buyer for fixers

There is Always Another Buyer for Fixers in Sacramento

There is always another buyer for fixers in Sacramento. That is one of the first lessons I learned from selling hundreds of short sales back in the day. Thank goodness that is basically over. Not only did an agent need to be on top of her game due to difficult procedures from the banks, but she needed to also deal with a wide assortment of buyers.

Today, when I sell to a buyer for fixers in Sacramento, I know there are several camps of buyers. First, there are the guys for whom the project needs to “pencil” to make financial sense, meaning low cost to cure and high net return on resale. They don’t all use the same calculations. Some buyers hire cheaper labor than others. But usually the guys with the lowball offers are not a good fit for my sellers.

Next are the buyers who want to become flippers but they don’t know what they are doing. They have no system, no resources, no labor, just an inkling that they’d be good at fixing up homes. There are also the buyers who have no idea what they are getting into, led by agents even more clueless than they. Then there is the buyer we want, which is the buyer who will close.

Sellers expect to maximize profit potential. Just because it’s a fixer, makes no difference. Matching a buyer to the property who will close becomes increasingly difficult. They all tend to promise the same thing. Fast closing, lots of cash and full price. Then they do inspections and discover things they did not realize because they were unprepared.

As a listing agent who sells a lot of fixers in Sacramento, I can tell within the first three minutes of a phone call if it’s going anywhere. Buyer’s agents call me for one reason, basically, and that’s to find out if I will throw my seller under the bus. They ask: don’t you want to make a deal? No, not really. I want to sell my listing at list price or better. That’s the objective.

There is no real typical buyer for fixers. Some have a lot of experience; others are wannabe flippers, some want to live in the property. They come from all walks of life with varying expectations. What is a nuisance for one buyer is a joy to another.

I tell my sellers we will get all kinds of offers from a buyer for fixers. We will go into escrow with several who will ultimately cancel. Some of their agents will get ticked because I do not want to know why they canceled. I do not want to know because 1) could be an unknown material fact somewhere I would need to disclose and 2) it doesn’t matter. They do not understand why it doesn’t matter.

But eventually we will get a buyer who has a vision, cash and the willingness to close. Because there is always another buyer.

Elizabeth Weintraub

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