Lowering the Price of that Sacramento Home Listing

Sacramento home listingThe California Association of REALTORS sent me and every other Sacramento real estate agent an email this morning. I could not figure out if it was an April Fool’s joke. It said that on April 1, 55 million households will see its new commercials: California REALTORS, Champions of Home. I don’t recall exactly how many people live in California, but I think the number is around 35 million. Maybe 38 million. I suppose many people could own more than one home; hey, I know, maybe babies own a few extra homes.

My thoughts today is how to be a champion of home for sellers in Sacramento when sellers don’t have enough equity and don’t want to do, or won’t qualify for, a short sale. One thing an agent can do is offer to put the home on the market at a price point where it will not be a short sale if a buyer elects to pay that price. In other words, let the market decide. Don’t make the decision for the seller. But that approach can backfire because when the home doesn’t sell, the sellers might be very upset with their agent.

Some agents just want the listing, period. They don’t always care if the home will ever sell. They just want their sign in the front yard and for buyers to call them. It’s free advertising. I never want to be THAT listing agent. I won’t tell sellers what they want to hear. I will tell sellers what I think. That’s what I promised to do many many decades ago when I became a real estate agent, and I don’t vary from that premise today.

Sometimes, it is necessary to tell a seller that the price might be too high. Telltale signs are many showings and no offers. The only thing worse than that is no showings at all, but in this market, buyers want to turn over every rock. Hence, just because a seller is getting showings doesn’t mean the buyer wants to buy that home. If a seller has showings and no offers, then the price might need to be reduced to a point that will entice a buyer to make an offer.

How do you know the price point that will work? By examining comparable sales. In this crazy market, wetting your finger and sticking it in the air might work, too. It might be painful to tell a seller that she may be better off renting her home than trying to sell it, but sometimes, that’s the call a Sacramento real estate agent has to make.

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