How Phoenix Real Estate Can Be Like Purchasing a Suit

As a habit, I tend to wear shorts (or during the three weeks a year we call winter, blue jeans) and golf shirts. My days of dress shirts, slacks and ties disappeared once my work as a stock broker came to an end.

But on those rare occasions where I need something a touch dressier, such as when purchasing a new suit, I’ve found it’s much easier to walk into a men’s shop and turn myself over to the experts working there.

If you’ve ever gone this route, you know there are countless choices inside the store at which you can look. Over here are racks of ties, over here are shelves filled with shirts and on that wall are suits of all shapes and sizes.

Given my size, not everything there is an appropriate option for me. But that’s okay because, sooner rather than later, a clothing concierge (or whatever they’re technically called) will come over to ask me what it is I need the suit for, then translate those needs into a perfectly coordinated outfit – suit, shirts, ties, shoes. In so doing, I’m usually given a handful of choices – a far more refined approach than sifting through everything that is in the store.

I remembered my last trip to Men’s Wearhouse as I was putting together properties to show to a buyer this afternoon.

Once upon a time, I would have printed out a dozen different properties and been ready to have to show many more based on addresses my buyers had pulled off the internet or had seen while driving around the neighborhood, unsure whether the homes were appropriate but attracted by the sign nonetheless.

Not so these days. In my hand is a list of five homes, the best possible matches based on everything I know of my client. There are a handful of other homes meeting the broad spectrum criteria, but they’re not nearly the match I believe these to be. And like the salesman in the men’s store, it’s much more effective for the buyers to present what is closest to their needs than simply pointing and saying, in effect, “take a look.”

This approach doesn’t necessarily work for everyone, I admit. I have friends who take great pride in saying the house they purchased was the 63rd that they had looked at. I chucked openly watching this past season of The Bachelorette when one of the finalists said he looked at more than 100 homes before finally choosing.

If that works for you, that’s fine. We’re just probably not the best fit. Because, in truth, one of my strengths is to translate your needs to reality. When I hear tales such as those above, I don’t see diligence on the part of the buyers as much as lack of expertise on the part of the real estate agents.

You know what you want. Unless it’s totally unrealistic or only possible through a custom build, I almost can guarantee you that it won’t take several dozen homes to find the right house if you’re receiving an appropriate level of help from a real estate professional.

It’s a funny thing. After buying my last suit, I never thought back and wondered if there were other suits I might have been able to purchase if I’d continued looking a little longer. The salesman did what he was supposed to do – he found the right one for me out of all the possible choices.

I’d like to think I do the same.

Image: Michal Marcol /

Jonathan Dalton

Jonathan Dalton is a 40-plus-year resident of the Valley and has been helping folks buy and sell homes since 2004. He can be reached at 602-502-9693 or info at