Home Selling Tips
I certainly did not set out to become a Kitec plumbing expert. In fact, I didn’t even know this seller lived in Bridgeway Island where Kitec pipes might be found. I met her a couple of years ago when I sold her mother’s condo in Riva on the River. She and I just clicked. She interviewed quite a few agents and selected me, which was a smart move, she says. She was so thrilled with the sale of that home that she promised when she got around to selling her home in Bridgeway Island, she would call me.
Sellers need to leave the house, not only for showings when selling but they should leave during an open house. This is difficult for some people to understand. They feel like we are kicking them out of the house, and in a way we are. We want buyers to see the home among the excitement of other buyers desiring the home. Sacramento Realtors also don’t want buyers forming any sort of opinions about the sellers or even talking to the sellers. It just makes sense.
Of course, we can’t force the sellers to leave if they refuse. I had one seller very worried about his cat. He was concerned the cat would escape or runaway or be stolen. I can understand that. When I sold my own home, I put my cat into a carrier and stuck a note on it. It read: don’t pet me and don’t talk to me. Primarily I was concerned about the open house guests’ safety because that cat might lunge and bite them. He hated everybody but me and my husband.
Part of my Sacramento real estate business involves working with older sellers such as those who hold title in family trusts, but every so often I run across a situation in which the seller has dementia. I closed a sale a few months ago for a seller with dementia. She died in the middle of escrow, too, and it was terribly hard on her family. Fortunately, she had named a successor trustee in her trust so her daughter could handle the sale of the home from beginning to end.
It was almost as though once she knew the home would be sold, she decided to give up. I got to meet her when I completed my agent visual inspection and spoke to her daughter about selling. She seemed vaguely aware I was there and at times did answer questions. However, her daughter said after we put the home on the market, she was no longer responsive. I hate to think that selling the home could have been the factor but when you live in a home for dozens of years, well, I’ll probably be that way at the end, too.
Part of the problem I am facing as a top listing agent in Sacramento, odd as this might sound, is with timing on market; I can’t keep any listings in inventory. Soon as I put a home on the market, we get a bunch of offers and it sells. I honestly don’t think I’ve had a listing stay in active status longer than a week lately. I compare it to the days when I used to put together large dinner parties. I could spend 3 days on my feet, chopping, cooking, creating a Chinese feast and, within 20 minutes, the food is devoured and gone.
Given our strong seller’s market in Sacramento, many home buyers today are finding themselves closing escrow but not being able to move into their new homes due to the free seller rent backs. Part of the reason for the free seller rent backs is to induce the seller to accept an offer over another offer without the holdover possession. It’s also because many sellers are not moving up. At least not in my listing inventories.
Sellers are either a) a successor trustee or trustee of a trust; b) moving out of the area; c) selling an investment rental or d) buying a brand new home. They are not coming to me and asking to sell their home so they can buy a bigger, nicer home in a different neighborhood, which would be a normal Sacramento real estate market. But these are not normal times. We need to remind ourselves that much of what is happening today is NOT NORMAL. We can’t get complacent.