best sacramento realtor

Elizabeth Weintraub Top 1% Agent for 2018

elizabeth weintraub top 1% agent 2018

This top 1% agent for 2018, namely yours truly, is not in this photograph as more beautiful women are. And why not? Josh Amolsch, Elizabeth Weintraub Team exclusive buyer’s agent (on the left), accepted the award on our behalf because yours truly is still hanging out in Hawaii. Oh, don’t worry, I’m finally coming home to Sacramento next week. Three and a half months of running amok on the Big Island is coming to an end.

In the middle, we have Sparkles (fits her personality to a T), who is the sister of the drop-dead gorgeous woman on the right, Victoria Gerassimenko. This summer, Victoria and Josh are getting married, and I could not be more excited for them. In fact, my own sister is a bit peeved with me, I suspect, because I had to switch around travel arrangements to make sure I would be available to attend their wedding in Lake Tahoe. Which meant my sister had to change her travel plans to come to Sacramento from Minnesota. I can hope she forgives me.

top 1% agent for 2018

Last year was a bit tough in Sacramento real estate. We faced escalating prices, softening demand from buyers, and higher interest rates. Yet, we still placed as the top 1% agent for 2018, and I am proud of that fact. It is due to our well-oiled machine that keeps right on ticking when others drop the ball. I’ve got the best team members in the entire world, and I thank my lucky stars every single day. They are not just team members, they are my friends.

top 1% agent for 2018

Here, from the left, is Dan Tharp, mortgage loan officer from Guild Mortgage, Shaundra Bradley, our wonderful transaction coordinator, and Josh Amolsch, exclusive buyer’s agent extraordinaire, accepting the top 1% agent for 2018 from the president of Lyon Real Estate.

Thank you, Dan, Rose, Shaundra, Josh, Vika, Sparkles, and everybody else who showed up on Friday to support the Weintraub Team at the Lyon Awards. I really enjoyed the hello video from Josh, too. Made me feel like I was there even though I’m relaxing on my lanai. Mahalo!

Elizabeth Weintraub

How to Sell Your House in the Fall Sacramento Market

sell your house in the fall sacramento market

If you’re looking for tips to sell your house in the fall Sacramento market, you’ve come to the right blog. I routinely sell a couple of homes a week on average so I manage a wide range of transactions. This gives me a unique perspective of the housing market in Sacramento. Because believe you me, I have been sailing high on the seller’s market in Sacramento for the past 7 years. It’s a little bit of a bummer to watch the tables turning, but that’s the cycle of life and of real estate. Gone is the “seller’s way or the highway.” New is: how can we help the buyer to purchase this home?

Does this mean multiple offers are a thing of the past? That’s what sellers want to know. The truth is there will always be multiple offers for beautiful and stunning homes or for severely underpriced homes. There will be no multiple offers anymore for the stuff that is in between. We have a lot of stuff, much inventory on hand that lies between gorgeous and cheap. That land known as average run-of-the-mill homes at a decent price. Or, otherwise referred to as: ain’t gonna sell come hell or high water. Because buyers today do not want an average home at a decent price.

In fact, I would say there is a huge disconnect between how sellers and buyers view the market. For starters, buyers are not crawling all over each other anymore to buy a home. They don’t want to overpay and are a bit uneasy purchasing. They will check with everybody within earshot for advice. To capture today’s home buyers your home needs to almost be perfect. This means no leaky roofs, busted water heaters, no black mold in the bathrooms, nor peeling and separating laminate floors, and certainly no creepy carpeting.

Sellers, if you want to sell your house in the fall Sacramento market, be ready to negotiate on price. It doesn’t matter too much your sales price. It can be right on the nose or lower than the comps. Whatever it is, if there is one little drawback to the house, you can bet a buyer will hit that price. That means if your home is worth $415,000, for example, and you want to sell at $415,000, it needs to be perfect. If it’s not perfect, a buyer might offer $395K. And after the home and pest inspection, the buyer will want more money or repairs. Buyers are driving sales.

If you’re not prepared to negotiate and give in to buyers, then your home should be in brand new condition. Completely remodeled, new appliances, flooring, paint and lighting. We don’t write the rules of Sacramento real estate, so don’t kill the messenger. This is just the way it is in our present real estate market. You either work within the confines of the market or you can just not sell your house. Your listing agent is not a magician. She can’t manufacture demand that does not exist.

Just a quick run in MLS shows over 3,374 residential listings in Sacramento County. That’s a big uptick from our August 2018 Sacramento Housing Report. Although, we’ve had that kind of inventory in 2014, when we had more buyers. Now, only 1,594 sales have closed over the past 30 days, and a mere 1,188 are pending. We are slowing down instead of going like gangbusters as we have in previous Septembers.

I met with sellers yesterday who need to do a bit of work before selling. They have a list of projects from me. If they don’t do the work, then they need to drop their expectations on price by about $30,000 to $40,000. There is no way around this. It’s not like a seller can simply wait a few months for the market to improve. The market is not about to improve for sellers so no amount of waiting will pay off. Don’t kick yourself that you didn’t sell early spring. Spring has come and gone and next spring won’t be as pretty. Don’t lament the past. Deal with the here and now.

If you were waiting for the perfect time to sell your house, when all the stars were aligned, anytime within the past 7 years would have been a good time. However, if you want to maximize profit potential today, the best way to sell your house in the fall Sacramento market is to rely on the advice and negotiation skills from a strong listing agent. Since I fit that bill, I offer my services to you. You can call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759 and put 40+ years of experience to work for you.

Elizabeth Weintraub

Elizabeth Weintraub Still Lyon Real Estate Top Producer Recipient

lyon real estate top producer

Top 1% at Lyon Real Estate, Elizabeth Weintraub is in front row wearing pink.

Holy cow, I can’t believe how busy I’ve been that I have spaced out making a formal announcement in my blog about two recognitions I received last week as a Lyon Real Estate top producer. The first recognition was for 15 years at Lyon Real Estate. This place is the longest I have worked anywhere in my life. No joke. I got my start in real estate as a title policy typist in 1974, so that gives me 44 years in this business. At the time, it was just a job to get me out of the mountains in Denver and back into civilization.

From there, I marched into my boss’s office. Stated I would go stark raving mad if I continued to type title commitments. On a typewriter. With carbon paper. He told me if I expected a promotion to go across the street to a different title company. That attitude, of course, led to long lunches while I interviewed at other companies. My boss broke down and promoted me to title searcher. I aced that position and abruptly moved to southern California, where I entered the world of escrow. Eventually as a certified escrow officer specializing in creative financing, which led me to get my real estate license.

It was a roller coaster ride through many different ventures in real estate. For a while in the 1990s, I ran a company called Equity Enhancement in Minneapolis. Prior to the inception of home staging. While in the process of buying and flipping homes, I also helped other agents by advising sellers on prep work. I also did the work suggested myself. Yup, I painted, hung drywall, installed new light fixtures, fixed broken dishwashers, you name it. I could do it. I also worked a couple of other jobs in marketing so I could qualify to take out loans to do my real estate.

But it wasn’t until I landed in Sacramento that I really focused back on client-centered real estate. I started working with buyers from the seminar business as first-time investors in the late 1970s. And now I work with sellers. A complete 180. My office recognized me last week as a Lyon Real Estate Top Producer because it named me the #1 agent in the downtown Lyon Real Estate office for 2017. This is an honor I have held for so many years now I’ve lost count. Some other deserving agent is sure to take over that position down the road.

Interesting enough, when I moved to Sacramento in 2002, I wasn’t focused on real estate. We were buying our home in Land Park, where we still live today. I sat in the lobby of the downtown office telling my husband that that this is the place where I would work. Even though I had no concrete plan about staying in real estate, really. And sure enough, not only do I still work at this office after 15 years, I am now a Lyon Real Estate Top Producer. This is in addition to winning the #2 Award at Lyon Real Estate for the entire company a few weeks ago.

I wonder if this qualifies as being an adult?

Elizabeth Weintraub

How to Customize Sacramento Listings to Reach Targeted Buyers

customize sacramento listings

The Weintraub cats snoozing on a Sunday afternoon, Jackson, Tessa and Horatio.

To customize a Sacramento listing, especially to target certain buyers, you’ve got to know your audience. That’s the first rule of listing customization. When I walk into a home for a listing presentation, I pay close attention to the way the home is decorated and to the people who live in it. I am replacing the people who live in it with new people. And for most practical purposes, the new people generally tend to share things in common with the existing homeowners. People who are alike gravitate toward certain products.

Once you know your audience, that is the buyers you want to target, you can design a marketing campaign to reach those people. It can be simple things from the way the home is presented in MLS, to the words chosen to describe it and the places where buyers find the home. Or, it can be more complicated and marketed to specific mailing lists. Each listing I take is different because the people and the homes are different. I think about the preferences in music, books, TV Shows, extracurricular activities of my targeted buyers.

I would like to believe that all Realtors will customize Sacramento listings, but I know they do not. Some walk through the home and shoot vertical cellphone pictures. I don’t know how they sleep with themselves at night. As hokey as it sounds, each home has a certain feel to it. My plan is to turn that emotion into buying verbiage. To present the benefits in such a way my targeted buyers feel they absolutely must go see the home. I stand in the home and absorb it.

The second way to customize Sacramento listings is to find that one thing that propels purchasing buyer. There is always something. For example, it’s a known fact that buyers generally know whether they want to buy a home within the first 3 seconds of entering the home. It’s my job to find what they spot or feel during that first 3 seconds and transform that energy into clarity for them. I don’t want buyers to second guess. It should be right in front of them. Easily understandable.

There is always a way to make things work. The third way to customize Sacramento listings is to get rid of the things that interfere with the first two rules. When we decided to adopt a third cat in our household, we needed the perfect cat that would blend in with our existing two cats. Our adoption wasn’t just about Horatio, we had to take Tessa and Jackson into consideration. But, hey, that thought process paid off. Look at how well those three cats sleep together now.

If you’re looking to sell a home in Sacramento, why not call a Sacramento Realtor who treats each listing as a precious commodity that deserves her 100% attention? Put 43 years of experience to work for you. Call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759.

One Year to Close Chase FHA Short Sale in Carmichael

chase fha short sale

Chase FHA short sale in Carmichael closed 12 months from listing.

Whose problem is it when a Chase FHA short sale takes more than a year to close escrow? I get so many calls from home buyers wondering why is that Carmichael short sale still for sale month after month, and I feel like telling them to go look in the mirror. Yet, this home I only sold 3 times, so that’s about right, on average it works out to about 4 months for each buyer. I am one of the few agents in Sacramento who will handle a short sale, which is why I have sold more short sales than anybody over the past 10 years.

That’s because I don’t need it to close in 30 days or 60 days to pay my bills, like some agents. If the lender messes up, I can fix it; plus, I’ll still stay dedicated to the transaction. I don’t bail when the going gets rough. If the buyer cancels, I’ll find another buyer. I don’t give up. I don’t take no for an answer. There is always a way to close a transaction, even a Chase FHA short sale.

We listed this home a year ago. Got a buyer, all documents submitted to the lender right away, and we received the Approval to Participate in the FHA short sale program in record time. Things were looking up. We postponed the trustee’s auction a couple of times and were on the verge of getting the approval letter when the buyer suddenly canceled after 6 weeks. And that’s when the file started to go head downhill.

Sold again immediately to a set of investors represented by their mother, a real estate agent. We burned through 5 negotiators for this Chase FHA short sale when things became very twisted and convoluted. Just as we were about to receive approval, the negotiator at Chase realized the buyer’s agent was related to the buyer and she denied the file. The solution, of course, was for the buyer to be represented by another agent, but the mother said no way, Jose. If I can’t get paid, we’re not closing.

Yeah, way to win Mother of the Year award.

The buyers canceled and we found new buyers and put them into escrow. Submitted all of the paperwork. Then, for some unknown reason out of the blue, Chase decided to approve the first set of buyers as long as the mother substituted a new buyer’s agent. The mother finally gave in, hired another agent, unwound the cancellation and we got approval. Eureka. The poor buyers whose offer we submitted was ignored by Chase. How do you like those apples? Chase approved the wrong file.

We moved through the home inspection and were getting ready to close when the investor buyers and their mom for unknown reasons abruptly canceled. Maybe their mother found them a deal she could get paid more on? Stranger things have happened. I went back to the second set of buyers who were shoved aside by Chase to ask if they were still interested. Their agent said far as he was concerned, they are still in contract. So we moved ahead with them.

Just as we were ready to fund, the negotiator at Chase noticed the buyer’s lender and the buyer’s agent had the same address. So he denied the closing. Conflict, he said. Chase gave the impression it did not want to approve the short sale, but I knew they would. The bank was just inept. So the buyers hired a new buyer’s agent and prepared again to close. This time the negotiator objected to the seller signing on the wrong line and asked to have the arm’s length resigned.

But you know, it closed yesterday. At the 11th hour. Just before the expiration. It closed at the same price we started at a year ago. So when you see a short sale has been on the market for a long time, this is probably what’s going on. If you need a Chase FHA short sale to sell, I’m the Sacramento Realtor who can get it done. Call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759.

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