How to Sell Your Stockton House

Seriously another article that tells you How to Sell Your Stockton House? Are you kidding?

Well, in 2019 the real estate market is changing and if you are selling you better pay attention because no one else is talking.

Ok, I get it… Everyone knows that you just pick up the phone a call a real estate agent, right? Why even hesitate, just pick up phone and call one.

Which one? Does it matter?

My name is Peter Westbrook and I am a local real estate investor in Stockton, California. I say that, because as an investor I am pretty much an EXPERT home buyer and seller, as I am buying and selling real estate for CASH month in and month out. I emphasize that because I am putting my own money at risk and I may know a thing or two about the Stockton Real Estate Market in most neighborhoods.

I am writing this article because I have forced myself to interview 4 real estate agents to help me sell two brand new houses that I have recently built. Did I mention that I am also a general contractor and until recently, over the past 10 years I have never hired a real estate agent to represent or negotiate for me on a listed property of mine. The truth is that I didn’t need to. My houses sold. I have watched property values steadily climb over the years and I am proud that I have led that charge. That is until the past 4 months… I see there is a shift occurring. Prices are leveling off and in some neighborhoods they are falling. I am currently accessing the market and building my knowledge base, finding out what others are seeing and I am comparing notes and if you want to know how to sell your house in Stockton, you will do the same. You can never talk to too many people and I am just one voice.

It’s also affecting the number of days on the market, its affecting pricing,  and its affecting whether or not your house will be sold. By interviewing these various agents, I get to see first hand any insights that they may have and what is shocking to me is that everything in their world is driven by price. When something isn’t selling their solution is just  lowering the price.

I have always suspected that was the case, but now I have seen it first hand from agents that come highly recommended. I am not sure if its just been too easy over the past 7 years or if its complacency, but I am a hard driver and my answer is never to just lower the price, unless I purposefully decided to lead a market with a higher price in a certain neighborhood. I am notorious for having high retail prices. So maybe they have a point.  After all, its winter and real estate is always slow in winter. as I reflect, in 10 years I have never sold a house to a retail buyer in the month of January or February. Then again I have never listed any houses two days after Christmas either.

So what has changed? I believe that the market slowed, and I am beginning to see the trend and the numbers support that. I am not seeing this as purely a seasonal slowing. I am seeing everything taking longer. Just 6 months ago It used to be that houses new and/or remodeled didn’t sit in inventory for more than a  30 days and now I am bracing for a 90 day window.

So if that is the case and you want to call a real estate agent and put in the work that I do for selling my houses you need to know another piece of the puzzle. You need to know just how qualified that real estate agent is that you are calling?

In my research I have found that 87% of all real estate agents fail. Wash Out… QUIT!  That is a big number…. so if you have got a house to sell in Stockton and you just pick up the phone, are you going to be talking to the real estate agent in their first month or last month. I ask because before you sign a listing agreement you need to know, especially if selling your house is a priority.

So now let’s talk about how to sell your house in Stockton. We’ll look at your options and we’ll look at how long that will take.  Let’s face it… Everyone has their own reasons or motivations for wanting or needing to sell a house. If you are considering selling your house it’s time to make a list and outline the things that you expect to happen and according to what time frames. Then be realistic on how to get there with a plan.

Today’s real Estate Market may or may not be the best environment to sell for your specific purposes. I would advise any homeowner wanting to sell to do your own research. There are vast resources available at your fingertips and most of the research can be done from the comfort of your smart phone, tablet or computer.

Then pick up the phone and start making contact with people that can help you achieve your goals. People that will talk to you and be honest about what they see happening. There are lots of reasons people want to sell their houses and yours may also have some unique circumstances. Keep in mind that one size does not fit all in real estate, as your house is different than any other with issues that only you are aware of.

Life’s circumstances also have a way of dictating how we will deal with a house that we need to sell. Are you in a hurry? Are you behind in payments or in foreclosure? Are you going through a divorce? Did you inherit a house? Is the house in good condition? Is the house in poor condition, is there deferred maintenance, old roof, plumbing, cracked or shifting foundation, cracks in the walls? Do you have the time, money and energy to make the necessary repairs and update it or are you going to sell it as is?

This is where the rubber meets the road. There are only three ways to sell your house. You need to decide. Do you want to sell the house yourself? Hire a Real Estate Agent or do you just want to sell it fast for Cash to a Cash Home Buyer.. (Real Estate Investor)?

Anyone of your answers either expands or limits the opportunities available to you.

As you probably know, selling a house conventionally (using an agent or selling yourself) usually takes time. Even selling the best house in Stockton can take 3 to 6 months in today’s market. Every house is different and every situation is unique, so take a minute to find out what option is right for you, but remember doing something is always better than nothing and so long as you are committed to the outcome and making things work, you’ll be ok.

1. Working with an agent

This is certainly the traditional and most popular way to sell a house, and generally, if your house is in perfect condition and you don’t mind waiting, investing time and money to fix and update things, manage a contractor with a few headaches along the way this could be the right choice for you. Here’s the typical process:

  • You contact an agent and they visit your house to do a walk through
  • They discuss price and put together a CMA (comparative market analysis) to show you where your house fits in and what it “could sell for”.
  • They discuss the types of repairs and updates are necessary to get top dollar offers
  • You order a home inspection before listing
  • You decide on a budget for repairs and the items you will fix
  • You sign a listing agreement (usually for 6 months), which gives them the right to exclusively sell your house. If you already have someone interested in the property make sure to let the agent know if that someone buys the property they do not have the right to collect commission. This is called an exclusionary clause.
  • After you clean the house, make repairs and update the house, the agent will typically list the property on the MLS and market it. He or she will typically have potential buyers walk thru the house, hold open houses, etc.
  • Some agents may want to stage the house. You’re paying for their help so listen to them. Right or Wrong.
  • If a potential buyer decides to make an offer, the agent will prepare the contracts for signature.
  • The inspections will be ordered and there will be at a minimum of two. They will want their own
  • The buyers will counter offer because of the inspections… More repairs….
  • The appraisal will be ordered
  • The house either comes in at value or not… a potential new negotiation and price is on the table
  • The lender does its due diligence…. its here that 25% of all sales fall apart… you’re not out of the woods yet until you have the final docs at title and the lender issues all conditions of lending clear. (25% failure rate)
  • At closing, the agent will collect their commission approximately 6% and split it with their broker and the buyer’s agent.

Advantages: The final selling price can be higher than what you would sell it for yourself, but that doesn’t account for all the time and money you have spent to get the house ready for such a sale. All agents have access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) to advertise your property. Don’t be fooled by, MLS  isn’t as exclusive as it used to be and for a few hundred dollars anyone can get a house listed to avoid paying full commission. If paying the full commission doesn’t bother you, you are NOT in a hurry and your house is in this and preparing for all of the obstacles, this may be the right choice for you..

Disadvantages: Selling with a real Estate Agent has the highest transaction costs, and WILL take longer. For example, if you’re selling a $300,000 house, after agent fees, escrow costs and buyer concessions you might end up paying close to $20,000 in back end fees. Time frames are not guaranteed and keep in mind that just because you accept an offer, in today’s real estate market 1 in 3 offers will fall out of escrow because of financing.

And you are still paying the upkeep, the insurance and the mortgage.

Timeline: 3 to 12 months.

2. Selling a house yourself (For Sale By Owner)How to Sell Your Stockton House

Over 90% of all home buying decisions begin on line and not with a real estate agent. Everybody has access to the technology, new smart phones, tablets and mini computers there are many applications available to everyone that makes selling a house yourself pretty popular. With websites like, Trulia and it’s fairly easy to list a house online. Here’s how a typical “For Sale by Owner” transaction works:

  • Even if you intend on selling your own house interview anyone that you think can help you. That means at least three real estate agents. Have each of them create a Comparative Market Analysis. Compare them. Discuss the price points with each and listen and learn
  • Interview a few Investors or Cash Home Buyers… the We Buy Houses People. Listen to what they say and learn about the all cash side of the market.
  • Then you get to determine the market value of your house without emotion. Finally you can pay for an appraisal which will usually give you an accurate value. Just make sure whoever gives you the appraisal is local.
  • Make Repairs, update everything and post lots of pictures online.
  • Disclose everything. Make a list of all of the updates and repairs, the permits that were applied for and of course all of the known defects and issues with the house. Unless you disclose everything to your buyer you are liable.
  • Decide whether or not you are going to pay a commission to buyers agents that show and sell your house. Adding this one component can greatly enhance your ability to sell it faster. Remember commissions are negotiable and while the standard is 3% you can negotiate a lower rate.
  • Make yourself available to show the house, gather offers, and negotiate the sale.
  • Submit the paperwork to the Title company and close the transaction.

Selling a house on you own isn’t all that difficult just familiarize yourself with the process of buying and selling real estate. Keep in mind that unless you are willing to give up your nights and weekends for showings and phone calls this can take longer than with an agent. Either way get ready for all kinds of people to look at your house. Qualified or not. This is a good option if you’re in no hurry to sell and don’t mind making lots of repairs and updates because you will save at least 6% in commissions.

Read Related Article 

Advantages: You save on commissions, and sometimes closing costs depending on how you structure your transaction. You have complete control over the process.

Disadvantages: If you’re not experienced in marketing or sales, it could take a while to sell it, even more than with a real estate agent. If you’re not a people person you might find this difficult, especially when parading potentially hundreds of people through your house.

Timeline: 3 to 12 months.

3. Selling to a Cash Buyer

Selling to a cash home buyer is probably the least complicated and fastest way to close a real Estate Transaction. Locating, interviewing and finding that cash house buyer should also be simple. Finding one that you trust may take some time but in the long run you will speed up the entire process by 30 to 90 days or more. Many We Buy Houses Companies are experienced and have cash on hand to close many types of real estate transactions. Every reputable cash house buyer should provide references… ask them. Another good way to check to make sure they’re reputable is ask for proof of funds letter from their bank.

When selling your house for cash the typical process is as follows:

  • Contact a local cash House buyer (like us) and submit your property information
  • The cash home buyer will go through the same process as a real estate agent and look at comparable sales data, evaluate the condition of the house, determine the repairs and updates that need to be made and make an offer.
  • Remember you can make a counter offer and negotiate the sale directly with the buyer.
  • When the offer is accepted, they will open escrow at a local title company/ escrow company and close the transaction.

Read a Related Article (The role of the Title Company)

There are usually no out of pocket costs when selling to a cash buyer, and the time to sell the house will usually take about 7 to 30 days (depending on when you’d like to close). Remember that Cash House Buyers are not retail buyers and will not pay full market value. They will factor in the cost of repairs and updates and compare your house to the rest of the homes that have sold in the area. If you don’t want to make the necessary repairs and updates and wait for an eventual sale this may be the best option for you.

Advantages: A cash buyer will act quickly, doesn’t need appraisals, inspections, need to sell a house first and you don’t pay closing cost or commissions. You don’t have any holding costs like you would if you had to wait 3-12 months selling conventionally.

Disadvantages: Cash buyers usually do not pay full market value. However, you’re not paying for repairs and updates, escrow fees, commissions, buyer concessions or holding costs. (Which can add up to more than 20% of the property’s value.)

Timeline: 7 to 30 days depending on when you’d like to close.

Again, my name is Peter Westbrook and I am a real estate Investor, a cash home buyer in Sacramento, Stockton, Manteca  and Modesto, CA. and I would like to talk to you about how we do business and how we can help you. While no one can promise that they will buy your house sight unseen for whatever amount that you want, we will sit down and make a fair cash offer that will in most cases exceed what you can get if you chased the market conventionally.

Give us a call at (209)481-7780. What have you got to lose? You may just find out that selling directly to us is your best alternative. In either case you will be get a better picture of your options, understand your houses worth and be able to make more informed decision. We’d love to earn your business.

If you’d like a cash offer, call us at 209-481-7780,  contact us, or fill out the form here. There are no obligations to accept any

Peter Westbrook

Peter Westbrook is a local Cash Home Buyer / Real Estate Investor in Stockton, Sacramento and Modesto CA and Tulsa Oklahoma. He has written numerous real estate articles that have been published here and by other blog and news outlets. Peter has appeared on several local and national news reports regarding the state of the Stockton and Sacramento Real Estate Markets.

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