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How Not to Sell a Sub-$100k Home in This Market

Ripped from the actual MLS … Purchase a home at a Trustee’s Sale for $48,000 and change at a time said homes are selling in the $50s in the same neighborhood. Fix up said home, pouring however many thousand dollars were necessary Put said home back on the market at $68,000 – roughly 25 to 30 percent above current market value. Inform potential buyers that the seller will not accept any offer below 98 percent of list price, or just slightly less than 25 to 30 percent above current market value. Inform potential buyers that since the sellers can’t control […]

Everything I Need to Know About Real Estate I Learned at the Oscars

Imagine that … a silent movie won Best Picture in 2012, the first time that’s happened since the very first Academy Awards more than eight decades ago. No 3-D effects. No CGI. No puppets. No huge explosions. No aliens. No two-part finale gimmick. No big-name actors and actresses (at least in this country.) Simply story, plot, scoring, cinematography and a damn cute dog. And it won in the midst of a society that, as Billy Crystal joked, pulls out their iPad if they want to view something on the “big screen.” Those basics still matter. The basics matter in real […]

In Other News, The Sun Rose in the East This Morning

Those in other markets may be familiar with a little outfit called Redfin. Okay, so it’s not really a little outfit – when you suck down millions in venture capital to get rolling, you’d best not be all that little. In keeping with this year’s election-centric focus, Redfin is to real estate what third-party presidential challenges have been to politics: a new concept eventually ground into the pavement by the realities of the existing system. Or, put another way, a solution that was in need of a problem. Once upon a time in the Northwest, Redfin put together a snappy […]

Spring (Training) is in the Air

For those in the know, it’s not a surprise to hear I drove yesterday morning to Surprise to pick up my spring training media credentials from the Texas Rangers. While real estate is the full-time (and then some) gig, I’ve been writing free-lance articles for the Associated Press for the past 20 years. I’m more than a touch old-fashioned … okay … call it curmudgeonly … in that I’m not a big fan of hassles. I’ve covered two World Series games and enjoyed the experience immensely. I’ve never worked a Super Bowl or NBA Finals, though I’ve worked NHL and […]

Irrelevant Questions Buyers Ask

Purchase almost anything in life and it’s a straight forward process – there’s a price posted and buyers either agree to pay that price or, in the cases of cars, swap meet items, garage sales, etc., the buyers bargain for a little while until coming to a happy medium with the seller and enacting the transaction. Not so with real estate. Here, buyers immediately turn into amateur psychologists … there’s a near constant desire for additional information, generally for the purpose of discerning the sellers’ intent and motivation, and that effort often turns out to not make much difference in […]

Willie Wonka and the Phoenix Real Estate Market

Long-time readers (both of you) may remember this observation from July 2, 2009: If you remember my old analogy about the Phoenix real estate market being like a car stuck in the mud. The accelerator’s being pushed to the floor but the tires keep spinning, unable to gain any traction. Why? The lenders are standing to the side with a water hose making even more mud. How? By continuing to price homes below current market levels in order to initiate a quick sale. Price new homes to the market at the level of the past sales and they’ll still move. […]

Oh Lord, Here Comes the Speech

I love The Speech. If you ever watch poker on television, or play poker yourself, the speech generally comes when someone thinks they’re in a strong position but really isn’t all that certain. Lacking that certainty, a monologue begins all with the specific purpose of uncovering information. I just received The Speech from a listing agent in Westbrook Village regarding a property on which I wrote an offer. To this agent, the only comp that matters is the casita he sold next door – a casita selling for the highest price per square foot in Westbrook’s older phase in at […]

10 Things Your Real Estate Agent Did For You

With so much of the focus in the online real estate space falling on listings data, I thought it might be worth passing along where an agent’s true value – my true value – comes along. (Hint – it ain’t from having access to the same set of inventory as every other agent out there.) When you were selling your house and the buyer asked for virtually no repairs and absolutely no ticky-tack items? That was my prepping the buyers’ agent ahead of time about what repairs you might or might not be willing to make. When your FHA appraisal […]

Phoenix Real Estate Inventory Falls Below 11,000

That’s right … as of the moment, there are 10,966 single-family detached homes for sale in Maricopa County. There are only 14,124 properties of any type available in Maricopa County. And the Arizona Regional MLS shows only 16,998 properties for sale total (ARMLS includes listings from around the state but primarily Maricopa and Pinal Counties). With such thin inventory, can truly stunning marketing efforts by listing agents be far behind? Today’s tip … don’t let your kids punch up your photos using Microsoft Paint.  

Bemis and Zillow – It’s Getting Harder Here in the Foxhole

Even as another client called last night and asked if I’d heard of this website called Zillow that seemed to have so many more listings than I was able to find, I remained determined to stay here in my foxhole, ignore as best I can the seemingly momentous (and possible less important) battle over listings data and do both what I do best and what puts food on the table – sell some homes. But then there was this whistling sound overhead and, while I don’t think I caught any direct flak, there’s a more than decent chance there will […]