Solano Real Estate Scene: No offers yet?

Is your house sitting on the market or are you considering listing your house for sale to buy your dream home or your retirement home and worried it won’t sell fast enough? I wrote last week about the market changing to an easier market for buyers to find a house without the stress of multiple offers and bidding wars like we have seen over the past couple of years when it was a bit of a sellers’ market like San Francisco and Silicon Valley. Solano County has seen a market change where home sellers need to be professionally represented and the list price needs to be appropriate or no one will show up to buy it. It seems like the homes that are selling fast with lots of interest and even multiple offers are the homes that are priced right. As always, owner-occupied homes that are in impeccable condition with remodeled kitchens and bathrooms, fancy flooring, a fragrant flower-blooming yard, a clean spacious garage, gorgeous furniture and spacious clutter-free bedroom closets, if priced right, can still get five to 10 offers today because most people love perfection and a turn-key, move-in ready home. I have been to open houses where the master bedroom walk-in closet looks like the one from the Christian Bale movie “American Psycho,” with 36 pairs of shoes lined up perfectly placed by style and color and starched shirts perfectly hanging in order by color along with sport coats and suits hanging perfectly separated 1 inch apart without a wrinkle anywhere. Yes, there are neatness freaks, but it isn’t the norm so don’t be afraid to do your best at prepping your house to sell and then list it for a price that will create attention and offers. There are sellers out there today who will accept an offer contingent upon the sale of your departing residence if your professional real estate agent lists the property for a price that will sell fast, and the seller’s agent feels comfortable that you, with your agent’s help, will be able to close escrow within 60 days. If you have plenty of equity in your home and you want or need to move up to a much larger home but are concerned your house is filled to the rafters with stuff, you can move 50 percent of that stuff into storage until you move into your new house so that prospective buyers won’t walk in and then turn around and walk out. Do not be embarrassed about the condition of your home or even the cleanliness of your home because the professional listing agent has seen it all before and has friends and family who live in even worse conditions. Buyers and sellers are humans and great real estate agents get paid to help people move up or down, so let the agent help you achieve your goal. If you are a buyer in this market, you need to take your time and look hard at the property’s bones and the neighborhood because cosmetic improvements are not that expensive and can be done over time. Remember, many buyers cannot see through cosmetics, making it easier for someone to buy a solid house without a bidding war. Here are a few tips for you if you are concerned about your house being on the market for a few weeks with no offers. No. 1: Reduce the price even though you and your agent are sure your home would appraise for your current asking price because appraisals are based on homes that have sold up to six months ago in a different market, and remember some of those homes were owned by clean freaks. No. 2: Offer and advertise to prospective buyers closing costs credits so that a veteran or a first-time homebuyer CALHFA can buy the house without one penny out of their pocket because for some buyers a $10,000 credit for closing costs is more meaningful than a $10,000 reduction in price. No. 3: Offer to paint the house and replace the carpets with the color and style of their choice up to a cost of maybe $15,000. No. 4: Advertise your willingness to accept a contingent offer because a year ago some sellers would not. No. 5: Mortgage companies can help with a bridge loan if you want to buy your new home prior to selling your old home so that you can get all your stuff out of the house and prep it for sale. Just do it, swoosh.