luxury homes in Sacramento

Perfecting the Art of Selling Luxury Homes in Sacramento

luxury homes sacramentoMethods used to sell luxury homes in Sacramento have changed over the past few decades rather dramatically, but the “people aspect” of these transactions remains the same. Agents who aspire to sell luxury listings realize this soon enough. Although we treat all of our clients with compassion and respect, selling a luxury home requires a bit more finesse, shall we say, and the attention to detail is a bit more meticulous.

For starters, not all, but many home sellers of luxury homes prefer to not discuss showings with a buyer’s agent. Their listing agent might handle those types of phone calls and play the role of the intermediary, a buffer between the seller and other agents. Some sellers don’t want their home advertised in MLS, although I personally believe that is a huge mistake because it truly limits the number of potential buyers. Competition brings higher prices. But sometimes privacy concerns win over profit. Not to mention, not only do many gated communities of luxury homes prohibit For Sale signs, sellers don’t want a sign, either.

There is also the marketing, though. Which is handled on a somewhat higher scale. Agents tend to spend more money on marketing for luxury homes because it is possible the home might not immediately sell. It could be reaching a limited market. For example, I read the other day that there are something like 211,000 people in the United States with a net worth exceeding $30 million. That’s actually not very many people.

Although online exposure is vast and reaches cross the International Dateline. Even royalty in Dubai look at homes online. You can’t fool me, I’ve seen iPads in their hands. You think they are reading email, but they’re really drooling over the cliff-to-shoreline waterfall in some celebrity’s backyard in Malibu.

Words play such an important role, as they do in any listing, yet quality photography can supersede. Pictures say a 1,000 words is true. We’ve all seen the blackened photos in MLS and wondered what was going on. I’ll tell you what was going on. The sellers hired their nephew’s youngest son who hit the sheets at 4 AM and hasn’t quite recovered from his night-clubbing, instead of an experienced luxury homes Realtor in Sacramento. Click on this link if you would like to read more about selling luxury homes.

Selling Million Dollar Homes in Sacramento vs Entry Level Homes

selling million dollar homes in sacramento

Selling million dollar homes in Sacramento is easier for the right Realtor.

Selling million dollar homes in Sacramento is slightly different than entry-level homes but not in the way that most people would think. Sure, there are luxury home Realtors in Sacramento who live in gated communities and specialize in million-dollar homes in Sacramento, but many of those agents don’t sell very many homes. Maybe 3 or 4 homes a year. If they double-end the transactions, they can earn as much as agents who sell 50 or more homes in the median-priced neighborhoods. Not bad for a handful of sales a year. But does it mean they have gained a lot of experience selling million dollar homes in Sacramento? Probably not.

Not every luxury sales agent works 24 / 7 or responds immediately to a phone call. Don’t believe me? Call a couple and see if they answer their cellphone.

The other type of Sacramento Realtor who sells million dollar homes in Sacramento is the agent who takes on all clients from all walks of life. She sees the sides of many different personalities. What she has learned over the years of selling median-priced or entry-level homes is applicable to luxury home sales. Just as her knowledge of selling Sacramento luxury homes is applicable to the first-time home buyer market. Slightly different strategies, but it’s all selling real estate and knowing how to work with a wide variety of people.

I’ll share what I have learned in a nutshell over the past 40-some years in real estate. Everybody puts their pants on one leg at a time. Real estate clients expect excellent communication, utmost respect and specific performance. Does not matter if they own a million-dollar home or a $50,000 condo. The service they receive from this Sacramento Realtor is identical. A 3% difference on a million sales price equates to $30,000. A 3% difference on $100K is $3,000. Those sums affect each individual seller in a similar manner. It’s 3% of the sales price if a buyer writes a lower-than-list-price offer.

I also do not count my chickens before they hatch. Which means I do not leap into panic mode if a seller might cause a transaction to cancel by not agreeing to a buyer’s request for repairs, for example. That’s the seller’s choice to make. Not mine. I will sell that home again to another buyer who won’t try to nitpick after the home inspection. Makes little difference to me if the seller wants to play hardball. I lay out the consequences and choices and wait for the seller to make the decision. It’s not our fault if the buyer won’t listen to her buyer’s agent or if the buyer’s agent is incapable of educating the buyer.

I am also working on a very low-income sale at the moment. The sellers do not own a computer, so I drive over to their home whenever documents need to be signed. When faced with a recent decision, the seller smiled at me, “Oh honey, you choose.” My response was: why not let me explain your options and how about you make the decision? I’ll share my opinions, but it’s their financial transaction. I am an adviser. I offer solutions and alternatives and information. I am patient. I’ll wait.

It’s impossible to typecast Elizabeth Weintraub as a Realtor and say I’m that kind or this kind. I’m a level-headed — some might say maverick — real estate broker who is just as comfortable wearing flip-flops as, say, Dries Van Noten. Have you seen those pearl heeled boots? If you want to hire a Top Producer Realtor for selling million-dollar homes in Sacramento, I’ve got the experience and strategies to maximize profit. Just the same as if you need to sell a $50,000 tear-down in Oak Park. No attitudes. No drama. No discrimination. Call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759.

Highest Sales Price $1,085,000 Closes in Riverlake Sacramento


riverlake waterfront home

Pool at 774 Still Breeze in Riverlake Community in the Sacramento Pocket

There are many ways to sell a luxury home in Riverlake, Sacramento, that involve overcoming objections to a low appraisal, which is why I employ different strategies for my escrows depending on the circumstances at hand. It’s a custom-designed strategy, I guess you could say. I won’t sugarcoat the process and say it’s completely stress-free for sellers, but like childbirth, I think they focus more on the end result after it’s over.

I recently closed two waterfront homes in Riverlake, almost directly across the water from each other. The first home was in Cobble Shores and smaller than the second home in Stillwater. The views were different as well as the home in Cobble Shores enjoyed a north facing view of the water and the back yard of the home in Stillwater faced south. Personally, I prefer the south-facing view.

I spent a lot of time working on the sales price before I met with either of the sellers. Most sellers already have an idea of how much they want for their home, but they also appreciate hearing my opinion of value and how I arrived at that number. I’m generally very close to market value, closer than they are. I take into consideration market movement, buyer desires, the emotional portion, and then temper it with reality of the closed comparable sales. Having a good story ready for the appraiser is always important.

Sure enough, the home in Cobble Shores at Riverlake sold at list price of $895,000 within 6 days. That’s a good length of time to be on the market. Enough time to let everybody know the home is for sale and to give all buyers a chance to bid. The home in Stillwater at Riverlake was more expensive, more than $1 million, and we had a decent amount of showings, even without a lockbox. It was an impressive home that captured the waterfront lifestyle in just about every room.

The sellers interviewed a fair number of agents to list their home and settled on Elizabeth Weintraub. I felt a kinship with them, and maybe that’s what pushed them to list with me but it could also be my analytical mind. I constantly think about my listings and don’t run on autopilot; and I focus on selling, no matter what it takes. I scrutinize every single detail. I’m fanatical that way.

Sure enough, we sold the home in Stillwater at Riverlake Sacramento, after 9 days of showings and, sure enough, as I predicted, we received a low appraisal. I sensed that the appraiser used a particular pending sale’s square footage, applied the number to the square footage of my listing and came up with a value that did not really take into consideration its top-of-the-line upgrades. The appraiser also used homes 15 miles away on the Garden Highway. I suggested the sellers hire their own appraiser, because even though the buyer’s lender would not accept the appraisal, it would prove a point.

The new appraiser just happened to be the appraiser who originally appraised those homes on the Garden Highway, so she immediately eliminated them from the appraisal because they did not apply. She came up with an estimate of value much higher than the original appraiser, using homes closer in proximity and employing the principle of substitution. After much negotiation, we settled on a higher price with the buyer bridging the gap in cash. The difference in cash paid for my full-service commission and then some. It sold at $1,085,000, the highest price we have seen in Riverlake.

If you are looking for a Sacramento Realtor who is willing to do what it takes to sell your home, give Elizabeth Weintraub a ring. Selling your home is not just a job to me; it’s a passion, and I do it well. 916.233.6759.

Crazy Escrows in Sacramento Mean We Stay to the End

sacramento short sale are not always easy closings

Crazy escrows are not uncommon in Sacramento short sales.

Of all the crazy things that could fan the flames in an escrow, this particular case I’m about to discuss was exceptional, but then many Sacramento short sales are unique. This was also a small transaction as compared to selling luxury homes in Sacramento or in Davis — but as a Sacramento Realtor, I really don’t look at the sales price and tally my potential commission or I’d never list and sell half of the properties that I do. Or, as my husband likes to point out, still much more than his paycheck.

The property itself was somewhat unusual in that deferred maintenance and dry rot was evident, among some nice upgrades. That makes it hard to appraise because some BPO agents struggle with repair issues. It’s easy when all the homes within a half mile are similar to each other like those homes in Elk Grove or Natomas, it’s quite another thing when the neighborhood is distressed and the homes are not so new.

We received a few offers during the first 2 1/2 months this home was for sale, but none at the price we needed to gain an approval from the bank. Agents seem to think we should be grateful for their buyer’s lowball offers and send them to the bank on the off chance they might get accepted, and I guess they seem to forget that we don’t work for their buyers. We work for the seller, and if we’re gonna work, by golly, we’d also like to get paid for it, however small that paycheck might be. We’re not interested in hearing why the buyers feel the home is worth less, in many cases we know what the bank expects. Meet it or you don’t go into escrow. Finally, a buyer who would occupy the home wrote an acceptable offer.

Wells Fargo sent us an approval within 8 weeks, which is a little bit longer for Wells Fargo than normal, but it was also a HAFA short sale. We still had the second lender to contend with, which wasn’t budging from its high demand and, on top of everything else and typically par for the course, vandals broke in to steal appliances and wreak havoc. The sellers handled much of the repair though their insurance company, thank goodness. Then we went through 4 or 5 rounds of proposed approvals from USAA until we were down to the last 400 bucks.

I pleaded, cried and practically wept out loud to the negotiator about the sellers’ particular medical condition. Think about the worst health thing that could possibly happen to a human being, apart from maybe cancer, and that’s what the seller was going through. Then February 1st rolled around and the 2015 HAFA short sale guidelines changed, so I resubmitted the package to Wells Fargo and requested a revised approval letter to include the $10,000 relocation incentive to the seller and to pay the second $12,000. It took Wells Fargo another month to release the revised approval letter, which was finally, finally followed by the approval from USAA.

The appraiser then requested a pest report and a pest completion. Fortunately, the buyers agents, super team that they were, stepped in to help the buyer handle it. We were all ready to fund and close when the appraiser went back to confirm the pest work was completed, and she decided, on a whim, to make the crazy escrow even crazier. She noted that the floors were buckling and presented a trip hazard. Bam, the buyer’s agent was over at the home on his knees with a belt sander, fuming and mentally cursing that appraiser, I’m sure. Who knew an appraiser was also a home inspector? There’s a special place in hell for those kinds of people. If the appraiser had a problem with the floors, why didn’t she note it in the first place instead of waiting for the funding and preventing a timely closing?

Yet, close we did. From start to finish on this short sale, over 8 long months, we dealt with hostility from other agents, rejections from the lender, vandalism, inept appraisers, repair requests for the buyer, and yet in the end we prevailed. I don’t give up. As the seller mentioned yesterday when I called to congratulate, that couple would hate to think what could have happened in some other agents’ hands.

The thing is this crazy escrow was gratifying in many ways to me. A first-time homebuyer got a great deal on her first home, and the sellers received their release of liability, plus $10,000 to help ease the transition into a new life elsewhere.

Coming Soon Waterfront Home in Riverlake, Sacramento


25 Water last dock

Aerial view of 774 Still Breeze Way, Sacramento, CA 95831

Sitting quietly, specifically angled to catch the rays of morning light as the sun showers Riverlake in gold across the water, is a magnificent custom home in the exclusive gated-community of Stillwater at Riverlake. A home of this caliber comes along maybe once in a lifetime. The location is premier water frontage, next to a private beach with its own boat dock and forever panoramic views of the water.

Dining patio at 774 Still Breeze Way

Dining patio at 774 Still Breeze Way

When I first entered this home, it gave me the same feeling I experienced when I first laid eyes on the Grand Canal after leaving the Santa Lucia train station; unprepared for the historical beauty that gloriously unfolded below my feet. That’s not to say I did not enjoy the tamukeyamas, palms and assorted Japanese maples adorning the front yard, nor that I did not appreciate the stamped concrete steps set on the diagonal with the whimsical carriage man statue at the top, accentuated by the high walls of glass around the home; still, the water view is overpowering and dominant.

Pool at 774 Still Breeze Way

Pool at 774 Still Breeze Way

Apart from the 6 bedrooms, 5 baths and more than 4,000 square feet of refined luxury, this waterfront home in Riverlake also boasts a pool every bit delightful as its marvelous interior. Ample yard space near the pool provides access to the dock and your paddleboat, plus a beautiful patio perfect for entertaining. An office features a gleaming hardwood floor with mahogany inlays and an old world map from before Russia split up on the ceiling. Much of the first floor is covered in blushing pink Mexican pavers, which lends an Old World connection to the modern updates such as the unique Brazilian granite gracing the kitchen counters and island or the rare South African wood used in the family room. An unexpected bonus is the separate guest quarters with its own set of stairs, kitchen, work-out room and master suite.

Master suite balcony 774 Still Breeze Way

Master suite balcony 774 Still Breeze Way

Of course the kitchen features everything your discriminating taste demands such as a wine refrigerator, a built-in Subzero, a built-in Miele coffeemaker / expresso, Wolf gas range, and quite possibly the quietest dishwasher this side of Germany. The master suite is the piece de la resistance, with her to-die-for closet, which came into life as a bedroom and today features walls of built-in storage for your designer shoes and bags, plus rows of rods, thoughtfully laid out under a large chandelier. Touch the mirror in the bath and the TV appears, just like you might find at The Four Seasons. You can also relax on the romanic master suite balcony at the end of the day, if you prefer an elevated view from this waterfront home in Riverlake.

For a private showing beginning on Friday, April 24th, 2015, you may call the listing agent, Elizabeth Weintraub, at 916.233.6759.

774 Still Breeze Way, Sacramento, CA 95831 is exclusively offered by Lyon Real Estate at $1,195,000, and will be on the market on April 24th.

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