buyers agent in sacramento

Telling the Buyer the Truth

telling the buyer the truth

Real estate agent handing over keys after telling the buyers the truth.

Telling the buyer the truth is difficult for some. I know a lot of agents who are afraid to lose the sale. It’s tough out there right now for many real estate agents. Some are struggling, writing tons of offers that don’t get accepted, getting paid half as much and some aren’t doing any transactions at all. For these agents, I suspect it’s even harder to tell a potential home buyer that perhaps buying a home is not the best direction for them to move.

I’ll share a story about a buyer who was ready to go into contract. He had a viable counter offer in front of him at a price that was agreeable. The counter offer contained two points, however, that he fixated on. One was the seller wanted him to split a selling fee. It wasn’t the amount of the fee that he objected to, I came to discover, it was the fact that the seller had asked for it. The other stickler was the seller stated in the counter offer that the appliances carried no guarantees.

“All homes in Sacramento are sold ‘as is,'” I explained. “It’s already in the contract.” He wanted to see where it was written in the contract, and I showed it to him: Seller makes no warranties regarding the above items. I was hoping he could understand that I was telling the buyer the truth.

The buyer decided the seller might be hiding a defect. He argued that the words “guarantee” and “warranties” were not synonymous, although they were in that situation. We discussed his home warranty plan — we talked about the home inspection and his right to cancel — we pondered places to buy a used appliance. We even discussed the possibility that if an appliance was defective, how the seller might be willing to repair it.

During our 90-minute discussion, it became apparent that the buyer had a laundry list of objections to the contract, which he had already signed. It was clear that those concerns had been discussed among his family members. He wanted to see the seller’s confidential documents that do not pertain to the buyer. He asked for standard verbiage in the contract to be altered which, for a variety of reasons, was not feasible.

The buyer proposed that the seller was being unreasonable by requesting that the buyer split a small fee. He said it made him uncomfortable. Even if I offered to pay that fee for him, he was unhappy. Further, he was certain the stove, which most likely had a value of $200, was broken.  I seized that opportunity to point out in the most sincere manner I could muster that if the seller could see him right now, the seller most likely would feel that HE was being unreasonable.

I pride myself on my communication skills, and integrity is my cornerstone in this business. I tried to explain technicalities in several different ways, using layman terms, but I was beginning to feel like I had somehow failed in my mission. Then the light bulb went off.  I laid it on the line: “I’m hearing from you that you do not trust real estate agents; you don’t feel that I am being honest with you. You do not trust the verbiage in the contract that protects your rights. We can’t maintain a business relationship if you question my ethics, integrity and honesty. You might want to consider either working with another real estate agent or hiring a lawyer to represent you.”

Then I went a few steps further and suggested that perhaps this buyer was simply not ready to buy a home. He appeared to be uneasy with the entire process. Maybe he should withdraw his offer and forget about buying this home. Not everybody should buy a home, and that’s really telling the buyer the truth. He could be one of those.

It’s not my job to strong arm a buyer to make a decision he could later regret. My job is to represent the buyer to the best of my abilities, maintain our fiduciary relationship and protect his interests. Always, my belief is 100% geared toward telling the buyer the truth.

Why Trulia Listings Are Missing Homes for Sale in Sacramento

Trulia listings

The delays in delivering Trulia listings to the public means that home is probably not available.

It doesn’t matter if you are looking for Trulia listings on Trulia or Zillow listings on Zillow, the information offered is not exactly the same data a home buyer could receive if the buyer obtained her listings from a Sacramento Realtor. That’s a major disadvantage to a buyer who does not have an agent. Relying on Trulia listings or Zillow listings is a very difficult way to hope to buy a home in Sacramento; almost impossible. Yet you wouldn’t know that because the photographs are pretty and the homes appear to be for sale, even when many are not.

Let’s say, just for the fun of it, that you find a home through Trulia listings that you would like to buy. Here’s what you don’t know. You don’t know if any of the four agents presented to you as authorities for a particular neighborhood have ever sold a home in that neighborhood. Fact. Many are new agents who pay to advertise their mugs on Trulia in hopes you will call them. If you do call one of those agents, realize the phone number is not the agent’s phone number. The individual phone numbers listed for agents belongs to Trulia or Zillow and . . . Big Brother is tracking and recording your call. Betcha didn’t know that.

If you do manage by some miracle to contact an agent who answers her phone, the agent will want to show you other homes if that home is pending, and that particular home is most likely pending or sold. Just realize the odds of that home being for sale are not very high. The market for Sacramento real estate is moving FAST. Often homes sell before the For Sale sign is pounded into the ground.

I can assure you there are homes you want to buy RIGHT NOW that are not among Trulia listings. I hear Trulia is working on this issue, but it’s been an issue for us agents forever. When will it get fixed? I don’t know. Like you, I want it now, and I can’t get it from Trulia. If a 40-year veteran agent can’t get it, what does it say about you?

The lead time for MLS data from brokers to download into Trulia is 48 to 72 hours. There is a delay. Two to three days for brand new listings to appear! Fact. Plus, Trulia does not pick up every listing that shows up on Zillow, either. Although Zillow tends to immediately reflects new listings for sale, providing they were not entered into its site in some earlier format, but loses points because it also lists homes that are not for sale at all such as so-called preforeclosures.

If you are not working a local Sacramento Realtor, the truth is you probably will not buy a home. Or, certainly not the home you really want. You need that connection to the inventory and our specific market knowledge, not to mention our networking within the industry.

If you want to find out if the listing agent presented to you is actually the listing agent, then you need to click on that agent’s website and look for the address. Or, you can decide to hire the best Sacramento buyer’s agent you can find. The agents who work on the Elizabeth Weintraub Team are top-notch, and we are crazy busy in this spring market, but never too busy for you. Call us. We can help you to navigate the maze of independent websites offering homes for sale. Your best bet is not Trulia listings nor Zillow listings. Your best bet is an experienced Sacramento Realtor. This is not a do-it-yourself situation.

Call your internet specialist, Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759. Top producer Sacramento Realtor at Lyon Real Estate, the #1 Sacramento brokerage for sales.

Amy McMullan in Training at Elizabeth Weintraub Team

amy mcmullan

Amy McMullan and Elizabeth Weintraub at Riverside Clubhouse in Land Park

The newest soon-to-be member of the Elizabeth Weintraub Team, Amy McMullan, is still in training, but that’s not stopping this powerhouse from jumping in with both feet to the world of Sacramento Real Estate. She’s out there holding houses, taking Floor time and showing homes, and we are here to guide her every step of the way. Amy is the kind of person who can learn from other people’s mistakes without insisting upon first personally claiming ownership, and that right there will make her a superstar.

She says she is dynamic and energetic, but that’s like saying the El Capitan Trail is a short hike. Amy is overflowing with enthusiasm. She brings it to every aspect of her life — whether it’s designing the interior of her charming home in south Curtis Park, her devotion to dog rescue or her industrious endeavors creating custom dog collars as Entrepreneur Extraordinaire at Karma Collars — Amy’s commitment to excellence is contagious.

It’s not entirely by accident that Amy is attracted to Sacramento real estate, and she didn’t just show up on my doorstep. I met Amy about 10 years ago when she and her then-boyfriend, Chris Pendarvis, bought a home in Midtown. We worked together to help her mother buy a home in Arden Park, sight unseen, before her mom moved from Atlanta to Sacramento. Several more transactions followed, and I got to know Amy McMullan fairly well. We’ve kept in touch over the years. I still talk with Chris and see her mom from time to time, and I rarely stay in touch with anybody, so that’s saying something for me. I don’t always have time for people who are not in the midst of a transaction. Just ask my husband.

Amy McMullan graduated in 2005 from California State University Chico, with a major in Organizational Communication. Over the years, she has worked in graphic design, developed creative concepts and fine-tuned brand management, which has prepared her for the challenging world of Sacramento real estate. She is steadfastly dedicated to providing superior customer service, and I can’t stop saying enough nice things about her. She is smart, talented, gregarious, and compassionate with a strong attention to detail. She is the perfect addition to our team, rounds it out completely.

Amy will specialize in working with buyers as a Sacramento buyer’s agent. I predict in a few years, her business will explode into a superstar real estate galaxy, where I know she already resides. I can see it. It’s almost like watching my own reflection in a mirror. If you get a glimpse of that infectious smile and the sparkle in her eyes in person, you’ll know what what I mean. You can reach Amy McMullan (Cal BRE#01990839) at 916.737.6664.


Do Not Be a “Snooze You Lose” Home Buyer in a Seller’s Market

Snooze you lose is OK for a feline but not a home buyer

Snooze you lose is OK for a feline but not a home buyer

Many years ago — when I used to work with more home buyers than I do now, as most of my business nowadays is representing sellers as a listing agent — I recall a first-time buyer, let’s call her Cathy, who did not know when she should write an offer to buy a home in Sacramento. We had spent all day together, chasing around Rosemont looking at homes for sale. There was one home in particular that she gravitated toward, a home without carpeting, mostly hardwood flooring, with a huge back yard, priced right, and it fit all of her needs.

Toward the end of the day, I suggested we look at the home again. We viewed the home a second time. Cathy really loved it. It’s all she could talk about all the way back to my office in Midtown Sacramento. I pulled up to the curb on J Street where she had parked, and we got out. She shook my hand to thank me for the home buying tour and was about to head off when I asked again what her gut instincts told her about the home we had toured twice. “That’s my dream home,” she responded, and spun on her heels to leave.

Just a sec, here. “Usually, when a buyer finds her dream home, that’s a sign she should write a purchase offer,” I pointed out. Cathy’s eyes opened wide. Her jaw fell open. This had not occurred to her. That was evident by the blankness crawling across her face. She had processed looking for a home but had not yet quite come to terms with how she would react when she found a home to buy. This was astounding news.

She also could not cope because she had been unprepared. She insisted on going home to mull it over, what some buyers refer to as “sleeping on it.” Nothing I could say would change her mind. There is a term for that kind of cautious behavior, for people who don’t trust their own instincts. It’s called Snooze You Lose.

I see that behavior in some of today’s home buyers in Sacramento. It’s not necessarily the buyer’s fault, either, because if a person is buying her first home, how would she know what to do or how she would feel? It’s up to her buyer’s agent to explain, in a non-threatening way, that the market in Sacramento is sizzling hot, and another buyer will purchase that home if she fails to quickly take action. We’re not making this stuff up just to throw a buyer into escrow. When you spot a home you love, you should write a purchase offer.

Otherwise, it’s snooze you lose time. Nobody likes that time clock. Remember, in any given market, if you truly adore a home, odds are another buyer does as well. Did Cathy buy that home? Sadly, no, another buyer had purchased it by morning. Cathy eventually settled on another home, but I heard about this home for years because the home she did buy was always second choice in her mind. Snooze you lose. It’s not just a catchy phrase.

The Elizabeth Weintraub Team Welcomes Josh Amolsch

Josh Amolsch

Josh Amolsch, The Elizabeth Weintraub Team

When it comes to selling Sacramento real estate, no woman or man is an island, especially not on the Elizabeth Weintraub Team at Lyon Real Estate; although, we might very well be rocks — OK, I can’t help but hear Simon & Garfunkel. We are stable. We are comforts to our clients during stressful times. We guide, we inform, we support, and we definitely perform. These are high standards for a real estate agent and, as leader of the team, I have high expectations as well. Which is why it was a hard process to choose a new team member. It’s good news that my business is expanding and growing. We need to make sure we can continue to offer quality service to our clients by bringing on new talent to join us. Today, we all welcome Josh Amolsch to the team.

You might not know that Josh is a real life rockstar, a guitar god. He is a musician who started banging drums as a kid (like they owed him money, he jokes) and rose up through the industry to perform in hot clubs throughout Midtown. He single-handedly organized a bunch of young men — which is sort of like herding cats — to play together as a band, creating magic in notes, over and over and continuously.

Josh’s speciality is first-time home buyers. He has patience and compassion for those just starting out on the path to home ownership. You might not know this, but not every real estate agent in Sacramento is willing to work with new home buyers. Whether single women, single men, straight or gay couples, young or old, purple or orange, every person who wants to buy a home should expect to receive excellent service from an agent.

Through representation from the Elizabeth Weintraub Team, our first-time home buyers get a double package. Not only will they work with superior agents of intellect and quality such as Josh Amolsch, but buyers will get the nitty-gritty experience of 40 years of negotiation tactics from Elizabeth Weintraub. We all learn from each other and grow together every day.

No drama here. Just results.

I imagine that Josh will always carry a tune in his heart throughout his real estate career. It might not be Sounds of Silence. Perhaps it’s more Sound City Grohl-like.

If you would like to buy a home in Sacramento, West Sacramento or anywhere in Placer and El Dorado Counties, please give Josh a ring. You can reach him directly at 916.224.2756.

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