sacramento listing agents

Is There Any Flexibility in the Sales Price for that House?

is there any flexibility in the sales price

Agents have all kinds of ways they attempt to negotiate but the one that works.

Buyer’s agents who ask is there any flexibility in the sales price are really asking the listing agent if the seller will take less. You might wonder who would ask this sort of question? Or, maybe, what kind of responses would they receive? All sorts of agents ask this question. They ask because sometimes listing agents in Sacramento do not stop to think. They get caught up in the moment, forget about their fiduciary relationship to the seller and, as such, they can commit one of the worst blunders a listing agent could ever do. They could lose their real estate license. Yet, they spill the beans. And let’s talk about spilling the beans.

For starters, a listing agent who delivers messages without authority is in a heap of trouble. Further, even if the agent knows the answer or thinks she knows the answer, she doesn’t. You know why? Because she’s not inside her sellers’ heads. Try as I might, I cannot crawl into a seller’s gooey brain. Oh, geez, now I’m imagining Dr. Thackery on The Knick poking that long needle into that addict’s brain on Season 2. Further, what a seller tells me one day might not be true the following day. Things change. Circumstances can dictate different answers in direct opposition to the facts one thought she knew 2 minutes ago.

I take nothing for granted. When a buyer’s agent asks me is there any flexibility in the sales price, I tell them I don’t know. I don’t know because like I said, I don’t really know. But I do know how to find out.

You know how you find out? You write a purchase offer. I deliver the purchase offer to my seller and my seller makes a decision. We may discuss pros, cons and other strategies, but I never tell anybody what to do. Not my house. Not my monkey. I may offer alternatives, but the seller has the final say in the matter.

Please don’t tell me the buyer is “in love with the house” but won’t pay list price. People who are in love move heaven and earth for their heart’s desire. If you want to make sure you can buy the house, you write the offer at list price. In today’s real estate market, sometimes even list price is not enough. If a buyer’s agent asks if I have any offers and I hear of an offer coming, I tell them I have been told I will receive an offer but I don’t have it yet. Moreover, if I counted every offer as received that an agent promised was on its way, I would own an island in French Polynesia.

Sometimes it sounds like an agent is pressing for an answer because, as you know, the agent don’t want to waste his time. Wha? That’s the name of the game; it’s the job, write offers and negotiate. You might win, you might lose. That’s how you sell Sacramento real estate. There are no guarantees that a seller will take any offer, much less yours. You want a guarantee? You buy a certificate of deposit. You want to buy a home, you negotiate. There is no answer to is there any flexibility in the sales price for that house until an offer is submitted. Period.

Why There Are So Many Listing Agents Who Do Not Answer the Phone

listing agents who do not answer the phone

Ignoring phone calls is a trait of listing agents who do not answer the phone.

First, let me say I am not one of those listing agents who do not answer the phone. I always try to answer my phone, regardless of whom is calling. And yes, I have Caller ID. I know if it’s a private caller, an anonymous caller, a local caller and if the phone is registered, I get the name, too. But I still answer the phone. I’ve had private callers hire me to list their property. I don’t judge anybody by their phone number.

But in Sacramento, there are many listing agents who do not answer the phone. One of the main reasons is they don’t want to talk to buyer’s agents. You would think they would because they want to sell the home, right? Yet these listing agents feel they don’t have to engage because they’ll get an offer one way or another so why pick up the phone? Especially if they are bothered by nonsense. And much of the time it is nonsense.

I feel the pain of talking to some buyer’s agents because there are a huge number of agents who either cannot read, don’t read, misread or are just too plain lazy to figure out what’s going on. I try to be very clear in my listings. If the showing instructions are call first lockbox, I might also repeat the showing instructions in the confidential remarks. I might write: Call the seller and go. But agents will still call me to ask if they can show the home.  Oy, can’t win.

When I reply that they need to call the seller, then they will ask me to look up or text them the phone number. When the phone number is right there in MLS, staring them in the face. How lazy is that? Maybe I’m driving and I can’t look it up? I wish I could light up the phone number in blinking-call-to-action strobe lights for them, but I can’t. I’d gladly pay 10 bucks extra in MLS to have that feature. Some agents insist there is no phone number and no occupant’s name, either, when I know it is prominently displayed. This happens almost every single day.

I wish there was a way all buyer’s agents could be trained to study the MLS information and not view the plethora of data as simply a property address with pretty pictures. MLS is not Google Maps. But if wishes were horses beggars would ride, and I don’t even know what that means. What I do know is I will continue to answer my phone and go with the flow. I will never be one of those  listing agents who do not answer the phone. Call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759 to represent you as a listing agent.

No Holiday for Sacramento Listing Agents on Martin Luther King Day

Sacramento listing agents

Many Sacramento listing agents work on holidays.

The thing for Sacramento listings agents is often holidays are filled with appointments to list homes. With the exception of the Big Four: Christmas, Thanksgiving, Labor Day and the 4th of July, almost every other holiday is spent working. I know what you’re thinking, like how about Easter and Memorial Day? Nope, for some reason, I’m often meeting with sellers over those holiday weekends. And every other holiday.

My husband’s family makes their own holidays. If everybody can’t get together on a specific day, they change it, just like that. But for myself, I’ve celebrated so many holidays in my life, that every day is a holiday to me now. I’m being bombarded by junk mail for Medicare. Every day is special. I can choose to spend it working or screwing off, and since I love working, I often combine my two favorite pastimes.

Now that I’m back from my 6-week wor-cation in Hawaii, I’m very anxious to hit the road running. It only took me 4 hours to open all of that mail, stacked in two piles almost two-feet high on my desk. I’ve got most of my records up-to-date, so I’m raring to go.

Starting the day off will be a visit to a home in Elk Grove to meet with a seller who’s been updating her home in Laguna West with views of the lake. I met with this seller before I left for Hawaii last November, and she is almost finished with her home. I am hopeful it will be ready to go on the market by the end of this month. It is a stunning remodel with newly installed engineered wood flooring. Just need to check to make sure everything is on target and moving along according to plan.

By afternoon, when other Sacramento listing agents are making plans for lunch, I’ll be heading over to Arden Arcade, to help a seller with a probate home. This client has been working on preparing the home for sale for about 5 years, and she is now ready to talk about finishing touches. Everybody does things in their own timeframes. She was very apologetic that the home is a bit messy, but I’ve assured her that I’ve crawled over 5-feet piles of trash to shoot the perfect photo, nothing is too weird or unusual for Sacramento listing agents to handle. We see it all.

If you’re looking at websites to find Sacramento listing agents, why not hire one of the top-rated agents in Sacramento? It won’t cost you more than hiring an inexperienced agent and, in fact, top listing agents are pretty much guaranteed to be an unmatched return on investment. Call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759. I’d love to talk with you.

What is the Right Sacramento Listing Term Length?

sacramento listing term length

Sellers tend to focus too much on the Sacramento listing term length.

In my Sacramento real estate business, red flags often go up when a seller asks a lot of questions about the Sacramento listing term length or tries to alter my standard contract. It tells me I have somehow failed to communicate. Which would be very distressing for this Sacramento Realtor because I base much of my success in real estate on my outstanding communication skills. Plus, it kinda depends on who is doing the asking and the types of questions.

Bottom line, the deal is this top producer listing agent will immediately cancel a listing agreement for any reason for any seller. I am not one of those agents who will cry and beg to continue the Sacramento listing term length. That’s silly and unprofessional behavior if the seller wants to cancel the listing. I do not hold my sellers in prison. Therefore, the Sacramento listing term length for my sellers has no bearing on anything. It’s meaningless.

My standard Sacramento listing term length is 6 months, and if it is a short sale, it is a year. I do this so I don’t have to prepare even MORE paperwork if we need to extend. I don’t do it to hold my seller’s hand in the flame.

If I promise a seller that she can cancel the listing agreement at any time, and the seller demands a shorter time-frame than my standard term, my impulse is to walk away from the listing. A response like that tells me the seller does not respect my integrity, ethics, nor my word, and we have no fiduciary relationship. I have voided listing agreements sitting for signature in DocuSign over this. No trust. It’s a matter of principle.

I have learned over my 40 years in the real estate business that a lack of fiduciary is absolutely contrary to a successful business relationship.

A few days ago a seller contacted me about a home that was already listed. She wanted to change agents and pick a new listing agent. I looked at the listing in MLS. The lead photo looked like the agent had leaned out her car window, while still driving, and shot a picture with her cellphone. You could see the street, a blurry wall, and some kind of home poking out behind it. Terrible. I talked to that seller for a good 20 minutes at my home, then continued the conversation as I drove from Land Park to Folsom, another 30 minutes.

The seller wasn’t understanding much of the conversation, even though she turned up her hearing aid and put her caregiver on the phone for a while. She told me she was a real estate agent at one time, now lives in Phoenix, and asked how she could cancel her listing. She should know. Well, first you need a cancellation of listing and then the home needs to be removed from MLS. I spelled MLS, M as in Mary . . . What is a multiple, she asked? I have patience. I recognized the situation. I have empathy. Especially for older people.

But it was clear to me why her home has not sold. She asked what price it should be listed at. She adored her outdated wallpaper, shag carpeting and sheet-paneled walls. That love will cost her at least $50K off the comps, and if we could not talk about that, we certainly can’t discuss the Sacramento listing term length. I gave her a sales figure. That’s not what my agent is selling the house for, she cried. Well, the thing is, I said, your agent is not selling your home. I’m sorry.

It is rare that a seller wants to cancel a listing agreement but there are situations when a seller has a change of heart, or decides to rent the home, whatever. The reasoning is not important. I will cancel. No hassle. But when a seller asks before listing, over and over and over if she owes an agent any money upon cancellation (the answer is no), well, just saying, that could be a listing that is not worth the effort, and an agent would be wise to address that obvious concern upfront.

I don’t try to list every home in Sacramento but I do put my seller’s interests first. My sellers can trust I will do my best. My best is excellence. If there is no trust, we don’t belong in business together.

When Sacramento Buyer’s Agents Use the Wrong Comps

agents use the wrong comps

Sometimes agents use the wrong comps or don’t provide comps to buyers.

Sacramento buyer’s agents do not always give the comparable sales to the buyer and, if they do, sometimes agents use the wrong comps. Buyers often base a price decision on what else is for sale and not on closed comps. It is not uncommon. Further, the reasons why agents use the wrong comps are varied. Agents might pull comps that are outside of the property’s radius. Or, there might be too many comparable sales in that particular neighborhood to choose from. Or, perhaps the agents just don’t know the neighborhood very well.

Maybe the buyer’s agent is unfamiliar with appraisal terms. There are all kinds of real estate agents in Sacramento real estate. A seller mentioned to me the other day that the first agent she considered to list her home was a property manager. He wanted to list her home for almost $50,000 more than the comps supported. Why? We don’t know. Maybe he didn’t want to lose the listing.

I explained to the seller that many property managers are not really real estate agents, per se. She said ever-so-sweetly, “Oh, but he has a real estate license.” Certainly, he has a real estate license because it is required by law to manage rental properties, but a license doesn’t make a property manager a real estate agent. Those are two different occupations and specialties. A person who deals with tenants, evictions, collections, repairs, does not necessarily know how to sell real estate, and could very well be one of the reasons agents use the wrong comps. I don’t know why he gave her the wrong price.

We also received an offer from a buyer that was $20,000 less than our list price. When I asked the buyer’s agent why the buyer made such a lowball offer in light of the comps, she replied there was a similar home on the market at that price. An active listing is not a comp. It is an active listing for sale. Homes do not become comps until they close escrow. Further, why didn’t the buyer go buy that house? That would be a reasonable question. Probably because there are things about that house the buyer doesn’t like. Doesn’t like enough to pay $20K less for, apparently. Which makes that home worth less than its list price, but not ours.

My solution? Since we cannot assure that a buyer’s agent will give the comparable sales to the buyer, the next best thing to do is make the comparable sales part of the counter offer, as an attachment. Little tells the story better than the numbers in black and white. Just check that little box for an attachment on the counter and merge the two seller-signed documents into one PDF file.

If you’re looking for an experienced Sacramento listing agent, please call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759.

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