Friday, February 25, 2011

910 Q Street Downtown Sacramento is Pending!

OK, it went pending last weekend but I’ve been busy with all sorts of work and haven’t updated my blog.
17 Days on Market and the perfect buyer has been found for this amazing downtown townhouse. If all goes smooth we should have a closing by March 22nd.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Traveling with a Disability

Cheryl in Turkey

My wife Cheryl and I love travel both within the U.S. and outside of the country. Traveling for us is complicated by the fact that Cheryl has a hereditary neuropathy condition called CMT (or Charcot Marie Tooth disease). It is closely related to muscular dystrophy and the Muscular Dystrophy Association (The MDA with Jerry Lewis) has it under its umbrella of covered conditions.

The impact of this condition is that the muscles in Cheryl’s feet and lower legs don’t receive the impulses from her nerves and now her hands are being affected as well. Cheryl can’t walk very far without exhausting herself and even a visit to a museum can be more than she can walk.

We’ve been using a wheelchair more and more and it has become a standard piece of equipment for our travels. One of the amazing things about our country is that we have the Americans with Disability Act (the ADA) and it creates a lot of accessible options to get around the country and all the buildings and landmarks here. Not surprisingly, the ADA doesn’t extend outside of America and accessibility in other countries is greatly varied.

We don’t let this stop us from doing crazy trips like going to India or Turkey or anywhere we want to go. We just take it as a challenge and an opportunity to bond even closer.

Our travels caught the attention of a group that supports people with my wife’s condition and they decided to write an article about us and traveling with a disability.

This is the link to the article entitled “Profile in Courage”. If you would like to read the whole article (you currently have to be a member to read it on the HNF site), just send me an email and I’ll send you a .pdf of the whole article.

Friday, February 4, 2011

New Listing at 910 Q Street, Sacramento CA

This is an amazing townhouse in the downtown/midtown area of Sacramento. It has a master chef kitchen with a Kenmore Elite double convection oven, 5 burner stove, island with wine fridge and storage for every kitchen gadget imaginable! There is endless cabinet space, styling lighting and galaxy granite counter tops. All the warmth and glow of this space will make you want to host at your home every time there is a get together. And that is just the kitchen and dining area, there is much more to explore…
And to give you an idea of my marketing blitz for a listing, here are the links to some of the first day of exposure:

The properties own website:

The general MLS page:

The listing on my own website,


The listing on

The listing on the local MLS client page:

There are more places going up soon, but these are the first to populate.

I will mail out “just listed” postcards in the next day or two to over 100 neighbors. I’ve put flyers in the house and delivered invites to the 37 neighbors in the complex to come to the first two open house events that I’m holding on Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 to 4:00.

I do love this business!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Interview Your Agent!

Interview Your Agent!
I highly recommend that you interview your agent before deciding to work with them. Start the process early so you get the most value out of the relationship. This also gives you enough time to get to know your agent so you can replace them if they aren’t doing a great job BEFORE you get into contract to purchase a new home or sell your old one.

Yes, I’m an agent recommending that you interview me and or other agents for the job of representing you in this process. I think it is the only responsible thing to do. You don’t have to do it sitting across a table from them, but you should know the answer to most of these questions before getting too far into the business relationship.

Here are some of the top questions to ask:

Are you a Realtor? We have a fiduciary duty to our clients, and a good agent takes this very seriously. Being a Realtor means that an agent has to adhere to the Realtor Code of Ethics and that little logo is a good sign, but it’s not a guarantee. Knowing that your agent can stand up to the Realtor code of ethics year after year is a strong starting point.

How long have you been in the business? Length in the business is no guarantee that the agent will do a great job and being new to the industry doesn’t mean that they wont do a great job, but it’s a very good conversation to have. You want someone that knows what they are doing when they are advising you on such a major decision.

How will you market my home/how will you help me find the right home to buy? This should be a huge conversation with color handouts and a binder full of plans. There should be schedules and past examples. You should be allowed to keep the materiel so that you can follow up on the performance throughout the process.

Can you provide references? Don’t just accept yes as the answer to this question, follow up and get the references.

What separates you from your competition? If your agent can’t give you a good answer, maybe there isn’t anything that separates them from the competition…

Can I review the documents before I need to sign them? There are so many pages required in real estate and it is all small print. Do yourself a favor and review them well in advance of needing to sign them.

Will you help me find other professionals? Agents live by referrals and so they should have a great list of people that they would refer out. Some of the top people to get referrals for are mortgage brokers, property inspectors and title companies.

Do you have your own website? If your listing agent doesn’t’ have a website in today’s market, you might want to find out how technically savvy they are. Do not underestimate the vast importance of online marketing. Buyers need a way to search for listings on their own time in addition to what their agent is doing for them, and a good site can make a huge difference.

What is the best way to communicate with you? Really you are looking for them to ask you “what is the best way to communicate with you”? They should be good with what ever your preferred style is. I love communication by phone and email, but I’ll do it by text if that is what my clients work best with.

What is your average list price to sales price? If you are a buyer you want an agent who can get you a discount. If you are a seller you want a agent that sells as close to 100% of list price as possible. Sellers will also want to find out what the agents average days on market is.

What are my options if I’m not satisfied? As a buyer you don’t want to be locked into buying through an agent who isn’t working for you. Sellers shouldn’t be locked into long listing contracts and should have some options to terminate the contract if they want to.

How do you get paid and how much do you charge? Agents get paid out of the selling price of the home, but I have seen some crazy things over the years. The seller has the most to gain or lose by asking this question since most of the time all the costs of both agents come out of their proceeds. Remember that cheaper isn’t always better, discount brokers don’t provide all the services that make a house sell for top dollar.

For sellers you should also ask the agent what type of camera they use. You want a high quality camera using a wide angle lens or better yet, you want them to pay for a professional photographer. I’m a great photographer and take good pictures of properties, but the guy I hire has a camera bag that is worth more than my car. Remember, this is the first impression for many buyers.

Sellers should also ask if the agent can help them make their home more marketable. The different between a well prepared home and one that isn’t can be weeks or months in sales time and/or many thousands of dollars in sales price. Handout for you, the agents walkthrough and bringing in a professional stager are all keys to look for.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

910 Q Street Midtown Sacramento Coming Soon

I’m pleased to give you a sneak peak of tomorrows new listing:

“Amazing Saratoga Townhome completely updated! All New: master chef kitchen, granite counters, duel convection oven, 5 burner stove, wine fridge, wood floors, custom loft, black granite tiles in 2 of 3 bathrooms, dual pane windows & designer paint. Remodel cost almost $150,000. Walking distance to all the best of Downtown: The Capitol, art galleries and great restaurants. Enjoy the attached garage, your own patio and Roosevelt Park across the street. Quiet back end unit. Not a short sale or REO!”

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

1338 School St is Pending Sale

Pending Sale in 12 days!

Just because it’s a Short Sale doesn’t mean that it can’t sell in a timely fashion!