But did you know that she was considered a “wild child” in her younger years?
“I grew up in a small town in Northern California called Grass Valley,” said Sarah. “We were always outside playing, climbing trees, riding bikes, and exploring. We weren’t afraid of anything. We would cliff dive at the Yuba River, white water raft down the American River, and spend the summers hiking through the Tahoe National Forrest. I guess I was considered a `wild child’ in my younger years.”
Both of Sarah’s parents were teachers, which meant there was time for extended vacations each summer for Sarah and her two younger sisters. “Traveling was a huge part of my childhood and it’s where some of my greatest memories were made,” she said. “My parents wanted us to be fearless, independent women who were competent and skillful negotiators.”
But, then tragedy struck the family. When Sarah was 9 years old and her sisters were ages 5 and 3, their mother unexpectedly passed away, leaving behind her husband of 16 years and three little girls. “My dad was amazing, but raising three little girls on his own was tough,” Sarah said. Three years after her mother’s death, Sarah’s dad took a leave of absence from work, pulled all of his girls out of school and moved the entire family to New Zealand.
Sarah said, “He wanted to bring adventure and laughter back into our lives. He knew my mom had always wanted to go to New Zealand, so it was sort of in honor of her.” Sarah and her dad and sisters spent nearly a year travelling New Zealand, and Australia. “We were creating new memories and sharing new adventures,” said Sarah. “I learned more travelling that year, than I could have ever learned from a text book.”
The family eventually returned to Northern California where Sarah and her sisters finished high school. However, her adventures were far from over. Her parents’ efforts to raise a fearless, independent woman apparently were successful. At just 17 years old, Sarah moved to San Diego to attend San Diego State University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Communications.
About three years after college, Sarah was enjoying a successful real estate career when the market crashed in 2007. “It was a horrible time back then,” said Sarah. “People didn’t know how to help their clients so they were turning them away. No one knew what to do, including the banks. But, I’m a problem solver by nature and a short sale was a solution that could help a lot of people. However, the banks were reluctant. It took me a lot of negotiating and nearly a year to get approval on my first short sale. But, then, the referrals kept coming.”
Since 2008, Sarah and her team have successfully negotiated more than 1100 short sale transactions. In 2011, as a California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.) Director representing PSAR, she has consulted with state legislators and provided statistical data which was instrumental in passing SB 458, which was legislation that stopped lenders from being able to pursue a deficiency balance after a short sale. She has served four terms as a C.A.R. director, and she has served on the PSAR board since 2011.
“I love the camaraderie and cooperation that I see everyday among our PSAR members,” said Sarah. “Even though we’re competitors, everyone works together 100 percent to help the association grow as a flourishing entity. The best of humanity is on display at PSAR.”