Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Odds That a House Will Sell

Most people think that if you list a house that it will eventually sell. The odds right now aren’t very good and it surprises most people to hear what the numbers really are.

These are the statistics from December 1st 2009 to November 31st 2010 for Non-REO or Short Sale Properties:

48% of all the houses listed in Sacramento County last year sold, 16% were still listed, 4% were in Pending Sales status and 32% didn’t sell and were taken off the market.

I thought it would be good to look at it from a neighborhood level as well as the whole county to see if there was much of a difference somewhere like East Sacramento…

Surprisingly, East Sacramento fared a little worse with only 45% of all the houses listed being sold, 16% were still listed, 5% were in Pending Sales status and 34% didn’t sell and were taken off the market.

The best way to insure your house will be in the sold percent is to price it to sell right at the start. The first 30 days are critical…

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Pricing a Property

Sometimes the process of pricing a home can be a stressful. Many sellers feel like agents try to control the pricing process. Some agents want them to list at a low price so it will sell easily and other agents promise that they can get a higher price than the market will support just to get the listing (and then a month later start the price reduction conversation).

My job is to provide a seller with the best information about what their homes competition is on the market and the recent home sales that other agents and appraisers will be looking at. I give my professional opinion of what I would list the home for if it were mine and what I think it will finally sell for. I also consult with the 50+ other agents in my company and get feedback from those that are familiar with the neighborhood for their price opinion.

After I’ve given all of these opinions and information, the seller tells me what price they want to list your property for. I give my honest opinion and the chance that I think it will sell at that price. The seller sets the listing price and as long as I think there is a decent chance of selling the property I will take the listing and support them and their price fully.

Given that it’s my job to represent my sellers best interests, I always try to help them get the most for their property and the best way to do this is to set the price right at the time of the initial listing.

This is an excerpt from and article titled “Selling Price vs. Timing” from the Consumer Reports in November 2002 and it still applies today.

“Setting the correct price is key to selling your home quickly and profitably.

John Knight, associate professor of real estate at the University of the Pacific, in a study of several-thousand home sales over a two-year period in Stockton, California, found that houses whose prices are changed sell for less than homes with no price revisions.

The longer a house sits on the market, the more it is stigmatized in the minds of buyers.”

Another way to look at it could be seen in this blog entry a while back:
Listing Price and the First Week

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Vacation in India

Well, we have returned and finally recovered from our vacation to India.

We spent one week in Delhi attending the most amazing wedding ever. The cousin of our good friends (Shivani and Ashish) got married in the traditional 4 day long Indian wedding that can make the Oscars look like a casual dress event. We were welcomed by our friends family who invited us to stay with them and we were treated like family throughout our whole visit.

Our second week was spent traveling out to see the Taj Mahal in Agra and the Amber Fort in Jaipur and the surrounding countryside. The Taj Mahal is more amazing than any pictures can convey. The sense of peace and tranquility there combined with the perfection of the massive white marble structure was awe inspiring.

My wife and I have been fascinated with India for a long time and as usual when we do crazy travel we did a lot of research before going. I can honestly say that I don’t think anything could have prepared us for India. While it was a great country to visit (and we only saw a little corner of it), we were thankful to return home to all the comforts of America and the beauty of East Sacramento’s tree lined streets.

Writing this blog from the comparatively un-crowded (even if every table is taken) coffee shop of Peet’s on 38th and J St, I have returned with a deepened love for India’s culture as well as a greater appreciation for everything it means to live in America.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Welcome to East Sacramento

The borders of East Sacramento are generally taken to be Business 80 on the west, the Southern Pacific railroad tracks for the north and east (which runs behind Elvas down to 65th/69th Street), the Sacramento Valley railroad line (the Light Rail) and R Street on the south.

There are “Welcome to East Sacramento” signs at seven entry locations into the neighborhood: 30th Street & J Street, 30th Street & Capitol Avenue, 39th Street & R Street, 56th Street & H Street, 57th Street & J Street, 65th Street & Folsom Boulevard and 65th Street & Q Street as well as the one located in McKinley Park on the corner of Alhambra and H Street. These were put up through a partnership of the East Sacramento Chamber of Commerce, East Sacramento Improvement Association (ESIA), and the McKinley East Sacramento Neighborhood Association (MENA) in 2009. Did you know that the shape for the signs is inspired from the East Lawn Memorial Park’s clock on Folsom Blvd?

Our amazing neighborhood features McKinley Park, East Portal Park, Bertha Henschel Park and several school parks plus easy access to the American River Bike Trail. In McKinley Park alone you can find a library, duck pond with fountain, swimming pools, children’s playground, basketball courts, tennis courts, baseball field and an amazing rose garden.

The tree lined streets and walkability of the neighborhoods contribute to why this is one of the most desirable neighborhoods to live in Sacramento. The quality and amazing architecture of the homes make strolls or drives through the area a popular activity, especially in the “Fabulous Forties” where many of the homes are truly mansions.

One of my favorite things about living here is that there are so many great places to eat and shop, many of them family owned, and it’s all tucked in and around the wonderful homes. I figure that I’m never more than half a mile from a coffee shop no matter where I am in East Sac.

This isn’t to say that there aren’t other great neighborhoods in Sacramento (I’ll have to write about all the things I love about Land Park sometime), it’s just that I live in this neighborhood and love exploring and sharing the depths of it. I hope you enjoy it too!