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Donna’s Certifications & Designations

Some agents take extra training in addition to getting their real estate license. These designations and certifications will increase their skills, proficiency, and knowledge in niche specialties as well as provide you with better guidance.


IDX ImageAs a designated Palos Verdes Specialist (PVS), Donna is not only educated about the history of the 4 cities in the Palos Verdes Peninsula; she has also been trained in the rules and regulations specific to each city. Local knowledge can protect you and provide you with the right information to make informed decisions and save you money.

           There’s an age-old debate between the professional world and the academic world about which is more valuable: Experience or education. Donna has five decades of both experience and education with relation to the Palos Verdes Peninsula. Donna is also a native and life-long resident of the Palos Verdes Peninsula. Donna’s adult sons (and Donna) attended the Palos Verdes Peninsula schools from K-12 grades. Many people moving to Palos Verdes come here for the outstanding school district. As a former classroom teacher, Donna has also taught school in the PVPUSD and maintains relationships with the office staff and teachers throughout the district. Donna’s knowledge and experience of the Palos Verdes Peninsula can help buyers make the best decisions on moving to specific areas, she can explain the rules & regulations specific to each city and area on “The Hill,” and she can share information about its rich history.


           As a designated Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES), Donna is well-versed in the areas of retirement, down-sizing or “smart-sizing,” and the needs of Seniors at various stages. As a SRES-certified Realtor, I can better serve the needs of retirement-aged homeowners. The training helps Donna provide answers to questions that retirement-aged clients may not even think to ask.

           The needs of senior homeowners differ from traditional clients. A SRES understands reverse mortgages and the impact real estate transactions have on retirement finances, such as social security benefits. Even some of the youngest of today’s Seniors prefer their business in the “old school” way – in person, with a handshake and a smile. Whether you or your parent prefer(s) to – or not to – communicate via technology, it’s important to find an agent who’s both willing and comfortable with conducting business your way or their way. Aside from studying the financial and legal aspects of senior real estate transactions, an SRES certified Realtor can and wants to handle the personal side of working with seniors – including handholding.

          Typically, Seniors have lived in their current home for 20 to 30 years or much longer. So, this isn’t just your/their house that we are selling – it’s the home where you/they spent years raising children and making happy memories with loved ones. Often, selling your/their home can feel like you’re/they’re losing those precious memories – and Donna understands and counsels senior clients through the emotionally difficult process of selling the family home. No matter which agent you choose, you’ll have an agent who knows how to meet your specific needs if you select a SRES.


First-Time Buyer Specialist (FTBS)

IDX ImageAs a certified First-Time Buyer Specialist (FTBS), Donna has been trained in topics, such as; how much you can afford, discovering what you need in a home, what mortgage products to consider, how to comparison shop trusted lenders, as well as statistics and current laws. This designation sets Donna apart by offering a higher quality service to new home purchasers as well as those trying to come back into the market.

           Entering the housing market for the first time can be a daunting task. Add in mortgage applications and new tax laws, relying on a skilled and well-versed agent becomes even more important for the first-time homebuyers. Working with you, Donna provides you with the connections necessary to complete a successful home purchase.  She knows the local market and can communicate the details honestly and effectively. When it comes to putting an offer on a property in today’s competitive market, Donna will use both price and terms to make your offer stand out and can negotiate on your behalf to obtain your goals. She understands that your futures rely heavily on the advice she imparts. Donna’s goal is to find you a great home or the dream home that will work for your lifestyle needs.


Certified Transaction Coordinator (CTC)

IDX ImageMany agents will take the three required real estate classes necessary to sit for the real estate exam, then pass the real estate exam; but their education ends there. They know very little about the nuances of the contracts. One of the most overlooked necessities of being an excellent agent is knowing every detail of the real estate contracts and specific terms by line item. Most people who become a CTC are doing so to create and establish a successful transaction coordination business. Agents then hire the CTCs, who are responsible for sending out documents for signature, monitoring progress, managing deadlines, and ensuring the appropriate terms are completed by both parties and both agents to the transaction. Unfortunately, many agents rely on their CTCs to review terms they are not qualified to do, and they are not your agent.

          As a Certified Transaction Coordinator (CTC), Donna is skilled at transaction management, significant contract terms and timeframes, and is knowledgeable about the various requirements needed to complete a real estate transaction. If you or your agent miss something or fail to complete the paperwork properly, your deal could fall apart, resulting in penalties or lawsuits at worst. Although a CTC is a second pair of eyes, it is your agent who is ultimately responsible for all aspects of the transaction. Would you want your agent relying on a third-party CTC who is paid once and does not work on a commission? Or, better yet, how about a Realtor who is also a CTC?

These are just some of the duties a CTC does:

  • Open escrow
  • Liaise between Seller, Buyer, Escrow, Agents and various third parties
  • Review the purchase agreement for completeness
  • Ensure the Buyer’s Earnest Money Deposit (EMD) is in escrow on time
  • Make sure the Buyer’s EMD is subject to forfeiture if the Buyer fails to perform
  • Reviews the escrow instructions for errors
  • Drafts the Seller’s Disclosure Packet
  • Drafts addendums
  • Monitors deadlines during the contingency period and provides a demand notice to the Buyer if timing isn’t met
  • Ensures the Loan Contingency Removal is tracking on time
  • Ensures the Loan Underwriter has various certificates and clearances needed
  • Obtains the Contingency Removal form by the Contingency Removal date, or serves the Buyer a Notice to Perform
  • Deals with Request for Repairs or waivers
  • Coordinates the final walk-through
  • Documents communications among parties
  • Audits the file prior to close of escrow to ensure all paperwork is complete