Heather Estes

Visalia, CA

Female, 27

I am a full-time REALTOR® under the state of California. I specialize in home buyers and am passionate about sharing the importance for everyone (especially young people) to become credit worthy. Many see home-ownership as something unattainable, or something to do when their in their 30's, married and with kids. While it might be one of the most expensive purchases in our lifetime the process itself is not as daunting as it's made out to be. With the right information anyone can own a home!

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28 Questions


Last Answer on April 03, 2015

Best Rated

Should buyers be wary of buying bank-owned homes or ones in foreclosure? Are there weird risks associated with them that don't apply in standard private-home sales?

Asked by Jim almost 6 years ago

Good question :)

Not at all. My first home was a foreclosure! Most of the time when a home is owned by the bank they either disclose that the property comes "as is" and ask for conventional financing or cash which is a dead giveaway that substantial work has to be done. Otherwise, they fix up the place enough to make it movie in ready and FHA financeable. Not all bank owned properties are a great deal though. It really takes some knowledge of the market before deciding if a distressed property is the way to go.

My advise would be to seek out a local agent that specializes in bank owned property.

Have you ever been part of a sale where it turned out that the seller didn't actually own the property he was trying to sell? Are title searches 100% reliable in avoiding situations like that? What happens if there just aren't good records?

Asked by Sunil almost 6 years ago

Lucky for me I have not been part of a sale with bad title. There are so many things that can go wrong with a real estate transaction and an agent only has control over a select few things. When it comes to the things we don't handle ourselves like financing, home inspections, and title companies, we serve our clients best by ensuring we select good, honest companies to complete those tasks. Experience is a good thing when finding an agent to work with but finding a an agent with seasoned resources is even more of a good thing! A good title company will do their job and dig up as much as record will allow them. If the home is being financed most lenders require a "clean title" before they will fund the loan. Title insurance is also super important and will alleviate an issues that may come up down the road. The most common title errors are clerical, meaning parts of information are untrue or left out making ownership unclear. If you have title insurance the cost of making the corrections to the title are covered by the title company.

Really good question, thank you!

So many times I've met with a real estate agent and it's turned out to be a kid in his late teens. What's the deal with that? Do more seasoned agents look at them like silly young parasites or what?

Asked by Hobbes over 5 years ago

Honestly, at first they might have. I remembered getting static when I got licensed, I was only 20. If you're good at what you do, regardless of age, your an asset. The youth has brought a new twist to game. It keeps us all on our toes. New technology, new marketing ideas, it's really made it more of a make or break industry, at least here in California. I can't speak for the rest of the US. As long as your agent knows their stuff you're in good hands. I have come across a few agents who have been in the business 20 years and still can't speak openly to clients or negotiate on their behalf. Go with whomever you feel more comfortable with. If an older, more experienced agent is what you want then make that a priority when interviewing agents for the job. Thank you for the question :)

My buyer is apparently having trouble with his financing, even though we've signed the sale papers. I technically have the right to declare a default, but are there others strategies I should consider before doing that?

Asked by Rick almost 6 years ago

That would depend on what the nature of their financing trouble is. Perhaps they should speak to a different lender? I have heard of deals falling through after they have been accepted because buyers aren't told that the loan underwriters keep their financial life under the microscope after pre qualification. Many buyers, if not instructed properly, will go out and buy all new furniture after hearing about their offer being accepted without realizing their credit gets run again before the loan is funned. They rack up the credit cards, their scores adjust and suddenly they no longer qualify for their loan and the deal falls through. Not sure if that's the case with your buyers, either way it's not a fun thing to go through for either party involved.

Thank you for the question Rick!

Have you ever had a buyer or seller try to back out of a sale after the paperwork was signed, and what happened?

Asked by Maddy1 over 6 years ago

I've never had this situation happen to me, but deals do fall through for many reasons. It is totally possible to back out after negotiations; however, it is not without cost. Once an offer has been inspected a buyer usually has a 17 day inspection period where they can order a terminate report, home inspection, and roof inspection. Depending on negotiations either party could pay for these. If the buyer finds something troubling in the inspections we write up a request for repairs where we ask the seller to fix the issue. If the seller refuses the buyer could back out of the deal and get their earnest money deposit back (Usually at least $1000). If they back out after the inspection period they lose their earnest money deposit and whatever money they put into inspections.

I hope that answered your question Maddy1, thank you for asking it!

Are realtors cut-throat or for the most part pretty professional with each other, and what's the worst-behavior you've seen from one of them?

Asked by BS over 5 years ago

It's really hit and miss. Like any profession the mean ones are out there, but for the most part we are all pretty nice to each other. There are plenty of agents that I would prefer not to work with or would like to tell a thing or two, but it's in our best interest (and the best interest of our clients) to get a long. If I start beef with an agent for whatever reason and later on that agent has a property listed that my clients would like to put an offer on I have just greatly reduced their odds of getting their offer accepted. Not to mention as a REATLOR it is also a part of our code of ethics.

I haven't really seen anything too crazy as of yet (I'm sure my day will come) The worst experience I have had is just not getting responses out of the other agent to the point that I had to show up at their office demanding to speak with them in order to get the documents I needed to sanction the deal. Most of the time it's little things like that.

Thank you for the question!

Have you ever talked someone out of buying a property and suggested renting instead simply because you didn't think it would have been a responsible financial decision for them?

Asked by Karyn almost 6 years ago

No, I can't say that I have. When someone comes to me to buy a home I have them meet with a lender to assess their ability to purchase. The lender will show them the numbers and the buyer decides if they will be manageable. If the lender approves them we go house shopping. I don't look too far into their private lives. I know where they work and how much they can afford, it's really hard for me to tell (unless I know them personally) if buying would a bad choice. Also, in my market it's almost always more affordable to buy than to rent so the struggle usually comes in the form of lender approval for the loan, not the ability to pay the mortgage. But if the market I worked looked different, of course I would. It is in our code of ethics to ensure we help our clients make the best choices, even when they don't benefit us as agents in the slightest. Turning down a buyer or seller is a loss in the wallet but a win in reputation and a good reputation goes a lot further than a paycheck in my book.

Thank you for the awesome question Karyn!