THE SECOND STORY | May 12th, 2016

Marilyn – how did you get into the real estate biz?

Boomer-chick-musings – where my head wanders while riding my bike around town…

Windy spring evening along Alameda's south shore!
Windy spring evening along Alameda’s south shore!



I had a client/friend ask me about my background, when we were sharing stories about our previous lives, yesterday, over at Julie’s Coffee and Tea Garden (on Park St. between San Antonio and San Jose).

I told her about how (my husband) got me into flying…and all that went with that gig (see my bio on this blog).

But I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned, in public, what made me get into real estate, besides my dad calling me one night (interrupting his own dinner) and telling me about the great agent they had in S CA.  He said I’d be good at it.

I got my license, thinking what’s another license, after getting my pilot’s license (private, commercial, flight instructor for gliders and single-engine land aircraft, multi-engine land, and instrument ratings, and passed the flight engineer test for 727’s). How hard could getting a real estate license be? Not hard at all, it turns out.

Almost anybody can/does get a real estate license back in the day, up to today.

However, before I even thought about getting my license, my mother-in-law (m-i-l) wanted to buy some real estate in Alameda, and Carl and I would be the tenants and property managers for the duplex that she purchased. The agent/broker (who still is around but I won’t use names), double-ended the deal.

What’s that mean? It means that she represented both the seller and the buyer in the transaction. My m-i-l sold her place somewhere around Pismo Beach and bought the place in Alameda.

We didn’t know anything about ‘double-ending the deal’ and there was no MLS (multiple listing service) in Alameda.  It was who you knew and it was all about the property secrets that agents knew…very old school, very selective, no disclosures about anything were required by law. We didn’t know nothin!

We were fortunate to have the Seller carry the paper (take on the loan), without any bank involved and my m-i-l’s good credit helped here.

The transaction was consistently delayed for various reasons, none of which were completely known by us, but it did close. It made it difficult to give our landlord notice because we were never told when it would close. The hardwood floors were never refinished, but they should have been because the contract the Seller agreed to said they would be done. Oh well.

The thing that really stayed with me was that my m-i-l had to pay taxes on the place she sold!  Any real estate broker/agent would have known to ask about any real estate transaction (sale or exchange) that could have delayed her paying taxes on the gain of her sale in Pismo Beach.

Both the agent who sold the property in Pismo Beach, and the local agent in Alameda, who represented my m-i-l, neglected to ask any of those questions that would have delayed her payment of taxes because she could have completed a 1031 Tax Deferred Exchange! She could have traded one property for another, as long as the IRS rules were obeyed, BEFORE the sale closed in Pismo Beach.

And that is why I actually got into real estate: to help protect others, like my mother-in-law, from making costly mistakes, and giving the best service possible to those with whom I work.

Oh, and although it is legal to represent both buyer and seller at the same time, I do not consider it ethical...and won’t do it.

Somebody, sooner or later, always thinks that they got screwed over and that doesn’t help an agent’s reputation (but it sure makes agents richer when they do it).

And it turns out my dad was right…I love this business, because it is ALWAYS about the PEOPLE!

Alameda Real Estate this Week

Broker Tour Tues 6 saw 5, all on the main island, via my bike.

New 13

AC 1 active contingent (needs to sell another property before being able to close this transaction).

PCH 1 price change

Pending 12

Sold 10

WC 1 withdrawn/cancelled

Total Active listings in Alameda 38

Total Pending listings in Alameda 50

Alameda Real Estate Awards this week….only my perspective!

Cute, Charming  I sold something kind of like this…very small, quite quaint, on the edge of the Gold Coast. The Buyers loved it because it was huge to them….they live on a boat before purchasing this tiny house.

How about those Warriors?!

Great, Greater, Greatest?

Have a great weekend…call me if you have questions about the market!

best, marilyn

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I arrived in Alameda in 1973, as a new bride...with husband Carl Schumacher, both of us from Newport Beach. He was embarking on his career as a Naval Architect (i.e. yacht designer) under Gary Mull. Please see the 'ABOUT ME' page in this website! to see how it has all turned out! I'm so blessed!