Why the Sales Price a Sacramento Home Seller Wants Does Not Matter

Home Selling SacramentoOne of the questions a Sacramento home seller asked me last week during a FaceTime interview is why didn’t I ask her how much they wanted to sell the home for, because every other agent they talked to had asked this question. I was very honest, as is my nature, and I explained that it doesn’t matter. Because it doesn’t matter how much the Sacramento home seller wants. That’s actually pretty much immaterial in a transaction; what is more important, what takes center stage, is the appraised value, which is based on comparable sales.

In fact, asking how much a home seller wants is a way to nail a seller to a lower price. It’s also a way to determine if a seller is crazy. Those words: how much do you want? are never the words that come out of my mouth because I want to do a good job for the seller, not take advantage of a seller. I would advise a client not to work with an agent who asked that question as though it was important to the matter at hand. It’s not.

Being honest like that probably cost me that listing. I could tell they didn’t like the answer. And in retrospect, when I noticed that reaction, I could have soft-shoe pedaled around it but I didn’t. The truth is there are many values to a property:

  • what the seller wants,
  • what the agent thinks they can get,
  • what the buyer will offer,

and none of those really matter one iota if the home doesn’t appraise for those values.

However, I work for the seller, so I do whatever that Sacramento home seller wants and what is best for the seller. My clients can always count on the fact that I will protect our fiduciary relationship and do the best job possible.

These particular sellers wanted a list price from me on a home I had not viewed in person. That’s pretty difficult to do unless it is a tract home in Elk Grove or Natomas or Lincoln. Mid-Century modern homes that are custom built on acreage, well, you’ve gotta see it in person and feel the vibe, as kooky as that might sound.

Then I can give an accurate list price, a number in line with pricing the home to sell. Which might have nothing to do, btw, with our final projected sales price. Those can be 2 different numbers as well, depending on strategy, type of market and timing. Each home that I sell in the Sacramento Valley is unique, and I don’t really sell any two homes in any identical manner. I apologize that it doesn’t matter what the Sacramento home seller wants because we all want to feel that our opinions and desires are important and they matter, but what I want doesn’t matter, either.

It’s only what the appraiser determines. The appraiser has the last word. Unless . . . and that’s another blog for tomorrow.

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