You’ll find our 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!
Despite a recession, the lowest mortgage interest rates in history have spurred real estate purchasing and refinancing. This rebound in the housing market has come at a critical time for the economy.
Mortgage giant Freddie Mac stated that 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 2.86% this past week. That’s almost 1% lower than last year. Here are some other numbers to know:
The average sale price is up 17.7% to $399,000
Total listings are down almost 40%
New listings are down more than 10%
Pending sales are up 25% from last year
Locally, we’ve been seeing homes selling in a matter of days, usually with multiple offers. Buyers looking to purchase and homeowners looking to refinance are capitalizing on interest rates and purchasing homes at a record pace. First-time homebuyer activity is up 19% in August and is currently at its highest level ever.
There just aren’t enough homes for sale to meet demand.
With just 1.5 months of inventory, we’re clearly in a seller’s market. Right now, buyers are actively searching for homes, but there just aren’t as many for sale to meet the need. This makes it an ideal time to sell.
If you have any questions for me about our market or real estate in general, don’t hesitate to reach out via phone or email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
How can you sell in this competitive real estate market? The first key is making sure you have expert representation. I’m not just talking about someone who has negotiated a few contracts or knows a thing or two about the industry; you need to partner with a professional who has experience in a competitive market, a proven, repeatable plan for marketing, negotiating, and effectively handling any hiccups that may arise along the way.
The ability to assess multiple offers is critical. Start by looking at whether it’s a financed offer or a cash offer, and if it’s the latter, does the buyer have proof of funds? A letter from their dear uncle, cousin Vinny, or Mickey Mouse himself saying that they have the money won’t cut it—proof of funds is evidence provided by a financial institution. If a loan is involved in the process, the agent should reach out to that borrower’s lender and confirm what’s detailed in the letter. The more information you can find out, the more protected you’ll be.
Don’t jump too quickly. An offer that seems too good to be true most likely is so, and buyers who dangle jaw-dropping offers in front of you tend to be the ones who cancel within the inspection period or if something doesn’t go exactly according to their plan. However, by the same token, you don’t want to wait too long thinking you’ll just keep accruing more and more offers. Is there truly going to be a better offer?
Make sure the negotiation is such that the buyers can genuinely feel good about what they’re getting out of it.
If you’ve only received financed offers since going live on the market, then you need to remember that what you can get for your home is limited to a financial institution’s assessment of value; you want to make sure that your buyers don’t try to hold out on the appraisal contingency. That’s a surefire way to lose time. That being said, there are buyers that may be willing to pay above appraised value.
You’ll also want to discuss your plan to move with your agent up front. Will you need a simultaneous transaction, meaning you’ll close on your new home the same day you settle your sale? If so, certain provisions need to be made to make sure you won’t have to stay in a hotel between properties. We’ve been able to negotiate staying in the home after closing—it’s an uncommon strategy, but it has been used successfully in our market.
When negotiating, make sure that everyone feels like they’re winning. That doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice money, but you do want to make sure the agreement is such that the buyers can genuinely feel good about what they’re getting out of it. That being said, my final piece is to make sure that whatever offer you accept is the right price and time frame for you. Again, clearly explain your motivations for selling to your agent up front so they can champion your interests throughout the whole selling process, and make sure the offer you select checks the necessary boxes.
Please feel free to reach out to me via phone or email if you have follow-up questions about this or any other real estate-related topic, as I’d be more than happy to chat with you! I’m here to be of assistance in your home selling journey.
Our Phoenix market has recovered quite a bit since the pandemic started. Homes are selling quickly, and the situation is very competitive for buyers out there. If you’re thinking of buying a home, there are several tips to remember to find and close on the right home at the right price.
First, make sure you have expert representation. A new or inexperienced agent probably won’t be able to help you very well in our current market. My team and I have been helping clients since 2005, so we know a thing or two about winning in a competitive market.
After that, get pre-approved. By this I mean a full loan pre-approval, not just a pre-qualification letter or a quick phone conversation with a lender. If you plan on buying with cash, now’s the time to gather your proof of funds. This proof needs to be from a banking institution, not a friend who says they’ll loan you the money.
A home’s market value is what it’s worth right now—not six months ago.
Next, avoid asking for scary stuff. “Scary stuff” means whatever the seller finds scary. For example, it’s scary to ask them to accept your offer if it’s contingent on the sale of your current home. It’s also scary to ask them for closing costs or to make repairs on the house. You’re better off negotiating the contract in good faith and addressing potential repairs after any issues are found in the inspection.
Also, don’t be afraid to pay market value in a competitive market. A home’s market value is what it’s worth right now—not six months ago. No one’s stealing a property in this market (unless it’s a gutted property). Getting a great deal right now just means getting a great home. I’m not suggesting that you overpay for a property; just be willing to pay market value to get the home you want.
Lastly, include a video as part of your offer to engage with the seller (which you can refer to in the contract). This video should be personal. Tell the seller what you love about their home, how you and your family plan on acclimating to the neighborhood, etc. If you aren’t able to create a video, the next best thing would be to write a letter with the same information.
If you’d like to know more about buying in a competitive market or have any real estate questions at all, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’m here to help.
A few myths are circulating around the real estate market that can cause buyers and sellers to have the wrong impression about the state of the market as a whole and hesitate with moving forward. Here are the top myths I’ve seen and the truth behind them:
1. There’s less competition when buying a home. The reality is that with low interest rates, there has been much more demand, which has created stronger buyers and offers.
The real estate market is much different now compared to what it was back in 2008.
2. People aren’t selling their homes during the pandemic. Some people may wait but many don’t want to. The number of pending contracts and sold homes show us that people are indeed selling and moving.
3. The economy is going to crash, and with it, the real estate market. This is clearly a myth; the real estate market is much different now compared to what it was back in 2008 when we experienced a big crash. Americans have more home equity than ever before, and lending is now much more regulated, meaning that we don’t see subprime loans (which caused the market crash before). If there is any market change, it’s more likely to be a subtle adjustment than a real estate crash.
4. Home prices have dropped dramatically. Fortunately for all of us, this has not been the case. Some people put their purchases on hold, but activity then picked up very strongly. Based on supply and demand, we are seeing appreciation.
5. It’s unwise to buy a home without visiting it in person first. This is no longer true. With the technology, virtual tours, and contract inspection clauses we have, it’s safer now more than ever to move forward with a purchase, since you’ll have a built-in safety net.
If you have questions or would like to discuss anything I’ve covered today in more detail, please feel free to reach out to us. We’d love to help.
A home warranty is an insurance policy that gives you peace of mind that you won’t have any expensive, system repairs as a new homeowner. You won’t have to worry about a $10,000 replacement or a $5,000 fix if you already have a home warranty.
Home warranties can be purchased by the homeowner or the buyer. Anyone can pay for it or order it, and there is usually a deductible for each service call. The contract is typically for a one-year term, but it can be purchased in advance for two or three years.
The only reason you wouldn’t want one is if the home needs a full remodel, you’re a general contractor who can do the work yourself, or you want to control who does the repairs.
A home warranty typically lasts for one year.
If you have any questions for me, don’t hesitate to reach out via phone or email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
One challenge when purchasing a home is that you don’t know the home’s full history before you own it. That’s why you need to have title insurance. You’ll write a purchase contract, but without title insurance, you won’t know what you don’t know. Here’s a simple example:
Let’s say you’re getting ready to buy a home, but the current owner has a medical lien, owes back taxes on the property, or there’s a lien against a party that doesn't even own the home.
Lenders typically require title insurance.
This is where title insurance comes into play. Your lender will usually require it because they need to have insurance that can clear up any questions before closing. If you’re paying cash, however, you won’t be required to purchase title insurance, but it’s still a good idea to have regardless.
If you have any questions about title insurance, feel free to reach out via phone or email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
As we continue to navigate this pandemic, many of our clients are unsure of whether they should sell their homes now or continue to wait it out. The reality is that current market conditions make it a great time to buy or sell.
This week, we had multiple offers for a listing that was just put on the market and ended up successfully negotiating a contract on our client’s behalf. We’re still seeing sellers sell and buyers buy in spite of this pandemic. To learn more about what’s been going on in our real estate market, watch this short video.
Luke Air Force Base, Special Flyover to honor COVID-19 frontline workers
LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz -- Luke Air Force Base, to include the 56th Fighter Wing and the 944th Fighter Wing, along with the Arizona Air National Guard 161st Air Refueling Wing will honor Arizona’s front line COVID-19 responders with a community flyover May 1, 2020.
“We are honored to extend our heartfelt gratitude to all the healthcare workers, first responders, military members and other essential personnel who are working on the front lines to combat the coronavirus,” said Brig. Gen. Todd Canterbury, 56th Fighter Wing commander. “We want everyone to be able to look up from their homes and enjoy the display of American airpower, resolve and pride while keeping frontline responders in their hearts.”
A formation of 15 aircraft, including seven F-35A Lightning IIs and seven F-16 Fighting Falcons flying out of Luke Air Force Base and one KC-135 from the 161st ARW will begin the flyover at approximately 3:10 p.m. and will last 50 minutes.
The flight path will bring them through Buckeye, Luke Air Force Base, Litchfield Park, Surprise, Waddell, Goodyear, Tolleson, Phoenix Metro, Tempe, Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Deer Valley, Glendale, Peoria, Sun City West, and El Mirage. Residents along the flight path can expect a few seconds of jet noise as the aircraft pass overhead.
Residents in these areas will be able to see the flyover from the safety of their homes and should maintain all social distancing guidelines during this event. They should also refrain from traveling to landmarks, hospitals and gathering in large groups to view the flyover.
We welcome and encourage viewers to tag us on social media in photos and videos of the formation with the hashtag #LukeSalutes, #AirForceSalutes, and #FlyoverFriday.
For questions, please call the Luke AFB Public Affairs Office at (623) 856-6011.
Especially now, during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s common for us to hear this question from our clients: “How can I sell in today’s market?” Real estate is considered an essential service, so homes are still selling. We’ve just had to make some changes in how we approach real estate transactions in light of the outbreak. For example, instead of our normal, face-to-face consultations, we’re now meeting with clients by phone or video call to comply with the stay-at-home order. We are still doing face-to-face meetings when required. To learn more about how the selling process has changed due to the coronavirus, watch this short video above.
How do you buy a home in today’s market while staying safe? With everything that’s been happening with the coronavirus lately, this is a question I’m getting asked quite often, and today I’ll answer it. We’ve established a new protocol for buyers to follow. To find out more, watch this short video.