11 Months to Sell a Home in Davis, CA
Not since the days of short sales that pretty much ended 8 years ago, I have never encountered such a difficult time to sell a home in Davis, CA. The sellers and I met in early March of last year; they were referred to me. Very nice people, and I sincerely wanted to help them receive top dollar for their home. Of course, part of the problem was they were certain they could get more for the home than I suggested.
Fortunately, they owned the home free and clear, and had invested, according to the seller, a few hundred thousand. They remodeled the kitchen, added a permitted sunroom and updated the back yard. The sellers really wanted to try a higher sales price based on their upgrades, and I agreed to give it a shot. Another agent might have refused the listing under those circumstances, but not this Sacramento Realtor.
My feeling is if I like the sellers, we get along, their happiness is of primary importance to me. We can argue all day about the price, but in the end, it is the seller who chooses. Not only that, but the City of Davis needs to complete an inspection, and the inspection for this house reflected about a dozen permit violations.
We went on the market in early April and began working on clearing the problems to gain the occupancy certificate. Many showings ensued and we held many open houses, but no offers.
One of the things I do for my clients is send buyer feedback. All of the feedback complained about the dark kitchen, the dark granite counters, they didn’t care for the sunroom and they didn’t like the back yard, plus many complained about the layout. Finally, the sellers agreed to lower the price.
Then agents in Davis began calling to inquire: what’s the deal with this Davis house? As I typically do when days on market seem lengthy, we pulled a new MLS number with a new listing to attract more attention. Plus, when we reset the days on market, it makes the listing more inviting to buyers.
Shortly after that, we received an offer and went into escrow. But the appraisal came in low. The buyers had already removed inspection contingencies, and the seller readily agreed to sell at the new appraised value. However, as soon as the sellers agreed to lower the price, the buyers decided it wasn’t low enough. They wanted to renegotiate instead. Who knows what makes people think this way?
These are the situations where a seller might wonder if it’s worth suing the buyers, but they really just wanted to sell a home in Davis. We cut the buyers loose.
Next set of buyers didn’t make it very far in escrow. I don’t even recall what their objection was or why they canceled. My job is to keep up the sellers’ spirits and to perform. I promised that I would find another buyer, a real buyer, a buyer who loves their home and will close escrow. But it would take one more price reduction, and the sellers agreed.
Sure enough, after we adjusted the price to where it should have been in the first place, we received a fast offer. We went into escrow about a week before Christmas. If this home had been priced where it needed to be last April, we would have received multiple offers. But the sellers did not want to do it at that time. Most agents would not work this hard to sell a home in Davis, but I will do it. Sometimes the only way to make sure a seller understands the market is to show it to them through the eyes of a lengthy listing. That is OK with me.
Because I will work on that house until it sells. I do not abandon my sellers nor get frustrated with them. Mrs. Seller told me yesterday that she was very pleased with my patience and upbeat attitude when we would speak. Mr. Seller said I was always calm, and was his rock throughout the sale process.
I was determined to sell a home in Davis in the timeframe that best suited my sellers. Not in the timeframe that best suited me. So while I sat dripping wet on the beach at Kahulu’u after snorkeling yesterday, I paused to think about these sellers, and how sincerely happy I am their home closed escrow on Friday, January 18th! We sold to real buyers this time, just like I promised.