short sales in sacramento

Natomas Realtor Presents Home for Sale in Riverdale HOA

Natomas short sale

Clubhouse at Riverdale North is a few blocks away from 3341 Tice Creek Way.

This Natomas Realtor loves the Beazer-built homes in the Riverdale HOA in Sacramento, and so will you. Most of these homes were built from 2006 to 2008, so they are much newer than other parts of Natomas. Not only are they newer, but they are more affordable, with prices ranging in the $220,000 to $270,000 range, depending on square footage, amenities, location and condition. The Riverdale HOA clubhouse is shown above. When I was there shooting photos, I noticed the HOA has just drained the pool.

The seller called this Natomas Realtor because he had hoped to hire one of the top short sale agents in Sacramento. I was happy to oblige and calm his fears about the short sale by letting him know that this Natomas Realtor has sold more short sales over 7 counties than any other agent for the past 10 years. I checked the stats. He cannot possibly hire a Sacramento short sale Realtor with more direct experience than Elizabeth Weintraub. Plus, I have sold my fair share of homes in the Riverdale HOA, including having filmed an HGTV House Hunters 2009 show featuring short sale homes in the Riverdale HOA.

Natomas short sale

Natomas short sale, 3341 Tice Creek Way, is for sale at $225K.

You really can’t beat the price of $225,000 for this home in Natomas at 3341 Tice Creek Way. Another home of identical square footage recently sold at $238,000. The reason this price is so low is because there is no carpeting on the lower level. With the exception of the ceramic tiled entry, the flooring is slab and the carpeting has been removed. This will make it easy for a new buyer to install the type of flooring everybody wants, which is engineered hardwood.

It’s a perfect home for a first-time home buyer or an investor. Rents are sometimes higher than mortgage payments in this neck of the woods, which means a first-time home buyer might actually be saving money to buy this home over renting it. And an investor might also gain a bit of cash flow, which is the cornerstone of most investments.

natomas short sale

Kitchen features maple cabinets and ceramic counters

It features an open kitchen and family room on the first level, plus a half bath. The garage is attached. There are ceramic counters in the kitchen, maple cabinets, a built-in dishwasher, microwave, gas cooking range, separate oven and a free-standing refrigerator. At the top of the stairs on the second floor you’ll find a built-in office area, with a desk and cabinets. There is a second bedroom in the hall, plus a full hall bath, including a master suite with a full bath featuring a tub with a shower.

3341 Tice Creek Way, Sacramento, CA 95833 is offered exclusively by your Natomas Realtor Elizabeth Weintraub at Lyon Real Estate at $225,000. It will be held open this Sunday, October 23, 2016, from 2:00 to 4:00 PM, hosted by the incredible Josh Amolsch from the Elizabeth Weintraub Team. Call 916.233.6759 for more information.

How a Sacramento Short Sale Goes to Foreclosure

sacramento short sale goes to foreclosure

The failure of a Sacramento short sale is often attributed to one party.

If a Sacramento short sale goes to foreclosure, odds are it is not the bank’s fault, like most people believe. When you spot that sign falling over in the yard of a short sale because that sign has been there for a year or longer, it’s probably not the bank that is keeping the sale from going through. Sure, there are situations in which banks swap out negotiators like flicking dead fleas off a dog, and that can delay the short sale process, but most of the time, it is not the bank.

The reason a Sacramento short sale goes to foreclosure is typically not the seller’s fault, either. Responsible sellers choose to do a short sale over a foreclosure because they want to do what is best for their family. I can think of zero situations in which a foreclosure beats a short sale for a homeowner. Foreclosures more severely affect credit ratings and hamper a person’s ability to buy another home.

Also, it is not the Sacramento short sale agent who is to blame, either. Although there are cases I’ve seen in which the seller was never qualified by the agent prior to taking the listing. Some agents think a short sale is easy: just list it, find a buyer and hire out a third-party negotiator, and magical fairy dust will get it closed — while that approach seems to be a recipe for disaster. If a seller has hired an experienced short sale agent who has closed hundreds of short sales, her short sale is likely to close.

So who is left in this scenario, you might ask? Out of the remaining parties to the transaction: title, escrow, buyer’s agent, mortgage lender and buyers, there are a few possible guilty individuals. Logic dictates we remove title and escrow because they carry zero culpability. That leaves us with a buyer’s agent, buyers and / or mortgage lender. Ultimately, however, it is the buyers who hire the mortgage lender and buyer’s agent, so I directly point the finger at the buyers and hope they don’t nip my nail polish like some rabid dog.

What are the buyers’ problems? They often can’t qualify for a loan, when the rubber meets the road, because their preapproval letters are meaningless. They don’t have the money, or they once had the money and spent it because they forgot they were buying a house. They have a foreclosure on their own record and can’t get a loan. Somebody lost a job. Or somebody never had a job to start with. They never really intended to buy the house. They found another property they like better, bailed and spaced out informing anyone.

Whatever. Nine times out of 10, when a short sale goes to foreclosure, it’s because of the buyers. The California Homeowner Bill of Rights law does not stop a foreclosure while a short sale is underway. Banks file a Notice of Default after a few months of non-payment and the process does not stop. The only way (prior to January of 2018) to stop a foreclosure is to receive a short sale approval letter. If the buyers can’t close, though, the short sale goes to foreclosure because there is generally not enough time left between the trustee’s auction and the new offer to prevent it.

This is why we put so much emphasis on the buyer’s agent committing and promising to not show any more homes to the buyer. This is why we call the mortgage lenders to verify they have run a credit report and taken a loan application before whipping out that letter. This is why we ask buyers to wait at least 90 days for approval, to deposit funds into escrow and to behave like a buyer should. Even so, ever so rarely, the buyers flake.

And it breaks my heart. I would not be surprised to see foreclosed-upon sellers take buyers to Sacramento Small Claims Court. To seek retribution. Especially if the sellers lose a $10,000 HAFA relocation allowance due to the buyers’ direct failure to perform. Small Claims Court allows $10,000 judgments, where judicial decisions can be based on extenuating circumstances.


Short Sale Buyers Closed on Antelope Home With Free Equity

short sale buyers

Happy short sale buyers are even happier after closing on a home in Antelope.

The short sale buyers who purchased my seller’s home in Antelope really lucked out on a terrific deal in several ways. As the top Sacramento short sale agent, of course I represented the sellers. The buyers were represented by someone else. We went on the market at the end of March, yet it took us 3 weeks to get an offer for this short sale. Even in a limited inventory market, there were still other homes in Antelope to buy that could close right away, so many buyers passed by this gem. Few want to look at short sales when there is an abundance of regular homes for sale.

Sitting quietly by itself in Antelope Trails among many grander and larger homes, this home seemed larger than it is. And it is larger. The strange thing about this home’s square footage actually affects many other homes in newer subdivisions. Not just in Antelope, mind you, but I have encountered this particular situation in homes in West Sacramento, homes in Lincoln, including homes in Elk Grove. The square footage can often be published incorrectly in the public records because builders made final changes to the floor plans without updating their own records.

This happens because maybe a builder offered a design plan that included a three-car garage but the buyers chose a two-car garage so they could utilize the extra interior space for an office. Or the plan called for soaring cathedral ceilings, and the buyers chose a master-suite retreat option that enclosed some of that space. Enclosing space on the second floor can also add square footage to a home. It’s an inexpensive option.

You might think: what is 300 square feet? These short sale buyers will find out when it comes time to sell. A simple way to figure the square footage benefit is if certain homes in Antelope, say, sell at $160 a square foot, an additional 300 square feet could mean another $48,000 in equity. The short sale buyers didn’t think about that when they trespassed on this property, poking around, peeking in the windows and then claiming the sellers had removed fixtures. You hear a lot of horror stories about short sales, but like I informed their agent, I don’t work with sellers like that. My sellers clean up their homes the best they can and are responsible people.

The short sale buyers who bought this home gained an extra 300 square feet or so on top of receiving a slight discount on price due to the waiting period. Free equity. With two loans, it can take 90 days to get short sale approval. These buyers also had a home to sell, but since most banks will not accept a contingent offer, I suggested that the buyers keep the sale of their existing home, if at all possible, out of the short sale offer.

Lots of moving parts and trust on both sides go into making short sale buyers close escrow. At least these guys didn’t mess up their credit report while they waited, like other short sale buyers I won’t mention.

Put Sacramento Short Sales on the Market Prior to Default Notice

default notice for short sales

A Notice of Default filing starts the clock ticking on Sacramento short sales. © big stock photo

Unlike the hey days of pre-2012 in Sacramento, we are not seeing a lot of short sales in the area anymore. About 4% of all the listings in Sacramento County at the moment are active short sales, as compared to about 75% a while back. Having a small percentage of homes for sale that are underwater is good news for just about everybody, though, except that short sale seller who needs to sell her home.

In case you’re wondering, and I suspect you probably are, my own caseload of short sales has dramatically decreased, but I still manage to sell and negotiate a large number of Sacramento short sales. I thought the number was much smaller than it is, but so far this year almost 1 out of every 4 sales I’ve closed has been a short sale. It means I am still pulling in a huge chunk of the short sale business and most likely continue to rank as the best Sacramento short sale agent in town.

Even though this month my closed sales for the month of July should top $6 million, only two of those homes were short sales, and they were small price tags. It is possible that July could be my biggest month this year. One of those two sales, though, was a real struggle in West Sacramento. The main problem was the dog urine smell in the back bedroom, compounded by additional problems: a rotting pergola that needed to be removed, additional pest work that was required and a broken HVAC. Not exactly every home buyer’s dream home.

On top of this, as expected, Bank of America had threatened to release the servicing, and the investor Fannie Mae demanded a higher sales price, which I challenged because it was incredibly out-of-line. It would not appraise for the buyer’s lender. Fannie Mae agreed to reduce the sales price but it was still higher than the buyer wanted to pay, but not so high another buyer wouldn’t pay it. That’s often the secret to these negotiations.

However, the sad news is other short sales are lingering, even priced way below the comparable sales, they sit. Buyers are passing by those listings in favor of fast closings and sellers who will make repairs. Some short sales take 3 months to sell today. That’s not good news if a seller has a Notice of Default filed already.

Ella Dining Room a Good Bet Before Steve Earle at the Crest

Light Rail at Ella Dining Room and Bar.

Light Rail at Ella Dining Room and Bar.

Just about every time I go to Ella Dining Room and Bar in downtown Sacramento, I try to capture the Light Rail going by. It wraps the restaurant, from K Street around on 12th, and it’s such a lovely view. Not that I would want to live anywhere near the Light Rail nor look at it every day, mind you, but for an evening out downtown, it lends that exciting, raw urban atmosphere, an element to the environment at Ella that stimulates and, if I pause for just one moment can make myself believe that I am not in Sacramento at all but instead am on vacation somewhere in Europe.

Which sometimes is a better frame of mind than thinking about the mortgage lender who left me a voice mail promising absolutely, positively, without fail, that loan docs would arrive in escrow yesterday. The same loan docs we’ve been waiting for from 7 days back. Good thing I didn’t alert the media! When they’ve cried wolf so many times, you get to a point where nothing they have to say holds much credence. At the end of the day, when loan docs don’t arrive, well, let’s say I don’t want to be that guy with my fly unzipped.

You don’t promise what you can’t deliver.

Earle with Mandolin

Steve Earle at the Crest Theatre, Sacramento

Or, thinking about the buyer’s agent who has the miserable job of submitting an offer almost 15% under list price for a home that’s been on the market for only 5 days. It makes me cringe for that guy. That buyer’s agent who is way too professional and polite to blurt: you are a knucklehead to the buyer. That buyer’s agent who hopes that sooner or later the buyer will learn his lesson and realize that the buyer’s agent’s advice is correct and, if the buyer has any shot whatsoever at buying a home in Sacramento’s seller’s market today, well, that buyer better start relying on the agent’s experience and, for crying out loud, analyze the comparable sales.

Throwing darts blindfolded at a wall doesn’t work very well.

Steve Earle, The Dukes, The Mastersons

Steve Earle, The Dukes, The Mastersons

Don’t get me started on the agents who believe banks are desperate to sell short sales they don’t own and wrongly assume that because a home has been on the market for a while, that it’s priced too high. Price is not the only reason a home doesn’t quickly sell. They don’t realize that some homes take longer to sell because they need work and not every buyer today wants to tackle repairs immediately after closing. Those homes take longer to sell, especially when they need to sell at market, which is calculated as market less cost of repair. With that kind of calculation, most buyers would prefer to buy a home that doesn’t need repair.

But a buyer eventually will buy this house, it just won’t be theirs.

Instead, I am grateful that we had parked our car with valet at Ella and could walk two blocks to the Crest Theatre to see Steve Earle and the Dukes, along with The Mastersons. It was a long show, by my standards, starting at 7:30 and emptying out 3 hours later, with no breaks,and way past my bedtime. I am grateful for front row seats so I don’t have to peer over or around somebody else’s bald head, as there were a lot of older people in the audience. I am grateful there were no kids kicking the back of my chair or spilling beer down my back. I am grateful talents like Steve Earle are still performing, and an experience like that is available to me.

His show was very unlike the Steve Earle show in 2009. Lots of Blues. He also talked about his child who has autism, and he said one in 85 children are diagnosed with autism today, and those odds affect 1 in 58 boys, specifically. If true, why is that?

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