Rebecca Drive Boulder CreekColumns Real Estate 

You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know | Real Estate

By M.C. Dwyer

Or, in this story, what your agent doesn’t know. Recently I witnessed an unbelievable mishandling of the marketing for a rural property listing.   The sellers had chosen a REALTOR from a nearby city to represent them. As the story unfolded, I learned that their successful agent had left for vacation (without telling their client), and let an assistant with limited experience create and run the marketing process. I was shocked to see photos featuring the sellers relaxing in their home. Even worse, the agent posted a photo of an old outhouse on the MLS. Outhouses are illegal in Santa Cruz County, even if one is a charming vestige of the past. Experienced rural REALTORs understand how to handle unique rural property situations like this. By including photos of the old outhouse & these recognizable people, the REALTOR placed their clients at risk of an intervention by the County, which would have made the property very very challenging f

or the sellers to sell. Once notified, the REALTOR immediately revised their marketing, and nothing happened. But it had been listed this way for a while – what if?!?

I also heard a story about rookie buyers from Southern California who were looking for a home on land where they could grow a vegetable garden. I don’t know if their So Cal agent actually visited the property they bought in the Santa Cruz mountains or not, because the would-be-farmers bought a property that receives very little direct sunlight. While the gardens are graced by lovely ornamental shade plants, not many vegetables thrive in shade. I understand buyers remaining loyal to their real estate agent, but in this situation, it appears the agent practiced beyond their area of specialization, unfortunately to the detriment of their newbie buyers.

Given the headlines about high mortgage rates and sellers staying in their homes longer, you may be wondering why some people are still selling and buying homes. Recently, much of our business has come about due to inheritances. This kind of client deserves agents who work with compassion: in two out of three cases, these were long term homes — homes our clients had grown up living in or had been vacationing in for decades. Sometimes, heirs are sensitive about the condition of their homes. Often, especially if they aren’t from the area, heirs have unrealistic price expectations (although none of our recent transactions had this issue). Occasionally, not all the heirs are on board with what needs to happen to create a smooth sale, and that translates to unique waters for us to navigate.    

Our most recent buyer clients wanted to move here to be closer to family. They bought a home being sold by the heirs. We were fortunate and this was a wonderful win-win transaction, with an experienced agent and cooperative clients on both sides. I’m grateful both buyers for our listings are local people, with local REALTORs representing them.

Just sold: 124 Roble, Boulder Creek | Photo by f8 media

Our Rebuild 

Even though it’s been three years since the August 2020 CZU Lightning Complex fires, just 2 more homes were completely rebuilt since last month (38 total or just 4% of the total 900+ homes lost to the fires). 175 permits have either been issued or are ready (same as the last few months), and 237 permits are in process, 7 more than last month.

It feels like my husband’s rebuild is nearly completed: remaining projects include trenching a new plumbing line from the water tank to the house (plus pump and pressure tank), faucets & appliances, flooring & baseboard, gravel & the solar system. Soon we will begin accepting lease applications because the IRS requires his home on acreage be rented for the first two years after it’s rebuilt (since it was a rental at the time of the disaster). This fall we hope to begin landscaping since it’s the ideal time to plant in this climate.


Send your questions & topic requests to “M.C.” (MaryCatherine) Dwyer, MBA, REALTOR®
(831) 419-9759    E-mail:   Website:
CA DRE License 01468388   EXP Realty of California, Inc.
Serving San Lorenzo Valley and Scotts Valley since 2005                                                                                               


The statements and opinions contained in this article are solely those of the individual author and her sources and do not necessarily reflect the positions or opinions of eXp Realty, LLC, or its subsidiaries or affiliates (the “Company”). The Company does not assume any responsibility for, nor does it warrant the accuracy, completeness or quality of the information provided.    

Featured photo: In escrow: 830 Rebecca Drive.  Photo by f8 media

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