buy sacramento home

The Worst Ways to Buy a Sacramento Home

Punxsutawny Phil Sacramento Real EstateHave you ever wondered what are the worst ways to buy a Sacramento home? I swear, there are times when I see flashes of 25 years ago watching buyers in Sacramento hunt for a home to buy. It makes me wonder why they waste the effort. I suppose part of it is due to the low inventory of homes for sale in Sacramento, and those slim pickings can make some buyers feel desperate. The other reason is probably due to the fact that some buyers think they know better than those of us in the industry, which means they probably don’t hold much respect for real estate agents, but some people are like that.

Every so often I will get a phone call from a buyer who starts out by explaining they are not interested in talking to me unless I am the listing agent. That’s code for they hope that by “offering me the opportunity” to work in dual agency (double-end the commission) that I’ll get them a better deal by sacrificing my integrity and ethics. Probably because that’s what they would do, but they don’t realize that I am not them.

Money is not my motivator.

They think that agents will do whatever is necessary to put a deal together because we’re all starving to death or maybe we’re just scumbags, I’m not sure. I refer these callers to my team members to show. But I don’t tell my sellers what I suspect these guys are up to unless I receive an offer, no sense in upsetting them. It does put me on notice, though. And that’s not a very good way to look for a home to buy in Sacramento.

Although maybe the #1 worst way to look for a home to buy is to drive around town calling on For Sale signs. I get a lot of those, and then buyers are ticked off when they find out the home is pending and demand to know why there are no pending signs on the For Sale sign. They don’t realize that all listings are available online these days. Hello, 2014. If they don’t look at an online feed from MLS, they’ll never know whether a listing is pending or not. About half the time the home is pending before the poor sign post company can even pound a post into the ground.

If you’re a buyer in Sacramento trying to buy a home, your best bet is to ask a buyer’s agent to work with you. You’ll get the best representation, the most attention and direct service, and you won’t be driving around calling listing agents to find out the home is already sold. ‘Course, in retrospect, the agents would have to answer their phone.

Why the Time to Buy or Sell a Sacramento Home is Now

time to buy or sell a house in sacramentoClients have been asking lately if the end of summer of 2014 is a good time to buy or sell a home in Sacramento, because they are wondering whether prices will continue to rise. If we have collectively learned nothing from the market crash years of 2006 to 2011, it’s that prices will not always continue to go up. I’ve been advising clients all year to sell now or buy now and to not wait until 2015, and that’s not just because I’m a Sacramento real estate agent who stands to make a buck or two.

It’s because I watch and analyze the market. I sell a lot more homes than your average Sacramento agent, and I see first-hand a lot more activity than your average agent. It doesn’t matter all that much to me whether home prices go up or home prices go down, like that Eddie Murphy movie, I will still be in business. People are yakking that Sacramento home prices have risen only 8% and lamenting that figure instead of rejoicing. I am very happy with the market prices lately because they’ve made huge gains over the past 2 years. Enough so that many homeowners are pulled out from being underwater — no more short sales, thank goodness — and scores of Sacramento homeowners are able to sell and move up.

All of a sudden, like an overnight magical fairy-wand tap on our chimneys, many sellers have an additional $100,000 of equity that they didn’t have a few years ago. Even sellers who bought a home in 2010 and 2011 are able to sell now. All of those foreclosure buyers and short sale buyers are morphing into equity sellers in this new Sacramento real estate market. Interest rates are incredibly low, and I can tell you this, they won’t stay there forever. You can get a loan around 4% right now, and that gives you heart-pounding savings. Don’t be crying a few years from now when interest rates are up to 5% or 7% or worse.

Once rates begin to edge up — and interest rates absolutely will rise — watch out, because Sacramento home prices will feel the affect. The impact of interest rates on the rise is huge, for example, each 1/2 percent interest rate increase can lose a buyer roughly $25,000 of purchasing power. What do you think that kind of rate increase will do to home prices in Sacramento? It will suppress prices a bit, sure, but you’ll lose more disposable income through the interest rate increase. Overall, your payment will be higher than it will be today.

You’ve got a window of opportunity right now to sell a home in Sacramento and capture the momentum of our upcoming fall market in Sacramento — which is the second hottest real estate market in Sacramento. It’s also an excellent time, due to low interest rates, to buy a home. Are you in or you are you out? Call me, Elizabeth Weintraub, at 916.233.6759.

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