My Agent Spotlight Series begins with Jeff Menendez, a tech savvy Corona/Inland Empire Real Estate Agent with TMG Group/Keller Williams Realty. Jeff can be reached at (951) 821-6683 and I would encourage you to follow his blog, and on Twitter, Google+, AboutMe, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
Me: When and why did you become a real estate agent?
Jeff Menendez: I decided to go into real estate directly back in 2008. I felt my 10 years of customer service experience would be an asset as well as my prior knowledge of the real estate industry. I am a solution minded person and I enjoy helping people. Whether walking a first time home buyer through the process of a home purchase, working with a seller, or savvy investor.
Me: When not working, what do you like to do on your free time?
Jeff Menendez: I enjoy spending time with my wife and 2 daughters, and have another on the way, so I’m very much a family man. I’m also a musician. I’ve been playing drums and percussion for over 20 years. I currently fill in for top 40 bands and play regularly at my church. I also enjoy watching the NFL and futbol, especially F.C. Barcelona.
Me: Is it better for a buyer/seller to work with an agent who is part of a team or a solo person? Is there a difference?
Jeff Menendez: Good question. There’s an advantage to working with a team because a team typically has more resources than a solo agent. Man power, experience, time and responsiveness. A client has the attention of multiple people. However, with a solo agent, if you have the one on one contact. So you have the one person to go to instead of a few.
Me: Here’s the million dollar question. Will homes continue to rise in price for 2014 like they did in 2013? Why/why not?
Jeff Menendez: I believe they will. A few factors to consider, 1) People who lost their homes to foreclosure or short sales 3 years ago will be able to purchase again, keep in mind the first significant wave of short sales started in 2009 with 15,618 short sales in 2010 alone in the Inland Empire. That’s a lot of potential buyers hitting market next year not counting first time or move-up/down buyers. Builders are also ramping up as well. As long as the interest rate stays within the historically low numbers then we should see home prices continue to climb in 2014.
Me: If you could give a person who is buying or selling their home one piece of advice, what would it be?
Jeff Menendez: For the buyer, always have representation. The listing agents always has a fiduciary duty to the seller first. You need to have someone on your side to negotiate and go to bat for you. In my opinion it’s a myth that you will get a better deal with working with a listing agent directly. A solid buyer’s agent who is on your side will get an offer accepted more often than not. Not worth the risk. For the seller, don’t focus on the commission amount, focus on the listing agent’s ability to get you the most net proceeds of your home in context to the market