Finding the Uncommon Deal is written by Adam Leitman Bailey, a New York real estate attorney and investor for the average homebuyer. Bailey counsels readers looking for a great deal on a personal residence or for a bargain investment property to kick-start their real estate investment portfolio.

Although the title of the book sounds like one of the myriad real estate investment books claiming to hold the secret to getting rich quickly and easily with real estate, it is in fact a staid and rational approach to an industry that is all too often prone to hyperbole. Through a series of personal stories and “insider tips” (both of which are emphasized in eye-catching sidebars), Bailey shares the wisdom he has gained from personal experience to help the average buyer get the best deal possible on their real estate purchase.

However, Bailey’s wisdom is often of the conventional variety, and his target audience is likely a buyer of the first-time variety. His practical advice to save as much cash as possible before buying, being as thorough as possible during the home inspection and how to negotiate for repair credits at closing, comes off as genuine and well-reasoned, but basic and commonplace at times.

Bailey’s default advice is often to consult a real estate attorney in high stakes or complex negotiations. This is not surprising, not just because he is a real estate attorney himself, but also since his turf is the East Coast, where attorneys play a much more integral role in real estate transactions.

Although the approach of Finding the Uncommon Deal is fundamental and heavily influenced by an East Coast perspective, it still has something to offer to the fledgling California real estate agent. Although licensing for real estate sales agents has been on a steep decline (back to equilibrium) since the real estate bubble burst, there are still a glut of first time licensees who have recently joined the industry and need to learn the basics.

Gaining the basic wisdom required for success in real estate often poses a considerable challenge to new licensees, especially since the gulf between agents and brokers has only widened since the early 2000s. In the era of rent-a-broker shops with hundreds of agents acting under one “managing” broker, education of the fundamentals can be hard to come by.

This book provides some of the wisdom, conventional though it may be, necessary to introduce a greenhorn real estate agent (or novice buyer) to the varied and complex world of real estate sales and investment. Consider it a supplement to your licensing courses.

Related articles:

The rabbit and the greyhound: DRE disciplinary action and broker supervision.

For more book reviews, visit first tuesday’s Book Review page.