Answer: The real estate market currently lacks the number of homes on the market to provide for the number of buyers that are looking. Low inventory exists across the nation right now and is particularly prevalent in Southern California. Yorba Linda has less than 150 properties for sale at a time that would normally be twice that amount. Generally, that number decreases from now until March of next year when people put their homes on the market for sale in the spring and summer. As a result real estate agents are scrambling to find homes for their buyers. I believe that many agents are sending out letters to selected neighborhoods on behalf of their clients in an attempt to find them a home. Buyers, after touring the available homes, determine the neighborhoods they desire. Then, if no home is found that matches their needs and desires, they tell the agent, “If anything comes up in XYZ neighborhood, please contact me.” Good agents may send out letters to the desired neighborhoods or go door-to-door soliciting homeowners who might be considering selling their home. A good way to determine if the letter or solicitation is genuine and not just an attempt to get a listing is to ask the agent for the name or names of the prospective buyer(s). If there is a name behind the request, and you would sell if the property agrees with the buyer, then you might allow the agent to do a One Party Show. In that case, if the buyer does like the house and makes an offer that is acceptable, then the deal will go forward. If the buyer does not like the home, then there is no listing. If you are interested in selling, then you should contact the agent and discuss who they have in mind and see if going forward makes sense. If you have an agent you use for real estate, then I would contact that person to discuss this opportunity. If the other agent does have a buyer, then they would be anxious to find them a home and be excited to provide them with a home they would enjoy while only handling the buyer’s side of the transaction. One big advantage of responding to the letter or contact could be a shortened time of turmoil in selling your home. You would not have to maintain your home week after week and to have open houses or even a sign in the yard. This could be an excellent opportunity for you to sell your home at a fair price and move on to your next destination with a smooth transition. I would say, “Give the agent a call.”
Question: When my husband and I schedule a time to look at homes with our agent, often she indicates that we will not be able to see that home and will have to schedule the visit at another time. Don’t they want to sell?
Answer: You are expressing a frustration that we share as Realtors when we can’t gain access to a home that is for sale. There are many reasons for this situation. In some cases the home is occupied by tenants who do not want to be disturbed or have given permission to show the home but on a limited time schedule. You can understand that situation if you were a tenant. In that case the agent generally puts in the MLS what days or times the property will be available to see. Time and day limits are not unusual but are specified in the MLS to alert the agents so they can work with their buyers to arrange a schedule that will accommodate the requested showing times. It could be there is a day sleeper living in the home and the only hours are later in the day for showings. A common limit is a young couple with a baby that takes a nap every afternoon between 2PM and 4PM and so no showings are to be scheduled between those times. It can appear that the seller must not be really interested in selling and is trying to discourage anyone from seeing the home. That is not generally the case. There are situations where the wife wants to sell but the husband does not, or vice versa, and they make it difficult to show the home. When a home is too difficult to show, then most buyers just move on to other homes on the market. In our current market that is short on inventory people want to see everything before they make a decision and that home they cannot see is a hindrance to making a decision. A that point the agent needs to show them the pictures on the MLS as a means of better evaluating that home and possible determining why that home does not fit their criteria. Or, if it does seem to fit, the agent must be persistent with the listing agent to get an appointment to see the home. For the agent working with a situation where their listed client limits the ability to show the home, the agent needs to point out that the longer it takes to sell a home the lower the selling price will be in most cases. When a property comes on the market the first two or three weeks are the sweet spot for selling at the best price and if you limit the potential buyers you are likely not going to have selling success in that time frame. Getting the home you want requires perseverance and an ability to walk away from something that is not going to happen. If a seller is giving a signal they don’t really want to sell, then the process, once in escrow, could be difficult as well. Hope that is helpful.