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Hottest Brokers Round 1, Heat 3: Nicole Lindler vs. Julie Mollo

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Welcome to Hottest Week 2012, that magical time in August when we pit local brokers against each other to determine once and for all (for this year) who's the hottest of the hot. Stay tuned this week and next as the tournament unfolds. And let the games begin!

Here comes day two: first up we have former part-time model Nicole Lindler of Prudential and former makeup artist Julie Mollo of Sotheby's (here's one of her current listings). In keeping with our New Year's resolution to be a little less shallow, we asked all the contestants a few questions about their lives before real estate, their advice for buyers and sellers, and more. Check those out below:

Nicole Lindler

What did you do before you became a real estate agent? How did you get into the real estate game?
I entered Real Estate a couple years after graduating from USC, before I had been working in Marketing for a few different startups in Los Angeles and as a part-time model with BMG. I was raised in a family full of Real Estate investors, so the industry has always been in my blood. Jumping into real estate was a natural transition for me. I was always fascinated with beautiful properties and (as cliche as it may sound) the "American Dream". I genuinely wanted to help people create better lives for themselves through buying/selling Real Estate. It's a thankless job, but nevertheless, fulfilling.

What's the most memorable property you ever helped buy or sell?
I can't pinpoint one property alone because I specialize in condos and most of my clients are young first-time buyers. Every time I've helped any of them to purchase their first home, each overall experience has been equally memorable for me. I wear a lot of different hats as not only a realtor, but as a trusted friend and advisor so every time I close a deal and hand over the keys it's pretty special.

What's the biggest mistake made by either buyers or sellers?
Probably the biggest mistake sellers make is choosing an agent solely based on the highest list price they "promise". Price generally comes down to what the market can bear, and a seller should chose an agent based on experience and results. Most of the time an agent who just promises the highest sales price cannot promise to deliver and that results in a lot of time being wasted marketing an overpriced property that ultimately becomes unattractive to the market and fails to sell. I've seen numerous sellers make this mistake and end up selling their home 8 months down the road for less than they would have received had they realistically priced their home according to the market.

Buyers biggest mistake is often thinking that Reo and Short sales offer the "best deals" without consideration that short sales can take up to 6 months to close and that the bank will always negotiate up to market price if their original offer is lowball. Reos often have a lot of deferred maintenance and are extremely difficult to obtain. What a buyer may "save" in the initial purchase price, they end up making up for in the repairs and remodeling cost of the home. My advice would be to not overlook the standard sales, especially for your first home purchase.

Why do you think real estate agents are, on the whole, so damn attractive?
Honestly, because real estate agents not only help to sell/buy homes we help to buy/sell a lifestyle. In Los Angeles, lifestyle is everything. We literally hold the keys to our client's dreams. The public has embraced us unlike ever before and it's a great feeling. Real Estate as a whole has become a very alluring industry and realtors today have to be not only knowledgeable but incredibly savvy and fearless. We're the whole package.


Julie Mollo

What did you do before you became a real estate agent? How did you get into the real estate game?
I was a make up artist for print and television commercials for 24 years before going into real estate.

I have always loved architecture & I love houses. I love the soul of them...just seemed like a good next step in life. And it is a wonderful thing to find a great pairing of person & home. It is very rewarding.

What's the most memorable property you ever helped buy or sell?
I have had some wonderful experiences finding and selling homes. The first amazing one that comes to mind is one that I sold on Cromwell in Los Feliz. It is an amazing, original Spanish home with wrought iron details, a grand ballroom & a hidden speak easy--SO cool!

I am currently in escrow on a home in Pasadena. I don't want to give too many details because we haven't closed yet, but I am so excited about this one. I have been working with my client for almost 5 years. And I finally found him his dream home. There could not be a better fit of person & home. I could not be more thrilled for my client!

What's the biggest mistake made by either buyers or sellers?
I think the biggest mistake that buyers & sellers make it to not get representation. Everyone is quite savvy these days & often people think that they can save money doing things on their own. I understand the temptation. But people who are not in real estate have no idea what agents really do. We work extremely hard, we (hopefully) are extremely conscientious about our clients, their needs, how to help them inspect the homes properly, how to request credits for repairs, or how to market a home to the most amount of prospective buyers & position it in the best possible light to get the most amount of money. I don't want to sound like I am on a soap box here, but I have seen people get into very uncomfortable situations because they did not have representation.

Why do you think real estate agents are, on the whole, so damn attractive?
I don't know how to answer the last question! I am flattered to be included in such a really fantastic, smart group of people!

Vote below--poll closes at 3 pm PDT on Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2012.
Poll results


· Hottest Week 2012 [Curbed LA]