Is Your Sacramento Home Listing Under Priced?
You’ve got to love this crazy seller’s market in Sacramento right now, even if you’re not a Sacramento real estate agent who sells a lot of listings like me. It challenges an agent to be her best each and every single day. Sometimes, being your best involves biting your tongue a little bit, and other times it means providing lengthy explanations to your clients so they thoroughly understand the marketplace. In my experience, an informed seller is a happy seller.
A buyer’s agent in West Sacramento told one of my sellers yesterday that her buyer would have paid almost $150,000 over list price for her home that went into escrow last week. The agent claimed the home was deliberately under priced. First, the home was in pending status, so why the agent was over there talking to the seller is beyond me. Second, it violates the Code of Ethics to discuss pricing with a seller when that seller is represented by another agent. But those are minor irritations when looking at the big picture. The big picture is that statement is a big, fat lie. Oh, man, no wonder people are confused.
This seller’s home would not have sold for more than it sold. It was not under priced. Not in a seller’s market. It’s literally impossible to sell an under-priced home in a seller’s market for less than market value. That’s because no matter how much a seller wants and asks to get, the market will dictate. Buyers are not stupid. OK, maybe some of them are a little undereducated about comparable sales and market movement, but buyers will pay about what a home is worth. Especially when facing a multiple-offer situation.
If a home was worth a hundred thousand dollars more, don’t you think a buyer somewhere, anywhere, would have offered a whole lot more for that home? Yes, they would, because that’s how multiple offers work. When buyers discover a seller has received 5, 10, or 20 offers, buyers tend to put their best offer forward. Buyers who can’t think of any other way to make their offer more attractive to a seller will tend to offer a higher sales price.
Aside from of all that, homes need to appraise at the purchase price, what an appraiser calls “at value,” if the buyer is obtaining financing. It’s pretty darn difficult to pull an appraisal out of thin air these days. A home is worth the price at which others around it of similar square footage sell. There is no magical fairy about to tap her wand and dump hundreds of thousands of dollars on a seller’s doorstep just because a buyer’s agent wishes it.