MLS and Phoenix Home Hunting Realities

Now that I’m done counting to 10 …

Here’s how a real estate agent works to find a client homes. Client tells the agent what they want to buy. Agent makes sure client is qualified with a lender and for what amount, as it’s pointless looking at homes too high above what someone has to spend. Client provides the information. Agent goes into the MLS and runs a search to see what’s available.

If, by chance, the search comes up empty it’s generally not because the agent wants to push the buyer into a higher price range. Rather, it’s a matter of what the buyer wants and where they want it slamming headlong into the reality of the real estate market.

To whit … for the past few weeks I had been working with a buyer looking roughly in Glendale/Peoria/North Phoenix at a set price point. Financing changed and the price point was cut in half, eliminating all of the homes we had been viewing. It’s not an impossible price point – there are homes in many other communities available for the amount or less, just not in Arrowhead Ranch where even the condos at Arrowhead Fairways are above this level.

Today I was informed the buyer found another agent who already had found properties for them in their price point. To which, I have to say, bulls***. They may be receiving a bill of goods but they’re certainly not receiving information on the homes in the areas we discussed because they don’t exist. Think about this one logically – why would someone who works on commissions intentionally hold back listings meeting a buyers’ criteria that the buyer might actually purchase? It’s a stupid premise.

And it’s also based on emotion. These buyers happen to be frustrated with a lending system that allowed utterly unqualified buyers to purchase a half-decade ago and now won’t let qualified buyers in the door except under the strictest of standards. I get that. But channeling that frustration with the lender into an accusatory tone with the agent is pointless.

Bottom line … I don’t know where these folks are buying but I guarantee you it’s not where they said they wanted to be. Hopefully this other agent will be able to get them pointed toward a different area where their price point exists (such as Buckeye, which the buyer cited as proof I wasn’t looking hard enough even though Buckeye is 40-plus miles away from the search area they set.) Because if the agent can’t, these folks are going to stew in their rental home a long time waiting for Arrowhead Ranch to shed another 40 percent in value.

Communication is a two-way street. So is honesty. I’m going to be up front with you. You need to do the same with me.

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


  • BawldGuy 7 years ago

    The #1 reason I got out of the owner occupied part of the business 35 years ago. The subjectivity was killin’ me. I wasn’t suited for it nearly as much as the investment side of the industry.

    That’s why I have so much respect for those agents who work in the home market. They have a skill set I’ve never possessed.

  • Jonathan Dalton 7 years ago

    Decidedly different worlds, that is for sure. My thing is I’m not big on dishonesty, such as going behind one agent’s back to another. I also get frustrated with ridiculously inane expectations. “Patience” isn’t going to make a home magically appear in an area at 60 percent of the going market values

Comments are closed.