Contrary to the mob’s belief that the end of the homebuyer tax credit would mean the end of the Phoenix real estate market, sales remain fairly brisk particularly at the lower price points. And this poses a bit of a problem for out-of-town buyers looking for homes under $150,000 and bank-owned homes in particular – what you see online today very well may be sold before you arrive to take a look in person.
So what is someone to do in this situation? Here are some ideas …
1) Be nimble. If you’re looking to purchase somewhere down the line then it doesn’t matter what may or may not be available today. But for those looking for something now, make sure you’re in position where you can hop on a plane and see what’s what.
2) Have eyes on the ground. Friends in the Phoenix area often are a wonderful thing. Offer them a beverage of their choice and have them check out properties for you, again assuming your timeframe is somewhat short.
3) Find yourself a buyers’ agent. This can be the biggest time saver of all – get with an agent who understands what it is that you’re trying to find and let them do the bulk of the searching for you.
4) Use the inspection period as an opt-out period. This isn’t for everyone but the AAR Residential Resale Contract allows buyers a 10-day inspection period during which they can cancel for any reason so long as they have a reason (keep in mind the length of this period isn’t set in stone and can be amended by mutual consent of buyer and seller.) If you’re looking at a property that likely is going to sell quickly, consider using whatever information you have available as your initial screen, making the offer and if it’s accepted getting on that plane to figure out what you have. Like I said, it’s not for everyone but several of my buyers have had success going down this road.
Whatever you do or don’t do, just keep in mind the Phoenix real estate market is a living, breathing, dynamic being and it doesn’t remain constant for anyone no matter how much we sometimes wish it would.