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!

Nov. 16, 2022

The Seller’s Market Continues!

seller's market

If you have not been paying attention, the Phoenix Real Estate market is completely different form the booming market of 2021. No longer do we have low housing inventory levels and above average appreciation. Here are a few numbers to gauge the market:

  • Overall Home Supply – At the end of October, the total number of Phoenix Homes for Sale is 24,994. The inventory tripled since this time in 2021, when listing inventory was at 8,104 homes. The number of sold listings for the entire month of October is 5,417. Based on the October sales, the inventory of active listings represents a 4.6 months supply of homes.
  • Local ZIP code of 85224 – HOT! The Chandler ZIP code of 85224 shows that in October there were a total number of 78 active single-family homes for sale, with the total number of sold single-family listings is at 27. In other words: there’s a housing supply of 2.88 months for this popular Chandler ZIP code.
  • City of Chandler – EVEN HOTTER! If you are looking for a “starter” home in Chandler, the number of active listings for single family homes between 1,200 and 1,500 square feet is 90. The number of sold listings in October came in at 32, meaning that there is a housing supply of 2.81 months for starter homes.

Do you need to look at selling your home in the next few months? Contact us to set up a free consultation with no obligation. Here at the Thompson Group, our goal is to show you the BEST options for your situation. You can reach us at 602-753-0177 or www.MyAZHouse.com.

Posted in Home Selling
Oct. 18, 2022

Mistakes Buyers Make When Purchasing a Home

There are lots of great houses on the market and finding your home can be a lot of fun – especially if you avoid trouble as you shop. Here are few misconception pitfalls to avoid:

  • “Don’t worry about the particulars – the financing will take care of itself. Just start looking.”  Understanding your financing is a crucial part of the process. Many buyers start out immediately looking for that perfect home and fail to prepare by asking their lender lots of questions. What are the costs of your loan?  What will your monthly payments be and what will they include? What is PITI? Fixed rate or variable? Being well-informed and having a good understanding of the financial options in front of you will help avoid finance problems.
  • “Focus on the home you need – you’ll be there for a long time." Many buyers only think about the here-and-now and few think about resale when they purchase a new home. After all, you’re just now “buying” a home – why worry about selling, right? Well…. buying a home is usually about making an investment in the real estate as well as selecting a great place to live. At some point in the future, it’s likely that your family will get bigger, a job will relocate you or some other reason to move will come up. Considering “now” what future buyers may like in your home can be very important to maximizing your future resale value. The better your resale value, the more money that will go into the bank or may be used for a future home purchase.
  • We’ll find what we like, negotiate a price, and then we’ll worry about making financing an offer.” Sellers want to know that you are a solid, “bona-fide” good buyer who will be able to close on their home, before they will accept a contract to sell their home. Sellers generally will go with the first bona-fide buyer who will pay their price; however, it is very unlikely a seller will say “yes” to an unprepared buyer. Showing that you have your financial “ducks in a row”, is also likely to get you a better deal on your purchase.
  • “I’ve looked the house over; we don’t need a fancy inspection.”  Over and over again, I hear buyers tell me that they don’t want to pay $300-$400 for the inspection of a home that’s for sale. While it’s true that most home inspections find relatively minor defects typically less than $1000 to correct, some inspections turn up issues in excess of $5000-$10,000. You’re about to invest tens of thousands of in a home – it makes great sense to invest a few hundred to help assure that your investment is a wise one.   
  • Find a great real estate agent to help!  Working with the *right* agent will greatly improve your whole buying experience. A real estate agent with the right background can help with every step of the buying process, from analyzing your home needs, to finding the right home, to negotiating and closing the deal. An agent should be working with you to make your home-buying dreams come true.

FFind us today at www.MyAZHouse.com or 602-753-0177 to get started on a home purchase!

Posted in Buying a Home
Sept. 14, 2022

What Agents Don’t Tell You

concerned male

The Phoenix real estate market has shown to be very strong over the last 12 months. But, there were lots of changes the last 90 days! 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 net sellers more money after expenses from selling a home.  Here are a few business basics to protect you when you look to sell:

  • Presentation - Most buyers are picking homes to see on weekend from a variety of websites such as Zillow, Realtor.com, Truilia, Redfin and more. Buyers are also using a variety of devices like iPhones, iPads, laptops and desktop computers. Buyers pick out 8 homes from reviewing 50, 100 or 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 for your listing to make the short list for viewing on Saturday? 
  • Follow-up Plan - After you have your home listed, the next time most home owners hear from their agent is when an offer is presented. But, what happens when an offer does not come for 30 days? What happens when agents are showing the home, but there are no offers? What happens if there are not enough showings. Agents should have an action plan to consult with home owners, as needed to get the home sold.
  • Negotiating Offers - You receive an offer, but it is $10,000 below anything you can accept. What is your agent’s plan now? Do you remember back when you listed your home and the agent reduced their commission to get your real estate listing. That may be your first sign that your agent does not have strong negotiating skills or confidence in those skills. A great agent should always have a game plan for getting the initial offer price higher. 
  • 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.

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
Aug. 15, 2022

Buyers – It’s a Great Time to Purchase

New Home Buyer

The summer of 2022 is turning out to be a great time to purchase a new home! Lots of new inventory, less bidding wars, and attractive mortgage programs are allowing buyers to lock in good long-term investments instead of renting!

Benefits of Owning a Home

  • Homeowners can write off interest expense of the mortgage on their taxes.
  • Potential appreciation of a tangible asset. Average appreciation in Phoenix is generally 3-5% per year. That could be $9000-$15,000 in appreciation on a $300,000 home!
  • Homeowners enjoy the pride of ownership. What color do I paint the walls, what kind of floors do I want, I love cooking in my gourmet kitchen, or working on cars in my 3-stall garage/Man Cave. The point being is that many decisions a homeowner might want to make may not be approved by the landlord.
  • Purchasing is better than renting (renting is throwing your $$$ away). At $2000/month RENT, you are burning about $24,000/year, $120,000 every 5 years, $240,000 every 10 years or $480,000 over 20 years. For the same payment, you could own a $400,000 home.
  • A mortgage payment pays down the principal amount through the life of the loan. At the end of the first 5 years, a homeowner will have paid $14,593 of principal on a $150,000 loan at 4%. At 10 years, the amount paid is $32,147. At the end of 20 years, the amount paid is $79,749.
  • Once the loan is paid, you don’t pay rent or a mortgage.
  • Tax deductions when you own a home includes being able to deduct the annual interest paid on your mortgage loan and property taxes for the home. Rarely thought about when you rent, but it can be a huge savings when you go to pay the IRS in April!

Want to get started?? Contact us at 602-753-0177 or MyAZHouse.com

Posted in Buying a Home
July 18, 2022

Freshen Up the Inside to Sell for a Higher Price

fresh clean dining area in a home

A prospective buyer’s willingness to buy more quickly – and at a higher price – is often driven by emotion. A home that shows exceptionally well helps arouse the prospective buyer’s emotional desires for that home. First impressions count! That is why you’ll see neat, clean homes getting snatched up while others just sit there on the market. Builders of homes in the spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to stage a model home properly, and they do this for good reason. Buyers will buy the perceived value of the property.  Buyers buy the image and feeling that a received from experiencing the property. 

The emotions that you, the Seller, are trying to stimulate are triggered by sensory experiences. Aim for the senses - especially touch, smell, and sight. Uncluttered, clean, fresh-smelling homes sell faster and for higher prices. Try to clear your mind of any preconceived notions, then walk into your house, close the door, look around… and truly feel your house. Then consider these steps:

  • Organize and de-clutter! Remove clutter from countertops, desks, and garage. Remove excess furniture. Organize closets, drawers, storage areas. Throw away, sell or store excess! Rent a storage unit if necessary. Clutter makes the home appear smaller and masks the home’s good points.
  • Freshen up interior paint as needed. Again, fresh paint is the best bang for the buck. Light, neutral colors such as beige, white, or off-white have a broader appeal and can make small rooms seem larger and airier. Remove ‘tired’ or busy wallpaper. Brighten drab garage interiors, storage areas with fresh paint. Paint/stain woodwork as necessary.
  • Make kitchen and bathrooms sparkle. Clean/oil cabinets, clean appliances/fixtures. Add fragrances. New color-coordinated towels are an excellent investment. Fresh looking kitchen and bathrooms will often make or break a sale.
  • Clean floors and carpeting. Add carpet freshener to carpeting which is ‘tired’ or to eliminate smoking or pet odors. If you have a smoker in the house, ask that person to smoke outside and to dispose of the ’spent’ smokes in the trash.
  • Make minor repairs. Tighten loose knobs, fix leaky faucets, lubricate squeaky hinges, replace filters, tighten loose banisters, repair doors and doorknobs, remove stains, and make sure your doorbell works.
  • Make sure all lighting fixtures work. Add new bulbs with the highest wattage allowed to make your rooms seem brighter. Light, airy homes seem bigger and more inviting. It’s well worth the extra cost.
  • Is the fireplace in good working order? Remove ashes from the fireplace and add fresh logs.
  • Buy fresh, colorful indoor flowers or plants. They get a lot of mileage, and they will enhance your new home as well.
  • Exterminate. One bug, dead or alive, will make a bad impression on prospective buyers. Hire a professional.

Selling your home is a process, not a single event. Getting your home ready to sell is part of that process. 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.  

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

 

Posted in Home Selling
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