How Elizabeth Weintraub Shows Homes in Land Park and the Sacramento Core

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Gold DRE #00697006

land park agentI'm often amazed when I receive an out-of-the-blue offer for a listing, meaning the buyer's agent has not made prior contact with me. It's sort of like they figure that buying a home in Sacramento is on par with flipping through a Macy's catalog. Photographs and the sales price of a home tell only part of the story. There is always a story.

This weekend, I'm showing homes in Land Park, Midtown, East Sacramento and Carmichael to several sets of home buyers. I work with buyers based on the homes that they want to see and the homes that I think they would like to buy. But I would rarely show a home if I haven't made an effort to communicate with the listing agent. For one thing, that home could be under contract and not yet changed in MLS. Or the agent could be in the middle of a counter offer. (I've snatched some homes for buyers because the buyer who made the counter didn't act fast enough.) Or the agent might have information that could influence the price and terms my buyers might want to offer.

When buyers send me an advance list of homes they want to tour, I go to work. I do not print them out, stuff the buyers in my car and hit the streets. I've got behind-the-scenes work to get done before my buyers see any of those homes. Buyers might not know what an experienced buyer's agent does for them, but it's far more than being an order taker.

The first thing I do, of course, is make sure the home is still available for sale and the information in MLS is correct. It's not only wasting my buyer's time to look at homes in Land Park and East Sacramento that are not available, but it's wasting my time. Moreover, if the information in MLS conflicts with the tax records, that's a red flag telling me my buyer might have a problem in underwriting.

Ken Stieger, the Sacramento County Tax Assessor, came to my office last week to talk with all the agents at Lyon Real Estate. The question of discrepancies in the tax records came up because sometimes the tax records are incorrect due to human input error. Mr. Stieger explained that if a Land Park agent, for example, is about to list a home in Land Park and discovers the home has four bedrooms but the County records show three, that agent can call the County and get the tax records fixed. Simple as that.

Conflicting data in the tax records is not the only potential problem I look for. The second thing I look at is whether the seller owes more than the home is worth. If I find an encumbrance that makes it appear as though the home could be in short sale status, but not listed as a Sacramento short sale, I get in touch with the listing agent. It could be a home equity line of credit that has not been tapped. Or, the seller could be planning to bring cash to the table to close, which could make that list price pretty firm. Or the agent might not even know the seller owes more than the list price.

This is only the tip of the iceberg, though. Tomorrow I will talk about the other things I do before showing homes. Because there's a lot more to buyer representation than meets the eye. Stay tuned for part 2.

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elizabeth weintraub



Weintraub and Wallace Realtors



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Elizabeth Weintraub is co-partner of Weintraub & Wallace Team of Top Producing Realtors, an author, home buying expert at The Balance, a Land Park resident, and a veteran real estate agent who specializes in older, classic homes in Land Park, Curtis Park, Midtown, Carmichael and East Sacramento, as well as tract homes in Elk Grove, Natomas, Roseville and Lincoln. Call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759. Put our combined 80 years of real estate experience to work for you. Broker-Associate at RE/MAX Gold. DRE License # 00697006.

Photo: Unless otherwise noted in this blog, the photo is copyrighted by Big Stock Photo and used with permission.The views expressed herein are Weintraub's personal views and do not reflect the views of RE/MAX Gold. Disclaimer: If this post contains a listing, information is deemed reliable as of the date it was written. After that date, the listing may be sold, listed by another brokerage, canceled, pending or taken temporarily off the market, and the price could change without notice; it could blow up, explode or vanish. To find out the present status of any listing, please go to


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  1. Miriam Bernstein, CRS 01/22/2010 04:31 AM
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Darryl Glade
RE/MAX N.O. Properties - New Orleans, LA
New Orleans Real Estate

Very helpful blog post. Thanks for sharing!  Doing a little homework always goes a long way.

Jan 22, 2010 01:18 AM #1
Jeanean Gendron
The Address Realty - Redding, CA
Specializing in Selling Unique Properties

Elizabeth, I think I want to move to Land Park just so you can be my Buyer's Agent. I think most of us do this and many times our clients have no idea until they have spent some time with us and then it becomes apparent. Nice Post!

Jan 22, 2010 01:35 AM #2
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Prado Real Estate South - St. George, UT
So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR

Elizabeth, You listed some very key points to research for potential buyers. That is why you are a true professional!

Jan 22, 2010 01:59 AM #3
Colleen Fischesser Northwest Property Shop
RE/MAX Advantage | Managing Broker - Chelan, WA
A Tradition of Trust in the Pacific NW since 1990!

Our tax records are often incorrect too, especially on # of bathrooms and square footage. I'm sure those listing agents who aren't clued in to the fact their seller is in a short sale situation are thrown for a loop when they get that call. Sad that those situations exist at all isn't it? Listing agents need to do as much due diligence (and more these days!) as an agent on the other side.

Jan 22, 2010 02:02 AM #4
Norma Toering Broker for Palos Verdes and Beach Cities
Charlemagne International Properties - Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
Palos Verdes Luxury Homes in L.A.

Elizabeth, like you I check the tax records and call the listing agent for the inside scoop.  I like my showings to provide prospective buyers with not only a tour of the home but also the back story of the sale.

Jan 22, 2010 02:14 AM #5
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I'm often amazed at agents who fail to do any of this work and expect to retain clients.  Being prepared is one of the most important parts of this job.  I feel good communications skills are THE most important.

Jan 22, 2010 05:06 AM #6
Dave Roberts
Healdsburg Sotheby's International Realty - Healdsburg, CA

Another great post about how to be a professional agent. We can all learn from your thoroughness and willingness to share. I agree with Jeanean that it's almost worth moving to your territory just to experience having you as a buyer's agent.

Jan 22, 2010 05:38 AM #7
Mary Douglas
United Country Ponderosa Realty, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado - Red Feather Lakes, CO
REALTOR, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado

Hi Elizabeth, I cannot imagine just going out with MLS printouts and not doing the investigation first.  One thing I don't always do is contact the listing agent, I'll add that to the list of upfront work.

Jan 22, 2010 05:56 AM #8
Melissa Zavala
Broadpoint Properties - Escondido, CA
Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County

Buyers sometimes do not understand that you have to do the 'recon' work before going to look at the properties. But . . . agents sending you offers without touching base first? Hmmmmm. No comment.

Jan 22, 2010 06:07 AM #9
Terry & Bonnie Westbrook
Westbrook Realty Broker-Owner - Grand Rapids, MI
Westbrook Realty - Grand Rapids Forest Hills MI Re

It is nice when the listing agent has done their job and the information is correct but we do need to reaffirm the data.

Jan 22, 2010 06:38 AM #10
Robert Machado
HomePointe Property Management, CRMC - Sacramento, CA
CPM MPM - Property Manager and Property Management

Good plan to save everyone time when checking out properties.  I did not know we could call the assessor to get errors corrected.  Thanks for that info.

Jan 22, 2010 02:39 PM #11
Robin Rogers
Robin Rogers, Silverbridge Realty, San Antonio, Texas - San Antonio, TX
CRS, TRC, MRP - Real Estate Investment Adviser

I have two homes under contract right now, and they continue to be shown although I updated their status on the MLS. As the listing agent, I am fine with that, of course! But I always do a last-minute status check on the homes on my tour before I include them. If nothing else, I ask the buyers if they want to see them even though they're under contract, and let them make the call.

If the buyer is looking for something in particular, I contact the listing agent to inquire about it. I also check tax records and the listing history.



Jan 23, 2010 01:07 AM #12
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

I always try to find out why the seller is selling. Because I might be able to advise my buyer how to meet those seller objectives. That in itself is often the key to offer acceptance.

Jan 23, 2010 01:13 AM #13
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