Why Use a Realtor?

Phoenix real estate photoThe widespread use of the Internet in real estate home sales nowadays begs the question, Why do you need a realtor if the Internet shows you all of the homes for sale?  There are three major reasons why using a realtor to look for and buy your home will serve you better than going the DIY route.  First, while the wealth of property listings on the Internet may seem like you can find your dream home on your own, an experienced real estate agent has access to even more listings that are available on sites such as Trulia and Zillow.  While these sites do have many listings, they can, and often do, fall behind in real-time listing status updates.  A professional listing search on MLS (multiple listing service) will reveal homes with a “coming soon” status that realtors are only able to discover.  Clients who are working with a realtor can act quickly when these homes do go live.

A realtor is also experienced in geographical areas, and can recommend areas you may not have otherwise considered.  A realtor can analyze your criteria and can point you in directions that may work better for you in the long run.  Moreover, a realtor has an extensive professional network of other agents and can access their knowledge about certain areas, thereby sharing this insider information with you as a buyer.

Finally, a knowledgeable realtor will be well-versed in the comparables (or “comps”) in your targeted neighborhoods.  These comps are not easy to access for non-realtors.  Certain upgrades or features may not be a better buy for your money, necessarily, and a realtor can help you to analyze the listing price in conjunction with the prices of other homes in the market.  Finally, once you are in the home of your dreams, your realtor is an invaluable resource to help you determine which upgrades you should make to the home with an eye to a higher resale value down the line.  I look forward to working with you in your home search.

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Putting a Premium on Landscape Design

curb appeal photoFirst impressions matter.  Curb appeal is the initial advertisement of the home for potential buyers.  After viewing your home on the Internet, potential buyers will then drive by your home.  If the exterior of your home isn’t well-kept, your home showing may turn into a drive-by, with those potential buyers not wanting to bother stepping inside your front door.

Taking a few simple steps to update and maintain your home’s exterior will invite potential home buyers to come closer to check out all that your home has to offer.  First, take a closer look at your front yard’s landscaping.  Nothing says deferred maintenance like a desert landscape riddled with weeds and overgrown trees.  Pruning and trimming all trees and shrubs will allow potential buyers to actually see your home, and will also demonstrate that the current homeowners care about their property, which is a good sign.   Placing 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 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 are at it, be sure that your windows sparkle in the Arizona sun, so buyers looking out to the front yard can appreciate and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

In terms of staging your home, if you’re lucky enough to have a patio area or large entry way, place a chair or two here, to showcase a conversation area to your potential buyers as they are walking into your home.   Moreover, the decluttering and simplifying rule that applies to the interior of your home also applies to the exterior and landscaping, so be sure to remove any yard or lawn art from your front yard and entry way.  Keeping the door clean of decorations is another way to showcase the architecture and beauty of your home without providing unnecessary distractions.

As your realtor, I can give you more specific advice unique to your home and situation to help you maximize your home’s potential in these areas.

Arizona Homeowner Vol. 2 Issue 11

Arizona Homeowner November Issue is now available!  Click to open and read about “Festivus” and fun things to do as we approach the 2015 Holiday Season.

Arizona Homeowner Vol. 2 Issue 10

New edition of Arizona Homeowner is now available!  Are wine cellars wise home improvements…how do Arizona residents stay fit… Morton’s Steakhouse is sharing their famous double chocolate mousse recipe…  Click to read!


How Much of a Role Do Good Schools Play Into Buyers Paying More for Homes?

notre dame high school photoOne of the most important factors families with kids consider when buying a home is whether there are good public schools nearby. A good public school will save families tens of thousands of dollars that might otherwise be spent on private schools, for one. Homes in neighborhoods with highly-rated public schools often are priced higher than homes that are not. While there may be an argument that more affluent and highly educated homeowners live in the neighborhoods with good schools, and higher test scores may accompany these homeowners’ schools, the bottom line is that home buyers still seek out these good schools, which increase property values for everyone.

The good news for those seeking to buy or sell homes in the Northeast Valley, including Paradise Valley, North Scottsdale and Fountain Hills, these high-performing school districts are already in place. The schools in Northeast Valley are part of the Paradise Valley Unified School District, the Scottsdale Unified School District and Fountain Hills Unified School District. Researching these districts is easy in the Internet age, with websites such as www.greatschools.org that break down the test scores as well as the community ratings of each school district, as well as the schools themselves. Another website, www.schooldigger.com, ranks the schools using criteria such as student to teacher ratio and test scores. Your realtor can also help you narrow down these choices when searching for your next home.