A reporter at the Sacramento Bee asked me yesterday how I got started in short sales. The Bee is working on a piece about buying short sales and selling them. It's not like I woke up one morning and said I wanted to become the #1 Sacramento short sale agent. As I told him, you go where the money is, meaning you follow the market. No matter how much we might want to dictate our careers in real estate, our careers are pretty much formed by whether we conform to the market.
If you want to buck the norm, for example, and work with only move-up buyers, you might not have as much business. That's because the move-up market is not as active at the moment as the first-time home buyer market. The entry level market is on fire in Sacramento. Definitely a seller's market right now.
So, yeah, to make the same amount of money as I made when home prices were soaring, I have to sell twice as much and work twice as hard, but so what? I love what I do. I love selling real estate. I am not a real estate snob. I will sell a $30,000 condo or I will sell a $3,000,000 home on the river bluffs. Makes no difference to me.
In the old days, once we went into escrow, usually much of the work was over. Now, getting into escrow is just the beginning. With a short sale, I need to negotiate approval with the bank, manage a buyer's expectations and balance BPO values. Plus, there is never any guarantee that buyers will hang around, despite how tight the noose. Although, I probably have better luck than most at keeping buyers in escrow.
I remember that guy in my office backing me up against a wall and asking in all earnestness: "Why would you want to sell a short sale?" I laughed then and I laugh now at that recollection. That was many years ago. Because that's the market. That's what people need. They need an excellent Sacramento short sale agent who is obsessed with short sales and good at her job.
First, I wrote a book about short sales: The Short Sale Savior. Then I wrote more than 100 articles about short sales. All based on my experiences over the past 6 or 7 years of selling short sales. I learned stuff the hard way. For example, in August of 2005, the phones stopped ringing. I looked at those 80 / 20 combo loans and thought what will happen now? If prices fall, then what? Short sales were the answer. I threw myself feet first into short sales.
I predict that short sales will continue to be the answer far into 2015 and beyond.
Amidst all the noise and chatter, we don't have a turnaround in Sacramento. Not yet. And not as far as I can see. I see nothing but short sales and more short sales and more declining prices. It's a bit depressing. It's like the earthworm I flung by accident the other day. Ick. This fat worm crawling around on my garage floor. Too much rain. It was almost as big as a snake and a good 10 inches long. I felt sorry for it and grabbed a piece of cardboard to fling it out of the garage and into the yard. I kept flinging as I walked along and yikes. Next thing I knew I had impaled it on a pear cactus thorn. It dripped earthworm juice in a steady stream to the dirt.
Elizabeth Weintraub is co-partner of Weintraub & Wallace Team of Top Producing Realtors, an author, home buying expert at The Balance, a Land Park resident, and a veteran real estate agent who specializes in older, classic homes in Land Park, Curtis Park, Midtown, Carmichael and East Sacramento, as well as tract homes in Elk Grove, Natomas, Roseville and Lincoln. Call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759. Put our combined 80 years of real estate experience to work for you. Broker-Associate at RE/MAX Gold. DRE License # 00697006.
Photo: Unless otherwise noted in this blog, the photo is copyrighted by Big Stock Photo and used with permission.The views expressed herein are Weintraub's personal views and do not reflect the views of RE/MAX Gold. Disclaimer: If this post contains a listing, information is deemed reliable as of the date it was written. After that date, the listing may be sold, listed by another brokerage, canceled, pending or taken temporarily off the market, and the price could change without notice; it could blow up, explode or vanish. To find out the present status of any listing, please go to elizabethweintraub.com.