The multifaceted real estate expert, Sokrat Arzumanyan, is best known for his versatility and desire to master all parts of his industry. Starting his work in real estate in 2004, he got his Broker’s license in 2010. Sokrat has been able to grow his business by adding as many tools to his toolbox as possible. He has taken the time to attain two master’s degrees as well as gain acceptance into the State Bar of California. But his education did not end there. He has taken the time to get numerous certifications and designations including a Real Estate Negotiation Expert certification, Real Estate Mediator, and Certified Probate and trust specialist certifications. Sokrat sat down with us to talk about the importance of versatility and why it is so essential in real estate.
The reason my clients love me is, that I do everything for my clients. Now, as a broker, let’s say a client wants to go with their credit union or local bank. I have to show them that I am their best option. Sometimes, I won’t charge on a loan because I’m getting paid from the real estate side. How do you compete with a lender that doesn’t charge? You don’t, you can’t. So, the goal is to give them the best route possible and keep control. There are certain types of loans that some credit unions will do better. My goal would be to talk to their loan broker in their credit union. Let’s say you have a big relationship with one of the major banks and you are a huge client, they’ll give you a sweet deal to keep your business. In that case, my goal will be to communicate with the loan broker in the bank to make sure that we’re on the same page to explain to him that he needs to be called whenever I call because we want to do what’s best for him our client.
I want my clients to get their dream home and that means I do my due diligence to make sure they qualify. Let’s say we are lucky and our offer is accepted. Then we have a time crunch. We need to do all the inspections in a timely manner. In today’s market, they don’t give you a lot of time; usually, it’s 17 or 21 days. But today it’s five days, maybe seven days to do your due diligence. This means you have five days to schedule an appointment with sewer inspectors, termite inspectors, and with general inspectors. If the general inspector sees that there’s something that needs more attention, they will put it in the report that you need to contact the foundation professionals. Or if there is mold, they will recommend a specialist. Then your clients have to decide if they want to move in or move on.
One of the things that separate me from other real estate agents is, I was a real estate developer. I know building houses inside and out. Let’s say my clients love a certain house. I will do my research before even looking at the property. If, when doing that, I see a house that has a lot of problems, I will prepare in advance to help the client as much as possible and give them all the information. But again, in today’s market, we were in a crazy seller’s market, meaning 90% of the homes you see say, “As is. The seller will not provide any repairs. And guess what? Most of the buyers are okay with it because they’re desperate to get a house. At the end of the day, it’s their decision, but I truly think that the key to my work is giving them as much relevant information as possible, so they can make an informed decision.
The next crucial step is getting approval from the lender, the actual bank that is going to give them money. And you have to submit the full file, meaning don’t send bits and pieces. I know what the bank is going to request, so submitting the full file is key to getting fast approval. Then you have conditional approvals, meaning they send you conditions, you upload it to the system, and you get conditional approvals until there are no more conditions left. Then you get a CTC or clear to close. It’s a time-consuming job, but the main thing is to get the approval and clear all the conditions because approval comes with conditions.
The process can be grueling. So when the lender comes back with the request, you have to have everything ready. Don’t waste time. Having everything ready beforehand shortens the time it takes to get the loan approved. Because they may ask for one thing or another thing or a third thing. With people being so busy with their families and jobs, they might not have time to put all these items together. That is where I come in. You’ve only spent a day or two with me, but I’m ready to fight with the bank for you and I won’t come back to you until we win.
Now, we have gotten the green light from the bank. At this point, we do our physical diligence, we do inspections. We tell the sellers that on a physical side we’re okay. And sellers are obligated to disclose everything they know about the property. One of the things I do is go to the city portals to check about the deficiencies and outstanding anomalies on a property. And there are certain times when sellers need to stay in possession, and that’s a little bit tricky because the weakest link always is the real estate agent. When people buy a house and everything is cool, they’re happy. But when something goes wrong, the first person to blame will be the real estate agent. So I educate the sellers just like I educate the buyers. Everything I tell them comes from experience, knowledge and from a desire and willingness to help them.
Typically, once you’ve gotten your keys, you’re on your own. But not with me. I am trying to get a client for life. So, a lot of times, I will send movers and cleaners at my expense. Sometimes before moving in, if they need some remodeling or painting done, I will introduce them to different contractors. Sometimes I will send my guys to paint the entire interior of the property as a gift. I am trying to help them as much as I can. Especially with first-time homebuyers. You guide them through the process until they invite you to their house for lunch or coffee or to show them what they have. So when you see that, especially when you go back and see what you’ve done and you see how happy and excited they are, it makes you proud. And that emotional connection and the friendships that you get in a process make everything worth it.