Do You Really Want to Buy That East Sacramento Short Sale?

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Gold DRE #00697006

east sacramento short saleWhile I was researching short sales in Sacramento for a client this morning, I noticed my MLS profile needed an update. So, I clicked on it to make the change. At the very bottom is a place for additional languages. I typed in Klingon. Well, I don't really know any Klingon words, so I erased it and typed Pig Latin. Hit the Save button. Apparently, Pig Latin is not a recognized language because MLS would not let me save it. Those MLS programmers, always looking out for practical jokers, I guess.

The listing my client asked about is a short sale home in East Sacramento. It is listed for, let's say, $399,000. This buyer can't go above $350,000. He wanted to know if he could buy that short sale for $350,000. Lots of buyers these days seem to think we are in a buyer's market. I suppose they have difficulty interpreting the market because newspapers and TV yak constantly about foreclosures and short sales. But with falling inventory (we've lost about 2/3rds of our inventory over the past couple of years) and rates below 5%, it's a seller's market in many Sacramento neighborhoods.

I researched this East Sacramento short sale. Looked up the owner's name, which sounded familiar, in Realist. Googled the owner. Yup, the owner is a real estate agent. And the owner / agent works at the same company as the agent who listed this short sale. I read the owner's blog. The owner / agent talked about not really understanding short sales nor believing that they close. Those are all bad signs.

Then I looked up the owner / agent's sales production in MLS for last year. The agent qualified for Master's Club. Doesn't appear to be hurting financially. I ran the name in the tax rolls. The owner / agent owns quite a few other homes in Sacramento. It would appear that the owner / agent may not have a hardship and may not understand that a hardship is generally required to do a short sale. I could be wrong, but I'm probably not.

Well, maybe the owner / agent's real estate buddy has short sale experience? I entered that name as a listing agent into a search for all sold properties from January of 2009. Not a short sale among them. I can tell by the DOM. If the listing agent has never closed a short sale, that's a red flag because the listing agent controls the entire transaction.

I have sold several homes in this particular three-block area, some of which were my own listings, so I know it pretty well. Well enough to know that the market value of that home is more than $399,000, so the bank will probably reject offers at list price. This means a lowball offer won't stand a chance.

I presented this information to my client and asked: "Do you really want to buy that East Sacramento short sale?" I have a feeling he's going to say Ixnay.

Posted by

elizabeth weintraub



Weintraub and Wallace Realtors



Elizabeth Weintraub reviews




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


This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Real Estate General Information
California Sacramento County Sacramento East Sacramento
Posts to Localism
Short Sales Specialists
Lyon Realtors
ActiveRain Rockstars
Club Chaos
elizabeth weintraub
foreclosures and short sales
buy short sale
east sacramento agent
east sacramento short sale
pig latin

Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Dave Roberts
Healdsburg Sotheby's International Realty - Healdsburg, CA

Ootay Adbay. Onay Igpay Atinlay...and a seller without a clue. To be nixed on the Pig Latin and to have such a clear case of an agent/seller without a clue is a sad day indeed. It's sad that everyone in the industry isn't better informed about the hardship issue. This isn't the first case I've heard where the seller is affluent enough to take the loss themself.

Jan 29, 2010 01:08 AM #1
Mesa, Arizona Real Estate Mesa Arizona Realtor
Homes Arizona Real Estate LLC - Mesa, AZ

Elizabeth, quite the sleuth, aren't you? Can't get away with anything? Love the pig latin - how about double dutch. Enjoyed your post. ;-)

Jan 29, 2010 01:13 AM #2
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Dave: Otay eckhay itay, is what the buyer will probably say. Although a hardship is not always necessary, and more often than not sellers are bringing cash to settlement these days, the price is unlikely to fly. That's the biggest problem with this scenario. I mean, I often list my short sales under market to attract multiple offers, but this client can't afford the list price.

Teri: Beats pounding the pavement on lost causes. I always do research for my buyers. Plus, it saves on buying new shoes, although you couldn't tell that by looking in my closet. I'm worse than Imelda Marcos.

east sacramento agent

Jan 29, 2010 01:18 AM #3
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I had to stop and laugh a while before reading the rest of your post.  My mom used to speak fluent pig latin to mess with her younger brother and sisters.  Of course she and my father also wrote love letters in morse code as well.  (Can't wait to get my hands on those one day and translate them).  And sounds like you will need to find another home for this buyer as the seller.  because when the owner/agent talked about not really understanding short sales in their blog, I'd say your research proves them right, they don't understand them TAAY LLAAY!

Jan 29, 2010 01:40 AM #4
Sharon Alters
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308 - Fleming Island, FL
Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL

Elizabeth, I was just thinking what Teri said when reading the blog. It shows your knowledge of the neighborhood, along with your keen instinct for when something just doesn't add up.

Jan 29, 2010 01:53 AM #5
Donne Knudsen
Los Angeles & Ventura Counties in CA - Simi Valley, CA
CalState Realty Services

Elizabeth - LMAO!  I actually read the first paragraph twice because it was so funny.  You're such a great story teller Elizabeth.  LOL at your buyer too.  It's just amazing how many buyers still think they can low-ball below market priced homes.  Around here, that is just what LA's do to generate bidding wars.  

Jan 29, 2010 08:50 AM #6
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Elizabeth:  I don't know why agents don't understand that short sales will need to be in the ball park of market value.  The banks don't volunteer to take more of a bath than they are already taking.  This sounds like a bad situation.  Too bad the listing isn't yours.  They would have a much better conclusion.  As it sounds now, thye are gearing up to waste a lot of time.

Jan 29, 2010 09:53 AM #7
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Elizabeth - Those darned computer software programmers don't have much of a sense of humor do they:-)   It would be interesting to watch that particular listing to see how it emerges out of an escrow. 

Jan 29, 2010 10:15 AM #8
Terry & Bonnie Westbrook
Westbrook Realty Broker-Owner - Grand Rapids, MI
Westbrook Realty - Grand Rapids Forest Hills MI Re

All the time spent researching the property saved both you and the buyer a lot of time.

Jan 29, 2010 01:49 PM #9
Robert Machado
HomePointe Property Management, CRMC - Sacramento, CA
CPM MPM - Property Manager and Property Management

Nice job of researching the details of that deal.  It pays to spend some time to save a whole lot of time later.

Jan 29, 2010 04:16 PM #10
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?


Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%

Put 40 years of experience to work for you
How much is my home worth?
Spam prevention

Additional Information