Showing Homes During the Coronavirus

hand sanitizerThe Coronavirus is having a mixed impact on the housing market. It may be decreasing buyer traffic, yet it’s also not deterring some home buyers and sellers from taking advantage of the lowest mortgage rates in history.

To help keep our buyers and sellers healthy during this unprecedented pandemic, we have adjusted and added some procedures when showing homes:

-All of our open houses have been suspended. For now we will only doing private showings of homes to one person (or couple).
-While we am only doing private showings, we will ask buyers to meet us at each home instead of driving with them.
-We will do our best to arrive before each showing to open doors and windows to minimize door knob touching and allow fresh air inside. we will also sanitize door knobs, counters and other high traffic touch areas before and after each showing.
-Additionally, we will have hand sanitizer and gloves, or ask clients to place their hands in their pockets as they tour the home.
-We will also be using video chats for virtual tours and walkthroughs so our clients can social distance themselves by while still allowing them to see new homes.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions you have about how the Coronavirus/Covid-19 may be affecting the Arizona real estate market. Chris 480-754-9077 & Cheryl 480-754-9477

What Not to do When Selling Your Home

open houseWe all hear about the steps we should take when selling your home; however have you thought about things you should NOT do when trying to sell your home? There are so many no-no’s that seem simple enough, yet are often overlooked.

When your home is being shown to prospective buyers, don’t be there. As much as you love your home and have taken pride in decorating it to your tastes the potential buyers may be uncomfortable discussing what they like or don’t like about the home. You may also say too much without meaning to, which could put off a potential buyer.

Don’t leave clutter around your home. You want the rooms and closets to seem large. If too much clutter is around then it will seem there isn’t room for the new owner’s items. They may not be able to get past the clutter. You also don’t want to have lots of personal photos and things around. It will distract the buyer.

Don’t have your pets home during showing. Some buyers may be allergic or afraid of animals. Granted some folks love dogs and cats, but you just can’t be too sure. If you cannot remove your pets from the home for a showing, perhaps putting them in a crate or a specific room in the home. Also, it is a good idea to make sure you have cleaned up after you pet. Make sure the cat litter is changed and you have done poop-patrol in the yard!

It’s important to make your home bright and appealing. Don’t turn off lights and leave blinds closed. Turning on the lights and opening blinds or curtains to let in natural light is much more appealing than a dark room.

Probably the most important thing when selling your home is to not neglect the outside of your house. Curb-appeal is of high importance when selling, it is the first impression that potential buyers will have when they arrive. If they see a weeds sprouting up everywhere they will wonder what kind of condition is the inside like. Maintaining your landscaping is important.

Use your best judgment; think about what may turn you off when looking at homes. Chances are it’s some of the above mentioned items. Call us for more tips of what to do and not to do when selling. Chris 480-754-9077 & Cheryl 480-754-9477

Selling Your Home During the Holidays

christmas decorationsDon’t let selling your home during the Holiday season dampen your Holiday Spirit. Create a buyer-friendly home with our seasonal home staging tips:

-Go easy on the outdoor lights and leave the inflatable snowman in the storage room. Instead, use simple string lights to play up your home’s architecture or draw attention to your landscaping.
-Loud and bright decorations can be off-putting to some buyers. To help your home sell, keep your holiday decorations conservative. A few subtle touches like pinecone centerpieces and an evergreen wreath can create a warm and festive feeling in your home.
-Make sure your holiday decorations match your current decor. If your family room has a clean blue and white color scheme, then skip the clashing red garland. If you have an earthy color scheme, then accent with rich tones like cranberries, forest greens and gold.
-Too much can distract buyers, but the right amount of accessories can draw attention to your home’s best features. Try hanging a few tasteful ornaments from your mantel to highlight an elegant fireplace.
-If your living space is small, then save space with a skinny Christmas tree. Although it can be fun to dedicate large areas to the holidays, make sure to leave enough room for buyers to move around and appreciate your home for its actual size.

When you’re ready to sell your home or do some holiday shopping for a new home, give us a call! Chris 480-754-9077 & Cheryl 480-754-9477

Getting Ready to Show Your Home

kitchenYour home has been prepped and is ready for listing in the MLS. Now what? There are some steps that will make it easy to get ready for all of those showings that will be coming your way.

First, maximize all of the light in your home by turning on all of the lights in your home and open all of the curtains and blinds on your windows. Buyers love to see bright, well-lit homes, and these quick steps will show off your beautiful home.

Second, highlight your curb appeal in your back and front yard. Do a quick sweep of your front entryway, and turn on any water features you may have to show off your pool and/or spa. This will help the buyer visualize how they can enjoy these spaces.

Third, do a clean sweep throughout your home to remove clutter from floors and countertops. Buyers want to be able to envision themselves in the spaces in your home, so removing distractions of your personal items is the best way to facilitate this. Keep a basket handy before showings to corral any clutter quickly and to stash in a closet.

Lastly, do a quick wipe of your bathroom counters, toilets and mirrors to make these areas sparkle. Again, the goal is to have buyers imagine living in your home, so keeping these personal areas sparkling clean will go a long way toward this goal.

Want more tips to maximize showings? Contact us to find how much your home is worth and for more tips to help sell your house fast for top dollar! Chris 480-754-9077 & Cheryl 480-754-9477

Get An Offer On Your Home

Would you like an offer on your home and skip the headaches and hassles of selling traditionally.

Companies are ready to make a very competitive offer on your home. They buy it, turn it around, and sell 30-90 days to the public for a tiny profit.

You get convenience and speed in return.

This means:

  • Close quickly, get equity from your home in as little as 7 days
  • Multiple competitive offers – fast
  • You pick your closing date
  • No showings or open houses
  • No negotiating with buyers
  • Skip the cost, time and (in some cases) embarrassment of getting your home market ready
  • Freedom to move on your timeline
  • No strangers and REALTORS® walking through your home
  • No risk of two mortgage payments

We know companies who will buy your home directly at a fair price. We will negotiate all offers for you so you get the best price and terms. Your offer is competitive. These are not “sharks” who buy your home for 50% of it’s value. You get solid offers and a real listing valuation within 24 hours of us viewing your home. We’ll help you break down your options in a side by side comparison and see which works best for your unique situation.

Contact us and we’ll be in touch to price your home, get photos taken, and submit it to the companies who will buy it from you hassle-free!

Are Home Warranties Worth the Cost?

kitchenAs a home buyer or home seller, you may have wondered whether a home warranty is worth the cost. Homeowners insurance protects your home against unforeseen accidents or damage.  A home warranty, on the other hand, is a supplement to this insurance. Simply put, a home warranty is a convenience program that covers normal wear and tear on the major electrical and mechanical systems in a home, typically for a one-year period.

A home’s ventilation, heating and air-conditioning, plumbing, water heater and kitchen appliances are typically covered by a home warranty. However, be sure to read the fine print on any home warranty. Be sure to note what exactly is covered and what isn’t.

Another wrinkle with home warranty plans is that they don’t offer quick fixes to any problems that are discovered within the home. Home warranties are not the same as emergency home service contracts, where the homeowner can make a phone call and have the problem diagnosed and fixed within the same day.  Instead, with a home warranty, the homeowner will have to file a claim, and the home warranty company will choose a local service contractor to diagnose the problem for a service fee, which isn’t covered by the warranty.  Then, the claim must be approved by the company.

While a home warranty can be a nice back-up plan, it’s critical that any homeowner identify any necessary repairs during the home inspection period.  The home inspection will typically uncover any major issues with the maintenance of the home, and will set a precedent for regular service of the major mechanical services. For example, some home warranty companies won’t cover an air-conditioner that hasn’t been serviced in a past set number of months. Therefore, having this done during the home inspection negotiation period will help to set up a seamless transition to the home warranty service period. Home warranties in Arizona average around $400-500 depending on the size of the home.

Click here to begin the search for your next home! 

Buying and Selling Simultaneously

house keyBuying and selling homes simultaneously can can feel overwhelming, it can also raise many questions, especially regarding timing. When should you list the home you’re selling? At what point should you begin looking for a new home? What happens if you get an offer on the home you’re selling before closing on your new place?

The key to combining your buying and selling processes is timing. Taking the time up front to consider your options and make educated timing decisions will increase the chances that you’ll get to seamlessly move from the old home into the new space.

So, how do you make those smart timing decisions?

Find an Expert. A good real estate agent is a knowledgeable and reliable expert on buying and selling homes simultaneously. The agent researches and understands current trends which will help you time your transition to the new house while also getting the most money from the house you’re selling.

Know the Market. A real estate agent is also a great resource to educate you on your local market. The agent uses current market data, the condition of your home, neighborhood comparable homes and other factors to determine a realistic selling price for your listing.

Understand your Finances. As you look at your options, know where you stand financially, how much equity you have in your current home, and how much money you can reasonably use toward the down payment of a new house. Homeowners who have enough equity to sell their existing home and can come up with a down payment for another one are going to have an easier time buying and selling at the same time. Know that there are many options for those homeowners in all financial categories. Understanding your finances will help when you discuss this process with your agent.

Make Quick Fixes. Price and home condition are the two most important factors that effect the sale of your home. As explored specifically in previous posts, investing money up front to update the yard, repaint the walls or make other small fixes has been proven to significantly increase the likelihood that your home will sell more quickly.
Start Shopping for the New Home. If you and your agent agree that listing your home is a good decision for you, it’s time to begin your home search process. If possible, start looking at homes before you put yours on the market so that you have an idea to the timeframe it could take to find the new place based on your search criteria.

When You’re Ready, List Your Home. Putting the home on the market is a careful process that depends largely on how fast you think you will be able to find and close on your new home. The previous step, shopping for the new home, will help make that decision. Keep in mind, if you put the home on the market and the right buyer puts in an offer more quickly than you anticipated, there are contingencies you can add to the contract to give you more time to find your new home.

Buying and selling homes simultaneously has its challenges, but we have the experience and knowledge to make it happen for you. Call us to learn more! Chris 480-754-9077 & Cheryl 480-754-9477

5 Packing Tips for Your Move

moving dayYou sold your house-congrats! Now you must tackle the daunting task of moving! Use these helpful tips to pack up and move with ease:

1-Have a place in your home that is designated “packing central”.  All your moving information and needs like labels, box tape, markers etc. should always be kept in the same location so you know that is where everything is during the moving process.

2-Make a list. If you write things down you won’t forget things. For example, you may want to make a packing list. For every box you pack you will have the box numbered with the contents listed clearly on the box.  This will help not only you, but the movers as well. If items are clearly labeled “kitchen” then the movers won’t put that box in a bedroom.

3-Or instead of numbering the boxes, you can color coordinate your boxes. For example, anything with yellow on the box is for the kitchen and red marked boxes are for the master bedroom. You can then place a color sticker on the doorway at the new home that matches the ones on your boxes so the movers will know where each box is to go.

4-Wardrobe boxes are very handy. They can take all the items from your closet and transport them easily to your new home without worrying about being all creased when you get there. You can also fill the bottom of these boxes with shoes and purses and then cover the clothing with dry cleaning bags to keep from getting dirty.

5-Give yourself plenty of time to pack.  Do a little bit at a time and you won’t feel so overwhelmed and stressed out that it needs to get done quickly.  This is also a good time to clean out your closets and cabinets of items you no longer need or want.  You can make a big trip to a local Goodwill or other charity in your area that can use your household items or clothes.

Moving is a hassle and no one really enjoys it, but with any luck you are moving into the home of your dreams and this will be the last move you make for a long time!

Why You Should Use an Agent vs. For Sale by Owner

coming soon for saleBuying or selling your home is a major and oftentimes emotional life decision. It’s also one that is best handled by a professional real estate agent that knows the ins and outs of the industry. While it might seem like a smart idea to save that 6 percent commission, here are some reasons why it can greatly benefit you to work with an agent.

Expertise: Real estate agents are not only knowledgeable about your home and its value, they’re also in tune with the rest of the market and are able to leverage local knowledge while conducting negotiations on your behalf. While selling a home is an emotional experience, real estate agents can look at the transaction from an unbiased point of view and determine the value and marketing strategy best suited for your home and the real estate market. They’re also able to help guide you in the best way to modify your home for sale without wasting money on modifications that may not boost your home’s value.

Marketing: Marketing your home online is not as easy as you might think. Real estate, like any other industry, involves a background and expertise in marketing. This involves brochures, advertisements in both print and digital, and having a vast network of potential buyers that are looking for homes like yours. Real estate agents have access to tools and networks that

Access to Legitimate Buyers: It’s not only important to find qualified buyers that are interested in your home, professional real estate agents are knowledgeable in a potential buyer’s credit-worthiness, their financial history and can also verify buyers with all cash offers. This is crucial in ensuring your home is properly and legally sold with no financial mistakes.

Incentivizes Buyers: You may not realize it, but listing agents also get 3 percent commission once their buyers purchase your home. This can sometimes be an incentivizing reason for buyer’s agents to show your home, and can increase the number of showings you have. If you list your home for sale by owner, you are likely not attracting as many potential buyers as you could.

Contact us next time you consider selling or buying a home. We can offer guidance, expertise and local area knowledge that you never knew you needed to sell your home successfully. Chris 480-754-9077 & Cheryl 480-754-9477

The Importance of Curb Appeal When Selling

front entrance
First impressions are everything when preparing your house for sale. Curb appeal is the initial preview of your home for potential buyers. In today’s real estate market, potential buyers will first view your home online. Then if your home matches the criteria they are using in their home search, these buyers will drive by your home. If the exterior of your home isn’t well-kept or your landscaping isn’t on par with the other homes in the neighborhood, your home showing may turn into a drive-by only with those potential buyers.

Implementing a few steps to update and maintain your home’s exterior is critical to prepping your home for sale. Doing so will invite more potential home buyers to come closer to check out all that your home has to offer. The first step is to take an objective look at your front yard’s landscaping. A desert landscape littered with weeds and overgrown trees implies deferred maintenance in all areas of home care and upkeep. Trimming trees, weeding, and pruning shrubs will also allow potential buyers to actually see your home. Planting fresh flowers or desert plants in pots near your walkway or front door is also another quick and inexpensive step to freshen up your home’s exterior and landscape. Power-washing, hosing down, or simply sweeping your driveway, walkway and front entry way are other inexpensive steps that will pay off with a big impact when showcasing your home’s exterior. While you’re at it, be sure that your windows sparkle with a fresh cleaning inside and out.

If you’re lucky enough to have a front patio area or large entry way, stage this area by placing a couple chairs to showcase a conversation area to your potential buyers as they are walking into your home. Furthermore, the simplifying rule that applies to the interior of your home also applies to the exterior and landscaping, so remove any yard or lawn art from your front yard and entry way. Keeping the door clean and free of decorations is another way to showcase the architecture and beauty of your home without providing unnecessary distractions.

As realtors, we can give you more specific advice unique to your home and neighborhood, to help you maximize your home’s curb appeal. Give us call today to learn more how we can help sell your home for top dollar! Chris 480-754-9077 & Cheryl 480-754-9477