closing two houses on a lot

The Sacramento Story of Closing Two Houses on a Lot

Two houses on a lot in carmichaelWhen escrows close like this recent closing two houses on a lot, I like to review the transaction for closure and for learning purposes. Even though I have been in the real estate business since the 1970s, I still learn something new almost every day. In the 15 years that I’ve worked in Sacramento, and yes, I just passed my 15th anniversary at Lyon Real Estate, I’ve most likely sold more than 1,000 properties.  Never added up all my sales. Do not look in the rearview mirror much.

Imagine how much knowledge I have acquired from closing so many escrows? That’s how you learn to do real estate, by doing it. Hopefully, you retain some of that information. I’ve sold enough properties to know that closing two houses on a lot doesn’t happen without a great deal of effort and strategy. You need to put up with the investors who hope to get a good deal and also the guys who try to grind mid-transaction. All the while pushing for top dollar for the seller and protecting the seller’s interests.

In fact, some investor called me yesterday to inquire about this particular property. He found it on and claimed it did not show pending. What kind of information is that? Don’t know why investors do not hook up with an agent to get listings from MLS. Everybody needs real time updates. Accurate online home search data.

When I informed him of the recent closing of two houses on a lot, he said he is always looking for a “good deal” and would I call him when I list another? I’m the wrong person. I represent sellers. There are no “good deals” to be had among my listings because I protect equity, not give it away. I referred him to my team member who is an excellent and dedicated buyer’s agent, Josh Amolsch.

My listings tend to sell at market value, not below, and generally a bit above. On this particular property, we received multiple offers. A cash offer at list price and a second financed offer at $10K higher. Some other agent probably would advise her seller to take the cash offer and call it a day. Not me, though. I spotted opportunity to make the sellers another $10,000 from the cash buyer.

Experience matters. What can I say? We countered the financing buyer with improved terms and asked the cash buyer to pay $10K more. Along with the AS IS condition that the seller will not renegotiate, repair nor credit the buyer for any repairs. Such a rookie move by buyers to think they can renegotiate. However, they signed the counter and later tried to renegotiate. Not gonna work. You tell them, you tell them what you told them and you tell them again.

My sellers closed escrow yesterday without any repairs, discounts nor renegotiations, and they pocketed an extra $10 grand over list price. They seemed pretty over-the-top happy and probably in a bit of shock this moved along as quickly as it did. We went on the market March 2nd, into contract on March 5th and closed escrow on March 27th.

Sure, the seller could have hired a cheap agent, but I doubt he would have had a) such a smooth transaction b) a higher final price or c) no repairs or credits. One of these homes was at least 100 years old with much deferred maintenance. He made a lot more money by hiring a top listing specialist over a relative or discount agent. His choice. He chose wisely, if I say so myself.

What I learned from this transaction, a sale without comps to support the price, is simply reinforcement that I have a magical touch when it comes to selling real estate. I can price properties by figuring out how much we can get on the open market and be right on target.

4545 Garfield Av, Carmichael, CA 95608 listed at $495K and sold at $505K.

Elizabeth Weintraub

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