The Sacramento Real Estate Agent Who Shows 3 Homes

Cartoon of Goldilockes and the three bearsNot every home that comes on the market these days is a highly desirable home in a hot location. Some of them are ordinary homes in Sacramento, owned by sellers with a little bit of equity who might need every scrap of equity they can squeeze out. Every once in a while, one of these sellers might be close to short sale status but would be willing to pay a couple of dollars just to close the transaction. These homes seem to be overlooked by buyers or possibly used by real estate agents as “the home not to buy.”

Back in the old days, and quite possibly even today as I type, real estate agents used to show 3 homes:

  • A home the buyer cannot afford
  • A perfect home that meets the buyers’ needs
  • A home so horrible nobody would ever want to live in it

And they would show the 3 homes in the above order. Because when the Sacramento home buyer falls in love with the first home, it can be heart-breaking to realize that it’s just a dream, and the buyer can’t really afford to buy that home. It’s similar to the concept that HGTV uses on House Hunters, except 2 of those homes are often not for sale. After the buyer’s heart is broken, it’s on to tour the home that’s perfect.

The buyer can’t believe her good luck. Everything is exactly the way she thought it would be. The living room is in the front, she walks through the formal dining — past the two rooms she will never ever use in her lifetime — and into the kitchen with the Wolf 6-burner stove — a stove she will never turn on, but wow, it looks magnificent. Which reminds, did you hear that Burger King is now delivering to select areas in Sacramento? Yes, it is true.

While the buyer is salivating over the perfect home, the agent takes her to the home nobody would ever live in. Maybe it’s nestled next to the train tracks, or under the freeway, or across the street from a graveyard, by a school, or maybe the home is just a mess inside, with torn-up carpeting, Corian counters and half-chewed cabinet doors in the kitchen. Most buyers do not want to buy a fixer these days and, if they do, they will discount heavily for repairs that they have no idea how to undertake or what the repairs will actually cost.

So, then the buyer goes to the agent’s office and triumphantly declares she will buy house number two.

Sometimes, though, your number just comes up. Sometimes, in this limited inventory marketplace, we run out of the homes that are too expensive and the homes that fit a buyer’s every requirement. Sometimes, all that is left are the unique homes with a defect. Did your agent show 3 homes? Think about it.

And that’s when we’ll get three offers in one day on the same house.

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