land park homes
Classic Land Park Tudor homes are unlike any other — in my book, anyway. The charm and original touches take you back in time. Today, I was working in Land Park on a new listing by the Tower Theater. Carol Crestelo, one of our exclusive buyers’ agents, was accompanying me as we had a lot of work in the area.
While driving along the tree-lined streets, we noticed an open house sign. It was an old friend from a previous brokerage, holding open a fabulous classic Land Park Tudor home. We stopped to say hello of course, after all, we are Realtors, we love looking at homes too, lol. This property did not disappoint; it was amazing. The front yard was massive, with a huge redwood tree and mature landscape. The pitched roof in the front was impressive.
A new listing in Upper Land Park presents an exciting opportunity to buy into a neighborhood which has no commercial properties, unlike other parts of Land Park. This particular home is tucked away off of Santa Buena, near the freeway, in an area with little through traffic. Our back story takes us to the original construction of this home in 1949. The builder who constructed this home used the old method of combining clay mud with straw to form adobe bricks and drying the bricks in the sun.
We can easily endure weeks of 100-plus temperatures during our hot Sacramento summers. And we certainly enjoy an abundance of clay soil in Upper Land Park. Perfect combination, and what insulation properties adobe offers. You cannot hear a sound when inside that home.
The daughter of the builder bought the home after completion and moved in. She constructed the Buddha waterfall and gazebo in the back and planted much of the greenery and roses that still flourish today. Gardens? Amazingly beautiful. You will also find several covered patios for entertaining, in addition to an art studio. As the story goes, the daughter eventually ended up moving out of town, so she sold the house.
After moving away, she missed Sacramento and, in particular, this home. So she moved back and bought it from the owner. If you are in love with a home to such an extent that you don’t want to live anywhere else in town, that showcases the allure. Eventually, though, our present day seller bought the home.
Our seller installed a guest quarter with a permit by remodeling the garage. It features a soundproof bedroom, which could also be used as a band studio or yoga studio. Our seller also installed a second bath. What started out as a 2 bedroom, 1 bath is now a 2 to 3 bedroom and 2 bath home. The guest quarters are located on the other side of the kitchen for privacy.
An interesting thing the seller told me is when she first saw this new listing in Upper Land Park and entered, she felt captivated by the back yard and made a beeline for it. Walked right past the two bedrooms with the beautiful hardwood floors. Right past the updated bath with a shower over the tub, and a window. No nod toward the kitchen. Directly to the back yard. Maybe you will do the same thing? The yard is definitely captivating.
Why not come to our open house on Sunday and discover the magic of this new listing in Upper Land Park for yourself? March 11th, from 2:00 to 4:00 PM, hosted by the incredible Barbara Dow from the Elizabeth Weintraub Team.
709 7th Avenue, Sacramento, CA 95818 is offered exclusively by Elizabeth Weintraub and Lyon Real Estate at $375K. Check out the virtual tour, too! If you have questions, please call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759.
I should mention that some sellers find it very unusual to sell a home without ever meeting the listing agent, but it’s pretty common place for me nowadays to handle real estate transactions for individuals I have never met. We talk by phone, they read my articles on About.com and peruse my Sacramento real estate website, and we mostly communicate through email or texting, which works brilliantly. We don’t need no stinkin’ handshaking and eyeball bounces.
When the seller first called to discuss possibly selling a home in Land Park, I drove by the home, which was only a few blocks from my own home in Land Park. Even though I know the neighborhood like the back of my own hand, I don’t know every house on every street, and homes in Land Park are unique. They are not like homes in Elk Grove or Natomas because they differ wildly from each other. That’s why the Zillow estimates are often way off base. Zillow estimated the value of this home at about 12% less than it sold. I came up with a sales price based on what I know about the neighborhood, then confirmed my instincts through comparable sales and a drive by.
After I viewed the home and realized there were a few drawbacks, I had considered revising my initial estimate. But given the way the market is moving at the moment — and it is a strong seller’s market in Sacramento — I decided against suggesting a revision on price, and shared those thoughts with the seller. Together, we chose a sales price positioned in just the right sweet spot against the competition and sure enough, we received multiple offers. We shrewdly negotiated and managed to drive that price about 3% higher. I also talked with the appraiser to ensure the appraised value would match the sales price.
Doing what is best for my clients always tends to work out well in the end, and that’s my focus. Some people might scoff and say that attitude is a bit OCD, but it works for me so there’s no reason to change it. We had no request for repairs, nothing. No hiccups. Of course, working with an excellent buyer’s agent on the other side of the transaction helps tremendously, too. Buyers who choose the right buyer’s agent and sellers who choose the right listing agent tend to close escrow faster, smoother and without drama.
Can you imagine a lawyer representing two different clients who were competing with each other? I work with a lot of lawyers. I’m not sure why lawyers tend to gravitate toward me but I like to imagine we speak a similar language; we probably approach the same subject matters in an analytical way. They know I will be direct. I suspect they appreciate that directness as not every person does.
There are some Sacramento real estate agents who won’t work with lawyers. They flat out refuse. They call lawyers “deal killers,” and maybe they’re worried a lawyer will sue them; I don’t know. The way I see it, I’m least likely to get sued by a lawyer, knock on wood. And I really love the fact I get to tell them that I can’t give legal advice. Especially when they ask me for legal advice. But I also realize that lawyers specialize in certain types of law and not every lawyer knows much about real estate, much less short sales. But they do understand strategy. I respect lawyers, and I like them. I wish all my clients were lawyers. That would be a happy day for me.
I recall a few years ago I was working with several lawyers to buy homes in Land Park. This was back when law firms were flourishing and hiring new lawyers, bringing new talent to Sacramento. As luck would have it, both of these lawyers decided they might be interested in buying the same home. Let’s just say I was not about to whip out the DA form. Instead, I explained the problem to both of them individually.
I suggested one of them could choose to work with me and the other could choose to work with a different buyer’s agent. However, as I reminded them, the lawyer who drew the short end of the stick would be competing against me in negotiations. Which Land Park agent did they want to represent them? This Land Park agent or my associate? Put that way, one of the lawyers decided to look at a different home and keep me as their agent. The other lawyer bought the home through me.
Not every agent employs this approach. In fact, not every agent who represents more than one buyer for the same property even uses the DA form. I received this week two different offers on the same listing from an agent, and no DA form with either offer. The second offer was much better than the first offer. Coincidinky? We just don’t know.
True story — some years ago, my neighbor decided to buy a home in Land Park. Because I am a Land Park agent who lives in Land Park, she asked me to show her homes in Land Park. We worked together for several months. She said her reason for selecting me was due to the fact that Lyon Real Estate is the market leader in Land Park. She figured our buyers hear about new listings first, they get an edge, and they do. Then, all of a sudden, her enthusiasm vanished. She said she no longer wanted to buy a new home. I guess she figured I would never find out what she did, but there are no secrets in real estate. Certainly not in Land Park real estate.
Despite the fact that she had signed a buyer’s broker agreement with me, she went directly to the listing agent at a competing brokerage and bought a home. When I asked her why, she became very sheepish and apologetic. She said she asked that Land Park agent to represent her because she believed if she did not, she would not have been the lucky buyer to buy the home. There were multiple offers at that time. She truly felt that she had to make sure the listing agent would be paid both the listing commission and the selling commission in order for her to have a shot at home ownership. In other words, she wanted an agent who would throw her grandmother under the bus. She evidently found one of those.
There are Land Park agents in Sacramento and elsewhere who will give priority to their own buyers with their own listings, I’m sorry to say. That kind of practice is unethical, but they do it anyway. Who’s to prove it? That’s the nasty underbelly side of real estate. Everybody suspects it exists but nobody talks about it.
The implication when home buyers want to buy only from a listing agent is that the listing agent will do whatever it takes to put the deal together. It’s saying we agents are motivated solely by greed. It’s saying maybe we will push the seller and persuade the seller to take a buyer’s lowball offer because we’ll get paid more money for a lowball offer than we would to suggest the seller take a higher offer from a buyer represented by a different agent. I know very few agents like that. But buyers seem to think these kinds of agents are a dime a dozen. A few bad apples give all of us a bad name.
This particular buyer called me again many years later. She noted that I am a prominent listing agent now, having worked my way up the ranks. I am a top producer. I list more than a 100 homes a year. She asked me to work with her. She is still working with a Land Park agent but asked for first shot at my listings, too. Now, she wants to buy investments.
I don’t throw my sellers under the bus. I don’t play favorites. I don’t give priority to anybody but to the seller whom I directly represent. That investor is barking up the wrong tree. If I personally represent a home buyer, my agency and duty is to that buyer. If I personally represent a home seller, my agency and duty is to that seller. I don’t want to mix the two through direct dual representation. It makes people uncomfortable, and it makes me uncomfortable. That’s not to say if a Team Member represents a buyer it won’t show up as dual agency at closing, but I prefer a little more arm’s length.
I never want to feel conflicted about fiduciary. Without saying, ethics is important. That’s one of the secrets to my longevity in real estate and why I’ve lasted more than 35 years in this business.