I am thrilled to be a part of the Real Estate community in Marin County, especially working with the great team at Madeline Schaider Real Estate. I have loved living in Marin for over 30 years and have an insider’s knowledge of the various towns and neighborhoods, the excellent schools, things to do and where to go!
My strong business background and extensive real estate investing experience, combine to make me an important asset for anyone buying or selling real estate in Marin. Previously a sales rep and business owner for 24 years and President of my Local Trade Association, I am known for my excellent customer service, organizational expertise and sound judgement. I have a keen sense for what my clients are looking for and aim to make the process of buying or selling a home as easy and enjoyable as possible.
Born in England, I traveled extensively throughout the world before settling in Marin in 1985.
Buying a House in California is Much Easier than in the UK
Here are the Differences:
- In Marin you work with a real estate agent, licensed by the State of California, with continuing education requirements. Real Estate agents also belong to state and national organizations with strict codes of ethics, and receive the designation of Realtor®. In the UK, an estate agent does not have this type of professional licensing or regulatory requirements.
- Real Estate agents in the US do a lot more than Estate Agents. We have a fiduciary relationship with our clients; we are bound by contract to protect your interests. Much of what Real Estate agents do here is done by Solicitors in the UK.
- In the UK, a contract has several stages before it is considered binding. This permits an owner to back away from an initial agreement to sell at an agreed upon price if they get a better offer. In the US, an agreed upon offer to buy at a stated price is considered binding. Sellers may have significant legal and financial consequences if they fail to complete a sales contract.
- The transaction process in the UK can be time consuming and mysterious, involving many legal maneuvers that must be performed before a binding contract is created. A simple transaction may take 2 months. In California the process is relatively simple. A sales contract is backed up by Good Faith Money and is binding, unless certain contingencies are not met. A purchase typically completes in 30 days, but can be shorter.
- California has a Multiple Listing Service, allowing competing agents and buyers to share property information. This encompasses every county in the state. Agent co-operation is normal here, expanding the choices for buyers and sellers. Agent co-operation in UK does happen, but it is not the norm. Usually there is only one agent in each transaction and that agent represents the seller.
- In the UK, agents are paid a small commission, about 1-1.5% of the selling price. In California, commissions are negotiable and are usually 5-6% paid to the seller’s agent, which is shared with the buyer’s agent.
- Buying and selling flats in England has historically been a legal minefield because of the Leasehold and Freehold interests. This is not a factor here. The majority of properties are Freehold.
How you can finance your home purchase in California
There are high-quality lenders that will lend to qualified foreign nationals. I can refer you to a trusted mortgage broker who can help you with the process.
Since many Brits do not have established credit or employment history in the US, you will have to put down around 40% of the sales price, and the mortgage rates are slightly higher. To complete a home purchase, you will need a United States entry visa or a Social Security Number.
I would love to help those of you relocating from the UK to the Bay Area, find your perfect home. Call me with any of your Real Estate needs.