Phoenix Metro Real Estate and Community News

You’ll find the Thompson Group blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

June 14, 2022

Pricing Considerations for a Successful Home Sale

Home Pricing

Pricing a home correctly is defined as pricing a home in a price range of comparable other homes sold in the last 3 to 6 months. A home priced more than 5% under the lowest sale may be considered underpriced. A home priced more than 5% above the highest sale may be considered overpriced.   

In considering a list price, you might want to consider:

  • Appraisal - What is the highest potential appraisal value of my home? One of the main reasons to price a home correctly is to avoid appraisal issues. Even when a seller sells a home above the market value, if the lender’s appraiser will not support the sales price value, the home will only close at a price the appraiser will support.
  • Comparative Market Analysis - Most real estate agents can perform a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) when a current appraisal is not available. A comparative market analysis should give an accurate idea of how your home stacks up against comparable sales within a mile radius of your home. All comparable sales used should be no older than 6 months to give a correct approximation of the current market
  • Pending Home Sales - Pending listings or homes that are currently under contract waiting to close escrow may indicate where the market is headed. If pending properties are selling for less than previous closings, then the market is declining. If pending properties are higher than previous sales, then the market is appreciating.
  • Active Home Sales – How many homes are active in the MLS in your area? This is important, because this is a list of your competition who are seeking to steal your buyer! The winner gets to move, and the loser gets to wait for the next buyer.
  • Location, Conditions, and Terms - Keep in mind that if your home has issues in any of these areas, buyers will want a discount the price to deal with the issue. If you are able to fix the issue up front, your home is much more likely to return market value and to sell quicker!

Do you want to learn more about this or other ways to get the most money from your sell? Contact us at (602) 753-0177 or www.MyAZHouse.com

Posted in Home Selling
May 16, 2022

Selling for Top Dollar – Contract Strategy

House Selling for Top Dollar

The day is here! You need to sell your home. The next steps are to find a real estate agent familiar with your neighborhood, put your home on the market and negotiate a BIG sales price. You might not have seen the latest Arizona purchase contract. Filled with 10 pages of legal jargon and multiple addendums, the lack of understanding of the Arizona purchase contract is an easy way to give away thousands of dollars even though you may sell your home for Big $$$. Here a few items to watch for that can affect your bottom line: 

  • Buyer Loan Costs. Many buyers need help with the purchase cost and like to write offers asking for the seller to pay their loan costs. If the overall contract sales price is right, paying the buyer loan costs might be well worth while. Generally, the request is made as 3% of sales price. Initially that amount may not seem high. However, when considering a sales price of $200,000, 3% of sales price works out to be $6000 – not a small sum of money. Instead, consider offering a compromise: have the buyer pay only half of the loan costs or a set amount instead of a percentage of sales price.  
  • HOA Transfer Fees. Did you speak with your homeowner’s association (HOA) before listing your home? The amount your HOA will charge to transfer your home to a new buyer is great information to know. We have seen HOAs charging in the range of $500 - $2500 to transfer the property. With HOA transfer fees being a negotiable item, a seller may be able to pass this cost on to a buyer.
  • Home Warranty Costs. As a rule, buyers of most Arizona homes expect sellers to pick up the cost of a home warranty. The home warranty will cover the buyer for one year in case some of the working components in the house break. The home warranty also protects the seller from being pursued by a buyer who feels that an A/C unit, hot water heater, or other expensive item died prematurely. A typical, basic home warranty plan will cover most items and can be obtained for under $450. But watch out – some buyers will ask for plans that can cost twice this amount.
  • Appraisal. Did you and your real estate agent have a conversation about what price the property is likely to be valued by an appraiser? Will your home appraise for the sales price on the contract? Sellers may accept contracts for sales prices that have no chance of being supported by appraisal. Mr. Seller, beware! The appraiser may submit an appraisal for thousands less than the contracted sales price. If the seller forgot that the purchase contract is subject to the appraisal, the seller may have packed up the house and secured a new place to live. When the appraisal comes in below sales price, the seller is generally between the proverbial rock and a hard place. They’re forced to decide: “do I accept the new sales price and take a financial hit, or do I cancel this contract and try to sell the home again?” Keeping in mind that most sellers are moving for significant life reasons such as job transfer, bigger home or changes in lifestyle, the seller generally must accept the financial hit or give up on the timelines and main reasons for moving. 

Just like most things in life, you only get what you ask for when you are negotiating! In this crazy 2022 seller’s market, there are a lot of extra terms you can request that will NET you more money from your sale and provide for a better close of escrow. In most cases all you need is a little upfront planning. Do you have more questions? Contact us at (602) 753-0177 or www.MyAZHouse.com.    

Posted in Home Selling
April 7, 2022

What Agents Don’t Tell You

man talking about a house

The Phoenix real estate market showed to be very strong over the last 12 months. Most home owners are thrilled with their appreciating home values. Many are planning to take their new equity and purchase a bigger home. As you look to list and sell your home, there are a number of options that can leave you with more money or less money for that new purchase.

When the market is appreciating, we also see loads of new agents enter the market. Most are eager to build a real estate business, but few understand the business basics. Some are unaware of how to get sellers higher prices for their home, and some are unaware of how to net sellers more from a purchase contract. Here are a few business basics to protect you when you look to sell:

Presentation – Most buyers are picking homes to see on weekends from a variety of websites such as Zillow, Realtor.com, Trulia, Redfin and more. Buyers are also using a variety of devices like iphones, ipads, laptops and desktop computers. Buyers pick out 6-8 homes to see on Saturday, after reviewing 50-100 homes more online. The point is that if your online presentation is not good enough to make the short list, buyers will not be seeing your home on Saturday.  So, what is the plan to make the short list for viewing on Saturday?

Buyer Qualifications – The purchase offer came in at a great price, but the lender is unable to document the buyer’s down payment. After 30 days, when the home does not close on time, the lender breaks the bad news to the buyer, seller and agents. Agents should be reviewing buyer qualifications with the lender prior to contract acceptance and should have a plan to get updates throughout the escrow period. Without that plan, your home may not be closing on time, if at all.

Negotiating Offers – The last 6 months has been a great time to list your home and get more than one offer on your home. However, what is the game plan when the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th offers are delivered. How do we manage the 10-20 showings each day at your home, while we are reviewing these offers? If the showings and offers are handled well, your sales price can be 2-4% higher. At $400,000 that can be $8000-$16,000 more money going into the bank. Agents that are great negotiators may make you more than you pay in commissions!  

Follow-up Plan – After you have your home sold, what are the next steps to closing escrow? Details, Details, Details!  Remember, while you are packing the boxes for the moving truck, the buyer still needs to complete inspections, loan paperwork and title work. Lenders require more documentation than ever before. So, if you are going to be moving on time, there needs to be a plan to get all of this done. A good plan not only keeps you, the seller, informed, but also keeps the buyer on track for an on-time closing.

Do you want to learn more about ways to your home sold for the best price? Contact us at (602) 753-0177 or www.MyAZHouse.com

 

Posted in Home Selling
March 10, 2022

Want a Better Offer? -- Marketing the Special Amenities Close to Your Home!

Real Estate Location

When preparing a home for sale, often you are dealing with a whole lot of logistics and people.  Managing painters, landscapers, handymen, stagers, and photographers takes up time and agents often overlook marketing location. 

On a weekly basis, we get a number of questions about the local area around our listings.  Many buyers are new to the area and have lots of questions about location of your home.  If buyers are able to get excited about the location of your home, then they will make better offers! 

Great amenities around your home may include award winning schools, shopping centers, specialty stores, movie theatres, restaurants, community parks, community pools, and great freeway access.  The more you and your agent can present to a buyer, the better. 

Another factor in a location is proximity to great employers.  If your home is near big employment centers or big employers are moving into the area, those employers can be great avenues for marketing your home.  Buyers prefer shorter commutes, so there should be a plan to market to any job seekers that want to live in your area.

There can also be negatives to your location.  There may be issues with the local schools, extra commute times to work or proximity to harmful noisy roads.  Rather than ignore the negatives, it is important to address and come up with solutions that will work for the buyer.  While fixing some location issues is not possible it is usually possible to find alternate solutions to satisfy and get a buyer excited.

Summing up, one of the most important skills a real estate agent will bring to a seller is the ability to market location.  Do you want to learn more?  Contact us at www.MyAZHouse.com or 602-753-0177 today!

Posted in Home Selling
Feb. 15, 2022

Quick and Easy Home Staging Strategy

nicely staged home for sale

Are you planning on selling your home in the near future? Studies show that staged homes will sell faster and for a higher price than homes that are vacant or not staged. Many sellers will turn to professional home stagers to prepare the home for sale before listing the home with a realtor. Here are some great tips that will allow you to maximize your selling price:  

The Staging rule of thumb to keep in mind...
You are trying to help potential buyers feel that your home will become their castle. To do this, just remember that appealing to a home buyer’s five senses: sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch, will be the key to successful staging.

  • Sight – Light, bright homes with neutral colors and a few colorful accents appeal to more buyers. Bold, vivid colors may be more “you”, but remember that you’re trying to provide more of a “blank canvas” that a potential buyer finds attractive now, but can also visualize making their own.
  • Sound – Ever heard the expression “the silence was deafening” or “quiet as a tomb?” Well, walking into a totally-silent home can be like that – possibly eerie or oppressive, but rarely welcoming. Leave some soft, light music playing to help provide a tranquil, inviting ambiance.
  • Smell – Make sure to avoid any strong aromas. Of course, it makes sense to make sure noxious smells like pet odors, last night’s fish dinner or poker-game cigars are not the first thing to hit a potential buyer as they enter your home – but don’t forget that exotic incense, heavy floral accents and even cleanser smells can be offensive to many. Make sure your home is aired out well, and then provide simple, clean, subtle aromas with the restrained use of potpourri or air fresheners.
  • Taste – Could a plate of fresh-baked cookies entice a buyer? Maybe, maybe not – but it would certainly make your home more memorable.
  • Touch – Physical comfort is important. Remember that “ahhhh!” feeling you get when you walk into a cool building, getting out of the heat of summer? Any realtor showing your home – and any potential buyer – is going to be much more comfortable in your home if your AC is set appropriately. Be careful not to over-cool (or over-heat!) but do try to make your home feel comfortable to visitors.

Do you need help with staging your home before putting it on the market? We would love to help.  Contact us at www.MyAZHouse.com or 602-753-0177.  

 

Posted in Home Selling
Jan. 13, 2022

Selling for Top Dollar – Contract Terms to Avoid!

real estate contract terms

My favorite part of listing and selling any home is negotiating the best possible contract for our client! Preparation is a big part of the negotiation. When showing a home and advertising to multiple buyers, the goal is to have as many buyers as possible interested in our home! Often overlooked, the contract we negotiate with the buyer is a big part of the product. If the terms of the contract are prohibitive, then our sellers see a lower price. However, if the terms of the contract are attractive, our sellers see bigger prices! Here a few terms to avoid if you want to get the best price!

As-Is Sale Transactions – Many sellers would prefer to not do work before listing and selling their home.  However, many buyers don’t understand the cost of repairs or even understand how to get the repair complete.  Questions that linger in a buyer’s head generally result in lower offers or no offers at all. In most cases, the seller can complete the repair for smaller expense than what a buyer thinks the repair will cost

Tenants In Place - Only in very rare cases does a tenant want the owner to sell the house. Most tenants would prefer to remain in the home and don’t want to move. In addition, the tenant does not receive any proceeds from the sale, so the tenant has NO motivation to clean up and present the home to get a great sales price. Most buyers want to move in at close of escrow, so having a tenant in place is probably a deal killer for any owner occupant buyers.  

Longer Escrow Periods – If you have lots of stuff and may not be able to move out of your home in 30 days, you might want to consider that most buyers want a quick move into a new home. Longer escrow periods will be a deal killer for a large number of buyers. There are a variety of different strategies you can consider that will allow you to move in under 30 days. Bringing those quick move-in buyers back to the table will bring more contracts and a higher price.  

Changing the Buyer’s Financing Structure - Most buyers have consulted a lender prior to writing a purchase contract and have determined a financial structure that will work for their purchase. Part of the structure may include a request for the seller to pay some or all of the buyer’s loan costs. While most sellers don’t like to pay any extra costs, changing the structure of the contract can be a deal killer.  Instead, focus on ways to get the overall net amount of the contract up to an acceptable amount. At the close of escrow most sellers are much more interested in how much money goes into the bank, not the structure of the contract.  

Do you want to learn more about how to manage the home-selling process? Contact us at 602-753-0177 or www.MyAZHouse.com

 

Posted in Home Selling
Dec. 6, 2021

Moving Mom and Dad

daughter helping mother moveMore and more clients are coming to us to discuss real estate needs in regard to their parents. As we discuss the logistics and strategy of selling the home, one challenge is generally driving the move. Our aging parent is dealing with a new health or memory issue such as Alzheimer’s that needs to be managed. At the same time, most families are not ready to deal with mom or dad’s new set of health issues, as most are still focused on raising their own family. 

With all of life’s current challenges and the new health issues for mom or dad, we find that the home where mom and dad currently live suffers the most. Many times, the home will sell for $25,000 to $75,000 less than it should due to neglect and deferred maintenance. When the home sells, this could be money going into the bank to pay for long term care for mom and dad. 

Jamie Thompson is designated as a Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES). The SRES is a rigorous education focused on developing understanding of needs of the 50 plus demographic. The SRES Council is known to have knowledgeable, passionate members that serve consumers in the 50 and older market.

Jamie and his staff have resources to help mom and dad during this challenging time. We know professionals that help with Medical Home Health Care, providing caregivers, and professionals that help mom and dad find Independent, Assisted Living or Memory Care Communities.  

As a real estate professional, Jamie’s goal is always to help mom and dad protect one of their most valuable assets, their home.  

Do you want to learn more?  Contact us at (602) 753-0177 or www.MyAZHouse.com     

 

Posted in Home Selling
Nov. 9, 2021

A Great Marketing Plan

home selling marketing plan

The day is here! You need to sell your home. The next steps are to find a real estate agent familiar with the Phoenix MLS, put your home on the market and negotiate a contract. The number 1 rule in selling your home, is to get your home tons of exposure. The more exposure you get for your home, the more potential buyers and the faster the sale and a higher sales price for your home. Seems simple, right? Well here are a few things to consider when going to market.

Focus Local and Worldwide. Recently, our team got a call from another state about one of our listings. The buyer who happened to have cash for a purchase found one of our listings on the internet. Unable to find a local Phoenix Real Estate agent the buyer called us directly to purchase the home. The buyer said, “Your home is beautiful.” While our seller took credit for the beautiful home, we took great pride in showcasing the home with our elite marketing plan.

Focus on the Internet. The internet has huge potential to market our listings, but also is very risky. While allowing agents to showcase a home’s best features, the internet can also make a home look very bad. Dark pictures, pictures of small rooms, pictures of the commode, and even the lack of any pictures will dissuade buyers to not look at your home. The presentation of a home over the internet should entice a buyer’s interest to see more of the home by scheduling a showing.

Focus on the Phoenix MLS. The Phoenix MLS allows home owners and agents to add lots and lots of features. Important upgrades like granite counters, RV gates, energy efficient upgrades, cul-de-sac lots, vaulted ceilings, etc. are very important to buyers. Many buyers and buyer’s agents will search for these important upgrades on the internet and the MLS database. Every time a buyer searches for features, and finds your home, the buyer is likely to want to see inside your home.    

Don’t Forget Traditional Advertising. With I-phones, tablets, and many other tech devices, it may be easy to forget the traditional advertising. However, traditional advertising is still very successful for attracting buyers. Newsletters, Just Listed Notices, and color flyers are still huge for getting the attention of buyers. While younger buyers under the age of 30 will start their search for a home on the internet, many older buyers will start their search with the newspaper or from items received in the mail. On a daily basis, many Phoenix homes for sale can be found in the local paper.

A great marketing plan includes aspects of all these items and many other ways of getting buyers to see your home.  Remember, the name of the game is exposure, exposure, exposure. Do you have more questions? Do you want to learn more about this or other ways to get the most money from the sale of your Phoenix, Arizona homes?  

We can help! Contact us at (602) 753-0177 or MyAZHouse.com 

Posted in Home Selling
Oct. 25, 2021

Signs My Home is Overpriced

This year saw prices rise to unseen levels, but the hyper-seller’s market is slowing down and some sellers are even doing the unthinkable! PRICE-REDUCTIONS! As the real estate market normalizes to a more traditional market, here are a few tips to consider to be sure your home is not overpriced:

  • Comparable Sales for last 90 Days – Is your home priced right according to comparable properties? Comparable homes that have sold recently can give you a great idea of how well your home may appraise and what buyers in your area are willing to pay for a similar property. However, these sales may not give a good idea of what the market is doing now and may not indicate a price reduction is needed. 
  • Active and Pending Listings - Active listings give you a great idea of other inventory you are competing with to get your home sold, but active listings are all UNSOLD properties. If you are looking for successful sellers, check out pending listings as these are all sellers that are 2-4 weeks away from being sold!
  • Showings – How many showings are you getting each week? If you are getting a lot of showings and an offer a week, then you are close to selling! Or, has it been a few weeks since you last saw a buyer’s agent in your home? If so, you are probably overpriced and need to discuss a price change.  
  • Market Changes and Activity – What is the market doing? Are Employers hiring or laying off workers. Are interest rates higher or lower? What’s new on the local MLS? Is there a lot of inventory in the area from builders or bank owned properties? Does your area attract lots of first-time buyers or move-up buyers? All great questions to ask when deciding on how high or low to price your home.
  • Do you really want the truth? - Being honest about the situation may be painful for sellers and real estate agents. However, getting the pain out of the way, allows for a realistic discussion about what is necessary to get your home sold. Also, the discussion allows for ways to bring in more buyers, reduce costs, and take advantage of the market.  

Do you need to get you home sold? Contact us at www.MyAZHouse.com or 602-753-0177.

 

Posted in Home Selling
Sept. 15, 2021

Quick and Easy Ways to Dress up a Home’s Exterior

attractive front porch

A home that shows exceptionally well helps arouse the prospective buyer’s emotional desire to buy quicker and at a higher price. First impressions count! That’s why neat, clean homes get snatched up and others just sit on the market.  Builders of homes in the Phoenix Real Estate market spend 1000’s of dollars to stage a model home properly. They do this for good reason. Buyers will buy the perceived value of the property...the image and feeling that they get from experiencing the property.  

Stand across the street and look at your home from a potential buyer’s viewpoint. Next, go to the corners of your back yard and look at your home with the critical eye of a buyer. Consider the following: 

  • The buyer’s strongest first impression of your home is with the front outside entry and door. Make this area fresh and inviting with plants, flowers, and as needed, fresh paint. Make purchases which enhance the appearance of your home—large planters, new entry mats. You can take these items with you to your new home!
  • Is there ‘clutter’ in the front or back yard? Debris, leaves, dead branches, old swing sets, broken lawn furniture? Pick up tools and toys from the yard. Put garbage cans in the garage and shut the door. Are there too many cars parked in the front or driveway?
  • Is the lawn trimmed, edged, weed-free, and fertilized? Edge between your lawn, drive, and walkways.  Are the flower and shrubbery beds pruned, free of debris, and fresh looking? Do they need fresh mulch or plants? Repair cracks and pull weeks from walkways and the driveway. If you are an absentee seller, make arrangements for lawn care.
  • Is the exterior paint fresh? Hose it down to remove dust and cobwebs. Touch up or repaint as needed. The expense of repainting has an excellent return on the dollar.
  • Are all outside systems working? Is the sprinkler system functioning properly? Have the cooling and heating units been serviced?

Selling your Phoenix, Arizona home isn’t a single event – it’s a process. And part of that process is getting your home itself prepared to sell. As you prepare to put your home on the market, make sure to pay close attention to how your home is prepared to show – it can make all the difference in the world.

The Thompson Group is well versed in home presentation and can help you get your home ready to sell. In today’s market there are thousands of Phoenix Homes for Sale. If you don’t want to be just another home on the Phoenix MLS, give us a call today and we’ll help you stand out from the crowd. Contact us at MyAZHouse.com or 602-753-0177 to get started!  

 

Posted in Home Selling