Got jitters about the market?

Now might be the time to take the plunge

Pam Patterson

Pam Patterson

Thinking about crossing the great divide from being a renter to a homeowner? Lately there’s been plenty of hub bub surrounding the woes created by the Sacramento real estate market. But, there are two sides to every story. Right now it’s a good time to be a buyer. But if you’re a seller, it may not be as rosy as it was a year ago. Who said life is fair? So take a deep breath and consider what two real estate pros say about the market in a nutshell.

Pam Patterson of Provident Real Estate & Investments explains that when prices started to drop last fall, buyers slammed on the brakes and began playing wait-and-see, hoping to find the lowest prices. For sellers, it’s been a little tougher watching an inflated market vanish.

“We’ve now entered a more stable real estate market,” Patterson said.

While Patterson admits this winter was the slowest she’s experienced in eight years, prices have now stabilized and her Web site traffic has picked up along with phone inquiries. Listings are shown at a more rapid rate and escrow accounts are being opened. For sellers the market is competitive. According to Patterson, being realistic is the key to a quick sale.

“If it’s over priced it just won’t sell,” Patterson said.

Sheila Van Noy

Especially in the older established neighborhoods; well-priced homes get snapped up quickly. According to Sheila VanNoy of Dunnigan Realtors, there is a great inventory of homes available, reduced prices and good interest rates. VanNoy agrees with Patterson that realistic pricing is a key component for a swift sale. And, she stresses, it’s important to do your homework.

“Don’t believe everything you read and see in the media because with Sacramento there are many different neighborhoods,” she said. “The media gives you an overview not a specific view. Every home isn’t on the market for months—some last only days.”

Another tip is to buy in the best location you can. We’re lucky—Sacramento has bunches of cool neighborhoods to choose from.

“Sacramento has come into its own,” VanNoy said. “People from the Bay Area used to come here because of the affordability. Now it’s a destination. There are job opportunities, great weather, recreation, restaurants and sports. Downtown has come alive.”

If you’re ready to make the biggest financial transaction of your life, find a professional you like, zero in on a neighborhood you love, and let the house hunting begin.