Homebuying During Covid-19

home for saleWith mortgage rates at all-time lows and an uncertain future due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, is now a good time to buy a home? It may feel contradictory to purchase a home at this time, however, for people who feel confident about their job security and finances, this might be the perfect time to buy.

Why Making the Move Now May Be Right for You

House hunting during the coronavirus can have its benefits. There may be less competition for the houses in the areas where you might be planning to move, and sellers may be more motivated to sell or more flexible on price. Once the crisis passes, there may be more house hunters back on the market and prices may escalate due to a more competitive market that benefits sellers rather than buyers, so taking a few steps forward now will put you ahead of the game.

Get Preapproved for a Mortgage

When you do find the home of your dreams, being preapproved for a mortgage proves to the seller you are serious. It’s possible to get preapproved online through some banks. Mortgage preapproval is a letter from a lender that indicates how much you are qualified to borrow from the lender, at a specific interest rate.

Use This Time to Research the Market

Despite the decrease in the number of newly-listed homes, there are still excellent options in property listings. This is a time to research the market and find your preferred property in a community you like. Take this time to expand your search to other surrounding neighborhoods that might have homes with excellent value for money, amenities, and facilities.

As you spend more time at home, it’s an opportunity to assess your current home and determine the level of functionality and comfort it offers you. That helps in knowing your priorities when searching and, consequently buying a home.

Virtual Home Viewing

Many real estate agents post virtual tours of properties for sale on their websites. When you take a virtual tour or attend a virtual open house, you can get a realistic view of the property. Then, with a click of the mouse, you can see all the details that are important to you. In addition, by touring homes virtually, you can see many more than would be possible in a single day with your real estate agent.

Prepare Your Home For Sale

While entertainment, sports, and other social events are canceled, take advantage of this while to prep your current home for the market. Preparation may include anything from mowing the lawn, exterior repairs, tidying the gutters, and decluttering the interior.

Start with a DIY approach to reduce expenses before calling the professionals. Do an online home improvement search to note the additional décor that can enhance the visual appeal of the home.

Do you have questions if now is the right time for you to buy? Call us today, we’d love to help answer all your questions and find your new home when the time is right for you! Chris 480-754-9077 & Cheryl 480-754-9477

Summer Home Maintenance

washing windowsSummer is in full swing and now is good time to inspect your house to see how your it is doing in the summer heat. Here’s a quick list of 7 summer home maintenance tips and projects you can do to spruce up your home and keep everything running smoothly throughout the year:

Attic Inspections

Attics can be claustrophobia-inducing, but it’s a good idea to brave those tight confines at least once a year. You want to check your attic for any indication of pests or insects, water leakage, mold or mildew.

Rain Gutters

It’s easy for desert dwellers to forget about checking the rain gutters. Gutters can become clogged with dirt and grime, especially after a monsoon season so it’s a good idea to flush out your gutters with the hose at least once a year.

Washing Machine Maintenance

Your washing machine is one of those appliances that needs some light maintenance every now and then. When your washer is not in use, inspect the seal between the door opening and the drum for areas of soil buildup or any stains. If you find any, you can clean it with a mixture of ¾ cup of chlorine bleach and a gallon of warm water. Wipe the area with the bleach-water solution and then let it sit for about 5 minutes. Then wipe dry with a clean cloth, and let it air dry. This will remove any odors and keep your clothes from getting stained by dirt deposits inside the seal.

Clean the Garbage Disposal and Dishwasher

This home maintenance tip isn’t necessarily just a summer chore, but it’s important reminder to clean out your garbage disposal and dishwasher every once in a while. You can easily clean out your garbage disposal by flushing it with hot water and some dish soap. To clean your dishwasher, you should add 2 cups of vinegar to the bottom of the machine and run the machine on low wash.

Wipe Down & Clean Baseboards

Baseboards are often overlooked when it comes to weekly cleaning, but it’s something you will want to do at least once a year to keep dust and dirt from building up. A damp cloth and a little extra time is all you need to clean up the trim around your home.

Wash Exterior Windows

Summer is a good time of year to wash your windows from the outside. Simply fill a bucket with hot soapy water and get scrubbing. If you wash your windows more than once a year, you may be able to get away with just using Windex, but a bucket of soapy water and a sponge will usually deliver the best results.

Clean or Replace Window Screens

Washing your exterior windows won’t make much of a difference if you don’t also wash your window screens. Take off all your window screens to your house and gently scrub them with hot soapy water. If your window screens are too dirty to be cleaned, you may just want to replace them.

Easy Offers to Sell Your Home

online shoppingAre you ready for instant offers to sell your home? Currently, there are many companies ready to make very competitive offers on your home. They buy it, turn it around, and sell 30-90 days to the public for a tiny profit. In return, you get convenience and a speedy sale!

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

We know companies who will buy your home directly at a competitive price. You will get a real listing valuation and solid offers within 24 hours of me viewing your home. We will then help you break down and compare your options to see which works best for you and negotiate all offers for you so you get the best price and terms.

Contact us to schedule an appointment to price your home, get photos taken, and submit it to the companies who will buy it from you! Chris 480-754-9077 & Cheryl 480-754-9477

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