The way I see it, the problem with Sacramento home buyers who offer less than list price is it’s often a case of the blind leading the blind. I’m sorry, there is just no other way to say it. You’ve got buyers who have probably never bought a home in their lives trying to figure out how much to pay. And you’ve got a buyer’s agent who probably doesn’t sell very many homes. The agent most likely has had little, if any, training about appraising a home.
Often, these are buyers who offer less than list price because they saw an HGTV show. In those mythical fairy tales, buyers are always offering less than the amount the seller asks. Talk about overly generalized. We have a Sacramento sellers market, which means sellers can hold out for and will get list price. Very few homes for sale, high demand, hello?
Should a Sacramento listing agent know the seller’s bottom line? Well, you know, if you have to ask the question, generally the answer is no. I’m just a bit more vocal about it. When I hear sellers headed that direction, I ask them to please stop. Because I don’t want to know their bottom line. It’s none of my business, actually. When we settle on a list price for a home, it becomes my job to get that price. Let’s not muddy the waters or cause more confusion by talking about how much less we will take.
When these sellers called to ask whether I would prepare a Carmichael Realtors CMA of their home, they were very upfront that they were interviewing other agents. They asked me if I knew one of the agents, said they see this agent’s signs up and down the road, but I didn’t. All together, I figure they talked with at least 3 other area specialists who primarily sell only in Carmichael. I sell a lot of homes in Carmichael, but I don’t focus all of my energies in Carmichael. I sell in a four-county area, which means I have to carefully scrutinize each aspect of every single sale to stay right on the mark.
Selling a home without an appraisal in Sacramento is not that difficult to do if you identify which homes might qualify for this set of circumstances. You may ask how do you do that? Well, for starters, you hire an experienced Sacramento Realtor who knows how to spot these types of homes. I remember a while back when I shared with a reporter from the Washington Post how I sold a home in Elk Grove without an appraisal and pulled underwater sellers out from under the house by selling over appraised value. I saved them from a short sale.
Because I list and sell so many homes in the Elk Grove area, I get a lot of calls from appraisers asking about home pricing strategies and what happened during our offer negotiations. It’s a good thing I am organized. I keep all of my offers and notes on each in a separate spreadsheet just for reference. There is no way I can pull this stuff out of my memory. I’m lucky if I can recall the name of the street. The calls from appraisers generally center on how to substantiate the sales value without enough comps.