Don't Be Hard on the People Who Can't Read Email

Real Estate Agent with Lyon Real Estate BRE #00697006

Part of what makes a person a successful real estate agent is learning how to read other people and adapt to their needs. Not everybody is the same. For example, yesterday I had to drive over to Mercy Hospital in East Sacramento to get an offer signed. The seller had just finished performing a C-Section but he can't do email. I had tried to fax the offer electronically to his main office fax at the hospital but the machine could only accept 12 pages at a time. Which I did not figure out until I had sent 10 faxes.

I have my own limitations, too. I can't follow road directions to save my life. I often get lost in condo complexes. The doctor tried to give me directions on how to find the main entrance to the hospital. He said crazy pregnant women could find it so he had faith I would too. Well, I didn't. I pulled my car into emergency parking and the doctor walked over to meet me. We all make compromises to get the job done.

Fortunately, I do other things extremely well. Like sell short sales in Sacramento. Yet, short sales is not all I do. I closed a home in Carmichael this week that was a regular transaction. The seller had owned that home free-and-clear, a term you don't hear too often these days. The buyer paid cash, full price and closed in 3 weeks. When it closed, the seller sent me an email thanking me for giving him the opportunity to work completely electronically.

I don't think we ever spoke by phone. All communication was handled by fax, digital online signing or email. That was the seller's preference. Other guys will send a text message. I'm still a little bit slow on the draw when it comes a text message because I don't usually physically handle my phone. I wear a Bluetooth device, a Jawbone. I need a function where the phone talks back to me, and so far I can only talk to my phone.

In another twist of events, I went to Natomas yesterday to take a listing. The seller had told me she was definitely ready to put her home on the market as a short sale. We'd been talking via email for more than a year. But when I got there, it was obvious to me she was not emotionally ready. I don't push anybody into short sales. If they want to sell, I'll make it happen and as quickly and painlessly as possible, but I'm not the kind of agent who will push a seller out of her home.

She felt badly about it and asked if I would take photos anyway because eventually she'll be ready. I could see she went through a lot of work preparing the home for sale. So, I shot the photos and left. I'm confident that when she is ready for a Sacramento short sale agent, she'll let me know. Because an agent can't call all the shots, but she can certainly adapt to the situation at hand.

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Elizabeth Weintraub is an author, home buying expert for, a Land Park resident, and a veteran real estate agent who specializes in older, classic homes in Land Park, Curtis Park, Midtown and East Sacramento, as well as tract homes in Elk Grove, Natomas, Roseville and Lincoln. Weintraub is also a Sacramento Short Sale agent who lists and successfully sells short sales throughout the four-county Sacramento area with an emphasis on Elk Grove. Call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759. Put 40 years of real estate experience to work for you. Broker-Associate at Lyon Real Estate. BRE License # 00697006.

The Short Sale Savior, by Elizabeth Weintraub, available with free shipping.

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 Lyon Real Estate. 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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Show All Comments
Chuck Carstensen
RE/MAX Results - Elk River, MN
Minnesota Real Estate Expert

I often meet buyers are there work place.  And yes you need to be ready on all levels to sell on short sale.

May 22, 2012 11:22 PM #1
Nancy Conner
Managing Broker - City Realty Inc - Olympia, WA
Olympia/Thurston County WA
Adaptability is such a key trait for success - whether it's adapting to the client's preferred communication type or sensitivity to the timelines that work for people caught in emotional upheaval. (my biggest challenge is texting without turning it into a 4 part message - being brief is HARD)
May 23, 2012 01:55 AM #2
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

I've been the agent that had to go to a hospital to get a signature.  Mine was a patient.  Just had their third child, but since their home was facing foreclosure and they needed to accept an offer to send to the bank.  We did what we had to do to get the deal done.

May 23, 2012 02:38 AM #3
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

Isn't it funny how easily we adapt from one client to the next for prefered method of communication.  I have people who text, people who email, phone people and even some only in person do they want to discuss business people.  Your choice as far as I'm concerned... have lockbox key, will travel.

May 23, 2012 03:46 AM #4
James Dray
Fathom Realty AR LLC - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Morning Elizabeth it sounds like I will get a short sale either today or tomorrow.  I have printed out the data you have in your post.  The first one went well so we'll see

May 23, 2012 08:41 PM #5
Sherry Siegel, Managing Broker, EcoBroker, ABR
BrokersGroup, serving Sequim and Port Angeles - Sequim, WA

Elizabeth, I love your pedagogical moments.  I learn something every time I read one of your posts.

May 31, 2012 05:45 AM #6
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents
Lyon Real Estate - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Hey Sherry: Now I had to go and look up pedagogical. :)

May 31, 2012 11:08 PM #7
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