Full-Service Discount Realtors, Offering Substantial Savings for Both Buyers & Sellers
Pacific Century Realty is the area's only full-service-plus discount/rebate real estate brokerage.
Based on a truly unique USP (Unique Selling Proposition) of financial rewards for "Good Buyers" and "Good Sellers" (modeled on the auto insurance industry's "Good Driver" discount concept), Pacific Century offers qualified consumers the very best deal currently available in today's marketplace, typically resulting in savings of tens of thousands of dollars.
By reducing unnecessary overhead and leveraging technology, our advanced business model enables both our clients and our associates who serve them to share the wealth represented by the tremendous value of real property. The trademarked company name is derived from the conviction that "the 21st Century will be 'the Pacific Century'."
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ List)
Q: How many years' experience do you have?
A: PC Realty's managing broker, Daniel Berman, began his real estate career in 1988. PC Realty's first office was established in the North Bay in 1990.
Q: How much commission will you charge for listing my property?
A: The listing office commission, which can be as low as 1%, is calculated on the basis of a variety of factors, including the listing price and how closely you match our "Good Seller" profile.
Q: How much commission will you charge if you also represent the buyer?
A: The selling office commission, in a "dual agency" scenario, can also be as low as 1%.
Q: Is dual agency legal?
A: Yes. Part of the disclosure information that both buyers and sellers are required by law to be given and sign for covers the aspect of dual agency.
Q: Can't I save even more money by just selling my property myself or using a flat-fee limited services company?
A: We encourage you to select whichever option you feel most comfortable with. First be sure to educate yourself about what you're getting into. Ask yourself this key question: "If I were to 'save' $5,000 in commissions, while losing $50,000 in selling price, would I really be saving, in terms of my bottom-line earnings?" Almost always, the 'savings' achieved in FSBO-type scenarios are actually false economies. (FSBO, pronounced "fizz-bow," is the acronym for For Sale By Owner.)
There's a good reason that 99 percent of all properties are sold through commission-based, full-service real estate brokerages, who cooperate with each other, channeling their buyers and sellers into a single efficient system.
Considering the near certainty that your bottom line will suffer, that you will endure substantial frustration, that you will increase your legal exposure (liability) and so on, is it not sheer folly to pit yourself against a highly developed system that could be working in your favor?
Sellers who subsequently turn to us for assistance have reported a number of problems with the "flat fee" model. The flat-fee agent, when representing the seller, is disincentivized from getting the listing sold at the highest price possible. Typically, no discounts are offered when the listing agent also represents the buyer, as the brokerage is hoping to make its profit "on the back end." For this reason, there is a built-in disincentive to cooperate with other agents, which ultimately works to the sellers' disadvantage.
Q: What about RedFin and Zip Realty: How do you compare with them?
A: What we hear from clients who come to us following experiences with these companies echoes the complaints you can find through a search on Google, using phrases along these lines:
* negative reviews of [name of company]
* the problem with [name of company]
* [name of company] complaints
* complaints against [name of company]
* [name of company] sucks
"I never actually met my agent in person. We only talked by phone." "The company didn't deliver on its promises. We didn't get the discount/rebate we thought we would be getting." "Our agent wrote the offer for us without ever actually seeing the house!"
Q: What about HelpUSell and Assist2Sell: How do you compare with them?
A: We would urge you to do the same kind of searches on Google as the ones illustrated above. In a nutshell, the problem with these kinds of limited fee-for-service programs is that sellers do not get the help they need with their listings, usually to the great detriment of their bottom line.
Q: What do you mean by "Good Seller"?
A: In the insurance industry, Good Drivers receive "Good Driver discounts," based on the fact that these drivers are likely to result in savings, which the company can then pass along to the consumer. They are assigned "Good Driver" status on the basis of their profiles, which reflect driving experience and driving history. If someone is an experienced driver and has a clean record (no history of serious accidents), for example, that individual is likely to consume fewer resources and be easier to service.
Overwhelmingly, the real estate industry fails to reward Good Sellers and Good Buyers, who in effect bear the burden of helping to carry the less desirable customers, by paying the same rates that they do.
Pacific Century Realty is different. Our generous discounts and rebates are based on the logic that clients who save us time and money are entitled to special rewards. They deserve to get some of that money back, in the form of discounts and rebates.
Q: Are you a true "full-service" brokerage?
A: Yes. We provide the same services as any of the companies that do not offer discounts or rebates. Your property is listed in the MLS (Multiple Listing Service), we market the listing, arrange "virtual tours," produce effective brochures, hold the "open houses" for you and so on. In fact, our high-quality clientele focus enables us to work more effectively and achieve better results for you.
At the same time, we save you both time and money at every step of the way, from inspections (which are discounted) to enhanced virtual tours (which are provided free-of-charge) to financing (commissions on which are either reduced or waived for qualified buyers).*
Q: Is the range of services you offer identical to that of the traditional full-commission companies?
A: No. In fact, we typically offer a wider range of services for our clients, at a discount, than the traditional full-service companies provide their clients, charging many thousands of dollars more.
Q: Can you give me some examples of these additional services?
A: A dedicated property address website for each listing (along the lines of 123MainStreet.com), at no additional charge to the client. Not just a URL/Website address that points to an agent's page but a highly effective, stand-alone multi-function website with "virtual tour" and detailed information relating to the property. A dedicated toll-free 800 number extension featuring a professionally written and recorded audio tour. Lighted yard ("For Sale") signs, to make your listing more noticable and give it an extra edge over any others that may be available in the vicinity. An Internet-based HomeFeedback system, for monitoring buyer agent interest and activity. Additional Internet promotion, on numerous websites beyond the standard MLS profile. Professionally designed and written flyers focusing entirely on your property, with no space sacrificed to listing agent photos and personal self-promotion. See a detailed list on the "25 Advantages" page.
Q: By reducing overhead, aren't you cutting back on services?
A: The reduction is achieved by cutting out the "fat" that weighs down traditional brokerages. Examples include expensive office space, large staffs and company parties. Reigning in non-essential overhead such as this enables us to remain "lean and mean," passing the savings along to you, the consumer.
Q: How can you possibly manage to offer such a high level of service at such a substantial discount?
A: The key is that the discounts are offered selectively, only to those buyers and sellers who represent a close fit with the programs.
Q: Why don't you just post all your criteria for everything on your Website?
A: Our criteria for identifying Good Sellers and Good Buyers constitute proprietary information that forms the basis of our special system of discounts and rebates. We do offer some examples, to help you understand the logic of our approach.
Persons who are Internet- and email-literate, for instance, who have no history of real-estate lawsuits, who have previous experience buying or selling ... all of these are characteristics that increase the likelihood of a less time-consuming, smoother and more problem-free transaction.
The rest of the information is obtained in the context of a brief face-to-face meeting, during which we ask you questions, to determine whether we could best help you meet your needs.
Q: Can't I just gather all the information I want (anonymously), by telephone?
A: We regularly receive calls from agents and brokers trying to gather "competitive intelligence." If we acquiesced and spent the bulk of our time each day teaching our systems to competitors remotely by telephone, we would not be in a position to help those Good Buyers and Good Sellers who have a genuine need for our services.
Q: But can't I get an intial free, no-obligation consultation by phone or email?
A: Yes, of course you may. A phone interview is actually a prerequisite for an in-person meeting. The ultimate decision as to whether we work together calls for a face-to-face meeting and on-site inspection of your property. Your house is more than a number to us. It deserves an on-site evaluation.
Q: What do you mean by commission rebates for buyers?
A: Individuals who qualify as Good Buyers receive a portion of the selling office commission, as a credit back to them, in escrow. The amount of the rebate, which can be as much as 50%, is calculated on the basis of a variety of factors, including the purchase price and how closely you match our "Good Buyer" profile, which partially overlaps with the "Good Seller" profile.
Q: Do you require a "Buyer's Broker Agreement"?
A: Yes. We work exclusively with buyers who are committed to utilizing our services. By working effectively, we are able to offer generous rebates to our clients, as a reward for loyalty and cooperation. (Simply stated, the Buyer's Broker Agreement designates us as your exclusive representative for a particular transaction. There is no fee to you, the buyer.)
Q: What is your service area?
A: We currently cover the entire San Francisco Bay Area, as well as portions of the Central Valley. Our headquarters is centrally located, in downtown Palo Alto, minutes from Stanford University. We have office facilities in various cities throughout the Bay Area, including Campbell, Mountain View, Pleasanton, Redwood City, San Bruno, San Francisco, San Jose, San Mateo, San Rafael, San Ramon, Santa Clara and Walnut Creek, as well as a branch office in Blossom Valley (San Jose).
Q: What about other related service providers I will need?
A: We have an entire team at the disposal of our clients: title company, home and termite inspector, stager, house painter, etc. We can also provide you with referrals to accountants, attorneys, financial planners, insurance agents and so on.
Q: How do I know how good you are?
A: Have a look at our testimonials. Have you ever seen another brokerage with this large a collection of outstanding testimonials, with the names of real people, companies and locations (as opposed to just a handful of statements with initials only, the standard fare at most agent Websites)?
Q: What's the next step for me to take?
A: Buying or selling real property is a major financial undertaking. It's advisable to thoroughly educate yourself about your options, before entering into an agreement with any brokerage.
Then call or email us, to schedule a preliminary interview by phone. If, together, we determine that we have the potential for a sufficiently good fit, we will arrange for an in-person meeting, to take discussions a step further.
Q: So you don't agree to work with everyone who comes to you?
A: That's correct. It's only by focusing on those who meet certain criteria that we are able to offer the generous discounts and rebates that we make available to our exclusive clientele.
We recognize that there are good people who may not meet our "Good Buyer" or "Good Seller" criteria. The conclusions reached by the underwriting parameters that we are obliged to follow in order to make intelligent business decisions with regard to extending special discounts and rebates are not intended to carry over into any other context.
Even if we do not end up working together, we may be in a position to give you referrals to competent real estate professionals with other reputable companies who would likely be able to meet your needs. We will still do our best to help you, utilizing our extensive referral network and years of professional experience!
Q: Do you have openings for agents at your company?
A: We are always interested in hearing from individuals who may represent a good fit with our organization. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, for details.
*Terms & conditions apply. Inquire for details. All offers subject to change & cancellation without further notice.
Copyright © Pacific Century Realty. All rights reserved.