Tuesday, April 27, 2021
Wednesday, April 21, 2021
That is a fabulous question. I thought I'd take a minute to describe some of the things I have been hearing from my clients, as well as some of the bottlenecks and challenges sellers have in this environment. At some point the trickle of new listings will be a little more steady, but we have some things to work through in our Sacramento real estate market.
(1) Some sellers still do not feel safe having buyers in their homes. Some homeowners who want to sell have a higher or lower risk tolerance than others. While the COVID19 vaccine has recently become more widely available, it will still be several months before the majority of the population in our region has been fully vaccinated. And cautious sellers who fear catching COVID19 have been staying put. I have conversations with would-be sellers in this category all the time. It does seem like there is a light at the end of the tunnel, but every would-be seller will have a different comfort-level here.
(2) The court systems have been backed up. You may not realize how many transactions are dependent on court orders or other legal processes. For example the probate court system, which governs who will manage the estate of a deceased person, was closed for a few months. There is a tremendous case backlog, and those who will ultimately decide if and when to sell a home that was owned by someone who died are not able to manage the estate affairs without a court order. I have one client who filed for probate back in the summer 2020 who was just recently finally granted authority to handle his father's estate. Courts also often weigh in on the sale of homes in divorce/family law and bankruptcy cases too.
(3) There is an eviction moratorium and various "just cause" ordinances in place preventing landlords from displacing tenants. While I feel for the plight of tenants who face a COVID19-related hardship, there are property owners who would love to sell if they were able to end the tenancy of their current renters. It is often challenging to sell a home with tenants for a variety of reasons. I was contacted by a single-family homeowner last year who had a non-paying tenant, and ultimately they were advised by their attorney that they could not evict the tenants and should not try to sell until the tenants were either paying rent or move out.
(4) There is a moratorium on foreclosures. While we have been in an increasing price market for a while in Sacramento and distressed property listings (short sales and foreclosures) account for a very small fraction of listings, these listings are not coming on the market as quickly. (4b) Homeowners who are unemployed or under-employed are propped up by federal stimulus, additional pandemic unemployment insurance income, and loan forbearance. At some point, some of these homeowners will sell when the federal assistance expires.
(5) It can be a little more difficult to prepare a home for sale. I have spoken to many contractors are reluctant to work on occupied homes. For those that do, their schedules tend to be booked out for weeks or months. Some organizations have stopped taking certain donated items, so clearing out the house can take longer. Many building materials, supplies, and appliances have become scarce and can be difficult or expensive to obtain. (I personally am still waiting for delivery of a new cooktop I ordered in early March. I will be lucky to have it by the end of May according to the supplier. No it is not stuck on the Ever Given!)
(6) Where will the seller move once they sell? In this low inventory environment for both purchasing AND renting homes, sellers often express concern that if they sell their home they may not be able to purchase or rent something else. Not every seller has an easy move-out plan. I easily have 8 would-be sellers who would list tomorrow if they were confident in finding a replacement property. There are still plenty of ways to work through this, but some of the options can be a little stressful for risk-averse sellers/buyers.
So hopefully this is informative. And as I was quoted in the Sacramento Bee article -- at some point sellers who have not listed their homes WILL sell. I have a queue of many people who very much want to sell. And at some point we will see those homes come to market. There are ways to work within many of these challenges with a little creativity and determination. I am still listing plenty of homes...
The good news is I am seeing a little more inventory as we inch more into the spring. This is the time of year when we normally see more listing inventory...and I can only hope it takes some of the upward pressure off the market for home buyers, as the current trajectory of the market is not sustainable for the long term. but we all know there is less that is the normal we are all used to.
Thursday, April 15, 2021
Wednesday, April 14, 2021
Thursday, March 18, 2021
And then it hit me -- gosh maybe adding some levity during an otherwise stressful time would be a good idea. So, starting now I will be giving my sellers a BINGO card to complete during our transaction. I used an online program that randomizes the squares so each client will have a unique card for their own unique transaction. Any client who achieves a BINGO will get a $100 gift card to a restaurant of their choosing at closing.
The market is a little nutty and things can get chaotic, so let's have some fun too.
Wednesday, March 10, 2021
We are now nearly one year into the COVID-19 pandemic. Wow, where did the time go?? It seems like yesterday and way too long ago that things were "normal"...but what is our new normal looking like a year in?
Just how is the Sacramento real estate market doing a year into the pandemic? I answer this question for my clients every day. In short: the Sacramento market has been heated, prices have climbed significantly, and inventory of homes for sale is so low that many homes are getting 10+ offers because buyers descend on listings like locusts.
The really low 3%-ish interest rates, people highly valuing different uses of space, and newly discovered mobility and ability to work from home from any location has lead to high home buyer demand in Sacramento. Couple that high demand with the fact that many would-be sellers have hunkered down during the pandemic and not listed their homes, this combination has lead to increased prices.pandemic started. The graph is a stunning illustration of the supply and demand of the current Sacramento housing market. You will see that in June, July, August, September, October, November, December, January and February there were MORE homes that went into contract (dark green bar) or sales that closed (red lines) than the number of homes available. The fact this dynamic has persisted for so long is shocking.median home price in Sacramento County has increased 16.1%, from $398,000 in February 2020 to $462,000 as of the end of February 2021.
Multiple offers abound, homes selling for more than listing price, prices increasing. But if you dig into the dynamics and data it makes a lot of sense. I wrote about Sacramento real estate market dynamics in July 2020 and November 2020 and the housing market trajectory in Sacramento has remained the same.
As we approach the spring, usually we see a lot of new listings hit the market. I do think we will see more listings come onto the market, but there is a persistent buyer demand that I believe will gobble up the new supply of resale homes that hit the market. I personally have several would-be seller clients who were ready to list their homes before COVID-19 hit who are watching closely to see if Sacramento County moves to a more favorable tier, if vaccines are more widely deployed before they re-evaluate if they feel safe to have showings and people in their homes. And I also have a growing list of clients who would love to sell, however they have not been able to find another home to purchase, and hence these clients have not listed their homes for sale.
I am still listing plenty of properties -- folks still need to move, whether relocating out of state, or moving to different school districts, or moving closer to work, finally getting that home with a pool they always wanted, or upsizing to have a home office, or downsizing after the kids move out, or selling an empty home in a living trust or probate estate, etc.
What I can say is -- if you are thinking about selling your Sacramento area home, the market is very much in the seller's favor at this moment. It may be an opportune time to take advantage of the seller's market right now. If I can help, I welcome your call or email to see if we are a fit to work together.
Wednesday, February 24, 2021
Wednesday, February 3, 2021
I finished 2020 ranked as #9 out of 618 individual Coldwell Banker agents in the multi-county Sacramento region...
Doing the math, it puts me squarely in the top 1.5%. That qualifies me for something called the "International President's Elite" award.
I am super grateful for my many clients who entrusted me with their transactions. And 2021 is already off to a busy start!