sacramento home buyer
To be a successful Sacramento home buyer’s Realtor is a very important job. Because many agents sell homes, it does not mean they are excellent at their job. Selling homes takes two agents: a listing agent and a buyer’s agent. Often the stronger agent will get the job done for both sides. How can a seller’s agent help a buyer’s agent? Great question.
As a listing agent, we make sure the time frames and contracts are completed, along with all the disclosures and reports. We can explain in detail how and why we are taking action. We make sure we have a 100% complete file and stellar record of all communications. Even if the buyer’s agent doesn’t know what she or he is doing, we will get the transaction completed, regardless. They can’t miss an important milestone, as we won’t let them.
An agent has many sources at her or his disposal to find this data. At minimum, even if an agent doesn’t run the comparable sales for the Sacramento home buyer — which for my team members would be inexcusable — the agent should check to see who owns the property. Is it one person? Is it a trust? Does the owner’s address match the property address or are the owners living out of state? A quick call to the listing agent would confirm whether two people are on title or if one of them is deceased. You know, just stuff that makes the entire transaction run smoother and gives the buyer enough information to make an intelligent decision.
A potential Sacramento home buyer called yesterday about wanting to buy a home along the river that is a short sale. He asked if moi, his newly found Sacramento real estate agent, would be willing to write a purchase offer for him. As an experienced short sale agent, the first thing I did was look at the tax rolls. I see that this is an investment property for the seller. The second thing I notice is his second loan is a gigantic refinance for many thousands of dollars, and the lender is National City.
National City is now owned by PNC. This makes it a PNC short sale. A second loan held by PNC, especially a hard-money loan that carries recourse in California, is a difficult short sale to negotiate. That’s because PNC knows it can go after the seller personally and try to collect the full amount of the loan should the home go to foreclosure. When the security for that second loan is wiped out, because it’s a cash-out refinance, that lender, you can bet, will pursue it.
If the seller is not willing to negotiate with PNC upfront in this type of short sale, well, the odds are it will not get approved as a short sale. If PNC approved the short sale, by law it must release the seller from liability, but it is not required to approve a short sale.
Not only that, but there is a trustee’s sale pending shortly. It is very possible that a seller who waits until the last possible minute to put a home on the market as a short sale prior to a pending trustee’s sale is not a seller who is willing to negotiate upfront, but you never know. Weird things happen in real estate every day.
Armed with this information, the buyer chose to move forward and write an offer because he decided that he had little to lose. He was prepared to be disappointed. I asked a team member on the Elizabeth Weintraub Team to prepare an offer for him. My team member explained that we need a preapproval letter to accompany the offer because the way to postpone a trustee’s sale is to submit a purchase offer. The bank will not allow submission of a purchase offer without a preapproval letter. An offer without a preapproval letter is not an offer. It is an incomplete offer and considered insufficient to postpone a trustee’s auction.
The buyer could not produce a preapproval letter. He was irritated about my team member’s insistence on it, too. You see, he had sold his own home as a short sale a few months back.
The buyer said fine, he’d find another Sacramento real estate agent to write his purchase offer. That was actually a very good idea on his part, but a wasted effort.
It’s up to real estate agents to explain to potential home buyers what the market is like in Sacramento. Tell them what they can expect. I tell it to them straight. I figure it’s better that they be prepared than shocked. Don’t need anybody having a heart attack and dropping dead at my feet. Maybe this is NOT the time for them to buy a home. I know I would NOT want to be a home buyer in Sacramento today. That’s the truth. Because there is tremendous competition for the same homes. It’s an extreme seller’s market. Many buyers, little inventory. Many all cash buyers who will outbid an FHA or VA buyer. Multiple offers are normal right now. This is a sizzling hot market!
I spoke to an agent yesterday who told me she had submitted an offer for her buyer and the listing agent said her offer was #18. The funny thing about this situation is the listing agent was holding out for more offers. Why? Why on God’s green earth would a seller or an agent need to collect more purchase offers than that? Talk about misery. If one can’t find an acceptable offer among 17 offers, I hate to say this, but something has gone horribly wrong with the agent, the seller or both. Another agent lamented that he had not had an offer accepted for any of his buyers for more than 30 days, and he writes 4 to 5 offers a week.
Sacramento buyer’s agents are suffocating.
I’ve had buyers call me directly and ask if they can get an edge by working with a high producing Sacramento listing agent. I guess they figure they’ll go where the homes are rather than waiting for the listings to come to them. It’s a desperate situation. Buyers need to prepare for disappointment. A Sacramento home buyer might not be able to buy her first choice or even her 10th choice. She needs to slap on that steel armor and keep her eyes on the horizon. Above all, don’t give up. Align with an experienced Sacramento REALTOR.
It is possible to buy a home in Sacramento. I see happy home buyers go into escrow every week! In addition to hitting refresh on that MLS link, home buyers can also check my Sacramento short sale updates to see which listings are coming live. Voodoo dolls, prayers on your knees, salt over your shoulder, whatever you’ve got — use it.