A Private Group Showing is Not an Open House

If the idea just occurred to you that now is a good time for buying a home in Sacramento, you need to talk to a Sacramento real estate agent pronto. I’m not gonna say this is not a good time because I am a real estate agent, and in my playbook it’s always a good time to buy, but it’s not an easy time to buy a home. It’s difficult. Exceedingly difficult. When your real estate agent tells you there will be multiple offers, let me tell you, there will be multiple offers, and some of them will undoubtedly be crazy, wild offers.

Our inventory is very low. There are not a lot of homes to choose from in certain neighborhoods. Even the number of homes in Land Park, for example, are about half the normal. But in neighborhoods like Natomas and Elk Grove, I might run a half-mile to one-mile radius to pull comparable sales and find nothing for sale whatsoever. Everything is pending or active short contingent.

In most situations, we might want to give a wide berth of exposure to try to attract the largest number of offers and the highest number of offers. Ordinarily, an offer is good for 72 hours, unless the buyer changes the time for acceptance. This means if a seller does not respond to an offer within 3 days, the offer expires. It’s no longer on the table. So, what’s a seller to do who wants to maximize exposure? Keep it on the market with instructions to review all offers on a certain day in the future.

In short sale situations, the approach might be different. It all depends on who the seller is and whether the seller is in an emotional state to handle the volume of traffic generated by this type of seller’s market in Sacramento. In some areas, it can be brutal. Buyer’s agents calling at all hours of the night, showing up without calling, parking on the lawn, barging in without an appointment when an appointment is required, this Sacramento real estate agent has heard it all. These are desperate times, but they do not call for desperate measures nor for losing one’s professionalism.

In a short sale, we need one offer at market value. An offer that will appraise as well. An offer from a committed and dedicated buyer. We don’t need 55 offers. Just one that will close. If it’s cash and the buyer is serious, that’s a good sign, too, but it doesn’t mean that a cash offer will win out over a financed offer. Cash buyers can sometimes be distracted by shiny new things. Owner occupants, buyers who want to buy a home to live in, tend to be more committed.

The approach to marketing a home and receiving / presenting offers differs with each situation and is tailor-made for the individual seller. There is no one-size-fits-all. Now, more than ever, the confidential agent remarks in MLS are crucial for a buyer’s agent to read prior to submitting an offer.

We’ve had situations in the past in which the confidential remarks stated showings would be held on a certain day for a two-hour period. Buyer’s agents need to accompany their buyers on a showing. That’s how the real estate business works. Buyer’s agents cannot simply send their buyer over to the property because the buyer’s agent is unavailable on that day. No buyers will be admitted to a seller’s home if the buyer is unaccompanied by an agent. This is not an open house.

My sellers are instructed not to let strangers inside their home. A buyer’s agent needs to produce a business card at the door. If the buyer’s agent sends over an unescorted buyer, we can certainly arrange for another agent to represent an unrepresented buyer or we can send the buyer back home to get her agent. After all, buyers don’t have access to the confidential remarks in MLS. Moreover, it’s important to understand that a private group showing is not an open house.


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