If you have been using a translation app in real estate, I have more translation app tricks to share. You may recall that I wrote a blog on this subject a while back. Yesterday, something very interesting happened, I received a call from a Chinese buyer with limited English speaking skills. While on the call, I tried to converse using the “Translate Me” app on my cell phone, but the app was not working properly. Then, quickly I used another app, “Google Translate.” It worked perfectly. Free apps, you know. Should not complain.
An agent called a few days ago to ask why did you cancel the listing? She was gonna show it, and now the listing has been canceled. It was there yesterday, she said, and now it is gone. Does this mean I can’t show it, she asked.
Immediately I offered assurance she could show the home. Just put the property address into MLS and you will find the listing, I suggested. I did not really cancel the listing. Felt no need to go into the long explanation of how to reset the days on market, which is exactly what I had done.
The Sacramento Housing Market November 2018 report is not surprising to me. Our inventory is up 25% over last year at this time. That is a huge uptick in inventory, even though it dropped slightly from last month. But an uptick in inventory over last year is not necessarily a good thing because it has resulted in lower closed sales.
Comparing November of 2017 to this past month, we’ve seen a drop of 12.6% in closed sales. Bad news for many Sacramento real estate agents whose income may drop, but good news for buyers.
For years, I have employed a counter offer tip that works so well that I just now am getting around to sharing it. I often share tips I have picked up over my 40-some years in real estate because I hope to help others. Due to the nature of Sacramento real estate, we agents are often so busy, we don’t stop to ponder some of the wonderful ideas we come up with. We just do them. Or, maybe I’m just talking about myself. Whether you use this tip yourself or you ask your agent to employ it, I guarantee it will save you from major headaches. Thinking ahead is one of the things I try to do. Because stopping problems before they start is my method of operation.
All it takes is one time that an offer gets screwed up before you might come up with this idea yourself.
See, the deal with a counter offer is it tends to change many of the terms of the purchase offer. Now, let’s say escrow or worse, the mortgage loan officer, forgets to read the counter offer (it happens!) and issues docs based on the original offer. If that happens, everybody has a problem, Houston. Further, the Sacramento appraiser could appraise the home at a lower price. Because appraisers tend to appraise at the sales price. To do otherwise is to turn in a non-conforming appraisal, and nobody wants that.
Naturally, one way to help counter that problem, pardon the pun on my counter offer tip, is to upload all documents to DocuSign in order: counter offer first, followed by purchase contract, addendum and accompanying docs. Then, after the offer is signed, download all of the documents into one PDF file. That way the counter offer can’t get lost and will always be the first document. Of course, to do this, you need to get the counter offer agreed upon first. Before signing the offer.
However, that is not my main counter offer tip. My main tip is to go one step further. In the purchase offer itself, I enter a text box for myself to complete when I sign the offer. The text boxes are positioned next to every term in the purchase contract that has changed in the counter offer. This means if the sales price was changed, for example, there are two spots to change on the first page of the purchase contract that contain the sales price. In both spots, I position a text box. When I sign, I enter verbiage in the text box that reads: see counter offer.
It helps escrow with the allocation of costs, too, especially if who pays what has changed in the counter offer. I insert those boxes throughout so there can be no excuse — no real excuse, anyway, for screwing it up.
I hope you have enjoyed my handy dandy counter offer tip and will find a way to save yourself future heartache.
One thing to get straight right up front about what home buyers can now expect in Sacramento real estate is the market is not crashing. Our market is definitely not a bubble waiting to burst. Too many owners have too much equity and a higher number of sales have no loan at all. The scary no-doc loans given to any person with a pulse is absolutely not happening. However, what home buyers can now expect in our housing market is softer pricing. There are no smart sellers hoping for “my way or the highway” anymore.
Instead, smart sellers are viewing the competition with an eagle-eye lens. They are making their homes better priced and more attractive than the competition in hopes their home will sell faster. Oh, there are a few sellers still looking for that needle in the haystack, that unicorn buyer, but I definitely see that sort of attitude quickly changing.
What home buyers can now expect in Sacramento real estate is more negotiation. Prices are no longer firm. Many sellers are willing to help pay closing costs, too. There are not as many multiple offers for median priced homes, so buyers aren’t always getting beat out by cash buyers.
Another nice benefit for buyers is sellers are putting more work into getting their homes ready for market. Except for the flipper homes, for the most part, buyers can expect new paint, maybe new flooring and newer appliances. If a home isn’t up to their standards, they have 5 more that fit their dream list. And really, how many homes does a buyer need to buy, but one?
Typically, moving into Thanksgiving, our real estate market in Sacramento slows down for the winter. We are not likely to see a change in activity until probably March. This means home buyers have an excellent window of opportunity to find the home of their dreams, that perfect home in Sacramento. Interest rates are predicted to land in the 5.5 region next year, but for right now, they are hovering around 5%. Everything points to the best time to buy a home in Sacramento is over the next few months.
You can call the Elizabeth Weintraub Team at 916.233.6759. We’d love to help you find a home.