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If an attorney isn’t involved in your sale, then stop reading. You won’t be interested in how a real estate sale can get extremely technical, and how every agent says “oh, I can handle it.” Well over 90% of all agents have no experience when thrown a challenge.
Attorneys rely on me to enhance value, limit liability, and close unique and important transactions. Aggressive exposure, proven strategies, and understanding the best direction are fundamental. Best of all, I do not represent buyers on my own transactions, so sellers know they have an advocate from start to finish. Buyers of my listings know this, so it tends to encourage more offers, better offers, bidding wars, and excellent prices and terms.
Now that I have closed hundreds of estate, trust, probate, and divorce sales, I have also represented dozens of attorneys on their personal transactions. In 2014, I conducted a Continuing Legal Education course titled “Residential Disclosures” to over 40 real estate attorneys. In 2015 I was featured with 2 real estate litigators at the San Gabriel Fiduciary Round Table speaking on “Dual agency pitfalls and other important issues to consider”. In 2015 I presented at ProVisors a speech titled “What REALTORS® Will Never Tell You.” I have also served as an expert witness in court, and I am listed with Forensis Group as “the expert of experts.”
Do you need a probate specialist? As one of about 100 California Probate Specialists (the CPS is the only probate certification in California), I can be relied upon to close limited, full authority, and conservatorship (living probate) sales. My experience is not new: 12 years ago, I bought my own home in probate court.
I am always working on a probate, trust, or divorce sale and I am more than happy to provide some free advice. But, you need to call me before you have headaches and doubts. Unfortunately, I specialize in properties that don’t sell the first time. For properties outside my service area, call me to connect you with someone just like me.
Examples of Past Attorney-Related Sales
An attorney referred me his full authority probate client who was the administrator of her mother’s home in Pasadena. Among the challenges: the lender had not received a payment in almost 9 months, the home was being rented to 2 families, and the City of Pasadena gave the home multiple code and zoning violations (zoning violations cannot be transferred to the buyer, but need to be remedied as a condition of closing regardless of Probate Code), the mother passed away inside the home (this is a statutory disclosure regardless of Probate Code), along with highly emotional family members. There was almost $300,000 in tax-free equity to be protected. The lender started foreclosure. We were able to negotiate with the lender, clear the zoning violations, move the tenants out, we received 10 offers, and were able to close the transaction with my leadership in this concerted and emotional effort. Reference provided upon request.
I was consulted by a local real estate attorney to look into questionable strategies by another broker to sell a $3,000,000 estate property in South Pasadena. Without unnecessary drama or threats of potential litigation for breach of agency, my 11 recommendations to the real estate attorney was the driving force to help the client/seller avoid a short sale and net almost $500,000 more than the contract that their dual-representation broker was encouraging them to finalize. My strategies and standard of care recommendations were game changers. Reference provided upon request.
A local attorney asked me to help her client/seller sell the primary residence in a divorce that was described by the attorney as “the most difficult divorce I’ve litigated”. The sale successfully closed in 2 months, allowing the divorce to finalize. Among the challenges included one of the clients being incarcerated, 3 liens from past attorneys, a home invasion a week before closing, the buyer was represented by a rookie agent, and a mother-in-law who sold the home to the divorcing couple had an unsecured lien and wanted unusary rates. Also, there were multiple trips to court to enforce the stipulation, the spouse in possession vacated the home early and canceled all utilities, pool and yard maintenance, and prior to close the lender required the peeling paint to be remedied, among other challenges. The transaction closed with no renegotiation. Reference provided upon request.
I was able to help an attorney navigate their limited authority sale to a full authority sale on the 1/2 ownership interest that required probate, and the other 1/2 ownership lived in the main house of this almost $1,000,000 San Gabriel Valley property. After the first agent was let go, I was hired as the second agent and sold the property for close to $100,000 more than the first agent. Reference provided upon request.
At the request of the estate attorney, I was the 11th (and last) broker interviewed to sell a historic home held in a trust. At the listing appointment, it became clear that the other 10 agents didn’t fully explain the many options that the successor trustee had. I was hired to lease the home. The trustee told me that she would have me sell the home when the time came, and that she wouldn’t interview anyone else. Reference provided upon request.
The managing partner of a prominent law firm suggested 3 agents to interview to help his clients, an out of state family, sell their parents’ estate property. To get the best buyer numerous small and tedious items needed to be completed, including historical permit research to fix a major square foot discrepancy between tax and permit records, a difficult occupancy inspection, termite work, a major estate sale, home cleaning, toxic material disposal, pool fixes, and other value enhancements. The property sold above what all other brokers suggested it could sell for, and this $1,200,000 estate sold with multiple bidders. References available upon request.
A local attorney was appointed successor trustee for a family of 11. He interviewed many brokers, and hired me. Working with different personalities and dynamics, and coordinating cosmetic repairs to enhance value and marketability, I was able to position the $1,000,000 property and encouraged other agents and their buyers to fairly bid. We had a very successful close. Reference available upon request.
I was hired to sell a $1,200,000 trust property. Weeks before closing, the air conditioner was turned on by the beneficiary the day they moved personal items out. While temperatures averaged over 100 degrees, the main air conditioner condensate drain line was plugged. The old secondary line was chewed out by rats causing about 10 gallons of water to leak out of the condensate line and drip pan over a 20 hour period. A bedroom lathe and plaster ceiling in this 1920’s home collapsed and the wood floors were destroyed overnight. Within 5 days, I had the room completely fixed and painted. It was fully disclosed and the buyer continued to close with no further investigation. Reference available upon request.
In 2012, 2013, and 2014, a divorcing husband and wife could not agree to a listing broker to sell their homes. The judge, and/or both attorneys had had positive experiences and/or heard of my specialties and track record. All parties stipulated to have me sell the property. Reference available upon request.
See What Other Attorneys Are Saying About Me
Mike sold our home this past year. He demonstrated strong intuition and negotiation skills, and was honest and responsive from when he drafted our listing to when we passed him our keys. His results exceeded my expectations, and I would use him again without hesitation. – Phillip Marr, Esq., Los Angeles
Mike, you provided a very thorough and comprehensive sale. You pushed all the right buttons and ensured all the right events occurred on time for the sale in mid-2012. I am very pleased with your work, especially seeing to it that we got overbids (in probate court) and closed on time. I am looking forward to other transactions with you and your team. Keep up the good work. – Craig Lucas, Esq., Pasadena
Mike is a caring and experienced Realtor who makes every effort to provide excellent service for colleagues and clients. – Ani Papirian, Esq., Pasadena
I have observed Mike Bell to be a top 1% real estate professional consistently delivering outstanding results and with the attention to detail, transactional knowledge and client communication and service that attorneys and other professionals require for real estate referrals. I highly recommend Mike Bell to the legal community. – Greg Anderson, Esq., Pasadena
Mike Bell assisted in a recent real estate transaction. In my view, Mike is one of the most competent, understanding real estate brokers in the business. He gets to know you as an individual so that he is prepared to act in a responsible and thoughtful way in meeting your objectives. He is also very warm, sincere and engaging, so that both buyers and sellers have a positive impression of any interaction. He even knows how to deliver bad news (and there are always snafus) in a warm and competent manner. I would recommend him enthusiastically for your real estate needs. – Joe Zanetta, Esq., South Pasadena (2 transactions)
Mike Bell and his team were engaged to sell a somewhat distressed residential property on behalf of a trust. He politely but aggressively marketed the listing and succeeded in closing a sale in a very difficult market. Throughout the sales effort, he kept the trustees informed of all pertinent developments and never faltered when two prospective buyers fell out of escrow. I commend his professionalism. – Brian D McKay, Esq., Pasadena
The four transactions you’ve successfully closed for me were done professionally. You were prepared, enthusiastic, and I discovered that you have an excellent reputation. There were many little details and challenges in my transactions and you knew how to handle all of them. – James R. Balesh, Esq., Pasadena and Los Angeles (4 transactions)
You’ve worked very hard and so well with all my different clients (and also on selling my own home), and that’s why I continue to give you all of my real estate business. Additionally, the probate sales you’ve handled were done extremely well, and the estates you represented were very happy. – Rhonda Walker, Esq., Altadena and Pasadena (5 transactions)
I recently had the opportunity to work with Mike Bell to find a new home. We found Mike to be knowledgeable, highly professional, and respectful of our time. Once we found the right home Mike was an effective advocate on our behalf. We will recommend Mike to our friends and would not hesitate to use his services in the future. – Chris Borgeson, Esq., Pasadena
We highly recommend Mike Bell as a smart, diligent professional who knows the real estate business inside and out. He has always been responsive and thorough in his dealings with us. He was able to induce multiple offers. He has a friendly, upbeat demeanor and the people skills that engender goodwill. He is a good listener, but he also has the judgment and experience that enable him to point out factors that a seller ought to consider before making decisions. Mike gave us excellent advice every step of the way. – Scott Green, Esq., Pasadena and West Hollywood
I have known Mike Bell since I worked with him for almost 18 years. He is an experienced and knowledgeable real estate professional, and it’s a pleasure to work with him. I recommend him without reservation. – Nicholas West, Esq., Los Angeles
You did a better job at selling my luxury condo than anyone in my building, fantastic job Mike. – Kalpana Srinivasan, Esq., Pasadena
Mike, nice work by you, it was a nice, smooth and quick transaction. – Colin T. Greene, Esq.
I have 50+ testimonials that are available upon request. I am also proud to have been THE OFFICIAL EXCLUSIVE SPONSOR of the Pasadena Bar Association for many years.
Contact me today to see how my experience can help you.