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Busy Day for U. S. Senate and Sacramento Short Sale Agents - 06/30/10 10:00 AM
Probably the best news I received yesterday was that the House approved the homebuyer tax credit extension, giving buyers who are already in contract another 3 months to close escrow and still get the tax credit. The bill still needs to be passed by the Senate and signed by President Obama, but we've got another 24 hours in today's work schedule to get it done. I'm confident it will happen. This is great news for some of the buyers of my Sacramento short sales who had given up hope that they could close by June 30th. These people were advised last (6 comments)
What's the Worst Job to Have in Sacramento in the Summer? - 06/29/10 09:35 AM
OK, my hand is in the air, and I vote for roofer. When the temperature hits 115 in Sacramento, the last place anybody on Earth should want to be is on top of a hot tar roof. I mean, given the types of jobs a person can do in the construction industry, sweating in the hot summer sun some 10 feet in the air falls to the bottom of my list. My neighbor in Land Park is putting on a new 50-year staggered-design comp roof. His old roof was shake, which didn't quite fit with the surrounding homes in Land Park. (8 comments)
You Say It's Your Birthday and Here's a Short Sale in Curtis Park - 06/28/10 10:05 AM
I have never particularly liked The Beatle's song: You Say It's Your Birthday. It's on The White Album. It's a jarring tune. Not that there's anything wrong with jarring because I love the Foo Fighters, for example, but it's situated in the wrong place on the soundtrack. When I bought that album in 1969, I was 17. Living in an apartment by myself, embarking on my senior year of high school and working 2 part-time jobs. My landlord knocked on the door to ask if he could borrow my White Album. When I told him I was late for school, he (17 comments)
To Sell the Positive Aspects in a Home, Address the Negative - 06/27/10 09:59 AM
Some real estate agents don't want to say anything to a home seller that sounds negative about a home. I suspect they are afraid of offending the seller. Besides, lots of sellers don't notice the negative aspects of their home, especially after a number of years go by. They get used to it, whatever the problems are -- deferred maintenance, dated condition, undesirable location or bad layout, to name a few. I'll tell you who will immediately spot those problems, though, and that person is the buyer. Those problems will become drawbacks, obstacles to overcome in order to sell. If a (49 comments)
Where Do Real Estate Agents Draw the Line Before Crossing It? - 06/26/10 10:32 AM
I have noticed something peculiar happening in the Sacramento real estate market. Now, ordinarily, I do not pay much attention to what other agents are doing because, quite frankly, it's none of my business. My business is to write weekly articles for my homebuying website at About.com, sell my listings -- short sale or otherwise -- put my buyers into contract and write a daily Elizabeth Weintraub blog. That's enough stuff to keep me busy. You know what they say about busy people? If you want something done right, ask a busy person to do it. Lately, though, I've noticed that (63 comments)
James Taylor and My New Sacramento Listing in Larchmont Riviera - 06/25/10 10:17 AM
You would think that since my days are so consumed by real estate that I would dream about real estate at night. But I rarely do. Oh, there is probably subliminal crap in my dreams, stuff from my subconscious that I'm not even aware of slipping into my dreamland adventures, but I can usually figure it out. For example, last night I was in Central Park in the fall with my husband and James Taylor. New York City was the backdrop because I had watched a couple of 30 Rock episodes before I went to bed. But what was James Taylor (3 comments)
Sacramento Homeowners in Foreclosure Might Qualify for State Funds - 06/24/10 10:15 AM
The California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA) is launching a "Keep Your Home" initiative on Nov. 1 that is designed to pay down mortgages, up to $50,000, for qualified homeowners in foreclosure or in danger of going into foreclosure. CalHFA announced it will allocate $700 million for the program, which will also help to pay for six months of mortgage payments or give homeowners (who can't afford to stay) $5,000 to move. CalHFA is encouraging lenders to match the $50,000 mortgage buy down. The problem that I see with this program is how many underwater Sacramento homeowners will benefit from a $100,000 (9 comments)
The Trick to Selling a Sacramento Short Sale in the Summer - 06/23/10 09:52 AM
My husband heard a strange rumbling in our attic yesterday. Rock 'n' roll may have turned me half deaf, because my husband often hears things that I do not. Sure enough, by evening, it felt uncomfortably warm in the house. Our compressor had stopped running. Well, it's one of the reasons we have a home warranty through American Home Shield. There are some people who can survive a Sacramento summer without air conditioning, but I am not one of them. Sure, I grew up without AC but that was in Minneapolis. We had maybe two weeks of extremely muggy weather in (9 comments)
A Short Sale is a Two-Way Street But This Listing Agent Represents the Seller - 06/22/10 10:27 AM
If you want to see something really gross, pick up your keyboard, turn it upside down and vigorously shake it. What you see on the tray, apart from the usual crumbs of pizza crust and bits of chocolate chip cookies, is stuff that falls off of you every day. You are shedding like crazy. Eyelashes, eyebrows, particles of skin. Ick. In my case, there is a lot of cat hair in my keyboard, too. I'm astonished the keys still go down when depressed with all of that crap in there. There are times, though, as a Sacramento short sale agent, that (14 comments)
What Can a Buyer Do to Speed Up that Short Sale? - 06/21/10 09:47 AM
Sometimes, people think I have all the answers. Well, I don't. I don't have a crystal ball on my desk, either. I can't predict the future. Couldn't tell ya if it was gonna rain tomorrow. OK, in Sacramento, in June, highly unlikely. And although I've never put my shoes on backwards, I have been known to show up at the office wearing two different shoes: one black, one navy blue. But who hasn't? You perhaps? You've never accidentally slipped your feet into shoes that don't match? Well, then, I've just given you something that you can feel good about today. When (12 comments)
This Sacramento Short Sale Agent Will Cancel Any Seller's Short Sale Listing Upon Request - 06/20/10 09:52 AM
Sellers of short sales in Sacramento are not required to do a short sale if they don't want to. Even if they have signed a listing agreement and a purchase contract. That's because short sales are subject to the seller's approval of the terms and conditions set forth by the bank's approval letter. But even if the short sale approval letter is clean, without deficiency verbiage, and there is nothing in that letter to cause the seller any concern, if the seller wants to cancel the transaction, I'll let the seller do it. Some agents don't want to let sellers cancel (13 comments)
A Trip to Yellowstone and a Land Park Tudor Offered at $499,000 - 06/19/10 10:34 AM
How did I get to be almost 60 years old without ever going to Yellowstone National Park? Besides Old Faithful, Yellowstone has almost 300 waterfalls and it's the world's first national park. It's bigger than Rhode Island and Delaware put together. It has 10,000-some thermal features, petrified forests, exotic plants, calderas, weird wildlife and, at more than 2 million acres, a person can't see it all in a week. So, come this fall, my husband and I are taking a vacation to Yellowstone. We planned this trip last year just before The National Parks by Ken Burns was released on DVD, (10 comments)
Sacramento State Workers Should Use Caution When Emailing Their Sacramento Short Sale Agent - 06/18/10 09:46 AM
So much goes on in a day in the life of a Sacramento short sale agent that it can easily seem like what happened in the morning took place a week ago. I might send a document to a seller at 9 AM and then fret about it at 3 PM if it hasn't come back. I mean, it's only 6 hours but it often seems to me like 6 hours ago was a few days ago. Plus, not every person downloads their email every two minutes like I do. And not every person is at the computer at 5 AM. (6 comments)
Why Home Buyers and Sellers Should Never Meet and a New Sacramento Short Sale - 06/17/10 10:24 AM
A seller mentioned to me the other day that she did not want any potential buyers for her home to know what she looks like. Not that there's anything wrong with her appearance, mind you. This seller is an attractive and friendly person. But the reason she wants to leave the house long before a buyer arrives for a showing is because she met the sellers when she bought the house. And she didn't like them. Come to think of it, my husband didn't like the sellers of our house, either. Because they were frying bacon in the kitchen when we (8 comments)
A buyer called yesterday to ask about a Sacramento short sale. He asked if the seller would accept an offer of, oh, let's say, 300 beanie babies. This home is listed at 400 beanie babies. First, I would never pretend to know how much a seller will accept because I'm not sitting inside that seller's mind and second, even if the seller had shared those thoughts with me, I am not authorized to share them with anybody else. Especially not with a buyer. Instead, I ask how the buyer arrived at that number of 300 beanie babies. He based it (2 comments)
Taking That Sacramento Short Sale to the Finish Line is a Wild Ride - 06/15/10 09:39 AM
The first rule any Sacramento short sale agent should understand is there are no rules in this business. There are ethics and regulations by which we are governed, but the short sales themselves are a whole different animal. You can never guarantee the outcome of a short sale. The only thing you can really do is grab that horse by the mane, hop on and ride it back to the barn without falling off. If the horse goes left and you're leaning right, you might have a problem. You've gotta go with the flow. What happens when you get to the (11 comments)
It Can Be Smart to Pay Full List Price for a Home in Land Park - 06/14/10 09:50 AM
Home buyers in Sacramento often tend to put too much emphasis on the list price. I've heard buyers say they won't pay list price for any home, and I send those buyers elsewhere. Well, not at first, of course. I try to educate them. What if the home is underpriced? But you can't always pound a square peg into a round hole. Some listings are overpriced homes, some are priced at market value as a highly desirable home, some are underpriced. Especially when you're looking at homes in Land Park. This Sacramento neighborhood is popular because of its close proximity to (3 comments)
One sure-fired way to help conserve water in Sacramento is to grow drought-tolerant plants. When a winter storm in January 2008 took out my birch trees, I decided to remove part of my deck and turn that area into a garden filled with cacti and succulents. Not that I knew much about cacti but I'm one of those people who enjoys learning new things by implementation first, studying later. For example, when I buy a new piece of technology, I rarely read the manual. Probably because I don't want to read 150 pages translated from another language into English to (9 comments)
I Never Thought I'd Say I Love, Love, Love Bank of America Short Sales - 06/12/10 10:20 AM
I am finally cleaning out my old Bank of America short sales. Believe it or not, I have several Bank of America short sales that I've been working on since early spring 2009, and they are finally closing in June of 2010. These are files in which I've sold a short sale twice or more due to delays from the bank, which was the old way of dealing with Bank of America. In the old days, the bank used to say if the short sale goes to foreclosure, it goes to foreclosure. Today, Bank of America says let's do that short (88 comments)
Just Another Amusing Day in the Life of a Sacramento Short Sale Agent - 06/11/10 10:17 AM
An associate asked me yesterday how things were going in my real estate business. With tongue in cheek I laughed, "Well, my real estate horoscope said things would be going my way today, but that doesn't seem to be happening." I have a seller who can't understand that homes around her, very similar to her home, have dropped in price far less than hers. So, she may lose her buyer to one of those. Even if a buyer does make an offer that is accepted on her home, the appraiser for that buyer will pick up those sold comps, and her (9 comments)
Your Cats Would Eat You If You Fell Over and Couldn't Get Up - 06/10/10 10:01 AM
The New York Times says parents who are addicted to technology could be adversely affecting their children. It's parents' constant use of cellphones and instant messaging that can cause children to feel hurt and ignored. The article describes how a boy, 2 1/2 years old, tried to get his mother's attention while she was looking at her BlackBerry. This kid whined, tugged at his mother's leg and, in a moment of final frustration, bit her. It struck home because that's exactly what my cats do when I'm on the computer. My cats start out by meowing at me. Doesn't matter which (18 comments)
Banks Pay the Seller's Closing Costs in a Sacramento Short Sale - 06/09/10 09:39 AM
Oops. It just happened again, moments ago. I emailed an offer for a Sacramento short sale to the seller and the seller panicked. "I can't sign this offer," the seller exclaimed. "It says: 'the seller will pay for this and pay for that,' and I thought I wasn't paying for anything!" Even though I explain how short sales work when I take the initial listing, sometimes sellers cannot absorb all of that information at once. It can be overwhelming. A few months back, I was under a time crunch over the weekend to get an offer back to the buyer's agent (5 comments)
Hard Money Loans Can Result in Liability for Sacramento Short Sale Sellers - 06/08/10 10:09 AM
If you're thinking about doing a short sale in Sacramento, the second thing you may want to consider is whether your loans are hard money or purchase money. The first thing, of course, is whether you qualify for a short sale, which means, in part, that you have a hardship of some sort. Sellers who do not have a hardship might qualify for a short sale but the lender is likely to negotiate some kind of payback. Senate Bill 1178, which passed the Senate and is now in the Assembly, will prohibit banks from pursuing sellers after a foreclosure or a (5 comments)
Will Agents Be in Business in the Year 2013? Here's the Next Hot Thing - 06/07/10 09:59 AM
Lots of real estate agents want to know what's the next thing that's on the horizon for real estate. The savvy agents want to jump on that bandwagon and ride the road to easy riches. This morning, thanks to inspiration provided by Broker Bryant's excellent blog, I would like to share my thoughts about the matter. I look at the real estate market in Sacramento like an analyze-it-yourself medical chart. You know, the ones that say if you have a cough and a fever, you can diagnose that condition yourself. The option 1 arrow points to an increased consumption of liquids (54 comments)
Agents Who Care Would Never Put a Listing into MLS Without Photographs - 06/06/10 10:01 AM
One of the nasty surprises in store for women when we age is our arms turn into crepe paper overnight. I suspect that's why a lot of older women don't wear sleeveless garments. Well, unless you're Madonna. But her arms are spooky. They look manufactured. I could probably achieve that model of perfection if I were willing to pump iron and do push-ups, but reality says otherwise. There are too many other things to do, like get my listings sold. I say, if a person doesn't like the way my arms look, a person can stop staring at them. It's too (21 comments)
Do All of the Homes in Land Park Have Hardwood Floors Under the Carpeting? - 06/05/10 10:22 AM
A few years back, I listed a home in Land Park for a seller who had lost his mother. We talked about staging the home, but the seller refused. He couldn't bear to disturb any of his mother's belongings until the home sold. His mother's artwork collection hung on the walls, her knickknacks were everywhere, and all of the flooring was covered in worn carpeting, which made it difficult to sell that home. Without staging, the home reflected his mother and held little appeal for home buyers. But that's what the seller wanted. His home, his choice to make; not mine. (14 comments)
What's Better Than a Four-Bedroom Pool Home in Elk Grove? - 06/04/10 10:05 AM
Because first-time home buyers make up the majority of home buyers in Sacramento, I work with a lot of first-time home buyers. It never amazes me what types of questions they ask. I tell all my buyers there are no dumb questions. If a person has no experience in buying a home, an agent should be there to guide every step of the way. Every so often I might get asked a question that is amusing, though. Like last week. A buyer did not understand why the seller wouldn't give him the keys. Even though the transaction has not yet closed, (6 comments)
How Many Years Could it Take to Regain Lost Equity in Sacramento? - 06/03/10 09:41 AM
Some home sellers tell me that the reason they have decided to do a short sale is because they are growing tired of waiting for the market to rebound. Maybe they bought their home in 2005 and paid $500,000 for it. That home today is probably worth about $250,000 or less. That's a shocking drop in value for many Sacramento homeowners. It sort of hits you between the eyes. Perhaps you look around your neighborhood and see foreclosures everywhere. Droopy for sale signs on bank-owned homes. Sign posts leaning toward the ground. Neglected yards with weeds and dead grass. Windows boarded (10 comments)
When Should You Call Your Sacramento Short Sale Agent? - 06/02/10 09:52 AM
I'd like to go on the record by saying if Al Gore had not given his wife Tipper a weed wacker for her birthday, they might not be getting divorced after 40 years of marriage. But some things you can't go back and undo. Once you do something stupid, you're often stuck with those results. That's not necessarily so with a short sale. A short sale lets you undo a mistake. Maybe you refinanced at a time when everybody and his uncle were tapping equity and ripping cash out of their homes like there was no tomorrow. Maybe you paid too (12 comments)
Do You Spend More Time Buying a Car Than Choosing a Mortgage? - 06/01/10 09:45 AM
A survey released last month by Zillow showed consumers spend more time buying a car than shopping for a mortgage to buy a home. However, when you look closely at that survey, it makes sense. There might be more to buying a car than researching a mortgage. For one thing, you've got to decide on which car to buy. I think consumers start with the manufacturer, then they choose a model and, finally, they select options and discuss delivery dates. When choosing a mortgage, home buyers are buying a bag of money. All money is the same. It's the cost of (17 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.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.