How to Keep a Home on the Market in Sacramento After Offer Acceptance

Home-for-sale-sacramentoI am finding that overall, many buyers are not very committed in our Sacramento real estate market. That’s a good reason to keep the home on the market after going into contract. Part of the reluctance to commit, I’m supposing, comes from the fact they feel pressured with multiple offers happening on such a large number of homes, and it’s frustrating that they have very few homes from which to choose. This is a scary market for first-time home buyers. We’ve never had a market like this in my lifetime before in Sacramento.

We have low prices but they are moving upwards quickly in some neighborhoods. Interest rates are historically low, around 3.75%, which is just incredible. A buyer’s purchasing power is immense. They can buy twice the home for half the money today, as compared to 7 years ago. But they have also witnessed first-hand the crash of the real estate market, and some of them feel very uncomfortable navigating in unchartered waters. It’s not unusual to go into escrow one day and then have the buyer cancel the next. This is why you want to keep the home on the market if at all possible without immediately jumping into pending status.

Home sellers in Land Park had this happen to them a while back. They negotiated in good faith an agreed-upon sales price and were relieved and thrilled that their home was sold. But, the following day, the buyers bailed. They didn’t give a good reason. See, that’s the thing, in California, a buyer can pretty much cancel a contract for any reason within the inspection period which, by default, is 17 days.

The next time we received an offer, the sellers were more cautious. The buyers wrote a clean offer, but until they removed the contingencies, the buyers could easily cancel. Their agent wrote an addendum containing verbiage about cancellation that was already preprinted in the purchase contract, and that’s part of what made the sellers worry. Agents don’t always think about how their addendums will be perceived by the sellers when they are trying to appease the buyers. But if the buyers require reassurance about cancellation rights, this makes the sellers understandably nervous. So, the purpose of the addendum backfired.

How to fix it was my quandary. Part of the solution was to keep the home on the market in active status. Once a seller takes a home off the market and then puts it back on the market, buyers begin to wonder what is wrong with the home. Why didn’t the buyers want to buy it? Did they uncover something horrible about the home? Is there a structural defect? When the truth is half the time “back on market” status is just due to flakey buyers: you’ve got the blind leading the blind. It’s much better to keep the home on the market for a while.

In a seller’s market, removing a home from the market takes it out of inventory, and it’s difficult to drum up enthusiasm for the home if it goes back. Especially in a seller’s market, it is much better for the seller to leave the home on the market in active status. However, a Sacramento real estate agent must present a true picture in advertising. This means we have to tell buyers that we have an offer. I accomplished that by adding a Pending Rescission modifier to the active status. In the confidential agent remarks, I suggested that agents write a back-up offer subject to the cancellation of the existing offer.

The sellers received a back-up offer, too. That’s because everybody wants something that somebody else wants. That’s a true principle that applies to real estate.

The sellers countered the buyers that they would leave the home on the market and remove it once the buyers had removed their contingencies. This way, everybody won, and the sellers felt more agreeable to accepting the offer.

If you’re looking for an experienced Sacramento real estate agent who puts her clients’ needs first and foremost, call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759.

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