SCCAOR Partners with Housing Trust Silicon Valley for First-Time Homebuyer Program

$100,000 grant to Housing Trust will help moderate income buyers with closing cost assistance

In one of the toughest markets for first-time homebuyers in years, local REALTORS® are partnering with the Housing Trust Silicon Valley to provide a $100,000 grant that will help first-time homebuyers with closings costs. With homeownership rates in 2015 at a 30-year low at 50.7% in the San Jose Metro Area, this program is meant to help hardworking families establish themselves firmly in the community through the dream of homeownership.

The Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® (SCCAOR) and the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® (SILVAR) saw an unmet need in assisting first-time homebuyers and applied for the $100,000 grant from the California Association of REALTORS® Housing Affordability Fund. The Santa Clara County REALTOR® Foundation and the Silicon Valley REALTORS® Charitable Foundation are contributing the necessary operational funds to implement the grant.

The Housing Trust will grant up to $5,000 per first-time homebuyer household. Buyers looking to qualify will need to meet three key standards before applying. They must use a REALTOR® in the transaction; be considered a “first-time homebuyer” under federal tax rules; and meet the income requirement of earning up to 120% of area median income.

“I’ve seen many young families say they just can’t make it work here and we end up losing folks to areas where they can purchase that starter home,” said Rick Smith, president of SCCAOR. “This closing cost grant can make the difference for buyers just on the edge of affordability.”

“We must address the housing needs of hardworking families who live in our communities,” said Denise Welsh, president of SILVAR. “This program will aid first-time homebuyers in their efforts to attain homeownership.”

“For first-time homebuyers, closing costs are the last step to purchasing a home. These grants can make their dream of homeownership a reality,” said Eileen Giorgi, president of the Silicon Valley REALTORS® Charitable Foundation.

“We work closely with many non-profits and community groups, and what they are telling us is their workers are moderate income and can’t purchase a home. Those serving the needs of the community should have a chance to invest their future here in our area,” said Frank Cancilla, chair of the Santa Clara County REALTOR® Foundation.

“Local REALTORS® have been partners with the Housing Trust Silicon Valley since our founding in 2000 and have worked with us to make homeownership a reality for thousands of families in Silicon Valley,” said Kevin Zwick, CEO of the Housing Trust. “This is a great new way to collaborate and demonstrates their dedication to working on the issue of affordable homeownership in our community.”

For eligibility and program details, visit the Housing Trust Silicon Valley program website.

2018 SCCAOR Officers and Directors Announced

The Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® is proud to announce our election results for 2018 Leadership positions. Please help us congratulate these incoming Officers and Directors for 2018:

President: Kevin Cole
President-Elect: Gustavo Gonzalez
Vice-President: Doug Goss
Treasurer/Secretary: Sandy Jamison

Board of Directors
Director: Frank Cancilla
Director: Don Jessup
Director: Gabrielle Perez
Director: Tam Quach
Immediate Past President: Rick Smith
Director: Karen Nelsen – SCRA Representative

We would like to thank the following members who served on the 2018 Election Committee: Craig Gorman, Trisha Motter, Myron Von Raesfeld, Carl San Miguel, Karl Lee, Steve Hanleigh, Anne Hansen, Lisa Faria, Mike Bui, Mo Wise, Gema Smith, and Dennis Steinbach.


Kristi Kennelly set to return to 2017 SCCAOR Convention & EXPO

SCCAOR is pleased to welcome back Kristi Kennelly of to our 2017 Convention & EXPO. Her talk is titled: Crush-It with Disruption: How to Create Reactions & Close Business. She will dig into easy video production, useful apps, and tools that increase productivity. The class will be about real, tactical advice so you can immediately get noticed in your market.

Kristi is a nationally recognized speaker, well known for her high energy and engaging presentations that highlight the newest technologies for real estate practitioners. You will walk away inspired and ready to implement everything that you will learn in this dynamic session. The 2017 SCCAOR Convention & EXPO will take place on October 19th, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center.

Tickets for the SCCAOR Convention & EXPO are free for a limited time (ends Sept. 19th)

SCCAOR Members: Click here to register for free
Non-Members: Click here to register for free

The Global Real Estate Market is Booming

International activity in the United States residential real estate market is at an all-time high. According to a recent report by the National Association of REALTORS®, foreign buyers and recent immigrants purchased $153 billion of residential property, far surpassing the total amount for 2016 ($102.6 billion) and 2015 ($103.9 billion). Additionally, 35% of REALTORS® reported an increase in the percentage of international client transactions to their business from one year ago.

NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said that the political and economic uncertainty both here and abroad has not deterred foreigners from exponentially ramping up their purchases of U.S. property over the past year.

“While the strengthening of the U.S. dollar in relation to other currencies and steadfast home-price growth made buying a home more expensive in many areas, foreigners increasingly acted on their beliefs that the U.S. is a safe and secure place to live, work and invest,” said Yun.

The top countries for foreign buyers include China, Canada, the United Kingdom, Mexico, and India. According to the NAR Report, the bulk of buyers from China, India, and Mexico were resident buyers, while most buyers from Canada and the United Kingdom were non-resident buyers.

The same increases can also be seen with U.S. clients that are searching for properties abroad. 9% of REALTORS had clients in 2016 that were interested in purchasing property outside the United States. The top countries of interest were Mexico, Costa Rica, Canada, Philippines, China, United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Belize, France, and the Bahamas. A possible explanation for this increase is the large number of retiring baby boomers who are looking to move abroad, where they can get more “bang for their buck” when it comes to real estate and cost of living.

Tam Quach, the Chair of the Global Investment Council for the Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS®, recently helped lead a real estate trade mission to Vietnam, where 33 official delegates worked to foster mutual investment opportunities between real estate stakeholders in both Vietnam and the United States.

“As our world continues to shift to a global economy, it is important for REALTORS® to position themselves in the most favorable situation for gaining and increasing their international client network,” said Quach. “Whether you are learning a new language or taking classes at SCCAOR, now is the time for your business to have a global perspective.”

Want to grow your sphere of influence in the global real estate market? SCCAOR is hosting a class the week of October 23-27 where you can obtain your Certified International Property Specialist® Designation. The CIPS Designation is the only international designation recognized by the National Association of REALTORS®. Learn more on our website. The SCCAOR Global Investment Council also meets months to discuss and engage in global real estate initiatives. If you are interested in attending the next meeting, please email

Mega Producer Panel announced for October 19th SCCAOR Convention


The 27th Annual SCCAOR Convention & EXPO will feature a “Mega Producer Panel” with three of the top producing REALTORS® in Silicon Valley. Brett Jennings, Debbie Rosetto, and Andy Tse will take to the stage and share their knowledge and experience with Convention attendees. This will be the perfect opportunity to learn the methods that they have used to build their real estate sales empires and how they scaled their production to reach extraordinary levels.

The panel discussion will also cover the following topics:

  • Team building
  • Lead generation
  • Marketing
  • Time management
  • Technology
  • Work life balance

Tickets for the Convention are free if you register before September 19th. SCCAOR Members can click here to register. If you are not a SCCAOR Member, you can still register for a free ticket here. Visit our website to learn more about the SCCAOR Convention.

Brett Jennings Bio

After only 6 full years in the business, Brett Jennings leads one of the top producing real estate team in the USA. In 2013, the Wall Street Journal and RIS Media recognized Brett Jennings as being in the top 1,000 real estate agents in the USA. With over one million agents in the country, this prestigious award places Brett in the top 1/10th of the top 1% among his peers.

Skilled in marketing and certified as a negotiation expert, Brett brings the knowledge and expertise necessary to help homeowners consistently sell their homes for top dollar. His website ranks on the 1st page of Google for “Silicon Valley Real Estate” and attracts hundreds of thousands of views annually through the use of direct response and search engine marketing as well as social media. This has enabled him to build an active database of over 4,000 buyers that are looking for homes throughout Silicon Valley. This aggressive approach to internet marketing represents just one segment of his 115 point home selling process that has sold his clients homes for up to 18% more than neighborhood averages.

Visit Brett’s website for more information.

Debbie Rosetto Bio

Debbie Rossetto has been an active full-time Realtor since 1988. With a prior corporate background in finance and marketing, she assimilated well into the business and developed systems and procedures that advanced her past the $1 billion mark in sales volume by the end of 2013. The consumers, both buyers and sellers, know her for her systematic and meticulous approach to the preparation of the property for sale, complete and thorough documentation, and a roadmap for success that is available to each seller, buyer and even the cooperating agents. Debbie believes in doing everything you can today and never putting anything off until tomorrow.

Debbie’s license resides with Legacy Real Estate & Associates, ERA Powered. She is 58 years old and the eldest of seven children. She is married to retired Police Commander, David Rossetto and together they have one son, Matthew age 27. Matthew resides in Wisconsin and is the Director of Government Services for Wisconsin Dental Association. Debbie’s goal is to meet her business plan which was written 22 years ago to facilitate her own retirement at age 59.5. So far, she is right on track!

Visit Debbie’s website for more information.

Andy Tse Bio

Andy sold 130+ homes and over $150 Million in Bay Area real estate in 2016. These accomplishments placed him at #1 in Saratoga in 2016. Over the last 15 years, through masterful negotiation, deal making and unparalleled customer service, Andy has earned a reputation as one of the most sought after real estate professionals in the Silicon Valley. Andy is committed to developing and maintaining seamless relationships with his clients in order to achieve all of their real estate related goals and dreams. By offering a custom-tailored marketing strategy combined with technology and global outreach, Andy is able to get exceptional results for his clients in any type of market conditions. Offering an array of unmatched professional services, Andy’s team is able to exceed the expectations of buyers and sellers alike.

Visit Andy’s website for more information.


Broker Tip: Pre-Qual vs. Pre-Approval

By Dave Wipert

The loan process can be a painful one for your clients, but it doesn’t need to be. It all starts with knowing how much your clients can afford. Seems like an easy task, right? Well, it can be more complicated than one might think.

The Loan Officer collects your client’s documentation that supports their income and assets, pulls credit, and assess their overall credit profile to determine what they can afford. It can be tricky for some who have income from many different sources and/or have partnerships, corporations, several properties, etc.  This is why is important to understand the difference between a Pre-Qual and a Pre-Approval. Read more

Tech Tip: Real-Time Location Sharing using the Google Maps app

Google Maps has a new feature that allows users to share their real-time location with other people. You can tell others where you are located and even share your trip progress if you are en route to a location. As a REALTOR®, you may find this feature very useful when meeting with clients or colleagues, but it is also important to know when it is and it isn’t a safe time to share your location. Luckily, you can share your location for a set amount of time — a helpful feature for those that are prone to forgetting to turn the feature off.

To get started, make sure you have the Google Maps app on your smartphone. (Android / iPhone) Read more


Highlights from this SCCAOR Minute
Register for the Convention & EXPO: Member Registration / Non-Member Registration
Register for the NHORA Top Producer panel:
SCCAOR is hiring an Events Coordinator: Click here for the job posting