sacramento listing agent

A Preemptive Strategy for Sacramento Real Estate

There are days in this business when I wonder to myself how any first-time home buyer ever gets out of underwriting unscathed. Buying a home in Sacramento is not as easy as those who aren’t in the market for a home believe. It’s becoming more complicated all of the time. Juggling all those balls in the air.

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t do mortgages, I am not in the mortgage business, and I don’t know much about the mortgage business because that is not my specialty. I’m also very wary of agents who try to do both jobs and generally end up failing at one or the other or both.

I know enough to realize one does not send to the lender a list of things wrong with the house, for example. We don’t send unsolicited inspection reports to the mortgage lender. We hope that our borrower has not run into any close encounters of the third kind: short sales or foreclosures in the past. We hope our borrower can verify income. We hope that our borrower did not decide yesterday to buy a new car and throw debt ratios to the wind. We hope for a lot of things that we can’t talk to the borrower about and simply hope that the buyer’s agent or lender will do that for us.

As a Sacramento listing agent, I don’t engage with borrowers. But when they can’t perform or escrows are delayed, I’m the woman with the big red bullseye on her forehead. That’s commonplace; it comes with the job.

Of course, one of the ways that listing agents can help to ensure a transaction will close is to talk with the mortgage lender upfront and voice concerns. But it still doesn’t guarantee that the borrower can get the loan. When I’m looking through a purchase contract, I’m on the hunt for red flags — things that could mess up the loan — and I try to get them removed prior to sending the contract to the mortgage lender. I try to imagine what can delay the escrow from closing and handle it.

I was a little astonished yesterday when the title company said a seller did not want to sign a grant deed prior to docs. The seller lives out of town. We need same-day turnaround to close on time. So, if I’m not getting it from one end of the transaction, it comes from the other. Doesn’t stop me from trying to employ a preemptive strategy for Sacramento real estate. That’s one of the secrets to my success. Figure out what could go wrong and try to prevent it from happening.

Call Elizabeth Weintraub, Broker #00697006, at 916.233.6759.

A Sacramento Listing Agent Tackles First What Is Wrong With My Listing

When I accept a listing in the Sacramento area — and I sell homes all over the place in Sacramento as far out as Galt, to Yolo County: West Sacramento, Woodland and Davis, including Roseville and Lincoln in Placer County — the very first thought that enters the mind of this Sacramento listing agent is almost always: What is wrong with this listing? What needs to be addressed? In case you’re wondering, my mind works the same way when we receive a purchase offer, and unfortunately there is almost always something wrong with purchase offers as well.

The reason I want to examine the listing so closely is because a buyer will scrutinize the home for sale too. I prefer to handle any objections a buyer may have before they pop up because I know how buyers are. One small drawback, one little defect, one objection, and they tend to latch on to the next house in their buyer’s agent tour. They feel no loyalty whatsoever to the house they’re standing in and looking at. It’s just a house and there is another right around the corner. They aren’t desperately trying to find a way to make the home fit their needs as some sellers believe; au contraire sugar bear, their wants and needs need to fit that particular home.

This is the thing that sellers often do not realize. It’s hard for them to put themselves into the buyer’s shoes, not to mention, let me tell you that not all Jimmy Choo shoes are comfortable, regardless of the price tag. Sellers will say things like, the buyer can always change this, that or the other thing. And no, the buyer won’t. Sellers think buyers will overlook an item because the seller has lived with it for so long and the seller has been able to ignore it, and they absolutely cannot believe it is sticking out like a big sore thumb screaming at buyers to run away.

All agents have different ideas about what these sorts of problems are, and some of the agents are right about them and some are completely wrong. How is a seller to know whom to believe and which agent is off his rocker? Common sense and gut instincts, I guess. Track records speak volumes.

I have more than 40 years of experience in this business, and those years have yielded extraordinary results, a wealth of information. When I am hired as a listing agent, I share all of my suggestions with my clients. Sellers who are shopping for an agent might call in 3 or 5 different agents to look at their home and try to pick everybody’s brain, but it doesn’t really work that way, and agents can tell when sellers are looking for free advice. The agents who provide free advice tend to stay unemployed as sellers pick, pick, pick and then choose the DNA agent.

Any fool can tell a seller her home is beautiful but the true goal is to efficiently tackle the delicate problems with diplomacy. All homes pretty much possess one problem or another. The talented Sacramento listing agent will find a way to either correct that condition or to deflect attention elsewhere.

The Qualities of a Good Sacramento Listing Agent

Hanging Up To Take Another Phone Call

To be fair, I don’t really need no stinkin’ analysis report to tell me which qualities count higher than others to quantify a good Sacramento listing agent, but my curiosity sometimes wins out. I read a report this morning about data testing designed to determine what kind of characteristics make a person a good listing agent versus those of a good buyer’s agent. The two don’t always go hand-in-hand and complement each other, even though the bulk of real estate agents in Sacramento do both jobs and probably could not survive in this business by specializing in only one job.

I followed the links in that report until I ended up on Tony Robbin’s website to take a free DiSC test. Yeah, I could spare 15 minutes, I decided. Although I already could accurately predict the outcome. And I wasn’t really disappointed, either, when the test results matched pretty closely to my own idea of where I would score.

First, let me say that I had met Tony Robbins “back in the day.” He had attended one of my earlier ex-husband’s seminars in Orange County during the late 1970s. Yes, several of my ex-husbands were motivational speakers, for lack of calling them criminals, which probably answers why they were not in my life for very long. He had a certain charm, a charisma, that would carry him far, I had concluded back then, and I was right. It’s interesting for me to observe where this business has taken him.

The DiSC Test gives you instant results, in case you’re thinking about trying it. I scored very high on the D and I and slightly above average on the C. Those are all qualities, says a leading recruiter at another brokerage, that make a person an excellent candidate to excel in the field as a strong listing agent. D = Dominance, I = Influential, S = Stabilizing, C = Conscientious. My scores say I am 99% decisive. I take this to mean I objectively weigh decisions and can easily select an outcome. High on the influential means I interact well with others, am persuasive and inspiring. For stabilizing, I am consistent yet spontaneous. A moderate C carries the description of analytical, balanced, independent and to an extent, an envelope pusher.

All of which mean I am very well suited for my occupation. But see, I already knew that. I love my job. It has taken me years to figure out that I make a fabulous Sacramento listing agent. That’s where my strengths lie. And I guess it beats being a geologist, which was my job occupation suggestion one year obtained from the computers in the Education Building at the Minnesota State Fair. That was only after I changed one of my answers and put back in the fact that OK, yes, sigh, I would be willing to work with other people. Before that inclusion, it stated there were no jobs for which I was suited.

At least I fit the profile for a highly successful Sacramento listing agent, so it’s a good thing that’s my job.

How Do Home Sellers Get The Money at Closing?


how do home sellers get the money at closing?A client asked yesterday how do home sellers get the money at closing? This couple often prefaces their questions with an apology for not knowing protocol for selling a home. They tend to over-explain about why they ask certain questions, despite my assurances that there are no dumb questions. Because I believe that statement. There are no dumb questions in real estate.

Part of my services to sellers is to be available to answer questions. Regardless of many questions or even how often. If a client has a question, I will answer it. I do know most of the answers. After 40+ years in this business I should, right? Also, I would never think less of a client if they asked a question. 

As for how do home sellers get the money at closing, the answer is basically how do you want to get it? When the sellers asked me where does the money go at closing, I told them it all goes to me. Yup, they put it in my money market account. There was silence on the phone for a minute and then I realized they did not get my joke. Uh, oh. My bad.

No, the money doesn’t go to me. How do home sellers get the money? In this case, they will give the routing number and account number of their bank account to escrow. These sellers do not have a checking account, only a savings account, and no deposit slips.

It’s OK, I assured them. They do not need a deposit slip. Just write down the bank account number and routing number, and the mobile signer will send it to escrow for disbursement. At closing, escrow will wire the money to their bank. Of course, you can always do things the old fashioned way and go to escrow to pick up the check. Or have escrow mail the check to you. But most people wire funds today.

Call Elizabeth Weintraub, Sacramento Broker, #00697006 with JaCi Wallace at RE/MAX #00773532, at 916.233.6759.


Elizabeth Weintraub

Should We Be Afraid of iBuyers like Zillow?

Should we be afraid of iBuyers like Zillow

Should we be afraid of iBuyers like Zillow? Have you have heard the crazy news about Zillow Offers, which is owned and operated by Zillow.  The popular real estate website, that makes near-instant cash offers on homes – a practice known as iBuying? Zillow basically buys the house online directly from the seller, slaps on paint, makes a few repairs, and then turns around and sells it. Many of us in real estate and mortgage lending was starting to worry this could create an unfair market advantage.  Zillow could buy multiple homes in a particular area and then manipulate or artificially inflate home prices. To be fair, Zillow and Redfin have issued statements denying this.

The experiment has failed as Zillow, the country’s 2nd largest iBuyer in the country, has shut down its home-buying operations. At the end of the 3rd quarter, Zillow reported it had lost $420 million and had to lay off 25% of its workforce, about 2000 people, right before the holidays. Effectively ending their attempt at flipping homes using their famed technology coined “Zestimate,” aka the estimate of a home’s market value. 

What is the point of all this, and why is it so important to me? Selling and buying real estate is a relationship business. Having been in mortgage lender for almost 20 years now, it always comes back to relationships. Home selling should not be an automated process in my opinion. We need to remember this is someone’s most significant asset in most cases, and they should be working with a local, professional, reputable realtor, not a Zillow robot. 

Zillow went against this model, and it failed. I have been telling clients and referral partners my stance on Zillow for years – not a fan, as you can imagine. Still, they have become a necessary evil for many of us because of their market share and advertising dominance. Personally, I hope this recent fail on their part is a wake-up call for the masses – Get back to being local and build the people and business around you, in your own neighborhoods! I know we all love Amazon, but I am begging we don’t go down that road with the Zillows of the world. Let’s bring this back to the relationship piece, based on real people, with actual knowledge of your area.

Should we be afraid of iBuyers like Zillow? Now, there is still an opportunity for institutional buyers where that “iBuyers” platform might be the right path. But let your realtor, the professional, guide you on all your options and be part of this decision-making process. The seasoned agents I work with every day, take California law and their fiduciary duty to heart; they are genuinely there to give you helpful advice and counsel.

If you are interested in buying or selling a home please contact Weintraub & Wallace Realtors with RE/MAX Gold and Elizabeth Weintraub, Broker. We can be reached at 916-233-6749. Another very interesting blog from our preferred lender, DanTharp. 

Cheers and hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
~~Dan Tharp
Dan Tharp – Branch Manager – 916-257-1470
NMLS# 280913 | Company NMLS # 3274
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