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Bank of America Pulls Rabbit Out of Hat on This Short Sale - 04/30/10 10:58 AM
Here's an interesting short sale story for you. Bank of America short sales have gotten a bad rap in the industry, much of it deserved. However, I am happy to report that Bank of America is working to turn around that reputation and succeeding. My last 3 approvals arrived in fewer than 30 days. On the other hand, I have a Sacramento short sale closing today, which I listed a year ago. The list price was a bit below market to attract multiple short sale offers at $175,000. We immediately received 6 offers, and the winning offer was $190,000. Submitted that (1 comments)
How Many Agents Can Correctly Identify Each of Their Listings? - 04/29/10 11:45 AM
For the most part, my Sacramento short sales are closing faster but they aren't closing any easier. I was looking at my website this morning. My listings rotate on my homepage. Agents who don't have any listings often link to their broker's listings on their homepages so it won't look like they don't have any. But all the rotating listings on my homepage are homes I have listed or co-listed. These are homes that are either for sale or are active contingent short sales. Not all of them are a short sale, either. Some are regular transactions. My pending sales don't (0 comments)
Here's an Elk Grove Short Sale With a Creek in Back - 04/28/10 08:26 AM
How fast can a Sacramento short sale agent type a listing? You would not believe the volume of paperwork involved in taking a listing. In fact, some agents don't type listings; they hand write. But when one types as fast as I do, which is about 120 WPM, typing a listing is the only way to go. I write so many month after month that I've finally got it down to a science. Why, I can prepare a listing in about 40 minutes, disclosures and all, down to the printed label on the file folder. While talking on the phone. But (4 comments)
Here is an Affordable Land Park Starter Home for $299,000 - 04/27/10 09:03 AM
On a side note, I hear the Federal Aviation Administration is urging airlines to adopt a no-distraction policy in their cockpits. They used the case of those Northwest pilots who flew past the Minneapolis / St. Paul airport because they were distracted by playing on their laptops. The FAA says pilots are increasingly using electronic devices in the cockpit such as cellphones and computers, which might cause pilots to take their eyes off of the clouds. I can see it now. A pilot Tweets: "Dude, did you know the polar ice caps are melting? Ten polar bears are sharing a block (4 comments)
Selling a Rental Home With Tenants is Even Harder on a Short Sale - 04/26/10 02:47 PM
Selling a rental home that is occupied by tenants presents its own special set of challenges. That's why whenever I sold one of my own investment properties, I would not put that home on the market until it was vacant. Tenant cooperation is essential. However, not every tenant wants to cooperate with showings, even though most residential leases say the owner has the right to enter the property with 24-hours' notice. When I see an otherwise attractive listing on MLS with a high number of DOM, it's often a home that is occupied by tenants. The scenario goes like this. The (13 comments)
DocuSign is a Key Tool for a Busy Real Estate Agent - 04/25/10 09:02 AM
I managed to sell 4 homes in the Sacramento area yesterday, show homes in Land Park and East Sacramento, plus, list another short sale in Elk Grove. Let me tell you, it's not every day that kind of activity happens, but the month of April has been especially brutal. Probably because so many buyers are trying to get into contract to qualify for that home buyer tax credit. While I ordinarily stop working at 7 PM, except for answering emails (hey, I start at 5 AM, gimme a break), last Friday I was up way past my bedtime catching up on (10 comments)
How About a Midtown Sacramento High Water Bungalow for $315,000? - 04/24/10 09:10 AM
Although technically anything east of Alhambra is considered East Sacramento, it depends on whom you ask. The homes in the Alhambra Corridor are generally viewed as homes in Midtown Sacramento. That's because Midtown is just across the street. This Craftsman bungalow was built in 1915. That was basically the last year for high water bungalows because that's the year the levy was built. One of the advantages to owning a 1915 high water bungalow is you have a full basement, which allows easy access to your electrical and plumbing. In fact, this home has the furnace in the basement, and a (5 comments)
The Third Time is a Charm for This Land Park Seller - 04/23/10 09:20 AM
Looking through a list of Top 40 hits the other day, I came to the shocking realization that I haven't heard any of the songs on that list. So, you know right away that I don't have kids and, as such, have been spared the agony of some of that music. My husband says the number one song in the country is by some 16-year-old boy from Canada who sings like a girl. I guess my lack of knowledge about pop Top 40 hits slams me head first into the official old geezer pool. Ouch. I pointed out to my husband (13 comments)
A New Type of Short Sale Seller is on the Horizon - 04/22/10 09:09 AM
The buzz in the industry seems to be mostly about foreclosures in Sacramento. People are talking about the shadow inventory, wondering what happened and when we'll see it hit the market. As the Sacramento Bee reported yesterday, foreclosures are falling. But short sales in Sacramento are on the rise. Almost one in four closed sales in Sacramento is a short sale. That's not to say, however, that short sales are replacing foreclosures. I see three things going on. First, I'm getting short sale approval on some of my really old files. Buyers who have been patiently waiting since last summer are (17 comments)
How About a Land Park Home Priced Like a Short Sale But Owned by a Regular Seller? - 04/21/10 08:42 AM
The only drawback to buying homes in Land Park situated on some of our block-long streets is that people who live on such short streets might not get fast pizza delivery. What? Where? How do you spell it? And even then the pizza delivery guy gets lost. On the bright side, these types of streets tend to receive only local traffic from the owners who live there. There is no through traffic. Little noise. Kids can play in the street if they want. In fact, when I shot the virtual tour for my new listing in Land Park, I stood out (5 comments)
There Are Two Things I Love About Land Park in April and One of Them is Not Rain - 04/20/10 09:07 AM
My favorite time of the year in Land Park is the month of April. Yeah, some people moan and groan and say they could do without more rain, but you really can't beat our springtime weather. The roses are bursting into first bloom, which means I'll probably run over to my Clarksburg listing and shoot a virtual tour in a couple of days. I didn't do it last week because so many of the tree branches had not yet leafed out and the roses weren't yet open. There are two things that I absolutely love about April in Land Park. The (6 comments)
The City of Sacramento Wants to Fix the Street Lights in Land Park - 04/19/10 08:55 AM
Kids today live in a much different world than I experienced growing up. Some parents center their lives around their children. Would little Aiden like to walk with us to Vic's Ice Cream after dinner? Would Emma like to play Rock Star with us tonight? When I was a kid, my father used to kick me out the door after dinner and yell, "Don't come back until the street lights come on." In the 1950s, we had those dorky street lights, the kind of goose-neck lamps attached to super tall wooden poles. They were designed to provide light, of all things. (7 comments)
If You're Gonna Remodel a Home, Don't Destroy the Character - 04/18/10 09:34 AM
The thing about being a Land Park agent is I never know how my days will go. Heck, that's true for any real estate agent. We might think we have organized our day but anything can happen. I believe it was John Lennon who said, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." It's almost impossible to accurately predict what will happen in real estate. Take today, for example. This afternoon, I am taking out a lawyer to look at homes in Land Park. We'll also tour a couple of homes in Midtown and East Sacramento, but (7 comments)
Would You Like to Buy a 1935 Land Park Tudor Home as a Short Sale? - 04/17/10 09:18 AM
Two flocks of geese are noisily flying in formation over Land Park as I write this. Because I live in Land Park, I have a special affinity for this neighborhood and a fondness for the birds. Over the past few weeks, I've spotted cedar waxwings in my yard, and I almost never see these birds in my yard. I see them at other homes in Land Park, but not at mine. I typically get hummingbirds, crows, mockingbirds, house finches and gold finches, with the occasional northern flickers. Yesterday, I listed a new short sale in Land Park. This is a 1935 (4 comments)
The Case of the Missing Lockbox on This Short Sale Has Finally Been Solved - 04/16/10 08:19 AM
Getting down to the final stretch in a short sale means the beginning of escrow. Sure, escrow was opened who knows how many weeks or months ago when the buyer deposited earnest money funds, but during the initial stages, mostly the buyer is waiting for short sale approval from the bank. As a Sacramento short sale agent, I do twice the work as a regular real estate agent because of all the upfront negotiating with the bank, document collection from the seller, multiple BPO visits and sometimes having to replace buyers who keel over in the middle of the road along (7 comments)
Selling Your Home as a Short Sale Can Mean Regaining Control of Your Life - 04/15/10 09:31 AM
I tell my clients that texting me is not always the best way to ensure that I'll receive a message. That's because I sometimes delete my unread text messages by mistake during a deleting frenzy. My BlackBerry is set up to receive emails from 3 of my accounts, each with an identifying Star War jingle or magical fairy sound -- happy sounds. One of my clients has his email alert set to deliver a hissing snake alert. Call me silly, but I'm betting he isn't thrilled to receive emails from that particular account, and the hissing snake sound is his way (8 comments)
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is Available in Land Park - 04/14/10 08:51 AM
If you just bought a home in Land Park, you may be wondering how you can get fresh fruits and vegetables delivered from a community supported agriculture project (CSA). Let me share with you how my husband and I do it. We live in Land Park and love receiving our weekly boxes of organic vegetables. We support Full Belly Farm, which is based in Capay Valley in the town of Guinda. In case that location is unfamiliar to you, the farm is near Cache Creek Casino. It's been CCOF certified organic since 1985. Below is a photo of me playing with (9 comments)
California Governor Signs Mortgage Debt Relief Bill But Sellers May Need to Revise 2009 Taxes - 04/13/10 12:46 PM
SB 401, introduced by California Senator Wolk, has been signed into law on April 12 by Governor Schwarzenegger. The legislation allows taxpayers of owner-occupied homes to immediately exclude from their 2009 through 2012 income tax returns the amount of mortgage debt forgiven by the lender in a short sale. California law used to conform to federal law, but that expired at the end of 2008, leaving many former homeowners who sold through a short sale on the hook for taxes in 2009. The new law is similar to the federal Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act, which allows an exemption for principal (7 comments)
Here is an Affordable Vineyard Estates Short Sale Home in Roseville - 04/13/10 08:36 AM
I have a lousy sense of direction. When I was filling out a profile sheet for MLS at a seller's home in Roseville yesterday, I noted that the archived listing showed the home facing west. But it didn't feel like it was facing west to me. So, I asked the sellers which direction it faced. They didn't know, either. But fortunately, they had an app that turned their cellphone into a compass. Sense of direction is not my forte. The only thing worse than losing your sense of direction is losing your common sense on top of it. Once I got (8 comments)
The Secrets to Happiness as a Short Sale Agent - 04/12/10 09:14 AM
Agents and clients sometimes ask me how I can be in such a good mood when I'm a Sacramento short sale agent. Why is my voice mail message so cheery? In part, I suspect it's because they hear all the horror stories about short sales and the toll they can take on an agent. How sometimes lenders demand seller contributions from people who don't have two nickels to rub together; how banks don't respond and lose documents; how buyers vanish at the moment of short sale approval, and all the other compounding problems that can exist in a short sale. How (10 comments)
Do Home Buyers Need a Short Sale Agent to Write a Short Sale Offer? - 04/11/10 09:34 AM
My husband has a problem with other Sacramento drivers. Whenever he spots a driver doing something erratic, he furls his eyebrows and grumbles: "Hang up the phone and drive." He always sees accidents waiting to happen. I see vehicles on the road. He sees trouble. That's because he's paying attention to driving while I'm just a passenger. On the other hand, it's my job as a Sacramento short sale agent to spot potential roadblocks when I represent a buyer and to take steps to protect the buyer. For example, I would never submit an offer for a buyer on a short (62 comments)
What a Sacramento Short Sale and Let's Make a Deal Have in Common - 04/10/10 09:35 AM
I just listed another short sale home, this time in Carmichael, and even managed to stop off for a manicure. With my days, it's hard to squeeze in time to get my nails done. Jeopardy was on the TV at the nail salon. I'm always astonished when I know the questions on Jeopardy, especially when the contestants don't. For example, I knew that a cat who drapes in your arms is a ragdoll. I also knew the airport in Seoul is Incheon. But that's because I've been to South Korea and I love cats. Not because I store a vast amount (12 comments)
You Might Be Able to Buy a California Short Sale and Get Both Home Buyer Tax Credits - 04/09/10 09:32 AM
Apparently, there is a lot of confusion in Sacramento about the federal and state home buyer tax credits. Many buyers and some buyer's agents do not understand that a home buyer has this small window of opportunity to claim both of the tax credits. The trick to getting the $8,000 federal tax credit and the $10,000 state of California tax credit is to be in contract by April 30th and close by June 30th. Buyers who go into contract after April 30th may qualify only for the state tax credit. You probably have 2 questions. What does "going into contract" mean? (6 comments)
Would You Like to Own a 1938 Farmhouse on Acreage in Clarksburg? - 04/08/10 10:03 AM
Elvis Costello should move to Clarksburg, California. In fact, I have the perfect home for sale in Clarksburg. I was thinking about this when my husband and I went to the Mondavi Center in Davis last night to see Elvis Costello perform solo. It was sort of like the old days of MTV Unplugged. Except the stage was set up to accommodate 2 performers with at least 3 guitars in both sections. At one point in the performance, Costello said, "I'd like to introduce my guest artist this evening," and he quickly dashed over to the other side of the stage, (5 comments)
Buying a Home in Land Park vs. Midtown Could Depend on the Home Inspection - 04/07/10 08:43 AM
"Where did you find this home inspector? I've never seen a home inspection like this before," the Midtown listing agent lamented, adding, "No wonder the buyers canceled!" After the home inspection on a 100-year-old home in Midtown, my buyers decided to cancel their escrow and go after a home in Land Park. I tried to warn them in the beginning that they might be getting into a situation that was over their heads, but they were confident that Midtown was where they wanted to live. But I don't make decisions for my clients. They make their own decisions. I simply give (11 comments)
Every Once in a Blue Moon, a Sacramento Short Sales Goes to Auction - 04/06/10 09:38 AM
I hate to admit this, but when I walk past my aquarium, I sometimes wish secretly to myself that my angelfish would die. Because once this fish kicks the bucket, I'm cleaning out my fish tank and putting it into storage. It's time to face the fact that I've spent 20 years trying to raise fish, and they all die. Not to mention, it takes an inordinate amount of time to maintain a fish tank, time that I don't have because I'm too darned busy closing Sacramento short sales. This fish did not ask to be in my aquarium. It has (12 comments)
It's a Good Idea to Know the Street Address When Calling a Sacramento Listing Agent - 04/05/10 09:23 AM
Sometimes I toy with the idea of buying a second cellphone. Then I could use that phone number solely for MLS agent calls and sign calls. I know some listing agents use a second phone for those purposes, and I suspect they send all their calls to voice mail. Except you don't need a phone to do that. You just need a phone number. Then nothing would buzz or ring or jingle while attached to your person. But the reason I don't buy a second phone is because a lot of those agent calls and sign calls are important. The downside (16 comments)
How Much Trouble Can I Get Into Driving From Land Park to Midtown? - 04/04/10 09:16 AM
When I was a kid, we called Coca-Cola soda pop, or "pop" for short. That's how you can tell that I was raised in the Midwest and not in Sacramento. Now, people from the East Coast tend to refer to carbonated beverages as soft drinks. I've heard that in the South, everybody calls a soft drink "Coke" regardless of whether one is talking about a 7-Up or cola. Kids today don't realize that in the early 1950s, Coca-Cola came in glass bottles, not cans, and tasted much better from a drugstore fountain. There was also no such thing as Diet Coke. (10 comments)
Here is What Happens When Sacramento Short Sale Buyers Mess Up - 04/03/10 09:08 AM
Go ask Alice, when she's ten feet tall. Hey, I hear the Jefferson Starship will play at the casinos this spring. Hard to imagine that it's been 40 years since I was 17. Ah, I remember it like it was yesterday. The year was 1969. We had reserved seating on the first floor, but when the Jefferson Airplane hit the stage, everybody rushed to the front. There was little crowd control back then. I managed to swipe a front-row seat and stood on top of it as Grace Slick grabbed the microphone. The audience applauded like crazy. Slick welcomed the screaming (14 comments)
Is Your Sacramento Short Sale Agent a Short Sale Expert? - 04/02/10 09:09 AM
When Sacramento buyer's agents ask me how I know that I'll get short sale approval, the answer is easy. The odds are I will. And those are high odds, probably in the 90 percentiles. I might be biased, but I believe I'm an above average Sacramento short sale agent. It's hard to look at your own performance objectively, but I would never identify myself as a short sale expert nor proclaim to be the top short sale agent in Sacramento -- even though national and local media might hang that tag of short sale expert on me -- for a variety (6 comments)
If You Snore When You Sleep, You Might Also Stop Breathing and Not Know It - 04/01/10 10:13 AM
I woke up in a strange bed this morning. Alone. With a bunch of wires taped to my head, face and neck, and sensors strapped to my nostrils. I thought about taking a photo, but I couldn't get out of bed since I had straps binding my chest and feet. The overhead light was intense. I turned my head and spotted my Lyon Real Estate bag resting on the chair where I had left it the night before. Lovely. My cellphone was out of reach. Where was my steaming cup of coffee? You'd think the least that the Sacramento U. C. (19 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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