Real Estate Trends
Aug 27, 2017 03:27PM
By Don and Norma Flaskerud
Observations of 30 Years in Real Esate
In December of 1987, I was a brand-new agent, newly trained by Mason-McDuffie Real Estate. I sold two houses that month and was top salesperson in the Walnut Creek office! Next thing I knew, I was invited to be on a panel at Mason-McDuffie during new agent training. I spoke on how to juggle being both a mom (I had 4 little kids at home) and a Realtor (moms can relate to multi-tasking!) It was such fun and an honor. I was always about having it all -- a career and time with family -- and real estate afforded that. I found I loved being a Realtor, and I quit my other job as an insurance adjuster. Don quit his “other job” as a sales manager in a Berkeley manufacturing company, and we put all our eggs in the real estate basket.
Back then, home prices in Pleasant Hill ran about $200,000 for a typical rancher. We were working under a traditional commission split (50% to us, 50% to the broker) until five years went by and we joined Re/Max in 1992, where you pay to work. Yes. We wrote them a check every month. But in exchange, that broker got only a tiny bit of our commission, and now, 25 years later, we own our own Re/Max Brokerage, Re/Max Today. Don is the broker; we are a team.
There is nothing like working with the biggest and most successful real estate company in the world. They provide us with the tools we need to give our clients the best services available. Conventions are fun; not only do we learn a lot and stay up to date on all advances in our industry, but we meet people from all over the world. Once, over-hearing an Irish accent, I found out they were from the far north of Ireland, where my grandmother was from. We ended up visiting them when I was in Killygordon, County Donegal.
We have seen prices go up. We saw them soften in the late ‘90s and fall sharply in 2008-2012. We’ve sold houses, hoping they appraise for the highest sales price ever in that area. We’ve counseled sellers how to sell in a hot seller’s market and watched them begin a new life with money in the bank. And, sadly, we’ve seen sellers miss the market and sell for a discount as a market turned cold. Timing is everything.
Counseling from an experienced agent is crucial. Buying? You need guidance on how to get an offer accepted so that the seller will choose yours among many. Selling? You need guidance on preparing your house and marketing it to get the most return on your investment. A good Realtor, with their finger on the pulse of the market, is essential.