Timing is everything and in life, sometimes bad timing is the best time to sell an unwanted house in Sacramento. More often than not it is dictated by life’s routine events mixed in with a little conventional wisdom. Sometimes it’s just where necessity and reality meet and the enormity of the situation reveal what needs to be done. At that point most people just say, I can’t explain what happened…. it was like I just knew what I needed to do. This is the story of both, but its also the story of family and real estate and helping people get what they want the most when it comes to solving an ongoing house problem.
The story ends happily for everyone. The owner sells a house that has been an ongoing liability, the kids move on to a new chapter in their life and I have an opportunity to create a new house and memories for another family and it was all made possible because Sharon asked the one critical question… “Who Will Buy My House in Sacramento“?
You know what they say about the best intentions… Sharon embodies that statement, she is always positive and looking for the best. She is also a realist and understands the best is not always available as your first choice. So when it came to her rental house she knew that there would be ongoing problems. She just didn’t expect them to be one right after the other. The year was 2009 and the housing bubble had burst. Unemployment was up, the economy was down and she was lucky to find people with credit. She owned the home with a mortgage but was hopeful to generate enough rental income to pay the mortgage plus some extra for insurance and property taxes. It worked for the most part until it didn’t.
One step forward and two steps backwards was the motto every time a tenant left without paying rent or causing damage. Landlords know that deposits never cover the cost of the damage. Lost rent? In California, collection is next to impossible. The best you can hope for is to just get them out of the house before too much damage is done.
For Sharon it was that way. A revolving door of bad tenants, late or no payments, damage, deferred maintenance, cosmetic fixes, vandalism and a string of evictions. Believe me, I know what’s next from experience… depression, disparity, drudgery… more of the same? Oh and one more thing… a negative cash flow to cover the cost.
Sharon did not want to continue as a landlord and she dreaded conducting interviews for tenants and she didn’t want to hire a property manager and pay them a fee. Maybe there was a way that the house could be taken care of at least for a while without having to do any of that….
Enter Sharon’s daughter and husband. They called “Mom” and told her that they were moving to Sacramento and needed a place to stay and wanted to know if they could stay at the rental house for a while. Fortuitous? Problem solved? Maybe… at least the house wouldn’t be vacant. Sharon said she tried to talk to her kids about paying rent, but they said that right now they were hoping that they could just give her what we could afford…. a couple of hundred dollars a month. Apparently in today’s world what belongs to the parents also belongs to the kids, rent free and the parents retain all maintenance and other responsibilities. Property Tax, insurance, etc…. right? But remember this was also a weight off Sharon’s shoulders… a kind of 21st Century Quid Pro Quo for Millennials and their parents.
In reality, when it came to her daughter, Sharon was willing to help her in any way that she could. I mean she had a house in Sacramento but didn’t live in the area anymore. It was vacant and in between renters and in 2009 a vacant house was a target. Her problem was partially solved because she was tired of being a landlord and slave to a house and tenants that didn’t care for or respect her property. Funny thing about rental property, and something for everyone to remember, the condition of the house usually dictates the type and quality of the renter… unless you get really LUCKY.
But, that is another article. Help, My Tenants Trashed my House
Ok maybe the writing was on the wall, but for now at least there was a big sigh of relief for Sharon. The sound of a bullet being dodged… Even I can rationalize this one… if you think about it the house was better off with family living in it than vacant and subject to the ways of the world with uninvited squatters and god know what other vermin. I know because I own vacant houses and battle the elements every day. The difference is, that is what I do for a living and I kind of made that choice as a business model.
But this is Sharon’s story and 10 years later the kids are still in the house. It’s as Sharon says, almost rent free and last month they announced that they are moving out of state for a new job opportunity in May. As Sharon tells it, it was a sense of joy and panic all at the same time. Worlds converged and Sharon immediately was afraid of keeping that house and what would happen once the house was vacant. Nightmares of yesteryear re-appeared and she was wide awake. She was consumed with worry.
What should I do. Board it up and continue to pay the mortgage? Rent it out again? Sharon knew that she didn’t want the house any longer. When she called me and told me that she needed to sell my house in Sacramento, and when I heard the story I knew that I could help her.
Sharon had just gotten back from visiting the kids and the house the weekend before. She saw the condition of the house many times before but had never really let it sink in that the true condition of the house was going to be her responsibility once the kids had moved out. I believe that Sharon was a realist and knew all along that it was always going to be this way. For all of you parents out there that dodged this bullet because you didn’t have an extra house that your kids talked you into… bravo. For all of you whose kids had to do it on their own…. bravo.
But I know what Sharon went through at every step. And I can say from first hand experience its a test of your parenting and for your children. Sometimes we need to go through it to really grow and build that next relationship with our kids. I did. My kids have taught me that we win and we learn, we never lose.
One thing was for certain, Sharon was not prepared for what was next with the house and she had not devised a plan to deal with the aftermath. She was doing that now and while on the fly from 4 hours away with people that she had never met before. When Sharon first called she had done some homework and let me know that she had watched a few of my videos and read some of my articles. (I write a lot of articles). She had a lot of questions and I think she was most interested in understanding the process… The We Buy Houses Sacramento process. In all fairness, most people are. She wanted to understand the timing and the money. The kids would be gone and then what? Who’s going to take care of the house? Sharon wanted NO GAP. She wanted to own the property one day and have it someone else’s responsibility the next. Ask a real estate agent to do that for you. ok… please Stop laughing.
Every time I say to people that real estate agents don’t buy houses… it becomes very silent and that’s why people want to understand the We Buy Houses model in depth. It seems so unconventional to them that I dont want to have them make repairs, stick a sign in the yard, have open houses, or charge them a commission. It makes them feel like they are cheating or doing something wrong…
For Sharon, 10 years was a long time to be out of the landlord game… when we dont use skills we lose them. We age and we sometimes throw our hands in the air and realize that we need to make some serious decisions. Sharon resisted that notion for about a minute. She wanted to do what she could to make the house someone else’s responsibility but needed to wrap her head around the exit strategy and the conventional wisdom that she was deciding against .
She came to the realization that if she tried to sell the house the conventional way, with a real estate agent, there were far too many issues that she wasn’t prepared to deal with.
- Hiring and managing a Realtor
- Hiring and Managing a Contractor
- The Cost of Repairs and updates
- Correcting other Deferred Maintenance
- Home Inspections Kill Sales
- New Appliances
- Cleaning, lots of cleaning
- Real Estate Commissions Commissions (5% to 6%)
- Staging of the house
- Break Ins while the house is vacant
- Vandalism while the house is vacant
- Code Violations
- Lowball offers from Buyers
- Bank Loans that may be declined
- Appraisals that come in under value
- Inspections that reveal more problems and more money
Let’s face it, when you first think of selling your house you begin to try to devise a plan based on conventional wisdom. (What everybody else is doing) People forget that sometimes the convention is not NORMAL especially when the house is got problems…. major problems.
So factoring everything that is wrong with the house or is not quite normal is a reason to step back and ask yourself if conventional wisdom is going to solve the problem. One example for Sharon… when most people sell a house they are actually living in it. So in some regards they are actually in control of the security and access to the house at least at the beginning and end of the day. They can manage the process. But, when you are an absentee homeowner no matter how you try its difficult to mitigate your exposure with a vacant house. And regardless of what your agent promises they are not going by that house they have listed everyday at the end of the day and every morning at the beginning of the morning to see if everything’s ok.
Regardless, you take less than a perfect world and you at least in your mind you try to devise a plan to create that sense of control and security. From 4 hours away that is extremely difficult. Ok at this point it is IMPOSSIBLE. All you can think of is once they leave what am I going to do?
Normal people get a notepad, take to the internet and research anything and everything they can find. You go to Google and type in “how to sell my house in Sacramento” you read and something in the results catches your eye. You read more and then you go to google and type in … “Who will buy my house in Sacramento”? You read some more and finally you then type in “Sell My house Fast in Sacramento“? and you notice that the same company is appearing over and over again and its fate, right? … you take copious notes and you discover a whole new world of possible buyers for your house in its current condition… As-is.
You also notice that Cash home buyers in Sacramento are dominating the searches and there are no real estate agents talking about buying your house for cash let alone letting you pick the closing date. You are more than intrigued, you read more… You can close on the day that you choose for Cash. No banks, no appraisals, no inspections, no contingencies. It must be too good to be true?
You are thinking…. What is the real story and what am I missing? Real Estate Investors that buy houses and pay cash and claim that they will pay fair market value minus the repairs? I mean no out of pocket expenses, no commissions…. You are skeptical and you read on but you pick up the phone any way and you call. (Thank you for calling me Sharon, She said my website was compelling and believable. Thank you).
Anyway back to the story… The list is long and the things to do overwhelming and then as Sharon aptly put it, “I realized that I needed to build a team. So she created another list of possible team members (more like job descriptions or positions that you want to fill based on what you want to accomplish) and devise a list of things that each needs to do.
Sharon also explained that she needed to call real estate agents as well because who knew what they could do and she didn’t just want to get wrapped up into the whole We Buy Houses Sacramento concept and find that she had missed a detail and have to start over with a real estate agent anyway.
Ironically, she met with three real estate agents first. Conventional wisdom won out. I get it. and she back burnered the meetings with the We Buy Houses Sacramento Companies for now.
Two of the three real estate agents prepared a comparative market analysis for her. The numbers were very similar and of course she compared them to Zillow, Trulia and Redfin. The real estate agent she liked wanted her to hire a contractor to address the many needs of the house to make repairs and updates. She met with a contractor that gave her a $80,000 estimate to fix the house according to the real estate agents recommendations. Sharon gasped. She came to the realization that she’d have to take out a second mortgage almost larger than the first mortgage to make repairs to a house that she didn’t want. She said she was devastated and felt like she had wasted her time.
I explained that she waisted nothing, that in fact she learned what was important and now was prepared to sell her house. She went back to her notes and she looked at that list of team members that she thought she would need and in that moment it hit her like a ton of bricks… the answer was always in front of me, then she realized that the first and second things on your list are possibly incongruent.
- Call Real Estate Agents to Interview to Sell the House
- Call Real Estate Investors or Cash Home Buyers in Sacramento to bu the house
Sharon went back through the conversation she had with the real estate agents and remembered why she had tabled the conversations with the We buy houses Sacramento Companies. They had all told her that “those we buy house companies” were scams and that we would give her low ball offers and then order inspections and then try and back out and offer another low ball offer until she was convinced that there was nothing that she could do and she just sold.
Sharon, took a leap of faith, she picked up the phone and dialed the first number… the next voice she heard was…. Hello this is Peter Westbrook how can I help you? Not voicemail, not some virtual assistant in the Philippines. Just me and Sharon said in a later conversation that after that one call and she was set free.
My name is Peter Westbrook and I am a real Estate investor in Sacramento, Stockton and Modesto. With over 10 years experience and hundreds of families and houses I have learned that sometimes the best way to solve an on-going house problem is to just sell it.
In the video below we are going to walk through a house and talk about its condition and why its an asset or a liability and to whom. In the video, we are at the beginning stages of a renovation and the sale of this house has already occured. We are going to see a house that has suffered deferred maintenance and has been lived in very hard.
What Sharon learned about selling her house is pretty much like it is in all other aspects of life… there are always trade offs. In real estate those tradeoffs are seen as risks and rewards and returns on investments.
Sharon found that she could mitigate her risk when she sold her house to me by avoiding the risk of a loan, managing the remodel of her house (along with contractor and cost overruns) from 4 hours away by by accepting an offer that equated to fair market value minus the cost of repairs.
So if you are asking Who will buy my house in Sacramento, please know that there is at least one Company that stands ready. My name is Peter Westbrook and I am a cash home buyer in Sacramento and I would be happy to talk to you about making you an all cash offer for your house with no strings or obligations whatsoever.
Peter Westbrook: Hello, my name is Peter Westbrook with Westbrook Real Estate Investments in Sacramento, Stockton and Modesto.
Today, I’m going to do a video of a house that we purchased in Sacramento. The purpose of today’s video is to really kind of delve into what makes a house either an asset or a liability. The real simple answer is that if you’re putting more money into the house then you are getting out of the house, whether you’re living there or not, than it is a liability. If there are so many problems that you can’t seem to get ahead month to month. If one thing, just leads to another in terms of the maintenance of the house, whether it’s deferred maintenance from years ago or if it’s something that is recent that has happened, then the house is a liability. Houses have a way of creating this domino effect. Not only financially but emotionally for the owners. And, when a house gets out of control, and this is one of those houses, its becomes very painful both emotionally and financially.
This is more than just mowing a lawn and cleaning up. This is actually at the core of what this house is and what it can be in. Right now, it’s a liability for anybody who owns it. There are just so many things that need to be fixed on this house. There’re dual pane windows aluminum frames, but they’re older, they’re scratched, some of the windows are cracked, there is condensation and they haven’t been cleaned in years. There are just a number of things that need to be addressed and fixed. Core issues.
If you want to turn a house around, it’s one thing to keep it as a rental but, if we were to slap paint and repair cosmetically it would be a not so nice rental and you are only going to get a certain type of renter in a house like this. And they’re not going to take care of it any more than you have.
We’ve already begun the demolition of this house and pulled out the cabinets, pulled out all kinds of other things. I’ve done other videos of this specific house in the past week or so and they’ve all showing pretty much the same types of things.
Prior to us buying the house there were no upgrades and there was literally no ongoing maintenance. This house had been lived in very hard. There are cracks where there shouldn’t be. And this house hasn’t suffered a lot of settling but it has suffered from a lot of deferred maintenance. So when I look around and also just to be as … there are holes in the walls. There’re drawings on the walls and this house has been lived in very hard. But if you’re the owner of the house like this, and every time you come in you have to do the kind of work to get this house back into shape for either renting or even if you were to sell it, the cost would be absolutely phenomenal.
And you can see holes in the walls here. Door trim missing like I said, we already cleaned this out. You can see scratches in the window over there. Bathrooms are pretty much the way they were when this house was built. (“Hello, everybody, that’s me”). Shower enclosure, all of this. You can see the fluorescent light in the bathroom, that needs to come out.
You have a laundry room area that needs to be completely redone. We’ve got a closet here. I don’t even know how this one opens. I’m sure it does, but anyway. Master bath over here. Again, holes in the walls and it… well it just, again, needs to be redone.
If you own a house like this, I would love to talk to you. My name is Peter Westbrook. I’m with Westbrook Real Estate Investments. We buy houses in Sacramento and I pay cash. We basically buy houses on a real simple formula. We go to find market value and we subtract the cost of repairs and we make an offer. And if we can come together on a price then we go to the title company and you pick a date of closing. It really is that simple. I buy the house and you get out from underneath it. We turn that house liability into an asset and you get the money, which means it’s now an asset and we go from there.
Again, my name is Peter Westbrook. Give me a call at 209-481-7780, or you can visit my website at www.webuyhousessacramento.org or www.westbrookrei.com/we-buy-houses-sacramento. Anyway, I want to thank you for watching and have a great day.