In a hot seller's market like the Bay area, what seller would agree to a two-month escrow unless they're doing a short sale?
I met my clients before Christmas 2017. They are relocating from Southern California to Northern California.
Their wish list:
- Minimum of 2800 sq ft
- 3-car garage
- Newer home in a PUD (planned unit development)
- 4 bedrooms, 3 baths
- $1M range
- They want to be in contract as soon as possible
- The wife wanted a home that is near her place of work, preferably within 15 minutes drive in Alameda. The husband is content to take public transportation to San Francisco.
- BUT close escrow should be no sooner than February 28 because their bonuses are coming in separate disbursements (in other words two months escrow period!)
Poorly marketed property for sale
I found a 3453 sq ft Alameda home in the fairly new community of Bayport that seemed to meet the buyers' requirements. It had been on the market for over a month. Why?
The pictures were terrible and there were no descriptions in either public remarks or confidential remarks. The house was dirty, untidy and cluttered. Making appointments to view it was problematic.
Upon researching the property profile, it turns out that the property had gone through several stages of preforeclosure through the years, and the most recent one was for a trustee sale in January 2018.
Will the bank postpone the trustee sale?
I called the listing agent and asked if there's a chance the bank would postpone the trustee sale if an offer came in that to cover what was owed? When he said yes, we immediately put in an offer, but specified additional deposits through a 2-month escrow period. Nail biting and white knuckles time! Fortunately, the sellers accepted the offer bank agreed to the price, and we closed escrow yesterday!
My buyers already have instant equity. Just a week ago, a similar home (same model, same plan with fewer upgrades) was listed at over $100K higher than what my buyers are paying for their house. The difference? Rhat listing was presented well --- professional home staging and photography. So we expect that house to sell very quickly in this still red-hot sellers market in Alameda CA
Moral of the story:
For the buyer and their agent, never give up. Keep looking. The right property may be just around the corner.
For the seller and their agent: prepare the property to better market it. In this case, the bad pictures and poor marketing may have turned off prospective buyers.