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!

Sept. 14, 2023

School’s in Session! Safety Tips for Chandler Parents

By Jamie Thompson

elementary school children with words Back To School

As parents, we want to do everything possible to keep our children safe. This is especially true when it comes to school, where they spend a significant amount of time each day. There are a number of things you can do to help protect your kids at school, both physically and emotionally.

Walking to School or the Bus Stop

If your child lives close enough to school or the bus stop, consider letting them walk! It will improve their mood and performance at school, and they’ll form great memories and friendships along the way. However, it’s important to make sure they can do so safely. 

  • Map out a safe route. Walk or bike the route with your child a few times before they start going on their own. This will help you identify any potential hazards along the way, such as busy streets, construction, or secluded areas. 
  • Teach your child to be aware of their surroundings. They should put their phone away and never walk or bike wearing headphones, so they can be aware of what’s going on around them. Remind them that it’s safest to be where lots of people can see them, and explain why they should never take shortcuts.
  • Create and practice an emergency plan. Create an age-appropriate plan for what to do in an emergency. You don’t want to scare your kid, but it may be helpful to role play a few scenarios on one of your walks together. 
  • Arrange a walking crew. Find out who else in your neighborhood walks to school or the bus stop, or if there’s already a group your child can meet up with. Younger children should never walk alone; if a buddy can’t be arranged, consider walking with them yourself.
  • Make sure they know key contact info. They should know their address and both parents’ phone numbers. This is important even if they have a phone, because phones can run out of battery or get misplaced.

Bullies and Social Media

We can’t completely shield our kids from the dangers of bullies and social media, but there’s a lot we can do. 

  • Know your kid’s crowd. This is the number one thing you can do to get ahead of the inevitable conflicts your child will encounter at school. Get to know their friends and friends’ parents, and always know where they’re going and who they’re with – this is important at every age. 
  • Make your home the place to be. This is an especially great tip for parents of teens. Create a “chill pad” in the basement or den; set up board games, a minifridge, snacks, and a gaming system. Keep in mind that teens desperately want independence, and won’t have their friends over if you hover. 
  • Talk to your child about bullying. Make sure they know what bullying is, and that they should tell you if they are being bullied. Empower your child to assert themselves when it’s physically safe to do so, and to get help if they ever feel threatened. Teach your younger kids the difference between bullying and lesser offences like teasing, and strategies for dealing with both. 
  • Set social media boundaries. Remind your child that people only put their best moments online, which can make us feel “less than.” Social media can also make us feel excluded, because every little get-together gets posted online these days. Give your child a realistic perspective about social media, and set boundaries for its use. This could include things like turning in phones after dinner, not friending strangers, and installing a parental monitoring app.

Safety Gear 

These days there are plenty of safety gear options for children and teens. Here are a few I’d recommend:

  • GPS tracking devices. These devices are small and affordable, and can help you track your child's location in an emergency. Be sure to put it in or on something that is likely to stay with your child, such as a shoe sole or interior pocket, or consider purchasing a wrist model.
  • Personal alarms. Personal alarms are like pepper sprays for kids; they’re safe, but great at scaring away a bully or attacker. Get one with a keyring that can be attached to backpacks.
  • Bulletproof backpack or insert. Tragically, this is now a product worth considering. There are many options available in various price ranges, including inserts for any regular backpack. Teach your child how to use it, but explain that it’s like fire insurance; we buy it even though the odds of needing it are very low.

By following these tips, you can help keep your kids safe at school. Above all, keep communication open and model safe behavior. By working together, you can help create a safe and positive school year for your child!


Posted in Community News
Aug. 22, 2023

Signs My Home Will Close On Time

hand with a model house and hand with house keys

A seller put his Phoenix Arizona home on the market to move out of state. A buyer viewed the home and found it to be perfect for their growing family. The buyer and seller negotiated a contract to sell the home. The buyer completed inspections and found a few repairs. The seller boxed up a lifetime of memories and loaded the moving truck! The home selling process appears to be going very smoothly… But wait! Will this home close on time, or are there problems ahead? Here are a few indicators to look for: 

  • Buyer Qualifications Reviewed – When a buyer writes a contract to purchase a home, the buyer should present a list of pre-qualifications with the contract. In Arizona, there is a standard Pre-Qualification form that should be completed by the buyer’s lender. This form is loaded with information about the perspective buyer. Important are items that the lender requires from the buyer in order to start and complete the loan. Completing these items sooner will allow for a quicker close – overlooking them will certainly slow the process. How these items are managed is a clear indication of whether the home will close on time or not.
  • Appraisal Complete – The appraisal should be ordered within the first few days of an accepted contract. While there is no hard and fast rule for completion of the appraisal, all parties agree that sooner is better than later. The appraisal should be good news, but there could be bad news lurking. Certainly, when the buyer's financing depends upon completion of the appraisal, a good sign that the closing of the home will occur is completing this important step.
  • Loan Package Submitted to Underwriter – Another big step for every home purchase is submitting the loan package to the underwriter. Included in the loan package is the title report, the completed appraisal, terms of the loan, the buyer’s application, and a bunch of documentation that none of us think about on a regular basis. The underwriter reviews the loan package for a few days and generally will give loan approval with prior to document (PTD) conditions. If this step is completed early enough in the escrow process, clearing the PTD conditions should not hold up the closing day. However, at times, the PTD conditions may require documentation not readily available, thereby delaying the closing date.
  • Don’t Forget About the Home Owner Association (HOA) Disclosures! –While the Arizona contract calls for delivery of all HOA information to the buyer, state law allows HOAs 14 calendar days from the time of the request to delivery to provide all necessary information. Normally, the title agency involved will make the request for HOA documents early, after contract acceptance. However, delivery of these documents to the buyer may not happen for some time and the buyer receives 5 days to review the HOA documents. While review of HOA documents should not hold up a typical 30 day COE, it may delay shorter escrows.  
  • Buyer Loan Docs to Title – A great sign! No matter how choppy the last few weeks may have been, delivery of buyer loan docs to title is a sign that the closing will occur in 3 days. All parties will be in a hurry to complete the last tasks of the transaction and there may be some extra drama and stress. However, be assured that closing of the home generally happens for most Phoenix Real Estate transactions.
  • Short Sale Exception – If you are purchasing a short sale transaction, the seller’s bank may delay the closing date for 1-3 business days in order to approve the final settlement statement. While very annoying to all parties, this is a necessary extra step for most short sales. Some listing agents and title companies are proactive here and initiate the bank approval early. If so, then you have a sign that closing will happen on time!

Do you want to learn more about how to make your home buying or selling process go smoothly? Want to know more about Phoenix homes for sale? Our knowledgeable Phoenix AZ Realtors can help find the gems in the Phoenix MLS as well as make sure that your sale goes as smoothly as it can. 

Contact us at or (602) 753-0177

Posted in Home Selling
July 26, 2023

Experience Matters – Questions to Ask Before Selling


house-shaped icon with a question mark insideOur clients have presented us with many unique situations when selling their Arizona Homes. Whether moving out-of-state to take a new job, hoping to buy a bigger home with a pool, needing to be in a new school district, or looking to downsize to a home that is more manageable, our clients all had something very important in common. Each had future plans – plans that depended heavily on how the logistics of the sale were handled and the financial results of the sale.

Marketing and Selling Homes is Serious Business.

A well planned and executed sale of a home allows the homeowner to move forward with their next phase of life. However, mistakes may cost thousands of dollars and hours of stress when escrows are canceled. Nothing may be more important in the transaction than the knowledge and experience of the agent giving you advice. So, here are a few good questions for you to ask your agent:

  • What do you know about the area? At times, knowledge of the area can be the key to selling a home. Buyers that are new to the area need to know information about schools, movie theaters, shopping and more. An agent who lives in the area can help buyers identify how they will enjoy the area – and many times, the home will sell quicker.
  • How do you market my home? Believe it or not, some agents think that ordering a “for sale” sign and putting your home in the multiple listing service (MLS) is how to sell a home. This is only the beginning! Great agents should be able to deliver to you a written marketing plan tailored for the Phoenix Real Estate market along with success stories from using that plan.
  • How much are the costs of selling my home? In order to plan for the future all homeowners with Phoenix homes for sale need to know the amount of money they will have after the sale of the home. Great agents should be able to estimate the cost of real estate commissions, title fees, loan costs, repair costs, and property taxes.
  • When will the buyer’s loan be approved? Without loan approval, the sale of the home cannot close escrow. In tracking a lender's process, a great agent should know how to use the LSU (Loan Status Update) form, what “PTD” conditions are, and what is the time needed for a lender to get loan documents to title after full loan approval. Being able to track the lender's progress is essential for a seller to know whether they will close on time or not.
  • What is breach of contract and how do you handle this? In the Arizona purchase contract, the seller is unable to exit the contract while the buyer retains over five exits from the contract. However, if the buyer is in breach of contract, then the seller may exit the contract. Breach of contract occurs when the buyer takes actions that are contrary to the written contract. This is a serious situation that experienced agents should have a plan to handle.

Do you want to learn more about how to make your home-selling process go smoothly? Contact us at or 602-753-0177.

Posted in Home Selling
June 16, 2023

What’s the Deal with Rates?

What you should know about mortgage costs, and how to lower yours

By Jamie Thompson


percent sign and toy home representing mortgage rates

Mortgage rates here in Chandler and across the country have been on the rise for a while. This has caused some potential sellers to put their plans on hold – no one likes jumping from a 3% loan to one in the 6% range.

Is that the right strategy? What’s going on with rates anyway, and are there any workarounds for buyers? I’d like to break all this down and give you my take.

Rates are up, but still historically low

As of June 13, 2023, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate in Chandler is 6.84%, up from 5.52% a year ago. The average 15-year fixed rate is 6.09%, up from 4.67% in June 2022.

I’ve been helping people buy and sell homes for over 20 years, and have seen rates fluctuate a lot in that time. In fact, when I first got into the real estate business, 30-year mortgages were about where they are now, and the Fed was actively increasing them (this was right after the Dotcom crash and 9/11 attacks). Rates bounced around quite a bit for a while, but rarely dipped below 6%. Eventually, after the 2008 crisis, a 30-year fixed fell to an average of about 5%, and then kept on getting lower. 

In 2021, the national average 30-year fixed rate bottomed out at 2.96% – unheard of! That isn’t the norm; it’s the exception. Never in my life or career have I ever seen that, and I doubt I’ll ever see it again. 

Although rates are up, they are still relatively low compared to historic trends. The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate has been above 6% for most of the last 40 years, and only dipped below 7% twice from 1980 to 2000. In the last 20 years, rates have been the 6% range about half the time.

Inflation control

Last year, inflation hit a 40-year high, and the Federal Reserve has been trying to bring it down to its target of 2%. It’s been working; over the last twelve months, inflation has been decreasing.

The Fed raises rates in a few ways; one is by setting the Discount Rate. This is an interest rate they charge banks for loans, which causes all rates downstream to be affected. The Fed is expected to continue raising interest rates throughout 2023, bit the pace of rate hikes should slow as inflation continues to improve. 

Where rates are headed

Analysts are forecasting that mortgage rates will continue to rise in 2023. The Mortgage Bankers Association believes the national average for a 30-year fixed mortgage rate will increase by about 70 basis points (0.7%) by the end of the year.

The rise in mortgage rates is expected to continue constraining both supply and demand in the housing market, but home prices should remain strong in 2023. Even though demand for housing is lower today, it still outweighs the number of homes for sale.

Ways to Reduce Mortgage Costs

There are a number of ways to reduce your mortgage costs while interest rates are higher. Here are the best ones:

  • Infuse more cash. A larger down payment will lower your loan balance and thereby your payment; along these lines, you can pay additional cash toward principal as you’re able. Although your mortgage payment is fixed, the interest portion fluctuates each month based on your balance. Paying down principal reduces this cost, which means a larger portion of each payment will further reduce your loan balance and overall cost.
  • Shorten your term. A shorter-term mortgage will result in a higher monthly payment, but the interest rate will be lower and you will pay off your loan much sooner. If you can afford a higher payment, this method will save you a lot of money on interest. 
  • Rate Buydown Credits. A rate buydown credit is a fee a borrower can pay to reduce their mortgage rate for a period of years. Sometimes, you can negotiate with the seller of your new home for a portion of this cost. Although you can buy one for the life of a loan, we’d recommend a 1- to 3-year credit for a 1 or 2 percent reduction in interest. By the time the credit expires, you may be able to refinance for a lower fixed market rate.

Bottom Line

Mortgage rates are indeed higher than they were last year. This has affected buyers’ purchasing power, and caused many people to hold off on buying and selling. Rates are still relatively low compared to historic trends, but we’ve been accustomed to even lower rates for a long time.

Although I understand why some sellers are hesitant right now, rates could very well be higher down the road. For this reason, I encourage anyone considering a move not to hesitate, and to take advantage of the cost-reduction strategies listed above.

If you’re considering selling now or in the future, give me a call today at 602.753.0177. I’m eager to get to know you and help make your next move a success! 


Posted in Buying a Home
May 17, 2023

Home Remodel Pricing Strategies

home remodeling wireframe

Many of my clients consider remodeling a home prior to selling the home with the hope of getting a higher price.  Picking out new flooring, paint, fancy new counters for the kitchen and other upgrades for your home is a lot of fun.  Upgrades in your home will also allow your home to sell quicker.  Before you begin, you may want to consider what you home may sell for and what the appropriate budget for your project will be.

When I look to purchase and remodel homes, I look for properties that one might consider a “diamond in the rough.”  Generally, a home that is 20-30 years old needs a facelift to look trendier and more modern.  Buyers generally like these older homes if the interior is updated to reflect the current housing trends.  As I put together a budget to renovate the home, I consider:

  • Appraisal What is the highest potential appraisal value of my home? 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 a 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.
  • Neighborhood Competition What do the recent sales in the neighborhood reflect? How many homes are currently active in the area? If other sellers are renovating homes prior to selling, then top market price is probably in place. If the owners are not renovating before selling, then the top market price for a renovated home is likely higher than recent sales.
  • Remodel Costs When you feel comfortable with what the top market price is in your area, consider establishing a budget for your project. Picking out all the upgrades is fun, and you could easily overspend on the project.  Keeping your remodel costs close to your designated budget will allow you to recoup your costs when you sell.

Do you want to learn more about renovating your home before your sell?  Contact us at (602) 753-0177 or

Posted in Home Selling
May 3, 2023

Arizona Landscaping: How to Create Wow-factor Beds & Garden

Arizona garden

By Jamie Thompson

You can create a beautiful yard this spring and summer that's easy to manage with low-maintenance plants designed for local south central Arizona conditions. Spring and early summer, when the weather's hot and sunny, are ideal times for your vegetables and flowers to thrive. Other plants may only tolerate Arizona summers, but the following choices love the heat and sun. Just keep them well-mulched and watered!

Flowers and ornamental plants that thrive here

Blooming plants can brighten shady garden areas and provide lush foliage during hot summers. In dense-to-medium shade, plant begonias, coleus and impatiens. In light shade with partial sun, plant ageratum, Canterbury bells, lobelia, nicotiana and salvias. To attract butterflies to your garden, plant asters, lantanas, buddleias (butterfly bush), marigolds, sweet Williams, tithonias (Mexican sunflower), zinnias and other daisy-like flowers.

If you love mums like most of us do, support the plants’ stems growing closely in beds with chicken wire. Just unroll the coil of wire to the length of the bed and suspend it with stakes one foot above the soil. The stems will grow up through the holes and support themselves to their full height without toppling over. The benefits of setting up a wire support system is easier than staking each plant and selective cutting of blossoms is easier with fast and easy clean-up.

Blooming shrubs that need only a little water when they're mature include: abelia, bottlebrush, broom, ceanothus, cotoneaster, crape myrtle, grevillea, oleander, rockrose (cistus) and strawberry bush. For delightful fragrances in your planting beds, some of the most aromatic choices are citrus, gardenia, jasmine, mock orange, and roses.

Best fruits and vegetables for our climate

We’re lucky to have so many choices: lima and snap beans, beets, carrots, celery, chard, chicory, chives, corn, cucumbers, eggplants, leeks, warm-season lettuces, melons, okras, green onions, peanuts, peppers, pumpkins, soybeans, warm-season spinaches, squashes, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes. Note that Celebrity tomatoes bear all their fruits within a couple of weeks but Sungold cherry tomatoes will bear over a long period, perhaps the entire summer. When planting citrus and other tender trees, keep soil well mulched to hold in moisture with less watering. However, too little water may result in stunted growth and reduced fruiting.

More great ideas

We all lead busy lives, so it's no surprise that people sometimes feel that they don’t have enough time for gardening. However, there are lots of things you can do to make life easier for yourself in the garden. No time for lengthy gardening tasks? These low-maintenance ideas are just what you need!

  • Prune tips of azaleas, carnations, chrysanthemums, fuchsias, geraniums, impatiens, lavender, marguerites, marigolds, petunias, rhododendrons, rosemary, sedums and zinnias to gently shape the plants and encourage them to bush out.
  • If you're a fan of flowers, but don't have time for tons of weeding and pest control, then opt for a wilder touch for your low-maintenance garden. Raised borders can look beautiful filled with a jumble of hardy meadow blooms and grasses. Plus, pollinators will love it.
  • Plant a handful of easy-care perennials such as echinacea, salvias and achillea, and all you'll need to do is cut them back at the end of the flowering season. Alternatively, simply scatter handfuls of meadow-mix annuals into a wilder patch of your plot, for a colorful summer display.

Pick drought-tolerant plants

A plant that's happy because it's planted in conditions that suit it perfectly will need far less care than one that's struggling to thrive in a less-than-ideal situation. Try alpines and succulents for low-maintenance appeal. Establishing what sort of soil, you have before you choose plants is vital (remember that even in the same garden, this can vary from one bed or border to another).


Of all the plants that you to think about including in your low maintenance garden ideas, shrubs are the ones you are more likely to be able to put in and pretty much forget about. Hydrangeas love partial shade but need some sun. Once they're established, shrubs will usually only need watering in the very driest of summers, if at all. Other than that, an occasional light pruning will be all that's required. For amazing summer fragrances in a sunny part of the garden, you can't beat Philadelphus Belle Etoile, while hydrangeas (now very popular again) are perfect for shady spots. For super-size flowers that last right through summer, go for Annabelle.

Birds and bugs

If you like to provide birds with nesting materials, stay away from fabric, yarn and similar materials in your garden, which hold moisture and can increase respiratory diseases in baby birds. Instead, provide straw, hair, and other non-absorbent materials when needed in the garden. Keep ants off of your hummingbird feeder by spreading olive oil on the tip that dispenses the sweet water. The ants will stay away, but birds will still come! Finally, don’t worry about a few aphids; they won't hurt your plants. Large infestations can be dislodged by spraying forceful jets of water (place your hand behind the bloom to support it as you spray). Use can also use insecticidal soaps or stronger sprays.

Posted in Home Selling
May 3, 2023

How to Boost Your Home Price and Speed Up Your Sale

curb appeal

Winning Strategies for Today’s Market

By Jamie Thompson

The local housing market is stable right now and sellers continue to have an advantage. But in recent months, demand has fallen slightly in response to higher interest rates, and attracting the right buyers at the right price is a little tougher.

Prices in Chandler and Greater Phoenix have steadily increased in this first quarter of 2023 in all size categories (footprint and number of bedrooms & baths), although prices are lower year-over-year by over 4%. Listing activity has fallen along with demand. Currently, there is a three-month supply of inventory which bodes well for sellers.

With that said, there seems to be a divide in the market right now. Some homes are selling very quickly and at top-of-the-market prices, and others are taking months to enter contract. Overall, days-on-market has increased. This is because many sellers and agents are still approaching the market as if demand were surging, rather than adapting to the changes. As an agent, it’s frustrating to see, because it really doesn’t take much time or money to drastically improve a sale.

Below are six tactics I’m using right now with my own clients, to increase their sale price and decrease their time on the market.

1. Focus on Curb Appeal

“Curb appeal” is how a home looks on the outside, and its role in selling is often underestimated. The exterior of your home is a buyer’s first impression, and if that impression is “meh,” it can be nearly impossible overcome.

This didn’t matter as much last year, when buyers were more desperate. But these days, it’s critical to “wow” buyers right off the bat. Invest in professional landscaping, power washing, fresh paint on the door and mailbox, and tasteful décor on the porch. Add spotlights to highlight your façades best features, and capture that with a photo right around sunset.

2. Low Cost, “High impact” Updates

Buyers have always desired “modern and move-in ready” homes, and today they are a lot less compromising. Homes with eyesores, dated features, or inspection problems will suffer on the market this summer. And believe it or not, it’s the little things generating the best ROI in a sale right now.

Appliances, landscaping, painting, grout repair, hardwood refinishing, and cabinet refacing are common “high impact” updates for today’s market. An experienced agent will tell you which jobs make sense for your property and buyer profile.

3. Price it Right

In today’s market, the right asking price is everything. Since the pandemic, prices have been bouncing more widely from month to month than in the past, resulting in a lot more room for error than before. Comparing homes that are sold in different seasons or incomparable locations will result in inaccurate estimates. Worse yet, simply matching a home to active “list” prices will shoot a seller in the foot. If an asking price isn’t accurate, whether it’s too high or too low, the final price will end up below-market (although an underpriced home will sell a lot faster than an overpriced one).

Instead, have an experienced agent run a deep-dive market evaluation. Starting with the right data, they should make seasonal, regional, and property-related adjustments, then work out a “pin-point” asking price.

4. Be “Where the Buyers Are”

Until recently, many agents got away with doing very little to sell a home. Buyers were everywhere, and listings were scarce. Now, there are fewer buyers, and sellers have to do more to stand out.

Successfully marketing your home means doing more than slapping it online. Your listing needs to really pop, and it needs to show up everywhere your buyers might be. This includes, of course, all the major real estate sites, but also social media, email, print, and more. In addition, your agent should share your “coming soon” listing with their broker networks before it hits the market, to line up potential buyers ahead of time.

5. Craft a Competitive Contract

A “competitive contract” looks different in different market cycles. During the pandemic boom, for example, it didn’t take a lot for buyers to sign. Today, buyers are emboldened by news of cooler conditions, and are asking for concessions and contingencies more often. You don’t necessarily have to accept these, especially if you’ve got a hot property; however, you should proactively prepare for a little give-and-take.

Today, one of the most popular concessions for buyers is a “rate buydown” credit. This is money the seller offers to “buy down” the buyer’s mortgage rate. Usually, the seller agrees to pay a portion of the credit, and the buyer pays the rest. Because these credits can drastically reduce buyers’ payments, they can carry more weight dollar-for-dollar than a price reduction!

6. Work with a Good Agent

Most important of all, make sure you have a good agent representing you, one that can put these strategies successfully into practice. Don’t worry about hurting your brother-in-law’s feelings; your family’s wealth and future are at stake.

Here at the Thompson Group, Jamie and the Team have been helping sellers in Chandler and the Greater Phoenix area for over 21 years. We’ve always worked hard, even when the market was easy – it’s how we’ve consistently gotten the highest prices and fastest sales possible for our clients. If you have questions about your home or the market, give us a call today at 602-753-0177.

Posted in Home Selling
April 10, 2023

Present and Showcase Your Home to Find Buyers

house in the spotlight

More Exposure Means More Buyers 

The day is here!  You need to move and get your home sold ASAP.  In marketing your home, the concept is simple, “The more exposure you get for your home, the more potential buyers you reach and the faster the sale and a higher sales price.  However, Seller beware!  Some agents may not have a marketing plan and some agents may not really understand how to use that marketing to get buyers through your front door!  If buyers do not see the interior of your home, they are not going to decide to purchase your home.  Here are a couple of questions to consider?     

Does the Marketing Plan Focus Local and Worldwide?  Our Phoenix market typically receives about 40% of buyers from out of state and the other 60% are local.  Recently, our team got call from a buyer in another state about our listing.  The buyer found the presentation of our listing online.  Unable to find a local 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.

Does the Marketing Plan Focus on Presentation?  The internet has huge potential to market our listings, but it also is risky.  While allowing agents to showcase a home’s best features, the internet can also make a home look bad.  Buyers have many homes to choose from and if a buyer does not like your presentation, they will not schedule a showing.  When photos present homes that are cluttered, need paint, have small rooms, and are dark, buyers are going to eliminate these homes and not see them. If the presentation of a home is good,  buyers will want to see more of the home and will schedule a showing.

Does the Marketing Plan Focus on Details of the Home?   The Phoenix MLS allows home owners and agents to add lots and lots of features to their listings.  Important upgrades like granite counters, RV gates, energy efficient upgrades, cul-de-sac lots, vaulted ceilings, etc. are very important to buyers.  Many buyers will search for these important upgrades on the internet through Bing, Google and other websites.  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.  Newsletter, 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 any 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 Home?   

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


Posted in Home Selling
March 13, 2023

Is the Phoenix Market Changing? | Real Estate Market Update

View of Camelback Mountain Phoenix Arizona

By Jamie Thompson

With spring already upon us, many families are thinking about their next move. I always get calls and questions this time of year – and this year I seem to be getting a lot more. 

A lot of potential sellers are wondering whether or not they “missed the boat.” These days, the real estate market seems tough to decode. For ten months we’ve been hearing about bank-breaking interest rates, buyer demand hitting the floor, and how much “cooler” the market is; meanwhile, prices have remained relatively high and it still feels like a seller’s market.

All this has homeowners wondering: How is the market changing? Why are prices still high? What should sellers expect in the months ahead? 

How the market is changing

We’ve been in a raging seller’s market seemingly forever, and last summer this began to loosen up. Interest rates have slowed demand, most notably among first-time buyers. Sellers are working a harder and buyers are having an easier time compared to last year. 

The most dramatic change I’m seeing as an agent is transaction volume. In Phoenix, 1.044 total homes were sold in January, which is down a full 43 percent year-over-year (February’s numbers won’t be out until the end of March). A reduction in volume can be due to fewer listings hitting the market (which would drive prices up) or fewer buyers buying them (driving prices down). In our case, it’s both. As we’ll explore below, this is why prices remain somewhat steady compared to last year, but aren’t getting higher.

How quickly homes are selling is also changing. Currently, Phoenix listings are taking 71 days to enter contract, compared to 32 days last January. This trend began back in June, when our “Days on Market” started increasing year-over-year instead of decreasing. This pace should pick up as the season progresses, but won’t be as fast as last spring.

Supply and demand drive prices

Normally, when demand decreases, prices go down. But prices haven’t been going down much (when compared to the same period last year) because new listing volume has also decreased. 

Until recently, supply was contracting while demand surged. Now, supply and demand are both contracting. Although there are fewer buyers competing against each other, they are competing for fewer newly listed homes. 

Here in Phoenix, our median sale price for January was $404,000, which is down 4.3 percent over January 2022. This is a modest correction considering last January’s price had shot up 30 percent from the year before; in fact, today’s prices are a full $80,000 higher than in January 2021. We should see a bump in prices in the months ahead, as the median tends to increase in the spring and summer – this is due to a higher volume of buyers and a larger proportion of big “family” homes being sold.

Although prices remain relatively high, we’re seeing longer sale times, more price reductions, and higher levels of active “on-the-market” inventory. And right now, only 11 percent of home are selling over asking, compared to 33 percent last January.

What this means for sellers

Sellers who plan ahead and use the right strategies should expect a great price in the months ahead, but also a longer contract cycle and a little more give-and-take.

This spring, relying on market leverage alone won’t cut it for sellers. Homes will need to be intentionally positioned for success. This means: doing repairs and touch-ups to make the home feel “modern and move-in ready,” staging and using professional photos, getting in front of brokers pre-listing, and deploying a targeted marketing campaign. Bonuses attractive to today’s buyers, like rate buydowns, may also help.

For competing listings prepared and marketed equally well, pricing will separate the winners and losers this spring. Sellers or their agents are often tempted to match current list prices, rather than doing a deep-dive price analysis. Some even knowingly overshoot (to, figuring they can just reduce the price later.

Experienced agents know this “strategy” always backfires. Overpriced homes lament, knock their prices down, and end up with “market stigma.” This usually results in a sale price below the market. Homes that are priced well from the beginning this year will get faster, better offers (probably competing offers) – and a final price at the top of the market. 

If you’re considering a move anytime soon, give us a call today at (602) 753-0177. I’ve been helping Phoenix sellers get the best price possible for many years, across a wide range of conditions. I’m eager to help you get the highest price and fastest sale, too!


Data from

Posted in Home Selling
March 13, 2023

Your Step-by-Step Guide to a Deep Spring Cleaning

guy vacuuming hardwood floor

By Jamie Thompson

As an agent, I work with professional cleaners all the time. Even clean homes need scrubbed, waxed, and polished to produce magazine-like photos and make the best impression on visitors. So, with spring in the air, I thought I’d take what’s involved with a typical “listing cleaning” and modify it for a “spring cleaning.”

And I’ll quickly mention, this checklist is meant to go deeper on an already tidy home, although you will want to hold off on vacuuming until after Step 1. You’ll also want to prepare your supplies ahead of time – there are some items here you probably don’t have on hand. 

  1. Top-to-bottom dusting | Choose a high-quality feather duster or two, including one with an extendable handle. Go from your top level to your bottom and from ceiling to floor. Pro tip: if you’re prone to dust allergies, a basic disposable mask can help (a cloth one may be less effective). Clear cobwebs, dust over ceiling fans, and use a step stool to dust the tops of shelves and cabinets. Don’t forget common dust collectors like shelved books, lampshades, and the tops of art frames, window and door trim. 
  2. Walls, ceilings, and floors | After kicking up all that dust, it’s time to get rid of it. Again, we’ll go top to bottom. Using an extension sponge or mop, wash any visible dirt or discoloration on ceilings and walls. High-traffic walls, such as hallways and stairwells, should get an end-to-end scrub. Finally, vacuum your carpets and rugs, and sweep and mop your hard floors. Closely examine any floors or tile walls that contain grout (especially in the bathroom, were water an cause mildew). Remove any nasty grout patches and reseal.
  3. Windows and window treatments | Onto the windows! Starting with glass that is clean on the inside, go outside and clean the other side (you may be able to safely reach them by opening the windows, or you may need a ladder). Next, clean your blinds, shades, and drapes. Many curtains are machine washable; those that aren’t can be taken for dry cleaning. Hearty shades and blinds can be gently vacuumed then wiped down with a damp, warm cloth (no chemicals needed). If you have window screens, take them outside, scrub them with mild dishwashing liquid, and hose them down. 
  4. Upholstery | This step can be done in any order, as long as your dusting is complete. Take the cushions off your sofas and chairs and gently beat them by hand to remove the dust (a broom works great). Ingrained dirt can be wiped with a damp cloth, for most fabrics. For stains, read the label for directions. Next, use your vacuum’s attachments to clean inside your upholstered furniture, then replace the cushions.
  5. Wood furniture | Clean your wood surfaces using a soft, damp cloth with small amount of gentle dish soap. Immediately wipe dry. For extra shine, apply paste wax (like Butcher’s wax) using a cotton rag. Apply a little bit at a time, let dry, then buff with a soft dry cloth.  
  6. Fixtures and hardware | Door and window hardware, metal light fixtures, and lamp bases tarnish over time and lose their shine. This can be reversed in seconds! Just be sure to choose a polish is safe for the metal and type of finish you’re cleaning. For light or medium tarnish, absorb a little liquid polish into a rag and wipe. For heavy tarnish, use a paste or cream, and level up to a stronger product if it doesn’t do the trick.
  7. Rugs, carpet, and hard floors | Finally, it’s time to deep clean the floors! Shampoo your carpeting according to the directions on your machine. Every carpet is different; check with the manufacturer if you aren’t sure what products or machines are safe for yours. For a heavily soiled carpet, consider renting a commercial-grade shampooer or hiring a steam cleaning service. For fine rugs, I wouldn’t use a shampooer – instead, there are services that will clean them using safe techniques. For your hard floors, purchase paste or liquid waxes made for each one’s specific material – everything from vinyl and hardwood to marble and terracotta can be waxed! 

I hope this helps inspire you to get your home “magazine clean” this spring. Here’s to a fresh and beautiful season ahead!


Posted in Home Selling