Working for decades in selling Sacramento real estate, I learned the hard way early on to check for utilities in vacant homes for sale. I took a new listing in Natomas this week. I sent an agent from our Weintraub & Wallace team to do a security check on the home. I’m scheduling vendors this week, such as a pest inspector, gardener, and the house cleaners. Vendors, of course, need lights working and electricity for the power tools. Power and water in good working order are mission critical on the listing preparation checklist.
Everyone seems so excited about this new listing on Boathouse Drive in Natomas with three bedrooms. This home has some unique features in the floor plan. The window placement and natural light are the perfect blends to provide optimum light in the interior. The formal living room has a gas fireplace and it opens to an additional space that can be used as a family room or a formal dining room.
The kitchen is oversized with plenty of room for a huge table. This gives it a country kitchen feel, where a family could spend time together cooking, talking and enjoying great food. There is also a pantry closet for bargain hunters who like to stock up on sales; it adds extra storage.
Big surprise yesterday when we received 5 top awards from Homelight for 2018. Pictured here is Amy McMullan with Elizabeth Weintraub, and we sure miss Amy (who has since moved to Los Angeles). Homelight is a website company that refers sellers and buyers to agents in Sacramento, and they work only with top producers.
All agents are not the same. Clients are wising up to the fact that 90% of agents sell only 2 or 3 homes a year. Not us, of course.
Further, in the digital age, many websites compete for eyeballs on the internet, and those with the best SEO are winning. The Elizabeth Weintraub Team prefers to align ourselves with winners, so we stick with the companies our clients like. However, we were not expecting to win 5 top awards from Homelight. One is plenty, actually.
So that was my challenge when I was called upon to list and sell a resale home in Natomas that had not yet met its first year anniversary. Circumstances beyond the seller’s control led him to need to sell his dream home. He paid for many thousands of dollars of upgrades, which had now slightly depreciated. Not only that, but his home was located on a busy street, and his cul-de-sac was so narrow that you couldn’t turn around without driving into somebody else’s driveway.
Let me say a word about upgrades in new Natomas homes vs resale. Buyers pay through the nose for those upgrades. They are new for about 3 months. Then, for the rest of a buyer’s life, she will remember exactly how much each item cost, and she will decide much later in hindsight that the money she spent just wasn’t worth it. There are no years and years of builder upgrade enjoyment.
Another drawback to this home was the funky layout. You entered through a long hallway, with a bedroom / den at the front of the house. A bit creepy. After moving through this enclosed tunnel, then it opened up to a beautiful entertainment area, dining space and a gorgeous, simply drop-dead WOW-factor kitchen. Straight outta HGTV.
Our best bet to sell this house would be pricing it in direct competition to the newer homes. The benefit to passing on new Natomas homes vs resale homes by the same builder is the fact buyers do not have to wait. They can buy the home of their dreams right now, and it’s already built with a ton of upgrades.
Plus, the seller had a time-sensitive incentive, a valid reason why he needed to quickly sell. Still, he wanted to try a higher sales price, so that’s what we did. After a few weeks, it was pretty clear buyers were not warming to the over $500K price tag for the resale home. More research that I presented to the seller indicated the home should be priced at $485K. That was about what he paid for it a year ago.
Fortunately, the seller took my advice and adjusted the sales price. Next day, bam, into escrow. He said he should not have questioned me because I was right. Hey, I’m always right, I laughed. Mostly always.
Unfortunately, it took the buyers forever to close escrow. They ran 3 weeks over the deadline for closing. Their mortgage company wholesaled the loan to Citadel. Remember that name because everybody I know who has worked with that group has awful things to say. It’s like the loan got approved with the mortgage lender and then they started the process over from the beginning with Citadel. Slow as molasses. Bad communication. Buyers were almost as disturbed as the seller over the horrid ordeal.
However, we did close yesterday, a bit over list price. 16 Lake Katerina Ct, Sacramento, CA 95834 closed escrow at $488K.
When it closed yesterday, I told the buyer’s agent, this deal with Citadel, well, I prefer dealing with Hurricane Lane. Which, when you read this is banging the hell outta Big Island. I am at our house in Kailua-Kona for the Labor Day weekend. Actually, it is not a choice. Now that I pause. I had to do both.
This newer Natomas home in Parkwalk at Westshore received an aggressive offer the minute we dropped the price. When the seller indicated he preferred a faster sale, I prepared a in-depth study of the market. It was obvious to me the over $500K price point in Natomas was moving very slowly. All of the action is under that mark. Further, we had competition from brand new homes that were slowly selling, and this home was not yet a year old. Not hard to figure, do you want brand new or almost brand new? Most people pick brand new.
Although this home in Parkwalk at Westshore has all the bells and whistles already installed. All the upgrades are in place. Not to mention, it features a California porch, what you or I would call a covered patio, but now, since I’ve heard the term California porch, it will always be a California porch going forward.
It’s ready for immediate occupancy, soon as we can close escrow. There are really no delays built into the buying process when it’s a resale like what happens when you buy directly new from the builder. All we had to do was drop the price a bit below the last new home sale and we were in like Flynn. Sure enough, within 24 hours of that price reduction, we received an over-list price offer.
The offer came from a buyer who saw the home in Parkwalk at Westshore a week ago during an open house, back when the price was higher. Funny how that psyche works with buyers. The buyer could have made a lower offer but chose not to. It was only when the price was lowered a little bit that the buyer now felt an extreme urge to buy. Such an extreme urge that the buyer offered more than list.
Of course, as these things tend to happen, I last spoke to the seller during a layover at an airport. On his way to Puerto Rico to photograph and document this American territory’s progress and persistent struggles after Hurricane Maria. Fortunately, he still had cellphone / data coverage and he signed the offer on the Fourth of July. What he said to me at that point made me smile. And he knew it. He said, “You were right!”
If you have home in Parkwalk at Westshore you would like to sell, I can help you strategize to sell that home, too. 16 Lake Katerina Ct, Sacramento, CA 95834 is presently pending.