Elizabeth Weintraub • Sacramento Real Estate Agent: May 2011

It Doesn't Always Pay to Signal Your Turn in a Conversation

My husband believes that some things I say just pop up out of the blue with absolutely no reference point. He says, in conversations, I don't signal my turns. My brain is constantly in transition. Yet, he loves me anyway.

During brunch at Bistro Michel yesterday, we were discussing vampire teeth. You mostly see this in women, not men, but I suppose men aren't immune. I'm talking about those long canines. The type that suggest I'd like to bite your neck, in a Bela Lugosi kind of way. They say that the eyes are the windows to your soul, but I suggest you look a little further south for insight. You can tell a lot about a person by the way they smile and their teeth. No offense to any English people or those with vampire teeth, by the way.

My point is we're all initially judged by how we appear. However, if you don't have a photograph of a person to look at, then the only thing you can go on is what they say to you over the phone. That's why when prospective sellers call me to talk about doing a short sale in Sacramento, I look up their property online. It always amazes them how I can access the information so quickly.

Not only do I pull up property information online while we're talking, but I check to see where they live, how many other homes they own, and I might run their name through Google. It's not that I'm spying; I'm gathering information to help them. A woman called to say she wanted to sell an underwater home as a short sale. It's a rental. We talked for a while, and then I asked her if she wanted to sell her residence, too.

This surprised her. She asked me why. Well, because her residence is worth about $200,000 and she owes more than $400,000. This information came as a shock to her. She had no idea. She's losing her job. She's also been busy renting out rooms to help make the mortgage payment. She's in the middle of a loan modification. And the lender never told her? But she likes her little house. That's fine. We all make our own decisions.

I suggested she think about it. Talk to a person she knows and trusts. Get legal and tax advice. She wrote yesterday to say she plans to retire in 5 years. She's thought about it and has decided to keep her home. She plans to sell it in 5 years so she can buy a smaller home. That's not gonna happen. It breaks my heart to have to tell her that. But something she said to me is a clue that it won't matter what I say. She said that she can sell in 5 years because people sell homes when they have a mortgage. It doesn't have to be paid off.

Yes, when they have equity.

It's obvious to me that she needs a Sacramento short sale agent. I don't think it's obvious to her. It's not my place to tell her to sell her home as a short sale. I'll just give her the information and make a left-hand turn. The safest way is three left-hand turns and I'm around the block. See, sometimes, I do signal my turns, but it can be painful.

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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 elizabethweintraub.com.

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