How to Profit from a 50% Pending Home Sales Fallout in Sacramento

Cancel-Contract-250x177It pays today to be a home buyer on a backup offer in Sacramento since we seem to be experiencing such a high cancellation rate on escrows; in some cases up to 50% of the pending sales are falling out. I say this not to be an alarmist but to point out what other real estate experts are too frightened to bring up because they are worried this kind of data would harm our fragile sales market. Every real estate professional, just about, knows this is happening in the Sacramento real estate market, if they’re doing any kind of business. They’re just not talking about it.

That’s because we have to be positive and spread only good news about Sacramento real estate. Oh, spittooey. You’ll read in other news media that sales are UP. What media is not telling you is real estate sales naturally increase in the spring. Inventory is low, which is true, inventory is low as compared to previous years, but it doesn’t matter because there aren’t enough buyers for it. Home buyers today typically lust over only the best home on the block and the rest are ignored.

On top of this, buyer’s agents think they are working with buyers because buyers tell the agents they are buyers. They might even pop up with a pre-approval letter in possession. But it doesn’t mean they are a buyer, because a buyer closes escrow and eventually ends up with a home.

It’s not the end of the world if an escrow cancels, because it will generally turnaround and go back into escrow again under a second purchase contract within a relatively short period of time, but that’s why you want to be a backup buyer, if you can. Don’t think you can’t write a contingent offer, either, if you have a home to sell, because sellers are accepting contingent to sell offers from buyers.

For other listing agents, my advice is don’t put that listing into pending status until the buyer has deposited funds into escrow, which should occur within the 3 days MLS gives us to change the listing status. Because nobody wants to deal with the unfair stigmatization of a back-on-market listing because some doofus buyer on a whim canceled the escrow.

For buyer’s agents, don’t write multiple offers when your buyer can’t afford to buy each of those homes. Not only is your reputation as a Sacramento real estate agent at stake, but those types of “buyers” can easily morph into a vanishing act after both offers are accepted. If your buyers really want a pending home, consider writing a backup offer.

For buyers, get over the fact that homes might cost $100,000 more today than they did 3 years ago. Those days are gone. But prices are still low as compared to the prices pre-market crash. Don’t wait for interest rates to go up and slowly rising prices to price you out of the Sacramento real estate market all together. Get in while the getting is good, and for heaven’s sakes, stay there.

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