top listing agent sacramento
“This is the reason to be a top listing agent in Sacramento,” was written by Elizabeth over a decade ago. An excerpt from the original publication was copied below, in italics. It had me thinking about what I could add to this interesting conversation.
A fellow real estate agent in Sacramento once told me that she prefers to work with first-time home buyers because they are more grateful than sellers. She said they were totally thrilled to be handed the keys at closing, more so than those who are handing over the keys. They didn’t complain. They didn’t nag her about why isn’t their home selling. I guess she moved up a notch or two in their eyes. And that approach works for her.
When I take a listing, in turn I am helping sellers in Sacramento by providing accurate data and being painstakingly honest. Part of my directness, undoubtedly, comes from being raised in the upper midwest. My mother always called Minnesota the upper midwest and not just the midwest because I presume she didn’t want to be confused with Missouri or Kansas. Like she lived in Upper Manhattan and not the frozen tundra of Minneapolis. But I grew up believing the only way to relate to others was to be honest and direct rather than embellish or, worse, make up things you can’t remember.
If people don’t like it, they aren’t a good prospect for me. In that photo above, you can see my sisters and brother on the front steps of the first house my parents ever bought. I am on the right, grinning in a red tafetta dress and my fancy saddle shoes. My sister, Kathryn, on the left lives in Robbinsdale, Minnesota, and long ago, without reason, cut off all ties with the family. My brother John died from sarcoma two years ago, and my little sister, Margaret, is still in Minneapolis. We talk every Sunday.
Look at us. No safety railing on those steps. Probably asbestos in the siding. Ha! Lucky we didn’t all die, riding bikes without a helmet.
Yet, now that I’ve been in the real estate business for 40+ years, I’ve learned that being direct is still the best policy. Never deviated from that factor. Although, I am cognizant of what other agents might say to sellers. I won’t go so far as to say they lie, but they don’t always tell the truth. If you ask a listing agent if this a good market in Sacramento to sell, you’d be hard pressed to find an agent who will say the market is softer and demanding. They tend to paint rosy pictures because they don’t want a seller to get discouraged. They also know that sellers tend to gravitate toward those who make them feel good.
But that’s not my method. Maybe that’s why I’m so successful when I’m helping sellers in Sacramento sell a home. I spoke with a potential seller yesterday about selling a home in Citrus Heights. She said it was worth about $300,000, and I know instinctively she pulled that number from Zillow, which is often incorrect. Then she told me it needed work. No updates. She bought it in 1998. Well, there are only two ways an older home in Citrus Heights without updates will sell.
Either you update the home or you reduce the price accordingly to account for condition. Nobody thinks about “condition” when they live in a house. It functions. What’s not to like? But buyers have plenty to say about it, and they will pass you by. This seller’s solution was to either a) sell AS IS or b) remove the carpeting and install ceramic. How do you tell a seller that ceramic floors are a thing of days long gone past? With compassion and empathy, that’s how.
She also thought she could come up with a number that it would cost renovate the house and then deduct that amount from the sales price, and a buyer would hop on it. So, I had to explain it doesn’t work that way. If faced with house A, all fixed up, at $300K or house B, needing $30K of repairs and priced at $270K, which would a buyer purchase? Why, House A, of course. House B would need to be priced around $250K or less to sell. Buyers expect compensation for the hassle.
This seller also did not understand that the $300K homes were much larger than hers. Square foot cost? She never heard of that computation. To her, a 1,500 square foot home would sell for the same as an 1,100 square foot home, except they don’t. Well, I probably talked her out of selling all together, but that’s what helping sellers in Sacramento is about. Helping them to come to their own decisions and making informed decisions.
If you’d like to talk about selling your home, please call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759. My full intent is to sell your home at maximum profit potential for you. You can rest assured I won’t tell you what you want to hear, but I will tell you what you need to know.
If you’re looking for tips to sell your house in the fall Sacramento market, you’ve come to the right blog. I routinely sell a couple of homes a week on average so I manage a wide range of transactions. This gives me a unique perspective of the housing market in Sacramento. Because believe you me, I have been sailing high on the seller’s market in Sacramento for the past 7 years. It’s a little bit of a bummer to watch the tables turning, but that’s the cycle of life and of real estate. Gone is the “seller’s way or the highway.” New is: how can we help the buyer to purchase this home?
Does this mean multiple offers are a thing of the past? That’s what sellers want to know. The truth is there will always be multiple offers for beautiful and stunning homes or for severely underpriced homes. There will be no multiple offers anymore for the stuff that is in between. We have a lot of stuff, much inventory on hand that lies between gorgeous and cheap. That land known as average run-of-the-mill homes at a decent price. Or, otherwise referred to as: ain’t gonna sell come hell or high water. Because buyers today do not want an average home at a decent price.
In fact, I would say there is a huge disconnect between how sellers and buyers view the market. For starters, buyers are not crawling all over each other anymore to buy a home. They don’t want to overpay and are a bit uneasy purchasing. They will check with everybody within earshot for advice. To capture today’s home buyers your home needs to almost be perfect. This means no leaky roofs, busted water heaters, no black mold in the bathrooms, nor peeling and separating laminate floors, and certainly no creepy carpeting.
Sellers, if you want to sell your house in the fall Sacramento market, be ready to negotiate on price. It doesn’t matter too much your sales price. It can be right on the nose or lower than the comps. Whatever it is, if there is one little drawback to the house, you can bet a buyer will hit that price. That means if your home is worth $415,000, for example, and you want to sell at $415,000, it needs to be perfect. If it’s not perfect, a buyer might offer $395K. And after the home and pest inspection, the buyer will want more money or repairs. Buyers are driving sales.
If you’re not prepared to negotiate and give in to buyers, then your home should be in brand new condition. Completely remodeled, new appliances, flooring, paint and lighting. We don’t write the rules of Sacramento real estate, so don’t kill the messenger. This is just the way it is in our present real estate market. You either work within the confines of the market or you can just not sell your house. Your listing agent is not a magician. She can’t manufacture demand that does not exist.
Just a quick run in MLS shows over 3,374 residential listings in Sacramento County. That’s a big uptick from our August 2018 Sacramento Housing Report. Although, we’ve had that kind of inventory in 2014, when we had more buyers. Now, only 1,594 sales have closed over the past 30 days, and a mere 1,188 are pending. We are slowing down instead of going like gangbusters as we have in previous Septembers.
I met with sellers yesterday who need to do a bit of work before selling. They have a list of projects from me. If they don’t do the work, then they need to drop their expectations on price by about $30,000 to $40,000. There is no way around this. It’s not like a seller can simply wait a few months for the market to improve. The market is not about to improve for sellers so no amount of waiting will pay off. Don’t kick yourself that you didn’t sell early spring. Spring has come and gone and next spring won’t be as pretty. Don’t lament the past. Deal with the here and now.
If you were waiting for the perfect time to sell your house, when all the stars were aligned, anytime within the past 7 years would have been a good time. However, if you want to maximize profit potential today, the best way to sell your house in the fall Sacramento market is to rely on the advice and negotiation skills from a strong listing agent. Since I fit that bill, I offer my services to you. You can call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759 and put 40+ years of experience to work for you.
Nobody ever asks themselves, why would Elizabeth Weintraub want to list that home in Sacramento? That’s because most sellers figure all listing agents want to list every house they can get their grubby little paws on. But that would not be true about this Sacramento listing agent
. There are listings I don’t want to take. For starters, I don’t want to list a home if the seller doesn’t need my help or won’t listen to my advice. If a seller believes she already knows exactly how to
Not all Sacramento listing agents are happy to take on working with Bay Area agents, but it’s never bothered me. Probably because I do not care to double-end transactions. I would much rather let somebody else represent the buyer. My business is such I don’t need to squeeze every dime out of every corner of a transaction to make a good living for myself and my family. So, I do not have that problem that some other agents have when it comes to elbowing out, er, working with Bay Area agents. I will assist Bay Area agents anyway I can.
Now, it used to be that Bay Area agents did not have a Supra lockbox key so they could not access our lockboxes. But now there is some system where they can register to use it. I don’t know the exact specifics because I do not show property outside of my MLS nor go to San Francisco to show homes. But in the old days, listing agents in Sacramento could try to force Bay Area agents to turn over their clients to the listing agent in exchange for a referral fee. Because if they couldn’t show listings, that was a setback for them. Something is better than nothing mentality.
It hardly seemed fair. Besides, Bay Area agents have a right to sell outside of their area if they want to. Maybe some of them have even lived in Sacramento at one point? They do things a little bit differently in the Bay Area, however. For example, agents expect to get all of the disclosures upfront, which we don’t do in Sacramento. They might divide fees a little bit differently between sellers and buyers. But those are small issues.
The important thing that I see about working with Bay Area agents is . . . they have a buyer. That’s a huge benefit. It benefits my sellers and it benefits me. Further, those buyers are typically very well qualified. Many are paying cash. Will I ever tell an agent we won’t work with her to show a home to her Bay Area buyer? Hell, no. I’d have to be half insane to turn down that kind of situation.
It’s even better when after an open house on Sunday a Bay Area agent calls me. They typically say their buyer came through the open house and they want to know what they can do to help their buyers purchase the home. These are buyers who generally conduct little to no inspections, they understand buying AS IS, and they are sophisticated.
Further, in comparison to the price of a home in San Francisco, where the median sales price is $1.61 million, the median price of a Sacramento home is peanuts.
Read it and weep. Yup, the median price in Sacramento County for April of 2018 is $370,000.
But let’s look at the pros and cons. Now, we know that agent in the Bay Area did not show the property their buyer wants to purchase. Their buyer came through an open house alone, hosted by my team member or another Lyon agent. Downside. But the upside is tremendous. So, how motivated is that Bay Area agent to close a transaction in Sacramento? An agent who is doing little work apart from writing a contract? Well, I’d say very motivated. Which is yet another reason to love working with Bay Area agents.
If Bay Area agents can’t find a listing agent to work with in Sacramento, they are welcome to come over and sit down next to me.