A Carmichael resident landed in the national spotlight in March, when she put her family home up for sale. She had one special instruction for her real estate agent: Do not sell to a Donald Trump supporter.
After being taken off the market temporarily, that home’s sale is now just about a done deal — with a six-figure cut to its original asking price.
Listed for $625,000 in March, the two-bedroom, two-bathroom home is pending sale at a price of $495,000, according to documents and listings available on multiple real estate websites this week. The homeowner used a different real estate agent this time.
The current listing agent said Friday she was not aware of any restrictions or special instructions.
“She’s just a seller and she asked me to sell it,” said JaCi Wallace, an associate for Re/Max Gold, indicating that no further instructions had been given to her.
The homeowner could not be immediately reached for comment.
It took a matter of days upon the home’s original listing in March for the seller at the time — who spoke to CBS 13 in a video interview but did not publicly announce her name — to have her political home-selling policy reach headlines in local outlets, as well as Fox News.
“When you’re talking about principles, morals and ethics, it’s very, very deep,“ she said in the interview.
The homeowner’s real estate agent on the previous listing, Elizabeth Weintraub, said she had never had such a request come her way before. Within a week of the widespread publicity, the home was temporarily pulled off the market.
Ryan Lundquist, a certified residential appraiser and active real estate blogger in the Sacramento area, noted the pending sale Thursday on Twitter.
Lundquist told The Bee on Friday the $130,000 price difference was most likely due to of the home being overpriced in the first place, with reasons related to politics or media attention playing less of a factor.
“Part of the problem was, it looks like it was priced like it was remodeled, when it really wasn’t,” he said.
He was nonetheless critical of the political policy the seller apparently put in place earlier this year, and said it served as a reminder not to let politics be a distraction.
“Why would you want to isolate your audience of potential buyers?” Lundquist wondered. “Politics can be so divisive today, and the truth is that most buyers don’t care about the political affiliations of the seller. I’ve never met a buyer that said, ‘I’m only gonna buy if the seller voted for Bernie (Sanders)’ ... people just don’t say that.”
It’s still a subject of some debate as to whether a homeowner or real estate agent can legally bar someone from buying a home on the basis of political opinions.
Sellers explicitly cannot do so on the basis of seven protected classes: race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status and national origin, according to the federal Fair Housing Act. Political preference is not among those classes; earlier this year, however, a few lawyers argued that refusing to sell a home on that basis violates the First Amendment, and that such a contractual term would likely be the subject of lawsuits.
The home is “definitely in an appealing area,” Lundquist said, and it boasts a wood-heavy interior and a brick courtyard in the backyard. Homes on the street in question have sold for above-average prices in the Carmichael area, dating back to at least 1998, according to data Lundquist provided.
But the appraiser tweeted Thursday that “$625K may have been pushing it,” calling it outdated in comparison to other homes on the same street.
Lundquist also noted that positive media coverage — he cited East Sacramento homes that appeared in the film “Lady Bird,” for instance — can attract slight interest. But notoriety, ranging from political controversy to crime or a death on the property, can be “huge” in negatively impacting listings, he said.