Digital Communication Key to Home Sale in Elk Grove

Elk-Grove-Home-SaleCommunication. Communication is a tricky thing. My husband says, “Turn right at this corner, go down to the next corner and turn right again, then get into the left lane because you’ll be turning left at the next corner.” Me, to make sure I have understood him correctly, says, “OK, you want me to turn right after my right here and then go left?” He, completely certain that I have misconstrued his explicit directions, says, “No, that’s not what I said. I said . . . “ and he repeats exactly what he said.

That’s because he speaks Chicawgoan, and I speak English. We often misunderstand each other. The upside to that is we often understand each other when we speak Vulcan, for example. Or, when walking past the hotel lobby bar after listening to Leo Kottke perform at Yoshi’s, I ask, in my best New-Riders-of-the-Purple-Sage-voice, “Can I buy ya a drink?” He gets the reference to Dim Lights, Thick Smoke and Loud, Loud Music. I don’t have to illustrate for him. And, after all of these years of marriage, I have learned not to argue over whose driving directions are more clear. Besides, he is edgy enough on the road, which gets worse when his wife is driving.

It’s communication. You see, being a Sacramento real estate agent, I have have had to learn how to communicate with all kinds of people, even though I speak only English — and a little Vulcan and Pig Latin, but not one of those languages has ever come in handy. That’s because Sacramento is one of the most diverse cities in the United States. People come from all over the world to live in Sacramento, although I have no idea why. There are better places to live. San Francisco, for example. OK, it’s much less expensive to live in Sacramento.

One such person called me last month to ask if I would stop by her home in Elk Grove and tell her how much it was worth. I could barely make out what she was asking me to do, but then again, this woman speaks two languages and I barely speak one. I was just getting out of my car at another listing appointment in Elk Grove, so I asked if she would wait for me, and that I could be there in two hours. When I showed up, she was sitting in her car, and I felt terrible. Here, I thought she lived in the home and was waiting in air conditioned comfort, maybe watching TV. Not sitting in her car, in front of a dismantled for rent sign, staring at her cell phone.

I have a home listed down the street from her rental home, which is where she got my name. Plus, she said she’s seen my name on signs around the neighborhood. Probably because I do list and sell a lot of homes in Elk Grove. I told her that her value was probably around $240,000, but I’d have to run the comps.

The next day I emailed her the comps, which substantiated a price of $240,000. The problem with examining the comparable sales for a home sale in Elk Grove is they don’t really mean very much in this market. Homes are selling too quickly and way over list price, so if list prices are based on the comps, the comps are worthless when trying to determine market value. You can’t really base them on the pending sales either, since we don’t know what all of them are and some agents refuse to disclose. Pricing a home in Elk Grove is almost like throwing darts at a board blindfolded.

The seller emailed that she wanted at least $280,000. She had paid almost $400,000 in cash for this home 8 years ago. OK, we list at $285,000. I found a couple more comps outside of our half-mile radius that would hold up in an appraisal.

Our complete communication between the two of us consisted of email and text messages. We had no further phone or in-person communication. That’s because I do not know any Chinese dialect. Chinese, in itself, you know, is not really a language. Although, tell that to my late mother who took Chinese as her language course at the University of Minnesota in the 1960s. She walked around the house, talking into a tape recorder in a sing-songy voice. But I never learned any of it, and now I regret it.

But, hey, we have email. I shot photos, tweaked them in PhotoShop, uploaded them to MLS and other websites, along with my marketing description. It looked pretty good! Within 2 days, we received a full-price offer, and another offer for $300,000, both with financing contingencies. My seller accepted the offer for $300,000. Less than four weeks later, we closed at $300,000. That’s over a $60,000 jump from the comps from four weeks ago. It equates to a 25% increase.

Granted, my client had owned a highly desirable home. It featured four bedrooms, a single story, beautiful Grapia wood flooring and an open floor plan, in the popular Marchado Dairy subdivision. This combination is covetable in Elk Grove. We could get away with being a little wild in the pricing.

After it closed yesterday, my client sent me an email to thank me for my “great job” and to say she will send me referrals and was “glad I called you a month ago.” I don’t think she was glad to have sat in her car for two hours waiting for me, though. I still feel awful about that. But at least we had email to communicate and we reached a successful conclusion to our transaction. If you need an Elk Grove agent, especially to get you to your home sale in Elk Grove sold quickly and efficiently, please call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759.

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