The Showdown at the OK Corral in Sacramento Home Buying

the O.K. CorralThe fall Sacramento real estate market seems to be morphing into a showdown at the OK Corral. Why not, October 26, is just around the corner, and it was October 26, 1891, that the famous gunfight took place, with Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday, and all those boots and dust in the street. The fighting lasted roughly 30 seconds or so. But the fighting in the Sacramento real estate market seems to know no boundaries of time.

The thing is we’re not really in a seller’s market anymore in Sacramento. But I’d hesitate to say that we’re in a buyer’s market because I just don’t see it. Our inventory is reduced from the norm, and buyer demand in the market is still present. Interest rates have actually dropped a little, last I checked. The problem is we’re encountering more difficulties than usual in bringing the parties to the table in some sort of agreement.

It stems from the fact that sellers want to get a fair market price for their home and buyers don’t want to pay it. Buyers are reluctant to pay market value because prices aren’t going up through the roof anymore. Now, an ordinary person of relative intelligence would say that’s a good thing, it’s good that prices are stable, but home buyers are feeling uneasy about stability. They’d rather pay more than the last guy as long as prices are quickly appreciating, they just don’t want to pay the same and have prices remain constant or worse, fall. They are very afraid of that dark place.

The trouble is we can see an identical home sell 2 weeks earlier for $400,000 and a buyer will thumb her nose and refuse to pay $400,000. She may have no justification for a lower offer. It’s like an illness is the air. It’s causing confusion, and when buyers get confused, they do nothing. They freeze. Sacramento home buying comes to an end for them.

This means we have to meet in a middle road somewhere. Without guns and a showdown. Sellers might have to give a little bit and buyers might have to give a little bit, and we’ll find our way into escrow. Otherwise, we’ll be at a standoff and buyers will go home to an tired apartment or maybe to a rented house that its owner is probably thinking about selling and end up with no new home.

Buyers tend to lose sight that what they want is a home to live in. They get caught up in the hype. A home purchase doesn’t have to be the steal of the century. It’s a roof over their heads with four walls and a place to stay warm, be loved and make memories.

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