About Comparable Sales Data For Writing Offers on Sacramento Short Sales

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Gold DRE #00697006

One of the things that I have learned in this business is if you rely on other people to keep their promises to you or meet your expectations, they will invariably disappoint you. But you can't let that get you down. It's not smart to set up a system in which your happiness is dependent on another's performance. That's not a defeatist attitude, btw, it's just the way the world works. It's much better to make note, and then implement better systems -- to be proactive.

For example, I try not to associate with negative-thinking or stupid people. Which are two different types of people -- but a person could be both. The problem with negative thinkers is they adamently refuse to see the other side because it doesn't support their agenda. The problem with stupid people is you can't fix stupid.

I can happily say that picking the right buyers and the right buyer's agents is an essential tool that I use to maintain my status as a successful Sacramento short sale agent. I tell everyone that if a buyer goes into escrow with my short sale sellers, I will move mountains to get that buyer's offer accepted by the bank. And I perform to the best of my ability. I try to make the short sale process easy on the other agents and their buyers.

I have, however, given up expecting buyer's agents to pull comparable sales. I suspect the thing is a lot of agents don't have any training in how to appraise a property. I know you may find that difficult to believe, but agents would have to take a course, get a certification or maybe read a book about appraisal. Instead, they rely on software programs. In college, I completed principles, practice and procedures of real estate appraisal and economics, and they were difficult courses. I don't think I received A's, like I managed in most every other class. But at least I know enough to not try to appraise a property based solely on a per-square-foot cost average.

To make it easier for agents now, I just go that extra step. I don't argue or plead. I simply pull the comparable sales for them and email the comps when an agent expresses an interest in writing an offer on one of my short sales. That way, the agent can show the buyer the comps, explain the market, and we hopefully will receive an offer that the bank will accept. That, my friends, is what a short sale is about: banks taking the offer and the deal closing. See, buyers don't know anything about the market, for the most part. All they see are homes for sale, and many of those homes are incorrectly priced short sales -- which are not reflective of the real estate market because they won't close.

A few days ago, an agent called and asked if she could lowball one of my short sale listings. She said her buyer was conservative, and that's why he wanted to lowball. I love those kind of reasons -- like I care. Like anybody cares. Instead, I pulled the comps of identical models over the past 3 months and sent them to the agent, along with an explanation that this particular property had $XX,XXX of upgrades not reflected in those comps, so it was like getting all those upgrades for free.

The offer came in at an appropriate price; the seller accepted it, and we're now in escrow. I can pretty much guarantee that if I hadn't sent the comps, this short sale would still be on the market.

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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 elizabethweintraub.com.


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Legal Aspects of Short Sales, Foreclosures, Loan Mods
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Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

Elizabeth, I like that you are a REALIST, know the STEPS, real world steps, to get a deal to close, and ALSO do not do the numbers solely on $ per sqft. That is ADVANCED and correct appraisal techniques there. Good for you.

Mar 03, 2011 03:06 AM #1
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Vision Quest Realty - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Elizabeth, great post and suggested.  You definitely know what to do when it comes to shart sales. 

Mar 03, 2011 03:24 AM #2
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

We do what we have to do to get our listings sold.  All agent should be required to take an appraisal course to see how they are done.  There would be fewer surprises in their careers.

Mar 03, 2011 04:26 AM #3
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

I had an agent this morning send me two sets of comps that were totally wrong. I sent her my own comps of identical models, which somehow made her broker call me to talk about the sales price and sort of apologize for the agent. We ended up having a very nice conversation, which then prompted her broker to say I wasn't at all like she thought because it was kind of intimidating to see I had written a book, etc. Oh, big hairy deal, lots of people write books; we are still just people. LOL.

Mar 03, 2011 08:02 AM #4
Wendy Rulnick
Rulnick Realty, Inc. - Destin, FL
"It's Wendy... It's Sold!"

Elizabeth - I like your idea of sending the buyer agent comps!! Do you get much argument back from them?

Mar 03, 2011 10:30 AM #5
Steve Shatsky
Dallas, TX

"For example, I try not to associate with negative-thinking or stupid people."

Hi Elizabeth... since, as they say, we are judged by the company we keep, this is certainly a smart approach!

Mar 03, 2011 02:56 PM #6
DeeDee Riley
Lyon Real Estate - El Dorado Hills CA - El Dorado Hills, CA
Realtor - El Dorado Hills & the Surrounding Areas

Congratulations Elizabeth!  Though you shouldn't have to do the buyer's agents jobs, that's what makes you so good!

Mar 03, 2011 04:43 PM #7
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Hi Wendy: Do I get argument? Who can argue with the facts -- besides lawyers and Tea Part Supporters? I either get an offer or I don't hear from them again. Although, the broker who called me yesterday on behalf of her agent asked how is her agent supposed to go back to her buyer and say I goofed? I dunno. If the agent goofed, she goofed. Own up to it. Move on.

Hi Steve: See, that's why I associate with you, Steve. Because you're not a negative thinker or stupid.

Hi DeeDee: Say, I saw your name up on there on the screen at the Lyon Awards Banquet yesterday. Were you there? Would have been nice to meet.

Mar 04, 2011 02:23 AM #8
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