selling homes in elk grove

Hiring Friends or Relatives as Real Estate Agents to List a Home

Sacramento listing agentsThis week has been busy fielding calls from sellers, many of whom either live in Davis or Elk Grove. When sellers call me to talk about selling a home, I first try to find out why they want to sell, who else they are talking to, and whether they have a price or timeframe in mind. I spend a great deal of time figuring out whether I should work with them or do much more than put together a comparative market analysis. Sometimes, by the time they get me on the line, they’ve already decided to hire friends or relatives as real estate agents.

It’s not that I don’t want to help people because I do. I love selling real estate, and sell millions every year. It’s my career. I’m devoted to it and focused on Sacramento real estate. The reason I do so well in real estate is because I spend my time working on listings that the sellers want to hire me to sell. I don’t spend a lot of time working on listings when sellers just want free advice or a second opinion, and they’ve already decided to hire somebody else. I’m not in the “free advice” business, even though that might be how some sellers view our industry. I work for my clients, those who hire me.

So, that can be a dilemma when sellers call me, this not realizing on their part that if they aren’t actually considering hiring me, they shouldn’t call. This isn’t Better Call Saul, you know. I often ask if they have another agent in mind and sometimes they don’t. Like this guy who has a home in Elk Grove to sell. We hit it off, and I offered him an appointment to sign documents after we discussed a reasonable price and why that price would work. He hesitated making the appointment and promised to call me back that afternoon. When he didn’t, I called him the following day. That’s another reason I am successful, because I follow up.

The story I got was his wife has a friend at work who sells real estate. When I asked if she was a part-time agent, the guy said he did not know, probably, but he would ask. Hmmm, the agent works with his wife. This guy has his choice of hiring a full-time professional agent with decades of experience and absolutely thrilled-to-the-bones clients. Or, he can hire a part-time agent with some day job whose track record he doesn’t know and whose ability to negotiate could be questionable. I offered to look up this agent’s performance and send him her stats, but he didn’t know her name.

Well, either that or he’s decided if Mama is happy, then everybody is happy — and the truth is I don’t need to take every single listing in Elk Grove. I’d rather work with the sellers who are eager to work with me. No need to be upsetting marriages. Besides, like he closed out the conversation: when it doesn’t work out, he’ll call me. And he very well might. I have a feeling he knows where he is heading. I’m often agent #2. If there has to be 2 or 3 agents, as there often is with friends or relatives, I’d rather be the last one.

Call Elizabeth Weintraub, Broker #00697006, at 916.233.6759.

Real Estate Work During Covid19 Requires Patience

Real Estate Work During Covid19 Requires Patience

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.

When I worked at another real estate company previously, we would measure different aspects of your sales personality. When we polled 20% of the top producing agents (who by the way sell 80% of the real estate) we found two qualities that were consistent, one of which was impatience. To follow up on leads and take care of so many tasks each day you have to be hair on fire impatient for results. We kill it, cook it, and serve it on a pretty platter while someone else is still writing a memo.

In this Covid19 environment, it is not about fast pace as much as it is about digging in and looking creatively at how to best help our clients. It does not mean not taking action, but that we must continue to work cooperatively with other agents and vendors to get the job done. We can no longer fly through inspections as we are on waiting lists in some cases.

Dust Yourself Off After Setbacks

Our photographer is busy and many people are preparing in advance to sell their homes, a great idea right now. We were very busy the last two days, long hours with little sleep. There can be setbacks of course. Sharing with clients and setting expectations can help avoid disappointments. The key is to get up, dust yourself off, and hit the reset button. We will show up and continue to work hard for our clients. People still need a place to live and with low-interest rates, this can spell out more affordable payments. Also, some people out of work may need to sell their home and some are relocating.

What seems one of the hardest things right now is getting things completed in a swift manner. Most companies have cut way back on staffing. That includes pest companies, stagers, roofers, inspectors, and repair people. Now, you hope someone calls you back, but it may not be the same day. Yesterday and today have been days where I had to take a breath and say I’m doing my very best. Working within the framework of this environment is what we must continue to do and making unrealistic demands of people will get you nowhere. That doesn’t mean accepting poor performance. It may mean in some cases you are helping other people to ensure the tasks are done well.

Patience And Perserverance

I was working with a friend yesterday on a co-listing and she was very honest with a seller after a disappointment with a vendor. She said we just don’t know when we will be able to get someone back out and it may cost more. We will get someone but it’s going to take time, she said. The client understood. We didn’t say, ” no worries this will be done right away.” The truth is we are working on it round the clock. We will get the job done but it requires patience and perseverance in this Covid19 climate. Our sellers are amazing people, we are so very grateful for so many wonderful clients.

Interviewing Vendors

We have to interview vendors very carefully as they are making promises and they don’t always deliver. We have the best plumber but he is on a job in the bay area for a few weeks. Some vendors have scheduling issues as they may have skeleton crews and suffer from exhaustion. We can’t control someone else’s performance but we can fire them and start over which is what we have to sometimes do. This means delays and postponing other steps as there is a sequence to properly preparing a home for sale.

Set Expectations With Clients

I’m now setting expectations with clients much more carefully as this market demands it. I find myself on a daily basis saying, folks, we need your patience during this time as it’s a team effort. Talking openly about the counties that have implemented restrictions with regard to how we show homes is critical. As information becomes available, we continue to post it for everyone.

There are addendums with regard to Covid19 that buyers must sign before being shown a property. Trying to hold escrows together takes much more effort right now. We are doing our very best each day to sell your home, which is almost a daily conversation. Sharing the smallest details is what helps sellers the most.

Price Correctly

Now, it is more important than ever to price correctly as homes are still selling if they are priced to sell, based on closed sales. Loan qualifications are more stringent and working with a great lender is more critical than ever. I think what worries sellers the most now is that property is not being shown as frequently. More buyers are looking online at photos and area, driving by first. If there is something that buyers decide is not appealing, they don’t come and take a look. The good news, buyers that are serious and qualified are looking, there is no window shopping right now.

Keep the faith. Warmer temperatures are on the way. We are working harder than ever to help our clients sell and buy homes. Real estate work during Covid19 requires extra patience and diligence. We have several homes in escrow right now and working hard to close them. If you are looking for information on how to buy or sell a home during Covid19 call Weintraub & Wallace Realtors, with RE/MAX Gold. We can be reached at 916-233-6759.

JaCi Wallace

JaCi Wallace
Weintraub & Wallace Realtors

The Ups and Downs of Selling Elk Grove Homes

Although I sell real estate from Lincoln to Galt, I certainly do end up selling Elk Grove homes as a large percentage of my Sacramento real estate business. Probably because that’s where so many homes for sale are located. And fortunately, for this Realtor, I have an office in Elk Grove that I can use, in addition to the office where I hang out in Midtown. This means my sellers of homes in Elk Grove actually get two large Lyon Real Estate offices working for them. Because I put a large panel sign with the number of our Elk Grove office on the property. For example, if a buyer is driving by the home and wants to see it immediately, that buyer can call the large number on the sign panel, and an Elk Grove agent can be there in a heartbeat to show them the home. That’s a nice benefit, don’t you agree?

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.

selling elk grove homes

Tessa, cinnamon spotted Ocicat.

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.


Stopping at Kona Brewing After Closing a Home in Elk Grove

Kona Brewing

Elizabeth Weintraub and husband Adam at Kona Brewing Co.

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.

kona brewing

Ahi Tartare at Kona Brewing has just enough spice for a kick.

Elk Grove Realtor Closes Home Clawed By Bears

elk grove realtor

A bear’s claws are capable of ripping off siding from a home in Elk Grove.

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.

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