Selling a Home in Sacramento and Offer Negotiation

3-lockboxes-sacramento-300x225A seller who is selling a home in Sacramento should not have to wonder if the buyers who just wrote an offer on her home really want to buy the house. I mean, what if I told you that I am willing to sell you a Ferrari for $10,000, but you say the sale is subject to your ability to find the money buried in a barrel Breaking Bad style out in the desert somewhere? Oh, and on top of that, at anytime, you can decide to renegotiate the price with me or ask me, if you like, to throw in, say, a year’s supply of gas and car washes for you. You’d probably think you hit pay dirt.

This is exactly what buying a home in Sacramento is like for some home buyers. The market is super hot for sellers of well-priced homes. Doesn’t matter if that home is located in Elk Grove or East Sacramento or Lincoln; if it’s priced right, the seller will probably quickly receive a full-price offer, if not multiple offers. On the other side, buyers don’t like to compete with multiple offers. It’s just a mindset though. Because buyers are competing the minute they step foot inside a home for sale where another buyer has recently been.

Lately, I’ve been encountering buyers who must think they are clever. Their idea is to lock down the home immediately by promising the seller everything the seller is asking for and, after a few weeks have passed and all of the other buyers have gone away, then they will ask for a price reduction or a credit. I sell more homes than most agents, and I see this tactic used over and over. It’s not enough to elicit a promise from the buyer that a home is sold AS IS because some buyers conveniently forget about that promise.

In one situation, I reminded the seller that the buyer might not know any better. The buyer might be getting pushed by relatives or friends who say that even though the buyer promised to not ask for a repair, the buyer should demand a new HVAC installation. Because you never know. Sometimes, sellers cave. I don’t like to see buyers and sellers at each other’s throats when there is no reason for it.

However, the seller pointed out that this was no first-time home buyer who was buying his home in Roseville. Nope, this was a retired guy over the age of 65. The seller said the buyer knew exactly what he was doing. Maybe. Age is really no guarantee, but the seller could be right.

This Sacramento real estate agent sometimes advises her sellers to issue a counter offer when an offer comes in at full price, quickly and with a shortened time frame for acceptance. The counter is not about price. It’s about performance.

If the buyer blows a fuse because the seller insists upfront upon no renegotiations down the road, well, what does that tell you? Buyers always have the right to cancel within the contract default period of 17 days for any reason — but once a buyer commits to buy a home, the negotiations should really be pretty much over. Particularly in today’s real estate climate. There is nothing wrong with pointing out to a buyer that AS IS in the residential purchase contract means AS IS. It doesn’t mean maybe.

You can shake hands all you want, but a pen to paper is always better. If you’re thinking about selling your home in the Sacramento metro area, call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916 233 6759. Put 40 years of experience to work for you.

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