Conceptually speaking, selling a house in Stockton couldn’t be easier… It’s a sellers market… we have a record low inventory of houses, home values are at a 10 year high. What that means in layman’s terms is that there are more buyers than sellers and if you are ready to sell your house, you’ve got the upperhand. So how do you take advantage of that?
Do you just leap right in and hire a real estate agent or do you specifically search for a buyer that will want your house? I understand that it is a loaded question, but the truth of the matter is that in today’s Stockton real estate market, you as the seller have more options than you did just five years ago. It is also true that if your house has any deferred maintenance or other challenges at all, your best options may not be with a real estate agent.
My name is Peter Westbrook and I am a cash home buyer in Stockton, Sacramento and Modesto. I have personally walked through thousands of houses and I understand the real estate market uniquely from a buyers and sellers perspective because I make a living on both sides of the negotiating table. I know that the lure of selling a house with the assistance of a real estate agent is liberating because you can make someone else responsible for the sale. It is why millions of dollars are spent annually marketing the necessity of hiring a local real estate agent to sell your house.
That conventional wisdom isn’t vague, it dictates that you hire a real estate agent regardless of the condition of your house because they can advise you in all things real estate. They understand buyers and sellers markets, low inventory, repairs and updates and of course marketing. They are all marketing experts… especially in digital technologies… right?
Seriously, in a perfect world, you would think so… in a perfect world ir is how things should work… but the world isn’t perfect and if you just hire a real estate agent, you better hire the best because anything else is just going to cost you a lot of time and a lot more money.
Here is the truth. Selling any house is not as simple as deciding on a price, fixing a few things, updating a few more, painting, sprucing up the yard and magically making the house ready. It isn’t about planting a sign in the front yard and bracing yourself for a line that will be forming down your driveway for the open houses… there isn’t any single moment that the offers start to pour in and disregard those high expectations regarding a bidding war, they simply are not that common. Instead, know that if you are going to hire a real estate agent you will pay upwards of 13% more than if you just sold your house yourself because that is what the data says.
I understand that what I have portrayed here is contrary to the conventional wisdom about selling houses. I also know that there are plenty of real estate agents that would yell FOUL at my portrayal, but it is important that all homeowners understand that hiring any real estate agent comes with risks. It is unfortunate that most homeowners aren’t given the statistics upfront as they interview each prospective real estate agent up front.
If they were, the conversation would go something like this: Hello, my name is Jennifer, I am a real estate agent. I have sold exactly 3 houses over the past 2 years and I am struggling with being a great real estate agent. I passed my test with a grade of a C- and that allowed me to get a license. I will be very fortunate if I make it 5 years on the job because the average real estate agent washes out within 4. I may bounce around from office to office in the next 18 months as I try to figure this out. There are over 3,500 real estate agents in Stockton and I am competing to get your business. I have have taken some college courses, but I have never studied marketing and digital marketing is new to me. I know that I need to get better at that with everything changing so rapidly online but I appreciate you talking to me about listing your house even though I have very little experience.
Is it any wonder why it is so difficult to sell your house fast in Stockton?
So homeowners just want to believe that there is a magic pill. But, Real estate agents, like it or not are not dragon slayers. They are not sales people and they are not miracle workers. In real estate, it isn’t always that easy to get things done and the level of competence of your agent may just make or break the deal. Homeowners need to be aware that what happened across the street or across town in not necessarily indicative of will happen for you. There are just so many other factors that may just come into play. You have the full spectrum of real estate agents (good to horrible), lenders, inspectors, appraisers and title companies. With that many people anything can go wrong, get delayed or worse yet, get “deep sixed” altogether …
For most sellers, the unknowns surrounding the sale of a house are enough to cause the average homeowner to second guess everything and for good cause. It is a free for all and the only thing that is for sure is that no one is in control regarding the sale of your house, especially your realtor. In fact they take a second seat to your buyers lender and unfortunately your buyers agent as all communication rest between all of them. You are literally the last to know how things are progressing and there is very little you can do to alter that.
I know how negative this all sounds, but it really isn’t, if you just allow yourself to view the market as it is rather than the way that you want it to be. I would assume that most people “believe that they understand” what real estate agents do for a living, but I am not sure that those same people have a real clear idea as to what separates the top 5% of all real estate agents from the rank and file. It is unfortunate, because if you are a homeowner and selling what is arguably your largest asset, don’t you think it may be in your best interest to hire the very best rather than the rank and file?
Sadly, most Stockton homeowners don’t and when it comes time to sell their houses, 72% just pick the first real estate agent that they talk to. That would mean that everyone of those sellers believed that there was NO Difference between one real estate agent and the next and no matter what they did they were going to receive the same outcome… for the same price.
So I need to ask… how do you get the best service for the money without doing any research or due diligence whatsoever?
The numbers dont lie… you can’t. Remember from above, there are a total of 3,563 real estate agents active in Stockton, but only the top real estate agents in the area are proven to get better outcomes for their clients. According to real estate transaction data analysis, the top 5% of seller’s agents in Stockton, on average, sell homes for $29,043 more money than the average Stockton real estate agent. The top 5% of buyer’s agents generally save clients 0.17% more than the average real estate agent in Stockton.
While I will agree that it is ok to have pre-determined ideas about what to expect when buying or selling a house, dont you think that as a seller it is in your best interest to maximize that effort and at the same time retain as much of your equity as you can? Sure it is ok to allow your experiences to dictate the path that you take regarding the choices that you make, but, it is also very dangerous to assume that one real estate agent is the same as the next and so on. It is also very naive to believe that about what they can do for you, as a seller is the same that it has been for the past 25 years.
The real estate market has changed forever. It has moved online and for intents and purposes you have the same access to the same data as any real estate agent. What is really scary is that you have the same experience in dealing with it as they do and I would argue that it is in your best interest to understand what that data holds.
Working With A Cash Home Buyer In Stockton
Straightforward Closings Without Commissions
Professional home buyers in Stockton will close faster than traditional home buyers, and will pay in cash. Traditional home purchases usually require a buyer with good credit, a pre approval from a bank that requires time for mortgage underwriting, property inspection time and the buyer may not end up qualifying in the end. There are also normally no commissions paid to a buyer’s or seller’s agent which means thousands of dollars in savings. The usual commission is 3% per side, so if you sell your home for $300,000, you would have to pay $18,000 in commissions alone! Professional home buyers also may not charge transaction fees; if they do, they are extremely low in comparison to the commission or closing costs you would have to pay otherwise. They also provide mail-away closings which is a wonderful thing for out of state owners.
Purchasing Homes As-Is
Professional home buyers in CA will usually purchase homes as-is. As a seller, this means you do not have to worry about repairs before closing or any other additional expenses you were not planning on. There are some companies that do not require inspections which makes it a truly as-is transaction.
Lower Risk Transactions
Selling to a professional home buyer is extremely straight forward. They will lay out every step of the process and usually have shortened, very clear contracts that are simple as-is purchase agreements. You will also have lessened exposure to legal risks. You won’t have to worry about the buyer finding something you didn’t know you didn’t disclose or something they don’t like about the home or the neighborhood. Under most traditional real estate contracts, there is a potential for the buyer to sue you if they feel they didn’t get all of the information, or if they feel the facts were misconstrued. Professional home buyers already know the state of the property, and they are willing to take on that risk.
When you decide to use a professional home buyer in Stockton, CA, you will not have to worry about going through a roller coaster of emotions. There are no frustrating, middle-of-dinner phone calls asking if you are available to show your home. You don’t have to worry about leaving your home spotless every day before heading to work, just in case there is a showing while you’re gone. You don’t have to worry about possibly running into a buyer’s agent or their clients or dealing with them asking you questions that you really shouldn’t answer anyway. You also don’t have to worry about buyers arguing with you over which furniture you are taking and what you are leaving.
Move Out Time
Professional home buyers are in it for the investment. They are not expecting to move into the home on the day of closing. Most home buyers will allow a move-out timeframe after closing to allow you to relocate at your own pace. This is extremely helpful, especially with such quick closing timeframes. Also, you may not even have to clean the home when you leave. You can simply pack your personal items and furniture you want to keep and leave the rest.