How to Lose Your Dream Home in Sacramento

Love-House-Sacramento-300x300There are times in this business when home buyers ignore the essence of time and wrongly believe that they have all the time in the world to decide whether they want to buy a particular home in Sacramento. The constant that is sure to happen, even if a home has been on the market for a year, is the minute one home buyer decides she might want to buy it, so does another. I can’t explain how or why it happens but it does.

It’s not a trick. It’s not a listing agent trying to get more money for her seller. Nothing up my sleeve, I swear.

Such was the situation with a home that closed escrow this month. I first started talking with the seller about this home a year ago. He is retired and volunteers on government issues in Washington, D.C. He had never seen the home, and it has always been a rental property for him.

I inspected the home in Sacramento and found the living conditions to be substandard. The carpeting required replacement, the walls and cabinets needed repair and paint. Bottom line, the only way he could sell that home for a decent price would be to get the tenant out and fix it up. His property management company wasted about half a year to remove the tenant. No idea what’s so hard about giving 60 days to move.

I sent a handyman over to fix up the home and get it ready for market. First buyer in escrow could not qualify for a loan, some little glitch at the last minute prevented him from closing. Back on the market. A few months later, another buyer made an inquiry and wrote an offer through their agent. Although I warned the buyer’s agent that the seller would want list price, the buyer had other ideas.

It took the buyer another week to write a series of counter offers and to eventually end up at the place where the buyer should have been in the beginning. We asked for list price and no concessions. Pretty simple. But the buyer wanted to negotiate. By the time we got to the third offer with the buyer, or maybe it was the fourth offer, I don’t recall, I had uploaded all of the paperwork to DocuSign for the seller.

At that very moment, a full price cash offer arrived for this home in Sacramento. Cash is not always king anymore, but a full-price cash offer does tend to rule.

So, the moral of this story is the seller elected to ignore the first buyer’s final offer, which met all of his demands, and accepted instead the full-price cash offer. Those buyers were so close to buying what they continued to insist was their dream home. They lost it. One minute they were celebrating that the seller was about to accept their offer, and the next they were crying. I felt empathy for them because they were a young family with another baby on the way, but I didn’t represent them. I represented the seller.

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