Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Do you have a home for these buyers?

Do you have a home for any of these buyers? As 2023 begins, and I have lots of buyers in the market to purchase a home, I thought that perhaps I would send this out to the universe with the hopes that someone thinking about selling might notice that I have a buyer looking for a home that sounds like theirs. It seems to be a common belief right now that with changed real estate market dynamics that nobody is buying -- but that is just FALSE. There are MANY motivated buyers out there, and while listing inventory is above where it has been throughout the pandemic, inventory is still relatively low.

So with that, here is a list of my buyer clients, their price ranges, and basic search criteria. If you are thinking about selling a home or know someone who wants to sell their home who has something like any of these, please do not hesitate to reach out to me - 916-342-1372 or erin@erinstumpf.com. I am happy to see if my clients are a fit for your home and explore next steps, or help you strategize preparing your home for sale.

Buyer A: Carmichael, Fair Oaks, Arden/Arcade - this buyer is looking for a minimum of 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and a minimum of about 1200sf. They would prefer a home that is updated and are not in the market for a fixdr. They'd love a larger-ish yard (like .18ac or above) and a pool would be a bonus. They are well-qualified for a conventional loan up to about $650,000.

Buyer B: Rosemont, College Greens, Rancho Cordova - this buyer is looking for a single level 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom home under 2,000sf. Specifically they want an updated kitchen that opens to the living space. They do not want any interior stairs/steps and specifically do not want a swimming pool. They are well-qualified for a conventional loan up to about $550,000.

Buyer C: Land Park, Hollywood Park, East Sacramento, Med Center, Tahoe Park, Woodlake, South Land Park - this buyer is looking for a 3 bedroom, ideally at least 2 bathrooms. They would also love something updated and turn key. They are well-qualified for a conventional loan up to about $600,000.

Buyer D: Carmichael, Arden/Arcade, Fair Oaks, Citrus Heights - this buyer is specifically looking for a turn-key single-level small home, half-plex, or a condo, and it must have at least 1.5 or preferrably 2 bathrooms, an enclosed private garage space. They are well-qualified for a conventional loan up to about $350,000 (or less if a condo with HOA dues).

Buyer E: Midtown, Downtown, East Sacramento - this buyer is looking for a 2+ bedroom, 1+ bathroom home on the grid that is within a short distance to the state Capitol, restaurants, shops, etc.  They are well-qualified for a conventional loan up to about $550,000.

Buyer F: Oak Park, Tahoe Park, Rosemont, College Greens - this buyer is looking for a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home that is not a fixer. Would love an open-floorplan if possible, and an above average sized yard (like .12ac+). They are well-qualified for a conventional loan up to $450,000.

Buyer G: Arden/Arcade, Carmichael - this buyer is looking for a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom single story home of a maximum of 1800sf. They would prefer something turn-key and would love an open floorplan. They do not want to be on or adjacent to a busy street and would prefer to be within a short walk (less than a half mile) of a dog park. They are well-qualified for a conventional loan up to $750,000.

Buyer H: Swallows Nest in Natomas: Needs to be turn-key, single level. Likely an all-cash purchase up to around $500,000.

Buyer I: Folsom: this buyer is looking for a turn-key minimum 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home 1,400sf+, in a neighborhood within one of the following elementary school boundaries -- Gallardo, Empire Oaks, Oak Chan, or Gold Ridge. Ideally this home will be updated, and located in a neighborhood with mature trees. They are well-qualified for a VA loan up to $700,000.

Again if any of these sound like you or someone you know, please drop me a line!

Thursday, December 29, 2022

Short sales in Sacramento -- will they amount to a significant part of the market in 2023 and beyond? Your short sale questions answered...

In the last month or so, I have noticed some buzz online about the potential for the return of short sales to our Sacramento real estate market -- ironically I have found myself explaining mostly to other agents more than anyone else exactly what short sales are. Realistically I suppose if someone has been an agent for under a decade they likley will not have much, if any, experience with them. Short sales have not been a significant portion of the Sacramento real estate market in probably 8 or so years -- and candidly doing a quick search in MLS today, short sales barely register a blip on the radar. Though I would expect that as values stagnate or possibly decline further we will see some sellers faced with some difficult choices. 

By my count today, there are 13 active and pending short sale listings in all of Sacramento County (out of 2,450 active and pending listings). That is approximately one half of one percent. So in other words today, 99.5% of listings are not short sales, and 0.5% of listings are short sales. That is a drop in the bucket. Back in the Great Recession, the vast majority of my listings were short sales. And short sales and other types of distressed property listings absolutely DOMINATED the market. Between my own client listings, and the listings of other agents where they contracted with me solely to negotiate the short sale side of the equation -- I closed well over 100 of these highly complex transactions. 

Keep in mind that listing or purchasing a short sale is A LOT different than a traditional resale real estate transaction with a traditional seller who has home equity. I tell my clients to take everything they think they know about buying real estate and throw it out the window. 

So putting my Short Sale Agent hat on, here are the answers to some commonly asked questions:

What is a short sale? A homeowner who needs to sell ultimately owes more on the property than it is currently worth, so they list the house with a real estate agent who then attempts to negotiate a lower payoff with the owner's mortgage company so the owner can sell the house. For example, if the property is worth $500,000, however the owner has a mortgage for $550,000 the owner would not be able to sell the home and pay off the mortgage with the proceeds of the sale. The property would be listed for $500,000, an offer received from a buyer and accepted by the seller SUBJECT TO LENDER APPROVAL, and the agent would negotiate with the mortgage company to accept the net proceeds of that sale at its current market value. An important note -- usually there needs to be a compelling reason to sell or a financial hardship on the seller's end for the mortgage company to entertain allowing a payoff for less than the mortgage amount owed.

Is a short sale quick? How long will I wait for approval? The term "short sale" is often confused with a quick time period and close of escrow. Short sales are not usually quick. While some mortage companies will provide for a pre-approved short sale process, the average waiting period for the seller's mortgage company to approve the short sale is probably 30-60 days once an buyer offer is submitted. Some take less time...some take A LOT more time. The fastest approval I have received on one of my short sale listings was 11 days. The longest was almost 2 years. Once a short sale is approved, then the bank typically allows the buyer somewhere from 21-30 days to close the transaction. There are SO many variables that will dictate the length of time it takes to get approval...like which lender services the mortgage, which entity owns the mortgage, how many loans there are on the house, how knowledgeable the listing agent is, how cooperative the seller is with the process, if the seller is trying to use a government short sale program, etc. There is also no guarantee a mortgage company will approve a short sale at all. So.......fasten your seatbelt.

Does the seller have to be delinquent with mortgage payments to get a short sale approved? No. I have successfully closed several short sales where the seller stayed current with payments.

Who decides what the listing price is? The price listed in MLS may not be the price the seller's mortgage company is willing to accept. Usually the listing agent will set the price based on market value, and in consultation with the seller. Some mortgage companies offer a pre-approval process for short sales but I would guess that very few listing agents and sellers do this in advance of listing the property for sale. The seller's mortgage company will do its own valuation or appraisal (often referred to as a BPO - or Broker Price Opinion) to validate the offered price. The bank may counter your offer. Heck, they may counter a perfectly reasonable market value offer too... in addition to the possibility of countering the price you offer, the lender may counter the terms of your offer. 

Who pays the real estate agent commissions? In a short sale scenario, the lender(s) who agree to forgive debt and allow a short payoff of the loan(s) pay for the real estate agent commissions - generally by absorbing the costs of the commissions out of the proceeds of the sale. As a side note, oftentimes these commissions are re-negotiated by the lender(s) during the process. For example, if the seller and listing agent agree to a 6% total commission initially when the property is listed (usually then split in half to 3% to the listing agent, 3% to the selling agent), the lender may re-negotiate that fee later to perhaps 5% total (2.5% / 2.5%) or less. Note: Real estate commissions are always negotiable and NOT set by law or local custom. 

Who pays title insurance, escrow fees, and transfer tax fees? These are negotiable between buyer and seller when the offer is initially negotiated (before it is submitted to the lenders for approval). For example, perhaps the buyer and seller agree initially that the seller will pay for 100% of title insurance and escrow fees, 100% of county transfer tax, 50% the city transfer tax. The lender(s) may negotiate that the buyer pay a different split of these fees...however the portion that is paid by "the seller" is absorbed into the overall debt forgiveness and short payoff. Occasionally you will see a lender agree to pay one of these fees, up to and not to exceed a certain amount (for example, they may agree to cover up to $750 of the escrow fee that costs $1200). Generally then, the buyer would cover the unpaid portion of that fee. So basically, again, the lender(s) will absorb many of those types of fees. 

Who pays for a home warranty? This is negotiable between buyer and seller when the offer is initially negotiated (before it is submitted to the lenders for approval). Generally though, I would prepare any buyer of a Sacramento short sale property to expect to pay for this cost, even if you ask the seller or short sale lender to cover it. In my experience, this is paid by the short sale lender in less than 20% of my approved short sales. 

Who pays for home inspections, certifications, or repairs? These are negotiable between buyer and seller when the offer is initially negotiated (before it is submitted to the lenders for approval). Most short sale lenders will not agree to cover things like pest or termite inspections, roof inspections, sewer line inspections, or any corresponding repairs or certifications. A lot will depend on the circumstances with the condition of the property, how many loans are involved, the buyers' loan program, if the property is in default, the length of time of negotiation, etc. As a safety net - buyers, do not expect that lenders will grant these requests. Generally short sale properties are sold "as-is" and sellers can not afford to make repairs anyway. 

Will the short sale lender(s) give the buyer credits for closing costs or interest rate buydowns? These are negotiable between buyer and seller when the offer is initially negotiated (before it is submitted to the lenders for approval). I have seen this vary widely from the short sale lender(s) agreeing to pay up to 3% closing costs for the buyer, to the short sale lender(s) rejecting those requests. Again, much will depend on the circumstances surrounding the sale of the property. 

Who pays delinquent property taxes or unpaid utility liens? It depends. Sellers, if you have not been paying your property taxes or county utilities, you really need to let your agent know this ASAP! I work closely with the title company on this to make sure that we know of any lien issues in advance, but because it can take several weeks or months to get approval, new liens may pop up during the lender negotiation process. When I negotiate short sales, one of my worst fears is that after the short sale is approved an unexpected lien will pop up. This has happened to me before, and for lack of a better way of describing it - this sucks! If you can let your agent know in advance that these items are unpaid, it will save lots of headaches all the way around. IF WE KNOW in advance that these liens exist, there is a great chance that the short sale lender will absorb these costs into their overall debt forgiveness and short payoff. IF WE DO NOT KNOW in advance that liens exist, once the short sale is approved - this will halt the transaction until we can find a way to pay these liens. The seller is often financially unable to pay them, the buyer usually does not want to pay, the agents commission has already been reduced, and the short sale lender has already taken a loss on the loan. Sellers - please save everyone a headache and communicate with your agent. 

I have IRS and FTB Tax liens, can I do a short sale? Yes. There is a parallel process to get what's known as a "valueless discharge" of liens when doing a short sale. This does not release you from owing IRS or FTB tax debt but it does release the debt from the property so it can be sold. Again, be up-front with your agent if these exist so your agent can initiate the paperwork and process asap.

Can I buy a short sale property from my sibling/parent/cousin/spouse/relative? No. Short sales must be "Arm's Length" transactions and all parties will have to sign an affidavit stating no parties are related.

Are there tax or legal ramifications for sellers who do a short sale? The best answer I can provide here is that you need to speak to a CPA or an attorney. Every seller's circumstance is different. Some may face income tax on forgiven debt while others may not.

Clear as mud, right? My advice to you is to find a competent Sacramento short sale agent to help you navigate the process. I have done A LOT of these transactions and would be happy to answer your questions.

Friday, December 16, 2022

Erin, what are the best schools in the Sacramento area?

Erin, what are the best schools in the Sacramento area? I get this question often from my buyer clients, and it is not a question I can answer -- and neither should any other realtors. Our opinion does not matter. For one, there are several ways to measure school performance by things like test scores, teacher/student ratios, attendance, or other things. What may be acceptable for me may not live up to your standards, or vice versa. Additionally, realtors cannot "steer" clients to one area over another. So -- the remedy when buyer clients ask me about school quality is to provide them with 3rd party data. I recently started using a tool that generates really nice and easy-to-read reports. I can run a report for different zip codes to illustrate a 10,000-foot view of schools in certain areas, and then drill down with reports school by school that provide more detailed information. These are quick and easy for me to provide...so if you have questions about particular schools in the greater Sacramento area, drop me a message and I can connect you with more information.

Friday, December 9, 2022

New listing - 7775 18th Street, Sacramento, CA 95832

Loved by the original owners for nearly 3 decades, this 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 1320sf Steamboat Bend / Meadowview home is ready for a new beginning. This is the perfect blank canvas for your personal touches. You will love the spacious, light and bright open layout. Freshly painted interior and new plank flooring throughout. Enter to find a large great room with a cozy fireplace. Large kitchen has lots of storage and counter space, and breakfast bar opens to the living and dining space. Large hallway bedrooms and hall bathroom with tub/shower. Lots of hallway storage closet. Spacious primary suite, ensuite bathroom has dual sinks and tile flooring. Large backyard with lots of fruit trees, sunny space to garden or play. Rooftop solar to offset your energy bills! Attached 2-car attached garage. All this is located in close proximity to Interstate-5, parks, public transit, shopping, restaurants, k-12 schools & more. Don't wait! Offered at $419,900. For more information, photos and a 3D virtual tour, please visit 7775 18th Street, Sacramento, CA 95832.

Thursday, December 1, 2022

New Listing - 8277 Lake Willow Way, Elk Grove, CA 95758

Loved by one owner for nearly 2 decades, this 3-4 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 1,595sf (per assessor) Elk Grove Park Meadows home is ready for a new beginning. This is the perfect blank canvas for your personal touches. You will love the spacious, light and bright open layout, and vaulted ceilings. Enter to find a large great room with a cozy fireplace. Spacious kitchen tastefully designed with an island and large pantry closet. Bonus room in front makes a perfect 4th bedroom or home office. Large hallway bedrooms and hall bathroom with tub/shower. Lots of storage. Primary bedroom boasts tall ceilings, double sinks and a separate shower and tub. The enclosed sun patio off of the kitchen is the perfect place to enjoy coffee and conversation, or for al fresco dining on a crisp evening. Large backyard with lots of sunny space to garden or play and newer fencing. Attached 2-car attached garage. New air conditioning unit. Structural Pest report repair bid for Section 1 is $3,255 and Section 2 $890. is All this is located in close proximity to Hwy 99, award-winning k-12 schools, parks, Elk Grove Creek trail and nature preserve, shopping, restaurants, & more. Don't wait! Offered at $449,900. For more photos and a 3D virtual tour please visit 8277 Lake Willow Way, Elk Grove, CA 95758

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Want to sell your Sacramento home and buy another? Here are your basic options for the sell-buy tango...

If you follow me on Twitter you may already know that in the last few weeks I have heard from several people looking to purchase a home...the quandary is -- they own another home they need to sell in order to purchase another home

The sell-buy dance is a delicate one and there are a few different ways to approach it that I will outline below... A "contingent" offer is essentially one that hinges on the sale of your current home in order to complete the purchase of your replacement home. You are not obligated to complete the purchase of the replacement house until your current home sells. Sounds amazingly great right? Well, there are pros and cons. 

First let me explain how this really works and start with the basics...you basically have THREE options foe different scenarios to sell your home and buy another one with lots of nuance and variations in between them. 

OPTION A: List your home, sell your home, move out and rent while you look for your next home. 

OPTION B: Get your home 100% ready to go on the market. Have the home professionally photographed. Start house hunting. Get into contract on your replacement home and list yours immediately. Concurrently close both transactions. 

OPTION C (a hybrid of the other two options): Leap of faith - list your home, get your home into contract with a buyer. Negotiate the opportunity to rent your home back from your buyer for a time (or be prepared to find a rental). Start house hunting. Find and get into contract on your replacement home, and concurrently close both transactions. Or if you do not find a replacement home during the rentback period -- move out and rent

If you do not tolerate stress well, and do not have a high tolerance for dealing with lots of unknown timelines and variables then OPTION A is probably the least frenzied of the three options. OPTIONS B and C will involve a bit of luck, stress, and frenzy. I will say that I have helped clients successfully in all three scenarios...there is no right or wrong methodology here, though you will have to decide what option is best for your situation. 

By all means, before you decide to do any of these scenarios -- start working with your Realtor and loan officer and lay out a game plan. Have your Realtor do an estimate of value for your current home (and please do not assume that any online automated valuation of your home is accurate -- it likely is not) and a "net sheet." A net sheet will itemize all of the costs associated with selling your home, like title insurance, escrow fees, property and transfer taxes, natural hazard disclosure, commissions, inspection reports, repairs, etc. It will also give you an estimate of how much money you will have left over at the end of the transaction to put toward the next house. I'd encourage you to plan for the worst case scenario and be somewhat conservative with the estimates -- for example, I typically base my estimated net sheets on the low end of the price range I come up with, and the assumption that you the seller will absorb all of the transaction costs, and I even add a little miscellaneous padding. The last thing we would want is to over-estimate how much money you will have after the sale...and then find you don't have enough for your next home purchase. Once you have figured out approximately how much money you will walk away from the sale of your home with, visit your loan officer armed with this information. You may have other funds (savings, a monetary gift, etc) in addition to the proceeds of your home sale to put toward the next house. Your loan officer will then take this hypothetical amount, run your credit, look at your income and employment, and help you come up with a budget and loan pre-approval for the purchase of the next home. 

Next you have a choice to make. Ask yourself: Am I ok with moving twice? 

Moving itself can be a headache and bit stressful, however you may find moving twice to be the least stressful of your options. If the answer is "YES" that you are ok with moving twice -- then list your home. You will engage in OPTION A or C. 

If you do not want to move twice, then you likely fall into OPTION B. And for the love of all that is holy -- with this option GET YOUR HOME READY immediately like you are going to list it immediately. When you are shopping for another home without your current home in contract or already on the market, you must be prepared at the drop of a hat to be able to list your home. There are a couple clients I am working with where I have already had their home professionally photographed -- so that when the home of their dreams hits the market we are ready to pounce! The best way to convince a seller to accept your contingent offer if your home is not already on the market and in contract to be sold is -- have a bulletproof gameplan to have it on the market immediately and in contract immediately. 

These sell-buy domino transactions require good timing, a little luck, a skilled real estate agent and loan officer, and high tolerance of dealing with lots of unknown timelines and variables. Feel free to reach out to me to talk through the nuance of each scenario to determine which one may be the best fit for your needs.

Friday, October 28, 2022

New listing - 5334 Spilman Avenue, Sacramento, CA 95819

Exquisite, custom-remodeled 3 bedroom, 1.5 bathroom, 1,334sf River Park home is ready for a new owner. You will love the impressive aesthetics and attention to detail. Enter to find a large living room overflowing with natural light, and a custom fireplace insert with decorative mantel and shelving. Entertainer's kitchen with white cabinetry featuring interior pull-outs, quartz counters, full subway-tile backsplash, high-end appliances, and dry bar with lighted cabinets. Lovely formal dining room. Designer paint colors, stylish light fixtures, dual pane windows, custom window coverings, and wood flooring throughout. Spacious primary bedroom with sliding door to access the backyard. Enviable remodeled bathroom with lots of storage space, tiled stall shower with custom glass door enclosure, and granite counters. Remodeled half bathroom features an adorable pedestal sink. Indoor laundry area, and remodeled utility room has lots of extra storage space. Backyard is an outdoor oasis with a built-in swimming pool, lots of sunny space to garden or relax, and a private retreat area with outdoor shower. Front yard professionally designed/landscaped with drip irrigation. Close to Glenn Hall Park, the American River Parkway, award-winning schools, shopping, convenient access to CSUS, East Sac, downtown, & more. Don't wait! Offered at $719,000. For more photos and a 3D Virtual Tour, please visit 5334 Spilman Avenue, Sacramento, CA 95819.

Friday, September 30, 2022

Dumb things home flippers do...

Usually when a home inspectors taps me on the shoulder during a home inspection and says "Hey come here and check this out" it is not to show me something good. 

This week, at a home in Colonial Village that one of my buyers is in contract to purchase, the home inspector pulled us to the side of the house to show us this...that is the brand new mini-split heating and air unit that is not connected to power...because as it turns out the main panel is so old that it cannot be connected! I do not often see 60-amp fuse panels like this powering the entire house! And the seller/flipper's contractor just left it unconnected and did not let anyone know.


Fast forward a few days and after my go-to electrical contractor visited the house to assess things, a +/- $5,500 bid to replace the main panel and correct the shoddy work...the seller agreed to a massive request for repairs to correct this and lots of other stuff. 

DO. NOT. SKIP. INSPECTIONS. No matter how pretty the house looks.