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How a Buyer Can Cancel An Accepted Offer on that Active Short Contingent and Get Her Backup Offer to the Bank - 10/31/11 10:28 AM
It really pays off if you're thinking about buying a Sacramento short sale to hire an experienced short sale agent. An agent emailed me yesterday to say her Buyer B had made a backup offer on a short sale. It's a situation in which the previous buyer walked away after receiving the short sale approval letter from the seller because he lost his job. The short sale was approved at, let's say, $300,000. So, that particular Sacramento short sale agent (not me) put the home back on the market at, say, $295,000. Now you might ask why would an agent list (0 comments)
How Does It Feel to Be a Rolling Stone? - 10/30/11 11:10 AM
As a Sacramento short sale agent, I am all about selling short sales. I know how it feels to be a rolling stone. I'm not talking about Mick Jagger. I'm talking about Bob Dylan. I am watching the Martin Scorsese 2005 documentary No Direction Home because it's a new release for the Netflix Instant Queue. The film is mostly about Dylan's life in the 1960s. I've seen the miniseries before, but watching it a second time gives me a different perspective. I had a mad crush on Dylan as a teenager. One of the first songs I learned how to play (6 comments)
The Seller Knew About It and Didn't Tell Me Applies to Short Sales As Well - 10/29/11 10:27 AM
There is an upside to buying a short sale. There are many upsides and benefits to short sales when you stop to think about it and stop focusing on how long it takes to get the danged approval. One of those benefits is seller disclosure. You don't get a seller disclosure when you buy a bank-owned home. Well, you do, but it's stamped EXEMPT all over it. I tell my short sale sellers to fully disclose. Don't ever be afraid to disclose. Sometimes, sellers worry that buyers won't want to buy their home if they tell them the truth. But that's (35 comments)
Here is the Most Recent Update for a Bank of America Short Sale - 10/28/11 09:59 AM
I attended another Bank of America short sale webinar yesterday. I was hoping for some breaking news but it was stuff I already knew. With the exception of one little piece of information that I bet most other agents didn't catch. And they didn't really say what they are going to do with that. I'm always searching for that little gem that teaches me something new. Here are some of the highlights; then I'll get to the down-and-dirty part: Single Point of Contact. The homeowner will now have an individual person to talk to at Bank of America. I suspect this (7 comments)
If You're a Fan of the Chicago Bulls or Sacramento Kings, Here are Two Delightful Basketball Bedrooms - 10/27/11 10:03 AM
A seller hugged me yesterday when I left her home. I'm not one of those huggy-feely types, but I do reciprocate when approached. See, I recognize the stress and anxiety level of sellers in this market, especially sellers who are doing a short sale. I try to be reassuring because I believe that's an important component of being a Sacramento short sale agent. Clients come to me because they want to close their short sale and get on with their lives. It's my job to make sure that happens. My transaction coordinator and I were talking about this yesterday. How some (4 comments)
Sometimes You've Got to Let Your Clients Learn Stuff the Hard Way - 10/26/11 10:01 AM
I get it that most people don't know how short sales work. In fact, most people don't know how real estate works. This extends not only to the public but to real estate agents, too. But when you explain it and a person wants to disregard what you have told them, they are either incredibly stupid or they are . . . incredibly stupid. But even stupid people close escrow. The thing is I prefer to give people the benefit of a doubt. When a person fails to heed my advice, I feel like the problem is me. I must not (6 comments)
I'll Throw a Coin on the Pile for Yanking that Bank of America Short Sale Out of an Auction and Raise You One - 10/25/11 09:51 AM
I'm such a nerd that I routinely read Notice of Default reports. I periodically check the records to make sure that none of my Sacramento short sale listings is headed for auction. I'm not gonna be that Sacramento short sale agent caught with my pants down who gets a call from the REO agent asking if he can take my key out of the lockbox. It's been a long time since I've had a short sale go to foreclosure. My short sales tend to close. I monitor not only my active short sale listings but also the active short contingent and (6 comments)
If You Don't Give a Crap About Selling Your Home, Why Do I Care About It? - 10/24/11 09:04 AM
Emergency listings. As a Sacramento short sale agent, sometimes I get phone calls from sellers who need me to take what I call an emergency listing. These are the listings that can't wait. These sellers are begging me to come over RIGHT NOW if I can but no later than tomorrow. With my schedule, that's not always possible, but I do try to shuffle appointments to accommodate a crisis. Then, when I get there, the first sign of trouble that I see are cars parked in the driveway. Surely, they must figure that I will take a photo of their home. (2 comments)
A Short Sale Listing Agent's Body Does Not Lie a Mouldering - 10/23/11 11:14 AM
I am in such a Christmasy-mood today. I've already ordered my holiday cards, plus, I've bought my holiday gifts. Yup, I start the Christmas season in October. That's because I am moving to Hawaii for 3 weeks over the holidays. I think of it as moving rather than vacation because part of it will still be spent working. But not a big part. A small part. And that's where thinking ahead comes in. Please don't hate me because I'm organized. I always plan ahead. As a Sacramento short sale agent, not only do I have a Plan B, but I have (2 comments)
You Need to Choose Your Battles and Know on Which Hill You Are Prepared to Die - 10/22/11 10:34 AM
Let me say something in defense of the "good old days." It used to be that you could drive to a store, buy a big ticket item, drive around to the loading dock, stick that item into your trunk and drive home with the trunk open. Those days are gone. Especially in a city like Sacramento. Many retail stores stock only display merchandise and you can't actually take something home. I suppose that's a practice to keep overhead down, expenses to a minimum. If you want to buy a chair, for example, you pretty much need to be living in San (7 comments)
A Short Sale Agent Often Wonders Were You Lying Then or Are You Lying Now - 10/21/11 10:17 AM
A home seller in Land Park asked me yesterday what I have learned in my life's journey thus far. That was an odd question. It was a question that can't be answered in one sentence. Well, I suppose I could have said: We're all gonna die. Or, that nothing matters half as much 5 years from now as you think it matters today. Or, even we all create our own reality. Which we do. We're 100% responsible for how we feel and think. If you're miserable, it's your own damn fault. Instead I said I've learned to say NO without providing (9 comments)
This is the Way of the Short Sale, Grasshopper - 10/20/11 10:18 AM
Because of my work as a Sacramento short sale agent, I am so close to the process and focused that I sometimes forget others are not. Although short sales make up about one in every four housing sales in the Sacramento area, many real estate agents have little experience in a short sale. Just because an agent might represent a buyer in a short sale doesn't mean that agent has any idea how the short sale is handled. Buyer's agents do almost nothing in a short sale. The listing agent runs the show. This is very frustrating for buyer's agents. They (15 comments)
Is There Life In a Short Sale After a HAFA Short Sale? - 10/19/11 09:57 AM
As a Sacramento short sale agent, there is no such day as a boring day. I never sit around wondering where my next fresh hell is coming from because I already know. It's one of 2 places. It's the computer or my phone. People aren't running after me as I drive down the street or accosting me in elevators. But they do call and text and email all day long. Yesterday, some of my excitement was: is there life after a HAFA short sale? In one of my transactions, I am still ticked that the buyer booted my seller out of (5 comments)
Here Are Reasons to Sell That Sacramento Short Sale to an FHA or VA Buyer - 10/18/11 09:24 AM
One of the things I look for when I take a short sale listing in Sacramento is whether the home will qualify for an FHA loan. Because if the home will meet minimum FHA requirements, that means an FHA buyer can buy it. I care whether an FHA buyer can buy that home because FHA buyers make up the majority of the home buyers in Sacramento today. Ten years ago, it would be odd to get an FHA buyer. Not so today. I don't know the exact numbers but I would estimate 5% were FHA buyers 10 years ago. Today, it (9 comments)
There are Still Parallels Between What Happened in 1957 at Little Rock Central High School and Today and It's Unacceptable - 10/17/11 10:13 AM
It's hard to imagine that some events now deemed historical actually happened in our lifetimes. Maybe one day I'll look back at short sales and say it's hard to imagine a time when it took 3 to 4 months to get an approval letter. My husband, as some of you know, is off traveling around for the month of October. Most recently, he was in Little Rock, Arkansas, to attend a reunion of former employees of the defunct Arkansas Gazette. He sent me this photo of Little Rock Central High School. For my readers who were not alive in 1957, this (8 comments)
Investors: Beware of the Purchase Eligibility Certification in an IndyMac Short Sale - 10/16/11 11:03 AM
I spend most of my Saturdays writing articles about home buying and home selling for About.com. Yesterday, I wrote an article about whether a seller with a real estate license can represent herself as a short sale agent. Short sale agency relationships can be complicated. I should have been writing about whether an agent can represent herself as a buyer's agent for a short sale. And maybe I'll write that one next week. In some cases, it's easier to represent yourself but it's not always wiser. I have helped agents buy short sales in Sacramento but let's make no mistake about (3 comments)
I Wish I Was in the Land of Cotton, Old Times There Are Not Forgotten - 10/15/11 11:34 AM
I am enjoying a learning curve with my phone. Maybe the word enjoying is the wrong word to describe this endeavor. The keyboard takes some work. I have switched back and forth between swype and the regular keyboard, turned the thing sideways to make the keys bigger, and I still am having difficulty typing on it. I've tried a stylist, but I can't carry that around with me all the time. How do people who have big fingers -- and mine are relatively small -- type on these things? Not that I would text and drive -- but maybe I would (6 comments)
Short Sales and the Twilight Zone Share Similarities that Mortgage Brokers and Morton's Do Not - 10/14/11 10:03 AM
There are agents in town who think this particular Sacramento short sale agent can walk on water. Perhaps these are agents who hang out at pot dispensaries. I don't understand that perception. Yes, it's true that miracles happen every day, but not as a direct result of my actions. They happen because we agents in the short sale world live in the Twilight Zone. Nothing is as it seems. Nothing really makes sense. And I'm OK with that. I've learned how to be successful in this type of dysfunctional system know as Sacramento short sales. I can sail my ship across (3 comments)
If You Ever Needed a Good Reason to Ditch the BlackBerry, Here You Go - 10/13/11 10:11 AM
Yesterday was BlackBerry hell. The funny thing is a week ago I had decided to ditch my BlackBerry. It's almost like I can sense the storm on the horizon before it arrives. You can smell a rain storm approaching, you know. Or maybe I just enjoy good timing. Coincindinky, I dunno. But when you've got complete strangers in the grocery store coming up to you and asking why you're still carting around a BlackBerry when the Droid is available -- implying that you're living in the dinosaur ages -- it's time to think about a new phone. "What's up with the (18 comments)
This Certified Short Sale Specialist is Your Mount Rushmore for a Sacramento HAFA Short Sale - 10/12/11 09:25 AM
I suspect most baby boomers can name the 4 guys in The Beatles with more ease than recalling the 4 presidents at Mount Rushmore. In fact, I bet most people can name all of Santa's raindeer and each of the 7 dwarfs before they can tell you who is on Mount Rushmore. It's just a place, although a National Memorial, where parents drag their kids at least one lucky summer out of their lives. Although mine never did. I had to catch Mount Rushmore on my way to Sacramento from Minneapolis. My husband went a different route when he drove out (4 comments)
It's a Good Idea to Routinely Check in With a Buyer of a Short Sale to See if That Buyer is Still Alive - 10/11/11 10:55 AM
In theory, it would be a lot of fun right now to be sitting on the ground at Occupy Wall Street. I'd have a blast making up my sign, screaming at passersby and feeling like I was making a statement, accomplishing something. But then I think why? I can stay right here in Sacramento to list and sell short sales. At least I know where the bathroom is. I have my own highs and lows all day long right here in River City. Excitement a Plenty with a capital P. Like yesterday, I finally received short sale approval on a double (13 comments)
If You Want to Do Serious Shoe Shopping in Sacramento, You Probably Have to Go to San Francisco - 10/10/11 10:29 AM
About once every 3 months on a Sunday, I find a couple of hours to go shopping at the downtown Sacramento mall. It's not so much that I really enjoy shopping as it is a necessity in my line of work. When my husband is out of town, it's also an alternative to having to do my own laundry. If I could get away with wearing t-shirts with holes in them and beat-up jeans, that's what I would wear to meet with clients. But as a Sacramento short sale agent, my sellers expect me to dress the part. It kind of (4 comments)
Two Tips for the Price of One About Closing That Difficult Short Sale - 10/09/11 11:10 AM
One of the big benefits of writing about homebuying for About.com is I get to write whatever I want to write. Nobody tells me what to say or censors my material. It's like writing a blog except I get paid directly for it. You could write for About.com, too, if you have a passion for a topic and consider yourself an expert. It pays very well. You could probably live on it. I noticed yesterday that I have written 97 short sale articles so far. Make no mistake, being a Sacramento short sale agent has been beneficial to me in more (45 comments)
When You Break Your TV in Sacramento, You May as Well Suck it Up and Call Surewest - 10/08/11 10:49 AM
I do not have the temperament to work in technical support. Those people are a breed apart for whom I have tremendous respect. You can tell that they put up with a lot of nonsense and idiots. As a Sacramento short sale agent, I deal with nonsense and idiots day in and day out. I recognize it when I see it. Like last night. I had to call Surewest because I broke my TV. I broke my TV because I have a big screen plasma and a 13-inch TV brain. I could handle the days of rearranging the scrunched-up aluminum foil (11 comments)
Should This El Dorado Hills Seller Do a Traditional or Bank of America HAFA Short Sale? - 10/07/11 10:42 AM
As a Sacramento short sale agent, I tell sellers when they call about all of their short sale options. Especially when they are dealing with a Bank of America short sale, because I close a lot of those. One of my sellers told me that talking to Bank of America about a short sale was like ordering a pizza. Bank of America so casually asked if she wanted pepperoni (a HAFA) or veggie (a traditional), and by the way, would she care for a side of chicken wings (a cooperative) or a garden salad (a streamlined)? This seller lives in El (3 comments)
Is Everybody Drinking the Same Kool-Aid? - 10/06/11 11:01 AM
There are some days that seem to be filled with stupidity. There's just no other way to put it. I expect a little stupidity here and there because that's how life is. You take the good with the bad. The smart with the stupid. The honest with the liars. But it can get a little overbearing at times and make an agent wonder: Is everybody drinking the same Kool-Aid? An agent in my office told me about her experiences after a recent closing. She represented the buyers. Buyers who thought she should give them $2,000 of her commission because that's what (11 comments)
Have You Ever Seen a Gulf Fritillary Malachite in Sacramento? - 10/05/11 09:48 AM
I once gave my mother a framed dead beetle. It was a framed and under glass dead Chinese beetle. I found it at Mall of America in a store filled with butterflies. This was not among her belongings when we cleaned out her apartment after her death. Just goes to show that it's really tough to find a present for a person who has everything and wants nothing. And that I might have been better off choosing a butterfly instead. Apart from Monarch butterflies, which were abundant in Minnesota while I was growing up, and the yellow Swallowtail butterflies I see (4 comments)
Announcing the REALTOR® Badge: It's Blue, White and Yellow!! - 10/04/11 05:33 PM
I received something in my email today that made my jaw drop open. Enough to make me eat a bug, if one was flying around. The more I stared at it, the more I began to wonder if there is perhaps a medical marijuana facility located somewhere near the California Association of REALTORS. Maybe a place where C.A.R. employees go after lunch to unwind? C.A.R. has just announced a new REALTOR® Badge. In case you were about to mix it up with some other type of website icon, C.A.R. clearly wrote on it: REALTOR® Badge, so you won't confuse it (43 comments)
There Is a Place In H. E. Double Toothpick for Some Home Buyers - 10/04/11 10:10 AM
I hate being sold to. I think everybody hates being sold to. I don't mind a salesperson helping me to make a choice, but I don't want them shoving their decision down my throat or trying to sell me crap I don't need or want. Before my hairdresser finishes with my hair, I noticed yesterday that she runs to the checkout counter and lines up product. She gushes and coos about each product she uses on my hair as she's doing it. That's bad enough. But I resent it when I'm paying at the counter and she waives her hands like (4 comments)
Goodbye Andy Rooney and Hello Carmichael Pool Home - 10/03/11 10:03 AM
Like many people who don't always watch 60 Minutes, I tuned in to catch Andy Rooney's last commentary last night. I don't know what it is about the show. I used to watch 60 Minutes all the time in the '60s and '70s, but then I lost interest. Or maybe life got in the way. It's also on TV too early in Sacramento. I recall telling some of the shady guys I knew in the get-rich-quick seminar business that they probably did NOT want 60 Minutes to show up on their doorstep. Even though I have nothing to hide, I'd be (6 comments)
Is It Possible For a Sacramento Short Sale Agent to Never Meet the Sellers or See the Home? - 10/02/11 11:03 AM
I closed a short sale in Sacramento County last week in which I had never met the sellers. I had never seen the home, either. If you can believe that. I drove out to Elk Grove to pick up my lockbox and realized this was a home I had not put the lockbox on. I didn't put the lockbox on it because I didn't shoot the photos, and I didn't inspect it. One of my team members did it for me. That's rare, because I am very much a "hands-on" agent. Being a hands-on agent means I will probably never make (5 comments)
When You're Tired of Playing TAG, YOU ARE IT, in Those Bank of America AMS HAFA Short Sales - 10/01/11 10:48 AM
I feel like I have crawled naked through broken glass. Maybe more like crawling naked through broken glass in the dark without my contacts. Because even though I may have been down this hallway a bazillion times, it's always different when it's littered with unexpected obstacles. You can't always predict every obstacle in a short sale, regardless of how many you have closed. I have a pretty good idea what will happen in just about any short sale scenario. Once I know who the lender is and I listen to the seller's financial woes and hardship, I am pretty accurate with (12 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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