Sally Long Johns’ office with Coldwell Banker is at 111 Main St. in Placerville, but she is on the road a lot. Living “out in the sticks” herself, she has clients all over El Dorado County.
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Twenty years ago she and her husband, Chris Johns, moved from Sacramento into their 2,000-square-foot dream home with 20 acres in Mosquito. Their four children have their roots there. One son flew off to Southern Oregon University; one is a student at Sacramento State University. Another son is in middle school, and a daughter is in her last year of elementary school. Chris and Sally still take turns driving the younger ones to their activities. She knows all about raising families in the country.
Long Johns said she is normally in the office by 8:30 in the morning, taking care of paperwork and communications, “and then off to show or preview properties — still loving those rural land and home transactions that make up most of my business. I drive an average of 150 miles a day in the county.” She has an iPhone with service from Verizon, which is the only provider that works in the county’s rural areas. “I can pull up listings, call, text, e-mail, approve and review contracts, and keep in near constant communication with my clients,” she said.
She is a lifetime member of the El Dorado County Association of Realtors Top Achievers for 10 consecutive years and a member of El Dorado County Chamber of Commerce. Long Johns serves on the EDCAR steering committee for Top Achievers and belongs to Team 2000. She enjoys handing out scholarships from the two groups to local high school students.
She is proud that she was voted Best Realtor of 2011 and 2012 in the Mountain Democrat.
Long Johns said she could tell the market had changed last year. “More multiple offers, less houses to choose from, prices edging up, low interest rates, have all equated to a very busy year for me,” she explained.
First-time and move-up buyers are encouraged by improving regional employment and prices that remained almost 30 percent below their 2006 peak, Long Johns continued. She also noted some new construction in the county, saying, “That’s a terrific sign of rising prices overall in the market.”
Low inventory and expanding number of eager buyers make this a good time to sell, the Realtor added. “There are multiple offers on houses that have been priced well and I’ve worked hard to make sure that my buyers are educated about the home-buying process,” she said.
One example was a lesson in patience. After working with a client for more than a year, Long Johns wrote an offer on a home for him. The offer was countered, and went into another round. Finally, they stood their ground. She said, “He got the deal after several days of waiting it out. Patience is a virtue — not one that I possess very often, but sometimes you must hold firm. There is a time to continue to negotiate and a time to be willing to walk away. I stayed in contact with the listing agent. I communicated my client’s needs, and it worked out.”
Long Johns said she thinks short sale sellers will be part of the market for several years “while the negative equity equalizes.” “I can help folks who are in distress make rational decisions,” she said. “It makes me sick when I see a foreclosure because of the long-term credit implications. A short sale, where the seller’s lender agrees to take less than they are owed, is a terrific option for most homeowners in distress.”
Long Johns continues to volunteer in the community, including for family activities — Scouting and sports.
“I’ve decided that my idea of ‘date night’ now that Chris and I have been together for 27 years is to attend a weekend fundraiser dinner,” she admitted. “I love raffles and silent auctions. I love dragging friends to events that they would never have attended. I get dinner out with no clean up and it’s in support of some organization that has a worthy goal.”
Sally Long Johns said that is her real name. Her name was Long. Her husband’s name is Johns. She didn’t hyphenate the names, just added his.