sacramento buyer’s agent
This post below, A Real Estate License Won’t Help You to Buy a Home was written in 2012 by my partner Elizabeth Weintraub and is still very relative today. Because the market is strong, every Tom, Dick and Harry wants to get a real estate license. Enjoy.
Some people in California think it’s a good idea to get a real estate license just in case they ever want to buy a home in Sacramento. Because if you have a real estate license, then you can collect a commission, which is reflected as a percentage amount of the sales price. All commissions are negotiable and generally paid by the listing broker to the selling broker, so while you might think this could amount to a lot of money, it’s generally not by the time it reaches the buyer’s agent pocket. Not in the overall scheme of things.
Are you a first-time home buyer hoping to find an amazing home in a gated community in Arden Manor at an affordable price? Look no further. Homes in the Villaggio gated complex do not come up for sale very often. All around this neighborhood, you see so much new construction. Developers are building $750K to $900K homes in Arden Manor. When the seller bought this home in 2005, it offered a gated community in the middle of an older, established neighborhood. Today, that community is revitalized with many remodeled homes and quite a number of upper-end luxury homes. This is an excellent opportunity from an investment or long-term hold point of view. You will love the price, too.
The first thing you should consider when buying a home in a gated community in Arden Manor is parking. You don’t have to be rocket scientist to figure out the garage is a one-car. However, look at that space in front of the front door. What is that? I’ll tell you what that is. It’s a carport. And then over on the left-side of the house is a bricked yard with space for two more cars. Yes, you can park a minimum of four cars at this home. More, when we figure out how to stack them on top of each other.
You can’t see the home in this photo because this is shot from the street (Jonas). The home is located all the way at the end on the right, nestled in the evergreens. It’s a very private location. Not only that, but it’s one of the largest lots in the subdivision. The last two homes on the right are set back from the street with a much larger area of street in front. Nobody has verified this, but the seller thinks the property line for each of the houses runs to the middle of the street. If that is true, that definitely makes her particular lot much bigger than the others at .0933, according to the Sacramento County Tax Assessor. That could be wrong, though. Although most of the other lots are .06.
Check out the entertainment space. This room is around the corner from the sheltered entrance. Beautiful oversized ceramic with variances add drama to the travertine around the fireplace. The owner of this home has impeccable taste, wouldn’t you agree? Look at those oversized Hershey’s Kisses on the floor in front of the fireplace. Perfect accessory, no?
If you haven’t guessed it by now, the first floor of this home is for entertaining. There is a half bath around the corner by the entrance, but the rest of the layout is kitchen and family room. Of course, the cabinets are a beautiful maple, and all of the black appliances stay. Over on the left is the area the former owners used as a dining space, but our seller prefers a table in the middle. What do you think? Middle like this? Or dining area in the corner?
Last year the seller painted to keep everything fresh. All of the rooms are the same color for consistency. You will find three bedrooms and two full baths upstairs. The seller uses one of the bedrooms as a TV room and it offers a balcony as well. This is a photo of the master bedroom at the back of the home. You will love the master bath, complete with a separate shower and a soaking tub.
Plenty of time in the day to relax outside. There are many areas around the perimeter of the home to curl up and read a book, due to its remote location. Much of the exterior was remodeled by the seller, including the pergola, patio surround and walkways. It’s a place you really need to see in person because it’s even better than the photos. Why not come to our open houses on Saturday and Sunday, both from 11 AM to 1 PM, September 29th and 30th? If you can’t wait, here is the
When I look back at my start in real estate in the 1970s, I would never have predicted that today I would lead one of the most successful Sacramento real estate teams in the state of California. In fact, back then I represented only buyers for the most part, and if I had a seller in my portfolio of clients, I matched that seller with a buyer in my portfolio. Dual agency? Who cared? My career began as a real estate consultant, and selling real estate was just a byproduct of an intensive counseling process.
Almost every client was an investor. I helped them to tap the equity in their homes to buy rental properties. Eventually I opened 3 real estate offices in Orange County as the managing broker / owner. I operated that way for 12 years before I decided I did not want to own a real estate company. But I still focused on buyers. Fast forward to my relocation to Sacramento in 2002, via Minneapolis. I volunteered for a year on the Building Unity in Oak Park committee, briefly worked as the marketing manager at the Sacramento SPCA, while eventually hanging my real estate license in 2003 at Lyon Real Estate.
My real estate career in Sacramento began slowly, too tediously. At one point, I asked the managing broker if perhaps I should join one of the Sacramento real estate teams. Her reaction was absolutely not! I can see why she responded that way today, but at the time I didn’t really understand how Sacramento real estate teams operated, so it was confusing to me. I just knew I could do so much more than I was doing. It was an unfulfilled yearning.
It took at least another 5 years of selling Sacramento real estate, working with both sellers and buyers, before I figured out that Sacramento real estate teams are the future of California real estate. My friend, JaCi Wallace, pointed me in that direction. I am grateful to her. Now, many Sacramento real estate teams are different. They don’t all follow the same protocol or rules. I set up my real estate team the way that I feel it benefits everybody on the team. We each pursue our own specialities. I dare say that we have redefined the way to sell Sacramento real estate.
Sacramento Listing Agent Speciality in Sacramento Real Estate Teams
For example, I work closely with sellers as a listing agent. With very few exceptions, I handle all of the listings for the team. Turns out I have a passionate calling as a top producer listing agent. Who knew? I love working with sellers exclusively. It’s easy to make sellers happy. I know what they want. They want maximum price / profit, minimum hassle and excellent communication. I can give them that. That is my focus. I love marketing homes, the creative aspects, and I excel at fine-tuning negotiation strategies. Being a listing agent hits all of my hot buttons. My 40+ years of experience obviously pays off for my sellers.
Sacramento Buyer’s Agent Speciality in Sacramento Real Estate Teams
On the other hand, my team members are free to work madly on their own passions, which is helping buyers purchase a home. We cover four counties. My team members find homes for my sellers who want to sell and move up. They spend countless hours scouring inventory, escorting my clients to view homes and treating them to white-glove service, just the way that I would. We truly complement each other. We probably do twice as much business as any one of us could accomplish alone. Clients always have an agent available to them. We cover each other’s backs, too. The Elizabeth Weintraub Team members are buyer specialists.
No longer do I have to worry: am I representing my sellers fairly? Because without dual representation, my focus is on my sellers. It’s a freedom for me and an absolute joy for them. Teams within a real estate brokerage are the upcoming thing in California. I’ve been managing my team for just about 7 years now. It’s the best of all worlds for everybody. When you only do one thing, you tend to do it really, really well. If you’d like to know more, call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759.
Are you thinking about buying a home using the listing agent? Sometimes buyers in Sacramento arrive at this silly thought process through desperation and not necessarily through dishonest intentions. Especially in our present market of low inventory in Sacramento. Stats from our trade association says buyers typically have to write two offers to buy a home, meaning they are successful 50% of the time on average, and I’m just thankful those odds do not constitute my professional experience. If a buyer loses out on a home, often the buyer blames her buyer’s agent.
Is it the buyer’s agent’s fault? Depends. Did the buyer’s agent suggest a strategy the buyer ignored? A strategy that would have resulted in the buyer purchasing the home? Then it’s the buyer’s fault for not trusting and listening to her agent, and let me add if you, as a buyer, do not trust nor listen to your agent, what in the hell are you doing working with that agent? Agents are a dime a dozen in Sacramento, and perhaps you should find an agent you do trust and respect. Without trust and respect you have no fiduciary relationship and, without fiduciary, you are doomed.
In these types of situations, sometimes buyers think about a buying a home using the listing agent because they think the listing agent will give them an edge. What kind of edge, you may ask? Information about the seller, mostly. Or they think the listing agent will compromise her ethics because we’re all just snakes in the grass anyway, and will do anything to get paid both sides of the commission. There are a few snakes in the grass in this profession, especially the hot bed of snakes in Orange County (JK), but I prefer to call them unsupervised. For the most part, unethical listing agents are few and far between. Plus, ethical listing agents make up the majority and won’t share personal information about the seller anyway.
I read a series of comments on a public website, generated by a prospective buyer about buying a home using the listing agent. That buyer’s take was agents who say it’s not a good idea to use the listing agent are liars. Further, the elephant in the room is that buyer also believes a listing agent will screw over her seller in order to accommodate the buyer’s offer, which is against the law. That’s a messed-up and confused buyer. Yet it goes to show what some buyers erroneously believe. One bad apple does not rot the entire tree.
Much as I may rally on about why buying a home using the listing agent is sort of a stupid and pointless idea, I have yet another twist that recently came to my attention through an unsolicited email. A buyer wrote to ask about a dual agency situation. Apparently the buyer had decided that buying a home using the listing agent would give him an advantage. This was a fixer upper the buyer intended to later flip. The listing agent made a future listing a contingency of the purchase, of all things.
Yes, you read that correctly. Allegedly, the listing agent, as a condition of dual agency, forced the buyer sign a side addendum promising to pay a certain percentage of commission and promising to list the home through that agent when the buyer was later ready to sell. Seems to be in direct violation of the Realtor Code of Ethics, which states the agent must put the interests of the parties above her own. But perhaps that agent was not a Realtor. Not every agent is a Realtor and there are differences between real estate agents and Realtors. Moreover, it most likely violates California real estate law, on top of a possible breach of fiduciary with the seller.
My advice to buyers in Sacramento is don’t look at hiring the listing agent. A competent buyer’s agent will extract MORE information about the seller from the listing agent than you EVER will anyway. Great agents have skills you don’t. There is no advantage. And I say that as a top listing agent in Sacramento who consistently closes a phenomenal number of sales. Find the very best buyer’s agent, an agent with a long track record of providing superior negotiation skills, and you’ll be light year’s ahead of yourself. If you need a sharp Sacramento buyer’s agent, I can suggest a few. Call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759.
If you’re working with a bad mortgage lender, you probably won’t realize it until your file is submitted to underwriting and rejected. Because bad mortgage lenders, bless their little inexperienced souls, don’t generally mean to screw up your loan; you know, that’s not their intent. They should know the terms for which your loan will get rejected, but often they don’t. And to be even more objective, sometimes institutional lender guidelines allow for exceptions that mortgage brokers might not.
Let’s take Wells Fargo for example, just because that has been my most recent experience. As a top producer listing agent in Sacramento, I don’t work with Wells Fargo loan reps very often because most homebuyers in Sacramento choose to obtain their loan through a mortgage broker, and not a big box lender. They don’t like the impersonal service and mistakes they often obtain from big box lenders. Lenders all charge about the same rate. While you’ll always get those buyers who would throw their grandmother from the train to save 1/8% in rate while forgetting what happens when they bend over to grab the bar of soap, all the available lending money is pretty much the same big ol’ bag of money.
Still, I called this bad mortgage lender in San Jose when the first 3 weeks went by and my Sacramento seller’s escrow showed zero signs of closing. Let’s call that loan rep Dick, short for you know what. Dick explained the buyer could not qualify for a conventional loan because he had a short sale on his credit report from 3 years prior. The underwriter threw out the file. When I deal with these situations with our own buyers, we walk the file through underwriting for underwriting approval prior to even looking at homes, because conventional lenders are not required to make loans to people who had a short sale, and . . . the waiting period is 4 to 5 years, not three years.
In my opinion, this loan should never have been submitted for conventional financing due to the short elapsed period of that previous short sale.
But Wells Fargo did not disclose the short sale dilemma to us and, in fact, could not close this loan. I asked Dick why he tried to close a loan that did not fit guidelines in the first place. Because they make exceptions, he said. How many times have you gotten an exception? I pushed. A bunch of times. How many times, Dick? Would you say 10 times? Have you received exceptions 10 times? Well, yes. I don’t believe it. I’d say not only is he a bad mortgage lender, but he’s a liar, too.
The second time around, Dick at Wells Fargo suggested an FHA loan. FHA short sale guidelines are 3 years. However, unknown to us, the buyer was not intending upon occupying this property, even though the purchase contract stated he was an owner occupant. And let’s not even get into the fact his agent vanished for a while and I had to step in to help out the buyer. Of course, this FHA loan was not approved by Wells Fargo. The buyer lives and works in San Jose, not Sacramento, another fact undisclosed. You have to live in the home to get an FHA loan.
The only way I know that Wells Fargo rejected the loan is because the buyer received a rejection in the mail and contacted me when he couldn’t reach his agent. Dick over at Wells Fargo in San Jose could not be bothered to pick up the phone, call or send a text message. I contacted him using all 3 methods for four days straight. Usually, leaving voice mail messages and continuing to badger a bad mortgage lender will eventually get a response, but this time, nothing. No response. No phone call. Nada. The last time Dick failed to respond to me, the listing agent, or the buyer, he eventually would after I kept up the inquiries. This time, no. Communication should not be this difficult with these guys.
The buyer’s agent asked to extend while the buyer pursued a loan for investors. Nope, not doing it now. The seller will undoubtedly demand that you can cancel and submit a new purchase contract for the seller to consider, and the buyer will need to get approved through my recommended Sacramento mortgage lender. Unfortunately or fortunately — depending on how you look at it — my recommended mortgage lender could not approve the buyer because each desktop underwriting file, regardless of loan type, reflected a red flag. The buyer could not do an investor loan because then he would not have enough money to bridge the gap between appraisal and sales price.
I don’t know why bad mortgage lenders don’t see the same red flags. Maybe they look green to them, or maybe the mortgage guys aren’t wearing their glasses? Maybe they have canine eyes, and aliens swooped down at night to switch out their eyeballs? Dogs can’t distinguish colors between red and green. That’s the best explanation I have.
However, I did learn something new. There’s always a silver lining when you learn something new. Freddie Mac can now underwrite a file with a short sale after two years, providing the credit file is strong. If you’ve had a short sale on your record and want to buy a home in Sacramento, call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759, Lyon Real Estate. We close our escrows for our own buyers who’ve had a short sale because we don’t refer you to bad mortgage lenders.