elk grove real estate agent

Elizabeth Weintraub Sells 3rd Home on Jefjen Way

Jefjen Way is a street in Elk Grove that backs to a school in Quail Ridge. This means the playground and the noise that goes along with that can be disturbing to residents who live on that side of the street. Fortunately, the last listing I took on Jefjen Way sold within 3 days with multiple offers, even in today’s softer buyer’s market.

We went on the market in early December, a time of the year when sales typically slow down. I would have preferred to list and sell the home in April, when our market was much stronger, but that did not happen. Oddly enough, I’ve been expecting to get the listing since April of 2018. read more

Coming Soon Listings in Elk Grove

elk grove realtor

9027 E Valley Dr, Elk Grove, CA 95624 is a Coming Soon listing on market 2/5/16.

It was a wet and gloomy day on Friday, but that did not hold back my sunny disposition as I pulled up in front of my new Coming Soon listing in Elk Grove. This home is located just down the street from another I sold at Thanksgiving, a listing that those poor sellers almost had to report their former agent to the Cal BRE to get him to release his grip. A home that many agents vehemently disagreed with us on about the price, but did sell at list price. So, there. Spittooey on those agents. I tend to pull rabbits out of hats when needed, and that’s why sellers hire this Elk Grove Realtor.

I do the impossible.

I also do the possible with great flair. In fact, I prefer the possible over the impossible, but I take them both. The possible means my job can run somewhat smoother, providing I line up everything in advance. Preplanning is my forté. That’s why I might create a Coming Soon listing. Not every agent likes, appreciates or understands Coming Soon listings, mostly buyer’s agents, I suspect. However, from a listing agent’s point of view, a Coming Soon listing draws excitement and creates an atmosphere to generate multiple offers, providing it is the right property.

Not all of the homes in Elk Grove qualify in my mind for a Coming Soon listing. Only exceptional properties, and you know the kind of home I’m talking about right? How about a darling single-level that was previously the builder’s model home? Model homes are special. They tend to feature all sorts of upgrades and extra touches that reach buyers emotionally. Matching drapes, custom wall colors, designer features such as dual framed mirrors in the baths, inlaid tile and tiffany light fixtures; not to mention plantation shutters, crown molding, vaulted ceilings, engineered wood flooring . . .

. . . and best of all, this Coming Soon listing exists in the real world today, the Hampton Oaks community of Elk Grove. No, maybe best of all is it is priced under $300,000, which makes it very affordable for a first-time home buyer.

Check it out in the link above on Zillow: 9027 E. Valley Drive, Elk Grove, CA 95624. Showings start on Friday, February 5th, and the gala open house is Sunday, February 7th. If you’re thinking about selling a home in Elk Grove, call your top producer, Elizabeth Weintraub, at 916.233.6759.

Some Homes in Elk Grove Sell 3 Times Before Closing

homes in elk groveThere are ten million stories in Elk Grove, and this is only one of the homes in Elk Grove that has been sold several times before the buyer stuck with the program. The listing in Elk Grove closed on Friday, a mere 21 days after going into escrow. The buyer’s agent was on the ball, efficient, reachable by cell and text, and an all-around pleasant guy. I’ve been so fortunate lately that I’ve lucked out with such great buyer’s agents to work with because they can make the entire experience memorable or forgettable.

I tend to put fresh hell situations out of my mind. There is no sense in dwelling on them. But I do want to revisit this particular transaction because it is indicative of other listings of in Elk Grove. It is not an anomaly.

First, this home was initially listed by a property management company. To me, this like a mortgage broker trying to sell real estate. Or an Elk Grove listing agent deciding to manage rental property. We all have our specialities and should not try to wear 2 hats. The qualities that make a person a good property manager does not equate to making a person a good listing agent. The seller lived in the Bay area and didn’t know the difference. She thought a property manager could sell her home, but the property manager tried for 3 months and didn’t get anywhere.

The main problem with this Elk Grove home was the carpets were filthy. Why didn’t the property manager notice this? When buyers spot dirty carpeting, the first thing they think is it will cost $20,000 to replace, or some other crazy number, and they pass on buying the house. I recommended an excellent company that specializes in cutting out and replacing damaged portions so it’s invisible. They also do a bang-up job of removing spots.

I listed the home in mid September and we eventually received 9 purchase offers. The first offer was 10% under list price from “a throw offers at the wall and hope they stick” cash buyer. Unacceptable and we countered, no response. The second offer was a bit under list price, we issued a counter and the buyer accepted. A few days later, for no reason, the buyer canceled. We went into escrow with a second buyer near the end of September, and a few days later that buyer canceled. Then came 5 more offers, most with closing cost concessions, and another offer I couldn’t open because the file was corrupted and I had to wait 2 days for the agent to fix it.

I was a bit worried that the seller might be getting discouraged or start to believe that all buyers for homes in Elk Grove were off their rockers. In actuality, she was very happy with my performance and continued to comment all through the transaction that she had wished she had found me in the first place.

Then came the offer the seller could accept. It was clean. No concessions. No mistakes. No lowball offer. We zinged through escrow in 21 days with no request for repairs, just like it should be for a fairly new home in Elk Grove built in the last decade. Eureka, we closed. It was a relief but it wasn’t easy to close on this home in Elk Grove. It just goes to show that one can easily put a home under contract; it’s not so slam dunk to get it closed. This is when you need a professional, an experienced Elk Grove agent who doesn’t give up and doesn’t quit until the keys are dangling from the buyers’ hot little fingers.

What is Wrong with the Elk Grove Housing Market?

TGChartImageIt’s not just sellers of homes in Elk Grove who are asking what the hell is going on in the Elk Grove housing market. Sacramento real estate professionals are also baffled because they tell me so. But whenever I am perplexed, I search for answers, and I think I’ve figured out what part of the problem is with our Elk Grove home buyers this fall, and also part of what’s wrong with the Elk Grove housing market.

Let me also mention that this phenomenon seems to be isolated to Elk Grove / Laguna. I sell homes from Galt to Lincoln, and cover a wide sales territory over many counties in the Sacramento Valley, and the only place where this situation seems to exist is in Elk Grove and Laguna.

This spring, buyers were snatching up homes like crazy. I call these guys our Tier 1 buyers. They were motivated, had the bucks, were pre-approved and wanted to close escrow on a nice home in Elk Grove. Didn’t matter if the ZIP was 95624, 95758 or 95757, all three of those ZIPs experienced similar market movement across the board. Elk Grove or Laguna, homes were moving.

Now, we have what I call our Tier 2 buyers and our Tier 3 buyers, the ones who aren’t necessarily all that motivated, and might, maybe, perhaps, purchase a home if it fits all of their criteria and is priced right in the right location with the right amount of amenities and upgrades. If a home is missing one of those things, a Tier 2 or Tier 3 buyer is likely to pass it over in favor of another. They also don’t have a lot of financial security and many are unable to pay closing costs. They typically buy with leveraged financing above 80%. Not only that, but these buyers are obviously writing multiple offers, which is wrong on so many levels.

I don’t know if they’re doing it through one agent or multiple agents leaving the others clueless, but they write the offer they want on the house that they want the most, knowing that they might not get it because others probably want it, too. So, then they write an offer on their second-choice home. Because that home is second choice, they feel it doesn’t deserve the same consideration as their number one choice, so they sign lowball offers, ask for all sorts of concessions and then wait to see which way the wind blows.

On the other hand, our absorption rate in those 3 ZIPcodes in Elk Grove is 41%. A year ago in July it was 75%. You calculate an absorption rate by dividing the number of closed sales by the number of homes for sale. Our inventory is almost double over the past 15 months and by any stretch would be considered low at roughly 2.4 months. MLS reports we have 454 homes for sale in Elk Grove, with an average square foot price of $175 and 52 days on the market.

I guess I will now need to advise sellers to put into a counter offer that the buyer promises there are no outstanding offers floating about on other homes before we enter into an acceptance. Because when I ask agents if their buyers are serious, the answer I received this morning from a buyer’s agent was, I kid you not: “I don’t know, let me ask.”

Homes are closing in Elk Grove, and I’m living proof that it’s happening, but what a trip. One can’t be an emotional tree-hugging softie in this kind of real estate market, and sellers really need an assertive agent. A new client mentioned a few days ago when I was out at her home that the reason she wants to hire me to represent her is because I’m tough and firm but nice about it. I prefer to think that I am focused with thick skin. I work hard to get the job done.

Home Staging is Back in Sacramento and Elk Grove

Home StagingAnother sign of our slowly recovering real estate market is home staging is making a big comeback in Sacramento, especially among Elk Grove homes. For years, we had so many short sales in the midst of a down real estate market that many sellers did not stage their homes because they didn’t have to, wasn’t needed. How do you know if a home needs to be staged? Because some homes don’t.

First and foremost is how hard will it be to sell that home? Are there other factors about the home that could discourage a buyer from making an offer such as bad condition, horrible location, unreasonable price? It is a home that most buyers don’t want to buy? I also look at the competition. What else will a buyer see when they tour other homes nearby in this same price range. If other homes are staged, yours better be, too.

It’s not really the buyer’s fault that a buyer can’t visualize potential or, more important, feel the emotional tug of a home. Door opens, they walk inside, they immediately know whether they like the home in 3 seconds. The rest of the tour reinforces that original perception. It gets better or it gets worse depending on their first emotion.

Buyers try to “rule out” buying homes just as much as they “rule in” buying homes. Some believe in fate, whether or not you may agree with that premise, a perception of fate might be the buyer’s reality and you go with the flow. Curb appeal hits them first and the interiors second. Third they tend to look for the amenities they have told their agent they want, but they’re not nearly as analytical as sellers might expect. Staging a home helps to overcome barriers.

This is why it’s generally a good idea to make that home as attractive as possible and set the stage to encourage an offer. Just sold today another home in Elk Grove that was on the market for almost 3 weeks without staging at an attractive price point. After home staging, whammo. Two offers. It works like this all of the time. This is not an isolated situation. You’ve gotta remove all of the objections, and one way to do that is to stage the home.

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