When Seniors Move

Aging parents

More and more clients are coming to us to discuss real estate needs in regards to their parents. As we discuss the logistics and strategy of selling the home, one challenge is generally driving the move: Our aging parent is dealing with a new health or memory issue such as Alzheimer’s that needs to be managed. At the same time, most families are not ready to deal with Mom or Dad’s new set of health issues, as most are still focused on raising their own family.

With all of life’s current challenges and the new health issues for Mom or Dad, we find that the home where Mom and Dad currently live suffers the most. Many times the home will sell for $25,000 to $75,000 less than it should due to neglect and deferred maintenance. When the home sells, this could be money going into the bank to pay for long-term care for Mom and Dad.

Jamie Thompson is designated as a Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES). The SRES is rigorous education focused on developing an understanding of the needs of the 50+ demographic. The SRES Council is known to have knowledgeable, passionate members that serve consumers in the 50 and older market.

Jamie and his staff have resources to help Mom and Dad during this challenging time. They know professionals that help with medical home health care, providing caregivers, and professionals that help Mom and Dad find independent, assisted living, or memory care communities.

As a real estate professional, Jamie’s goal is always to help Mom and Dad protect one of their most valuable asset – their home.

Do you want to learn more? Contact Jamie and his team at (602) 753-0177 or www.ThompsonGroupAZ.com

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Signs My Home is Over Priced

Rusty For Sale Sign

Has your home been on the market so long that the For Sale sign out front has begun to rust? At some point you probably began to ask yourself if your home may be overpriced for the market. Here are a few thoughts to consider in making that determination before your For Sale sign completely rusts away:

  • Comparables – Is your home priced right according to comparable properties? Comparable homes that have sold recently can give you a great idea of how well your home may appraise. Active, pending listings give a great indication of where the market is and what your competition is as you try to get that next buyer. Pricing considerably higher than the Active, Pending or Sold properties probably will impede a quick sale and extend your time on market.
  • Showings – How many showings are you getting each week? Has it been a few weeks since you last saw a buyer’s agent in your home? If so, you are probably overpriced. A good sign that you are priced right is that you are hearing feedback from your agent about showings in your home.  If it has been a few weeks since the last feedback, it may be time for a change.
  • Market Changes and Activity – What is the market doing? Are interest rates higher or lower? What’s new on the local MLS? Are there a lot of bank owned properties or short sale properties in your area? Does your area attract lots of first-time buyers or move-up buyers? All great questions to ask when deciding on how high or low to price your home.
  • Do you really want the truth?  Many times sellers and real estate agents just are not ready to be honest about the situation. It’s usually far more useful to understand the realistic factors necessary to get your home sold than to talk about what price you hope or wish your home will sell.  Assuming that’s your position, don’t be afraid to ask your real estate agent for the honest truth:  What list price does my home need to be at in order to sell in the next 30 days? Just be prepared for the answer!

Rather not figure this out on your own? Our Phoenix AZ Realtors would love to help. Contact us at www.ThompsonGroupAZ.com or 602-753-0177.

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Experience Matters – Questions to Ask Before Selling

Questions to ask when selling your home

Our clients have presented us with many unique situations when selling their Arizona Homes. Whether moving out-of-state to take a new job, hoping to buy a bigger home with a pool, needing to be in a new school district, or looking to downsize to a home that is more manageable, our clients all had something very important in common. Each had future plans – plans that depended heavily on how the logistics of the sale were handled and the financial results of the sale.

Marketing and Selling Homes is Serious Business.

A well planned and executed sale of a home allows the homeowner to move forward with their next phase of life. However, mistakes may cost thousands of dollars and hours of stress when escrows are canceled. Nothing may be more important in the transaction than the knowledge and experience of the agent giving you advice. So, here are a few good questions for you to ask your agent:

  • What do you know about the area? At times, knowledge of the area can be the key to selling a home. Buyers that are new to the area need to know information about schools, movie theaters, shopping and more. An agent who lives in the area can help buyers identify how they will enjoy the area – and many times, the home will sell quicker.
  • How do you market my home? Believe it or not, some agents think that ordering a “for sale” sign and putting your home in the multiple listing service (MLS) is how to sell a home. This is only the beginning! Great agents should be able to deliver to you a written marketing plan tailored for the Phoenix Real Estate market along with success stories from using that plan.
  • How much are the costs of selling my home? In order to plan for the future all homeowners with Phoenix Homes for Sale need to know the amount of money they will have after the sale of the home. Great agents should be able to estimate the cost of real estate commissions, title fees, loan costs, repair costs, and property taxes.
  • When will the buyer’s loan be approved? Without loan approval, the sale of the home cannot close escrow. In tracking a lender’s process, a great agent should know how to use the LSU (Loan Status Update) form, what “PTD” conditions are, and what is the time needed for a lender to get loan documents to title after full loan approval. Being able to track the lender’s progress is essential for a seller to know whether they will close on time or not.
  • What is breach of contract and how do you handle this? In the Arizona purchase contract, the seller is unable to exit the contract while the buyer retains over five exits from the contract. However, if the buyer is in breach of contract, then the seller may exit the contract. Breach of Contract occurs when the buyer takes actions that are contrary to the written contract. This is a serious situation that experienced agents should have a plan to handle.

Do you want to learn more about how to make your home-selling process go smoothly? Contact us at www.ThompsonGroupAZ.com or 602-753-0177.

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Selling for Top Dollar – Getting Tons of Exposure

The day is here! You need to sell your home. The next steps are to find a real estate agent familiar with the Phoenix MLS, put your home on the market, and negotiate a contract. The #1 rule in selling your home is to get your home Tons of Exposure. The more exposure you get for your home, the more potential buyers, and the faster the sale and a higher sales price for your home.  Seems simple, right? Well here are a few things to consider when going to market:

Focus Local and Worldwide. Recently, our team got call from another state about one of our listings. The buyer – who happened to have cash for a purchase – found one of our listings on the internet. Unable to find a local Phoenix Real Estate agent, the buyer called us directly to purchase the home. The buyer said, “Your home is beautiful!” While our seller took credit for the beautiful home, we took great pride in showcasing the home with our elite marketing plan.

Focus on the Internet. The internet has huge potential to market our listings, but can also be very risky. While allowing agents to showcase a home’s best features, the internet can also make a home look very bad. Dark pictures, pictures of small rooms, pictures of the commode, and even the lack of any pictures will dissuade buyers from looking at your home. The presentation of a home over the internet should entice a buyer’s interest to see more of the home by scheduling a showing.

Focus on the Phoenix MLS. The Phoenix MLS allows home owners and agents to add lots and lots of features. Important upgrades like granite counters, RV gates, energy efficient upgrades, cul-de-sac lots, vaulted ceilings, etc. are very important to buyers. And may buyers and buyers’ agents will search for these important upgrades on the internet and the MLS database. Every time a buyer searches for features, and finds your home, the buyer is likely to want to see inside your home.

Don’t Forget Traditional Advertising. With iPhones, tablets, and many other tech devices, it may be easy to forget the traditional advertising. However, traditional advertising is still very successful for attracting buyers. Newsletters, Just Listed notices, and color flyers are still huge for getting the attention of buyers. While younger buyers under the age of 30 will start their search for a home on the internet, many older buyers will start their search with the newspaper or from items received in the mail. On a daily basis, many Phoenix Homes for Sale can be found in the local paper.

A great marketing plan includes aspects of all these items and any other ways of getting buyers to see your home. Remember, the name of the game is exposure, exposure, exposure. Do you have more questions? Do you want to learn more about this or other ways to get the most money from the sale of your Phoenix Arizona Homes? We can help! Contact us at (602) 753-0177 or info@ThompsonGroupAZ.com.

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Quick and Easy Home Staging Strategies

Are you planning on selling your home in the near future? Studies show that staged homes will sell faster and for a higher price than homes that are vacant or not staged. Many sellers will turn to professional home stagers to prepare the home for sale before listing it with a Realtor. If your bank account won’t allow for professional home staging, here are some great DIY tips that will allow you to maximize your selling price.

The Staging rule of thumb to keep in mind: You are trying to help potential buyers feel that your home will become their castle. To do this, just remember that appealing to a home buyer’s five senses: sight, sound, smell, taste and touch, will be the key to successful staging.

Sight – Light, bright homes with neutral colors and a few colorful accents appeal to more buyers. Bold, vivid colors may be more “you,” but remember that you’re trying to provide more of a “blank canvas” that a potential buyer finds attractive now, but can also visualize making their own.

Sound – Ever heard the expression “the silence was deafening” or “quiet as a tomb?” Well, walking into a totally-silent home can be like that – possibly eerie or oppressive, but rarely welcoming. Leave some soft, light music playing to help provide a tranquil, inviting ambiance.

Smell – Make sure to avoid any strong aromas. Of course it makes sense to make sure noxious smells like pet odors, last night’s fish dinner or poker-game cigars are not the first thing to hit a potential buyer as they enter your home. But don’t forget that exotic incense, heavy floral accents and even cleanser smells can be offensive to many. Make sure your home is aired out well, and then provide simple, clean, subtle aromas with the restrained use of potpourri or air fresheners.

Taste – Could a plate of fresh-baked cookies entice a buyer? Maybe, maybe not – but it would certainly make your home more memorable.

Touch – Physical comfort is important. Remember that “Ahhhh!” feeling you get when you walk into a cool building, getting out of the heat of summer? Any Realtor showing your home – and any potential buyer – is going to be much more comfortable in your home if your AC is set appropriately. Be careful not to over-cool (or over-heat!) but do try to make your home feel comfortable to visitors.

Do you need help with staging your home before putting it on the market? We would love to help. Contact us at info@ThompsonGroupAZ.com or 602-753-0177.

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Present and Showcase Your Home to Find Buyers

More Exposure Means More Buyers!

The day is here! You need to move and get your home sold ASAP. The next step is to find a real estate agent and get the marketing process started. In marketing your home, the concept is simple: the more exposure you get for your home, the more potential buyers you reach and the faster the sale and higher sales price. However, Seller beware! Some agents may not have a marketing plan and some agents don’t really understand how to use that marketing plan to get buyers through your front door to make a decision to purchase your home. Here are a few points to consider:

  • Does the Marketing Plan Focus Local and Worldwide? Our Phoenix market typically receives about 40% of buyers from out of state – the other 60% are local. Recently, our team got a call from another state about one of our listings. The buyer, who happened to have cash for a purchase, found one of our listings on the internet. Unable to find a local real estate agent, the buyer called us directly to purchase the home. The buyer said, “Your home is beautiful.” While our seller took credit for the beautiful home, we took great pride in showcasing the home with our elite marketing plan.
  • Does the Marketing Plan Focus on Presentation? The internet has huge potential to market our listings, but also is very risky. While allowing agents to showcase a home’s best features, the internet can also make a home look bad. Buyers have many homes to choose from on websites and if a buyer does not like your presentation, they will not schedule a showing. When photos show homes that are cluttered, need paint, have small rooms, and are dark, buyers are going to eliminate these homes. When an agent and the seller have focused on the presentation of a home, the home entices a buyer’s interest to see more of the home by scheduling a showing.
  • Does the Marketing Plan Focus on Details of the Home? The Phoenix MLS allows home owners and agents to add lots and lots of features to their listings. Important upgrades such as granite counters, RV gates, energy efficient upgrades, cul-de-sac lots, vaulted ceilings, etc. are very important to buyers. Many buyers will search for these important upgrades on the internet through Bing, Google and other search engines. Every time a buyer searches for features, and finds your home, the buyer is likely to want to see inside your home.
  • Don’t Forget Traditional Advertising. With iPhones, tablets, and many other tech devices, it may be easy to forget the traditional advertising. However, traditional advertising is still very successful for attracting buyers. Newsletters, Just Listed notices, and color flyers are still huge for getting the attention of buyers. While younger buyers under the age of 30 will start their search for a home on the internet, many older buyers will start their search with the newspaper or from items received in the mail. On a daily basis, many Phoenix homes for sale can be found in the local paper.

A great marketing plan includes aspects of all these items and many other ways of getting buyers to see your home. Remember, the name of the game is exposure, exposure, exposure. Do you have more questions? Do you want to learn more about this or other ways to get the most money from the sale of your Home? We can help! Contact us at (602) 753-0177 or info@ThompsonGroupAZ.com.

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Best Home Renovations for Raising Sales Price

Home renovations

Have you been out to see the builder model homes lately? You may notice that the builder has loaded tons of upgrades into the home. The builders know that the look and feel of the home is super important to the buyer and if they get the buyer’s excited about the possibilities, then it will lead to more sales. As a homeowner and a potential seller someday down the road, getting the buyers excited about your home will lead to a higher sales price! If you make a few upgrades to your home now, you will also get to enjoy the changes before you move. Now, don’t overspend on your improvements, but here are a few that can make a huge difference when you sell.

  • The Kitchen – The kitchen is where improvements go a very long way. New cabinets, countertops, and appliances will add a lot of value. Don’t feel like you need to turn your kitchen into a gourmet kitchen! There are a lot of ways you can update your kitchen to the current trends on a budget. Keep in mind that giving your kitchen a cohesive contemporary look is the best way to add value to your home.
  • Landscaping – If your yard is feeling more like a jungle or desert than a place where kids would like to play, then it might be time to make a few changes! Whether you like desert landscaping or something a little greener, color and cleanliness is the key. Buyers are always looking for a yard that is well kept, but that will also be fun to hang out in after work. Putting in a handful of plants will go a long way to dressing up your front or back yard. If a buyer can picture outdoor living and nightly barbecues, then you are on the right track.
  • Flooring – Updating your flooring is a great way to get a completely new feel throughout your home. New carpet, new tile floors or hardwood floors can make a home feel newer and it will appeal to younger buyers.
  • Paint – Without a doubt, a new coat of paint on the walls goes a long way to refreshing a home. Stay away from colors that are too bold, and stick with colors that are more neutral. Earth tones and two tone paint styles are the trend lately and appeal to younger buyers.
  • Bathrooms – In bigger homes, the master bathroom is a great area to look at spending more of your upgrade budget. However, in smaller homes, it can be hard to get your upgrade dollars back in bathroom remodels. As you look at remodeling your bathrooms, light and water fixtures are a great way to spruce up the area without overspending.

Do you have questions about remodeling? Contact us www.ThompsonGroupAZ.com or 480-776-5214 to get started.

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5 Ways to Save on Your House Sale

Save Money on Your House Sale

With the sales price being so large, few sellers stop to think about ways to minimize the costs of selling their home. Knowing, monitoring and controlling the costs during the escrow process is key to saving thousands of dollars and to receiving larger proceeds from the transaction. Here are costs to understand:

  1. One of the largest costs is commissions paid to the real estate agents. Commissions vary from 5%-7% of the sales price depending on the type of real estate transaction. While lower costs may seem like a winner, many times you get what you pay for with an agent. With so much riding on the selling price, a real estate agent should bring great service, a solid marketing plan and sharp negotiating skills to the table. If your agent is bringing less to the table, you will see a lower sales price.
  2. With every home sale, home owners are required to pay the Owner’s Title Policy and to share in the escrow fee paid to the local title/escrow company. While the fees are not negotiable, the title/escrow company used to process the transaction is negotiable. All title/escrow companies publish their fees in rate books which are readily available to review and compare.
  3. Do you live in a Home Owners Association (HOA)? If so, then your HOA may charge a transfer fee, disclosure fee, or capital improvement fee. Few homeowners understand what their HOA will charge them for the transaction – and charges may run from $500-$2000. A quick phone call to the HOA should clarify what fees are charged. While these fees are non-negotiable with the HOA, there is the possibility of negotiating and sharing the cost of these fees with the buyer for your home.
  4. In any real estate transaction, a Home Warranty is considered a must purchase for the new buyer. The cost ranges from $325-$600 and is a negotiated item payable by the buyer or the seller. Many times home sellers are requested to pick up the cost of a Home Warranty for the buyer. However, the cost is negotiable.
  5. Are you in an area where 1st time home buyers are known to be moving? If so, you may want to prepare yourself for requests to contribute to the buyer’s loan costs. These contributions are generally up to 3% of purchase price or more. The contribution covers appraisal fees, A.L.T.A. title policy, impound accounts, origination fees and other loan costs. While the contribution to buyer loan costs can be very important to getting a home sold, stronger buyers rarely need such assistance.

Do you want to learn more about ways to control your selling costs and get the most money from the sale of your home? Contact us at (602) 753-0177 or www.ThompsonGroupAZ.com.

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The Important Pieces of a Great Marketing Plan

Печать

The day is here! You need to sell your home. The next steps are to find a real estate agent familiar with the Phoenix MLS, put your home on the market, and negotiate a contract. The #1 rule in selling your home is to get your home Tons of Exposure. The more exposure you get for your home, the more potential buyers, and the faster the sale and a higher sales price. Seems simple, right? Well, here are a few things to consider when going to market:

Focus Local and Worldwide. Recently, our team got a call from another state about one of our listings. The buyer who happened to have cash for a purchase found one of our listings on the internet. Unable to find a local Phoenix Real Estate agent, the buyer called us directly to purchase the home. The buyer said, “Your home is beautiful.” While our seller took credit for the beautiful home, we took great pride in showcasing the home with our elite marketing plan.

Focus on the Internet. The internet has huge potential to market our listings, but also is very risky. While allowing agents to showcase a home’s best features, the internet can also make a home look very bad. Dark pictures, pictures of small rooms, pictures of the commode, and even the lack of any pictures will dissuade buyers to not look at your home. The presentation of a home over the internet should entice a buyer’s interest to see more of the home by scheduling a showing.

Focus on the Phoenix MLS. The Phoenix MLS allows home owners and agents to add lots and lots of features. Important upgrades like granite counters, RV gates, energy efficient upgrades, cul-de-sac lots, vaulted ceilings, etc. are very important to buyers. And may buyers and buyer’s agents will search for these important upgrades on the internet and the MLS database. Every time a buyer searches for features and finds your home, the buyer is likely to want to see inside your home.

Don’t Forget Traditional Advertising. With iPhones, tablets, and many other tech devices, it may be easy to forget the traditional advertising. However, traditional advertising is still very successful for attracting buyers. Newsletters, Just Listed Notices, and color flyers are still huge for getting the attention of buyers. While younger buyers under the age of 30 will start their search for a home on the internet, many older buyers will start their search with the newspaper or from items received in the mail. On a daily basis, many Phoenix Homes for Sale can be found in the local paper.

A great marketing plan includes aspects of all these items and any other ways of getting buyers to see your home. Remember, the name of the game is exposure, exposure, exposure. Do you have more questions? Do you want to learn more about this or other ways to get the most money from the sale of your Phoenix Arizona Homes? We can help! Contact us at (602) 753-0177 or info@ThompsonGroupAZ.com.

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Home Renovation Pricing Strategy

Home Renovations
Over the course of a year, many of my clients will consider renovating a home prior to selling the home with the hope of get a higher price. Picking out new flooring, paint, fancy new counters for the kitchen and other upgrades for your home is a lot of fun. Upgrades in your home will likely allow your home to sell quicker. Before you begin, you might want to consider what your home may sell for and what the appropriate budget for your project will be.

When I look to purchase and renovate homes, I look for properties that you might consider a “diamond in the rough.” Generally, a home that is 20-30 years old needs a facelift to look more trendy and modern. Buyers generally like these older homes if the interior is updated to reflect the current housing trends. As I put together a budget to renovate the home, I consider:

  • Appraisal: What is the highest potential appraisal value of my home? Even when a seller sells a home above the market value, if the lender’s appraiser will not support the sales price value, the home will only close at a price the appraiser will support.
  • Comparative Market Analysis: Most real estate agents are able to perform a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) when a current appraisal is not available. A comparative market analysis should give an accurate idea of how a home stacks up against comparable sales within a mile radius of your home. All comparable sales used should be no older than six months to give a correct approximation of the current market.
  • Pending Home Sales: Pending Listings or homes that are currently under contract waiting to close escrow may indicate where the market is headed. If pending properties are selling for less than previous closings, then the market is declining. If pending properties are higher than previous sales then the market is appreciating.
  • Neighborhood Competition: What do the recent sales in the neighborhood reflect? How many homes are currently active in the area? If other sellers are renovating homes prior to selling, then top market price is probably in place. If the owners are not renovating before selling, then the top market price for a renovated homes is likely higher than recent sales.
  • Remodel Costs: When you feel comfortable with what the top market price is in your area, consider establishing a budget for your project. Picking out all the upgrades is fun and you could easily overspend on the project. Keeping your remodel costs close to your designated budget will allow you to recoup your costs when you sell.

Do you want to learn more about renovating your home before your sell? Contact us at (602) 753-0177 or www.ThompsonGroupAZ.com.

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