buy: Tips to survive in a down market - 08/02/08 02:59 PM
I have only been in real estate to know what a down market is. The broker I started with lost my real estate application to send to the DRE for three months, so I ended up missing the end of the Great Central Valley Seller's Market. I can't wait for the market to turn, but am focusing on the here and now.  Many Realtors in my office can't figure out the success I have been having the last few months.  Well, it has been nothing short of lots of hard work.  I have found some tips that have doubled my production, without … (16 comments)

buy: Beware of Hidden Fees - 07/14/08 10:59 AM
I know its been a while since I last blogged. I have been swamped with bank owned properties (REOs) and bringing sales to fruition. Over the last few weeks I have found that there are certain fees that buyers may not be aware of when purchasing REO properties compared to short and fair market sales. 
The first is an overinflated escrow fee. The escrow fee for a home that is $200,000 is generally around 250-300 dollars, but if it is an REO than the fee increases to $850.00 minimum just for being with an REO.
The next is region specific. If … (3 comments)

buy: Customer Service is Key when working with agents - 05/23/08 03:51 AM
When dealing with customers all agents know that customer service is the key to success in any client-driven industries. However, many agents do not apply that when it comes to working with other agents. I know that we are in competition with each other for that elusive sale, but do Realtors have to treat other agents with disdain and disrespect?
The answer to that question is no!  I had a property that was listed and it was falling out of escrow, due to loan issues, and when I asked for cancellation instructions I got the run around with no calls back … (23 comments)

buy: Finding your niche - 05/22/08 03:25 AM
Many Realtors are having a hard time. In my area it is not uncommon for a Realtor not to have sold a house for the entire year. Many Realtors have not adapted to the change in environment and have abandoned the industry altogether. However it does not have to be that way. 
All you have to do is find your niche. By figuring out what to specialize in and perfecting it, you will provide your customers the best option available for that market, whether it be short sales, REO, etc.
The question is, how do you find your niche and refine … (17 comments)

buy: Get the highest price on a property in a Buyer's Market - 05/16/08 02:55 AM
In the current buyer's market that many Realtors across the country are facing, homes prices are falling very fast. A home that sold for $350,000 two years ago is now selling for about half that in Modesto at roughly $200,000.  So what techniques can you use to make your property stand out to where you can maximize profit for the homeowner and yourself, without pricing it too high as where all the other agents in the area won't show your property.
The ways to do this is very simple, but it is not greedy.  For example, pricing a property $100K above … (6 comments)

buy: Now is the time to be in Real Estate!!!! - 05/12/08 09:13 AM
Many people feel that this is the worst market in decades and that many Realtors are dropping like flies.  How can I say that this is a good time to be in Real Estate?  The answer to that is two-fold.
First, although sales are off, now is an excellent time to create business relationships with people, such as networking and touching base with your sphere of influence. With the bottom at the end of the tunnel and some light appearing just ahead, it would be good to have customers for when they feel the market has turned.
Next, now is the … (13 comments)

buy: Consumers: Qualities of a Good Buyer's Agent - 03/18/08 07:03 AM
There are tons of real estate agents out there.  Many people are innundated with the choice as to which agent to choose when buying a home . Here are some hints for the consumer to realize the difference between an average and a great agent:
1.  The agent will present to you a list of homes in a binder of some sorts that lists all the homes that you will be looking at.
2. The agent will have no homes that do not meet your original criteria.  For example, if you specify at least 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, there should not be any homes … (5 comments)

buy: Escalon - 03/18/08 03:57 AM
Escalon is located in the crossroads between Modesto, Oakdale, Riverbank, Stockton, and Manteca. From this town you have a gateway to any of these cities. It is located along HWY 120 with McHenry Rd in Modesto turning into Mariposa Rd, which ends up in Stockton. It is home of the Escalon Cougars, which usually have one of the best football teams in the state. It is located in Stanislaus County, very near San Joaquin County.
In terms of homes, Escalon is fairly moderately priced, with a 3 bedroom 2 bathroom home going for a median price of $275,000. It is a fairly … (0 comments)

buy: Oakdale - 03/18/08 03:32 AM
Oakdale is known as the "Cowboy Capital of the World" and is a wonderful town to live in. It is located NortEast of Modesto and is located in Stanislaus County. I live in this town and have found it to be very, very quiet. It is a suburbia with a small-town feel to it. Last year when they celebrated their 100 year anniversary of being a town, Oakdale had an actual cattle drive through the main roads to thei city.
It is home to the Oakdale Rodeo which occurs the first weekend every year and features some of the top bull … (0 comments)

buy: Riverbank - 03/14/08 07:08 AM
A little known area in the Central Valley is Riverbank. Riverbank is divided into various sections, due to the Railroad Overpass going though the town. It has a small-town feel, yet has all the amenities of a larger town. One of the best theaters in the Central Valley, Galaxy 12 Theaters is located here, while home prices are very affordable.
The schools provide a good-quality education, while effectively preparing students for the future of the real world. There is one major high school and one junior high and a few elementary schools.
There is a large hispanic community, but the crime … (0 comments)

buy: The difference between Bank Owned and Short Sale Listings - 03/13/08 08:18 AM
Living in the Central Valley of California, and working primarily in Modesto, the majority of the homes that are for sale are either foreclosures or short sales. Every one in real estate understands what a short sale is, but many consumers are confusing bank owned homes with short sales.
A bank owned home is one that the bank has taken back from the owner.  It has generally gone through the entire foreclosure process or has been given back to the bank through a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure (where the owner gives back the title to stop a foreclosure). The bank usually will have a short … (1 comments)

buy: Are you being innovative? - 03/13/08 04:57 AM
With a possible recession looming over the horizon and dismal sales in many parts of the country, some Realtors are thriving.  How can this be? What are they doing that is different than other Realtors who are leaving the business?
The answer is simple,  they are being innovative!
They are doing various things that other Realtors are not.  Some are finding niche markets, such as REO's, BPO's, or specializing in short sales. While others are getting back to the basics and focusing on Search Engine Optimization. The best thing for you to do is very dependant upon your market.
The key thing … (6 comments)

buy: Consumers: Are you considering a short sale? - 03/12/08 09:16 AM
Many people are in the situation where their home is actually worth quite a bit less than what they purchased it for. When they bought the home, they were told that refinancing it would be no problem and that they did not have to worry about the bubble bursting in that particular market. This type of thinking is what is causing the foreclosure crisis throughout the Central Valley of California and other parts of the nation. Now that the President has passed a law eliminating the taxation of short sales as income, a short sale is a very viable option if … (4 comments)

buy: Finding out what a person wants in a home. - 03/11/08 04:28 AM
I have found through experience that the most essential thing a Realtor can do is find out the specifics a person is looking for in a home.  It is essential that you listen when a person tells you that they need a 3 bedroom 2 bathroom home at the very least.  That way you do not waste your time in showing them potential properties with 2 bedrooms and 1 bathrooms.
Some of the questions that I ask buyers is what are you definite needs in a home.  After they tell me, then I ask them what is their list of wants … (12 comments)

buy: Understanding the foreclosure process for consumers - 03/10/08 04:15 AM
In this time of crisis, where many people are losing their homes there are many terms that people need to understand.  They also need to understand all their options, before just turning their home over to the bank.
Preforeclosure:  This occurs when you get the first letter from the bank stating that you missed a payment.  When dealing with a traditional 30 year loan, then you have 90 days before you receive this letter.  If you have a subprime loan, then you will receive this letter after 37 days.
Notice of Default: This is the letter from the bank stating that you have … (1 comments)

buy: Your offer is not accepted until the bank accepts the short sale - 03/07/08 03:50 AM
This is just a word of advice to consumers out there regarding short sales. Many people are encountering the following situation.  You make an offer and the agent issues a counter-offer, which generally means that your offer has been accepted and that the escrow process has started. However, don't be quick to make that assumption when dealing with short sales. In the short sale process the bank is the one that decides whether or not to accept the offer.  If another offer comes in prior to the bank accepting yours, then the bank can and will accept whichever offer is larger. … (1 comments)

buy: Introducing Constance Robinson - 03/07/08 01:10 AM
I just wanted to introduce Constance Robinson from ERA Village One Real Estate to the Newbie group.  She has been in the industry for many years and is a multi-million dollar agent (Realtor).  She is also the lead agent and office manager for my office and actually was the one that hired me on. Her area of expertise is on acquiring listings and she is a great source of information for all of us learning the ropes of the industry.  She is a wonderful person and I know that you all will make her feel welcome and at home.

buy: Foreclosure Fairs Generate Huge Turnouts - 03/06/08 04:08 AM
Many people know the Central Valley in California is the foreclosure capital of the nation, currently.  You can go down any block and see REO properties left and right and can tell they are such by the front lawn. In this area, almost 40% of the loans that were made two years ago are in some stage of the foreclosure process.
I have seen a few news articles that show that the turnout to the foreclosure workshops have been larger than expected. Having been through a foreclosure in the past, I know that this process is a very stressful situation that families … (4 comments)

buy: You got the House!!! Oh Sorry You Didn't!!! - 03/06/08 03:55 AM
I have encountered a situation recently that really has me concerned and would appreciate your input on this.  I made a bid on a short sale property in Manteca and a week later received a counteroffer from the agent stating that the hot tub wasn't staying and that the property was a short sale. We signed the counteroffer and no boxes were checked that multiple counteroffers had been made.
I had a concern about the fact that the stove was removed a few days later and called the agent. I received a call back stating that we did not get the property, even though the counteroffer mentioned … (17 comments)

buy: Steps for Obtaining a Home - 03/05/08 02:22 AM
There are many people out there that see houses for sale and want to buy a home, but do not totally understand the process to obtain one. They call the Realtor whose home is for sale, but have no idea where to really begin.
The first thing a person needs to do is to obtain pre-approval.  This not only speeds up the process for the acquisition of the property, but also lets a person understand the amount of home that they can purchase. There is no sense for a person to look at a home for $500,000 when they can only obtain … (4 comments)


Matthew Zgonc

Realtor, CFS, CVS

Modesto, CA

More about me…

Aksland Real Estate

Address: 105 S Yosemite Avenue, Manteca, CA, 95336

Office: (209) 918-7416

Mobile: (209) 918-7416

Email Me



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