Mason-McDuffie Real Estate, a regional real estate firm with three offices in Sonoma County, has joined a national franchise network, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate.
The firm, with offices in Sebastopol, Healdsburg and Bodega Bay, will now operate as Better Homes and Gardens Mason-McDuffie Real Estate. It formerly had done business here as part of the Prudential California Realty network.
Among the changes for clients, all sales transactions will be “100 percent paperless,” said Timothy Hedges, managing broker for the Sebastopol and Bodega Bay offices. Instead of a thick paper-filled folder, new buyers “will walk away with a CD,” he said. (The loan documents will still be provided on paper.)
The company’s web site includes videos for staging homes, as well as other buying and selling tips, all provided by the national franchise. Hedges suggested the real estate network builds on the “Better Homes and Garden” brand name.
“What ‘Better Homes’ the magazine does we feel complements what we do on the selling side,” he said.
The franchise also has a new IPhone app that uses GPS technology to link the photos you take on home tours with each property. Clients who later review photos no longer have “to figure out which bathroom matches which house,” Hedges said.
Broker Paula Gold-Nocella manages the company’s Healdsburg office.
With a sales volume of $2.8 billion in 2009, Mason-McDuffie ranked among the Top 20 real estate brokerages nationally according to REAL Trends. The company has 1,900 sales professionals in 36 offices in Northern California and western Nevada.
— Robert Digitale