buying a home in elk grove

Managing Buyer Repair Requests to Buy a Home in Elk Grove

Managing buyer repair requests

Managing buyer repair requests is an art form. I can always spot that experienced buyer’s agent who invests the time to educate her buyers. It’s as plain as day. Some buyer’s agents simply take orders from their buyers. Don’t know why. Who is the professional and who is the client? I suspect some agents don’t know the answer to that question, so they allow their insecurities to bubble, to thrive and to rule. Agents don’t want to tell a buyer to back off or calm down or listen to reason, not in those words, of course. They want to be a buddy. And that’s the problem.

If an agent can’t find a way to explain to a client why the buyer’s chosen plan of action is harmful and a really bad idea, then how is a buyer’s agent representing that client? What kind of service is that? I tell you what it is. It’s called lip service, for some of you younger guys. Lip service is a disservice. Just like agreeing for the sake of harmony when the agent knows it is wrong. The best way to engage in managing buyer repair requests is to have a conversation with the buyer prior to inspections. To review other types of inspections and to prepare the buyer for the inevitable: The fact their dream home has things wrong with it and damages the seller might not fix.

This is never time “wasted” on behalf of the buyer’s agent. Yet so few set aside time to discuss aspects of the transaction with their clients.

I’ll give you a case in point. Yesterday, I closed a listing in Elk Grove. A sale which I sold twice and got paid once. Nobody likes to do that, albeit it is less work for me than the poor buyer’s agent who now has to hit the street to show more property or, worse, lost a client over it. In this scenario, a buyer’s agent begged me to show compassion toward his buyers. The agent made a plethora of promises he ultimately could not keep. When I hear from that agent in the future, I shall no longer hold a high opinion of that agent. The opposite. He lied. Repeatedly.

— Which is unacceptable in my book. Other agents say, hey, we all huff and puff and fluff, get over it. But, no. We all don’t huff and puff and fluff. —

After promising his buyer would purchase AS IS, he sent the sellers a 14-item request for repairs. It included things like replace all the fixtures and faucets in the house, replace the siding, install new windows. Crazy-ass stuff. The one thing he should have focused on was replacing the leaking water heater and he might have closed. Focusing on one major item is a sign of a smart agent. But no, they tend to get caught up in drama.

I tell sellers not to do repairs after they get a home inspection. But they take it personally. They actually want to fix broken things. It’s hard to get them to back off and wait for a request. Because what they think a buyer will want fixed and what a buyer really wants are two completely different viewpoints. No sense fixing stuff the buyer doesn’t care about. No two buyers are ever the same. After the existing buyers canceled, we found another buyer right away. Of course, this new buyer did not care at all about the home inspection. Just like I said. Those buyers had an agent who was adept at managing buyer repair requests.

Also, in this particular transaction, when our winning offer arrived, we already had a counter offer out to another buyer. That buyer was slow to respond. His agent did not appear overly motivated, either. While that counter offer was out and awaiting buyer approval, we received the offer we really wanted. Bay area buyer. Cash. $5K over. So we sent the second buyer a withdrawal of offer, withdrew that counter offer, and accepted the offer we preferred.

The sellers had already decided at that point to replace the water heater. It was expensive. Cost $1,400 to replace a 40-gallon water heater. Yikes. For that price, one may as well go tankless, but I digress. Last water heater I helped a seller replace was $750. Only a few years ago. However, these particular buyers had paid for a pest report. The first set of buyers did not. See? They don’t always get a pest. The pest showed $7,500 of Section 1 work, plus more for Section 2.

We had bumped up the sales price by $5,000, so we reduced it by $5,000, which made the sellers even. Even Steven. No pest work, and we closed with a cash offer. 9089 Paseo Grande Way, Elk Grove, CA 95758 closed escrow on September 12, 2018 at $339,999.

Elizabeth Weintraub


Realtor Presents Affordable Elk Grove Halfplex for Sale

elk grove halfplex

Front view of Elk Grove halfplex 6303 Kilconnell Dr

This Elk Grove halfplex is one of three at the moment for sale in the Elk Grove ZIP of 95758, but it is the only halfplex west of Franklin. The other two halfplexes cost $100K more+ and they are situated in Laguna, whereas this beautiful halfplex is located in the popular Foulks Ranch neighborhood of Elk Grove.

The seller originally purchased this halfplex as an owner-occupied residence for her mother, but the home is now rented to a lovely and cooperative tenant who is moving out on or before Halloween.

Elk Grove halfplex

High ceilings create a sense of spaciousness in this Elk Grove halfplex

Along with the curvy architecture over the doorway and contemporary wall cutout, you will notice the ceiling in the living room is unusually high, probably 12 or 14 feet. It features a ceiling fan with a light that is most likely remote controlled, and the flooring looks like real hardwood, even though it is not.

The dining area is a breakfast nook nestled by the bay window in the kitchen toward the front of the home. There is a large kitchen, with a refrigerator, electric range, dishwasher and modern chocolate cabinets.

elk grove halfplex

This Elk Grove halfplex features a large fenced yard with a patio.

Each of the bedrooms in this Elk Grove halfplex allows for outside access to the yard through sliding doors. There are 2 bedrooms and the bath is updated. One bedroom faces the enormous back yard, and the other bedroom faces a side patio. The yard is fenced, so you can have a dog, if you like. Plus, there is a bonus shed at the back of the property line for storage.

We call the attached garage a one-and-one-half tandem, meaning you could fit 2 tiny cars or one and a half regular-sized vehicles. Or, you can just park in the driveway like most people prefer and use the garage for its intended purposes of laundry and storage.

6303 Kilconnell Dr is exclusively offered for sale by Elizabeth Weintraub at Lyon Real Estate, 916.233.6759, at $199K. Open Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016, from 2 to 4 PM.

A Sunday Afternoon for Pho, Lockboxes and Real Estate

pho restaurants on stockton blvd.

Entrance to Pho Xe Lua, a Vietnamese Pho restaurant on Stockton.

When my husband and I were dating, he first introduced me to Pho, the Vietnamese noodle soup, while visiting Washington, D.C. It’s where he took me for breakfast. I thought he was a bit off kilter to want to eat soup for breakfast. My idea of a romantic breakfast was a fluffy 3-egg omelette, featuring plump tender scallops, spring asparagus and mozzarella cheese, not a bowl of steaming Pho, but it does grow on you. Especially since it gives me an excuse to eat jalapeños. Since then, we have been to many Pho restaurants, including the Pho Xe Lua pictured above, where we went Sunday afternoon for lunch.

Pho Xe Lua is one of the best Pho restaurants in Sacramento, and it’s located on Stockton, across from the Fruitridge shopping center. I ordered one of my favorite dishes, charbroiled shrimp and vermicelli. At Pho Bac Hoa Viet on Broadway in Land Park, you’re lucky to get 8 shrimp in this dish. However, at Pho Xe Lua, this dish was served with 18 shrimp on 3 skewers. The food was served super fast, and huge portions, more than I could eat. The only drawbacks were our drink orders arrived after the food, and my cafe sua da was a bit on the short side.

We were headed to Elk Grove so I could pick up a lockbox from a home that just closed escrow, and then off to Sport Chalet to buy snorkeling gear for me. Ever since that episode over Labor Day in Hawaii when I tried to rent snorkeling equipment and was refused due to “rough waters” and the hotel didn’t want to get sued, I have had buying snorkeling gear on the back burner. Plus, not every resort is like the one in Vanuatu that gave me the snorkeling gear when I checked in and I returned it when I left, and it was free. I’m going to Hawaii next week, and this time I am prepared.

Right next to the Sport Chalet in Elk Grove is a Pet Club store, where we found Fancy Feast Classic Chicken on sale at $11.00 for 24 cans. Fast math tells me we spend $165 a month on cat food to feed 3 cats. Doesn’t that seem like a lot of money to you?

As my husband began stuffing cases of cat food into our cart, my phone rang. It was a potential buyer for a home in Elk Grove. He pressed me for an appointment to tour homes in Elk Grove, and I asked if he understood that if the Elizabeth Weintraub Team shows him homes, that we will represent him and write the purchase offer. Oh, no, suddenly he had an agent, when he didn’t have an agent a few minutes earlier. Funny how when you put it that way to a home buyer, his memory improves.

Elk Grove Sellers Who Buy With a Contingent Offer is Becoming the Norm

Buy-and-sell-home-at-same-timeWe just closed escrow yesterday for an evening news anchor and his family. They were able to sell an existing home, rent back for a while and close on another home, and we helped them every step of the way. Further, it was a contingent offer that scored the family the home of their dreams. Now, I know there are potential sellers who don’t believe it is possible to get an offer accepted to buy a home when their own home is not yet sold, but that is a common procedure for experienced Elk Grove agents. The trick is to make sure your home is on the market before you try to buy a home. Make it contingent.

I talk to scores of people all day long who call to ask about buying a home when they also have a home to sell. Each is different, and there is no cookie-cutter solution. I have many scenarios to choose from that will work, it just depends which is best for the client. But I do know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, if a seller needs to sell in order to buy, I’m your Sacramento REALTOR who will get the job done.

In this particular instance, I had sold this Elk Grove seller’s home 3 times. Three times! Flakey buyers. Buyers who get all the way to escrow closing, two days away and then suddenly realize, oh my gosh, we can’t get our money out of China! If I had a dime for every time I heard that excuse I still couldn’t afford an oceanfront home in Maui. Or, they are trying to sell a home but won’t price it in accordance with the comparable sales so we have to cancel them because we want to be in escrow with buyers who will actually close. We lost our first two buyers for reason #1 and reason #2.

But our third buyer stuck. Our third buyer was in a multiple-offer situation with another buyer, too. This was a home with no upgrades, no granite counters, no stainless appliances, no crown molding, nothing really special except the view. We worked out all of the details before the offer was formally presented to the sellers, the amount of the rent back, the duration, which made the entire process that much more pleasant for all parties concerned.

The home the sellers found to buy was also their third escrow. The first two homes, well, after presentation of all the facts, the sellers found some terms?that were unacceptable, and we helped them to cancel. It is not up to us to try to talk anybody out of canceling. If the home is not for them, it’s not for them, next. We want happy sellers and buyers.

Sure, sometimes it seems like we do 3 times the work to get the same results we used to obtain years ago without all of that work, but that’s how the business is these days. We do what we have to do to keep our clients smiling. It doesn’t have to be a pain in the neck to sell a home and buy another at the same time. Not if you’re dealing with pros. I say, bring on the contingent offers, boys, this is where we shine!

How an Elk Grove Home Buyer Hoodwinked a Buyer’s Agent

Mug Shot Elk Grove Home Buyer

Google suspicious Elk Grove home buyers

This weird homebuying story has been turning over in my mind ever since it happened as I’ve been debating whether I should write about such a wild and wacky situation. Today I say what the hey. It might save another buyer’s agent in Elk Grove from humiliation. Certainly, it could put another Elk Grove real estate agent on alert as this criminal is still on the loose (he wasn’t reported to the police). Although, no seller wants to take her home off the market for a phony buyer who is playing a con game, either.

Most real estate agents in Sacramento and Elk Grove go about their business trusting other people to be who they say they are. We don’t normally need to verify identification or missions. If a buyer says she wants to buy a home in Elk Grove, typically she produces a pre-approval letter, specifies her wants and needs, and we show homes. It wouldn’t hurt for agents to be a little less vulnerable, though.

This particular “home buyer,” we’ll call him Clarence, hauled his group of kids and wife to see a home in Elk Grove. His agent — not me, of course — picked him up at his home because Clarence did not have a car. Clarence also did not have a computer so he could not look at homes online, but he knew what he wanted: a gorgeous home with 5 or 6 bedrooms in Elk Grove. Clarence negotiated, through a counter offer no less, to buy a home in Elk Grove for cash. Half a million.

Where was the money coming from, otherwise known in the industry as Proof of Funds? The purchase contract gives a buyer 3 days to produce it. The buyer’s agent promised the listing agent the funds were coming. Every day, same story. That was enough to make the listing agent suspicious but the buyer’s agent was still hopeful. Where are the proof of funds, the listing agent asked again and again.

Turned out Clarence’s brother had won the lottery. No joke! Not only that, but Clarence had bought two brand new cars from Elk Grove Ford and those vehicles would be delivered at the end of the week to Clarence’s present home in Elk Grove.

You might ask yourself who would believe such a story — but then you don’t know real estate agents and how gullible many real estate agents can be. There is an entire industry that sells books, tapes and seminars to real estate agents because they can be so easily snookered. Who better to sell to than another salesperson? Well, I guess one could sell to a con-artist.

To be fair, an honest person might have a hard time believing that another human being would pull such a stunt, in addition to asking what’s in it for the con artist? The buyer can’t close escrow if he doesn’t have any money. He is not getting the keys early so he can’t take possession. What’s the point? I suspect the point is to dream. Maybe drive by and tell friends that he is buying a home for half a million. Perhaps to cruelly punish the children when they don’t bring home A’s on their report cards. “I promised we’d buy that house if you got an A in Science, but you failed, so . . . “

Maybe there is no rationalization at all. Maybe the buyer is mentally ill? At some place one needs to stop hoping for the best, look at the excuses and piece the situation together. There is always Google, too. Turns out Clarence had been arrested for stealing cars. He gave a Mercedes dealer a fake check and had driven off in a Mercedes before the police nabbed him. Clarence had been arrested several times, and his alleged wife (he probably wasn’t married) has a police record, too.

Since when do Mercedes dealers take a check?

Maybe it’s not a bad idea to Google your Sacramento home buyers, check Facebook? Especially if something doesn’t seem right. Trust your instincts.

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