bridging the gap in appraisal

Selling a Home in Elk Grove Over Appraised Value

elk Grove one story home

9916 Montedoro Ct, Elk Grove, CA 95757

In the middle of selling a home in Elk Grove, an agent called me to say her buyer had gone rogue by engaging in a lengthy conversation with the seller. We had 3 offers already for this home in Elk Grove, and this buyer knew it. He told the seller that he would use the extra concrete pad toward the side of the house to park his boat that he planned to buy. Oh, and he offered $31,000 over list price. This buyer is not buying a boat, I told the seller. He is giving that boat money to you.

There will be no boat in the immediate future for this particular buyer, I warned, he just doesn’t realize that little fact yet.

When the seller first called me to list his home, I had gathered all of the comparable sales and spent a good period of time covering those sales, discussing them with the seller. I adjusted up for the larger lot, for his culdesac location; otherwise, the home would have been worth under $400K. But I felt we could get $425K for the home. The best way to get that price was to underprice it ever so slightly. We agreed upon a sales price of $419,000. It seemed so much “softer.” I warned the seller that given the way appraisals have been going, it might not appraise at $425,000. We don’t have a lot of control over appraisals.

But I wanted to get the seller top dollar, and the seller wanted every dime as well. Selling a home in Elk Grove is an art. Each is unique. With this home, there were no spectacular upgrades. Oh, a few new pendants but no granite counters nor stainless appliances. In fact, the appliances were white, which buyers dislike, and the cabinets were cherry (also a no-no) and the counters were tiled (argh). Fortunately, the other features overshadowed the drawbacks in the kitchen, and I played them all to the hilt.

We countered the buyers extraordinary offer, which we both felt would never appraise, by asking the buyer to release his appraisal contingency. The buyer’s agent put her broker on the phone to me. He said they were releasing the appraisal contingency, but the buyer would not pay more than $15,000 over appraised value. I tried to explain to the broker that although he was using words, those words did not make any sense. He was saying they would release the appraisal contingency unless they didn’t and by the way, they are not. Wha?

I explained to the seller that if we accepted that kind of verbiage, the home could appraise for $400,000 and he would be forced to sell it for $415,000. We changed the verbiage. Now it read the buyer would pay $15,000 over an appraisal up to $450K. This meant if it appraised for less than $435,000, the seller would not be obligated to sell to the buyer.

Wouldn’t you know it? Three appraisals later, we finally got an appraised value of $435,500. The buyer paid $14,500 over that amount and this sale closed at $450,000. I know the seller’s neighbors will be staring at this sale and asking how we managed the process of selling a home in Elk Grove at that price. You hire a top Elk Grove Realtor, that’s how. This home closed escrow yesterday. Eureka! The seller was amazed at how quickly everything happened.

And btw, I should point out: Would a discount agent do that for a seller? Hardly. They’re not paid enough to care. You want a top Elk Grove Realtor? Then call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759.

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