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You Can Get an Adreneline Rush From Fishing for Marlin in Hawaii - 12/31/11 01:17 PM
When we decided to go fishing in Hawaii, I thought it would be a quiet activity. The kind where you rent a private boat, go out to sea and sit with a rod, watching your bobber bop about in the waves. That's fishing. Maybe you catch something, maybe you don't. The fun is in watching the bobber in anticipation of snagging a fish. It's a bonus to reel in a fish. Probably the biggest fish I ever caught was in Maine. Bluefish. The summer of 1988. Couldn't eat those fast enough. Some of those fish weighed 25 or 30 pounds. Once (3 comments)
The Future of Women's Handbags and the Petroglyphs at Puako - 12/30/11 12:49 PM
When you're tired of romantic moonlight dinners on the ocean, try Merriman's Cafe at King's Shops in Waikola. Because instead of dancing barefoot in the sand to some Hawaiian crooner, you can walk around the shops to admire outrageously expensive trinkets. We stopped at Coach bags so I could stroke its new winter line of red patent leather. I had the clerks in the store doubled over in laughter as I described to them the new trends I see coming down the line. Except I wasn't really kidding. Amusing as it may sound. Trendspotting. I'm pretty good at it. The newest (3 comments)
Stand-Up Paddleboarding in Hawaii is a Sport Even a 60-Year-Old Can Learn - 12/29/11 01:18 PM
I couldn't get my purple shorts on. That was an astounding discovery to make only halfway through our Hawaiian vacation. I tried them on before we left home and they fit. It's not so much that I couldn't get them on exactly as I could not fasten them. There is one sure cure for that. Fewer desserts. More salads. Besides, some of the desserts are not worth all of the calories. When a server asked me how I liked the apple pie concoction, I told her the truth: You know those apple pies they sell at McDonald's? The kind that are (12 comments)
What Can Happen at 105 Feet Deep in a Submarine Is Pretty Much How Short Sale Sellers Can Feel - 12/28/11 01:06 PM
I once put a hole in my eardrum by diving into a pool too quickly. So much for SCUBA lessons when I was younger. Never even made it into the ocean. Nope, I managed to mess up in 8 feet of water. That's what happens when you don't equalize -- which made me a little bit concerned about diving 100 feet to the ocean floor in a submarine. I wasn't sure how my eardrum would react. Turns out, though, that was not a problem at all. There were other things to think about. Like, once they closed the hatch and the (3 comments)
Chocolate-Covered Coffee Beans Get You Zipping Along But There Are Consequences to Eating Too Many - 12/27/11 12:15 PM
Where does coffee come from? That sort of question is right up there with why is the sky blue? And who put the salt in the ocean? You know the answers but who cares? Really. It doesn't make any difference in our normal day-to-day lives, if you're like me, a Sacramento short sale agent focused on closing short sales. Because if you're a person who needs caffeine, you're gonna drink it anyway. Unless you're addicted to Starbucks, which for some reason is often the example used as a way to justify spending more money -- why, this new expensive techno gizmo (13 comments)
On Dasher and Dancer and What's This Request for Repair Doing Stuck to Rudolph's Nose? - 12/26/11 12:45 PM
My sister asked me whether I had received everything I wanted for Christmas. Then she answered her own text message with: "Of course you did; you're in Hawaii." But that's only because she did not know about the email from a buyer's agent sent on Christmas Eve and received on Christmas Day. Some gifts you can do without. As a result, I did not pass on the information in that email to my clients. I withheld it. Sue me. They can wait to hear it today. I pride myself on my speed-of-light communication efforts but this is one example of why (7 comments)
There Are No Short Cuts Where Lava Beds Lie - 12/25/11 05:00 PM
Natives from this part of the world were incredibly smart. Did you know 300 years ago Hawaiians raised fish in ponds? If it was up to me, I'd take my Tom Hanks' volleyball, wade out in the water and try to bash them to death. But these people figured out it was smarter to build fish ponds and fish traps to raise their own fish. That's brilliant. My husband says I would have eventually figured it out, but what I suspect I would have figured out would have been how to beat on my husband and send him out to forage (4 comments)
The Difference Between North and South Kohala is Like the Difference Between a Regular Escrow and a Short Sale - 12/24/11 12:08 PM
I am so glad that I covered up the cactus garden before we left Sacramento. I pondered whether it was worse that they be deprived of sunlight and then decided if the alternative was death-by-frost it was better to starve them from the sun. They seem to be pretty much dormant in the winter anyway. A friend told me the temperatures in Sacramento were dipping below 30 last night. Brrr, that is cold. Being in Hawaii is no exception. You can freeze to death here, too. I look out my window and see snow on Mauna Loa. Although, to tell the (4 comments)
Here is Your International Symbol for a No Shriek Zone - 12/23/11 11:52 AM
Kids are like TV commercials. There is no reason for them to be so unnaturally loud. Government is passing a law to tone down the commercials, but nobody is doing anything about the kids. They have a law in some states that your boom-boom car stereo can't be audible from 50-feet away, and they should do the same thing with kids. Kids shriek. At top volume. It's a good thing that I am a Sacramento short sale agent and not an elementary school teacher or every loud kid would be sitting at his desk with his hands folded and duct tape (11 comments)
Is it True That You Get What You Pay For? - 12/22/11 11:54 AM
When you get crummy service people often repeat that you "get what you paid for." They mean you didn't pay enough to get good service. There are some things that if you pay enough for people to fawn over your every need, they will. My husband hates being fawned over. I don't mind it so much because I don't expect people in the service industry, for example, to behave like real human beings. My expectations are lower than that. There is a big difference, though, in the type of service you get when you are willing to pay more for it. (11 comments)
Ain't it the truth? If you want your real estate business to explode overnight, just go on vacation. What can happen a few days before Christmas, you may ask? Oy. But between my laptop, my iPAD and my Smartphone, I am never without communication of some sort. Unless, of course, I leave my phone in my hotel safe. Which is where my phone will be residing today. That photo above is of the rabbit in the new Terminal at the Sacramento Airport. I know lots of people in Sacramento don't like it, but I find the structure attractive and invigorating. (7 comments)
You might not believe a cat swears, but that sweet innocent face is misleading. This is Space Commander Jackson in his space capsule. And he has a word for some of those Sacramento short sale agents. It's two words, actually, and I can't repeat them. I told him you get further with honey than you do with vinegar, but he doesn't care. He is personal witness to some of the crazy things that go on in a Sacramento short sale. He has watched clients break down and sob before the ink is dry on an offer, because the buyer has (11 comments)
Don't Go Looking for a Swimsuit at Macy's or You'll End Up Like Peter Finch - 12/19/11 10:49 AM
Screaming that you're mad as hell and you're not gonna take it anymore won't get you anywhere. It doesn't solve a thing. The guy who screamed that speech died from a heart attack in 1977. If you want to end up like Peter Finch, just keep screaming. Because you're gonna end up there anyway, dead, I mean. Sooner or later, we will all die. Isn't that a cheery way to start a Monday morning? I talked with potential clients yesterday who are looking to move to Sacramento. One of the things they told me was they have worked recently with more (8 comments)
2012 Real Estate Predictions by Elizabeth Weintraub and a Fixer Short Sale Story - 12/18/11 11:49 AM
I spent most of yesterday working on my 2012 Real Estate Predictions for About.com. This article should have been written and posted more than a month ago, but I've been pretty swamped with Sacramento short sales lately. I knew if I didn't get this published online before I go on vacation, I would never forgive myself, so yesterday I dropped everything and punched it out. Well, I did receive an offer for a listing that I should not have received. I probably have 20 offers for this Sacramento short sale. It's been listed for a long time, which is unusual for (3 comments)
I am Looking for a Land Park Agent to Sell My Home in Land Park - 12/17/11 11:59 AM
I get a lot of emails about buying and selling homes in Land Park. That's because I live in Land Park, and I specialize in Land Park. Out of any neighborhood in my four-county Sacramento area, I know the various Land Park neighborhoods the best. I do so much in Land Park that I am Zillow Land Park agent as well. But I've also been in the business for more than 30 years. Last month I earned top agent at Lyon Real Estate out of the 900-or so agents in the company. As a Life Member of Master's Club and a (5 comments)
Sacramento Short Sale Approval Letters on the Uptick but Bank of America Could Improve Its SSPCA - 12/16/11 10:15 AM
I've been receiving an inordinate number of short sale approval letters lately. It's really odd for this time of year. For some reason, lenders must be wanting to move into the new year with a big bang. I could see a bank pushing for a closing by year end, but pushing to close next year is peculiar. This is the first year in a long time during which I've received so many approval letters in December for my short sales. I've heard real estate managers say that the reason agents should work harder in December is because sometimes they close more (3 comments)
How I Tattooed My Face and Survived to List Another Sacramento Short Sale - 12/15/11 11:30 AM
Some sellers strip homes when they move. It's not just the stripping of foreclosures that causes problems in a Sacramento real estate transaction, although those situations can make it difficult for a buyer to get a loan. And the insurance companies, I hear, are pursuing previous owners who have bashed the daylights out of their former homes. Some sellers take everything that is not tied down and then some. They even unscrew the light bulbs, if you can believe that. How much is a 99-cent light bulb with 25% of its useful life remaining actually worth? It makes you wonder if (9 comments)
Nobody is Ever So Sure They Are Right as When They Are Wrong - 12/14/11 10:07 AM
In the interest of time and my personal sanity, there are some emails I don't open. Just delete. I do it based on the title of the email. Like this morning, I received, "Open House in Del Dayo." Another was "Critical Eye Home Inspection." My favorite: "Sudden Values." Into the trash. But in the back of my mind I have this nagging suspicion that one of these days I will throw away a short sale approval letter. That's because the approval letters often arrive looking like spam. First, the bank negotiator fills the title with numbers inherent in the loan. That (8 comments)
About Short Sale Negotiators and Why Do Fannie Mae and Bank of America Share the Same Letterhead? - 12/13/11 11:20 AM
To learn about short sales, you have to work short sales yourself. You can't just sell a home and hope some third-party negotiator or some agent in your agent's office will do the short sale negotiation. Going that route is cutting a supposed short sale agent short and cutting her seller short, to make a pun. Your own agent should be your short sale negotiator. I've learned this the hard way early on in the game so you don't have to. Oh, sure, some agents will say not having to do the short sale negotiation frees up their time to do (7 comments)
Is That a Client in Your Pocket or Are You Just Happy to See Me? - 12/12/11 10:06 AM
Because of my volume of Sacramento short sale listings, I talk to a lot of real estate agents in Sacramento. I also get a huge number of offers every month. I see stuff that you would not believe, and there is no sense talking about it because it's true in any profession. You've got winners and losers. Good and bad. You don't want to think about that when it involves hundreds of thousands of dollars, much less a sharp knife and a medical license, but not everybody is good at what they do just because they do it. You'd like to (9 comments)
This Just Goes to Show That Elizabeth Weintraub Will Sell Short Sales Anywhere in Northern California - 12/11/11 11:15 AM
As long as it's not further than 90 minutes away, I can sell that short sale for you. The question is whether I will drive wherever you are, and I might not. I have sold short sales for sellers I have never met. I have sold short sale homes I have never seen, although I did send another agent to inspect. But for the most part, I prefer to sell a short sale when I have personally inspected the property and met with the seller. But if not, that's OK. The important things are the home gets sold and the seller (5 comments)
Even Investors Can Qualify To Do a Bank of America Cooperative Short Sale and Get Cash - 12/10/11 11:08 AM
Today I would like to talk about a Bank of America Cooperative Short Sale. This is an under utilized program offered by Bank of America for sellers of short sales. In some states, such as Florida, it's really ramped up. But in others like California, especially in Sacramento, there are very few real estate agents who seem to know about it. As a result, many are not offering this program to their short sale sellers -- because they don't know how to do that kind of short sale or even that this opportunity exists. The beauty of the Bank of America (15 comments)
A Sacramento Lawyer Might Not Want to Hire Herself as a Client to Buy or Sell a Short Sale - 12/09/11 09:42 AM
Some people are so busy being a pompous ass that they can't listen when you try to tell them good news. They want to hear the sound of their own voice and not yours. If they would just quiet down for a moment, they might find out important information about a Sacramento short sale. But this is the thing about talking to people from the public. Odds are some of them are jerks. They are the kind who will cut in line at the grocery store and then ram the cart into your back. They can't win with you because if (4 comments)
REALTORS® Who Advise Represented Parties Are Interfering in Another REALTOR'S® Transaction - 12/08/11 09:52 AM
I was over at the Med Center yesterday listing a house. It's a short sale, like many in Sacramento. As I was walking through the home, doing my agent visual inspection, my phone rang. I'm always a bit conscious when I'm in a vacant house and talking on my cell because I tend to pace the floor when I talk. I can't stand still. No way, Jose. As a result, the sound of my heels clicking on hardwood floors echoes through my Jawbone device. I imagine that sound is not a very pleasant experience for the caller on the other end. (8 comments)
This Sacramento Short Sale Agent is Very Sorry if You Have to Close in December - 12/07/11 09:40 AM
Closing escrow in December is a tough time of the year. Right now, many of my short sale approval letters call for a closing in January, which seems to work out better all around for sellers and buyers. It doesn't work out so well for real estate agents and mortgage brokers. That's because many of those people want the money NOW. And they want the closed inventory to reflect on the end-of-year sales for 2011. Can't blame 'em for that attitude. Looking at from a practical viewpoint, though, through the eyes of a seller or a buyer, who wants to move (1 comments)
Where Are the Honest Real Estate Agents? - 12/06/11 10:35 AM
Every so often, I write a controversial blog on my homebuying website, which I am contracted by the New York Times to do for About.com. Being a little bit of a troublemaker, sometimes I provoke people. But when I do, they don't respond. When I don't, they go wild. Some of the responses astonish me. That's because the blogs I think are controversial hardly get any responses at all. Sometimes I am practically begging for controversy but those blogs get ignored. And the blogs that are fairly straight forward and innocent, whammo, some of those get attacked. The comments can be (9 comments)
Hello? Hello? Where is My Bank of America Short Sale Approval Letter? - 12/05/11 11:50 AM
It would be nice if things worked exactly the way they are supposed to work, but they don't. Like this morning, I pressed the button to turn on my cellphone and nothing happened. You know the definition of insanity, right? Doing the same thing over and over and getting the same result? I pressed the button again and again. I'm not immune to insanity, obviously. In fact, we're on a first name basis. Hello insanity. Hello Sacramento short sale agent. See, it knows my occupation. That's how intimate we are. But at least I have some common sense. And common sense (6 comments)
There are Repercussions for Sacramento Short Sale Sellers Who Reject Full Price Offers - 12/04/11 11:31 AM
If you don't offer list price for that short sale, does the seller have to take your offer? If you are looking to buy a short sale in Sacramento, that answer is obviously no. However, there are some buyer's agents in town who might tell you differently; however, I'm sorry to say, they would be wrong. But what if the offer is full price? What is the seller's obligation then? There is a little known MLS rule that says a Sacramento short sale agent must disclose a rejected offer if the offer was full price. If a buyer's agent submits a (6 comments)
Not Just the Number One Short Sale Agent but the Number One Agent at Lyon Real Estate for November - 12/03/11 10:46 AM
I was sitting at a client's dining room table in Elk Grove yesterday when the news hit. I had just handed the seller his MARS document and had explained the seller's right to cancel the short sale listing at any time -- which seems to reassure sellers and make them feel more comfortable -- and I also gave him time to read it. I don't rush anybody. During this time period, I pulled out my cell to check if there were any emergencies. Holy toledo, Batman, I spotted an email congratulating me for being the number one agent at Lyon Real (6 comments)
What Ray Bradbury Taught Me About Sacramento Short Sales - 12/02/11 10:06 AM
I have solved several online woes this week. Because my life is basically online these days, what I do online has a great effect on me. But there are people who dismiss the online world in its entirety. Who did I read yesterday who said the internet was nothing but air? Oh, yeah, Ray Bradbury. Did you know he is still alive? Yup, another who is not dead yet. At age 91, Bradbury is allowing Fahrenheit 451 to go digital. There is something satisfying in that, which is also deeply disturbing. I have a soft spot in my heart for Ray (6 comments)
Bank of America is No Longer Outsourcing HAFA Short Sales With an Offer - 12/01/11 05:15 PM
Be still my heart. I can barely stand it. I just received the news from Bank of America, and I need smelling salts. I almost passed out on my desk. All of my prayers have been answered. OK, I haven't really been praying to anybody, but I have been yelping a lot about how horrible the HAFA short sales have been with Bank of America third-party vendors. Now, Bank of America has made a change. Effective December 1, which is today, Bank of America will no longer outsource its HAFA short sales when they are opened in Equator with an offer. (13 comments)
What is the Short Sale Buyer's Agent Entitled to Know About that Sacramento Short Sale? - 12/01/11 09:37 AM
Somebody asked me the other day how I handle the madness inherent in Sacramento short sale sales. Because there is madness. People are nuts. And I'm not just talking about myself. Other agents are always good for a chuckle, too. I'll tell you my secret. I do two things to maintain my sanity in the world of short sales: 1. Keep my sense of humor 2. Lower my expectations Everybody wants to be right. I let them be right. Even if they are wrong. It's no skin off my nose to let them be right. Sometimes, I get emails from clients (9 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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