Every year this topic comes up, and it’s always a little different from year to year. This year is no exception. The top spot goes to Energy Efficiency. Buyers want to be a little more green and have a bit smaller utility bill than in the past. I’ve also noticed a desire for kitchen items like walk in pantry and gas stoves. Pool isn’t as desirable as in the past, unless it is a community pool. Granite and stainless steel are important but not as much as used to be. I’ve also noticed buyers are more interested in move in ready homes, very few buyers are willing to be patient with contractors to get the home ready.
Reference: What Home Buyers Want Most in Their New Homes
New buyers often start looking for a home before consulting with a Mortgage Agent and in the current fast paced Phoenix Real Estate Market, that would be a mistake. I’ve seen this happen to so many of my clients that started with another agent. They found the home they wanted and started to put an offer together, than they were side swiped by the work to get pre-qualified. Even the most qualified buyer still takes time to work through the process to get a pre-qualification form and can and often does miss the opportunity because they weren’t prepared.
Speaking to a Mortgage Agent should be the first item to do before starting to shop so you have it out-of-the-way and ready to make a strong offer once the opportunity presents itself.
This comes up during the closing process almost every time. When you are buying a property, you want to own it without any liens or encumbrances from previous owners. The title company will spend time researching public records to find any such notes against the property. When they are done they work to clear any of those notes or make sure you are aware of any. Right before you take ownership of the property they will issue an insurance policy that will cover any mistakes that they make in delivering clear title to you. With the cost of a home, having a policy to cover you in the event of problems later on, like when you go to sell the home, is a very good idea. Ask your title agent to explain it to you, I’ve seen some very good methods in explaining how it works.
This is another one of my rants, inspired by the post Why You Need to Add More Photos to Your Listing NOW. As usual Melissa does a great job of talking through the topic and quoting experts on the topic as well as studies and the like. I on the other hand just speak from experience. I show lots of homes to buyers who start the process on-line, looking at photos. It will often turn to discussions of those very same photos that brought us to the home. Comments like “Well that’s not what it looked like in the pictures” or “This should be interesting since there was only one photo”. Some of my favorite comments are the postage stamp is bigger than the photos on-line and I was really impressed by that photo of the wall.
I consider photos like resumes, they are designed to get the interview, entice the buyer to want to see it in person. Yet it is often overlooked or cut from the listing agents attention to detail. Listing agents are so excited to get the listing contract signed that they will whip out their pocket camera and take pictures right there often coming up with horrible shots of the home.
Here is another fact that I find interesting, the top producing agents, the top 20% that do 80% of the transactions, all hire a professional photographer to take pictures for their listings. Want to know if you have a top producing agent, ask them about the photos they use in the MLS, if they say they take a bunch of pictures and use the best one, you’re not getting a top producer.
I recently lost a listing to another agent that took her own photos and put them on the MLS, yes, she sold that listing, but for 10% less than what I would have listed it for (that’s $30,000 difference), think about the cost of photos (and professionalism) that the seller’s missed out on.
In short, I agree with Melissa, you need good photos to succeed.
In the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) there is generally a spot called Days on Market. In our system, we have Cumulative Days on Market and Agent Days on Market. This is a time measurement for how long the owner has been trying to sell their home (Cumulative Days on Market). So I know of a particular hard home that has been trying to sell for over 900 days on market (CDOM), they get frustrated with the agent that is currently working with them after a couple of months so they have been through over a dozen agents now. Each time a new agent gets a shot at selling the property, the Agent Days on Market starts at 0 while the Cumulative Days on Market continues to grow.
So how do you get a reset of Cumulative Days on Market, you have to take the home off the market for no less than 90 days (think 91 days) in order to see 0 CDOM on market.
So what do all these numbers mean, well, the higher the CDOM the more likely the seller is motivated to make an offer into reality. If that number is below 14 in today’s market, chances are they are going to be pretty firm on the terms, think Seller’s Market. On the other hand, if the CDOM is high and the ADOM is low, than the agent may be resistant to taking anything but list price or may be hard at pushing stronger offers for their clients. All this is just one set of numbers to consider, price history is very important in the discussion as well.