Unless you actually do live under a rock, you know that Folsom housing inventory is low. It’s been an ongoing problem for the last few years, but seems to be getting worse. Last year at this time, 80 homes were on the market. The year before that 112. Right now, there are 65 homes for sale in Folsom, plus 4 condos.
It’s not just that we have low inventory, it’s that what is out there is in many cases, priced much higher than what buyers are looking for.
The average price for homes sold in Folsom last month was $506,000. The average price for homes on the market today in Folsom is $751,586. Of the 65 homes on the market, only 20 of them are priced below $525,000
As a result, competition is fierce. Buyers, convinced that there has to be more inventory out there, are jumping into their cars and driving the neighborhoods. Some are enlisting multiple agents hoping that one will turn up some inventory that another missed. Others are firing their agents and calling the listing agents on homes, offering to let them write their offers, hoping the double commission will entice the agent to help them win the bid.
None of that seems to matter. Multiple offers are the norm, and every competent and honest agent puts their listings on MLS for all to see and presents all offers, regardless of who writes them. I’m sure there are exceptions, but sellers know to expect a lot of interest when they price their homes right.
Having written and received countless both winning and losing offers, I’ve come up with the most common factors among the winners in hot market.
You may have seen some of these before, but if you really want to buy a home, consider taking these steps to almost guarantee, or at least give you a better shot, at winning the battle.
Get Real – This isn’t the time to ‘start low and negotiate’, and it’s not the time to . If a seller has multiple offers, the low-baller doesn’t even get a reply. You don’t want to find yourself asking, ‘Why didn’t they counter? I’d have paid more!’ Folks, if you’re willing to pay more, offer more. You may only get one chance. I’m not saying to over-pay or that you always have to offer more than the house is listed for. I’m saying that you must consider the market, and act accordingly.
Get a Local Super Star Lender – When shopping for a loan, you may find that interest rates and fees are similar wherever you go, but double check to be sure. More important is that the lender is local, and gives you an underwritten approval. A casual letter from a loan officer saying ‘We’ve run your credit, blah blah blah, your approved’ is pretty weak compared to a fully underwritten approval. It takes a little more work on the lender’s part, but hey, you’re worth it, and you want to wind, don’t you? Your super star lender should also be willing to call the listing agent when you write an offer, and assure them that you are a great candidate, and that they can get the job done, on time. In a multiple-offer situation, that can push your offer to the top. Listing agents know that deals fall apart too often over financing issues. Seller’s and their agents don’t want to commit to you, only to find out weeks later that you actually can’t get the loan.
Get a Local Super Star agent – Not all agents are created equal. Aunt Gabby might have a license, and cousin Floyd might dabble in real estate, but you want a local agent who is active in and knowledgeable about the market. Although housing inventory is low almost everywhere you go, the Folsom real estate market can be different from say, Sacramento or Elk Grove. You don’t have to choose the mega-agent who sells 50 homes a year, but you also don’t want the one who lives dabbles. Your agent has to know the market and have experience in negotiating, hopefully knows the players in the market, and can build rapport with listing agents.
Find Out What the Seller Wants – Again, we’re in multiple offer territory, but that doesn’t mean that everything is selling above listed price. In fact, Folsom home sales so far this year are averaging 98.93% of listed price. So, what else makes an offer a great one? Have your agent find out what is important to the seller. Do they need a long escrow? A short one? Do they need to occupy the home for a few weeks before moving? You can rent it back to them, you know. You can even offer a free rent-back. Maybe you shorten your inspection contingency period, pay more of the closing costs. Be creative.
Write a Letter – Just a short one. When someone is selling their home, they are selling the place they had holidays, parties, birthdays, back yard barbecues, and a few snuggles. Maybe they have neighbors they love and respect. All things being equal, they want their home to go to nice people. Write a letter and tell them who you are, and why you love their home. Tell them how you can imagine yourselves making those kinds of memories, and promise to take good care of it, and to be good neighbors. I’ve seen sellers moved to tears. Of course, you still have to offer a good price. Don’t forget that part.
Now, even if you do follow my advice, you can still lose out. Someone may have a wad of cash and far outbid you. It might even come down to the flip of a coin. When you lose don’t give up. Get back out there and do it again. Some folks get their very first offer accepted, while others have to write 3 or more offers. Keep your eyes on the prize, and you’ll get there.
Any questions? Drop me a line.
Wanna buy one? See Folsom homes for sale here , or call me to talk about it at 916 718 9577.
Steve Heard is a Realtor based in Folsom Ca, and owner of myfolsom.com
he can be reached at 916 718 9577 or email firstname.lastname@example.org