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Elizabeth Weintraub

Home Buying / Selling

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The Many Types of Real Estate Agents

Friday April 18, 2014
There are so many types of real estate agents that it's almost impossible to keep them all straight.

Where I work as an agent in California, we have about 80 or so agents in my office alone, and about 17 offices. Just looking through the titles of agents in my office is enough to make my head spin. If I were a buyer, I wouldn't have the first idea what kind of agent they were and whether I should care. Some of the titles they bestow upon themselves are confusing, as they are probably trying to set themselves apart from all of the others. But when it comes right down to it, we are all just real estate agents, regardless of what we call ourselves.

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At the time of writing, Elizabeth Weintraub, BRE # 00697006, is a Broker-Associate at Lyon Real Estate in Sacramento, California.

How Clean to Leave the House Upon Sale

Wednesday April 16, 2014
Sellers often ask me how clean they have to clean the house upon sale.

I don't try to analyze why a seller would ask the question because that would be a waste of time. The fact is they ask it. They are worried, I guess, that they might not make the buyers happy or maybe they just don't want to do any extra work? While it's not necessary to scrub the house from top to bottom, there are common courtesy things a seller should do while cleaning the house for the new owners upon sale. Leaving a bottle of champagne in the refrigerator is a nice touch, too, but not required.

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At the time of writing, Elizabeth Weintraub, BRE # 00697006, is a Broker-Associate at Lyon Real Estate in Sacramento, California.

Most Home Buyers Take Out a Home Mortgage

Monday April 14, 2014
Until you decide to buy a home, you probably have not thought much about a home loan nor wondered why it is called a mortgage.

Many people might not even consider a home loan to be a mortgage because it's an unfamiliar term. You get a loan to buy a car but you get a mortgage to buy a home. Is there a difference between the loans? Yes, there is a big difference, especially how the interest rate is calculated. Mortgages are generally amortized using a different set of rules. If you paid off a 30-year mortgage over the full 30 years, you will probably pay 3 times as much as you initially paid for the home. Maybe more.

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At the time of writing, Elizabeth Weintraub, BRE # 00697006, is a Broker-Associate at Lyon Real Estate in Sacramento, California.

It's Best to Limit Home Feature Requirements for a Search

Friday April 11, 2014
Setting up home features that operate as restrictive search parameters to find a home work best when there are a lot of homes for sale on the market.

It doesn't seem to work so well when the features are so precise that none of the homes will match exactly. If you don't get an exact match, then you won't get any homes to look at. It's much better to give yourself broad search parameters and look for common features such as 3 bedrooms and 2 baths, and then consider whether you're willing to buy a home that doesn't have all of the features you might prefer.

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At the time of writing, Elizabeth Weintraub, BRE # 00697006, is a Broker-Associate at Lyon Real Estate in Sacramento, California.

Should Sellers and Buyers Meet While Showing the Home?

Wednesday April 9, 2014
Some agents don't see any harm in letting sellers meet buyers while showing the home, but these agents are taking a chance that both parties will not judge each other nor discriminate nor otherwise talk themselves out of a transaction. There are plenty of sellers who want to talk to buyers. Not only do they want to talk to buyers, but some sellers believe they can do a better job by talking directly to buyers than their agent can do. They could be right, but they could also say something that could be very detrimental without realizing it. It makes me want to shake people by the shoulders, look them squarely in the eye and say, "Repeat after me, everything you say can and will be used against you." But they would just look at me like I'm nuts and laugh, "I'm not under arrest."

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At the time of writing, Elizabeth Weintraub, BRE # 00697006, is a Broker-Associate at Lyon Real Estate in Sacramento, California.

Tips for Identifying a Replacement Property for a 1031

Monday April 7, 2014
It's easy to be confused about the correct procedure for identifying a replacement property for a 1031 exchange.

That's because we're dealing with the I.R.S., which means following federal guidelines. If you don't identify the replacement property correctly, you could invalidate the 1031 exchange and not receive that preferential tax deferred treatment. Besides, you've only got 45 days to identify the property and another 180 days to close after closing your initial exchange, and that in itself can make investors uneasy.

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At the time of writing, Elizabeth Weintraub, BRE # 00697006, is a Broker-Associate at Lyon Real Estate in Sacramento, California.

It's Getting Easier to Get a Condo Loan

Friday April 4, 2014
Home buyers who want the convenience of condo living have found it more difficult over the past few years to get a condo loan, but that hurdle has been easing.

It's true that some lenders, no matter what, do not want to make loans in some complexes if the vast majority of the units are not owner occupied. There might be restrictions against the number of units in a complex that can be rented out. But at least the other major hurdle, that of litigation, has begun to soften. It's still wise to check with your lender before pursuing a condo loan to make sure you can actually get a loan in your targeted condo community.

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At the time of writing, Elizabeth Weintraub, BRE # 00697006, is a Broker-Associate at Lyon Real Estate in Sacramento, California.

Why Should Buyers Care About Comparable Sales?

Wednesday April 2, 2014
No matter how many times I try to drum it into home buyer's heads that they should never make an offer on a home without reviewing the comparable sales, they don't always want to take the time to do it.

They figure that they've looked at enough homes to have a good feel for the sales price that they need to offer. This is wrong on so many levels. For starters, they are seeing only the homes for sale and how much sellers are asking, which doesn't mean anything. The only numbers that matter are how much homes have sold for, and those are the numbers the buyers' appraiser will use as well. You can't ignore the comparable sales and not invite trouble.

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At the time of writing, Elizabeth Weintraub, BRE # 00697006, is a Broker-Associate at Lyon Real Estate in Sacramento, California.

Selling a Cluttered Home Filled With Junk

Monday March 31, 2014
When I think of selling a cluttered home, a client's home that I sold several years ago comes to mind.

Her home was so cluttered and filled with junk, it was unbelievable. Many people seem to know if they have packrat tendencies and live with stuff piled up high to the ceiling; it's the kind of thing they notice, even if they don't want to talk about it. But this seller moved back a picture on the wall to show me a nail hole and asked if she should caulk it. I thought, seriously? She was worried about a tiny hole in the wall when the dirt on her floors was two-inches thick and and her home looked like a weekend garage sale?

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At the time of writing, Elizabeth Weintraub, BRE # 00697006, is a Broker-Associate at Lyon Real Estate in Sacramento, California.

#1 Mistake When Picking a Home Sales Price

Friday March 28, 2014
Picking a sales price without studying the sales numbers for closed homes in your neighborhood makes it completely impossible to pick a sales price.

Don't feel bad if you don't know how to interpret that information because that's how your agent can help you. For example, you might arbitrarily think that because your lot is larger, maybe 1/3 bigger than your neighbors' parcels, that your home is worth, oh, say, $50,000 more. An appraiser in a single-family residential neighborhood like yours might only allot an extra $10,000, though. That's a big difference.

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At the time of writing, Elizabeth Weintraub, BRE # 00697006, is a Broker-Associate at Lyon Real Estate in Sacramento, California.

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