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.
Is this one way to sell a house in Sacramento? My team member Josh shot this photo yesterday. I don’t know if you can read the small print, but the rider sign hanging below the panel reads: “Free Pizza With Purchase of House.” Is it a joke? Does the agent own a pizza joint? Is the pizza frozen or fresh? How many pizzas do you get? Do you get pizza for a year delivered to your house or does the agent just send a pizza to the closing table?
So many questions over one way to sell a house in Sacramento. Ask the incredible Barbara Dow about it, and she’ll say it gets people talking so all publicity is good.
Who doesn’t like pizza?
You ask my husband about the notion of free gift with purchase, and he will launch into a tirade. How there is no such thing as a free gift with purchase. But then he has never shopped for department store makeup or perfume. You pay the same price whether you get a free gift or not. Although, maybe it’s the “free gift” he objects to. It’s redundant.
All gifts are free, except for those with strings attached. Like a timeshare presentation. Oh, I know you think you’re immune and you will stick it to them, but the likelihood is the timeshare promoters will stick it to you. And if they don’t, you still gave up a precious two hours of life that you can’t get back, being subjected to and reduced to the position of a “mark.” They know it and you know it.
By my mere holding of a California real estate license, I am a regular “mark” to all the mortgage lenders in the business who think a Sacramento Realtor is ripe for harassing. Even those of us who have been in the business for over 40 years and are top producers. These MLO’s think we crawled out from under a rock. Or, how about some listing agents who do not realize we have access to MLS listings just like they do, yet they still want to dump email blasts toting their newest listing into my email box.
It’s spam, it’s junk, and if you gave me a free gift, I’d give it back. The only person they are reaching is the seller who thinks any method to promote is good.
Is this one way to sell a house in Sacramento? Plaster email blasts to such an extent they no longer have any value or uniqueness to the information? Of course it is. Just like the one way to sell a house in Sacramento is to offer free pizza.
I prefer to use technology in such a way that it does’t annoy people. But then I don’t use those methods to sell a house. I use tried and true strategies that have worked for me one way or the other for the past 44 years, and I incorporate any new technology I stumble across. However, do you really think email blasts and free pizza are the way to do it?