For those of you who know her professionally, you may know Sarah Heck as the owner of SDH Processing or the short sale guru who teaches the PSAR Short Sale Bootcamp. However, you might be surprised to find that this competent and skillful negotiator was a wild child in her younger years.
Sarah grew up in a small town in Northern California called Grass Valley. "We were always outside playing, climbing trees, riding bikes, and exploring,” said Sarah. “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. “
Both of her parents were teachers which allowed them to take Sarah and her two younger sisters on extended vacations each summer. “Traveling was a huge part of my childhood and is where some of my greatest memories were made,” said Sarah. “My parents wanted us to be fearless, independent women. “
Tragedy struck in 1990 when Sarah’s mother unexpectedly passed away leaving behind her husband of 16 years and three little girls ages 9, 5 and 3. “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 there, so it was sort of an homage to her.” Sarah and her family spent almost two years travelling New Zealand, Australia and Europe. “We were creating new memories and sharing new adventures. I learned more travelling that year, than I could have ever learned from a text book.”
Sarah’s family eventually returned to Northern California where she and her sisters finished high school. However, her adventures were far from over. Her parents efforts to raise a fearless, independent woman were successful. At just 17 years old, Sarah moved to San Diego to attend SDSU which is where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Communications.
Now, 15 years after moving to San Diego, Sarah has a successful real estate career where that fearless independence shines. “I started my company by accident,” Sarah confessed. “It was 2007, and the market crashed. No one knew what to do, including the banks. People didn’t know how to help their clients so they were turning them away. I am a problem solver by nature. I wasn’t afraid of the banks and I wasn’t going to take no for an answer.” It took Sarah nearly one year to get her first short sale approved. After that the referrals kept coming.
Since 2008, Sarah has successfully negotiated over 800 short sale transaction. As a C.A.R. Director for PSAR, she also consulted with senators and provided statistical data which was instrumental in helping pass the SB 458. That was the legislation which stopped lenders from being able to pursue a deficiency balance after a short sale.
Sarah has served on the PSAR board of directors since 2011, and was recently reelected to serve through 2016. She also recently completed her third terms as a California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.) director.
Sarah enjoys PSAR because of the camaraderie and cooperation. “Even though we’re competitors, everyone works together 100 percent to help the association grow as a flourishing entity,” she said. “The best of humanity is on display at PSAR.”
# # #
Don’t forget to read next week’s story. Hint: He wrestled a 250-pound black bear in the Army (it was his captain’s pet).