buy fix and sell
My new listing is a fixer home for sale in West Sacramento. I have not inspected this home since April of last year, so its condition is unknown, and we have tried to price it accordingly. The price should make up for any unexpected surprises. I’ve been told that when the previous occupants moved out, they broke a few things and squatters might have moved in. I even listed the occupant’s name as Squatters and the phone number as 9-1-1 in MLS, yet agents still email this Sacramento Realtor to ask if they can use conventional financing and ask when they can show it.
I realize we have little inventory in the greater Sacramento region and everybody is desperate for listings, but still, agents should read the listing, you would think. They would see that conventional financing is not listed as an option. Financing option is cash or submit, meaning maybe hard money would be OK.
The last time I saw this fixer home for sale in West Sacramento, it was in pretty good shape. Perhaps a little dry rot and deferred maintenance, but a family lived there. Most of the flooring is ceramic and laminate. The home features 4 bedrooms and 2 baths, but one of the bedrooms is a garage conversion, which doesn’t appear to be permitted.
We are looking for a fast sale and the first offer that can quickly close at list price or better will get this house. We’re not vying for multiple offers or trying to drive up the price. The seller is out of area and never lived at this property. Comparable sales average near $265,000. If you do write an offer, please use the Notice of Default contract form. If this went to trustee’s sale in June, it would sell for more than this list price. Your opportunity is NOW.
There are no keys available for this fixer home for sale in West Sacramento, and it is sold strictly AS IS. Inspect at your own risk. That is the reason for the low price. 821 Kegle Dr, West Sacramento, CA 95605 is listed exclusively by Elizabeth Weintraub and Lyon Real Estate at $209K. Call Elizabeth for more information at 916.233.6759.
Photos from April 2016.
Part of my 40 years in real estate involve a stint during which I bought homes to fix up and sell — and, I’m proud to say, not one of those homes was a white elephant. Doing the buy, fix and sell was easy for me for several reasons. First, I was single, so I didn’t have to argue with anybody about my material choices or order of construction, not to mention, I didn’t have anybody under foot. Second, I had a lot of experience selling homes to draw upon. I didn’t do stupid things, and much was based on experience plus my excellent intuition. Third, I was willing to take the time to learn how to do the work myself, and time was not of the essence because I lived in the house — so no matter how many times I messed up, I could repeat the task until it was perfect.
There are some homeowners who don’t care if their home improvement project or remodel is absolutely perfect, but I am not one of those people. I set high standards — sometimes impossible by another’s definition — and I achieve those goals. I visualize. I will capture an image in my head and intently focus until it comes to life. The ability to focus and direct my energies in one direction is one of the reasons I have become a top ranking agent in Sacramento. I concentrate on the job at hand and do it well, because if it’s not done well, it’s not worth doing.
Today, when I meet with people who have over-improved their home and turned it into a white elephant, or have plans to do so, I cringe. Because I know without a doubt that the challenge to sell will be practically impossible to meet. These over-improved homes will appeal to such a tiny fragment of home buyers that it could take years before they find a buyer who is foolish enough to be underwhelmed by the facts and blown away by the emotional impact.
Because that’s the combination it takes to sell a white elephant.
People by their very nature want to live around other people just like them. They tend to gravitate toward conformity. Nonconformists live in corner homes, for example, but people who are not mavericks prefer the comfort of the middle of the street. If a buyer wants to spend half a million for a home, that buyer will purchase a home in a neighborhood of other homes worth half a million. She won’t buy a home in a neighborhood of $300,000 homes, much less on a busy street, and spend $500,000.
This is basic real estate 101: Location. Location. Location.
Unfortunately, those HGTV shows have turned ordinary homeowners into lunatics. Everybody wants to be a flipper, whether they have experience is not relevant. And that’s how they end up trying to sell a white elephant. Let’s not even try to talk about an appraisal because that discussion will simply make your head hurt more than it already does.
What is too much work for a first-time home buyer in Sacramento? I always follow up on my listings by emailing buyer’s agents after a showing. I thank them for showing my listing because I am grateful for their efforts. Also, I realize it’s tough being a buyer’s agent today. Buyer’s agents have to write a lot of offers and face a lot of rejection. When I ask buyer’s agents to tell me what their buyers thought of the home, sometimes they say their buyers felt the home required too much work. It makes me wonder how a buyer who has never owned a home before knows how much work it needs. Or, is the work required merely an overblown perception?
It’s no secret that most home buyers want a turn-key home. They don’t want to do anything but move into it, like it is a rental. They also want a good price, sometimes an unreasonable price, which is why some buyers gravitate toward short sales and foreclosures. But the days of those below-market values are gone. Poof. Over. Short sales and foreclosures, like any other home in Sacramento, are selling at market value and, in many cases, way over market value.
That’s if you can buy a home. Some buyers can’t. There are not enough homes for sale for every aspiring home buyer in Sacramento today. So, if a home needs a little bit of work, why not find out how much work it needs? Maybe it’s not as expensive as you might think. For example, maybe it needs paint. High quality paint costs about $25 a can, cheap paint is $10 a can. You need 2 cans of paint to paint an average bedroom. Maybe it needs a $50 light fixture? That involves connecting the black wire to the black wire, and the white wire to the white wire, and the ground to the neutral. It’s not that difficult. But don’t take my word for it. And don’t touch electrical without turning off the power.
Why not buy yourself a home improvement book and learn how to maintain your home? Take care of the smaller projects yourself. If you’re in the market to buy your first home, believe me, something eventually will break or go wrong, and you’ll find great relief in knowing how to fix it.
I have written a series of articles about Buy, Fix and Sell, involving my own personal experiences of home buying.