days on market

Couple of Weeks Ago This Sacramento Top Producer Had Zero Listings

sacramento top producer

Yes, do you believe that a couple of weeks back, this Sacramento top producer had zero listings in active status? Could not recall a time when I had no active listings because all of my listings had sold. Usually it goes in cycles. But I always seem to have at least a handful of listings in active status, so it was strange to look at MLS and see everything pending. There was a big push in Sacramento right after the Fourth of July, and a bunch of homes went under contract. But going under contract and closing are not always synonymous with each other.

Which brings me to today as I have 6 listings. You might see only four because two listings are going live in MLS this week. But I see six. I listed 2 more homes last week and two homes this week. The missing two homes are back-on-market listings. Released by potential home buyers who didn’t really want to buy, regardless of their initial intent. One property was re-listed to reset the days on market. The other wasn’t on the market long enough to accumulate much time.

Usually this time of year things begin to heat up for this Sacramento top producer. Because we’re getting close to Labor Day. Right after Labor Day, we enter our fall real estate market in Sacramento. This market lasts until just before Thanksgiving. That’s not say that November and December cannot be busy months because they can. We sell real estate year-round in Sacramento.

But August is a tricky month. Families often go on vacation. Get ready for back to school. Preoccupied. And it’s generally quite hot. I read that since 1941, every day in the months of June, July and August has had a 100-degree day. In fact, when I first came to Sacramento, it was in August of 2002. Bloody hot and miserable, what kind of people live in this extreme heat, I wondered? Yet, here I am 16 years later, and to my amazement, a Sacramento top producer.

Now, I’ve had years in the 1970s / 1980s when the month of August has been my very best month for real estate sales but lately it’s a bit quieter. Some of this could be due to the wildfires in California, with the Mendocino fire being the worst ever in the state. It’s super smokey and hazy in Sacramento. You can smell the smoke when you go outside. Plus our market is beginning to transition to a different cycle. Shifting markets often adds a bit of confusion.

Still, going from zero listings to 6 active listings over the course of a couple of weeks presents a new challenge. That challenge is how to slip them into escrow while maximizing seller profit, which is always my game plan. Because I’ve given up trying to get 3 cats to pose together on my desk.

Elizabeth Weintraub

Some West Sacramento Realtors Scratching Heads Over This Closing

west sacramento realtors

Sellers should research West Sacramento Realtors before hiring a listing agent.

Some West Sacramento Realtors do not like it when a top producer agent takes a home off the market and puts it back as a new listing. They tend to get their knickers in a twist. You know who does like it? The sellers. Sellers love to see their home show up as a brand new listing in MLS. Of course, the cumulative days on market still show, but that doesn’t mean much because the home could have been listed with a different brokerage previously, and it would show the same days. It’s only the present days on market that really matter.

It’s all an illusion anyway. Yet, agents complain to MetroList. Why does Elizabeth Weintraub get to do this, they whine.

As a top producer agent among West Sacramento Realtors, I use this allowable MLS practice to my sellers’ advantage, and if other agents don’t like it, that’s not anybody’s problem but their own toe fungus. I don’t really understand their objections. They can examine the history of the property. We aren’t hiding anything. They can ask questions. Why do they care? Do they care because they didn’t think of it?

The person I care about is my seller.

When this particular seller came to me, she expected to get a higher sales price for her home in West Sacramento. I was in Spain at the time, so my team member talked with the seller, and she and I communicated via email. Yes, even while on vacation I stay on top of my Sacramento real estate business. In fact, the sales price she expected was about $100,000 too high. Yowza. Sometimes, sellers see a home that sold at an extraordinary price but fail to take into consideration the home is 3 times bigger or maybe waterfront. So, without enough information, they wrongly determine a price that does not fit their home.

My team member told this seller: put Elizabeth Weintraub’s name into Google and see how many pages come up, almost a half-million entries. Read her articles published by The Balance and previously on Check out her blog. Look at her track record, it spans four decades. Read her reviews. So, the seller stopped communicating with other West Sacramento Realtors and chose the Elizabeth Weintraub Team.

After we were in escrow, the buyers, ignoring caution from this side of the transaction, decided to ask the seller to take care of plumbing leaks, repair a few other things and to install an air gap on the kitchen sink. You never know what sort of things a buyer will get upset over, but an air gap? For those of you who do not know, an air gap is that little round thingamajig sitting on your kitchen sink that prevents a possible backdraft of dirty dishwater from a clogged drain, which may not ever happen, btw. However, it’s cheap to install, less than $200. Not something to lose a house over.

The seller lives out of state. She was not paying for repairs, and I had warned the agent this was an AS IS sale, but agents often feel inclined to try because they do not want to further upset their buyers. They want to help yet may feel helpless. Among some West Sacramento Realtors, it is easier to draw a Request for Repair, which the seller will reject and can cause temper flares, than to explain why it’s not a good idea. What some buyer’s agents do not realize is their buyers can tick off the seller with this sort of thing, and any favors the buyers may expect go right out the window. Human nature.

My job is to keep everybody calm and moving toward closing. We rejected the repair request. Further, this home closed escrow without any hiccups and at the price we had predicted. If you’re searching West Sacramento Realtors to find a strong listing agent, please call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759.

How Sacramento Listing Agents Show Sellers They Care

New Listing Sacramento Homes for Sale.300x200Sacramento listing agents worth their salt know that they need to keep sellers informed during the entire listing and sales process, but some agents get sidetracked and forget. I don’t know if it’s agents who are easily overwhelmed or too busy or what the deal is but I hear common complaints from other agents’ sellers. I don’t call these sellers; they call me. The story is often the same. They say they are unhappy with their listing agent and want to know if I will help them. You betcha. I’m sorry they are upset with their present situation, but hey, I’ll help.

I imagine as we move into the colder months, I’ll get more of these calls. We are facing a tougher winter market for Sacramento real estate than in previous years. Some listing agents will undoubtedly run out without a jacket and freeze to death, leaving their dazed would-be sellers to scrap for themselves. The days on market are growing and listing agents can no longer suggest list prices ahead of the curve; it’s got to be the perfect, just right, Goldilocks sales price in order to sell. Further, sellers deserve constant information about the market and what’s happening or they might drop that agent like a hot potato.

Some Sacramento sellers look at me like I’m “a gift from heaven” because I report feedback from showings and I keep them in the loop. I’m not a gift from heaven, I’m just doing my job as a listing agent. I never lose sight of the fact that the listing is not my home. I’m a temporary guest, visiting for a small period of time, and in the picture to perform a function to the best of my ability.

A seller in Elk Grove called yesterday to tell me how blown away she is with my performance. She did not know how a professional listing agent operates, she said, until I took over her listing. In my short association with her, she says we’ve had more showings, more offers, and she’s been kept informed every step of the way. I call her, I text her, I email her, depending on which form of communication is appropriate for the message I need to deliver.

Another seller in Placer County I met with a few days ago is asking me to take over the listing of a home because the seller was not promptly informed that a break-in had occurred. Apparently, some thug broke into a vacant house and removed furniture. The seller alleges that the listing agent was informed by a buyer’s agent that items were missing earlier in the week, and that the listing agent delivered the news to the seller a few days later — not on the day the agent found out about the theft. There’s got to be more to this story, but I don’t know it. I couldn’t imagine forgetting to let a seller know that something awful had happened.

Communication is key. Not just when things are going well but also when they’re not. Good news, bad news, as Sacramento listing agents, we need to constantly keep our sellers informed. Even if it’s just to say, hello, we haven’t had any showings, but let me tell you how many people have looked at your home online. Or, here’s a market overview from your area.

I say if a Sacramento listing agent goes to the trouble to get the listing, she needs to work that listing. Why work on something else when all you need to do is sell what you’ve got?

Sacramento Homes Take Longer to Sell This Spring

Sacramento RealtorAre Sacramento homes taking longer to sell this spring? You betcha. The trouble with making predictions in Sacramento real estate is sometimes those forecasts don’t materialize because the market shifts. Real estate agents who make predictions tend to look at the direction the market is moving and figure it will keep going in that direction. I tend to look for odd things that appear out of place. You know, I ask: what does not belong here? What one thing is not like the others? I look at the market somewhat differently, but then my approach is not an average approach, which is probably partly why I am successful at what I do.

Sellers always want to know how quickly a home might sell. I can identify the drop-dead gorgeous homes that should fly into escrow but I will still suggest at least a 2-week period for those sales, when last year it would have been 24 hours. This means I might need to remind a seller whose home has been on the market for 9 days that she has at least another 5 days to go, and maybe more. We can’t always accurately pinpoint that moment of sale. It depends on the buyer. These are just ballpark estimates.

It seems to this Sacramento real estate agent that homes are taking much longer to sell this spring, ever since January. So, I went on a hunt for facts to back up this assessment.

I can tell you that days on market — the average cumulative days on market — are 49 for February in Sacramento County. In April of 2013, that number was about cut in half at 26. This means the average cumulative days on market has pretty much doubled this year. Which goes to show when I tell a seller that what used to take 1 to 2 days is now taking 1 to 2 weeks, and what used to take 1 to 2 weeks might take 1 to 2 months, is absolutely accurate. Buyers are moving more slowly.

Home are definitely selling. They’re just selling at a more normal pace than over past decade of screwball-ness. You remember what normal is, right? No? Well, try to take it easy and slow down a little bit. At my age, the world moves much too quickly as it is. Savor a few precious moments. Pet your dog, hug your kids. Your home will sell.

Longer Days on Market Does Not Mean It’s OK to Lowball

Days on Market January 2014 SacramentoThe days on market are getting longer in Sacramento and, in particular, where I sell a lot of homes in Elk Grove. I would not go so far as to say that my real estate activity in Sacramento is 100% indicative of what’s going on across the board, but there certainly are parallels due to the vast territory I cover as a Sacramento real estate agent. Lots of agents work in only one neighborhood but I cover four counties and, as I have promoted the crap out of, I am the # 1 Sacramento agent at Lyon*, so I see a lot of listing activity up close and personal.

In fact, I wrote a newsletter for homebuying subscribers at about the longer days on market last week and no sooner did I send it out last night than I received an almost duplicate piece from some other company. Coincidinky? Perhaps.

The reason I started to look at the days on market is because homes had been selling so quickly last spring, but once we got past mid-summer, the days on market began to grow. When days on market get longer, it seems that some buyers expect to lowball. I don’t know if they do this on the advice of their agent or if they saw it on TV show somewhere but the strategy for days on market can change depending on market swings. Our real estate market in Sacramento has swung. We’re pretty much back to normal and nobody knows how to handle it, it seems.

When I asked an agent to explain why her buyers wrote an offer at 85% of market value, her retort was the days on market were almost 30 so that meant the home was overpriced. What is this? Laurel and Hardy? Where did she get that idea? I’m not sure if it’s clueless agents or ignorant buyers or a combination of both or maybe something else that’s in the water, but 30 days on market is pretty darn normal. In fact, many homes are taking 45 to 60 days to sell in this market.

And they are selling at market value, which in most cases is list price. I see this is my own inventory of homes for sale. But just to show independent third-party statistics, I pulled a chart from Trendgraphix, which also illustrates this point and attached it to this blog. You don’t have to take my word for it. Take Rod Stewart’s: Every picture tells a story, don’t it?

Image: Trendgraphix, Day on Market and % of Sales Price to List Price, February 2014.

*per Trendgraphix stats for units sold, Sacramento County

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