Jan. 4, 2017

Extra Home Improvement Expenses to Budget For

Extra home improvement expenses can easily add up to a substantial sum. So much, these become budget busters, emptying your wallet to the tune of hundreds of dollars, even thousands, altogether, in some instances. But, these extras don't have to be the bane of your remodeling project -- that is, if you plan appropriately. The truth of the matter is, none of these extra home improvement expenses should be surprise. However, it is amazing how many homeowners just don't think to consider them.

Extra Home Improvement Expenses to Budget For

These extra home improvement expenses aren't what you see on cable television rehab shows. They don't include the owners suddenly changing their minds to move plumbing and add new electrical wiring. They're also not something like unplanned costs, such as finding an issue with the foundation, discovering a pest infestation, or learning a hugely expensive support beam will have to be installed to replace a load-bearing wall.

Remodeling jobs in older homes are the worst. Walls may have layers of wallpaper, paneling and drywall, and hidden behind them inadequate framing and outdated wiring. A job price that anticipates the worst case scenario would cost a fortune. That means many remodeling plans have gray areas, and almost always some extras. --Chicago Tribune

While all of those scenarios and some others will add gigantic costs to any home renovation or update, there are still others all-too-many homeowners overlook. That is, until they pop up and take a bite out of their bank account. And, when you see what these costs are, you'll probably be stunned by one or more, thinking why they didn't enter your mind in the first place. Here are some commonly overlooked extra home improvement expenses:

  • Increased utility bills. It's not necessarily the power drill-drivers, compressors, and other equipment and tools which create higher utility bills. Although these are a factor, what really increases utility bills will be the extra water and electric use and people going in and out of the house. We all know constantly swinging doors cause heating and cooling costs to rise as the system must work harder to keep the inside comfortable.
  • Boarding your pets. Some dogs and cats are prone to pounce, scooting out the door the moment it is open. That just creates more chaos and it likewise adds to your already increased anxiety. Even if your four-legged furry family members aren't prone to dashing out the door, consider how must stress they'll experience with strangers in the house, the busy commotion, and constant noise.
  • Dining out a lot more. While you may "plan" to temporarily relocate your kitchen and are willing to suffer through the inconveniences, all of those good, money-saving intentions won't be so realistic for very long. You'll wind up spending a lot more money on eating out because it comes down to being more practical and convenient.
  • Waste management. If there's one expense that too many homeowners don't factor into calculating their budget, it's waste and debris management. Sure, you could have a plan, that includes throwing the debris you create in a truck, but that just won't cut it. You'll need to rent a dumpster and/or hire a construction debris clean up service.
  • Short-term storage. What many homeowners quickly and unpleasantly discover is that plastic just doesn't keep dust and debris off their furniture. It will still spread through the house, much further and more often than you think. Consider renting storage space or relocating furniture and other stuff for a short-term.

If you are in the market to buy or sell a home and want to know more about the whole process, give us a call at 623-206-9936. We’ll help you with your house hunt, to find the property which best suits your wants and needs.

Posted in Home Improvement
Dec. 2, 2016

First-Time Homebuyer Unexpected Expenses

First-time homebuyer expenses quickly add-up and that's why it takes a lot of preparation and savings. When you're ready to purchase your first house, you'll need to go over your credit files well in advance and be pre-approved for a mortgage. What you'll probably budget for are a down payment, earnest money deposit, inspections, moving, and closing costs. But, this doesn't cover some of the most common first-time home buyers unexpected expenses.

First-Time Home Buyer Unexpected Expenses

Of course, you'll put money aside for things like new furniture and perhaps home items, such as dinnerware, flatware, and more. While these are certainly a necessity, you'll also have to consider other costs. These typically take most first-time buyers by surprise. When these pop-up, you'll wonder why you didn't think of them before. This is just one of many reasons why you should enlist the help of an experienced real estate professional.

If you're considering becoming a homeowner, even years from now, recognize that there's a lot more to purchasing a house than saving enough money for a down payment. Additional expenses come up throughout the home-buying process. Some of these are upfront, out-of-pocket costs that are non-refundable even if you end up not closing the deal. Others will hit your wallet after the home is in your possession. Experienced buyers probably are familiar with these charges, but first-time buyers can be caught off-guard. --Kiplinger.com

You'll learn a whole lot from your buyer's agent, like buying into a neighborhood and not just a house. After all, you can't change the neighborhood but there's a lot you can do to change a home. Other bits of helpful advice you'll receive is not to open new credit accounts, run-up balances, or make large cash withdrawals. Your lender will run a last-minute credit check (referred to as a "soft credit check") and check your account balances. After closing, when you move-in, you'll discover the following first-time home buyer unexpected expenses:

  • New door locks. Your very first home improvement project isn't glamorous or difficult but it is entirely necessary. You'll need to replace the front and rear entry door locks. Even if it's a new construction home, you don't know who has keys. Do yourself a big favor and install new locks. While you're at it, have duplicate keys made.
  • Window treatments. If you don't plan to be the new hit neighborhood show, go ahead and buy new window treatments. While it's not exactly commonplace for home sellers to take window coverings with them, it does happen and you'll want your privacy right away.
  • Kitchen appliances. The majority of home sellers agree to leave the kitchen appliances. But there are instances where the appliances move with the seller to their new place. In some cases, although rare, sellers "forget" or have a change of mind and take the appliances out of the house. So, be prepared to purchase kitchen appliances.
  • Landscaping materials and equipment. Unless you're buying a townhouse or a condo, you'll have to maintain the landscaping. If you buy a home with great curb appeal, ask the current owners how it's maintained. You can also opt to hire a service.
  • Fire extinguisher and smoke alarms. Usually, the fire extinguisher and smoke alarms are left behind. Be sure to have the extinguisher inspected by the nearest fire station and test the smoke alarms.

If you are ready to buy a home, near West Van Buren Street, South Avondale Boulevard, North Fairway Drive, in the Coldwater Springs community or elsewhere in Avondale, just give us a call. We'll help find the right property and work hard to get it for you.

Nov. 29, 2016

Most Common Home Seller Listing Photo Mistakes to Avoid

The most common home seller listing photo mistakes are completely avoidable, yet sadly, some homeowners still commit them. When you're selling a house, it must be presented in the best way possible. It's well-known the vast majority of house hunts begin online, so you need to put your true focus on the listing description and its photos. Your property listing should entice potential buyers and make them put your house on their must-see lists.

Most Common Home Seller Listing Photo Mistakes to Avoid

Just how important are the listing description and its accompanying photos? Well, people form an impression of a property in only 7 to 10 seconds. That's certain not a lot of time, especially when the ability to click or swipe away is so easy. What's more, a survey conducted just a few years ago revealed that a whopping 84 percent of all home buyers wouldn't even consider purchasing a house if the listing description didn't have pictures.

...consider the photos, videos, and other marketing materials your real estate agent might suggest. Many potential buyers scour online listings, so photos that show off the best of your house can make the difference between full or sparse open houses. Some homeowners even start house blogs. --National Association of Realtors

This is why many real estate professionals like having high quality listing photos. It's a medium we all know is worth a thousand words but when it comes to selling a home, it's worth so much more. Buyers will see scores or hundreds of pictures before they even walk through a single property. So it's paramount you give them plenty of reasons to be enthusiastic to see your house in-person. To do that, you'll need to avoid the following most common home seller listing photo mistakes:

  • Not enough photos. Less is definitely not more when it comes to listing photos. Whatever the local MLS listing limit is, max it out and do so without duplicating too much. Every room should be included, as well as the exterior, highlighting the best features in and outside the house.
  • Crooked, blurry, weird angles. Remember the statistic that people form an impression of a property in just 7 to 10 seconds? While this doesn't constitute much time, it's enough to turn off would-be buyers with crooked, blurry, or weird angle pictures. If there's anything wrong with an image, don't include it. Even if it's a great photo but has the timestamp, it's best to leave it out.
  • Poor lighting or too bright. Low light images force people to strain and that's simply too much to ask. In addition, photos that are washed out in light, have bright reflections, or flash blooms are also a big no-no.
  • Too many personal items captured. Before you begin to photograph your house, it should be in showable condition. And showable condition means properly staged. Properly staged houses leave practically no trace of your personal life, including photos and personal possessions, like trophies. After all, you're selling a house, not your life.
  • No pictures of community amenities. If you live in a community with great amenities, be sure to include images of these. For instance, a community swimming pool, golf course, clubhouse, or even a nearby park and/or playground are great additions.

If you are selling your home around West Clover Way, West Lakeshore Drive, West Primrose Drive, inside the Garden Lakes community, or elsewhere in Avondale, we’d be happy to help you out -- just give us a call!

Posted in Selling
Nov. 8, 2016

Maricopa County October 2016 Real Estate Market Report

Maricopa County Market Update - October 2016The Maricopa County residential real estate market experienced an increase in listing inventory as the number of pending and completed transactions dropped from September to October. Simultaneously, property values enjoyed a small but welcome increase, though home prices have not experienced a significant bump in the past eighteen months. This means sellers entering the market should set a realistic listing price. Buyers should be prepared for multiple offer situations for properties listed at under $200,000. Although, this won't occur in every transaction and buyers are able to take advantage of a more traditional seller inventory rather than distressed properties.

Maricopa County October 2016 Home Prices

The average sales price rose from $281,188 in September to $284,200 during the month of October in Maricopa County. That figure is also up from August of this year, something that's not occurred over about the past year-and-a-half. Conversely, the average list to sales price ratio dropped to 97.43, down from 97.53 in September, as well as August's 97.56, but up from July's 97.47. However, the average list to sales price ratio remains strong as the number has not fallen below 96.30 since May 2013. This ratio number represents the difference between the listing price and the final selling price. The foreseeable future will likely not record much of a change through the rest of the year for the average list to sales price ratio but prices might continue to slightly drop.

Current Home Mortgage Rates

Though the Federal Reserve has not taken action on rates so far this year, change is likely on the near horizon. “In one line [this report is] more than enough to keep the December hike on track,” Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, told Market Watch.com in a recent interview. However, rates remain at near historic lows. Right now, a 30-year conventional mortgage rate comes-in at 3.59 percent. A 15-year conventional home loan rate currently stands at 2.9 percent, while a 30-year FHA mortgage runs at 3.4 percent. The current jumbo 30-year home loan rate is 3.75 percent and the 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage comes-in at 2.89 percent. But, with gains in employment, subtly rising wages, and inflation not a large threat, these rates will probably rise by the end of the year or at the beginning of 2017.

October Residential Home Sales by Loan and Transaction Type

There were a total of 7,104 closed residential real estate transactions during the month of October in Maricopa County -- down from the September figure of 7,411. Of all closed sales, there were 3,510 conventional loan transactions, 1,511 cash sales, 1,495 FHA transactions, and 527 VA loan sales. In all, these traditional real estate transactions accounted for 96.38 percent of all closed sales, with distressed properties making up 3.62 percent. Of that small percentage, 1.82 percent were short sales and 1.8 percent were foreclosures.

Maricopa County Real Estate Listing Statistics

The number of active listings increased by 4.3 percent during October, as did the average sales price by 1.1 percent, as well as the average days on the market, up 2.7 percent. Pending listings fell by 1.3 percent and sold listings dropped by 4.2 percent in Maricopa County.

Posted in Market Update
Nov. 7, 2016

Why Should Seller's Leave During Home Showings?

If you're considering selling your house, there are a lot of questions to answer. Among the most common are about the marketing strategy and showing preparation. Sooner or later, you'll probably wonder about your role in hosting open houses and buyer showings. After all, as the homeowner, you're intimately familiar with the property. So, it seems a good idea to be present; or is it? Well, there are some things to know about why sellers should leave during home showings.

Why should Sellers Leave during Home Showings?

The fact of the matter is, we all make mistakes. That's not necessarily a bad thing because such experiences teach us lessons. We learn from our mistakes and missteps throughout our lives. This is precisely why you enlist the services of a real estate professional. Because you don't know what you don't know and it's this unknowing which presents problems. For instance, it takes just 7 to 10 seconds for people to form an impression of a home.

Technically speaking, there is no definite rule in most listing contracts that states a seller can be forced to leave the home during a showing. Although most real estate agents will expect a seller to leave, and demand that they do so, legally neither an agent nor a buyer can make a homeowner leave his own dwelling. Sellers should, however, make a good faith effort to cooperate in marketing the property, and there are some points to consider when deciding to leave or stay at home during a property viewing. --San Francisco Gate

That's why curb appeal is so vital, because it not only is the first thing potential buyers will see, it also sets the expectation for what's inside. If a home suffers from poor curb appeal, buyers will lower their expectations and likely be unimpressed with the rest of the property.

  • Buyers want privacy to speak with their agents. The best way to understand a buyer's position is to walk in their shoes. Think about what you would do when being shown a home by your own agent. You'd probably like to speak with your agent privately about the house's pros and cons while walking through the property.
  • Buyers need the free rein to roam about the house. Along the same line is the buyer's need for freedom to roam. They will take the opportunity to explore the closet space, look over the appliances, and think about future plans for this and that.
  • You might make unintentional statements. What you believe to be a big plus might be a huge minus to a potential buyer. For instance, you remodeled the kitchen, doing all the work yourself and did it by the book, getting all necessary permits. Well, your boast could be a big buyer concern if you're not a licensed and experienced contractor.
  • Buyers could feel they are inconveniencing you. Buyers are strangers to your home, even if they've seen it at an open house. A showing is more intimate and your presence could make a buyer feel as though they are inconveniencing you. That will cause them to rush through the property, which isn't something you want to happen.
  • The home selling and buying process is emotional. Let's face it, whether you're selling or buying a home, it's an emotional process. Let your house speak for itself and make a good impression. After all, it's your property you want buyers to remember, not you.

If you are selling a home nearby North Verrado Way, West Lost Creek Drive West, Park Street, or elsewhere in the Verrado community, just phone us at 623-206-9936 for more helpful advice and to learn more about local market conditions.

Posted in Selling
Nov. 3, 2016

Reasons to Hire a Real Estate Attorney

There are various reasons to hire a real estate attorney to protect your interests. Although professional real estate agents handle most of the work, there are situations which require a licensed lawyer to help resolve problems. These range from minor to major circumstances. Because buying or selling a home involves a substantial sum of money, it's reasonable to guard against risk. This is what your listing agent or buyer's agent will help with in almost all transactions. However, there are times when you'll need the help of a real estate attorney.Reasons to hire a real estate attorney

Reasons to Hire a Real Estate Attorney

It's important to note in a balanced, health local residential real estate market, about 10 percent of all pending transactions are delayed or fail to finalize. Here in Maricopa County, conditions still favor sellers over buyers. When the market is not at parity and there is more or less than six months' of inventory to sell all available listings at the current pace, that figure increases significantly. In other words, during a seller's or buyer's market, the percentage of delayed or failed closings rises to nearly 50 percent of all pending transactions.

Except in states where it's mandated, an ordinary real estate transaction doesn't require an attorney's help. By now, real estate transactions are so standardized that most people in your state will use the exact same purchase contract, just filling in a few blanks. However, if legal issues arise that your real estate agent can't answer, you'll need an attorney's help. Although good agents know a lot about the negotiating and contracting part of the process, they can't make judgments on legal questions. --Nolo.com

So why do so many residential real estate transactions ultimately fall through? Well, as you'll probably guess, there are a number of reasons. Buyers or sellers might experience a significant life change, like divorces, job losses, or sudden employment relocations. The buyer's financing might not receive final approval or the appraisal doesn't support the agreed purchase price. In these instances and more, there's typically not a need for a lawyer. But, there are reasons to hire a real estate attorney:

  • Failure to disclose. The seller fails to disclose details about the property. For instance, failure to disclose unpermitted work. Even if the current owner did not do the unpermitted work, he or she still remains responsible for disclosing it, if he or she knows about its existence. Or, it could be failure to disclose material defects, which are issues that cause safety and/or health hazards and/or devalue the home.
  • Builder obligations. If you are entering a contract to buy new construction, you should definitely go over the fine print more than once. In some instances, builders do not complete work that is in the contract. For instance, the builder might forego installing an amenity. Another circumstance is a builder using materials other than those specified like laminate countertops instead of marble or granite.
  • HOA issues. A homeowners association has a duty to fulfill its legal obligations. Sometimes, these entities mismanage funds, triggering special assessments which residents must pay. If an HOA causes issues due to its own mismanagement, by omission, or other reasons, you'll need to consult a real estate attorney.
  • Specific performance. In practically every real estate contract, there is a specific performance clause. It's there to protect both parties and believe it or not, can be used to force one party to go through with a transaction. There have been cases where seller or buyers were ordered to complete the sale by a court of law.
  • Misrepresentation. Of course, if misrepresentation is involved, it's a good idea to consult a real estate attorney. For example, if a seller lists a property claiming the lot is a certain size but is actually smaller, that's misrepresentation.

If you are buying or selling a home in or nearby Sun City Festival, whether it's around Sun Valley Parkway, West Desert Vista Boulevard, the Copper Canyon Golf Club, or elsewhere in Buckeye, we are here to help. Just give us a call at 623-206-9936.

Posted in Buying, Selling
Oct. 26, 2016

Kitchen Design Mistakes to Avoid

There are kitchen design mistakes to avoid, whether you're updating to ready a home for sale or want to increase its value. It's important to understand and accept you won't think of everything but you can greatly mitigate missteps by knowing what to avoid. Since the kitchen is by far the most used room in the home alongside the living room, it's critical to plan. But just a plan alone won't cut it. You must think about style, function, and flow to get the best results possible.

Kitchen Design Mistakes to Avoid

The biggest kitchen design mistakes usually are totally avoidable. But the drive to get it underway and to completion can make a person myopic. For instance, you're tired of those old appliances and countertops. You love the look of stainless steel, you probably want new stainless steel appliances. But don't go too far with this finish. By including stainless steel finish into other fixtures, it will be overwhelming and look ridiculous.

Get a group of professional interior designers together and you expect them to have differing opinions. But the four pros HGTV talked to about common kitchen-design mistakes, all shared the same concern: When you don't pay attention to good kitchen-design basics, there's trouble. --HGTV

Another misstep is to skip the "triangle," that corner where the stove/oven, microwave, and kitchen sink intersect. While the design might look great on paper or on-screen, its practical use could be rendered awful. The bottom line is, you need to take detailed notes of what's not working in your current space to create the best kitchen design. As you'll see, style isn't the least of your worries because function is more important, in so many instances. Here are some of the top kitchen design mistakes to avoid:

  • Poor ventilation. This is something too few homeowners think about (unless it's already one of their biggest problems). You must have adequate ventilation so you aren't stuck with opening windows and turning fans on high. Choking family members and friends is totally unnecessary, so take the time to put in a good ventilation system.
  • Not enough light. Light is one of the most important style and function elements. What's great about light is it doesn't have to be the same thing over and over again. Change it up with different but complementary styles so you have plenty of light when working.
  • Too few electrical outlets. The number of devices and appliances needed to be recharged and powered are numerous in practically every home. Be sure to include plenty of electrical outlets, more than what you need now because it's entirely possible you'll add to your needs in the future.
  • No place for the trash bin. Believe it or not, homeowners completely forget the need of a dedicated place for the trash bin. It's only when they are already into the remodel it's realized or worse, after the update is complete.
  • Things opening into other things. Perpendicular drawers and doors which open into one another is a sad reality. But you don't have to suffer from this inconvenient frustration. Also, things which open in the wrong direction, including doors, drawers, and appliances.
  • Cabinets which do not go to the ceiling. There is such thing as too much cabinetry but also, the lack of cabinetry. Take advantage of vertical space by building cabinets which go up to the ceiling to get the most out of them.

If you’re remodeling to update a home to sell, whether it’s around Bob Stump Memorial Parkway, by West Clearview Boulevard, or in the Sun City Grand community or elsewhere in the city of Surprise, give us a call to learn the house’s true market value. We’ll devise a strategy to sell it quickly and for the most money possible.

Posted in Remodeling
Oct. 25, 2016

How to Protect Your Home During Halloween

Happy Halloween - Loving Phoenix TeamYou should know how to protect your home during Halloween because it's known to law enforcement as one of the most active days of the year. During All Hallows' Eve, hobgoblins play many tricks and your property could well be a victim. To avoid a big mess, there are proactive steps you can take. After all, you certainly do not want to discover property damage late in the evening or the next morning.

Typical Halloween Property Damage

If you think you don't need to prepare, think again. Did you know auto vandalism incidents are twice as high on Devil's Night over any other day of the year? Research by the Highway Loss Data Institute shows Mischief Night is the best time to park cars inside locked garages. Aside from vehicle vandalism, other popular but unfortunate shenanigans are mailbox bashing, Jack-o'-Lantern smashing, toilet papering, and egging.

Halloween has the potential to bring out the world’s best fun or worst mischief. To ensure that your holiday is full of treats instead of tricks, consider using helpful [prevention] tips to protect your home from Halloween pranksters. --Bob Vila.com

What's more alarming is the number of home burglaries go way up on Halloween night. Since homeowners leave their properties to trick-or-treat, residences are left unattended and thieves take advantage. In addition to all of this, the number of dog bite injuries skyrocket as furry four-legged family members panic when confronted by waves of strangers. So, it's a good idea to check your homeowner's insurance policy and to keep Fido in a safe place, away from the commotion.

How to Protect Your Home during Halloween

To prevent property damage on All Hallowe'en, you'll have to take a few steps so the night is incident free. Since it gets dark early, as the sun sets just before six o'clock, start preparing during the weekend. Here are some helpful tips for how to protect your home during Halloween:

  • Block access to your yard. On All Saints' Eve, not every costumed child (or adult) will act like a saint, so be prepared by block access to your yard. You don't need to erect a perimeter security fence, but creating a barrier is usually enough to dissuade mischief.
  • Use plenty of outdoor lighting. Although it's traditional to set a spooky scene, you don't need to invite problems and that's what darkness conceals best. Use a lot of outdoor lighting, strategically shining to prevent people from wreaking havoc.
  • Set up a candy station in the driveway. You might be accustomed to greeting trick-or-treaters at your front door but that's just too far to go when temptation is concerned. Set up a candy station near the street in your driveway instead. This way you're able to greet away from your home and it benefits concerned parents.
  • Display home security signs everywhere. One great way to discourage property damage is to conspicuously display home security signs around your residence. Even if you don't actually have a security system installed, prominent signage makes great prevention tools.

If you are considering buying or selling a home in or near the Hillcrest Ranch community, in the city of Glendale or elsewhere in Maricopa County, give us a call. We’ll be happy to help you with anything you need.

Posted in Home Protection
Oct. 24, 2016

How Buyers can Deal with a Seller's Market

It's important to know how buyers can deal with a seller's market because right now, in many parts of the nation, as well as here in Maricopa County, listed homes do not stay available for long. The average days on the market are fewer as inventory becomes more scarce. This causes multiple offer situations to materialize, particularly in homes priced under $200,000. While this certainly is good news for sellers, it's not a welcome phenomenon for buyers.How to deal with a seller's market

How Buyers can Deal with a Seller's Market

Economists and real estate industry professionals use a formula to determine if a particular locality is in a seller's market. The equation involves dividing the number of active listings in a single month by the number of homes sold during the same month. Here's an example: in county A, there are 12,000 homes listed for sale during August and 4,000 sell during the same month. So, by diving 12,000 active listings by 4,000 sales, the quotient equals 3. That means if no more homes are listed, it would take just 3 months for all available homes to sell.

House hunting is challenging enough at any time; shopping during a seller’s market is a whole additional difficulty level—and that’s what would-be buyers are seeing across the country. The supply of homes is low, demand is high, and sellers are in control. If you’re not careful, you’ll be left drying your eyes with the broken shards of your rejected bid. --Realtor.com

Of course, there are dynamic forces which create a true seller's market. For instance, no or very little new homes are built, a thriving local economy, home prices continue to rise, multiple offer situations are common, and similar conditions. In such situations, buyers can feel overwhelmed and as there is no viable chance to find a befitting home. But thankfully, there are ways to navigate through the market successfully. Here are some helpful suggestions for how buyers can deal with a seller's market:

  • Get a loan pre-approval. Unfortunately, there are some buyers who believe or given the advice being pre-qualified is enough to start house hunting. That's simply not the case because it's only a cursory glance at a buyer's financials. A pre-approval determines the amount a mortgage applicant will be allowed to borrow. So, be sure to get pre-approved and not just with any lender but one that offers credit-underwritten pre-approvals.
  • Be willing to be very patient. If there's one thing you'll experience as a buyer in a seller's market, it's the fact homes you'd like to see in person go under contract before you have a chance to tour those properties. This is frustrating but it's a reality which must be accepted. Be willing to cope with the anxiety or it will drive you insane. At the very least, you'll probably jump into a home purchase contract as a rash decision if you don't.
  • Give the seller some incentives. A short or long closing schedule, a large earnest money deposit, dropping certain contingencies, and other incentives will give you an advantage over your competition. Be sure to consult your buyer's agent about devising a strategy and be prepared to reassess said strategy if you are not able to buy a particular home and have to continue your search.
  • Do not micromanage the negotiations. Buyers and sellers alike sabotage deals because they interfere with the negotiations. While it's certainly okay to offer suggestions and input (which you'll be asked for anyway), the negotiations are best left to experienced professionals. Too many deals fall-through as the result of buyers and sellers micromanaging.

If you’re in the market to buy a home around West Bell Road, North 175th Avenue, West Carmen Drive, elsewhere in the Surprise Farms community or another location in Surprise, don’t hesitate to contact us for local market information. We’ll help you find the right home with most of your wish list items.

Posted in Buying
Oct. 19, 2016

Top Reasons Empty Homes Don't Sell

Homeowners considering putting their properties on the market should know there are reasons empty homes don't sell. This doesn't mean an empty home won't sell but it typically takes longer. You might wonder about the difference between an occupied home and an empty house. Well, it's not just any occupied home, rental homes (even those with tenants), generally take longer to sell. This seemingly strange phenomenon actually isn't strange at all -- in fact, it makes sense, when you know the reasons.

Top Reasons Empty Homes don’t Sell

Regardless if a home is empty or occupied, the fact is, there are a number of challenges. The location, age, condition, improvements, features, amenities, systems, components, school district, and more factors are all important. When a home is empty, as the nearby quote explains, it's difficult for buyers to imagine it in a way other than it's presented. In fact, one often cited real estate and home staging statistic is just 1 in 10 people are able to imagine a space in another way they see it.

Most real estate agents would rather endure a root canal than have to show a vacant house for one simple reason: Buyers lack imagination. Part of selling a home, agents say, is selling a lifestyle. You want prospective buyers to be able to envision themselves living in this new space. The general advice agents tell sellers is to depersonalize the home -- put away things like family photos or soccer trophies which only serve as distractions. But please, most agents say, don't move out and leave it empty. --AOL News

It also has to do with another very weird contradiction. That is, buyers at-large, desire move-in ready homes but not homes which look lived-in. Another way of putting it is buyers prefer move-in ready properties but aren't interested in buying someone else's lifestyle. Buyers simply love the model home presentation and also prefer it be easily customizable to their own tastes. When a home is empty, there's a lot of information to fill-in. Here are the top reasons empty homes don't sell:

  • Lack of inspiration. Although mentioned, it's known by-and-large, buyers lack imagination. Another way of explaining it is when seeing an empty space, it's a completely blank canvas. Think about the times you stared at blank sheet of paper or screen trying to come-up with something creative. An empty home simply doesn't stir the imagination in most people.
  • Inadequate layout. You can extrapolate this scenario out to include furniture and other visual markers which provide a layout. When you take all the furnishings out of a home, there are little to no discernible boundaries. This creates an obstacle to creating a layout in buyers' minds.
  • Highlights imperfections. One of the single largest reasons real estate professionals cringe at showing empty homes is they know from experience buyers will cringe at every perfection. After all, when there very few positive visuals, imperfections become much larger and seemingly endless.
  • No emotional connection. This bears repeating because it's so important. Yes, buyers love homes which appear move-in ready, they just don't relish a lived-in home as much. When seeing an empty home, there is no furniture to "replace." Think of it this way: when you walk into a model home, you imagine where your furniture would go.
  • Curb appeal confusion. If a property has great curb appeal buyers will expect the experience to continue inside and be disappointed. On the other hand, if the curb appeal is a turn-off, buyers will already have a negative impression of the property.

If you are considering selling your home near West Inspiration Mountain Parkway, West Deem Hills Parkway, North 55th Avenue, in Stetson Valley or elsewhere in Phoenix, give us a call to learn about its market value. We’ll devise a strategy to sell your home and maximize your return on investment.

Posted in Selling