PHOENIX — When it comes to real estate, Phoenix is one of the hottest markets in the nation. However, that can lead to mistakes by desperate buyers and sellers.
We talked to six Valley realtors with more than 50 years of experience altogether. Bobby Romero, Holly Henbest, Elyus Black and Jeremy Rangel are all with Realty One Group. Mike and Jessica Hoffman are with HomeSmart.
Between last year and this year, they’ve been busier than ever helping their clients land their dream home. And the coronavirus pandemic has been a big reason for the high demand in finding the perfect home.
“They spend more time there now than ever. A lot of them are homeschooling, working from home, you’re home has become everything. It’s your restaurant, it’s your vacation, it’s your nightlife, it’s your school, it’s your office, it’s your whole world,” said Henbest.
Currently, there are more buyers than sellers, which leads to bidding wars and outrageous offers. So rather than make a wrong move, pay too much or miss out, they offer sound advice on some of the biggest mistakes for buyers and sellers.
For buyers, here are the top 4 mistakes to avoid:
Picking the wrong realtor
“I find that some buyers right now, they’re wanting to jump into a home, and go for it, even though there’s powerlines behind it or a major road behind it, and when the market flattens out a little bit, they’re gonna have a tough time selling that house. So a realtor can help guide you through that, and tell you the positives and the negatives of the home and it’s up to the buyers to make a decision,” said Romero.
Offering list price
“We highly recommend being aggressive with your initial offer and being prepared to go above list price. So if you’re pre-qualified for let’s just say $300,000, maybe look at homes around $275,000 or so, because a majority of these homes are going maybe $15,000 or $30,000 above, and if you want to be competitive, you have to go above right now because that’s the only way to get the house you want,” said Mike Hoffman.
Not inspecting renovated homes
“When you walk in the door, you’re enamored by the beauty of this new home, everything is shiny and new and it looks great. However, what about the things you don’t see. Instead of having the standard home inspection, have an air conditioning inspection, do a plumbing inspection, have the lines scoped,” said Black. His partner Rangel added, “Because at the end of the day, you can dress a pig in lipstick but it’s still a pig.”
Not being flexible
“You really have to have that flexibility to go look right away and also be prepared that if you like it that day, be prepared to make a decision and make an offer. If you want to hem and haw or sleep on it, while you’re sleeping on it, someone else is buying it,” said Henbest.
For sellers, here are the top 4 mistakes to avoid:
Taking listing photos with a cell phone
“For a lot of buyers moving to Arizona from out of state, seeing your home online is their only opportunity to see it. So when you have that photo that’s not showing your home in the best light, you might have a lot of buyers who pass up your home. so please hire a professional photographer with a portfolio, to make sure they market your home,” said Black and Rangel.
Thinking people will like your décor
“I’ve had some clients in the past that have said ‘this is my house though, I love what I’ve got, I love my décor, aren’t they going to love it?’ It’s just going to be flooded with stuff. Once you decide to sell, it’s time to sell. So one of the lines I always tell people- ‘Are you ready to sell? Yeah, we’re ready to sell. Okay let’s box it up,’” said Romero.
The highest offer isn’t always the best
“We’ve had some sellers choose the highest offer but the buyer might not have been as qualified. And three days prior to closing, their loan gets denied. And then back to the drawing board. And then we have to go list it again, and then find another buyer. So you want to make sure you vet the buyers, call their loan officer and make sure they’re qualified,” said Hoffman.
Don’t sit on an offer for days
“The seller will think – oh the longer we wait the more people are interested we can get a huge bidding war. But really, those people that came the first day are typically the most motivated the most hungry and most anxious to get a deal done,” said Henbest.
Bottom line, the one thing all these realtors can agree on is that you need a realtor who will show you homes the moment you want to see them.
“That is ultra-important, especially in this market. You need an agent who can show you the home when you’re available, and not on their schedule,” said Black.