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Wells Fargo Sent a Sacramento Short Sale to the Auction Block While in Escrow - 10/31/09 08:51 AM
Ever since I lost a short sale to the auction block in 2006, I've been trying to keep tabs on the foreclosure activity regarding my Sacramento short sales. On that particular transaction, we were in the middle of negotiations with Bank of America when the next thing I knew, an agent called to say he had just listed that home in Land Park as an REO. Apparently, the loss mitigation department had not been communicating with Bank of America's foreclosure department. But sometimes negotiators simply close out files and don't inform the agents. My first clue that something was amiss was (16 comments)
There's No Place Like Home - 10/30/09 09:02 AM
In the world of a Sacramento short sale agent, there is no such thing as a normal workday. Every day has its little frustrations. People may make promises that they don't keep. Other people might be unreasonable and demanding. I may explain 10 ways from Sunday how to submit an offer to a buyer's agent, yet the offer arrives incomplete. It's just another day in the neighborhood. I let this stuff roll off my back and focus on the big picture, on what's important. My focus is the people, my home sellers and home buyers. Today, a Sacramento short sale seller (10 comments)
Sacramento Short Sale Agents: If Your Buyer Walks, You Need to Tell the Listing Agent - 10/29/09 09:11 AM
This doesn't happen very often, thank goodness, but yesterday a short sale buyer flaked out. I had called a Sacramento agent to let him know that Chase Bank was about to approve a short sale for his buyer. The agent blurted, "Oh, that buyer bought a home last month." Bear in mind that we've sent communication to this agent since the offer was presented in early August. At first, the agent could not recall the buyer at all. Well, no problem, we have a back-up offer. I called that agent. Her buyer had withdrawn her offer as well but she did (9 comments)
Good Reasons for Sacramento Agents to Attend Real Estate Closings - 10/28/09 09:04 AM
Some agents don't go to closings with their clients, but I always try to attend. I believe it's important to be at the signing with my clients because they might have questions, and because I like to show my support. To me, it's part of my job. After all, if I've helped my clients get that far in the escrow process, why would I flake out at the time of signing when they may still need my services? If the escrow company, which the seller's agent has chosen (services are supposed to be negotiated between the seller and buyer, but we (15 comments)
Wachovia Approved an Elk Grove Short Sale in 6 Days and Will Pay Seller to Close - 10/27/09 08:56 AM
I've said it before, but I'll say it again, I love working on Wachovia short sales. Give me nothing but Wachovia short sales in Sacramento and Elk Grove, and I'll be a happy, happy short sale agent. A Wachovia short sale is like that lone flower growing out of a sun-drenched sidewalk crack. I work on enough short sales in Sacramento to thoroughly appreciate the no-nonsense way that Wachovia handles its portfolio of loans in default. Other banks pale in comparison to Wachovia. I'd say that Wachovia performs like a Gold Medal athlete at the Olympics while, let's say, Bank of (14 comments)
Will The First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit Vanish on November 30th? - 10/26/09 09:28 AM
People wonder what it's like to be self-employed. Having freedom from a boss is often quoted as one of the reasons that real estate agents go into the business. An associate in Sacramento says that being her own boss means that she's free to choose any block of 12 hours out of the day to work. It's not unusual for busy, full-time agents in today's market to put in 16 to 18 hours a day. I often start work at 5 AM. It's quiet. I can answer emails and questions from my About.com homebuying site. It's also when I write my (27 comments)
OneSpeed Pizza Joint in East Sacramento Gets a Thumbs Up for Food, Thumbs Down for Service - 10/25/09 09:04 AM
You expect nothing less than sheer perfection in food from Rick Mahan, the owner and chef of Waterboy Restaurant in Midtown Sacramento, and his new restaurant, OneSpeed Pizza in East Sacramento, does not disappoint. This is truly a neighborhood experience. For one thing, it's difficult to find parking at 48th and Folsom, so you're better off walking or arriving on your bike. As the imprint on the glass window says: OneSpeed Pizza. Bikes. Love. There is a chalkboard at the entrance displaying a message. Yesterday afternoon it advertised a Monte Cristo, probably one of the most fattening yet mouthwatering treats a (13 comments)
The Sweet and Bittersweet Nature of Buying a Home in Sacramento - 10/24/09 09:52 AM
Yesterday, I had 2 closings: one in Curtis Park and another in Carmichael. These listings were not short sales, which in itself is a feat in this market. The bulk of my listings are Sacramento short sales. On top of this, I handled 2 simultaneous home inspections: a home in Land Park and another in South Land Park, plus I conducted a final walk-through of a home in South Land Park. That hectic schedule left me with very little time to play my new computer game: Plants vs. Zombies. I've made it through all the levels of this game, except for (4 comments)
The Secret to Knowing The Sales Price a Short Sale Bank Will Approve - 10/23/09 09:09 AM
Short sale buyer's agents in Sacramento are wising up and asking more questions upfront about my listings before showing them to a buyer, but I still get the goofy questions about homes that are new to the market such as: Is this short sale approved by the bank? Some banks such as Wachovia and Wells Fargo are putting systems in place to preapprove the sales price but most banks do not. It takes an offer from a qualified buyer to get a response. I've had only one bank this year tell me that the price on my Sacramento short sale wasn't (33 comments)
A Wachovia Short Sale Seller in Sacramento Hits the Jackpot - 10/22/09 09:25 AM
In life, there are always little twists that keep it interesting, wouldn't you say? For example, last week I was watching a HGTV show about a couple who were buying their first home somewhere in the Midwest. They had obtained an FHA loan. Because they didn't have the money for a down payment, their parents gave them the cash. Of course, FHA requires a gift letter from the parents. This gift letter specifically states that the funds are not a loan but a gift. At the end of the show, the couple stood in front of the camera, talking about their (17 comments)
Why Do Military Home Buyers in Sacramento Get the Short End of the Stick With a VA Loan? - 10/21/09 08:50 AM
Every so often, I have the pleasure of working with a home buyer who plans to use a VA loan to buy a home in Sacramento. VA buyers aren't as plentiful in the neighborhoods where I primarily work such as Land Park, Curtis Park, Midtown Sacramento or East Sacramento, which is why I don't write very many offers for VA buyers. It's not like it was in the mid-1970s when the odds of writing a VA offer were 1 in 3. I think the last VA buyer I worked with was maybe 2 years ago. And she ended up buying a (12 comments)
Home Buying in Sacramento's Tight Real Estate Market and Tips to Win that Offer - 10/20/09 09:11 AM
Some home buyers and their buyer's agents have not figured out that the entry-level housing market in Sacramento is a seller's market, not a buyer's market. It's a seller's market because inventory -- the number of homes for sale -- has fallen and the number of buyers has increased. Two years ago, we had 14 months of inventory, meaning it would take 14 months to sell every home that is for sale. Now, we have 2 months of inventory. We had 10,454 homes for sale in September of 2007 in Sacramento County. September of 2009 had 3,243. As a result, some (9 comments)
What if You Were in the Shower and a Stranger Entered Your Home Through the Lockbox? - 10/19/09 09:06 AM
Usually, the types of phone calls I receive from Sacramento buyer's agents are ripe with questions that are answered in MLS. But I understand that some agents don't print out MLS reports or skim over them so quickly that they miss important data. In an attempt to help them, I generally attach a document to my listings that contains tips on how to write an offer, especially on my short sale listings because there aren't very many Sacramento short sale agents in town. In the confidential agent remarks, I make reference to the attached document and ask agents to please read (17 comments)
How About an East Sacramento Listing That is NOT a Short Sale, REO or Flipper? - 10/18/09 09:23 AM
The file folder for my new listing in East Sacramento is decorated with artwork. I had left it on the coffee table while I walked through this darling 2-bedroom bungalow to do my agent visual inspection. One of the tenant's children used this opportunity to draw on my folder. The tenant was very apologetic, but actually, I think it adds a lot of appeal and character to an otherwise drab file folder. This very pretty home was built in 1940 and oozes much of the original charm of that period -- scalloped trim work, hardwood floors, contrasting tiled kitchen counters and (10 comments)
Your Sacramento Short Sale Home is Vulnerable to Vandalism if it's Vacant or Abandoned - 10/17/09 09:20 AM
There is always a good reason to do a final walk-through before closing escrow. Especially when you're buying a Sacramento short sale home that is vacant. Plus, some banks won't approve short sales if a home has been abandoned. In one instance, I had a Sacramento short sale that was approved by the first lender but the second lender submitted a condition for approval. The bank said the home must be occupied by the seller. The seller had moved a couple of miles away and refused to move back into the home, not even for 30 days so it could close. (11 comments)
It's Official: I Can No Longer Operate My TV -- But I Can Sell Your Sacramento Short Sale - 10/16/09 09:01 AM
In my household, my husband and I do not battle for the TV remote. He can have it. He can have that TV remote and all of its stinkin' little friends, too. It was bad enough when we got TIVO and acquired a new remote -- which somehow was magically programmed into a Universal remote -- I had to write down directions, step-by-step, or I couldn't turn on the TV. Now that we have purchased a plasma TV, I am not ashamed to admit that I have no idea how to operate it. I come from an era when to change (14 comments)
If You're a Wachovia Short Sale Seller in Sacramento, Elizabeth Weintraub Wants to Be Your Short Sale Agent - 10/15/09 09:13 AM
There's a saying that if you want to know where lines of ants are coming from, you've got to watch the ants. Because of all the rain we've received in Sacramento over the past 48 hours, I presently have an ant invasion in our bedroom. They are crawling up from the baseboards and down from the window sill. I've sprayed them with Windex, planted Grant's Ants stakes both inside the house and outside, but they keep coming. My cats are fascinated by the ants. The solution here is to find the caulking gun, load it up and go to the source. (11 comments)
Trees in Land Park Battered by Tuesday's Rainstorm - 10/14/09 08:36 AM
Sacramento reluctantly welcomed the first storm of our fall / winter rainy season yesterday. Heavy rain flooded streets; wind gusts up to 48 MPH knocked down trees, landing some on top of buildings. Drivers in Midtown Sacramento jammed cars into each other -- one ran a car into a building. It was a wet and wild day.I spent part of the day trying to re-stake a couple of young trees in my yard in Land Park. The maple tree I had planted 2 years ago in the front yard had lost one of its stakes, and the wind whipped it so (14 comments)
Is This a Good Time to Buy in Sacramento? Check Out These Real Estate Stats - 10/13/09 09:13 AM
An investor called me from the Bay area yesterday to inquire about the real estate market in Sacramento. She asked the familiar question: "Is this a good time to buy?" That's sort of like asking a street vendor with hot dogs for sale if it's a good time to buy a hot dog. What's the vendor going to say? No? He's got product to move. But I am straight-forward with people. It seems like a good time to be an investor in Sacramento but it's a struggle. It's not easy to buy a house in this market. I suppose Bay area (5 comments)
Here are Before and After Photos of Bathing the Cat, and How I Survived the Ordeal - 10/12/09 09:34 AM
If you've never bathed a cat, you're missing out on one of life's most treasured moments: a time to bond with your cat. Oh, who am I kidding? It's really a matter of who is in control -- you or the cat? Make no mistake about it, it's the cat.Many years ago, I used to turn on the shower, toss the cat into the bathtub and quickly slam the door. But that method didn't work very well, so I don't recommend it.The easiest way to bathe your cat is to take the cat to a groomer or the vet, and pay (24 comments)
Lockbox Day in Sacramento and The Perfect Eyebrow - 10/11/09 09:24 AM
For a fun-filled and relaxing experience, there is nothing in this universe as enjoyable like having half of your face ripped off. Voluntarily. I realize that some members of the opposite sex may not understand this and shake their heads in disbelief that anybody of sane mind would willingly undergo this procedure, but in some ways, men and women are polar opposites. It's what makes the world go around. I knew that yesterday, after a long day of offer negotiations and yakking on my cell about short sale listings, I would be treating myself to a half-hour of pure torture at (17 comments)
Another Bank of America Short Sale in Sacramento Set to Close After 6 Months - 10/10/09 10:23 AM
I advise my sellers to talk to a real estate lawyer before putting that Sacramento short sale on the market. Especially if their grant deed reflects non-owner occupants in title. Because when the prelim is issued, all owners of record may be required to participate in the short sale. The lender may require it and / or escrow may require it. Some sellers don't remember the details of when they bought their home or how they acquired title. This is why I always check title before taking a listing. In California, for example, all parties need to convey their interests to (9 comments)
A Sacramento Short Sale Buyer Might Be Headed For Trouble - 10/09/09 08:57 AM
My husband went to Chicago a few days ago to visit family, leaving me to fend for myself around the house. Oh, he prepared a plethora of meals for me in advance. I have in the refrigerator a huge Greek salad, cucumber yogurt, a dish made from green beans and potatoes, pasta sauce, a Filet Mignon and a delicious chicken stew, so I'm not gonna starve to death. Last night I decided to grill the steak. I stood in front of the new gas / convection range we installed last year and realized that I did not know how to turn (13 comments)
Here is a Tip for Winning an Offer on Homes in Land Park - 10/08/09 09:37 AM
I'm really glad that I passed up going to law school. At one point in my life, I thought it would be a good idea to get a law degree, so I applied to law school. As I was sitting in the conference room filling out the paperwork, students milled by. One of them poked his head into the room and said 3 words: Don't do it. He wasn't the reason I withdrew my application but his words still echo in my head today. The main reason I decided against law school was because it required too much of my time, (7 comments)
When it Comes to Sacramento Home Inspections, Buyers Get What They Pay For - 10/07/09 10:12 AM
Almost every day I receive spam from home inspectors in Sacramento. Some of them offer inspections at cut-rate discounts -- and who can blame them? Business is slow for many home inspectors because fewer transactions are closing this year over the last few years. But is cost alone a reason to choose a home inspector? Some buyers are wary about hiring an agent's home inspector. They may think an agent might promote only those inspectors who won't "blow the deal." A few agents probably fall into that category, but not very many of them. Most agents want their clients to receive (9 comments)
Here is Steve Earle in Concert at the Crest Theatre Downtown Sacramento - 10/06/09 10:16 AM
Despite my busy day yesterday -- cleaning up my short sale listings, doing a presentation to Lyon agents, attending a short sale closing -- I mustered up the energy to go to the Steve Earle concert at the Crest Theatre last night. The stage was bare, except for a table holding 2 bottles of water, a microphone, couple of speakers and 2 instruments. Most shows start on time at the Crest, but this one began about 15 minutes late. Steve Earle walked on stage, dressed in faded blue jeans, a red and brown plaid shirt with the sleeves rolled up to (8 comments)
Lyon Real Estate Hosts FRED Today at the Sacramento Hyatt and Bob Stewart to Speak - 10/05/09 08:59 AM
Agents these days are multi-tasking, and I am no exception. My days are often long and full. As a Sacramento short sale agent, my phone rarely stops ringing. I went to Macy's in the downtown Sacramento mall yesterday to buy a few things. "What do you want me to chase?" asked the sales clerk. I signaled that I was on the phone. "Oh," she says, "Chase Bank." Chris Ann, you are so right about Macy's jewelry department. Many of the counters were empty, staffed by nobody. I had to chase down a clerk to inquire about a necklace. It was all (12 comments)
Sacramento's First-Time Home Buyers Are Happier Than Sellers and Here's Why - 10/04/09 09:40 AM
Agents have asked me how I manage to maintain my positive attitude and cheerful disposition, especially while tackling the challenges inherent in Sacramento's real estate market today. I believe it's my nature to be cheerful -- I mean, given the choice between a glass half-full or half-empty, I'll take the one with champagne. But my clients also keep my mood elevated. As a Sacramento short sale agent, my sellers are thrilled to sell their homes, but it's a bittersweet happiness, sort of a two-edged sword in a way. True, I have helped them to unload a troublesome liability but they have (7 comments)
Here's a Camden Passage Pool Home in Elk Grove Offered as a Short Sale at $300,000 - 10/03/09 09:20 AM
I almost always get excited when I take a listing, but I am truly thrilled that I have the opportunity to market this gorgeous Camden Passage pool home in Elk Grove. It's a short sale, but then I seem to be an Elk Grove short sale agent these days, primarily because there are so many short sales in the Elk Grove school district, and that's what I do -- I sell short sales. This custom two-story home was built in 1999, and it has almost 2,900 square feet. It sits on a culdesac. When you walk in the front door, the (9 comments)
Not Every Short Sale Bank Will Pay the Buyer's Closing Costs - 10/02/09 09:39 AM
Because it's generally the investors who call the shots and not the short sale bank, some of my Sacramento short sale listings are not available to buyers who need their closing costs paid. A Bank of America short sale was verbally approved by the negotiator last week at the price submitted by the buyer, but the bank refused to credit the buyer 3% for closing costs. We had room in the price to raise it. It would still appraise at the higher price. Almost all of my Sacramento short sale listings are priced below market and receive multiple offers, which drive (8 comments)
Last-Minute Home Buying Shoppers Hit the Sacramento Market - 10/01/09 09:00 AM
It's almost like the week before Christmas in Sacramento. Home buyers are hitting the streets and their computers, frantically trying to buy a home before the deadline for the first-time home buyer tax credit expires on November 30th. In all reality, they do have a few weeks to get into escrow. A few Sacramento home buyers called me yesterday. John, we'll call him, announced, "Hello, I am a new client." Oh, you are, are you? He was very earnest and sweet. I smiled. John had signed up on my web site the night before. I had sent him an email asking (5 comments)
Broker-Associate at Lyon Real Estate, midtown Sacramento. Selling since 1974. Home Buying Guide at About.com. Sacramento short sale agent.
Author Bio: Elizabeth Weintraub is a Sacramento real estate broker, author, home buying guide for About.com, a Land Park resident, and a Land Park agent who specializes in older, classic homes in Land Park, Curtis Park, Midtown and East Sacramento. Weintraub is also a Sacramento Short Sale agent who lists and successfully closes short sales throughout Sacramento four-county area. Call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759. Put 35 years of real estate experience to work for you.
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