Elizabeth Weintraub

Elizabeth Weintraub

40+ years of experience in real estate, Sacramento real estate broker working at Lyon Real Estate in Midtown Sacramento. Author of The Short Sale Savior. Home Buying Expert at The Balance. Top Producer, ranks in the top 1% of all real estate agents in Sacramento Region. Life Member of Master's Club awarded by Sacramento Association of REALTORS.

When You’ve Got to Climb the Fence to Get That Lockbox


When you’ve got to climb a fence to get that lockbox is a blog written by Elizabeth Weintraub, and it is timeless. Lockboxes to this day are put in very odd places. Enjoy. JaCi

You think that by locking your gate, you are keeping intruders out of your yard; think again.

Maybe you’re keeping the deer and the antelope at bay, but if somebody really wants to get into your yard, say, even a gym-challenged, 59-year-old, 5-foot woman, anybody can probably scale that fence if she was smart about it. Well, yeah, determination counts, too. I am typically a pretty determined person.

A client asked if I would withdraw her listing from MLS last week.

We had sold her home for $15,000 over the list price because she was ready to take her home off the market at the time we received an offer. You know human nature and how some buyers are, right? Sometimes they don’t want the home until they find out they can’t have it, which is how this particular home ended up selling for $15,000 over the sales price. I figured the appraisal would come in low, but I also believed the appraisal would at least meet the list price, and we could renegotiate later if we had to.

It turns out, due to lovely HVCC, we got saddled with some yo-yo appraiser.

He decided he could not figure out how to adjust the comps to use updated homes that were smaller and on smaller lots. The appraiser didn’t know how much to allocate for those minor kitchen remodels, so he ignored those comparable sales. As a result, the home appraised for $50,000 less than the sales price. It was for an FHA loan, too, so it had a case number, which would be pulled for the next buyer. So we were stuck with the low appraisal.

The seller promised to leave the gate open so that I could retrieve the lockbox.

Sure enough, the gate was locked. The fence was a bit over 6 feet. If you’re ever wondering about which way to nail the boards on a fence you’re building, consider this. If the horizontal boards are outside, you will provide a stepping place for a person to put her foot before heaving herself over your fence. However, this fence had the good side facing out and the bad side on the inside. There was no place to put my foot. I don’t do pull-ups for exercise and therefore could not pull myself up the fence. Free weights are in my future.

I could have called the seller

I could have called the seller but, that would have entailed waiting 30 minutes, and I didn’t have that kind of timeI could have gone back to my office and come back another day, but what the hey, I was already there. I wore sheared corduroy pants, an Eileen Fischer silk shell, topped by a Merino wool sweater. My shoes were cranberry patent leather, with 3-inch heels. Did I let that stop me? I walked around the home but found no good access points.

The fact that the neighbors might call the police did cross my mind.

But like a driver who often spins U-turns in the middle of the street by offering the excuse, “Hey, I’m allowed because I’m a real estate agent,” I figured that excuse would also work for crawling over a fence. If I needed more of an explanation, I suppose I could also use that I sell many Sacramento short sales. Surely, the police would pity me then.

I finally decided to climb a juniper tree in the corner partially. 

Put my toe on a protruded nail halfway up and literally pulled myself to the top of the fence by using a tree limb as support. The important thing here was I elected to rest after I was perched on top of the fence with one foot on the horizontal top rail and another foot on the adjoining top rail in the corner. I didn’t care what passersby thought. Getting down was actually pretty easy, and I didn’t scratch my shoes or tear my clothes. Best of all, my display key for my lockbox was still intact in my pocket. Bonanza.

Call Weintraub and Wallace Realtors with RE/MAX Gold if you are looking for a Realtor who will do whatever is required to sell your home. We can be reached at 916-233-6759.

Elizabeth and JaCi,

Weintraub & Wallace Realtors.


When You’ve Got to Climb the Fence to Get That Lockbox

Don’t Be That Desperate Homebuyer!

Don't Be That Desperate Homebuyer!

Don’t Be That Desperate Homebuyer

Don’t be that desperate homeowner! This is a fabulous blog from our premiere mortgage partner, Dan Tharp. Enjoy, —JaCi.  When the governor announced the shelter-in-place order in March of 2020, my business came to a screeching halt. My buyers that were in contract feared the worst; that values would plummet, they could lose their jobs or, worse, get sick. Maybe they shouldn’t move forward with the biggest purchase of their life. My agent partners were scared too – Not just about this imposing pandemic, but also their livelihoods – these were dark days as consumer sentiment plummeted to all-time lows.

ADVICE – Before jumping into the homebuying fray – YOU NEED A TEAM and A PLAN!

During this time, a few of my buyers backed out of their purchase contracts. But one, in particular, seemed to present psychic ability to see events in the future, as he and his agent negotiated a huge seller concession in price and closed the deal. He is now sitting pretty and probably feeling like the Warren Buffett of the Real Estate world.  He had a plan and a team of professionals to help him navigate the process.

This was the beginning of a massive wave of market activity as 2020 progressed, and with it, the hope of “normalizing” back to pre-pandemic life grew. People started to look at their current living situation honestly, and working from home all of a sudden became a “thing.” Then mortgage rates started going down and more positive consumer sentiment fueled a sudden interest in home buying.

ADVICE – Before jumping into the homebuying fray – YOU NEED A TEAM and A PLAN!

So Where Are We Now?

The Perfect Storm – higher demand with low inventory equals an unprecedented surge in housing prices. According to Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.com, the housing supply has dropped an incredible 53 percent compared to last year – this is getting very Thunderdome-like, with folks paying upwards of 5% to 10% over asking to beat out multiple offers.

The number one mistake most new home buyers make is to go shopping even think about shopping for a home first before getting the financing approved and consulting with a trustworthy mortgage advisor, not a lender who will just throw you a rate and payment and tell you that you are approved for a loan and to go shopping. You want someone who will guide you through the process and the financial planning aspects of owning a home. Please do not look at any homes until you have taken the time to get fully approved and have an understanding of your true financial picture, your max comfort zone in terms of price and payment, and a strategy for getting your offer accepted!

Trust me; I know that shopping for a home is the sexy part of this process and that the lending portion is about as exciting as getting a flat tire when you are late for work. I promise you, get your finances handled first; then, you will be a confident borrower because you know what to expect. After all, you will know your numbers backward and forwards, and you will have been coached by your team (lender and agent) to prepare for any hurdles that may appear and do so having no fear!

ADVICE – Before jumping into the homebuying fray – YOU NEED A TEAM and A PLAN!

There is no secret the housing market is on fire right now. While some are talking about a 2007 type crash, the fundamentals present today are very different – low supply combined with growing demand and low-interest rates suggest that the overheating we are seeing is not based on bad mortgages and appraisals, but instead an unfortunate series of market conditions – Hello COVID.

Simply put, don’t be a desperate home buyer. The question you should be asking yourself is not, “is this the right time to buy?” You should be asking yourself, “are you ready to buy?” Step outside of the fact it’s fun to look at homes and imagine yourself as a homeowner, and instead, pay attention to why YOU are buying. Remember, you can’t control the market, or where rates are going, or any of this craziness that is real estate today. Buying a home is a huge deal so take the time to be thorough and have peace of mind when you decide to move forward.

And most importantly, if you haven’t gotten the hint by now – please make sure you have a good team and a plan before jumping in

In Gratitude,
Dan Tharp – Branch Manager – 916-257-1470
2250 Del Paso Rd. #A, Sac. CA 95834
NMLS# 280913  NMLS # 3274
Equal Housing Lender

Get a Real Estate License To Buy A home

Real Estate License

This post below, A Real Estate License Won’t Help You to Buy a Home was written in 2012 by my partner Elizabeth Weintraub and is still very relative today. Because the market is strong, every Tom, Dick and Harry wants to get a real estate license. Enjoy.

Some people in California think it’s a good idea to get a real estate license just in case they ever want to buy a home in Sacramento. Because if you have a real estate license, then you can collect a commission, which is reflected as a percentage amount of the sales price. All commissions are negotiable and generally paid by the listing broker to the selling broker, so while you might think this could amount to a lot of money, it’s generally not by the time it reaches the buyer’s agent pocket. Not in the overall scheme of things.

Yet, almost one in every 35 people in California has a real estate license. It’s hard to turn around at a party in Sacramento and not spill the drink of a Sacramento real estate agent. Snort as you may, not every person who holds a real estate license should be holding a cocktail much less trying to earn a living from said license, but that doesn’t stop them from getting drunk and / or practicing real estate.

On top of this, we’ve also got the agents who want to represent themselves to buy a home in Sacramento.  Especially agents from the Bay Area. You know what they say about that, right? A fool for a client. I look at my own situation. I’ve been in the real estate business for more than 35 years, so I’m not exactly a rookie. I like to think I know what I’m doing. But if I were buying a home out of my area, I would hire a local expert. The few thousand I would earn (and I use the word “earn” loosely) to represent myself is not worth the tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands, I could lose.

Besides, my expectations are very high. I’m a high maintenance client. I would not want to work for myself. Some people might call me a pain in the ass. I expect exceptional service. Nope, I’d much rather hire a buyer’s agent and make unreasonable demands of her. That’s part of the service an exceptional real estate agent provides — client management.

If you want to buy a home call Wallace & Weintraub Realtors, with RE/MAX Gold we will help you to save time a call us today at 916-233-6759.

Elizabeth Weintraub

Elizabeth Weintraub
Weintraub & Wallace
Get a Real Estate License To Buy A home

Chocolate Tour at Kokoleka Lani Cacao Farm in Kona

cacao farm in kona

We missed the tour of the cacao farm in Kona last week because I used the wrong GPS and was halfway the wrong way when I figured it out. But the owners were nice enough to reschedule us for the following week. The cacao farm in Kona was fascinating and inspiring. Above is a photo of me holding a pod I just cracked in one blow with the raw seeds inside.

Of course, I immediately shot a photo of a cacao pod and sent it to my husband, asking if he knew what it was. That’s because he is in California while I am in Hawaii. Although, we did tour the Vanillerie together not too long ago, and I imagine he would really enjoy this particular tour as well.

cacao tour in kona

His reply to me was “deformed papaya?” Followed by “hand grenade in disguise.” Then he wanted to know if I had found this pod on our property, as there is an entire area down the hill that I have not yet explored due to improper shoes at my disposal. 

Greg Colton, co-owner of the Kokoleka Lani Cacao Farm, planted more than 2,000 cacao trees. They have many locations, and the chocolate they make is different depending on where it was grown. Each microclimate on Big Island is unique, and we have 8 basic climate zones.

cacao farm tour in kona

After the tour, we cracked open our cacao pods, which we cut off ourselves from the tree. Inside are raw cacao nuts. At the moment, I have a plate of them on my kitchen counter, covered with wet paper towels, waiting to sprout. They need a canopy, like a madre de cacao, to provide filtered light, and we have perfect conditions on the lower side of our home in Kona.

Don’t plant one of everything, is sound advice for gardeners in Hawaii. It’s just so danged hard to choose.

At the end of the cacao tour in Kona, we sampled a wide variety of freshly made chocolate. Which a visitor can also buy in the gift shop. Each variety was slightly different. Our guide asked for a show of hands regarding favorites and hands shot up at random, making it very clear that tastes are personal.

You can find chocolate tours in Kona that cost more than a Ben Franklin, or you can sign up at Event Brite for $25. See the Puna Chocolate Company for more information on its Cacao Farm Tour in Kona. They are located just past the Central Bark Dog Park in Kona, by the Water Plant off the highway.

Elizabeth Weintraub
Elizabeth Weintraub
Chocolate Tour at Kokoleka Lani Cacao Farm in Kona

How to Catch a Pig in Kona

catch a pig in kona

Never imagined I would need to learn how to catch a pig in Kona, but that monumental occasion has now presented itself. It is part of living in “the country,” even though our new house is only a couple of miles from our previously very urban house in Hawaii. Instead of a .05 acre lot in The Pines, we now own a house on a half acre up Hualalai. And it abuts to private agricultural land, which supports horses, cows and, unfortunately, the wild boars of Hawaii.

When I first noticed a pig had torn up on the lawn on the south side of our property, I shored up the hog wire fence and hoped for the best. The pigs still managed to squeeze on through, albeit a smaller hole. Naturally, I shored it up again, with tighter spacing on the stakes. So, they found a new place. Now I know why my neighbor installed expensive wrought iron fencing around his property.

catch a pig in kona

Also, in my quest for figuring out how to catch a pig in Kona, I turned to the internet for answers. Eureka, but then I found a former Council Member had access to a list he maintained of pig trappers in Kona. I contacted the office of our new Council Member Valerie T. Poindexter, and Sunshine emailed me the list. There are 29 pig trappers on that list but not all of them are located in Kailua-Kona.

I also watched a few videos. There is one YouTube video of a guy in Cambodia making a snare out of a Y-shaped piece of wood and rope. Watched it several times. Seemed simple enough to make a snare, but I do not excel at rope tying. Sacramento real estate, yes, but not rope tying. No sailor bones in me. No knots, no roping.

Fortunately, a person whose name I cannot give you stepped in to help, only under the circumstances of identity protection and that I do not tell anybody that he installed a pig trap in my yard. It a mutual gratification situation. I want to catch a pig in Kona and get rid of it. He wants the pig because Kailua pigmeat is darn tasty!

Which means as long as his freezer is not full, he is game to catch a pig in Kona for me.

Last night, I woke at 12:30 AM. Our cats were at the bedroom jalousie window. This is about 6 feet from my bed and I’ve never had the pigs wake me up before. Slept right through the munching from earlier times. I peeked out the window and spied 3 black humps in the yard, just standing there. Wanted to say, hey, go eat all of the corn and molasses I bought for you. Couldn’t turn on the lights to take a photo because they’d run away.

So I just went back to bed. They did not enter the trap last night. But tonight could very well be another story. Aloha.

Elizabeth Weintraub
Elizabeth Weintraub
How to Catch a Pig in Kona
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