sacramento seller’s market
The Sacramento County Housing Report for January 2020 includes Sacramento County single-family homes. No other criteria are included in this particular report so that we can get a broad understanding of what is happening in our area. If you want to get updates for a specific area, even down to a ZIP code or multiple ZIP codes, or multi-family properties or land, sign up for Sacramento Home Sale Reports by ZIP Code.
One of the most important metrics in the Sacramento County Housing Report for January 2020 is that single-family homes are selling faster. The graph below shows 39 days is the average time on the market. Homes are selling close to the seller’s asking price. The green line below shows homes are selling at 98% of asking price, which is also higher than they were in January 2019. Are you writing offers? Are they in line with what sellers are asking?
The silver lining for buyers is that the median home price for Sacramento County dropped in January 2020 to $375,000. This is a 2.6% drop from December. But, that is still a 6.2% increase from January 2019 as depicted by the blue graph below. If you haven’t found your dream house, you may have an uphill battle, especially in the median price points. Our advice is to hire an exclusive buyer’s agent to help you navigate in this highly competitive seller’s market.
Shop a location you believe will be good for you and your family. Sellers are less likely to do repairs in this market and will be looking for as-is offers. You can earn sweat equity buy fixing up your home slowly over time, within your budget. There are plenty of quality vendors out there looking for work.
The new listings rebounded in January, up a whopping 71.5% from December 2019, but still down 7.6% from January 2019. This brought the total available inventory in Sacramento county to an anemic 1,233 homes, a 1.7% increase from December’s low. Hey, we’ll take what we can get! (See the green graph featured at top of the blog post). If you would like to see a quick but informative guided video presentation of the trends housing report for this month, click here, Video link.
— Written by, Josh Amolsch
Our market has favored home sellers for such a long time that it’s hard to recall when it wasn’t a Sacramento sellers market. You know, like back in the days of short sales. Back when we had to beg buyers to please buy a home at this fabulous discount. Although the discount was not always there. It was tough. I also recall managing 75 listings at one time. Talk about being super organized. Paramount. Nowadays, I can sleep in another 3 or 4 hours in the morning.
I just adapt to the market at hand. As a sole listing agent (I work with buyers only through my team members), I have learned to offer a different menu to my sellers in a Sacramento sellers market. If I sense the seller does not want to fix up the home or put much work into preparing the home for sale, I don’t force the issue. Why? Because I will sell it and for top dollar.
My advice to sellers is to talk with an experienced Realtor who has closed enough transactions to properly advise. Everybody has an opinion. It’s not the opinion a seller needs; it’s the facts. In a Sacramento sellers market, a seller can get away with murder, sans the blood and gore. My sellers often look at me with a wide-eyed expression, as though they can’t quite believe their good luck. But they can.
If you have a home in a bad location, I will sell it. If your home is not updated, in the hands of the right agent, it will sell. What about a home that needs repairs like a fixer? Super hot commodity! Plenty of salivating flippers. Moreover, in case you’re wondering, your home won’t sell itself. Not at top dollar. But that’s what a top agent can do for you.
After a buyer completes a home inspection, most of my sellers never lift a finger to fix anything. It’s an AS IS sale, and I help them to enforce that purchase contract clause. Buyers’ agents can whine all they want, but no repairs. No credits. I don’t care what’s wrong. They can stuff their health and safety issues you know where. Because this is a Sacramento sellers market. If buyers give us any grief, we’ll find a way to raise the price, ha, ha, ha.
Further, if you’re a seller looking for an experienced listing agent to sell your home, call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759. Get a full-service Sacramento Realtor on your side. You’re likely to walk away with more money that way, say, over a discounter. Because the commission is not the determining factor in a transaction like the discounters expect you to believe. It’s hiring an agent who knows what you can get away with in a Sacramento sellers market. Put my 44 years of experience to work for you.
Just about every time I go to Ella Dining Room and Bar in downtown Sacramento, I try to capture the Light Rail going by. It wraps the restaurant, from K Street around on 12th, and it’s such a lovely view. Not that I would want to live anywhere near the Light Rail nor look at it every day, mind you, but for an evening out downtown, it lends that exciting, raw urban atmosphere, an element to the environment at Ella that stimulates and, if I pause for just one moment can make myself believe that I am not in Sacramento at all but instead am on vacation somewhere in Europe.
Which sometimes is a better frame of mind than thinking about the mortgage lender who left me a voice mail promising absolutely, positively, without fail, that loan docs would arrive in escrow yesterday. The same loan docs we’ve been waiting for from 7 days back. Good thing I didn’t alert the media! When they’ve cried wolf so many times, you get to a point where nothing they have to say holds much credence. At the end of the day, when loan docs don’t arrive, well, let’s say I don’t want to be that guy with my fly unzipped.
You don’t promise what you can’t deliver.
Or, thinking about the buyer’s agent who has the miserable job of submitting an offer almost 15% under list price for a home that’s been on the market for only 5 days. It makes me cringe for that guy. That buyer’s agent who is way too professional and polite to blurt: you are a knucklehead to the buyer. That buyer’s agent who hopes that sooner or later the buyer will learn his lesson and realize that the buyer’s agent’s advice is correct and, if the buyer has any shot whatsoever at buying a home in Sacramento’s seller’s market today, well, that buyer better start relying on the agent’s experience and, for crying out loud, analyze the comparable sales.
Throwing darts blindfolded at a wall doesn’t work very well.
Don’t get me started on the agents who believe banks are desperate to sell short sales they don’t own and wrongly assume that because a home has been on the market for a while, that it’s priced too high. Price is not the only reason a home doesn’t quickly sell. They don’t realize that some homes take longer to sell because they need work and not every buyer today wants to tackle repairs immediately after closing. Those homes take longer to sell, especially when they need to sell at market, which is calculated as market less cost of repair. With that kind of calculation, most buyers would prefer to buy a home that doesn’t need repair.
But a buyer eventually will buy this house, it just won’t be theirs.
Instead, I am grateful that we had parked our car with valet at Ella and could walk two blocks to the Crest Theatre to see Steve Earle and the Dukes, along with The Mastersons. It was a long show, by my standards, starting at 7:30 and emptying out 3 hours later, with no breaks,and way past my bedtime. I am grateful for front row seats so I don’t have to peer over or around somebody else’s bald head, as there were a lot of older people in the audience. I am grateful there were no kids kicking the back of my chair or spilling beer down my back. I am grateful talents like Steve Earle are still performing, and an experience like that is available to me.
His show was very unlike the Steve Earle show in 2009. Lots of Blues. He also talked about his child who has autism, and he said one in 85 children are diagnosed with autism today, and those odds affect 1 in 58 boys, specifically. If true, why is that?
A few of my Sacramento home sellers have elected not to advertise their homes as available for sale with FHA nor VA terms. In other words, they want a cash or conventional offer. Apparently, this either sounds like a foreign concept to some or they just don’t care and will submit an FHA offer anyway, hoping the seller will change her mind.
After watching a few sellers lately reject FHA offers in hopes of a conventional or cash offer, I thought that it might be better to be completely upfront about the fact that some sellers don’t want FHA or VA. There is no point in listing a home for sale in Sacramento with FHA or VA terms if the seller plans to reject those offers in favor of conventional or cash. Because odds are in the seller’s favor, especially in this Sacramento seller’s market, that she will receive a conventional or cash offer. It seems the fairest and most effective way to honestly advertise a home is to eliminate those types of financing options from MLS when the seller doesn’t want to accept those types of offers. We don’t want to mislead a Sacramento REALTOR.
I realize some agents believe that agents routinely fail to note FHA or VA as financing options in MLS when they really meant to do so. This means that agents think other agents make mistakes. Sometimes, they do. But the odds still exist that when FHA and VA is not noted, then it is not available for that property.
I’ve had buyer’s agents call and try to talk me into accepting an FHA offer. They are relentless. They will write emails, too, and go into great detail all about the strengths of their buyer’s FHA offer, explaining what their buyer is willing to do in the event there are funding conditions, and they won’t take no for an answer when the answer is no.
I feel like saying: Read my lips. No, the answer is no. No FHA and no VA and no exceptions. I realize the market is tough for buyers, and that’s why I believe it is more important now than ever to accurately advertise a home and to not mislead buyers into thinking they have a chance to buy that home if they do not. I am not obligated to explain my seller’s reasoning when the answer is no. It’s just no. Accept it.