Pleasanton Realtor heads statewide association
Building on this week's special Buying & Selling section that focuses on real estate, I'll take this opportunity to salute one of our town's prominent Realtors who is rapidly gaining statewide and national prominence. Don Faught of Alain Pinel Realtors is president-elect of the California Association of Realtors and will become president of this prestigious organization next month.
Locally, he's vice president and managing broker of the Pleasanton and Livermore offices for Alain Pinel, a firm currently ranked No. 5 nationally by Real Trends magazine. With more than 23 years of experience and, in fact, a second generation Realtor, Faught manages a group of sales associates equipped with the best in training and technology skills who keep the agency among the top in regional sales.
Faught holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Oklahoma, is a certified real estate Residential Specialist and is a graduate of the Real Estate Institute Designations, a nationally recognized educational institute. He was president of the Bay East Association of Realtors in 2000 and has held numerous key positions in local, state and national organizations ever since. With all of these commitments, it's a wonder he has time to sell real estate, yet he's a top agent in that category, too.
Faught is on the road frequently, representing, lobbying and speaking for CAR in Sacramento and joining with representatives of the National Association of Realtors in Washington, D.C., where they stay on top of legislation affecting homeowners and the real estate market. On a trip last month, he was part of a delegation working to keep in check the Obama administration's move to curb mortgage interest tax deductions starting with those holding $1 million-plus loans. Faught says Obama wants to reduce that to $500,000 and eliminate deductions for second homes. He thinks the administration might press in a second term for the deduction to be eliminated entirely, which Faught warns would have a negative effect on the real estate market across the country, not to mention the increased tax liabilities for homeowners.
Known throughout the Tri-Valley, Faught is a frequent speaker at professional and civic meetings. And when Faught speaks, other Realtors listen. They take notes and even tape record his comments, including his recent talk about the changing work environment in real estate to a large audience at the Valley Real Estate Network meeting at Tommy T's. With new regulations, a still-tight mortgage money market and banked-owned (REO) and short sales now accounting for 40% of all home sales, Faught told the group that the good old days of handshake deals and quick transactions by home buyers and sellers are over.
Because the real estate market is becoming increasingly complicated, Faught says Realtors are the best "go-to" people that home buyers and sellers should deal with. Not only do Realtors have the professional experience and ongoing and regularly updated training to steer transactions through the multitude of hurdles now in place, they're also the ones who can help those who might be in danger of losing their homes.
At last week's meeting of the Rotary Cub of Pleasanton, Faught said that although REOs are on the decline in the first four months of 2012, short sales are increasing. That's better news for those under water on their mortgages who can't qualify for loan modifications. With a short sale, the troubled homeowner may be able to re-purchase within two years. Foreclosure sellers typically must wait close to seven years before they can re-enter the market, he said. More troubling are the insensitivities in the mortgage field where he has found many cases of banks in the process of foreclosure at the same time sellers are negotiating with the same lenders for a short sale. Faught also cautioned about scams that promise loan modifications and offers to rent homes they do not own. He suggested two helpful websites: www.keepyourhomecalifornia.org and www.makinghomeaffordable.gov.
Faught said home sales hit bottom four years ago and are now moving up. Today's improved market here in the Tri-Valley is buoyed by younger buyers with the median age at 35 years. Buyers are also better educated every year, with his statistics showing 47% are college graduates with another 12% having post graduate work. With historically low interest rates still available, Faught insists that this is a great time to buy. With that positive message and as the new president of the California Association of Realtors, even more Realtors will listen when Don Faught speaks.