Tips for Helping Sellers in Sacramento to Understand our Real Estate Market
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.