Buying and Selling a Sacramento Home at the Same Time
If this were a different type of real estate market in Sacramento right now, my advice would be completely different about buying a selling at the same time. The following advice applies only because this is a seller’s market in Sacramento. Sellers who want to move up or move down in a buyer’s market would have an easier time of it. What your agent might not tell you is trying to buy and sell a home in a seller’s market is almost impossible.
It doesn’t mean you can’t do engage in buying and selling simultaneously; however, it could be very difficult. The reason is we have very little inventory in our Sacramento metropolitan area. People try to equate this particular market of Spring 2013 to the Spring 2006 market, and they are not the same. Back then, in 2006, we had a lot of homes for sale.
This is what the numbers looked like in March of 2006 for all Sacramento counties combined:
- Active Listings (Homes for Sale): 6,488
- Pending Listings (Homes in Escrow): 1,479
- Sold Listings (Closed Home Sales): 1,425
Here are the numbers for March of 2013 for all Sacramento counties combined:
- Active Listings (Homes for Sale): 1,378
- Pending Listings (Homes in Escrow): 1,371
- Sold Listings (Closed Home Sales): 1,835
What is particular startling about these two comparisons is the fact that despite the fact that active listing inventory dropped by 78.8% — meaning we have 5,110 fewer homes on the market in 2013 than we did at this same time in 2006 — we sold 30% more. Moreover, national average interest rates were at 6.47% in March of 2006. Today, interest rates are unbelievable low. Yesterday, the rate offered by a major local mortgage broker was 3.5%. This is huge, and these facts are what is driving the market.
It’s why it’s to be buying and selling at the same time. As a seller, you are in the driver’s seat. As such, for some sellers, the only way to buy and sell at the same time is to sell and rent back for a few months. Because if you could ever in your lifetime make that kind of demand of a buyer for your home, now is the time to do it. Or, sell and move into temporary quarters. Or, sell and delay the closing for a few months. Because you really need to have the cash in hand to make an offer to buy.
Put on your other hat, your buyer’s hat. Now, you are probably one of 20 offers for the same house. Your offer is contingent on selling your home. It doesn’t matter if your home is already in escrow, it is still contingent. It is contingent until that puppy closes. And most sellers do not want to take a contingent offer, not when they see investors and home buyers waving cash in their faces or buying their home without a contingency on selling a home. Having a contingency to sell in your offer makes you unattractive to many sellers.
Having said that, I will say I have done it. But I do warn my sellers that if they want to buy a home and sell a home at the same time, they will have a much easier time of it if they have the cash and financial means to buy without selling. Or else, wait until their home is sold to buy another home. It doesn’t mean I won’t try to do both sales concurrently for them, but the odds are against that happening.
If you want to buy or sell a home in Sacramento and need a good Sacramento real estate agent, please call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759. Put almost 40 years of experience to work for you.