listing agent sacramento
Before listing, most people want to know how much it will cost sellers to close escrow. That’s a pretty loaded question because the largest expense is not always the commission. The way it works is you generally get what you pay for. If you want a top producer to focus on your home and maximize the profit potential, you will pay more in a commission, but you net more than the difference paid. For example, when top producers like myself charge 6%, we also pay attention to ways to reduce closing costs. On top of trying to attract multiple offers to increase the price. If we weren’t worth it, sellers would not pay it. They see the value. I show it to them.
So, actually the commission is not the biggest expense. The biggest expense is hiring a cheap agent who doesn’t know what he or she is doing. Or falling victim to the home inspections’ scam of a bloated request for repair. This is when the buyer bids over list price and then tries to grind down the seller after inspections reveal, guess what? That the house is like every other house of its vintage and has a few defects. Inexperienced agents can’t really explain repairs to buyers, and inexperienced listing agents are no better. Many just tell the seller to pay the buyer’s demands. That’s the extent of their so-called service, but that’s also why those listing agents don’t make the big bucks. Not like this elite club of top producers who get paid more because they are worth it.
Otherwise, to figure out how much it will cost sellers to close escrow in Sacramento, a seller would also need to add back all the money the seller didn’t lose after inspections. In addition to adding the higher list price because we grabbed a buyer from the Bay Area. Those sorts of specialities performed by top producers.
But an easier way to compute how much it may cost sellers to close escrow is to take the sales price times 7% and deduct that number. Then deduct the unpaid balance of your mortgage. What’s left is your net profit, assuming you have hired a top producer to list your home. If you haven’t, you can probably deduct another 5% to 10% for inexperience. If you have hired a top listing agent, then your net profit is 93% of the sales price, less your existing mortgage balance. My wacky way produces a result within $500 or so with this off-the-cuff method.
Of course, the sellers I work with get an estimated closing statement upon demand. But if you wanted to figure this on the fly, that’s how you do it. If sellers prefer a breakdown of itemized deductions, as a former escrow officer, I can certainly explain each item.
It reminds me of selling real estate in the 1970s. Yes, I am that old. I started in real estate when I was five, LOL. With seller financing — and I was a huge proponent of seller financing / creative financing back then — I often sold homes for a mere 7% down. Because that amount covered the seller’s closing costs and commission. Sellers carried owner financing for the balance. I can even see those days coming back.
If you’ve been wondering why there are no open houses over major holidays in Sacramento, you must be a seller. I never get this question from home buyers in Sacramento. And maybe part of it is because I tell sellers I will hold open their home every Sunday until it sells, except for major holidays. They don’t hear the “except for major holidays” part. They hear only: oh, goodie, every Sunday until it sells. Because agents work all of the time, right?
Yes, it does seem like we work all of the time, but we don’t work over periods when buyers don’t come to open houses. The reason there are no open houses over major holidays is because when a person has time off of work, rarely does a person want to do more work. It is work to go house hunting. Most people choose a different activity, perhaps spending time with friends or family, and / or traveling. That doesn’t mean we don’t show homes over major holidays because we do. We just do not attract large numbers of home buyers to an open house.
Throw into the equation the city of Sacramento. This is a city where the nicest thing many can say about it is it’s close to other things that are more exciting. Laugh as you may, I hear it all the time. Oh, we’re so close to the Bay Area, it’s only 90 minutes (the way the crow flies and hopefully you’re not in bumper-to-bumper traffic for 5 hours). Or, it’s so close to Lake Tahoe, only 90 minutes (see previous disclaimer). But there hundreds of places to go within a day drive of Sacramento, including other states. Sometimes it feels like half the population has left town over a major holiday.
Below are the 7 dates for no open houses over major holidays:
Fourth of July
That doesn’t mean you might not find a rogue agent sitting by himself at an open house somewhere hoping for business. But the bulk of listing agents in Sacramento are not holding open houses then. However, we still answer our phones and take care of business.
January has barely left us, and the snapshot of the Sacramento housing market for January 2018 mirrors pretty much what I have been experiencing. Some of you know, of course, that I spent the months of December and January working from my house in Hawaii. Not on Hawaii real estate as some incorrectly assume. I am not licensed to sell real estate in Hawaii. No, no, no, I am a Sacramento Realtor, and I work on Sacramento real estate from our vacation house.
I do such a bang-up job of it that I placed as the #1 Agent at Lyon Real Estate for January, and I wasn’t even in town. To put this into perspective, we have around 1,000 agents at Lyon.
Our Sacramento housing market for January 2018 is still red hot. One of the ways I can tell is buyer’s agents are calling me to ask if I will share details of upcoming listings. Complete strangers out of the blue. Most of these agents I don’t even know, but they know who I am. They also know I answer my phone, and I’m always working. I tend to sell a couple of homes a week. And last week I completed 5 listing appointments. I have others in the pipeline waiting to go live in MLS. Buyers are out there.
I’ll put it to you this way. When I have a pending listing that is a bit difficult to sell and we also hold a back-up offer on that listing, it’s a hot market. It’s a hot market for sellers because, get this, we are still getting showings for that home. Why, you might task? Because that happens to be in the best interest of my sellers.
We had a slight uptick of inventory in the Sacramento housing market for January 2018 as compared to the same time last year. However, that surplus was wiped out almost double that amount by the pending sales. Our inventory for all residential properties in Sacramento County increased 9.4%; yet our pending sales in year-over-year comparisons jumped by 18.1%. The closed sales, which resulted from pending sales over November and December remained at seasonal numbers, about par.
If you’re wondering about the Sacramento housing market for January 2018 and whether this is a good time to sell, it doesn’t get much better than this. Well, it will be more frantic in April, I predict. But if you own a home that you want to sell which has any kind of drawback, put it on the market now! Today! Buyers will overlook bad locations, defects, even high prices . . . if only, if only they could buy a home today.
Call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759. Put 44 years of experience to work for you.
Sorry, it is now too late to buy this remodeled home in Tallac Village. It just yesterday closed escrow. Funny, when I originally listed this Tallac Village home, I got a lot of pushback from agents telling me they thought the home was overpriced. I’m thinking that might be because they were unfamiliar with the neighborhood. See, when I take a listing, I thoroughly examine the surrounding neighborhood for comparable sales. What I noticed in this area was a big mix of homes, mostly on the lower end. There were a few a streets that reflected enormous pride of ownership, and this was one of those.
So often, I find, agents take the easy way out with comps. They will click that little button on the listing in MLS for comps. It’s called “find comparables.” While that is one way, it doesn’t necessarily show all of the comps. For one thing, not enough room. For another, its radius is not always wide enough to find the other comps. Not to mention, you’re not looking at the listing and photos, just status. Buyer’s agents are always busy, so they quickly glance at the results of the “comp” button. I don’t know if they disregard square footage or acreage and just note the sales price or what. But most of the arguments I engage in with agents over comps seem to stem from a different point of view.
With this remodeled home in Tallac Village, the concern was mostly the cement tile roof and the solar panels. Not every solar panel contract is something a buyer wants to assume. It can be a big drawback in a sale. Solar panels add no value to the home. Turns out there were a few cracked tiles and the solar company had installed the panels incorrectly. We were fortunate they came out and fixed it. However, there were still a few repairs we hired a roofing company to fix.
The rest of the home was sold strictly AS IS. Our first buyer flaked out on us in less than a week. He received the home inspection and canceled right after. I reviewed the inspection and could not find anything disturbing in it, so who knows. The guy was a doctor and what do doctors know about home construction? Well, there is always another buyer for that Sacramento home.
Fortunately, we found that new buyer within days of the first buyer bailing. She turned out to be a great buyer who was very eager to live near UC Davis Medical Center. The sellers let her adopt their chickens. Bawk, bawk. Such a smooth and nice transaction. Day and night difference over the first escrow. Sometimes, I do have to sell an remodeled home in Tallac Village twice and get paid once, but that’s how it goes in Sacramento real estate.
The important thing is my sellers closed at their asking price and are happy.
A seller’s partner recently exploded over selling a house four times. It’s not unusual that this can happen in a real estate transaction, especially when the seller’s partner is not involved in the day-to-day particulars of the escrow and, let’s face it, who else is a seller gonna blame? The listing agent is the only other person available. I suppose the seller could blame the escrow officer or title officer, and that would make about as much sense, but no, getting screamed at can come with the territory of being a top producing Sacramento listing agent.
Sooner or later, an agent will encounter a seller who doesn’t realize that when an agent is selling a house four times, it’s not because the listing agent wants to or isn’t doing her job. In fact, many listing agents would bail after the second buyer cancellation. Those agents would figure there is something wrong with the house because having two buyers in a row cancel is pretty peculiar. But it does happen. And sometimes it is the house. Sometimes it is a quirk in the market.
Sellers do not realize that listing agents cannot talk to the buyers in the transaction. The listing agent does not meet the buyer at all. There is no communication between the listing agent and the buyer. Often, the listing agent engages very little with the buyer’s agent as well. Our purchase contracts allow a buyer to cancel for pretty much any reason without penalty within the first couple weeks.
Listing agents cannot predict whether a buyer will cancel. When an agent who wants to write a backup offer asks if I have a solid purchase offer, I have to honestly respond: I do not know. It seems OK, all the correct boxes are checked, the lines are filled in, the preapproval is received, but is the buyer committed? No Realtor alive has the foggiest clue. There is no way to get a clue about it. Buyers often flake out. A buyer’s agent won’t warn anybody.
Although it would be nice if they did. Can you imagine a buyer’s agent submitting an offer and saying: “Hey, my buyer is a squirrel. She has made other offers and canceled. I don’t trust her to close.” No, of course not. They all say “my buyers LOVE your home.” They include dozens of heart emojis with their text. Give me a break.
But when I am selling a house four times and getting paid only once, it means I am committed to the transaction. I am not bailing on the seller. I am loyal. I work on that sale diligently until it closes. When a seller’s partner calls — a person I have never spoken to or had any contact with — to scream that I am the worst real estate agent ever because I sold his house four times and it closed, I don’t know what to say.