5 Professional Tips for Selling Fixer Homes in Sacramento

selling fixer homes in sacramento

As a veteran Sacramento Realtor, I’ve sold real estate for decades without encountering the peculiar subset specialty of selling fixer homes in Sacramento. But the market crash and all of the short sales / foreclosures from 2005 to 2011 took care of that situation without any deliberate effort on my part. I just fell into the pool of selling fixer homes in Sacramento. At one point, I recall managing on average 75 escrows at one time, mostly all short sales. That was an insane period of time in my career, and let’s just say I didn’t get a lot of sleep. So glad those days are over.

However, I came out of those experiences having learned a lot about selling fixer homes in Sacramento. My entire focus then, as it remains today, is on my sellers and doing what is best for them. Most sellers tell me they want to maximize their profit potential. I don’t hear very many sellers in Sacramento today offering to give away their homes or sell them for less than market. Every once in a blue moon a seller will admit she can’t deal with the situation and will take any offer that gets her out of home ownership, but that is an uncommon occurrence.

If you’re a seller hoping to dispose of a fixer home in Sacramento or a Realtor who has never sold a fixer home, here are a few of the things you can expect to encounter. All sorts of people crawl out of the woodwork to buy a fixer home; some are real slime-balls. But make no mistake, while selling fixer homes in Sacramento is a hot commodity, it’s not a walk in the park. Not in heels, anyway.

  • First, realize every buyer has an agenda. That agenda is to buy the property as cheaply as humanely possible. Some purchase offers will likely be offensive. Don’t take any of it personally. Just focus on what you want to do and what is best for your situation. If your agent pushes you to accept a lowball offer, question that listing agent’s motives. Is it commission based or client focused?
  • Not every buyer will be honest with you. Buyers might swear they are experienced flippers and they know how to compute construction costs. Then, suddenly, in the middle fo escrow, that ability will vanish. They will claim they know nothing and had little idea of what they’re getting into, despite their professional status. Except, whatever the perceived defect, it will be very expensive to fix. They often will expect the seller to renegotiate halfway through the transaction. Don’t take it personally nor be victimized. If buyers refuse to abide by the contract you may have a right to cancel the transaction.
  • All buyers of fixers in Sacramento are not equal. Some buyers will claim their overhead and material costs are too high. Therefore, the argument is they want you to lower the price. It is not your fault they do not have access to inexpensive labor nor wholesale materials. Sellers are not required to foot the buyer’s construction costs.
  • Owner occupants will generally pay more than investors. There is no reason to limit your marketing solely to flippers or investors. Owner occupants who don’t mind a little sweat equity might be your perfect target audience. Many first-time home buyers would love to spend less and buy a home that needs work. Some will even do the work themselves, which tends to lower their rehab estimates.
  • There is always another buyer. Always. Especially in our spring Sacramento real estate market. This is a seller’s market, limited inventory and high buyer demand. I have never come to the end of ready, willing and able buyers wanting to purchase a home and build equity. The downside to selling fixer homes in Sacramento is yes, sometimes we need to sell that home several times while only getting paid once. But that’s why we are professional listing specialists, guided by an ethical compass, and not out to make a fast buck off the backs of our clients.

Elizabeth Weintraub

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