A native of San Francisco, I have been licensed as an Attorney [State Bar #43062] since 1968, and as a Real Estate Broker [DRE# 00849905] since 1983. I represent buyers and sellers as a Single Agent, never as a Dual Agent.
I handle For-Sale-by-Owner transactions as the homeowner's attorney.
I have very broad experience throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, having personally located homes over the years for buyer clients who
purchased in Belmont Berkeley Blackhawk Concord Corte Madera Daly City Danville El Sobrante Emeryville Fairfax Greenbrae Hayward Kentfield Lafayette Mill Valley Montclair Napa Newark Novato Oakland Orinda Pacifica Piedmont Pittsburg Pleasant Hill Point Richmond Redwood Shores San Bruno San Carlos San Pablo San Francisco San Rafael San Ramon Santa Clara Saratoga Sausalito South San Francisco Sunnyvale Tiburon Union City Walnut Creek
I now limit my practice to San Francisco Districts 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9, and to Marin County, other than West Marin.
Curriculum vitae .....
* Hastings College of the Law, University of California, 1968
* State Bar of California, January, 1969
* NAR, National Association of Realtors, 1983
* CAR, California Association of Realtors, 1983
* San Francisco Association Realtors, l983
For many years I taught a real estate class for the Learning Annex on purchasing a home, from the buyer's perspective.
At the time I was a Director of NAEBA, the National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents. Since agency rests with the brokerage and not with the individual agent, the entire brokerage could not take listings. In other words, if Tom and Dick had listings, Harry could not belong to NAEBA since his buyer clients might be interested in one of Tom's listings, thereby creating a Dual agency situation.
Out of respect for the concept I resigned when buyer clients eventually wanted me to list homes they had purchased through me. In those situations I did not and would not represent interested buyers. But I felt that the very act of taking a listing was "inconsistent" with the NAEBA concept.
In California the amount of compensation is not set by law and is negotiable. However, the manner of compensation has not changed since Nero burned down Rome and the first Realtors® looked outside and exclaimed, "Would you look at all that upside potential!"
First, sellers agree in writing (listing agreement) to compensate their broker/brokerage. Then the broker (most often, but not always) lists the home in a shared database called the Multiple Listing Service [MLS]. Pursuant to MLS Rules and Regulation the listing broker agrees to compensate the broker that brings a buyer to the table. In the San Francisco Bay Area the commission split is most often 50%-50%.
This has been the case for so long that when the mortgage industry appraises the home to determine its fair market value, it does not subtract out the real estate commission. So the commission is effectively financed without being separately itemized as a "closing cost".
Buyers can certainly pay their own broker and subtract the commission from the price. The problem (for the seller) is that the listing agent would then be entitled to its full commission. Or, the buyers can seek a credit from the seller for nonrecurring closing costs in an amount that covers the amount of the commission, and confirm that the credit is acceptable to their specific mortgage lender.
In those transactions where the seller had no agent our commission was paid by seller out of seller's proceeds at close of escrow. In California the fact that a buyer's broker is compensated in this manner is not dispositive of the agency relationships of the parties to their respective brokers. [Civil Code Section 2079.19]