Sacramento Home Buyers Need a Reality Check

Rabbit-Sacramento-AirportHow does a seller today know if she has a real buyer who has made an offer? There are a lot of Sacramento home buyers wandering around who apparently look like a buyer, walk like a buyer, squawk like a buyer but they are not buyers. I wish there was some kind of test we could give them. As a buyer’s agent there probably is, but there is not from the listing agent’s point of view. That’s because the listing agent has no conversations with the buyer and no direct contact. We can obtain a preapproval letter, many of which are useless, and an earnest money deposit, but it still doesn’t mean the buyer is a buyer.

Now, you would think a real estate agent would engage in a lengthy conversation with a potential buyer, but the truth is most do not. A buyer calls an agent, asks to see a property and then writes an offer. In some ways, the agent is an order taker. Doesn’t question. Doesn’t probe. Just writes the offer and keeps her lips zipped.

You know, that’s not the way I was trained in real estate many years ago. I was always taught that we as real estate agents should form a relationship with our clients, counsel and advise them, ask questions, try to do what is best for the client, not just say “press hard, third copy is yours.”

Keeping buyers in escrow is a difficult job, even in a seller’s market. You might think that a buyer would not cancel escrow simply because there are so few other properties available. To cancel is to take a chance on buying nothing for a long, long time. Because there is not much available for sale in Sacramento. Pickings are slim and few between.

There are a lot of Sacramento home buyers but there doesn’t seem to be very many who are actually performing. The fallout rate seems to be much higher than it needs to be. We’ve got a lot of buyers begging for a home but shortly after they go into escrow, they cancel. For no other reason than cold feet. I eye them more suspiciously now. I question the quality of prospective buyers at the moment.

It would be nice if we could put potential Sacramento home buyers into an X-ray machine like the ones at the airport. Step in, put your feet on the footprints, raise your hands over your head and hold still. BZZZT. Nope, you’re not a buyer. You’re not going through Security to escrow. You can stuff your passport back in your pocket, grab your luggage and go home.

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