Tag Archives: Realtor

Dream House – My Bizarre Real Estate Dream Last Night

When I waited tables at a restaurant in college I use to have, what we called “wait-mares.”  These were stress induced dreams/nightmares usually involving being overwhelmed with too many customers all at once, or showing up to work without your uniform, etc.

Last night I had a crazy dream about me buying a home and facing similar situations as my clients.  I drove up to a gorgeous home to view, that I loved from the pictures and online information – my parents were with me (weird).  When we a got out of the car, another agent was there about to show the home to their client.  I did the courteous thing and said, “We’ll wait until you are done and give you some space.”  In the meantime we struck up a conversation with the owner and bonded over shared interests and our children.  In a genuine way, we won their favor, which may sway them if it came to choosing between offers (a good technique in a “normal” market when dealing directly with a seller.  People that like you, generally want to work with you).

We waited about a half an hour (kind of a long time) and the folks before us were not through viewing the property, so we decided to politely press forward and have a look around.  When we got to the kitchen, we noticed that the first shoppers were engaged with their agent in writing an offer, right there at the kitchen table – the nerve!  We kept our cool and calmly continued viewing the home.  Parts of the home were upgraded, while other things were stuck in a time period.  There were many things that I did not completely care for, but my dad kept pointing out the great things about the house (which he never does in real life), such as, “But Keith, these things you don’t like are all easy fixes – just cosmetic.”  Or, my dad added, “Those things that concern you are small in comparison to the great price!  And it even has view of the beach!”  (Even though it was in the center of an urban area [don’t you love how dreams can bend reality?!]  I guess this is my secret desire, to live on the beach while still being connected to the city?  Come to think of it, that would be pretty awesome!).  As we walked around the house, we noticed more home buyers filtering though the house, until almost every room had people in it, all discussing the offer they were going to make – oh the pressure!

[This was quite a vivid and emotional dream]

I felt so torn inside, not knowing if I should move forward, and if so, how much over asking price should I offer?  We bumped into the owner while easing our way back to the front door.  She said, “Don’t miss the flat screen TV we installed on the porch or the toaster!”  What!?!?  Yes, I saw the perfectly mounted TV, and to the left of it hung a chrome toaster suspended from an overhang.  (I have no idea how that would work, but it was freakin’ cool.  Mark my words, the new future trend in real estate…. suspended outdoor, chrome toasters).

There my dream ended…

What does this all mean?  Am I stressed out?  Am I just feeling my clients’ angst?  Is my father a picture of myself and the things I tell clients? (uh oh).  Should I move to the beach?

Any dream therapists out there want to analyze me?

Enjoy,

Keith Klassen – Real Estate Broker

916.669.9030

Overview of Curtis Park Village

Recently the environmental plans were approved for the Curtis Park Village development. I have not formed a strong opinion about this project…  I’m all for trading a toxic wasteland for development.  However, I like what one person said about the scale of the retail development side of things – I can move to Roseville if I wanted a suburban neighborhood and outlet stores. Others complain about it being too auto-centric.  I just hope that it will not be a strip mall feel, but somehow reflect the historic Curtis Park and Land Park feel.  I know many of my neighbors who are adamantly for or against it.  It always if fascinating to watch public administration in action and how opinions and attitudes are shaped based on how it affects people.  Currently, I am gathering more information as I now see some bigger progress.

Here is the overview from Petrovich’s website.

Enjoy,

Keith Klassen – Real Estate Broker

916.669.9030

Things That Eat Your Home (Sacramento CA)

Viewing thousands of homes and participating in hundreds of inspections, there are things that become familiar sights – things to look out for that could adversely affect the purchase of a home.

I showed an investor a home that I was about to list.  Originally it was going to be a flip, but the owner has his hands full with about 20 other homes that they are rehabbing.  When previewing this home, there were the normal checklist-thoughts of what needs to be done to get this home ready to rent or sell:  Paint and carpet, rip out and rehab kitchen, new HVAC unit, restore garage from illegal conversion, etc.  Before we left, I pulled back a window curtain and ah ha….

This my friends is a termite “tunnel.”

While these items may seem daunting, they are curable at a relatively reasonable expense.

Enjoy,

Keith Klassen – Real Estate Broker

916.669.9030

Job Perks – Sacramento Real Estate

I had the good fortune of closing a short sale (after 4 months) in El Dorado Hills.  My clients had big plans to update the home and do some minor renovations.  In the discussion process I overheard them point to the pellet stove insert and say, “That thing has got to go!”  Little did they know I had been shopping for one on and off for the last few years.  I guess I was not very motivated to drop the $2000+ on one of these bad boys.

The clients and I did our final walk through before the close of the sale and I said, “Hey, what are you going to do with that old pellet stove?”  Like how I “beat it up”a bit?  “Oh, we are getting rid of it and putting a gas insert in its place.”  I said, “Hmmm… I’ve actually been looking for one and that would fit perfectly in my 1930’s home – my wife would love it.  I’d be willing to take it off your hands and haul it off.”  He said, “Make me an offer.”

Long story short, I picked it up last weekend and installed it last night.  A shout out to Robin McDonell (and Bruce), “The Pellet Stove Guys!” Robin seriously saved me about $700+ in parts and labor and gave me the tutorial on everything I wanted to know about pellet stoves.  This guy kicks some serious ass when it comes to pellet stoves.  Check out his blog/website here.  Not flashy, but they take care of business.  Put it this way, I was not paying for his fancy showroom.  Thanks Robin for the hook up!

Also, my neighbors came through – Thanks Pete for the bag of pellets and Jay for the use of the truck to make it all happen – true neighbors.

I am currently sitting in my chair enjoying the blaze of the Whitfield Advantage (which I got for a ‘song’).  It’s a cool 53 degrees outside, I’m sipping my coffee, blogging, and watching my kids play Legos in front of the fire.  It’s like Christmas come early.

Enjoy,

Keith Klassen – Real Estate Broker

916.669.9030

Realtor Run-Ins, Sacramento CA

From time to time, I just have to crack back on some of the agents with whom I have
run-ins.  Granted, we all make mistakes, we all have bad days, and we all have our eccentricities…  but come on now!  To be in this business (especially in this economy), one must have a sense of humor, be willing to laugh at themselves, and the industry.

I submitted an offer on a short sale last week – of course, I hustle to get the appointment, show the home, consult with the buyer, and write the offer in a timely and expedient manner.  I did not get a confirmation email that they received the offer the first day, so I emailed again the next.  Here’s the response I got:

[I received this on the 11th]

Hi Keith,

Thank you for your clients offer.

I am on vacation and going on a cruise from the 14th to the 22nd.   I will process all offers on the 22nd.   So please ask your clients to be patient.

Uh, yeah.  We cannot be patient and we will not work with you.  Sorry, on to the next one.  There is a phrase in real estate called, “Time is of the Essence.”  This is a good example of a bad example.

Okay colleagues, everyone can get someone to cover for them!  No matter how small your company is… you could even get someone from another company to cover for you!  Point blank, just bad business practices!

Please make me laugh and share some of your experiences.

Enjoy,

Keith Klassen – Real Estate Broker

916.669.9030

Retro Homes in Sacramento CA

It always amazes me to walk into a home that is like a time capsul.  Nothing has been change and everything is in pristine condition.

When did these go out of style?  I’ve never seen a manual ice crusher before.

Have we hit bottom in the Sacramento CA housing Market?

This is a question I get asked frequently and one that I hear attempting to be answered.  “Have we hit the bottom of the housing market?  At times I have fallen prey to the common thinking that says, “How much worse can it get?  The market has dropped ____%, how much more can it go down?”  Then the conclusion… “We must be at the bottom.”  Anyone with their head in the game has thought/asked this.

However, after just doing a little research you will find that there are key economic forces in play that have to change (unemployment for one) before “the bottom” is reached AND our economy comes out of the recession in which we find ourselves.  Forecasters have been calling the bottom for the last 2 years or longer.  So have we hit bottom yet?

For an excellent read on some of these economic factors, check out this article, The Orwellian Recovery.  The author succinctly states,  “I don’t see how housing prices can recover at the same time inventories, mortgage rates, and unemployment rise.”

A colleague an I were discussing this topic over coffee today… what’s going to happen when the government backs off the stimulus and interest rates rise?

It’s a complicated and highly opinionated topic, what are your thoughts?

Enjoy,

Keith Klassen – Real Estate Broker

916.669.9030

Figure 8’s Finished Product – Curtis Park, Sacramento

Here it is – after months of construction, the face lift is complete.  It’s nice to see completion, especially in light of so many stalled development projects in Sacramento.  Well done Figure 8.  Thanks for adding to bringing your unique touch to our wonderful neighborhood.

Enjoy,

Keith Klassen – Real Estate Broker

916.669.9030

Real Estate Therapy in Sacramento, CA

Lately I’ve had the privilege of gaining several buyer referrals, where the previous real estate agent, for a variety of reasons, was not able or capable of getting the job done.  One agent was in the business part-time and did not have the availability to do the follow through.  Another situation, the agent said to the buyers, “You are too picky… you need to expand your search and buyer something [now].”  I’ve retold that story many times… how crazy is that?!  I mean, there are thoughts that might go through my head about certain buyer characteristics (especially if I’m hungry, tired, or unbalanced)… but let’s just say, FILTER!  Let me say it again, FILTER!  If I said everything I was thinking, I might get beat up (and that’s just my wife – ha ha ha).  Back to the subject… My point… plain and simple I’ve had the good fortune of capitalizing on other agent’s inability to do their job (well).  One frustrated client said, “Our agent wouldn’t return our calls!”  Most recently, I received a referral on a client whose previous agent decided that they could not make a living in real estate any more (this is pretty common these days).

While this phenomenon has been good for my business and is a nice pat on the back, as I imagine the ones referring these clients say, “Call Keith, he’s the most solid (best, most professional, gets-the-job-done, intelligent, savvy…) Realtor I know!”  Okay, emphasis on I imagine.  Bottom line, I call people back, am full-time, and don’t say (aloud) everything that passes through my head.  It’s been good to get these referral, however, I find myself having mini-counseling sessions to give these beat-up buyers real estate therapy.  These are wonderful people now on edge due to their past agents.  For the one client, she kept asking me during the showing process, “Do you think I’m too picky?”  My response, “Why yes I do, let’s stop right now, I can’t take it any longer!”  Of course not!  And I wasn’t even thinking that 🙂  Here’s the genuine and right response, “You should be picky.  You are making one of the biggest investments of your life.  My role is to assist and help you find your ideal home that fits your buying criteria.”  Agents, takes notes – this is real estate 101 / Socialization 201.

You will be helping yourselves as well as your clients when you help them focus their search.  If they don’t want a swimming pool… don’t show them homes with swimming pools.  If the client can only afford a $250,000 home, then don’t show them homes that are listed at $300,000.  If they are using a down-payment assistance program that requires that they buy an REO (bank owned property)… yep, you got it, only show them bank owned properties.  I know, not rocket science, however, it requires that the agent listens, and asks questions, and takes notes, and is actually engaged.  The other day I met a clients for the first time that was frustrated and burnt out on her last agent.  I found out through listening to her story that they’ve looked at 40-50 homes over the last 5-6 months.  Naturally I asked, “What were some of the things about those homes that did not work for you?”  She replied, “Well, most needed too much work, and I don’t have a lot of money to do a lot of work.  Many had swimming pools, and I definitely do not want a pool.  Others backed up to a busy street, and I don’t like the noise.”  She went on.  I took notes.  Wen she was done I ask more questions and learned that she also was allergic to cats, loved gardening, and has a niece that would be living with her.  I asked specific questions like, “What do you mean by ‘a lot of work’?” And, “How much money could you spend on fix up costs.”  And, “what is your favorite thing about this house?” And, “Does your niece need to be in walking distance of the school?”  And, “What matters most in buying a home on the list we’ve created?”  Again, this is not new or an unusual tool in the agent’s belt, but I am surprised how little it is used.

I’ve found it a refreshing experience to have these real estate therapy sessions. The client finds relief from frustration.  They feel cared for and in good hands.  They get motivated and excited to find that home, as they now know we are not going to just look at anything that pops up.  The homes we look at will all be potential purchases.

My therapy sessions are free.

What are some experiences you’ve had as an agent or a buyer? I’d love to hear your story.

Keith Klassen – Real Estate Broker

916.669.9030

Faded Lady – The Guild in Oak Park, CA

The Guild Theater in Oak Park sends my thoughts back to a different era.  Oak Park has a fascinating history, that enjoyed a time of boom.  I love this building, the sign, and the brick work, yet I’ve not had the chance to go inside.

A friend of mine said that he when to a community gathering there about 6 or 7 years ago and water was leaking in from the ceiling.  Since then I believe that it has been restored.  I bet it was a wonderful place in it’s hay day, and still could be!

Old Soul Coffee house just moved in around the corner… signs of revitalization to come?

Enjoy,

Keith Klassen – Real Estate Broker

916.669.9030