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How About a Rally to Restore Sanity to Short Sales? - 10/31/10 11:24 AM
My day started out yesterday with a tug on the old heart strings. Yup, we watched the Jon Stewart / Stephen Colbert Rally to Restore Sanity and / or Fear. Just looking at the hundreds of thousands and thousands of supporters who filled Washington Mall brought me back to the March on Washington in 1969. It filled my eyes with tears and my heart with American pride. It also made me laugh so hard I almost puked on my cat. A client emailed me about her transaction. I responded immediately because I was also sitting at my computer while watching TV, (13 comments)
Get Those Scavengers Out of My Recycling -- And Here's a Short Sale in Citrus Heights - 10/30/10 11:06 AM
My husband is one of the kindest and caring individuals on the face of this planet but sometimes he drives me nuts. He has a new policy of not putting out our recycling bin on trash pick-up day until the 11th hour. I used to haul all of our containers down to the curb around 5 PM the day before the city picks up our trash. But between the time the recycling truck gets here and the time we drag out the containers for trash, garden waste and recycling, scavengers come around. They pick through our recycling and swipe our plastic (7 comments)
Home Buyers Don't Care What You Tell Them as Long as You Tell Them - 10/29/10 09:58 AM
Buyers don't care what you tell them as long as you tell them. That's my opening statement when I hand home sellers a package of disclosures to complete. It's the things you don't tell a buyer that can come back to haunt you, not what you do say. You take a neighborhood where I live and work like Land Park. Because I live in Land Park, I have intimate knowledge about the neighborhood, which agents who live outside of Land Park probably don't know. If they don't know, they can't disclose those facts to a buyer. Although, it could probably be (22 comments)
About Paying Referral Fees on a Short Sale - 10/28/10 10:45 AM
I get such a kick out of some of the phone calls I receive. Like, the ones out of the blue. Some agent in another part of California will call me, looking for a Sacramento short sale agent. Because I rank well in Google, it's easy to find my name. After a person sees my website, looks at my 40-some short sale listings and all the short sales I have closed, plus they see I have written a short sale book they can buy at Amazon, and I've been in the business for more than 30 years, they figure out I'm (20 comments)
Sacramento Short Sale Saved by Rocky and Bullwinkle - 10/27/10 10:16 AM
Nothing up my sleeve. Alex Anderson died last week. He was 90. At the end of my days -- and by "end" I mean before I go to bed every night, not when I finally croak -- sometimes I play over the events of the day in my head on rewind. That's because things happen so quickly throughout the day that I don't always have time to reflect; I simply react. I work on high-speed autopilot. When I review what has transpired, I often can't believe how bizarre my days have become. I've got your typical mosquito agents buzzing about making (8 comments)
Agents Owe Clients the Truth, Even if Clients Don't Want to Hear It - 10/26/10 10:46 AM
I was reading another agent's blog this morning about dealing with a screwball situation and unreasonable demands. I made the comment that the icky part of the real estate business is when an agent has to choose between being honest and getting more business. Because sometimes when an agent tells a client the truth, that person is unprepared to hear it. Not only that, but because the client doesn't want to hear the truth or refuses to believe the truth, that person will look unfavorably upon the agent. An unfavorable opinion equals no more referrals. No more referrals hurts an agent's (32 comments)
Are Banks Stupid for Refusing a Short Sale? - 10/25/10 10:56 AM
Are the banks really stupid? Or are real estate agents stupid for thinking that banks are stupid? I can't count the number of short sale blogs I've read in which the agents are lamenting about the banks. Some of them yell at bank employees as though the employees don't have a lone brain cell rattling around in their heads, and maybe they don't, hard to say. But yelling doesn't solve anything. I hear agents scream at banks: "Don't you know a short sale is better than a foreclosure?" It is? Always? If a short sale is always better for the (12 comments)
If That Principal Reduction Program Sounds Too Good to Be True, Believe It - 10/24/10 10:50 AM
My mother used to tell me that if some guy told me he was no good for me, I should believe him. I like to think that much of my success in life, I owe to my mother. She was a smart woman. I was fortunate to be raised by her. But why are some people so darned gullible? I ask myself that question all the time but don't have any good answers. Even after a person is informed that the person is getting ripped off, a person will still glom onto a shred of hope that it might not be (8 comments)
An Elk Grove Short Sale and Why You Might Want to Cancel Halloween - 10/23/10 10:26 AM
There is only one thing I don't like about this short sale home in Elk Grove. The thing that bugs me is the fact I might have to drive back over there to take another photo. Because the tenants have decorated this home for Halloween. Which means if the home doesn't sell for some reason over the next week, the photo will be dated. I mean, I hope the tenants are not those types of people who leave up Christmas decorations until spring. I hope they know that when Halloween is over, it's time to cancel Halloween. Because the only thing (3 comments)
Why Did They Foreclose on the Short Sale I Was Buying? - 10/22/10 10:10 AM
Pricing a short sale is an art. Although I try to explain to sellers how I arrived at the suggested sales price, most of them don't really care. As one seller put it, she's just the Monopoly piece. Because it's the bank that decides on the short sale price. The bank makes the decision based on the BPO. So logic would have it that if a Sacramento short sale agent would examine the comparable sales the same way a BPO agent does it, the acceptable sales price should be near the list price. Earlier in the year, a list price could (33 comments)
Should They Ban Chewing Tobacco in Major League Baseball? - 10/21/10 11:10 AM
I picked up the Sacramento Bee from the porch and there is a photo on the front page of Giants' Pat Burrell looking like somebody had socked him in the mouth. But, no, it is a story about chewing tobacco and how many Major League players do it. Further on in the story, it says 1 out of every 5 white high school boys chew tobacco. How totally rude is this? For starters, I guess one doesn't exactly chew it except to moisten it. You take a wad of tobacco and stuff it in a pouch of your cheek. How icky. (11 comments)
An Elk Grove Short Sale With 2 Master Suites - 10/20/10 09:44 AM
One of these days, it's gonna happen. I'm gonna open my front door some morning, step out onto the porch in a nightshirt, barefoot, and whammo. The wind is gonna slam shut the door. My door automatically locks. And, with my luck, this will happen at the precise moment a busload of people drive by. With cameras. My hair will be sticking out in all sorts of odd directions. Where will I find the positive spin on that, you may ask? Hmmm . . . I would probably say to myself, it could be worse. How about naked photos sold to (3 comments)
Another Wildhawk Short Sale in Sacramento Zipped Into Escrow - 10/19/10 11:16 AM
Are you kidding me? Bank of America called off the halt to foreclosures yesterday, saying it could find not one single example of wrongdoing on the part of any of its employees. It said it has examined every single foreclosure filing and found them all to be pristine and perfect. Oh, give me a break. Bank of America couldn't find its way out a paper bag with 2 flashlights. You expect me to believe that while it struggles to close short sales in a timely manner -- I'm sorry our negotiator left the company -- we can't find that file -- (5 comments)
An Affordable Natomas Home That is Not a Short Sale at End of Quiet Street For $160,000 - 10/18/10 10:45 AM
This is what going to see Robin Williams at the Crest Theatre just before bedtime gets me. I mean, there is no other answer. All night long I had a strange dream in which I kept waking up and going back to sleep, picking right up where I had left off. Without going into all the sordid details, let's just say it involved moving to Idaho and into a house with Wayne Coyne, the lead singer for Flaming Lips. Perhaps I should not have stuffed that entire bag of buttered popcorn into my face at the theatre. If you're looking for (3 comments)
Should Tenants Know if Their Home is a Short Sale? - 10/17/10 11:31 AM
Uh, oh, now I've gone and done it. I think I have managed to make a client mad at me. Well, I suppose she's not technically a client yet since we haven't yet signed the listing paperwork, but still. Perhaps she won't sign, and then it won't matter anyway. Just a few days ago I was lamenting to my husband that I haven't taken a listing for about a week and didn't have any listing appointments for this weekend. In fact, I have been quite busy putting a number of short sales into escrow. It seems that either homes sell very (35 comments)
Robin Williams is Coming to the Sacramento Crest Theatre on Sunday - 10/16/10 10:51 AM
Sometimes, the odds are against you, especially when they are 50/50. That might sound like a peculiar thing to hear from a woman like myself. I'm generally a lot more positive than that, but I have learned from experience that if the odds of success are 50/50, chances are strong that something will go wrong -- because let's face it, half the time they do. Otherwise, the odds would not be 50/50. For example, it makes me nervous to buy tickets online. Tickets for anything. You know how you get that screen that says "you have 3 minutes to complete" whatever? (7 comments)
The Truth About Short Sales and Purchase Money Loans - 10/15/10 11:01 AM
You know what makes me feel warm and fuzzy all over? More than a cat crawling under the bed covers at 5 AM and purring? When a prospective client calls, and I look up the loan in the tax rolls to discover this potential short sale involves a purchase money loan. Because purchase money loans in California are non-recourse. But a purchase money loan doesn't mean it's free sailing for the seller. Not many short sale agents realize that, nor do their sellers. I handle all sorts of Sacramento short sales. From Lincoln to Galt. From purchase money to hard money. (4 comments)
It's a Short and Sweet "Betty White Day" in Short Sales - 10/14/10 11:13 AM
Do you believe it? Nearly 21% of all of the foreclosures in the county for the third quarter of this year are in California. Those two words: California and foreclosure go hand-in-hand. You can't pick up a newspaper or turn on the news without seeing those headlines. We're not the land of milk and honey anymore. We're the land of foreclosures. Equally ubiquitous is Sacramento and short sale. It's one of the reasons that HGTV producers from Pietown came to town a while back to film a Sacramento House Hunters show about short sales. I spent 3 days filming in Natomas. (6 comments)
Confidence is in the Mind of the Beholder - 10/13/10 10:09 AM
I make people afraid of me. Yup, I frighten people. For the most part, they find me intimidating. I'm not saying this in a boastful manner; it's more of an insight -- a confession, because I'm aware of it. How am I aware of it? People tell me. They say that I'm straight forward and to the point and, let's face it, I have an assertive Type A personality. That scares people. Probably because they're not. But then people say that after they get to know me, they are astonished at how friendly and down-to-the-earth I am. Because that was not (26 comments)
Do You Need a Lawyer To Do a Short Sale? - 10/12/10 10:25 AM
A prospective client called yesterday to ask whether she needed a lawyer to do her short sale. She was confused. After all, she had called some of her friends who know a guy who knows a guy and they told her that a real estate agent is supposed to negotiate her short sale, not a lawyer. And real estate agents are free, you know. They don't charge you anything. Not like those scary and expensive lawyers. It came as a surprise to this person that I, as a Sacramento short sale agent, cannot give her legal advice. Nope, no can do. (10 comments)
Here is a Short Sale in Rancho Cordova You Probably Can't Buy - 10/11/10 10:06 AM
You can't buy this short sale because another buyer already put an offer on it. The sellers accepted the offer and asked me to put this into pending status. But you can write a back-up offer if you like. If you find this frustrating, I understand. Tell me about it. My husband went on a hiking trip to Rocky Mountain National Park this week and left me alone with four remote controls and a big screen TV, which I've never before turned on by myself. Whatever happened to the days of slipping in a video and turning the channel to 3? (10 comments)
You Might Need a Survivor Instinct to Work in Unstable or Falling Real Estate Markets - 10/10/10 11:22 AM
It sort of surprises me that I close, on average, more than one real estate transaction per week in the Sacramento four-county area -- knock on wood. Times are tough in this industry. CAR Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young says home sales will shrink 10% this year, and predicts median home sale prices will increase only 2% in 2011. So why am I selling when other agents are leaving the business? You know, I didn't wake up one morning and decide that I should challenge myself more. That I needed more adversity in my life. Like, I should sell every one of (3 comments)
My Mother Used to Say You Sleep in the Bed You Make - 10/09/10 11:05 AM
As I read Alan May's excellent blog, Where Do You Draw the Line, it made me reflect on events from yesterday afternoon. I was at my nail place getting a pedicure when an agent called. I probably should not have answered my phone but I can't help myself. I'm wearing a new type of Jawbone bluetooth device that whispers the phone number of the caller into my ear, which wakes me up from my relaxed state anyway. The caller appeared quite agitated. I let the agent talk, hoping the agent would calm down as I "ahh'd" and "mmm'd" the conversation, simply (42 comments)
Are You Certain You Want to Buy That Sacramento Short Sale? - 10/08/10 10:57 AM
Although it should not amaze me, it still does. It's not unusual for me to send a counter offer for one of my Sacramento short sale listings to the buyer's agent and never hear from the buyer's agent again. You'd think that buyer's agents are in the business of putting their buyers into escrow and closing that escrow, but perhaps not. I'm not privy to their business practices; I simply don't know. I read about the 40,000 homeowners expected to show up at Cal Expo today for the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America's Save the Dream Tour. People slept last night (5 comments)
Here's What CitiMortgage Short Sales Have in Common With an Airline - 10/07/10 10:47 AM
It seems that every business is always trying to find a way to make a buck. One of the ways to make a buck is to maximize profit -- increase the amount of money that's already pouring into a business. For example, let's say you sell pencils for $1.00 each. If you increase that price to $1.01 and sell 50 million pencils a year, you've made an extra $500,000. But if you break that pencil in half and package it as 2 pencils at $1.25 per package, you've pumped another $1,250,000 into your business. Don't get me wrong, I'm not against (17 comments)
Breaking News: Anti-Deficiency Protection for Short Sales Signed Into Law In California - 10/06/10 09:51 AM
If a seller in Sacramento, -- or anywhere in California for that matter -- ever needed a good reason to do a short sale over a foreclosure, the fact that SB 931 was signed into law by Governor Schwarzenegger on Sept. 30th should be reason enough. First lenders can no longer go after a short sale seller of one to four units. Of course, the protection against a deficiency judgment is only for a first trust deed, but it no longer matters whether that first loan was purchase money (non-recourse) or hard money (recourse). It does not apply to subsequent or (13 comments)
I Don't List Every Short Sale in Sacramento, Just the Short Sales I Expect To Close - 10/05/10 10:18 AM
I rarely take time off from selling Sacramento short sales. Apart from working 7 days a week, 14 hours a day, I have little time to do much of anything else. So, when I do go somewhere, I don't answer my phone. My team member, Linda Swanson, responds to my emails, takes my phone calls and keeps business running as usual in my absence. I was amazed when I returned from my vacation at Yellowstone National Park to discover my inbox was fairly clean. Evidently, documents were processed and questions were answered. Escrows are on target to close. And, in a (9 comments)
Oh, give me a home where the buffalo roam, where the deer and the antelope play. Where seldom is heard a discouraging word, and the skies are not cloudy all day . . . this song was written in 1873, yet it's still true today, some 137 years later. And I couldn't get it out of my head as we were driving toward the Jackson Hole airport, ending our vacation yesterday at Yellowstone National Park. I said goodbye to Old Faithful Inn and my heart felt really heavy. All my surroundings were so familiar to me, it felt like home. (14 comments)
If Julia Roberts filmed a movie in Yellowstone National Park, they would call it Eat, Sleep and Poop. Because that's how you feel when you're this close to nature; it's very basic. Of course, you can't touch anything or you'd burn off your hands. Many of the attractions have a warning sign of a kid jumping up startled because he fell into a scorching and boiling ground pit while his sister looks on horrified, hand clasped over her mouth. We got up at 5:30, threw on some semblance of layering and teetered out into the darkness. Scraped frost from (9 comments)
I am pleased to bring you Saturday's edition of Not Eaten By a Bear Yet. Yup, still in Yellowstone National Park. The thing about walking around a bunch of people who are gazing at geysers is if somebody lets one rip, you couldn't tell the difference between a toot or the sulphur. The smell of sulphur is really strong. Coupled with carbon dioxide, the sulphur and a high altitude, it's not unusual for your nose to bleed. Small price to pay for paradise. I generally get up around 5 AM, throw on my down jacket and walk the 15 (42 comments)
Here Are Wildlife and Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park - 10/01/10 10:08 AM
They say the best way to find wildlife in Yellowstone National Park is to stop looking for wildlife and start looking for people who are watching wildlife. And it works. You just drive along the road until you spot a bunch of cars pulled off to the side. If the people are holding cameras and not zippers, all the better. That's how we spotted our first bison. But it's funny how your attitude changes when you're the person who finds that perfect picture-shooting opportunity and somebody else pulls off the road beside you. The first thought in my head wasn't about (8 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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