First Team Real Estate Blog

When it comes to distressed homes, everybody wants an expert. There’s nothing worse than facing the uncertainty of having your future in someone else’s hands. But if those hands belong to a Certified Distressed Property Expert, such as First Team Ladera Ranch’s SOMMER Myers, you can rest easy. With nine years of real estate experience and a sales volume of more than $40 million, SOMMER is a Certified Distressed Property Expert with the self-motivation and wherewithal to make your real estate experience a success. She is a perfect storm of personality and ability, combining her outgoing and energetic nature with her top producer awards at First Team to get the very best for each of her clients. Her goals are those of her clients: creating a successful and…

Terry Roark was a successful entrepreneur and business owner before he was a top-producing Hall of Fame agent and branch manager for First Team. As manager for the Laguna Beach office, he counsels agents to think of themselves as strategic professionals rather than just real estate agents. It’s an approach that works – agents are reaching their goals, and the office production is up 75 percent from last year. According to Terry, the culture of the Laguna Beach office is conducive to success. Describing it as more casual than buttoned up, Terry says the office has the appeal of a boutique office while still offering a friendly, helpful and supportive vibe. “There’s no door you can’t knock on and say, ‘Hi, can you help me?’” he said. “Everyone’s star rises…

The market for short sales, whereby underwater homeowners sell their homes despite owing more on the mortgage than the property’s value, is expected to hit an all-time high in 2012 because bankers now realize that this option is more profitable than foreclosure. Data from RealtyTrac shows that during the first quarter of this year alone, the number of short sales – 109,521 – was up 25 percent on an annual basis, showing the highest level observed in three years. In some cases, the desire to help move on from underwater, distressed properties is so strong that banks have even begun to offer underwater borrowers large sums of money if they agree to a short sale for their distressed property. Distressed homeowners believe that the expression “short sale” is…

Dutch Kleindienst, manager of the First Team Temecula office, has been “in the trenches” so to speak. As a manager who was recently an REO buyer’s agent, and a manager before that, he knows exactly what it takes to be a successful agent. Recruited and coaxed back into a management role by First Team more than a year ago, he now coaches and mentors the 75 agents in the Temecula office. Dutch is a self-described “hands-on” manager with an open door policy who says he has mastered the art of the “five-minute meeting” – although, he admits his weekly sales meeting runs a little longer! Market updates, legal briefs, coaching and a fun brain-teaser at the end keep the meetings informative and stir the creative juices. Dutch credits the ongoing training, strong…

Jennifer Berman tells the agents of the Anaheim Hills First Team office not to call her a manager; she prefers her role to be defined as ‘business partner’.  As such, she believes she can be truly invested in the success of an agent’s business. A noted technology trainer since 1997 and a real estate licensee for the past 16 years, Jennifer shares a wealth of well rounded experience with her agents. Known for her ‘Mastermind’ group – Jennifer personally selects no more than 10 agents at a time to participate in a six-week training and coaching series that includes a one-on-one follow up. She prides herself on being ‘in tune’ with her agents and she always wants what is best for them, from comfortable surroundings to top technology products and…

Many North County-area agents joined First Team CEO and Founder Cameron Merage and Yorba Linda Branch Manager Bob MacCulloch at the official unveiling of the company’s newly renovated office in Packing House Square on Imperial Highway, Yorba Linda, at a by-invitation-only event held July 18. Invitations to join the celebration were sent to cooperative business associates as well as First Team agents who call the Yorba Linda office “home.” “This office is in a great location to serve our clients, but the office was long overdue for an update and renovation,” Bob said. “Now the office more truly reflects the type of clientele that is served by the agents who work here.” Agents praised the contemporary re-design that showcases upscale elements such as…

The Newport Beach office of First Team Estates may be the most beautiful real estate office in the U.S., says Manager Debbie Lewandowski, who also serves as the director of the company’s Luxury Division. Specializing in serving the luxury market, agents at this location cater to an international client base and collectively speak 12 different languages. They are highly trained to deliver uncompromising results to clients of privilege who expect no less. Cameron Merage, CEO and Founder of First Team, is also a founding member the company’s international marketing arm, Luxury Portfolio International™.  First Team is one of only 100 top brokerages worldwide invited to be a part of this exclusive network and is one of only two Orange County companies so…

There are signs of a housing recovery in Orange County and other Southland markets. Sales are inching up, MLS inventory is down and while overall distressed sales are dropping, there is a rising share of short sales in the market place. According to figures recently published in The Orange County Register, distressed homes currently sell 3.6-times faster than non-distressed homes and 62-percent of distressed listings are short sales. [caption id="attachment_1273" align="alignleft" width="498"]The First Team short sale commercial begins airing Aug. 8 In the First Team commercial that begins airing Aug. 8, two homeowners discuss the difference between a short sale and foreclosure as well as additional options for their homes.[/caption] Handling a short sale expeditiously has until recently been a challenge and…

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="173"]Jackie Stashik Jackie Stashik[/caption]

Fifteen years ago, Jackie Stashik was drawn towards a career in real estate.  It was a decision she has never regretted because, as Jackie says, “I love this job!” It is evident from the testimonials from “raving fans” on her website that in return, her clients love the job that Jackie does for them. Anxious first-time buyers, seniors dealing with the emotions of downsizing – no matter what the need, clients know they can count on Jackie’s great negotiation skills and tenacious dedication to find a solution to every problem. Jackie primarily helps clients throughout South Orange County and she has recently joined the First Team Irvine office. If you are looking for an agent who is

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="292"]Laura Basadre Laura Basadre[/caption]

With more than a decade of experience, Laura Basadre has a proven track record of not just listing properties for sale but getting them sold. By staging, pricing listings right and using a focused marketing campaign, Laura soon replaces the “for sale” sign with a “sold” sign.  Both buyers and sellers working with Laura appreciate her excellent negotiation skills and her passion for getting her clients “the best deal.”  Excellent marketing materials and advertising opportunities are just two of the reasons Laura joined the First Team Long Beach office. As an area resident and a member of the Belmont Heights Homeowners Association, Laura loves to introduce clients to Long Beach and the