buying back your home

Why Selling Sacramento Homes to Neighbors Can Be More Difficult

selling sacramento homes

Selling Sacramento homes to neighbors can sometimes mean lower values.

The longer I’m in the real estate business in this town, the more I see why selling Sacramento homes to neighbors can be difficult. For starters, let’s say the neighbors already own a home. They want to sell and buy a bigger home in the same neighborhood. Of course, when their home goes on the market, it’s worth a lot of money, so much money that even Trump would have a hard time describing how much money that home is worth, and if he isn’t the worst liar in the world I don’t know who is. I got a big kick out of Jack Ohman’s editorial cartoon yesterday: excuse me, I have to take this call from Winston Churchill, heh, heh.

I’ve been so busy selling homes that I haven’t paid attention to the value of our own house. Like the shoe cobbler’s kids going barefoot. A lender appraised our home in Land Park yesterday for more than double its original sales price. My immediate reaction was we need to dump this house and move out of the state. Which is what we did the last time this happened, now that I think about it. The problem is there are not very many places we can go to in California that will allow me to continue selling Sacramento homes. So I think we’ve gotta stay put.

It got me to wondering, though, how many people would buy back their homes at today’s values? Would you, if your home suddenly doubled in value? Would you buy your neighbor’s house if it were similar? See, I’m finding that selling Sacramento homes to neighbors is a lot more difficult because they live in the neighborhood. They are too close to the way things used to be or the way they think things are. It’s a commonality that prevents some neighbors from seeing value.

Almost every time that I receive a lowball offer from some potential buyer, it’s a neighbor. Somebody who doesn’t see the value in the home. And then invariably we sell to a buyer from another neighborhood, possibly a buyer who wants to move up into an area they perceive to be better. All those reasons that make a certain neighborhood more valuable than another, like, say, conforming homes, better school districts, pride of ownership, desirable location, those things are readily recognizable by a buyer from outside of the immediate vicinity but not necessarily afforded a lot of credence by those who live there.

Perception often lies in the eye of the beholder, yet even if you’re Donald Trump, it doesn’t alter facts. It’s a challenge selling Sacramento homes in this market because of low inventory, as readily available comparable sales might not be present over the past 3 months. To determine value, you’ve got to rely on principles of substitution, and not every agent knows how to compute those values. They are trained to look in a half mile radius and if they can’t find a comp, they give up.

I recall a sale in Davis for about $1.5 million a while back, and all the agents I spoke to in Davis said it could not be done and the value was not there. When I sold that house at list price, they wanted to know if it was a neighbor who bought it because no such neighbor would do such a thing. Yet, it sold for cash. To a buyer who recognized the value. A buyer from the vicinity but not directly in that neighborhood. I saw the same thing happen with a couple of luxury sales in Riverlake, too. It’s like some close-knit communities seem too close.

Just throwing it out there for consideration. Just because a neighbor can’t recognize value doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

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