are in order. My name's Tom Clary. I'm a licensed real estate agent here in the state of California. My practice is located specifically in the beautiful San Fernando Valley. I'm a valley boy, born and bred, and while I handle real estate transactions in pretty much all areas of Los Angeles — Downtown, Hollywood — this is really my specialty. I work with both buyers and sellers and my office is located in the tony and prestigious enclave of Calabasas, California. You might know it as the home of a Kardashian or two and it's pretty much the Beverly Hills of the Los Angeles suburbs. Joining me today and on the rest of our podcasts will be my friend, sidekick and amazing lender, Ron Bruno. Hi there, Ron. Why don’t you give us a little about yourself. Ron: Tom, thank you so much. My name's Ron Bruno. I'm with the firm, Guaranteed Rate here in beautiful Pasadena. I'm a Chicago guy originally — born and bred. We moved, my family we moved. when I was seven. Grew up in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina a nice little resort town — and as my wife likes to say, I’m a cabana boy — she she married a cabana boy. It is true. Tom: It happens! The dream happens. Ron: It does happen, exactly. I went to college at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia and moved out here fourteen years ago. Tom: Wow, you've been out here a while. Ron: I’ve been here for a while. I moved originally for a girl and stayed for the weather. Yes. Tom: Understandable. Sometimes the girls change. The weather here in California relatively stays the same. Ron: It's true and my professional background I for the first ten years I was in various realms in sales and marketing. Wy first job actually was advertising. Tom: OK. Ron: I’ve been in professional, personal finance and professional services for over eight years now starting in wealth management and moved over to the wonderful world of residential lending. Tom: Awesome, awesome, Ron… And we’ll be going more in depth with Ron in our upcoming podcast number 002, where we’ll be taking more of a deep dive into mortgages and how they are really the first sign post on our trip up the mountain of home ownership. Yes, even before talking to a real estate agent like me. But for this episode this is really going to be the two of us giving you a preview of what we're really trying to achieve here and give you an idea of what to expect moving forward. You know, when I first spoke to Ron about starting this podcast I told him that I wanted to make sure that if we were going to do you know to get together and talk to you guys once a week to humbly request the gift of your very valuable attention, I wanted to make sure that we were saying something completely different. I wanted it to be something that had a completely different voice and point-of-view. It had to be nothing that you could hear on another real estate-centric podcast or any other real estate content. If you're going to take your very precious time to download this podcast, how can I just, you know give you information you could just hear in a hundred of other places? And Ron and I really, you know, talked about it and I started circling around different concepts and nothing we really came up was really clicking. So I thought about it and I thought about it and I started thinking about all the clients I've worked with. Was there something about them that seemed to be a common thread? Was there something on, you know, either the buy side or the sell side that seemed to keep on coming up? And then it hit me. There was something that seemed to keep on coming up, over and over, every deal for whatever reason it just for some reason couldn't escape it. Every potential buyer I talked to was preoccupied with it. There was something here and I thought, well I could do something about that — and that thing that kept on coming back and back and back — fear. It's such a simple concept but it seems to rear its ugly head constantly in real estate. I mean everywhere I looked in my business I saw it. Fear about timing. You know? “Is now the right time to buy or sell or should I wait until next year?” Fear about inspections and disclosures… “Uh, what if I buy this amazing house but then I find out there is mold in the walls?” It's the one thing that united all these deals and it was an element of fear and I could only imagine that this fear sets in even before the process gets started, before people even make the decision to buy or sell a home. It paralyzes them. They sit in their studio apartment all huddled up on the couch under a blanket, saying “Oh, I sure would like to buy a house but what's the best choice? Should I rent? Should I buy? What if I lose my shirt, you know, like all those people did when the bubble burst?” “I’d love to start looking for a house but then I'd have to talk to one of those awful real estate agents giving me a hard sales pitch and I'm sure they won't leave me alone!” Actually that one is really a scary one. Ron: That’s true. Tom: But look don't get me wrong. All of these are valid concerns, but they shouldn't ever be fears. At the end of the day, buying or selling a home or condo is not rocket surgery. Trust me I've spoken or done transactions with agents that I would consider to be the absolute best and brightest agents in the business, I mean the cream of the crop. And trust me no one is mistaking them for Mensa members or Nobel laureates. If they can understand the process, so can you, right? So getting back to fear. Look… Let's take a look at really, really good example. What do you think is the number one question I get asked over and over and over again as an agent? The first question anyone asks me when I walk into a party or some sort of networking event? Ron, you've probably got the same… The same story. What's the number one question you get asked whenever someone sees you that hasn't seen you for a while? Ron: How's the market? Tom: Yep — or is now a good time to buy? Or, is now a good time to sell? I mean am I right? It mean it's sort of cliche. Ron: It is. It is. You get people asking questions about, you know, where rates are going… What's the Fed going to do? You know, is now the right time? Should we wait? Is the… You know, are we in a bubble? Tom: Right. And it's and its foundation is really coming from fear. It's coming from a place of either, “I could lose my shirt or you know am I going to make some sort of mistake?” So, if someone comes up to me and asks me this… I mean, I'm talking about a person that that actually wants to buy, right? Not, you know, somebody who's just kind of, you know, waffling or whatever. They actually do want to buy, but they — they're asking this question seriously… What they're really saying to me is, “Listen, Tom, if I buy my house now, will I lose my money?” Fear. That's what's really at the root of it — and I’m going to let you in on the secret… About seventy to eighty percent of agents are not going to be exactly forthcoming about it if the market isn't going that person's way. They're going to twist it and turn it in a way that still gets you hooked. So, I mean, seriously? What do you think they're going to say, right? You think they're going to go, “I don’t know — I hope you don't like that shirt you’re wearing ‘cause you’re going to lose it if you buy a house right now.” I mean, no. They’re going to say whatever they can to get you to sign on the dotted line. Period. And they are everything I despise about this business and I'm sure you despise it too. So that's why it's so important you can find an agent who you can trust. And we’ll go into this into a more in depth in a future episode — ways to weed out the good agents from the bad — but right now we're going to stay on topic about what this whole podcast is going to be about. So which is the fear — what can you do to reduce that paralyzing fear? Well, when I was in college at U.S.C. I took what I guess could be considered a general philosophy course, where we read Socrates and all the great philosophers and I basically learned how to argue with people using the Socratic method, which pissed my parents off to no end, right? Because I’d like, I’d come home and they’d say, “Clean your room.” and I'd say, “Is there really a room?” But there's one thing that always stuck with me. In the class that we read one of these books was called the Protagoras by Plato and I can't remember what the general gist of the whole thing was but there was this one part that really stuck with me and I think it's really important to this conversation. And, in that part, Plato — he's writing as Socrates, but it's Plato — is convincing his disciples that, you know, the five important human virtues: there was courage, temperance, holiness, justice, and wisdom — are all just names for the same exact thing. And his disciples, you know, they like go crazy. They disagree with him. “Oh oh. Whoa, whoa Socrates! How could these be the same things? How on earth could courage and wisdom be the same thing? That makes absolutely no sense!” But then Socrates, or Plato, goes through and systematically proves it. If someone has knowledge of the battlefield, they in turn have courage. If they make themselves educated about successful tactics and successful strategies, they have courage. Or, should we say — a lack of fear, right? What Plato was was trying to really teach us was that cowardice is really ignorance — and more importantly even — ignorance is cowardice. Ron: That's deep. It's a little deep — but I'll tell you something, it struck me so hard, even when I was eighteen, that I still carry it around with me, every single day — that basically, the more knowledge that I have the more courageous I'm going to be. So, anyway… If we, if we look at and if we look at real estate from this perspective — who do you think are the folks out there that aren't afraid? Well, it's the guy or girl with the most knowledge about the real estate market and real estate period. They're the ones that have you know taken time to educate themselves. The person who understands the battlefield as it were. They understand that fear keeps the scaredy cats on the sidelines while they jump in and they grab all the best deals. Look, after the crash, it’s understandable that people got skittish. I get it. I mean people watched as friends and family, I mean lost their homes and lives were turned upside down. It only makes sense that there be a level of fear when people thought about the possibility of re-entering the market. But here's the thing. There were a lot of people who took advantage of this. They sat back until everyone was so afraid to buy and they swept in and basically bought everything with four walls. Usually with cash. Now, what do we have? Now, there's still a lack of inventory out there. We went from months worth of shadow inventory just sitting there to basically being in the desert looking for an affordable glass of water. I mean we're dealing with a housing shortage at least at least here in Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley that has made home prices climb and climb. I mean sure I'm starting to kind of see that stabilize a bit but when things are all scary out there there were there were very few people that came in, investors, that took advantage of that atmosphere of fear and ate our lunch. I'm going to come… I'm going to come right out here and I'm going to let you know that I'm firmly in the camp folks who believe that homeownership is a good thing. I mean, it would be sort of weird for a real estate agent to be bearish on homeownership. So, right? You buy a house you keep it for a period time and you get more money than you started with. You can make changes and additions that add value and historically, at least, historically we're talking about an asset that appreciates. It gets more valuable as time goes on. Not to mention you don't flush your money down the toilet once a month in the form of rent. When you buy a home the money effectively goes theoretically back into your pocket. Yes, you need to come up with a larger portion of money to begin with in the form of a down payment and the payment each month may be a bit more but it's really hard to argue against the benefits. Ron: You know, Tom… You bring up a really good point and back when I was in the Wealth Management days… You know I was in wealth management in two thousand and eight, if you can believe that's when I actually got my start. Tom: Geez, you’re old. Ron: It's like I timed that absolutely perfectly. But what was really interesting is you saw people like Warren Buffett and they saw companies and they saw a stock where that company was on sale. So, the value of that company didn’t necessarily mean that it lost half the value. Japan, when they had the tsunami the E.T.F. for the Japanese economy didn't all of a sudden go away after the tsunami and it just so happened the next day that E.T.F. was down twenty five percent. So, real investors… They're looking at value when it's on sale and they are you know it just you know your wife she goes to Bloomingdale's and sees something that's half off doesn't mean that, “Oh my gosh, you know, the value of that bracelet is now half of what it's worth.” No. She sees it on sale and that's what investors do they see things that are on sale and when it comes to real estate when it comes to stock, there are a lot of people who see it as it's all of a sudden worth half the value. Tom: Yeah. And we'll go. I'm going to go into that in depth a little bit later on and he's but he's entirely right. I mean it's it's like a let me get to that but what I'm what I'm getting at is well look I don't consider myself a conspiracy theorist at all, right? I don't own a tinfoil hat to keep the aliens from talking to me and I don't think there's a one percent that is doing all they can to keep the other ninety nine percent down at least in any sort of organized way, but because of the scarcity and the scarce nature of real estate, we’re fast becoming a nation of haves and have-nots. And when I say scarce I mean there’s, there's only so much real estate out there, folks. Housing starts aren't what they used to be. Not a lot of new houses out there. Developers aren't building like they used to and when they're building it's predominantly rentals. Right? That's important. That means there are less and less places to buy and if you don't jump on the train that’s speeding by you might not ever be able to get on. When the economy was burning down and and everyone else was grabbing their hats and heading for the door — a lot of very smart, informed people were running toward the fire and end up making a lot of money in the process. They didn't let fear overwhelm them and now they're in the catbird seat, holding properties that were worth more than they were then you know they were worth even two, three years ago. Even though… Even though you're not here when we're recording this I can already hear a lot of you and you're basically probably saying, “Hey, buddy… I'd love to buy a house… A condo… But I, but I can't afford it. I don't have the downpayment. I don't even make that kind of money to make a monthly payment in this market.” I get it. I get it. But that's — that's not what we're talking about here and we'll go into depth in later episodes about how you can go from having zero in the bank to saving enough for a down payment or or how you can use a down payment assistant plan… Assistance plan to purchase a home. Ron will definitely be talking about that later but you can make it happen if you want to but I'm not I'm not going to B.S. you — it's hard freaking work and takes a lot of sacrifice but it's totally worth it. But we'll get into that later. So I keep on talking about things we're going to go back into later, but I swear, we’re going to get back to them later. So, so no… What I'm talking about now though is I'm talking to those of you that are still standing on the sidelines and you’re hemming and you’re hawing — and, Oooo… Is this the right time to buy? Should I wait another six weeks? And you're vacillating back and forth… I'm going to let you in on a little secret. If that's what you're doing, you probably don't really want to buy a house in the first place. Because — want to know how I know this? Because you didn't come off the bench during the last bottom of the market. You already missed the chance — this quote-unquote bottom you keep waiting for! So, don't B.S. me and tell me that you're some sort of junior economist or something. “I keep on hearing I should wait until next summer to buy.” Well, you know what? Those folks still out there buying houses know something you don’t: you buy the property, not the market! Alright, and what the hell does that mean? OK. Well, let me give you an example. And this is right off of… This stands on basically what Ron was just talking about it was it was Saks Fifth Avenue and the bracelet. But, I’m going to I'm going to put in more kind of every day corner market kind of terms. Right? So, so you… You've probably been to a Whole Foods, right? Now, let's say this Whole Foods is right next door to a Ralphs or a Vons, right? Something like that. Now most of the time because I am not made of money, I’m going to head over to the place where there’s lower prices — usually the Vons or the Ralphs. I'm not a moron. Am I going to spend more money for almost everything just for the honor of walking home with a snazzy green canvas Whole Foods bag on my arm? No. But let's say one day I'm walking into the Ralph’s and I glance over and I see that Whole Foods is selling bags of grapes for fifty cents a pound — and that's a really good price. Do I say, “Oh, no, no, no… That market is way too expensive. I'm not going over there!” Once again, Hell no! I'm going to go to Ralphs and do the majority of my shopping over there and then I'll go right on over to “Whole Paycheck” and pay you know buy a few pounds of their very tasty fifty cents a pound grapes. The same goes for real estate. You buy the property, not the market. There are a lot of savvy buyers out there still finding homes they can afford. They're not sitting on the sidelines waiting for the sea to change. No! They're out there, educating themselves every day in a way that these opportunities reveal themselves to them — and then they strike. And by the way that reminds me of one of my really big frustrations about people that want to buy but are still sitting there doing, you know, watching the world pass them by. You tell me, “Well, I'd love to do it but there's nothing I can afford out there.” Or, “I can't qualify for a loan.” Oh, really??? And what exactly are you basing that on? Have you spoken to an agent like me? Have you even given Ron a call and talked to him? Has he told you that you can’t? Then how can you have any real idea about what your situation is? Because reality might be something completely different. I’m going to let you in on another big secret — for buyers? You don't have to pay us for this information! You actually don't ever have to pay us at all. That comes from the seller after you move in. So what the hell do you have to lose to pick up the phone and have us run some numbers? Or for me to look around at things that may not be on Redfin or Zillow yet. Or maybe I know of areas you haven't even thought of yet. Areas that make you say, “Oh, I didn't know this neighborhood was here!” You know, it drives me crazy! And we love those kind of clients because they give us a call that you know to find out stuff because we're like, “Cool! This sounds like someone who's actually taking the time to understand the reality of where they are!” Don't get me wrong, sometimes Ron's going to give you bad news. Or, I'm going to tell you that maybe moving into Beverly Hills isn't in the cards for you when you can only afford five hundred grand. But isn’t it better to know the actual facts? Knowledge cancels out fear! It at least cancels out ignorance. Am I right, Ron? Ron: Yeah absolutely. I mean when you look at having the information at your fingertips… You can go online and run every scenario and look at what the general consensus says about your particular situation and you could paralyze yourself in fear where you're not actually really doing anything. You're just basing your situation off of what the general populace says versus actually running the hard numbers. And when I look at a client, I look at them from the standpoint of “OK, here's what you qualify for now.” Right? And if that's not the number that they're looking for, then we start talking about a path of either changing the expectations — or this is how we're going to work to get you into that position. Tom: Yeah, it's an actual getting your butt off the chair and doing something instead of sitting there and going, “Oh, I probably can’t. I can’t. You know? Oh, I read this and I read that…” You know, you could literally… It’s like the snake eating itself. You'll never, ever, ever be able to get enough information to get you off the couch unless you actually do it. You actually have to do it and the first really good step is actually calling us and finding out. We'll be happy to tell you one way or another whether you can do it. And, by the way, I want to make sure everyone understands this. This is not some sort of you know get rich quick infomercial B.S. This is, this is an actual strategy for you to really become self-reflective enough and get the real solid information about your financial situation. You know, to overcome your fear and become a homeowner instead of just being a perpetual spectator. So, anyway alright… So what is this podcast going to be really? Well, we're going to be looking in-depth, really drilling down into each facet of the process. Whether you're a buyer or seller, you're going to hear things that could potentially give you an advantage. In each episode, we’re… We're planning to a look at whatever you know whatever the topic is, whether it's escrow, title, lending — from both sides of the fence. Sort of like, you know, how Law and Order does… They do the whole police work first and then they switch sides and they go to the you know the whole court/prosecution side — that's that's what we're going to be doing here. We'll start with the buy side, discussing how you can get the best deals, things you should look out for when looking for a house. Things to look for in inspections. You know, things like that. Then we're going to switch gears and go the other way. We’ll grab our sellers hat, put it on, and talk about how you can avoid certain pitfalls like disclosures and negotiating repairs and end up getting the best net for your home. On each side we will go deep to really try and provide insight and advice that you've never heard before. The last thing I want you to be thinking as you listen is is, “Jesus I've heard all this stuff before” I will struggle… You have my promise to you I will struggle with every episode to make sure that you take away incredibly valuable information that you can't get anywhere else. Another thing that I really want to do — and don't get me wrong, I'm running into very uncomfortable territory here… I want to provide a very honest look at what the real estate business is really like. For a long time now, real estate agents, Realtors — there is a difference by the way, I will tell you about what that difference is — have earned a pretty despicable reputation. They're like a very small step above used car salesman, with like new car salesman sort of running neck and neck with us — and it's incredibly well earned. Sometimes, I hear stories stories and I go. “Yep, that's why everybody hates us.” But I've got another maybe not so big surprise… Sometimes it's even how we're trained by our brokerages to do business in the first place. It's really, I mean it embarrasses me and this whole comedy of errors has a cast of characters and we’ll definitely go into this more in-depth in later podcasts — but just to give you a little bit of a taste — there’s basically, there are basically three types of agents. First, there's what I call the “WA” or “Weak Agent.” Generally they're the young and inexperienced agent. They just haven't been through enough deals, or they never had a good mentor, or they haven't been in the trenches long enough to really have gotten any kind of seasoning — or even worse, they just don't care about being informed or knowing about how things work. They don't learn about their area or how to analyze comps, so they can add value to your home search or your home sale. They just — like they just passed the agent exam by the hair of their chinny chin-chin, right? These kinds of agents can be really dangerous to you and can definitely end up costing you money and a lot of hassles. They make for a very stressful transaction. Then, the second type of agent is is what I call an “SA” or a “Salesman Agent” and you probably know the type if you watch Million Dollar Listing and other T.V. shows. They wear the totally slicks suits and have perfectly shaved stubble and perfectly waxed Jaguars. And by the way, they may have lots of knowledge but it really, really becomes a question of are they really using that knowledge for your best interests or is it to get the best deal or bottom line for them? After you sign the listing agreement with them are they doing the hard work? Are they there for all the inspections? For the photo shoots, are they moving furniture around to get the best shot? Are they are they making phone calls to your lender to make sure contingencies are hit on time — or did they they just make the deal and run, right? Is there some quote-unquote team, made up of usually WA’s, by the way, in the background doing the work for him or her? Well this this type of agent is slightly better than the WA, they're still dangerous to you in other ways and and we’ll get into that in the future podcasts. And the last type of agent is what I call the “PA” or the “Protector Agent.” This is the type of agent you should always, always be looking for. They're the ones that not only take care of issues but they take the time to make sure you understand why there are even issues in the first place. They have a portfolio of transactions behind them and have heard about most if not all of the pitfalls that might lie upon the road ahead. Every transaction is different and has its own moving parts but generally the P.A. knows how the engine works and even when there are unique and crazy curveballs they can find the best way to solve the problem and make sure you stay protected. I know I'm a protector agent because I'm looking out for problems before they even become problems. If we're going to breeze past contingency during escrow you bet your butt, I'm going to see it coming a mile away and be trying to fix the issue before it kills the deal and makes everybody's life miserable. So, look… My ultimate goal… What I want to achieve here and I think what Ron wants to achieve here as well, is that when it comes to picking an agent or a lender, I want to give you the knowledge and ability to really see through their mindset and find an agent or loan broker that is truly looking out for your best interest. Look, I’m not going to name any names. I'm not going to call anybody out, but I do think there needs to be a real self-reflectiveness in terms of agents really coming to terms with how we are perceived by Joe Home-Buyer or Josephine Home-Seller. When I’m, when I'm with my clients, I don't consider myself a salesman — like at all. I want to be more like like a professional with them, more like a doctor or a lawyer than any kind of, “Hey kid… Hey, hey, hey… Can I help you today?“ You know, B.S. salesmen. I wear a completely different hat when I'm with my clients. And yes, if I'm selling your house, I need to market or sell your property — or if I'm trying to get you into your dream house, you know, when there are ten other offers — I'm trying to sell you and your offer, but I should never be a salesman to my client. You're the person I work for. You're my boss. I'm supposed to advise you to the best of my ability and then you tell me what to do. So, we’ll discuss this a lot more along the way too. Ron: You know Tom, you bring up a good point, because there’s… There's two types of professionals out there. You have professionals that are transaction oriented, which means they will do anything to close the deal, right? It's A.B.C.. Yeah right. It’s Glengarry Glen Ross. Always be closing. But then you have those professionals like Tom and myself — we’re relationship focused. We're looking out for your interest and we're always thinking of the long term. Because we want to help you, we want to help your family, your colleagues what have you. So if you're looking at a particular home and it's not going to be a fit and we know that, we're not going to be pushing you into anything. Tom: Right. And you know it’s… I've literally had this exact same conversation with all my clients, where I basically say, “I’m not trying to sell you this house. I'm trying to sell you the house ten years, twenty years, thirty years down the line.” That's what we're talking about here. It's not in my best interest, by the way, to just sell you this — like do everything I can to hard pressure you to buy a house “I don't know if I can do it” because all you’re gonna do is be thinking all the time “That Tom, he just kept, you know, kept pushing and kept pushing and I would never go back to him again. I would never recommend…” No, no, no… I want, I want you to when you walk into that house, I want you to have a feeling of, “I’m home. I'm home. This feels great. That Tom…” That's really what I'm looking for. I want to hear “Tom” associated with that amazing feeling you have about walking into that house — and I think that works the best for anybody involved in that transaction. Ron: Absolutely. Tom: And and by the way while we're talking about like the high pressure thing and everything… I was thinking about this the other day… And I’m talking to Ron, because I don't know if you have you ever heard the utter exasperation of a homeowner after their listing expires? Ron: Oh, yes. Tom: If you don't know what that means when a home is put on the market and doesn't sell in ninety… one hundred twenty days, whatever days it says in the contract between you know the agent and the seller, it’s then considered to be quote end quote “Expired” and it's up for grabs. Any agent can come in and try to, you know, get the listing again. And oh, boy… oh boy do they come. Holy moly. These these poor homeowners… Look, They've already experienced the humiliation of the market rejecting their home for whatever reason, whether, you know, there wasn't enough marketing — or they just didn't want to put in, you know, the resources to change the crazy pink walls in the living room to you know some color the didn't make people throw up when they looked at it. Or, you know, more than likely you just didn't listen to the agent and priced it way too high. Right? But for whatever reason your dream of packing up and moving to Bermuda has been totally shattered — and then what happens? Ron? Ron: Yeah, so what happens is… It’s in the new Realtor’s handbook. You get barraged by expired listings… There is this term, “door knocking” you are essentially you assault everybody in your neighborhood. Tom: I mean they literally get inundated with a barrage of phone calls from low-life WA's and SA’s and they get easily, easily fifty to sixty phone calls, all in one day. Like they come out of the woodwork — it's like a zombie movie. I've been in places, brokerages, right? Where they call the receptionist they finally call the receptionist at the front desk and they plead for the calls to stop. I mean it's disgraceful and we wonder why we have such a horrible reputation as human scum. It's ridiculous. And it's like the crowd never stops. But I mean look I take a look at that stuff. It really makes me totally understand why people want to even nix real estate agent out of the mix completely, right? “I mean I’ve got Zillow and Redfin — they give valuations… They tell me what's for sale. I mean, why do I need an agent anymore? How are real estate agents not just a middleman You know that does X, Y, or Z, when I can do X, Y, or Z on this here smart phone of mine? When is someone going to come along and disrupt or Uber-fy the real estate business?” Well OK. OK, right? Point taken, but listen. Two things. Two things… First, speaking for real estate agents, we really need to listen to that. That means that people either think of us as unnecessary at beset or complete a-holes at worst. We are doing such a horrible job with how we deal with our clients or potential clients that they just don't want to deal with us at all. They want to cut us out of the process completely! And the second thing really… The other side of that coin is that not only are we horrible, but we're not doing a good enough job letting them know what value we do bring to them — and by the way we do bring value, an enormous amount of value but it just may not be in the way that they necessarily expect. There was a there was an incredible article I read the other day on Inman.com. It's a… That's a… If you don't know what that is, it's a website mostly for folks in the real estate business like me and Ron — and actually this article is more like a transcript from a presentation by a guy named Jed Carlson from a company called Adworx… And he was talking about this this exact stuff and he was comparing real estate to other businesses that had, you know, gone through the quote/unquote disruption. His biggest example was the music industry where you know basically Napster came along and changed the way that we think about music. Before, when you wanted to hear your, you know, favorite song that you had, you know, you wanted — you had to go out and buy this big black disc called an album or a CD — and you couldn't just have the one song you wanted, right? You needed ten other not so great songs that came along with it. But, like, with Napster you could choose the one single you wanted and listen to it as many times as you wanted. So he started thinking if technology like this could disrupt an industry like the music business could things like Zillow or Redfin, you know, etcetera do the same with real estate? So, he was reading an article — he was reading an article. So I'm reading an article of a guy who was reading an article — from an industry expert who was asked if you could boil down what a service provider really does for the client — what would it be? And this is what he said the guy said. I’m going to read it here. “I think it's three things. The first one is they help reduce the risk. They reduce the risk of the transaction. The second one is they help carry the load, grunt work, leg work, all that stuff. And the third one is they comfort the client along the way.” Now, it sounds exactly what a real estate agent should be doing. Funny thing, he wasn't talking about real estate agents. The guy was an expert in mountain climbing and was talking about Sherpas, Sherpa mountain guides. I'm going to read from the transcript here because what he says I think is very important. So listen up. He says, “Now for those of you who don't know what a Sherpa is, what they are… They are a culture of about fifty thousand people that live in eastern Nepal and they're famous for their hard work ethic and being acclimated to high altitude and a lot of them make their living taking climbers up Mount Everest and K2, the most dangerous mountains in the world. So the Sherpa, I think, make a great analogy to the real estate agent in a lot of ways because they share an eerily similar set of core value propositions, right? Reduce risk. Carry the load. Comfort the client.” End quote. So, that's what — that's what real estate agents really sell — confidence. You're going through one of the biggest purchases or sales if you're a seller in your life — you want someone who has been up the mountain enough times so they know when there's an outcropping that is extra slippery… Or “Oh, those clouds on the horizon are looking pretty scary over there. We should probably camp out here for the night.” And then this guy Jed goes on to say — and he's talking about the role of the real estate agent here — talking to the client, quote, “I’m going to take you through the most difficult and treacherous and biggest transaction of your life. I cannot guarantee it will be painless or easy, but it is my job to protect you…” There's that word “protect” you, “…during the process and make you as comfortable as I can. My experience will prevent errors and when something unexpected comes up we're going to benefit from my experience. Listen, I've got your back all the way through the process, even beyond the close until you are satisfied. I am your Sherpa.” So when you tell us that you can find the house on Zillow? You know, awesome! You know, that means we can save time finding you a place. I mean, but if all you think a real estate agent is is a dog running around to find you a bone — you're mistaken. That's not where my value is. An agent's value is being your Sherpa, guiding you up the mountain, doing some of the grunt work — and if the weather turns bad, as it does sometimes in a real estate transaction — you want them to have enough experience and knowledge to guide you to a safe place. And that's that's also what I, what I'm hoping to do here. I want to help guide all of you up that rocky slope of buying or selling a home. Remember… It doesn't have to be scary. I mean, not if you know where the handholds are, or the footholds are, and I'm I'm going to help you find where they are… Guiding you… Being your Sherpa. And whomever you choose to be your agent will take you the rest of the way, you know… Ron: You know, Tom you bring up a really good point and I really, really like this and you know professionals like us being Sherpas. You know, I think a very important piece to that is also transparency. You know, we want our clients to share everything and what's going on. They don’t have to necessarily share everything with everybody in the transaction, right? But, at least with with us… Because what it helps is— it actually helps us create a path. So when we find, you know, just like you're hiring a Sherpa to take you up a mountain… If you have a heart condition, that’s probably something a Sherpa would want to know. Tom: I was literally about to say if you, like, if you have asthma or something like that… You know, you're probably going to want to tell the Sherpa that. “I don't know if I can make it up this mountain.” Ron: Exactly exactly. Tom: Or, if you’re afraid of heights, right? You know, you might want to reconsider. Ron: But you know those are things that, you know, once we know this information — knowledge is power. So, being transparent. If you're going to go on vacation a week before we close escrow, well these are things we need to know because we need to make sure that we lay out the path and that just helps us navigate and help. Tom: Well and to go into really and hopefully not to belabor the whole sharper analogy. We're basically if you have these issues. Well then we have to pack differently. I mean we literally have to if you. You know have a heart condition we're going to we're going to make sure that we're going to have you know adrenaline or some sort of being a deferred later inside of our back just in case that somehow you start clutching your chest you know at eight thousand feet and it's much easier to plan for this you know we set foot on the mountain. Right exactly. So when you're in the middle of escrow OK yes it's good to know if these these things pop up but it's a lot easier to know all of this in advance before we're helping you with your offer and helping you get into escrow and everything else because it helps us plan and strategize when advance because we don't have we don't have the clock or I don't have a gun pointed at our heads right. Great so here I'm going to be closing up here and basically what I'm closing up with is and what I'm calling my ten commandments for this podcast The first one commandment number one I will tell you the truth once a week. Even if it hurts me what does that mean. Well that means total honesty if you need to know something as a buyer or seller My duty is to let you know even if it's counter to my best interest. It's the podcast version of fiduciary. Duty basically But here's the other side of that coin. I'm going to and like you know we were just talking about on I'm going to ask you to be honest about things too if you're you know going to take a bigger role in finding your home or selling your home than you need to hear when you're screwing up to I'm not going to coddle you here. This is about you learning the most you can and then turning around and taking action effectively losing your fear and taking action effectively if I hurt your feelings in any way please try not to take it personally but there's a chance. It's going to happen next. Commandment number two I'm going to throw more value at you then you could ever need in this podcast in this pocket as you will hear everything the kitchen and the sink. There are times where it will be very kind of inside pool and nerdy and maybe too technical but I think it's important for you to hear it in order to get the whole picture and in between you will find you'll find things that resonate with you and then you can use personally. Number three. Every episode will have a riginal information and perspective that you can't find anywhere else. So basically if you say I X I could've gone on the internet look that up. I and Ron have failed and I definitely want to hear about it. Number four. I'm going to answer your questions. If you have anything specific you want to hear about do not hesitate. Email me at Tom at clarified Realty dot com and I'll be happy to answer it for you but don't be surprised if you hear it on the next episode of the pod cast. If you're asking a question then somebody else is probably asking that question to command number five shenanigans. I am going to be on the lookout for all the latest shenanigans and cons that you need to be on the lookout for in the market your protector agent should be looking out for these two but I'm going to try to do all I can to let you know before you get burned. Harmed in any way commandment or six you will learn ways to hold your agent and other real estate professionals accountable. What should you expect for the commission you pay what behavior and ethics of the protector agent personify each episode will include specific things you should be looking for when you're working with that command and over seven. I will introduce you to incredible experts in the field when I have a guest they will be bedded to make sure that they truly know what they're talking about and are professionals I consider to be the best in the business and you will hear amazing advice you won't hear anywhere else. Straight from their own mouths commander number eight. And this is an important one. I'm going to be learning right along with you. And that's going to be one of my big criteria when planning these pod casts have I heard that stuff before is it new to me and you know and I've been doing this a while. There's probably a good chance you guys haven't heard it either. If I haven't heard it command number nine is that I'm always listening. If you have something to say whether it's some way this podcast can improve or become better I want to hear about it. I want to read your comments. We're going to be building this plane mid-flight and I always want to hear ways to make it better as a matter of fact that's why I'm leaving command number ten open. It's going to stay empty in the off chance that one that you know once you hear this. You know if there's some way that the listener has a way to make this show better and more useful to each other then maybe might have a commanding number ten. Because in the end it's. It's my show. But ultimately it's for all of you and I can't wait to see everyone get involved and do what you can to make it even better. So that's just a small glimpse at what I really hope to achieve with this pocket as I think that if you listen to these pop cast episodes I'm going to you know consider it a success if you go into your first home purchase or your first home sale and say hey this that wasn't so scary. I can do this. I got this so wrong. You got anything else you want to. Here I think only covered and I'm really excited to hear everyone's responses and feedback and I mean the ultimate joy is listening to someone who. They didn't qualify or thought I can't buy a home. They've been turned down in the past and then ultimately through the right resources they come out at the other end and we get to celebrate that. That's what I'm most looking forward to. It's an incredible feeling. And it's literally like I can only compare it to you know I'm not a drug addict but if I can only compare it to a drug. I mean I love the feeling of helping people to get into homes and and if I can help any of you in that way in terms of giving you information and making the process smoother. This is going to be a success. So thank you again for listening. I'm begging you to not let this be it. I appreciate that you've taken your precious time to listen to this podcast but I hope you come along for the ride. Well we'll have new episodes each week all packed to the rafters with a great information. Listen to the podcast interact with other listeners and let's make this a truly amazing and useful experience for everyone. I want to thank Ron and his company guaranteed rate for Linux record i Pod cast in the offices here in Pasadena. If you want to get more information or ask me questions please email me at Tom clarified Realty dot com for more exclusive bonus content between episodes please check out our website www dot clarified Realty dot com and I am on Snap Chat Twitter and Instagram my call. Sign is act clarified reality. And please check out our clarified realty page on Facebook. I beg of you please please please leave feedback and reviews on i Tunes or in the comments section on our page as Gary Bain or Chuck likes to say the back is my oxygen so I want to hear what you all are saying my amazing theme song Hey now is from the band Wolf. So that's what two apps and please go check them out and like them on South Sound Cloud will also leave a link to the song in the credits if we can they rock show frickin hard makes my teeth hurt. Go check them out for amazing tunes and just a little disclaimer Ron and I are licensed by the California Bureau of real estate my Emma last number a license number is zero one seven one five three five three Ron's is integrate and two six one five eight seven The advice we give is only for properties located in the state of California for all the other states. Please contact your local real estate agent or real estate professional and that's about it. Ron you good. All right thanks for coming by everybody and remember the greatest feeling is making someone feel at home. Take care and we'll see you next week. [/spp-transcript]