Orit Gadish - Probate Real Estate Blog

For Professionals of the Probate and Trust Industry

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The Truth Is…

There are many real estate agents out there. So why work with me?

I will never tell you I am the top agent in this or that national brokerage. At best, I can tell you the truth.  Nearly two decades ago, I founded and continue to run a boutique brokerage.  We are focused on probate and trust real estate.

I will never tell you I have 10 different designations from this or another association of realtors. Anyone can get these designations. $150 dollars or so, and a few hours sitting in a classroom or on zoom and listening to someone that will tell you many stories from which you will not learn much.

I will not tell you, “let me take care of you” and then pass you to one of my assistants to do all the work and communicate with you.

I will never tell you “I am the best”. It is up to you to find that out for yourself.

I will tell you this:

I probably handled more real estate than any other agent you know. Why should you care?  Experience matters.

I have sold real estate all over California.  Please don’t tell me that you will send me the next asset that comes your way in Beverly Hills since I am an expert in this area.  We both know the likelihood of that happening is very small, and I do have a family to feed just like you.

I probably have not seen it all, but that should not matter. Why? I have seen enough to know how to handle any situation no matter what comes my way.

I wrote the only book explaining the probate real estate process. I could tell you it is a great book, but I will not. Instead, I ask that you read the reviews on Amazon, ask me for a copy, and find out for yourself, or both.

I am a contributor to the CEB / Continuing Education of the Bar.  As such, I educate attorneys.  How many other agents do you know that do that?

I am sorry if you feel that I am talking too much about myself, but I have to share all of this with you, since selling probate and trust real estate is such a highly competitive environment.

And there is more.  As an observant Jew that follows our ancient traditions, I can tell you that a core value is not to lie in business (and of course, in general). No matter who you are, if you share this value with me, then I look forward to the opportunity to work with you.

I know that I could make much more money if I swayed from the truth; if I did something illegal in business here and there.  I do not, for example, give or accept kickbacks.  If you are into that, please find another agent to work with.  I would rather do less business during the day and sleep better at night.

And that is the truth.

Shabbat in the Probate Industry

I keep Shabbat. It is a Jewish Holiday! Once a week!

It is a critical part of being a Jew. Well, some of us Jews think so. Most do not. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion of course. Everyone is entitled to their own path.

I love Shabbat, for many reasons, as well as this one: It is an opportunity to escape the high-paced business I run. We are always available to our clients. There is no such thing as 9 to 5 in real estate, and certainly not in our business. We communicate with buyers, sellers, our contractors, and other vendors at 6am, and we communicate with them at 11pm and anytime in between.

It is therefore wonderful to escape it all for 26 hours or so. No work. No meetings. No driving to properties. No laptop. No cell phone. No zoom. From about an hour before Sunset each Friday to about one hour after Sunset each Saturday, I am away from it all. And it is a wonderful thing to be able to focus on rest… and family… and the meaning of it all.

And what about you? Jew or not a Jew… if you feel like you need a break… you know what to do…!

I’ll Get You The Next Listing!

From time to time, I speak to a potential client that tells me this: “I’ll get you the next listing when I have one in Beverly Hills”.

Very exciting but not likely for most of my potential clients in the probate industry to have homes to sell in Beverly Hills, so, long overdue, below is the list of cities and neighborhoods throughout California in which I have sold residential and/or commercial properties to date…. If you have a property to sell anywhere in California, I am happy to help.

Adelanto

Agoura Hills

Aguanga

Alhambra

Altadena

Alturas

Anaheim Hills

Anderson

Apple Valley

Arcadia

Arleta

Artesia

Azusa

Bakersfield

Baldwin Park

Beaumont

Bel Air

Bell Gardens

Bellflower

Beverly Hills

Big Bear City

Big Bear Lake

Blairsden-Graeagle

Blythe

Bonsall

Brentwood

Buena Park

Burbank

Calabasas

California City

Camarillo

Canoga Park

Carlsbad

Carson

Castaic

Cedarpines Park

Ceres

Cerritos

Chatsworth

Chino Hills

Clearlake

Coarsegold

Coleville

Commerce

Compton

Corning

Corona

Costa Mesa

Cottonwood

Coulterville

Covina

Crescent City

Culver City

Desert Hot Springs

Douglas City

Downey

El Centro

El Dorado Hills

El Monte

El Segundo

Encinitas

Encino

Fairfield

Fontana

Frazier Park

Fresno

Galt

Gardena

Glendale

Glendora

Glenn

Granada Hills

Grass Valley

Grizzly Flat

Hacienda Heights

Harbor City

Hawthorne

Hayward

Helendale

Hermosa Beach

Hesperia

Hinkley

Hollywood

Homeland

Howthorne

Huntington Beach

Huntington Park

Imperial

Indio

Industry

Inglewood

Irvine

Joshua Tree

June Lake

La Habra

La Mesa

La Mirada

La Palma

La Puenta

La Verne

Laguna Beach

Laguna Hills

Lake Almanor

Lake Arrowhead

Lake Balboa

Lake Elizabeth

Lakehead

Lancaster

Lawndale

Lemoore

Littlerock

Lomita

Lompoc

Long Barn

Long Beach

Los Altos

Los Angeles

Lucerne Valley

Lynwood

Madera

Malibu

Manhattan Beach

Marina Del Rey

Mariposa

Marysville

Maywood

Mcarthur

Menifee

Merced

Mission Hills

Modesto

Monterey Park

Moreno Valley

Morro Bay

Mount Shasta

Mountain Center

Napa

Needles

New Cuyama

Newman

Newport Beach

North Hills

North Hollywood

Northridge

Norwalk

Oak Hills

Oakhurst

Oakland

Oceanside

Olivehurst

Ontario

Oxnard

Pacoima

Palm Springs

Palmdale

Panorama City

Paradise

Paramount

Pasadena

Paso Robles

Perris

Phelan

Pico Rivera

Pinon Hills

Playa Del Rey

Playa Vista

Pomona

Porterville

Portola

Rancho Cucamonga

Rancho Mirage

Rancho Palos Verdes

Rancho Santa Fe

Red Bluff

Redding

Redlands

Redondo Beach

Redway

Redwood City

Rialto

Richmond

Ridgecrest

Rio Dell

Rio Vista

Ripon

Riverside

Rocklin

Rohnert Park

Rosamond

Roseville

Rowland Heights

Sacramento

San Bernardino

San Clemente

San Diego

San Dimas

San Fernando

San Francisco

San Gabriel

San Jose

San Leandro

San Luis Obispo

San Mateo

San Pedro

Santa Barbara

Santa Clarita

Santa Maria

Santa Monica

Sausalito

Scotts Valley

Seal Beach

Seaside

Sebastopol

Selma

Shafter

Shasta

Shasta Lake

Sherman Oaks

Simi Valley

Sonora

South Gate

South Pasadena

Squaw Valley

Stockton

Studio City

Sun Valley

Sunland

Sylmar

Tarzana

Temecula

Temple City

Thousand Oaks

Torrance

Tracy

Trinidad

Truckee

Tujunga

Tulare

Turlock

Twain Harte

Twentynine Palms

Valencia

Vallejo

Valley Springs

Valley Village

Van Nuys

Ventura

Vista

Weed

Weldon

West Covina

West Hills

West Hollywood

Westchester

Westwood

Whittier

Winnetka

Woodland Hills

Yucca Valley

The Practitioner’s Handbook for Probate Real Estate

I wrote this book for you! It is available on Amazon.com

Hope you enjoy!

This book includes step-by-step procedures showcasing the various facets of probate real estate sales, as well as diagrams that visualize these processes. It includes many suggestions and strategies to share with your real estate agent to maximize the return of each sale and mitigate your liability. The book reflects the author’s experiences in probate, residential and commercial real estate sales, brokerage management, and business process management.

Chapter 1: Defining Probate

Chapter 2: Selecting Your Real Estate Agent Amidst a Probate Petition

Chapter 3: Setting Expectations with Your Probate Agent

Chapter 4: Pre-Marketing Strategies for Probate Properties

Chapter 5: Cash for Keys Process and Agreement

Chapter 6: The Eviction Process

Chapter 7: Getting the Probate Property Ready for Market

Chapter 8: Valuing the Probate Property

Chapter 9: Real Estate Disclosures in a Probate Transaction

Chapter 10: Marketing the Probate Property

Chapter 11: Probate Specific Terms in Purchase Agreements

Chapter 12: Offer Management in a Probate Transaction

Chapter 13: Closing and Settlement in a Probate Transaction

Chapter 14: Simplified Probate Procedures

Chapter 15: Title Vesting: Impact on Probate and Step-Up in Basis

Chapter 16: Insurance and Tax Implications of a Probate Sale

Chapter 17: An In-Depth Look at the Probate Process

Happy Thanksgiving 2022

Thanksgiving Thoughts and Wishes for You and Yours!

You do not have to believe in G-d. You do not need to be a Jew. Here are the thoughts I want to share on this Thanksgiving with you.

The following is the first prayer observant Jews say each morning when they wake up, before getting out of bed: “I offer thanks to You, living and eternal King, for You have mercifully restored my soul within me. Your faithfulness is great.”

I am grateful to have my soul restored each morning. I am grateful and thankful for yet another day that I awake and that is granted to me.

On this Thanksgiving week, and beyond, I wish for you not to forget gratitude… to appreciate each day and to use that time to do good deeds.

And if you happen to face obstacles in your life (and we all have experienced obstacles), there is this prayer that is repeated MULTIPLE times daily: “And for those who plot evil against me, hasten to annul their counsel and frustrate their design. Let them be as chaff before the wind.”

I am grateful for each and every person that was brought and will one day come into my life. I am also grateful for each person that was removed and will be removed from my life. I wish the same for you!

Wishing you strength during these not so simple yet beautiful times.

Orit Gadish

Quick Fix or Renovate?

You may be thinking NEITHER!!! Just sell it AS IS!!!

I’d like to share with you a story…. an attorney referred a client to me… she needed to sell grandma’s home.  He referred her to me because a CASH BUYER approached her and offered to pay her $425,000 CASH and he will take care of cleaning out the house.  He will buy it AS IS!

When I spoke with her, she stated that she had no funds, not even to rekey and secure the property, and it’s a mess inside, and she doesn’t want to deal with the headache of cleaning it up, which is why she was inclined on selling it to the CASH BUYER and not placing the property on the market.

I offered to have the property rekeyed for her and cleaned up with NO upfront cost.  She liked my proposal and agreed to proceed.

I visited the property with my locksmith and clear out vendor, the yard was severely overgrown, and the padlocks on the gates and garage were previously placed by her brother……. my vendor was able to secure them with new padlocks, and, we got the property rekeyed.   The kitchen and laundry area had paint hanging from the ceilings… it looked like this:

My client just walked in and came right out… she was frightened by what she saw.

Two weeks later, it looked like this:  

For $3,000 the yard and the interior of the home were cleared out, the peeling paint was scraped off and touch-up paint applied, and the house was cleaned so that it smells and looks good.

AND my vendor also spent a couple of hours with my client in the garage to sort through the personal property that her grandma left behind, so my client can keep those items that have sentimental value…

The reward:  We just sold it for $570,000!!!

That’s $145,000 over what she was offered by the CASH BUYER!

We sold the property to owner occupants, a nice couple who work in the construction industry and are now working to renovate the property for themselves.

We also had many CASH offers on the table, but none were close to the highest financed offer of $570,000.

Is my client happy with her attorney for referring me?  Absolutely!

You see… it’s not necessary to have a complete renovation in order to sell a property to an owner-occupant at top dollar…. Sometimes it’s enough to just do a “QUICK FIX”, so that buyers are not distracted or disgusted by paint hanging from the ceiling and bad smells…. You want to allow the buyers to be able to IMAGINE themselves living there. Some owner-occupant buyers don’t mind remodeling themselves…and some are in the construction industry as were these buyers!

Why I Launched the Probate and Trust Academy

Since the launch of my book “The Practitioner’s Handbook for Probate Real Estate”, I have been approached by numerous fiduciaries and attorneys to provide clarifications on real estate matters related to probate and trust situations. 

Through these conversations, I learned that some “established” real estate agents in the business are unaware of all the applicable laws, while others do not serve the best interests of their clients and the interests of their client’s clients.  I also learned that some fiduciaries and attorneys are unaware that their agents are not performing as they should.

I have had attorneys that aspire to get into the probate and trust field approach me for direction, as well as new fiduciaries seeking advice on getting started.

Given all of these encounters, I decided to launch the Probate and Trust Academy to help new fiduciaries, new attorneys, attorneys looking to change their specialization to probate and trust, and experienced attorneys and fiduciaries looking for another perspective on specific matters.

I recruited my husband and business partner, David Gadish, to help as well, and we are here to help you if you need help or seek an additional perspective.

We launched ProbateAndTrustAcademy.com.  The portal provides a lengthy list of courses covering three topics:  Real Estate, Business Development, and Technology Development.  These are not formal courses.  Rather, they are topics for conversation (30-60 minutes each).  Each course we offer is based on one of the books that David or I authored, based on our extensive multi-decade academic, professional, and business experiences. 

Each of us is happy to either zoom with you or with you and your team.  We can also visit with you at your office to cover any of the courses that interest you.

Best of all – there is NO cost to you if you are a fiduciary or an attorney in our field.

I hope you find at least one course of interest to you and reach out to schedule a time to meet via zoom or in person.

Does a Quick Sale Require Auction?

Some in our industry are under the impression that they must have the property auctioned when they need to sell a property quickly.

This is never the case. 

Before I explain why let me provide you with a quick background.  At Geffen Real Estate, we have experience conducting real estate auctions.  And so, if you wish to auction your property and have not done so with us before, you are welcome to give us a try.

However, if your goal is a quick sale, all you need to do is work with your real estate broker to price the property well below the comparables, and list it on the MLS with a relatively short deadline for offer submission, require that offers are cash only and are non-contingent.  You can also request a larger EMD, such as 10%, to weed out the weaker buyers.

The results are superior to those of an auction!  How so?

Either way, the property is listed on the MLS well below the comparables.

Either way, you can choose to accept cash offers only.  Just state so in the MLS!

Either way, you can define when a property will go under contract.  How?  Specify in the MLS a deadline for offers.

Either way, you can require a quick closing.  How?  Specify a 10-day closing in the seller’s counter.

So, what’s the advantage of not selling at auction if everything is the same?

Some people may not be able to attend the auction on auction day, but they all can submit their offers at their convenience by a specified date in the MLS!  And so, the pool of potential buyers is increased, as is the competition.

And if you think there is more pressure placed on buyers at an auction, remember that buyers are typically investors, and they have their limits calculated before arriving at the auction.  They can be pushed to the same limits via a set of counters if your agent is experienced and knows what they are doing.

Orit Gadish is a member of the National Auctioneers Association.

Trashout and Cleanup of Your Properties

You have a situation where the real property you are managing needs to be sold and is full of personal property and trash.  Completing a trashout and cleaning the property costs thousands of dollars.  The estate or trust does not have the funds to pay for these services.  

Your agent may offer you to sell the property “As Is”, with all of the debris and personal property to be included in the sale.  The standard verbiage of the C.A.R. purchase agreement states that “all debris and personal property not included in the sale shall be removed by Close of Escrow or at the time possession is delivered to Buyer”.  This term can be negotiated and addressed in a counter or addendum, stating that the seller will not remove the property’s debris and personal property.  However, marketing a property in this condition will not appeal to owner-occupants, who typically can offer more than investors.  

Investors will use this condition as leverage to offer less.  Since the property is full of debris and personal property, investor buyers may not be able to determine what the floor and walls look like, what damage exists, or if there’s mold and water damage, which will affect their bottom line.  This creates added risk that they are required to take, which does not result in the highest and best offer.

Alternatively, my firm’s network of vendors can handle the trashout and cleanup, and the estate or trust can pay for their services through escrow once the property has sold.  This includes the services of an organizer who will sort through the items, create an inventory list, determine the value of these items, and facilitate the sale of the valuables.   This approach maximizes the property’s value for the estate while minimizing your liability.

For more information about this or other probate real estate related topics, please contact me at 323-606-1919 (call or text).

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