selling homes in elk grove
Real estate work during Covid19 requires patience as everyone is impacted on some level. Though real estate has been named as an essential service along with construction, don’t kid yourself it is not back to normal by a long shot. The scheduling of repairs is often booked weeks out. In many cases, as there have been layoffs in various businesses, a shortage of the workforce can mean delays. This week has been about working longer days. Whatever it takes we are putting in the extra time and effort.
One of those agents wasn’t too happy yesterday. He called me as I was in the process of taking my cat Tessa to the VCA, the Sacramento Veterinary Referral Center located just south of Elk Grove off Bradshaw. Tessa has a hard lump in her stomach that has become progressively larger. She had an ultrasound a few days ago, and the River City Cat Clinic thinks she could have a small hernia where she was spayed 4 years ago. They suggested a second opinion. VCA charges $170 for a consultation, but our pets are worth it. The surgery alone is between $1,500 and $2,000, the price of a new refrigerator. First class air to Hawaii. Couple month’s rent for some. Enough to power electricity to a large neighborhood in Puerto Rico.
After her exam, the vet suggested surgery, and we made an appointment for this morning. I stood at the checkout counter yesterday as the check-out clerks demanded a 50% deposit. Many businesses trust no one these days. They insisted on viewing my driver’s license. I wrote a check for the deposit, which was my last check. The clerk incorrectly computed the total and was off by $100. She asked me for another $100. Oh, just add to the balance I’ll pay on Thursday, I suggested. I don’t have any more checks. Nope, they wanted that hundred bucks right then and there. Really? A hundred bucks? Did I look like a deadbeat in my Hawaiian pearls? I didn’t think so. I had just given them almost $1,000. Why didn’t they take my fingerprints and X-ray me while they were at it?
That whole experience as a paying customer at VCA was not a nice customer service experience. Very unpleasant.
I handed them my credit card. I wanted to add specifically where they could shove it, but the clerks are just doing their stinkin’ job. Silver lining? I’m glad I’m selling Elk Grove homes and not working for VCA. Dealing with shit people.
Which takes me back to the agent from my Elk Grove office who called to complain in an agitated manner. It appears he had gone to preview another of my Elk Grove homes the previous week, and the key in the lockbox did not work. I don’t know why the key didn’t work. It worked when the door was locked and the key was placed in the lockbox. I called a locksmith immediately and paid for a new key. But the guy was still steaming over that because he brought it up.
Because I’m a top producer selling Elk Grove homes, I had another home on tour.
When this agent got there, as luck would have it, the seller, an elderly woman, was confused and would not let him inside. She confessed when I called that she had not read some of my emails, but she agreed they could come back. Like I told that agent in a voice mail (since he ignored my call), if he had just called me from her doorstep, I could have fixed the whole situation. Instead, he preferred to throw a hissy fit and storm off. That’s his call but it seems defeatist behavior to me.
Selling Elk Grove homes is not for the faint of heart. As I left the VCA office off Bradshaw, I realized my closing scheduled for recording that afternoon was just up the street. This was a home in Wildhawk that the seller had tried to sell several times in the past with some other Elk Grove Realtor, not me. I expect I amazed him because I sold the home at list price. It didn’t sell as quickly as homes in the Elk Grove ZIP codes because this home in Wildhawk, although in the Elk Grove School District, is in 95829. Not as many home searches in that ZIP as there are for Elk Grove. Still, it sold in 20 days, still under the average in Sacramento of 22 days, and closed without any repairs or renegotiations. My seller is happy. That’s all I care about.
I drove over to the house in Wildhawk and removed the lockbox. I could hire a person to remove lockboxes for me, but there is something about the finality of the transaction, the completion, reaching the conclusion, that I find comforting. I also called my Elk Grove office to verify that the rest of the documents, remotes, mailbox keys were waiting in Will Call for the buyer’s agent. I could hear Tessa mewing in her carrier in the back seat of my car.
This morning, she is probably cursing my very existence. She doesn’t like being alone in a strange place, and there is a fearful atmosphere at most vet clinics. Not every animal, or human for that manner, comes out of anesthesia. There is always a risk. Yet I hear the surgeons are competent, even if the doctor looked to be 12. When I first saw him, I jokingly wanted to ask if he was old enough to drive, but that wouldn’t help matters. I know when to keep my mouth shut. And, when not to.
My husband suggested we stop at Kona Brewing after I closed a sale in Elk Grove to “drink all of their beers.” That whim sounded like an excellent idea to me, and I’m all in for celebrating, unwinding and acting on the spur of the moment while in Hawaii. I’ve closed 3 sales in the past week since we’ve been in Kona, so it’s been a good week. On top of which, we bought a few more things for our house in Hawaii, and that was a bit exhausting.
For example, when I asked the guy from Aina’s Electrical, who was installing our beautiful new super quiet ceiling fan in the master, where we could go to find a couple of rugs under which geckos could hide, he suggested Amazon or eBay. What about keeping your dollars in the community? Well, says he, you could do that, too. Then he announced the fan was as good as he could do, yet it still wobbled. Hated to say this, but he needed to do better. He eventually stopped the wobbling. I knew he had it in him.
We went into a store to look at a few rugs, but it became apparent what we really needed to do first was buy a new sofa. You can’t lie on the sofa we have. No support in the cushions. It’s fairly uncomfortable. It’s the type of sofa one could use indoors or outdoors, so out to the lanai it goes. It was the previous owner’s sofa anyway. Then we traversed several other stores to pick up supplies and basics. Which is what caused my husband to bring up Kona Brewing.
Earlier in the day, I had submitted a new listing with multiple owners for MLS entry. Ordered the photographs, sent the paperwork to my office, sans one signature, and prepared every document required. Then the hold-out party emailed to say he did not want to participate in standard listing disclosures and took it upon himself to print, alter and sign the listing. He was also fairly adamant about a clause you might find in a luxury listing in Miami but not a small-change vacant lot under the freeway in Sacramento.
I’m too experienced and too old for this nonsense. I draw the line with impossible people. Life is short and then you die. It wasn’t too much work to cancel the listing, stop the photography and discard the paperwork. Still, it was very strange and odd. I’m confident somewhere down the line the sane people in that future transaction will pull it together, and it will work out.
Just not on Friday. I’ll still be ready to assist sometime next year, whatever.
So Kona Brewing was a welcome spot to rest and reflect on the bad but mostly good parts of the day. Good always outweighs the bad. If you’re ever in Kailua-Kona and want to stop at a craft beer place, Kona Brewing has great food in addition to creative and standard pours. I’d say so far the Kua Bay is my favorite.
Among our closings from yesterday, the most intense for this Elk Grove Realtor was the home that looked like it was clawed by bears. People are often amazed that there is a market for this type of fixer home. But those people are not in real estate. Those of us in real estate understand how much demand there is for this type of property because we sell all types of homes, not just the pretty, updated, historic residences in Midtown, or the luxury homes in Sacramento. We also deal in the gritty stuff because, bottom line, it’s all just a product.
Wearing my Tori Burch high heels, I climbed over piles of garbage to shoot photos. The home had basically been abandoned for more than a year, until such time that the seller felt equipped to deal with the sale. We expected to receive the highest price possible, which meant positioning the home for multiple offers. This meant accurately describing the condition of this home to attract the types of buyers who love buying fixers.
Knowing my target audience is always the first rule to crafting a marketing description for this Elk Grove Realtor. I try to be creative, to attract attention, sometimes to entertain, depending on the purpose. I want agents excited about showing the home, regardless of its condition, and hauling over buyers. What you, the reader, might feel is unorthodox, is what often works for me. I pull out all the stops for my listings. Each is unique. I can admit this, the office assistants at Lyon got a kick out of entering this listing into MLS.
The following was my marketing description, and it’s extremely accurate:
We are amazed the home is still standing. The exterior siding looks like bears attacked. Stuff is growing inside on the walls. “Needs a new roof” is putting it mildly. Garbage, debris, unidentifiable glops cover the flooring and the floor that is visible is torn, stained and mutilated. Water damage. Trash from one end to the other. Should probably be gutted. Use caution, home is uninhabitable and most likely dangerous to your health. A good fixer for some lucky buyer with vision for its potential.
Lest you think, who would buy that monstrosity, this Elk Grove Realtor received dozens of inquiries and many purchase offers for her seller to consider. Calls continued for weeks after we went into pending status. If you’re looking for a dedicated Elk Grove Realtor who pays extreme attention to detail with a solid reputation for selling homes at top dollar, call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759.
Just a few weeks ago, a tenant delighted in telling me that she had a good friend who worked at a competing brokerage, and her good friend said the list price I had proposed was way too high, and she predicted the home would never sell for that amount. Not only did the home immediately sell, but it sold for 2.5% more, and it was priced at the top of the market. My seller made out like a bandit, and I truly earned my fee. 40 years in the real estate business pays off.
A seller in Elk Grove called yesterday to inquire about putting her home on the market. She has spent a lot of money on upgrades and expects to get somewhere between $800,000 and $900,000. It’s not on the water, I pointed out. Well, she didn’t want a home on the water and deliberately bought it a few doors off the water because she didn’t want to deal with, you know, bugs and stuff.
How do I tell her that an identical model with upgrades that is actually on the water is for sale at $700,000 and nothing in that neighborhood has sold in her preferred price range, ever? Well, I’m not asking you, really, because I know how to break the news to her, but she doesn’t strike me as a seller who will gladly accept that news even when I back it up with hard, cold facts. She’ll just call another Elk Grove agent who will agree with her and list it.
Ordinarily I’d take the listing because eventually somebody will come to reality, and I kinda like to be the agent at that point. However, I don’t think this particular situation fits well into my architecture. My gut instinct tells me I would regret listing this home as an overpriced listing, and I listen to my gut instincts as they rarely steer me wrong. That’s the difference that 40 years in the real estate business brings. 40 years in the real estate business pays off.