By way of an introduction, we are a father-and-son California Real Estate team, having offices in both northern and southern California, working nearly exclusively for and with churches with their real estate needs for over forty (40) years. We focus on nearly all matters concerning Church Real Estate, including religious, nonprofit, and tax-exempt organizations with the highest spiritual and ethical standards.
Over decades of carving out a name for ourselves amongst church groups, we found a niche by locating and/or uniting church property buyers, sellers, landlords, and tenants. Along the way, our skills have been fine-tuned covering all aspects of forming, maintaining, merging, and dissolving nonprofit organizations and the establishment of federal and state tax-exempt status. We have even set up a few foundations.
What Sets Us apart:
We are not realtors…We are real estate brokers with an eye for what matters most; your ministry. By covering the entire state of California, we have a firm grasp of the church real estate market. Whether you are looking to buy, sell, or lease your church property, we can walk you through the entire process.
We broker churches and nonprofit properties for sale or lease throughout the state of California. We have more knowledge and experience than the others and work within your spiritual needs.
The fact that our experience as real estate brokers over the decades puts us ahead, our legal experience sets us apart.
What you won’t get is a dog and pony show. We will meet with your congregation day or night to explain the entire process. Although we may not show up in three-piece suits, we will impress you with our knowledge and expertise rather than our fashion sense.
Between the two of us; Gerald is a Certified General Appraiser and Real Estate Broker; Ryan is a General Contractor, Electrician, Real Estate Broker, and Attorney; both serve as hearing officers on our respective County Assessment Appeals Boards.
Due to our extensive negotiation experience, we know the pitfalls and tactics most transactions involve or arise regarding the rainbow of potential and varied purchasers/tenants. In addition, we steer away from generic fill-in-the-blank agreements, and Ryan, as an attorney, creates custom contracts that fit the situation at hand.
Using Church Members:
Inherently, all churches have members who are also licensed by the state to broker real estate transactions. However, that does not necessarily mean your church should use them. Although we have brokered residential property, our expertise is that of religious use properties. We understand the corporate structure and the necessary filing with the Attorney General, and Board of Equalization.
Church members by their very nature have a conflict of interest. Are they working for their church or their own well-being? Although many will attempt to volunteer for their church, they do not understand the complexities and costs involved with selling a special-use property. Selling, leasing, or purchasing a property is a business decision. One which requires the church board to act as good stewards of the church finances, with the best interest of the members in mind.
Over the decades, we have developed lasting relationships with worldwide denominations with regional/district offices throughout the state, as well as non-denominations churches and property developers.
When a Real Estate License is Required:
The California Business and Professions Code covers the scope of a real estate broker’s activity. Without a license, an individual cannot receive compensation for the performance of any of the acts defined as being within the purview of a licensed broker or salesperson. In addition, the law provides penalties for a person who acts or purports to act as a real estate broker or salesperson without being duly licensed. The Commissioner may revoke the license of any real estate broker who is found in a disciplinary hearing to have compensated an unlicensed person for performing activities that require a real estate license. Furthermore, any person who compensates a non-licensee for performing services that require a license is guilty of a misdemeanor and may also be fined by the courts.
The Real Estate Agent:
A real estate agent must work for an employing broker and cannot work independently. An agent or sales associate is licensed by the State of California. However, to legally work within the state as an agent, they must be affiliated with a broker. In most basic form, an agent works under a broker as a member of their staff. The broker is responsible for the actions of their agent. Commissions are negotiated with brokers. A percentage of that commission is usually paid directly to the agent for their efforts. Regardless of the title, the agent must act in the best interest of the client. Although dual-agency is permitted in California, a duty is owed to the Seller of real property to act in their best interest. In other words, short of a contractual relationship with the Buyer, the agent is working for the Buyer.
The Real Estate Broker:
A Broker is a step above a real estate agent in that a broker generally has more education, experience, and responsibility. Although a broker can work by themselves, an agent must work under the license of a broker. A broker handles real estate transactions between parties in a manner that not only brings everyone together but also consummates the transaction. Brokers are responsible for their real estate agents’ actions.
What is a Realtor:
According to the National Association of Realtors, a Realtor is a licensed real estate salesperson who belongs to the National Association of Realtors. A Realtor can be a real estate agent, a broker-associate, a managing broker, or a broker. It is a title that means the individual belongs to the National Association of Realtors, subscribes to its extensive Code of Ethics, and pays annual dues.
Disclaimer: Every situation is different and particular facts may vary thereby changing or altering a possible course of action or conclusion. The information contained herein is intended to be general in nature as laws vary between federal, state, counties, and municipalities and therefore may not apply to any given matter. This information is not intended to be legal advice or relied upon as a legal opinion, course of action, accounting, tax, or other professional services. You should consult the proper legal or professional advisor knowledgeable in the area that pertains to your particular situation.