Buyers – having trouble getting into contract on right house? The solution may be a more creative Realtor…

If you read my blog post about my little vacation from last week, you will know that I closed a buyer transaction in Garden of the Gods. I wanted to share a little success story about how this transaction came to be, but wanted to wait until after the close of escrow as to not jinx the outcome!

If you are a Sacramento area home buyer, you will know that certain price ranges and certain neighborhoods are extremely competitive – often with properties getting multiple competing offers. My buyer clients were planning to relocate from the bay area to Sacramento, and specifically wanted to live in the Garden of the Gods neighborhood. Unfortunately, at the time they were looking (this was in January), there were only 4 active listings in Garden of the Gods. They wanted to buy sooner rather than later, as they were first time home buyers – and they wanted to take advantage of Federal Home Buyer Tax Credit that is available if they were in contract by April 30th, and closed by June 30th, 2010.

So I put on my thinking cap…

I went into MLS and looked up past listings – ones that did not sell for one reason or another, and were eventually withdrawn or expired. I found a property that had been on the market last summer that seemed to be exactly what my buyer clients were looking for. It was not a foreclosure, and not a short sale either! I called the former listing agent and asked if those sellers were still interested in selling the house. YES of course, she said, and they were planning to re-list it later in the spring. I arranged a showing of the house for the last weekend in January. The house was not on the market.

We toured it, and my buyer clients LOVED the house. We immediately went back to my office and wrote an offer. The sellers then countered, and my buyers accepted the seller’s counter offer.

SO… buyer clients were able to purchase a great home that fit their needs that was not on the market, in a neighborhood with very little listing inventory, in a non-competitive situation. Given the current brisk, competitive state of the market in that neighborhood and in that price range, what could be better than that? A win-win for everyone involved!

The bottom line – get creative! There are ways to circumvent the market conditions. The buyer’s agent will have to do a little more work in order to make this happen, but if you have a Realtor that is not savvy enough to do this, or not willing to go the extra step, you may be working with the wrong Realtor.