buyers not closing escrow
Welcome to the Sacramento fall real estate market and the increasing likelihood of a buyer cancellation. No sooner did my plane land in Sacramento last night than I received a buyer cancellation. Couldn’t even get off the aircraft without a buyer flaking. Buyers are dropping like flies lately, left and right. One listing I’ve put back on the market four times. Count ’em, four times. That’s just nuts. The seller can’t believe his eyes. And it’s almost never about the property itself as it is about the buyer’s insecurities, confusion and ultimate inability to perform.
Now, I don’t hear these sorts of stories from my team members. On the Elizabeth Weintraub Team, I take the listings and my team members work with our buyers. Every once in a while they might work with a buyer who freaks out over a repair and elects to cancel, but it’s not happening at the rapid pace for them as it is on my listing end. So, that makes me wonder if other buyer’s agents aren’t qualifying their buyers or providing adequate counseling.
Hate to admit that the art of real estate counseling as taught almost 50 years ago is truly a lost art among many agents in this day and age. Such a shame. Charles Chatham should be rolling over in his grave.
The buyer cancellation I dealt with last night was on a property that took the buyer almost two weeks to decide to buy. Who waits two weeks to figure out if they should make an offer? In a market of limited inventory, rising prices and increasing interest rates? Probably a buyer who is not all that committed to start with.
If we sold real estate in Sacramento like they do in the Bay Area, this stuff would not be happening. When a buyer makes an offer in the Bay Area, typically that buyer receives upfront disclosures and reports to review. They also don’t employ a ton of weasel clauses like we do.
While in Hawaii, I’d been corresponding with Ken Harney at the Washington Post, after he reached out to me. Mostly to talk about why the public can’t view ethics violations at NAR. But also about our squirrelly local real estate market, which reflects what is happening nationally. He calls the Bay Area its “own separate universe,” and he’s right.
We’ll see how things go this weekend. This week has been fairly quiet, and often the first Sunday after Labor Day is busy. Keeping a buyer in escrow is tricky at best. And the real bummer is the listing agent has absolutely zero control over a buyer cancellation. The listing agent doesn’t talk to the buyer, can’t advise the buyer, and needs to remain hands off. Which means the person responsible for the buyer is the buyer’s agent.
Some buyer’s agents don’t even have the decency to call listing agents to discuss. Nope, they just shoot over the buyer cancellation in an email and call it a day.