Top 50 Agents in Orange County

“I never thought I’d be happy to be near the bottom of a list. After just 8 years in the business, I’m honored to be part of this esteemed group of colleagues. It’s great to see so many others in my Newport Center office also named here. I look forward to climbing the list while continuing to serve my clients and community.”

-Grant Bixby

Newport Harbor entrance and Balboa Island

2009 ORANGE COUNTY’S TOP 50 AGENTS – COLDWELL BANKER

(Ranked by sales volume out of over 1,500 active real estate agents countywide)

“I never thought I’d be happy to be near the bottom of a list.  After just 8 years in the business, I’m honored to be part of this esteemed group of colleagues.  It’s great to see so many others in my Newport Center office also named here.  I look forward to climbing the list while continuing to serve my clients and community.”

-Grant Bixby

1 John McMonigle………..Newport Beach Newport Center

2 Mac MacKenzie…………Irvine

3 Tim Smith……………..Newport Beach Fashion Island

4 Teri Hardke……………Newport Beach Newport Center

5 Rod Daley………………Newport Beach Fashion Island

6 Donna Pfanner…………Laguna Beach South

7 Evan Corkett…………..Newport Beach Newport Center

8 Steve High…………….Newport Beach Newport Center

9 McAfoose & Assoc……..Laguna Beach South

10 Steve Celotto…………Laguna Niguel

11 Tim Carr……………..Newport Beach Newport Center

12 Tony Bartos…………..Newport Beach Newport Center

13 Mary Ellen Weglarz……Newport Beach Fashion Island

14 Marilyn Read………….Lido Isle

15 Julie Stevens………….Laguna Beach South

16 Susan Scanlan…………Newport Beach Newport Center

17 Josef Szigeti………….Newport Beach Coast Highway

18 David Mason………….Laguna Beach South

19 Kathryn White………..Newport Beach Newport Center

20 Jerry Lamott………….Newport Beach Newport Center

21 Chris Brigandi…………Newport Beach Newport Center

22 Greg Bingham…………Newport Beach Fashion Island

23 Lynne Valentine……….Newport Beach Coast Highway

24 Nancy Barfield………..Newport Beach Newport Center

25 Brett Wyland………….Irvine

26 Renee Nichols…………Irvine

27 Cindy Argade………….Mission Viejo

28 Winston Covington……Tustin

29 Rosemary Hieber……..Laguna Niguel

30 Jayde Dunn……………Mission Viejo

31 Chuck Allen……………Newport Beach Coast Highway

32 Georgina Jacobson……Newport Beach Newport Center

33 Matt Perry…………….Newport Beach Newport Center

34 Lauren Miskinnis……..Newport Beach Newport Center

35 Susan Miller…………..Mission Viejo

36 Jennifer Pritchett…….Newport Beach Coast Highway

37 Fara Salamat………….Laguna Niguel

38 Jack Katangian………..Newport Beach Newport Center

39 Bram Klein…………….Laguna Niguel

40 Mary Schreiber………..Tustin

41 Allison Seesemann…….Newport Beach Coast Highway

42 Lindsay Bibb…………..Newport Beach Newport Center

43 Lyleen Ewing…………..Newport Beach Fashion Island

44 Rick Stuart…………….Mission Viejo

45 Ron Felsot……………..Newport Beach Newport Center

46 Linda Taglianetti………Newport Beach Coast Highway

47 Grant Bixby……………Newport Beach Newport Center

48 Keith Randle…………..Newport Beach Newport Center

49 George McGaffigan……Newport Beach Coast Highway

50 Louis Dillon……………Dana Point/San Clemente.


Let Your Voice Be Heard on Newport Beach Bicycle Safety

HEADLINE: CYCLIST KILLED IN NEWPORT BEACH

If you’re anything like me, the above headline puts a pit in your stomach. Fortunately, this time it is not true, but as the Chief of Police I don’t ever want to read that headline again.

Making Our Community Bicycle Friendly and Safe

*Note:  This post is paraphrased and edited down from an email by Newport Chief of Police, Jay Johnson.

HEADLINE: CYCLIST KILLED IN NEWPORT BEACH

If you’re anything like me, the above headline puts a pit in your stomach. Fortunately, this time it is not true, but as the Chief of Police I don’t ever want to read that headline again.

Two weeks into my new job as Chief of Police in Newport Beach, I responded to the scene of the fatal accident of cyclist Michael Nine on Spyglass Hill.  Though I have been to many before in my 23-year career in Long Beach, they never get any easier and sad as it is ALL of them could have been prevented.  As I began researching the statistics for Newport Beach, it became evident to me there is room for reducing the number of bicycle accidents in the City – something I think all of us would like to see.

Nonetheless, Councilmember Leslie Daigle, Councilmember Nancy Gardner, City Manager Dave Kiff, Public Service Director Steve Badum and I all agree that to have an impact on this problem we must all work together – the City government with the cycling community.  The first step is building relationships and starting some dialogue on the issue.  With that in mind, we have scheduled a meeting at which your attendance is requested.  We know you all have busy schedules, but we are hoping you can carve out just an hour of your time to discuss with us this very important issue.  The meeting will be…

Thursday, October 21, 2010

7:00-8:00 PM

OASIS Senior Center

801 Narcissus, Room #5

Please feel free to invite others from the cycling community who you think may be interested in attending.  If you would be so kind, please RSVP by calling the number below to help us better plan for seating.  We hope you can join us and look forward to your input.

Thank you,

Jay R. Johnson
Chief of Police

Newport Beach Police Department

949-644-3701

Short Sale Snoop—Negotiator Fees…Are They Legal?

It’s common to see a statement like this (or something similar) in the listing agent remarks in the MLS:

Buyer to pay a 1% short sale negotiator fee to facilitate this transaction.

It’s common to see a statement like this (or something similar) in the listing agent remarks in the MLS:

Buyer to pay a 1% short sale negotiator fee to facilitate this transaction.

Question:  Is this legal?

Answer:  It depends.  The California Department of Real Estate and State Attorney General Brown have issued short sale fraud alerts regarding this and other types of short sale activity taking place REGULARLY.  In some cases, the Seller AND Buyer may wittingly or unwittingly be a party to lender fraud.

Why fraud?  Well, imagine you are the lender agreeing to take a large loss on the short sale.  You would likely want to know about any and all monies changing hands in the transaction.  Since you regularly negotiate commissions, escrow fees, termite payments, and 2nd and 3rd lienholder payouts, you would likely also want the right to approve any negotiator fee paid by the Buyer or Seller.  At a minimum you would want to know it exists.

In many cases these fees are either paid outside of escrow or are not stated clearly in the contract, escrow instructions, and/or HUD1 statement.  They are therefore hidden from the lender.  Whether intentional or not, all parties to the agreement sign a term letter generated from the bank requiring that the transaction be transparent and giving the lender (the bank) the right to approve all terms and conditions.  This puts said parties at risk for lender fraud.

So how do we proceed legally?

  1. Write any fees to be paid by Buyer or Seller into the CAR Residential Purchase Agreement clearly.  Do not write it in a separate addendum that an unscrupulous listing agent or Seller could keep separate from the lender.
  2. Demand that negotiator fees be written into the escrow instructions and be explicit.
  3. Double check that the HUD1 has a separate line item for the negotiator fee that is not a part of any other payment.

If done legally, is it a good idea for a Buyer or Seller pay a negotiator fee?

Yes and no.  If one can avoid it and still secure the deal, then that is the best solution.  In all circumstances, the fee should be reasonable, and a buyer should feel he/she is getting a fair market value for the home.  In cases where a negotiator has already been engaged, see if you can get a credit toward closing costs and state clearly that the negotiator fee is to be paid through that credit in escrow.  NEVER pay any upfront fees.  At all times fees and commissions should be paid upon close of escrow and through a properly licensed escrow company.  As a Seller, ask your listing agent why he/she feels the need to employ a negotiator.  Chances are they are too busy, too inexperienced, or just lazy.  If I were listing my home, I’d have the listing agent pay it out of his/her normal commission and not burden the buyer any more than they already are.  Getting a loan is tough enough in this new lending environment.