Not every potential home buyer will buy a home in Sacramento this year, regardless of how much a buyer may yearn for a home. How do I know this? Because I speak with first-time home buyers who want to buy a home nearly every day. I listen to their wants and needs. From this information, I determine whether these buyers are realistic and motivated. See, a buyer can possess all the motivation and determination in the world, but if a buyer is stuck in fantasy land, the odds of buying a home are dramatically reduced.
I try to be non-judgmental. I know that buyers are not professional real estate agents and don't possess intimate knowledge of the market. Part of my job is to educate buyers. Especially those who rely on Zillow or other websites that provide inaccurate information. Armed with knowledge, a buyer is then able to make an informed decision.
A few weeks ago, a buyer called to say she was unhappy with her agent because she wasn't getting results. Since agents are generally in the real estate business to make a sale, it was entirely possible the problem wasn't the agent. The buyer asked if I would research a particular short sale home in Elk Grove. Her agent had shown her the property. She had not made an offer nor signed an exclusive buyer's broker with this agent.
I called the listing agent. The agent had 5 offers, several of which were all-cash offers, and those all-cash offers exceeded the list price of $400,000. As with many short sale listings, the price was artificial and below the comparable sales, priced to drive multiple offers. I know the main reason that some banks reject short sales is because many offers are too low, so a lowball offer was not going to fly. Not to mention, it makes little sense to compete in these types of situations if a buyer is unwilling to offer over the listed price.
The buyer asked if she could buy this $400,000 home for $300,000. I explained all of the reasons why this type of approach was not going to work. Even if all the other buyers vanished by the time of short sale approval, leaving this buyer in first-place position as the lone survivor, the bank would not take that type of offer. On top of which, this home was was highly desirable and unique -- which means those other buyers aren't going away.
A few days later, the buyer emailed me to confess that she had gone back to see that home again with her agent. She was so overwhelmed with desire that she wrote an offer on the spot for $300,000. She asked if I would still work with her and show her other homes while she waits for an answer from the seller. I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the buyer is not buying this home.
Now, I am not in the business to swipe other agent's clients. There's enough business in Sacramento for everybody. I had explained earlier how real estate agents work and why this buyer should decide which buyer's agent she wants to hire. She told me she really liked her agent but did not feel her agent could perform.
I suggested she stick with her agent. I didn't drop this buyer simply because she wrote an offer with her agent, although loyalty is paramount. I also didn't drop the buyer solely because she promised to work with me and failed to live up to her promise; although, I prefer to work with buyers who keep their word. This buyer performed contrary to her own best interests. I was forced to turn her loose because she could not, would not, did not listen to my advice.
Even my cats would agree.
Photo: Elizabeth Weintraub, from left to right, Pia, Pica and Brandon
Certified HAFA Specialist
Sacramento Real Estate Listings
Elizabeth Weintraub is an author, home buying expert for About.com, a Land Park resident, and a veteran real estate agent who specializes in older, classic homes in Land Park, Curtis Park, Midtown and East Sacramento, as well as tract homes in Elk Grove, Natomas, Roseville and Lincoln. Weintraub is also a Sacramento Short Sale agent who lists and successfully sells short sales throughout the four-county Sacramento area with an emphasis on Elk Grove. Call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759. Put 40 years of real estate experience to work for you. Broker-Associate at Lyon Real Estate. BRE License # 00697006.
The Short Sale Savior, by Elizabeth Weintraub, available with free shipping.
Photo: Unless otherwise noted in this blog, the photo is copyrighted by Big Stock Photo and used with permission.The views expressed herein are Weintraub's personal views and do not reflect the views of Lyon Real Estate. Disclaimer: If this post contains a listing, information is deemed reliable as of the date it was written. After that date, the listing may be sold, listed by another brokerage, canceled, pending or taken temporarily off the market, and the price could change without notice; it could blow up, explode or vanish. To find out the present status of any listing, please go to elizabethweintraub.com.