delivering bad news

The Art of Communication in Sacramento Real Estate

art of communication

Diplomacy goes a long way in the art of communication.

The art of communication requires finesse. You can say the worst sort of things to people and they won’t take offense, depending on the way the news is delivered and the tone of your voice. Just ask me, your Sacramento Realtor, because I’ve been managing the expectations of home sellers and buyers for many decades. In fact, I was absorbing my natural influences the other night during Game of Thrones — that any types of demands or threats sound pretty darned harmless when you add “your grace” to the sentences. You can say anything.

Like, “Your Grace, the buyers have burned down your house during the home inspection; Your Grace, I’m so sorry, Your Grace.”

“Eh, I’ve got insurance; let’s go to lunch!”

In fact, I’d be a lot more willing to help a person I did not much like if that person referred to me as Your Grace during conversations. It seems to soften everything. Turn dismal gray days bright and sunny. Tiny beady eyes into big eye pop art.  May you be rewarded by seven Gods, Your Holiness, I’d reply, and then I would wonder like I’m wondering right now whether holiness is spelled with a Y or an I, but I’m going with an I. It’s all in the art of communication.

Like Hillary Clinton telling Donald Trump to delete your account on Twitter. Although I admit that I enjoyed it, she could have accomplished the same thing through: Put a sock in it. More direct. More punch. And a bit of humor. Actually, I would not have commented to the Trumpster at all because there is no upside and plenty of downside when you engage with a racist, homophobe, misogynist lunatic. Sometimes you can practice the art of communication by not talking at all. But the a-hole is right there, in your face. You can’t sit on the fence.

Bottomline, the best way to practice the art of communication is by thinking before parting your lips and allowing unfettered words to escape. Consider how the recipient will receive the information. Try to make the delivery a welcome experience for a worthy recipient and a punch in the gut to the nasty guys, but in such a way it is enjoyable. Determine whether it’s best to pick up the phone and call instead of typing an email or sending a text. I have noticed that people who talk to their phone say things differently than those who type an email. And even emails can be impersonal. The art of communication. Try it. Fewer apologies. Better results.

If you’re looking for a top-rated and experienced Sacramento Realtor, call Elizabeth Weintraub, at 916.233.6759.


On Selling That Real Estate Listing in Sacramento

new listings sacramento.300x200No matter how many homes a Sacramento real estate agent has sold — and last year I sold around 165 — it is still exciting to have a new listing in Sacramento entered into MLS. It’s a feeling that never goes away for an agent. I’m not alone in this as other agents have expressed the same sentiment. Whether that new listing is 2 homes on a lot in Midtown or a highly desirable single-level home in Elk Grove, it’s still a thrill to baby a new listing. It’s also a reminder to pay extra special attention to the listings that might still be in inventory.

It’s easy for an agent to think after a couple of weeks on the market that an older listing is not quite as important as a newer listing, and that is a trap only naive listing agents fall into. An older listing is often more precious than a brand new listing because a) it involves a lot of work to get it b) a lot of work to input it and tweek photos c) an agent has seasoned feedback after a few weeks, and d) it’s easier to tell exactly what needs to be done to get that listing moved if it hasn’t, for some odd reason, already sold.

I never ever ignore an “aged” listing. I just try all the harder because my goal is never to lose a listing, and I have never had a listing in Sacramento that I could not sell.

My job is to figure out what makes a new listing different from every other listing on the market and to get that listing sold.

I just closed a listing in Sacramento yesterday that by all practical means should have blown up in smoke. I can’t begin to describe all of the ways the buyer’s lender messed up the closing. We were supposed to close at the end of the month and, when I suspected the lender, a major bank, had its share of difficulties, I asked Seterus to give us an extension to July 7th. Nope, said Seterus, no can do.

Part of the problem was I had nothing substantial to give Seterus in hopes of closing. I’ve learned a long time ago in this business that you don’t deliver bad news without a solution, a silver lining to soften the blow. So, I waited until docs were in escrow, when I had proof we could close, and asked again. This time, we received an extension from Fannie Mae that expired on the day we received it. Such a joker, that Fannie Mae.

I asked again for an extension from Seterus. It took a little bit more than a week, with the 4th of July and all, but Fannie Mae gave us 3 days this time to close, and close, we did! The buyer’s agent has one very happy buyer right now. It probably wouldn’t have been so tough on the buyer if the poor buyer didn’t also work for the stupid bank that couldn’t find its way in the dark with two maps and a flashlight. In fact, the buyer’s agent sent me an email that said I was the best agent he’s ever worked with. I hope that means he’s worked with hundreds of real estate agents and not just with those one can count on one hand.


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