Broker, Alta Realty Group CA
For nearly three decades, Rich Szerman has dedicated his professional career to real estate, especially focused now on ensuring people can stay in their homes.
On the web: www.RichSzerman.com
How did you get your start in real estate?
My mom is a Realtor. I was studying history at university and while on a break my mom asked me to help with a few real estate-related tasks. I was 18 and I discovered I just had an aptitude for the business. That was 29 years ago. At first, I thought it was just a lot of fun and a good way to avoid getting a real job. Before I knew it, I was licensed and working with clients. I’m still having fun and it’s been my real job for almost 30 years.
We know the Santa Clarita Valley continues to be an especially desirable place to live. Is the supply keeping up with the demand, and what other challenges can a hot market present for Realtors?
Let me start by saying this is not a ‘hot market.’ It is cooling. The data is incontrovertible. Price appreciation is slowing. The interest rate has risen very quickly over the past six months and that has pushed many first time and lower end buyers out of the market and slowed buying in general. New housing starts are slowing. Banking regulations are being rolled back. I hope I am wrong, but I think there is a storm on the horizon and it’s going to hit within the next six to 18 months. If the interest rate continues to rise, and if that gets coupled with a dip in consumer confidence, prices will start to fall.
Alta Realty Group offers an exclusive Rental Rebate Program. How does it work?
Our exclusive rental rebate program is designed to give renters who want to be owners money to help them buy a home. We know that most buyers’ biggest problem when purchasing a home is the money necessary to get it done. We also know there is a lot of money in any real estate transaction that we can redirect to the client instead of ourselves. It’s basic business math. We make a little less on each deal, but we do many more deals. So, everybody wins. The program itself works like this: We are happy to give any client approved for our program 10 percent of the rent they have already paid back to buy a home. They do not pay it back. It is a gift, it’s just that easy.
What other services distinguish Alta Realty Group?
We also offer our resale renovation program that gives sellers money to fix up their homes for sale. As Realtors, we know homes in the best condition sell for more money faster. The more a house sells for, the more money we Realtors make and the faster it sells, the less it costs us to service the listing. So, as in all of our special service programs, everyone wins!
Lastly, we do foreclosure defense completely free of change. We do not believe in charging clients who are already in financial distress. We have a very impressive and very public track record of successfully saving homes from foreclosure. In most cases we can get the mortgage bank to modify the current loan terms to a more reasonable, lower, payment. We have also had success in getting banks to remove late fees, roll past due amounts back into the loan, and even lower our clients’ principal. We are very good at this and it’s free!