homes in land park

The Most Important Real Estate Tip This Realtor Learned From Marge Reid

marge reid lesson

This home on Vallejo Way took almost a year to sell at its highest price ever.

When I read that Marge Reid had died on October 7th, the news snapped my breath away. I was lounging about Sunday  morning reading the Business section of the Sacramento Bee when I spotted an ad. It was right next to the ads for homes for sale and other agents advertising services. The ad was a reduced version of the death notice for Marge Reid that had appeared in the paper in the local section a few weeks earlier. Although it’s odd to see something like this in the Business section, that was a good place to put it because many of us who knew Marge Reid do not read death notices on a daily basis. It was also a nice way to let clients know her daughter and son-in-law are carrying on the family business.

Marge Reid had worked at Lyon Real Estate for 43 years before branching out on her own 5 years ago. How do you like those apples? An 85-year-old woman started her own family business. You’re never too old to start a new business. I had been talking to a prospective seller yesterday morning, and we were discussing at what age a person seems old. She suggested that age is when that person is at least 20 years older than you. Anything younger than that is not old. But that doesn’t apply to Marge Reid. She never seemed “old” to me. Experienced, yes, but old, no.

I might be going out on a limb here but I’m going to say it anyway. I believe that Marge Reid never met a listing she didn’t like. That was the impression she left me with. Some agents develop a superior attitude and won’t work on an overpriced listing. I once asked Marge about the price of a listing because it seemed too high. Marge’s attitude was walk down the hill and get them all. She didn’t judge people or refuse to take a listing that I knew about. There was nothing condescending about her.  Marge was a legendary success in Sacramento real estate.

As such, I adopted the same principle. I rarely reject a listing, unless I don’t like the seller. But never over the sales price. One of my very early listings in Sacramento was a home on Vallejo Way. The seller had always been loyal to a different Land Park real estate brokerage but that broker refused to take his listing. The broker told him his asking price was unrealistic. So, he turned to Lyon Real Estate and to me. I wondered what Marge Reid would do. Well, Marge Reid would take the listing. I asked a coworker in my office and he said I should become the Queen of Vallejo. The price was $100,000 too high but I attempted to get it for the seller.

I was the Queen of Vallejo that summer. An open house every Sunday. After a couple of months, the seller agreed to drop the price.

By the time we got to the second price reduction, it seemed like a good idea to remove the listing from the market and put it back with a new MLS number. At that point, this home in Land Park sold with multiple offers at $10,000 over list price. After a Sunday open house, I had one agent in the kitchen writing an offer and another in the dining room writing an offer. While this seller did not get the $675,000 he had hoped to obtain, he did pocket $585,000. I had erased any doubt left lingering in his mind that his price was obtainable. I never did not want to work with him. He had a good sense of humor and I liked him.

Not only that, but a while after all of this happened, the Vallejo seller introduced me to the seller of a two-story Spanish home next door. She had tried unsuccessfully to sell through several other Realtors. She, too, had harbored unrealistic expectations. But I listed that home and I sold it. Now I can tell people I have sold the entire block, adding there are only two homes on that block.

When I mentioned to my team member, Barbara Dow, who is reaching a milestone herself this winter, that Marge Reid died at 90, Barbara said the smartest thing. She said that means she has another 20 years before retiring. We all tend to turn to our own mortality in times like this. Marge Reid taught me the lesson to accept all listings. Eventually a home will sell. Apply patience. Do your job. There are agents who disagree with this philosophy, but I am not one of them.

Rest in peace, Marge. You will be missed by many in Sacramento.

The Last of the Produce From Our Land Park Garden

Land Park garden

Tomatoes and giant cucumber from our Land Park garden in Sacramento.

One of the nicest things about living in California and growing a Land Park garden in Sacramento is the fact we enjoy an extended harvest. We can plant our veggies earlier than other parts of the country and continue to cultivate produce from early spring long into October. Although, I must say I was bit astonished when I dug around where the cucumber vines were all lumped together. There, nestled in the dirt, was a humongous cucumber we somehow overlooked.

My husband, being the kind of guy he is, with a waste-not-want-not type of attitude, says, hey, we can still eat it. Just scoop out the seeds. No, he can still eat it but I’m not chowing down on an oversized tasteless cucumber that’s been sitting in the dirt for months. I will eat escamoles (ant larva) but no months-old cucumbers for me.

Look at all those tomatoes from our Land Park garden. We’ve got Juliet tomatoes, a sort of cherry tomato, and I don’t know what the others are except that they are growing all over the garden that the city crew dug up when they installed last month water meters in Land Park. They were very careful not to disturb the tomatoes. I wish they had taken some tomatoes with them.

There is nothing better than a fresh salad for lunch made with home-grown produce. It’s what I typically dine on every single day. And now it is all gone. There is nothing left but spent vines and weeds. Given our hectic schedules, we probably won’t get around to tearing out the garden in its entirety so we can replant until next spring. Although a winter garden is possible to maintain in Sacramento, our Land Park garden is an unlikely candidate. We’d have to find time for it, and I’ll be gone to Hawaii for a few months this winter, working on selling Sacramento real estate from Kona. So it seems kinda pointless.

As you read this, we are on our way home to Land Park from San Francisco. Perhaps I will post photos from our dinner at Saison on Friday night or the Saturday show featuring Greg Dulli and the Afghan Whigs at The Fillmore later on this week. Right after I get caught up on what will happen today at our 5 open houses in Sacramento. In my crazy life, business comes first.

Why Agents and Security Alarms are a Bad Combination

agents and security alarms

Many security alarms can be handled from a mobile phone.

Agents and security alarms are a bad mix. I think I am the worst when it comes to turning off alarms. If my sellers are agreeable, I generally ask them to program their alarms to be off during lockbox access hours. That’s because I know there are plenty of other agents out there like me who, regardless of good intentions, can’t seem to handle turning alarms off and on again without setting them off. It’s a deficiency I have, and I’m not sure how to solve the problem. If your listing has an alarm set and I enter, you’ve got a 50/50 chance that I’m going to set it off. I’m sorry. I can be a doofus.

True story about agents and security alarms from several years ago. The alarm wasn’t armed at this particular house when I set out to show homes in Land Park. It wasn’t on when we did the home inspection, either. But by the time I popped over to pick up the buyer’s mail, which she forwarded due to an incident involving identity theft, the security was armed. I was in caffeine withdrawal because I hadn’t yet enjoyed my lone cup of coffee for the day. Grabbed the keys from the lockbox and went inside. Beep, beep, beep. Normal sound when an alarm isn’t set. Then, without warning, EIIIIIEIIIIEIIIIEIIIE. It hurt my ears.

Dashed back to the lockbox, fumbled with the key container to find the alarm code and went back inside to turn it off. Managed to cut my finger on the lockbox somehow, so I was dripping blood and trying not to get blood on the keys or anywhere else inside the house. I hate it when this happens. Of course, I called the listing agent to apologize and to confess my culpability, yes, I am the guilty party. At least I was able to set the danged alarm before leaving. It’s always good to get the heart pumping first thing in the morning, but I wish it wasn’t due to that sort of incident involving agents and security alarms.

The agent told me about a home a few blocks away on Marian Way that had been vacant for some time and recently went into escrow. When the new buyers showed up to do their home inspection, they discovered all the copper plumbing had been ripped out. So, alarms absolutely have their place. Break-ins can happen anywhere, even in upscale neighborhoods like Land Park.

New Land Park Listing Offered Under Half a Million

New Land Park listing

1800 Commercial Way, Sacramento, CA 95818, offered at $495K by Elizabeth Weintraub at Lyon RE.

This new Land Park listing is the only home between the popular boundaries of Riverside and Freeport that is offered at a price of less than $500,000. Amazingly, the prices in this particular rectangle of homes in Land Park average about $635,000 over the past 90 days of sales. Even the smaller homes in Upper Land Park, between I-5 and Riverside, average almost $450,000 over the past 90 days of sales. It’s a strong market in Land Park, a seller’s market, which is a good time to be for sale if you’re a seller. It’s also a good time to tour homes in Land Park if you’re a buyer because the trend in pricing is moving up. A rising tide lifts all boats. Get yours while you can.

As a Land Park Realtor and long-time resident, I am excited about my new Land Park listing because it’s a home guaranteed to make a buyer fall in love. That’s a recipe for happy buyers and happy sellers and a happy escrow! It’s got these space-agey columns, almost like futuristic designs from The Jetsons, which separate the formal dining area from the living room with its period brick fireplace, making it one gigantic open space for entertaining. Original wall lighting, recessed ceiling. Gorgeous hardwood floors, too. French-doors leading from an enclosed porch off the dining room to a private side-yard fenced patio.

New Land Park listing

Living room with 1938 brick fireplace at 1800 Commercial Way

The layout is perfect. All the rooms are located in the right spot and spaced appropriately. There is nothing weird about this house, and there are many unique features to adore. For example, the kitchen is pristine, calming seafoam-and-white glass subway tiles complement the granite counters, and the original cabinets from 1938 have been restored and painted a glossy white. There is a plenty of storage, a dishwasher, breakfast nook featuring built-ins and a pantry. The home seems more spacious than its 1,369 square feet noted in our Sacramento County Assessor records.

New Land Park listing

Updated Kitchen at 1800 Commercial Way features a breakfast nook.

Wait until you see the size of the bedrooms! Much larger than many homes with two bedrooms. Plus, there is an additional room that could be called a third bedroom as it has a regular window, two windows in fact overlooking the pretty back yard, but we call it a den. It’s not nearly as large as the bedrooms. The den is a perfect place to set up your home office, accessible from one of the bedrooms and also the hall. The bath features a clawfoot tub with shower and a heated floor near the tub under the ceramic.

New Land Park listing

Second bedroom at 1800 Commercial Way, Sacramento

Off the kitchen is another door leading to the back yard, where you’ll find a raised and covered wood deck with a pergola. There is also a small laundry room attached to the back of the garage with washer and dryer hookups and a sink. Or, you could use a stacked unit where there is space for it in the kitchen pantry, but some people prefer not to listen to the washer and dryer while in use; hence the separate laundry room out back. The added bonus to the delightful new listing in Land Park is the detached two-car garage. It can be a challenge to find Land Park homes with garages.

1800 Commercial Way, Sacramento, CA 95818 is open on Sunday, July 10th, from 1:00 to 4:00 PM. This new listing in Land Park is offered exclusively by Elizabeth Weintraub at Lyon Real Estate, and you can call 916.233.6759 to arrange a private showing. No showings are available today. Showings start after 6:30 PM tomorrow. $495K.

Our New Raised Garden Beds in Land Park

Land Park Yard

New raised garden beds and flagstone walkway in Land Park.

It was difficult to tear down the spa and replace it with raised garden beds in Land Park because I had been attached to the status quo. I’m like my husband in that way, you know, we like our stable life because it’s something we are used to, it’s comfortable, we can rely on it even when everything else around us in our businesses can be chaos, home is a sanctuary. We don’t want things to change.

Maybe we get it from the cats. Yeah, shut up already, that’s where it comes from. You know how it is when you live with cats. Bring in a new piece of furniture, like, say, a coffee table, and you can’t just plunk down that table anywhere you please and leave it without offering a formal introduction to the cats. Every delivery box has a cat’s name on it: Amazon. They never met an empty box they did not love but a piece of furniture, an intrusion, is another story.

Moved old spa and deck in Land Park

Gazebo with spa and deck in Land Park

Even though as a Sacramento Realtor I help clients make adjustments when their living environment no longer suits their needs because life changes, it is still a bit of a struggle to glance out my family room window at the yard and not see the spa and deck. Although, I will admit I’ll soon get over it because I will quickly adjust to the new yard with the raised garden beds in Land Park. I make adjustments faster as I get older.

I read an article in Vogue about Amy Schuler, which relates to this. She talked about Chris Rock saying how fast women get used to shit. Like his wife checking out a high-end hotel like The Ritz. Ooo, the floor-to-ceiling columns; oh my gosh, the beautiful marble bath. Next thing you know she’s on the phone: Cinnamon Toast. I relate to that. Let’s not talk about the oceanfront cottage at the Four Seasons and a request for 10 blueberries with plain non-fat Greek yogurt.

My husband and I each get a raised garden bed. You can see the photo of our raised garden beds in Land Park above. I think you can figure out which one is mine.

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