Archive for September, 2013|Monthly archive page

Do Real Estate Agents Speak English?

In blogPost, forFront on September 21, 2013 at 10:15 pm


While talking with a client the other day, I suddenly realized that we were not speaking the same language!

Oh, we were both speaking English, OK, but we were having a hard time understanding each other.  Why?  Jargon.

Like most other businesses, real estate is loaded with jargon.

Words and terms that real estate agents use all the time in the course of a day, can sound like so much gibberish or even “legalese” to our clients.

Just about the time this confusion dawned on me, I came across a nice little collection of real estate terminology written by Kristin Brown called “Demystifying Real Estate Terminology for Homebuyers.”  Her article is available here.

I decided to start with Kristin’s list of terms and add a few of my own with my own explanations for home buyers and home sellers.  Here is my list.

  • Agent:  When you work with a real estate agent, you are working with a person who represents you–who acts as your agent.  An ethical real estate agent has your best interests at heart.  Your agent will listen to you and try to help you sell your home quickly, for the most money, and with the least hassle for you.  And, if you are buying, your agent will help you find a home that meets all your needs and wants without breaking the bank.
  • Agency Agreement:  Your agent representing you in buying or selling a home will ask you to sign an agreement that indicates that you wish to have the agent represent you in your transaction.  This means that you are putting your trust in your agent and your agent is vowing to represent you well.
  • Pre-approval:  In today’s market, sellers want to see that you are serious when you make an offer to buy.  A pre-approval letter from your lender lets the seller know that your lender has already approved you for a loan that will allow you to actually go ahead and make a purchase.  When you are pre-approved for a loan, that does not mean that you have taken out the loan, it just means that you are approved by the lender and that the lending process can begin.  The pre-approval is not a loan, it is just the first step toward a loan.
  • Earnest Money Deposit:  Today when you make an offer to purchase a home, you need to deposit some “earnest” money with your agent.  By doing so, you show that you are sincere, or earnest.  Earnest money is usually about one percent of the purchase price, but can be any amount that you wish.  Earnest money will count toward your purchase when the deal is completed.  Sellers like to see that you have sincerely placed earnest money with your offer–it makes them feel secure in considering your offer.

Well, that’s just a little of the jargon you may come across when you are buying or selling a home.  Remember, your real estate agent, your Realtor®, is there to help guide you all the way.  Wieland Realty works right by the side of our clients so they conduct their real estate transactions with confidence.  Call or email us today!


5 Secrets for Keeping Your Cool in Sacramento–Without Air Conditioning

In blogPost, forFront on September 8, 2013 at 1:51 pm


Air conditioning is a given for most people nowadays.  With all of its negatives–cost, pollution, lack of control–people still look for “central air” as one of their must haves when shopping for a new home.



And, for good reason.  Sacramento’s summer temperatures can, and do, move into the triple digits every year.  Today is predicted to hit 100 and 100 to 105 are not at all uncommon for this time of year.

But, air conditioning is expensive.  It is expensive to install and to operate.  For an old house, it can be really expensive to install.  For example, an old house like mine does not have easy access for the installation of the ductwork needed to carry the cool air throughout the two stories.  In order to put in the duct work, the walls and ceilings would have to be torn up and then repaired.  What a job!

Air conditioning pollutes, too.  Other than the possibility of polluting the indoor air when no fresh air is brought into the home, air conditioners cause pollution because of the huge amount of energy they use and because of our over use of air conditioning.  Some folks keep their homes so cold that people, especially older people, ask for a sweater.  Some people keep their air conditioners running full tilt even when they are not at home.  The energy requirements for air conditioning a home can run into hundreds of dollars a month.

People sometimes complain about a lack of temperature control with their air conditioner.  What is just right for one member of the family is too cold or too warm for another.  Running to the thermostat to increase or decrease the temperature can cause higher electric bills and family tensions!

Since we live in midtown Sacramento, and have for more than forty years, without an air conditioner, our friends ask how in the world we can do it.  Well, for one thing, we live in an old house.  Old houses have a lot of things going for them and beating the heat is one of them.  By design, old two story houses with basements and attics are well designed for living pleasantly.  Combined with a tiny bit of daily effort and some common sense, we can use our house design to help us stay comfortable throughout the summer.

Here are five easy steps that we take on summer days:

  1. Early in the morning open up your windows–wide open.  Sacramento mornings are gloriously cool, even in the summer.
  2. Around nine or ten in the morning, go around and close all your windows, your window shades (you need shades or blinds for sure), and your drapes.  You have just trapped a cool Sacramento morning inside your house.
  3. For jobs you do upstairs during the day, have a nice fan in your work area.  It can be a box fan on the floor or a fancy ceiling fan installed.  Downstairs, you will not need a fan; you will be cool all day.
  4. At about five thirty in the evening, open all your upstairs windows.  The famous Delta breezes will have begun and the shape of your two-story house will cause any heat to rise, get caught by the breezes, and be swept out your upstairs windows.  (Make sure that any house you buy has south-facing windows!)
  5. Install a ceiling fan over your bed; the low setting should be perfect for a good night’s sleep.  If you are not yet sleepy, go outside on your deck or porch and enjoy the most wonderful summer evenings in the entire country–always perfect for outdoor relaxing.

Wieland Realty can help you find a comfortable home in Sacramento’s midtown or surrounding areas.  We also offer free experience-based advice for living here!


10 Easy Steps to Cut School Clutter

In blogPost, forFront on September 5, 2013 at 8:46 pm

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