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Paying Attention to Your Intuition Will Rarely Steer You Wrong

Type E personality in real estateSelling real estate requires full concentration, especially in Sacramento's red-hot buyers' market right now -- which is always a challenge because the economic climate changes from day-to-day. But it also requires full use of all an agent's capabilities. Having systems in place to handle the workload is a necessity, but so is listening to intuition, that little nagging voice in the back of one's head that says something is different or doesn't add up.

I reviewed a real estate book for my homebuying site yesterday, which I try to do every couple months. This is a book by Margaret Rome, called Real Estate the Rome Way. She talked about Type E personalities, a concept founded by Alex Giorgio. Type Es, he says, are typically entrepreneurs who possess enormous amounts of creativity and passion. It's this passion and devotion to the real estate business that makes many of us successful real estate agents and allows for extraordinary communication between us and our clients.

Part of that passion is listening to intuition. We all have intuition, but some of us ignore it or haven't learned how to recognize what the intuition is telling us.

For example, yesterday I took another short sale listing in Citrus Heights. As I walked around the home, taking measurements and photographs, I stopped to ask the seller a question: "What's up with the neighbors next door?" I can't put my finger on precisely what triggered that question, but something was different about the home to the north.

The seller stopped dead in his tracks and opened his eyes in amazement. "What makes you ask that!"

I answered honestly that I did not know, but it was my intuition that prompted me to inquire. I could also tell by the way he responded that there was, indeed, some kind of conflict between the two neighbors.

All the homes on the street looked identical to each other.

Has that ever happened to you?

Elizabeth Weintraub Land Park Real Estate Agent in Sacramento

The Short Sale Savior, by Elizabeth Weintraub, coming soon to a bookstore near you.

Photo: Big Stock Photo

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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


Intuition is the iontangible. we all have it and we should all use it. Very good post and thanks

Posted by Charlie Ragonesi, Homes - Big Canoe, Jasper, North Georgia Pros ( almost 12 years ago

Yes I am intuitive, our conscience rarely leads us wrong. Interesting how that came up when you had no idea how it popped in your heard. Do you ever get a gut feeling where a home should be priced? I do and then the CMA bears that out. Then I wonder why I spent a couple of hours doing them.

Posted by Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate (Missy Caulk TEAM) almost 12 years ago

Elizabeth- I think youre right that your gut, your instinct, whatever you want to call it, is rarely wrong. Sometimes you just get a feeling you can't shake, and it's probably one worth listening to. Great post!

Posted by Ilyce Glink, Best-selling author, award-winning TV/radio host. (Think Glink Media) almost 12 years ago

Elizabeth:  My husband creeps me out with his intuition.  He always gets a weird sense of things like this.  That and he can measure anything with his eyes and always knows what time it is.  You could put him in solitary confinement for three days and he'd pop knowing the time and the dimensions of the cell.

Posted by Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA) almost 12 years ago

Elizabeth - While you may credit your intuition to this particular situation, however, I just think it was also your experience talking too.  Anyway, so what's up with the neighbor.  You didn't finish the story.  What up?

Posted by Donne Knudsen, CalState Realty Services (Los Angeles & Ventura Counties in CA) almost 12 years ago

Intuition yes - there have been many times when something felt "off".  I can remember clearly an offer that came in from a buyer and there were too many unanswered questions from the selling agent and too many "something is not right." Come to find out the buyer felt pressured by their agent and we all actually sat down together and came to the conclusion that the buyer was not in a good position to purchase the home.  They were never so relieved to back out and we were never so relieved to let them!  I also agree that experience plays a part in it as well - having seen something run a fairly normal direction alerts us to it.  Or just going into a home and the intuition knowing that maybe the seller is not laying out all the details that we would need to be able to really help them due to embarrassment or whatever....Intuition combined with experience is a very valuable tool for me - I don't want to spend sleepless nights wondering why I have this "feeling." I want the answer! I like this post.

Posted by Valerie Spaulding, Allyn-Belfair-Hood Canal-Local Expertise! (Windermere Peninsula Properties~Allyn~Belfair~WA) almost 12 years ago

Hi Missy: Yup, that happens all the time!! I often have a gut feeling on price. I run comps a number of ways, too, not just the 1/2 mi radius on a ZIP. At least then I can justify my intuitive price. :)

Hi Ilyce: We take in data from a number of sources and not just through the 5 senses. I don't question how I get the information, but I do use it.

Hi Chris Ann: I don't always know what time it is, but if my husband did what yours does, I think it would creep me out, too. Heck, half the time I don't even know what year it is, much less month or day. I'm always dating checks wrong.

Hi Donne: What's up with the neighbor? I don't know. The seller said that due to my responsibility to disclose, he'd rather not discuss it.

Hi Valerie: Some agents separate their perceptive abilities from the analytical but, like you, I tend to blend the two.

Elizabeth Weintraub Land Park Real Estate Agent in SacramentoElizabeth Weintraub Land Park Real Estate Agent in Sacramento

Posted by Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%, Put 40 years of experience to work for you (RE/MAX Gold) almost 12 years ago

Yes, Elizabeth, and most of the time when I get that feeling/sensing, it's alerting me to danger, or trouble. It's voice is usually saying, "Run, Will Robinson, run!"   :)

Randy Hooker - Dreamcatcher Realty - Arizona Real Estate

Posted by Randy Hooker, Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa, Queen Creek (Dreamcatcher Realty / Greater Phoenix Area) almost 12 years ago

Elizabeth - I know what you mean.  I do that, too.  Sometimes I just know that something's not right, but I can't quite put my finger on it...      :)


Posted by Debi Ernst, GRI, e-PRO, Broker/Sales Associate (St. Charles County, Missouri - Prudential Alliance Realtors) almost 12 years ago

Intuition has always been reliable for me to the point of being almost scary.

Posted by Denise Gray, Realtor SRES, Wichita Kansas Homes (Realty World Alliance) almost 12 years ago

Elizabeth, I long ago learned the significance of listening to the "still small voice" inside my head.  If we'd pay more attention, we'd all be much better off.

Posted by John Mulkey, Housing Guru ( almost 12 years ago

Elizabeth - both Brian and I have it. When we first met it freaked us out. And usually we get the same feeling. Brian can also find water line with a stick - that freaks me out even more LOL. Ok, now the curiosity kicks in... wonder what's up with the neighbor... ~Rita

Posted by Brian Burke, Broker & Advising Expert-Denver Luxury Real Estate (Kenna Real Estate) almost 12 years ago

I go by the homes I have listed during different times of the day/week in an effort to talk to the neighbors. It does not always work out but I try to get the neighbors to be my allies in the sale of the property. I discuss how we want to keep the property values up so that the value of all the homes is held. I also ask them to call me (vacant properties) if something happens to the listing. I've been called about water leaks, garage doors left open, sprinkler systems blowing heads, etc. Each of those could have lead to expensive repairs, or wasted money.

I guess I need to find out if I have a sense of intuition. Mine may be underdeveloped.

Posted by Wayne Johnson, San Antonio REALTOR, San Antonio Homes For Sale (Coldwell Banker D'Ann Harper REALTORS®) almost 12 years ago

Great post, Elizabeth.

I find that intuition is an important part of communication that is all too often ignored. It's not always that we don't hear that little voice...we just chose to ignore it. And that usually doesn't work out well for anyone...

Posted by Harold "Hal" Benz, Helping Home Sellers Preserve Their Home Equity (Local Impact Real Estate Network) almost 12 years ago

Your brain image made me think about a real estate brokers brain. Good post!

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) almost 12 years ago

Elizabeth-  Real estate is a people business.  Whether on the buy or sell side, I think we all rely on our intuition to know when our clients are saying one thing and meaning another or when there is some underlying circumstance that they're not telling us at all.

Posted by Marilyn Katz, ABR, e-PRO - (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) almost 12 years ago

Hey, Elizabeth -

My strength - I always go by my gut!  It's made me a lot of money over the years.

My weakness - I always go by my gut!  And it's cost me sometimes.

But, all summed, my gut has made me more money than it has cost me!

That's the lesson!  Intuition should not be ignored!

Appreciate sharing with us!


Posted by Dean Moss, Dean's Team Chicago IL Real Estate Team (Dean's Team - Keller Williams Realty Partners Chicago IL) almost 12 years ago

Elizabeth, yes, I always go with my intuition and when I don't I am sorry.  Keep us posted when you find out what is up with the neighbor.

Posted by Christine O'Shea (Christine E O'Shea Broker) almost 12 years ago

I scare people with my gut feelings from time to time.... and dreams.  But I always listen to that little feeling when I get it.

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) almost 12 years ago

Elizabeth ~ I think we all have that bit of intuition - we just need to pay attention to it.  I have had it when meeting clients for the first time and knowing that this is not a good project for me to get involved in, not because of the project itself, but because of the people.  I've also had intuition personally where I felt the need to leave an area and quick (that one scared me actually).  Our bodies little warning mechanism I think.

Posted by Kathy Passarette, L.I. Staging/Decorating (Creative Home Expressions) almost 12 years ago

Everytime I don't pay attention to my intuition about a person, I live to regret that decision.  Perhaps, some day, I'll learn to listen to myself.

Posted by The Ward Team, Realtors, ABR (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) almost 12 years ago

So what was up with the neighbor next door?  You left us hanging.  Congrats on the feature.

Posted by Barbara S. Duncan, GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 12 years ago

Elizabeth - that little voice is the subconscious, which notices virtually everything, getting through to the conscious.  For some, our conscious is very busy, and we easily ignore what we shouldn't.  Experience often allows us, instinctively, to listen to those "feelings".  Thanks for your post.  It made me think.

Posted by Ron Chipkin almost 12 years ago

Intuition, vibes, sixth sense, whatever it's called, I listen to it.  Hope the neighbors aren't too wierd. 

Posted by Alyce Martin, Albuquerque - THE Place To Be! (The Realty Group, LLC) almost 12 years ago

Elizabeth,  I agree that my intution does a lot for me in my life when I pay attention and just notice it.  I was talking with a customer today about that and sometimes  you just know that you know.  Good luck with the house and hopefully the issue can be resolved so that it does not affect the listing and then sale of this house.

Posted by Kelly Young, Colorado Springs Real Estate ~ 719-226-0126 (The Platinum Group Realtors) almost 12 years ago

Elizabeth, you are right on target!  I can recall three ill-fated listings that I took despite my strong intuiton NOT to go there. Each of these sellers told me their  "fairy-tale" version of the truth and withheld critical information from me. Now I pay more attention to my intution or  6th sense which, interestingly enough, cannot be evoked at will.  Instead, it surfaces involuntarily.  Good luck with the "short sale."

Posted by Roseann Annis (Prudential Homesale Services Group) almost 12 years ago

Elizabeth, Wonderful post and a very similiar thing DID happen to me.  The house across the street just gave off an awful feeling--it was directly across from my client's home and I finally asked her if there was something wrong over there.  She was shocked...she said it was a home where a son had murdered his mother.  People eminate energy and so do homes; you're right, your intuition is never wrong.

Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) almost 12 years ago

Elizabeth-Our minds are wondrous things, aren't they?  I took a self defense course a few years back and they said that "most" of the time, we feel danger, but choose to ignore it.  That is so true!   Now, what's up with the neighbors?

Posted by Elizabeth Cooper-Golden, Huntsville AL MLS (Huntsville Alabama Real Estate, (@ Homes Realty Group)) almost 12 years ago

Elizabeth, of course we wonder what was up. Is that confidential? Intuition is a terrific gift and tool. It seems lately I often have people say things like, " we were supposed to meet:-)" I think we recognize Providence if we act in concert with intuition.

Posted by M. Suzi Woods (Gravenstuk), Suzi Woods, Prior Independent REBroker in MS (NOW Sharing the life and spice of the GC one day at a time) almost 12 years ago

Elizabeth, I agree that intuition is powerful and needs to be heeded. I have found it rarely to be wrong. I wonder why you sensed something with the neighbor? Seems like it came straight out of the blue.

Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) almost 12 years ago

Intution is a beautiful thing... listen to it and harness it... I think it is like a sixth sense of sorts in terms of listening to what others are saying as well as their body language and so forth.  I find that is my head is clear my intuition is a little bit stronger !  I think it is an excellent attribute for sales... hard to explain but it is there !

Posted by The Somers Team, Delivering Real Estate Happiness (The Somers Team at KW Philadelphia) almost 12 years ago

Too bad we don't listen to it. I hate it when I say I should have done something and realize it a few months later .

Posted by Terry & Bonnie Westbrook, Westbrook Realty - Grand Rapids Forest Hills MI Re (Westbrook Realty Broker-Owner) almost 12 years ago

Elizabeth...great post. It is so true that we as Realtors and those that survive in the business are entrepreneurs ( I usually spell this so badly that the spell check can't help) in this business. We reinvent ourselves on a daily basis and you are so on target about intuition. I could NOT agree more. You really are a class act Elizabeth. I need to call your guy Jeff (referral) he's suppose to be coming out in February. Can I still send you an invitation to LinkedIn? Love ya!

Posted by Jeanean Gendron, Specializing in Selling Unique Properties (The Address Realty) almost 12 years ago

So Elizabeth - my question is? What WAS going on with the neighbor? That definitely peaked my interest, and intuitively, I knew I need to ask. ;-)


Posted by Mesa, Arizona Real Estate Mesa Arizona Realtor, AzLadyInRed (Homes Arizona Real Estate LLC) almost 12 years ago

Elizabeth, Love the Type E graphic.

Intuition, gut feelings, matter what you name them, are not to be taken lightly. Having had several psychics as clients,  have been told that I,too, am psychic....just another term for intuition and gut feelings. Have had listings for a long time and have "known"  the right buyer and the right time. I don't try to explain....but I do think this is one of the things that make us really good agents.

And thank you for the fabulous review of my book.  

Posted by Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) almost 12 years ago

You are exactly right-- listed to that little voice inside and you can't go wrong.

Posted by Bob & Carolin Benjamin, East Phoenix Arizona Homes (Benjamin Realty LLC) almost 12 years ago

Every time I have fought "my gut" I have  been disappointed.  Keep us up to date on what happens with the sale.

Posted by Gina Zimmerman, Fort Wayne Real Estate (North Eastern Group Realty) almost 12 years ago

You are right, intuition is something that often goes overlooked and underdeveloped in this left-brained world we live in.  Sometimes, you know that you know that you know, and that's good enough for me.  Sometimes, I try and listen to my intuition and I'm not always right in the end, but most of the time, it serves as a sold adjunct to life, and at other critical times, the main driver.

Some homes, it's rare mind you, can just give one the willies, and I attribute this to intuition or something else, and on occasion, the buyers looked at me and said: Do you feel something strange and weird about this home or is it me?  I said I agree and let's split!

Posted by Chris Olsen, Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate (Olsen Ziegler Realty) almost 12 years ago

Hi Elizabeth,

I am a big believer in intuition. I believe we all have the capability, but most of us don't know how to make use of it. Interesting story about the neighbors:)

Posted by Suzanne Gallegos, Realtor - Salt Lake City, Utah Homes (Equity Real Estate - Advantage) almost 12 years ago

I'm not really referring to any kind of mystic or psychic powers. I suspect there is a logical explanation. Perhaps there was something my subconscious mind noticed about the home next door and it didn't register on a conscious level because I've got too many thoughts running through my head at any given moment. I'm also good at asking questions. I have discovered it's the best way to get answers. Answers help tell you what's going on.

I stopped by to visit an elderly seller the other day who said she wanted to interview agents. She said, "How much is your commission?" I told her it's negotiable. Then she said, "How long of a listing do you take?" I told her that's negotiable. She gave up after those questions. It was clear she had no intention of listing with me because she grew up with a kid who was now a real estate agent or had a good friend who was a real estate agent, I didn't know which, but that's what her actions told me. Sure enough, she called a few days later to say she was forced to list with a friend of hers. She clearly had wanted to tell her husband she had "interviewed" others.

Elizabeth Weintraub Land Park Real Estate Agent in Sacramento

Posted by Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%, Put 40 years of experience to work for you (RE/MAX Gold) almost 12 years ago

Elizabeth, I have had those kind of feelings at different times in this business.  You are right to listen to those feelings as they will serve you well.  Take care and happy blogging!

Posted by Jason Neumann, Realtor - (Century 21 Assurance Realty Ltd.) almost 12 years ago

Hi Elizabeth - Experience has taught me to pay more attention to gut feelings or to put it another way to my intuition.

Posted by George Bennett, Inactive Principal Broker, GRI (Inactive) almost 12 years ago

Dear Elizabeth,

I have finally learned to trust my intuition above all else, especially when it says, "DANGER!".

I run!


Posted by Barbara Delaney (Park Place REALTORS, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

Elizabeth - Sometimes I think if we just kept our minds and hearts open and our mouths shut, we could learn a lot more about our clients and about what else is going on in the world around us. Great post. I know I need to hear/read/see/"intuit" reminders of the essence of this post daily. - Bruce

Posted by Bruce Brown (Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Realty) almost 12 years ago

Elizabeth, I call it my BS meter.  Same thing as intuition.  Something doesn't feel quite right, can't put a handle on it, but it will eventually surface.  Go with the gut!

Posted by Gabe Sanders, Stuart Florida Real Estate (Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales) almost 12 years ago

Elizabeth,  You're absolutely right.  You should always follow your "gut" feeling.  It's a very powerful tool if you pay attention to it.

Posted by Yvette Gardner (Keller Williams Realty, Spartanburg, SC) almost 12 years ago

Well, put me on the type E list. When you have been around long enough, many of us become unconscious competents. We do not know why, we just know, good post!

Posted by Frank & Jodi Orlando (Frank & Jodi Orlando Get Us A Home Realty Atlanta Homes Sale) almost 12 years ago

Elizabeth - ah yes, that nagging little voice, the gut feeling. It has saved me many times. We have to keep in mind, though, that our buyers and sellers have intuition too.


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (eXp Realty of California, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

Oh your inner feelings well. I follow my "gut" it serves me well.


Portsmouth NH Real Estate

Posted by Patricia Aulson, Realtor - Portsmouth NH Homes-Hampton NH Homes (BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOME SERVICES Verani Realty NH Real Estate ) almost 12 years ago

I agree with this article! It's important to often go with your gut feeling.

Posted by Mike Garro (Milobox - Real Estate ) almost 12 years ago

Ah yes, the ole intuition thing!  Not to sound like a scene or two from the "Twilight Zone", but YES I have.  I think houses carry a lot of energy, especially the older ones that accumulate it from generation to generation.  I remember back in the 1980s I was out showing homes in the older East Sacramento area.  I was in a wonderful looking home in an area known as the Fabulous 40s.  But, while in one of the hallways upstairs by the bedrooms, I got a really BAD feeling of violence there.  I learned later, the previous family had endured a great deal of family drama and abuse from one of it's family members there!

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) almost 12 years ago

Hi Myrl: I was overcome with emotion when I toured Notre Dame in Paris. Talk about an older structure. That 6th century cathedral was started in 1163 and finished in 1345. The energy in that place is amazing.

Elizabeth Weintraub Land Park Real Estate Agent in Sacramento

Posted by Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%, Put 40 years of experience to work for you (RE/MAX Gold) almost 12 years ago

Elizabeth - I haven't been to Notre Dame, but I have been to Westminster Abbey in London, where I experienced a lot of emotion.  It began its building process around 960 AD with a Benedictine order on the grounds.  There was Queen Elizabeth entombed together with her Catholic sister Mary. In all, there are 29 Kings and Queens buried or entombed at Westminster.

The abbey also contains a Poet's corner - Where the remains of a number of poets, writers, and musicians are buried.  They include Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Robert Browning, Handel, and many others.

In addition to the elaborate Sr. Isaac Newton entombment on the alter, buried in the floor just 60 feet away is Charles Darwin.  Yes, as inconceivable as many may think - it's true.  As our tour Verger stated, "He was a scientist after all."

How could amazing and ancient cathedrals not evoke collective emotion.  They seem to stand a mortar and stone, but it's far more than that - they are a collection of the emotional traffic that at one point or another has experienced so much history within!

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) almost 12 years ago

Elizabeth, like you I trust my intuition.  I have learned over the years that it is not a good thing to ignore it and continue my action or path anyway.

I think there are two types of what people call "intuition" - the first is where we take in clues from people or our environment at an unconscious level.  This is when you feel there's something "off" about someone, a place, or a situation but can't put your finger on why (similar to your experience in the blog).   I believe there is also an ESP-type intuition where you know something there is no way you should have known it.  One of the commentors above cited getting a bad feeling about the house across the street to learn that a murder had occurred there.

Whichever the cause is, if something in you - a tiny voice, your gut, whatever - says something is wrong with a person, place or situation trust it.

Amy Hunter,  Hearth & Home Videos   serving the Metrowest area of MA

Posted by Amy Hunter (Hearth & Home Videos) almost 12 years ago

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