Scottsdale Home Selling Tips

Selling Scottsdale homes has been described as equal parts art and science. Of course, the ultimate goal for any seller is to sell their home as quickly and at as high a price as the market will bear. However, when that doesn't happen it can be frustrating to say the least – especially when other houses in your neighborhood or similar markets sell faster and for top dollar. So, why did that other home sell instead of yours? Let’s take a hypothetical look.

Let’s say both your home and the one that sold are in the same neighborhood and are roughly the same size. Since they are very similar in heated square footage, have the same number of bedrooms and baths and other comparable bells and whistles, they should both sell for roughly the same sales price and at about the same time. That’s the normal assumption most homeowners selling Scottsdale homes have. When that doesn't happen, the natural conclusion is that your real estate agent is to blame. You wonder if they didn't advertise it well enough or often enough. However, the real culprit could very well be the manner in which your home was offered to the home buying marketplace. Let’s compare the homes in the following scenario.

The home that didn't sell.

Selling Scottsdale homes is both an art and a science and have positives and negatives.

Many homeowners make the mistake of not updating their home before they start working towards the ultimate goal of selling Scottsdale homes or a home. Let’s say you’ve owned your home for 30 years or more. You’ve raised a family and now are facing the “empty-nester” syndrome. You’ll probably downsize once you sell, but you really don’t have a plan yet. Most experts agree, that contributes greatly to the problem in selling your home. It’s more than just a catchy phrase, but “Sellers who fail to plan, plan to fail.” These homeowners are more likely to go against the grain and “wing it” despite the recommendations of the real estate professionals who encourage them to spruce up the home and make needed repairs and updates to present it in the best possible light. Instead, they elect to list their home “as-is.” Because it’s similar in size and features of other homes in the same price range – only those homes have been updated and prepped better – it gets little buyer interest and almost no activity. The bad first impression implies to some agents and others the house must have hidden issues, as well. The house continues to stay on the market – unsold – until it finally sells at a much lower price than it could have.

The home that sold.

Remember, the home that sold quickly and at the seller’s asking price had many things in common with the one that didn’t. However, its sellers planned ahead, knew what they wanted and executed their plan to perfection. They asked a professional agent what they should do to make their home marketable to sell as efficiently and effectively as possible. They plan to downsize and move to a nearby town to be closer to their children and grandchildren. Their agent implemented a several-month plan to make necessary improvements and repairs to their home. In addition, it gave the sellers the opportunity to plan their transition by having an estate sale and putting excess furniture and other items into temporary storage. They hired a home-staging company to assist with making their home as presentable as possible – including removing their personal items, photos and collectibles – for prospective buyers to “picture themselves” in the home. As a result, once the home was listed on the market it was well-received by agents and prospects alike. In fact, the sellers received several competitive offers from which a cash buyer was chosen and closed the sale within three weeks from the contract date. That scenario is the ultimate goal of anyone selling Scottsdale homes.

Why don't all sellers do what they should?

Simply put, because people are different. Some homeowners find that selling their home after living in it for nearly all their lives can be difficult thing to do. It’s a personal decision – and although that’s understandable – it’s a financial decision, too. Their home is likely the largest financial purchase they’ve ever made, which makes it an integral part of their investment portfolio. As such, they should treat this investment like their others, by listening to the professionals who know the market better than they do. In addition, most buyers have a great sense of what they’re looking for in a home – whether it’s their first or fifth. So, unless they’re in the market for a home that needs to be updated and that can be bought for considerably less than others in the market, they will likely always opt for a “move-in ready” home. The point is, as sellers, homeowners need to realize there is less demand for an “as-is” home than there is for one already updated.

Give your buyers what they are looking for.

As mentioned above, most prospective home purchasers don’t want to spend their money or their time on renovation projects. In addition, there’s always something that may come up during the renovation or remodeling that’s unexpected and can add to the expense. So, the moral to the story is to give the buyer what they want – a home they can move into quickly and make the transition as smooth as possible. That’s why the experts suggest painting your home's walls in neutral colors with newly-finished hardwood floors. It will help purchasers adapt their furnishings into the new home with little added maintenance or repairs. After all, when buying a “new” home, isn't that what most buyers are looking for?

See more articles pertaining to selling Scottsdale homes in the Scottsdale Home Selling Tips section of our site below Scottsdale Real Estate Categories in the column to your right.

Remember, we also post tips daily and would love it if you Follow us on Twitter and Find us on Facebook too.

Homeowners in the Scottsdale real estate market are often motivated by the merging of two age-old cliches:  “Jumping on the bandwagon” and “Strike while the iron is hot.” Homeowners thinking about selling a Scottsdale home have seen prices continuously climb during the last year as a result of a number of factors – most notably a higher demand created by a lower than usual supply of home inventory. However, one question homeowners should ask themselves if they're contemplating selling is, “Am I making the right decision.”  Yes, No, Maybe?

When thinking of selling a Scottsdale home, the question you may ask yourself - is now a good time?

When thinking about selling a Scottsdale home, the market is comprised of many “ups and downs.” The “ups” are the higher prices many sellers can command for their homes. The “downs” are, again, the higher prices many sellers can command for their homes. Simply put, if you sell your home for top dollar you’ll probably have to pay top dollar for a new place to live, too. We suggest consulting with real estate professionals before you test the waters.

One of the biggest challenges in your individual housing market is the difficulty for the average homeowner to know whether or not it’s at its peak. If you base your decision to sell on the perception that other homes in your market are selling, it could give you a sense of urgency. That impulsive need to act quickly or “Strike while the iron is hot” may often be popular, but not always prudent. Let’s take a look at a few tips that may give you more insight if you're considering selling a Scottsdale home.

Long Term Considerations

Because real estate transactions are in large measure emotional investments, you should carefully assess the reasons you're contemplating selling. Is it purely for financial gain? If so, as mentioned above, will you end up paying more for your next home? Do you really want or need to sell? If not, consider making your home a rental property – especially if you’re thinking of downsizing. As an alternative, if you can afford it, you can give your home to your children – what a wonderful gift for a growing family! Just don't get caught up in a market feeding frenzy and allow it to push you into making a bad decision. Just because there may be an opportunity to sell your home, that doesn't mean it’s the best decision to make right now.

The Past is Just That – the Past

One thing to remember, perhaps above all else, is what worked before when it comes to selling a Scottsdale home, doesn’t necessarily work today. The homeownership playing field and the environment in which housing operates is vastly different to what it was just 20 years ago. With employment markets having been negatively impacted and wage growth relatively stalled, it’s often a challenge for prospective purchasers to afford their mortgage. The concept of being able to “grow into a mortgage” is foreign in today’s economic climate. That – combined with the additional challenge of saving for a down payment – is one reason “Millennials” aren’t buying homes in the numbers their predecessors once did. As a result, the homeownership rate in the U.S. is at the lowest level in over 50 years. So, if you do decide to sell, remember you may be in a neighborhood that would be ideal for first-time homebuyers  – but fewer, at least for now, are buying.

Don’t Rush Things

Take your time. Nothing or nobody should be able to unduly influence your decision to sell or not to sell. You likely didn’t rush into the transaction when you purchased your home, so there’s little need to rush to sell, either. Get the opinion and advice from different sources. Consult a real estate professional. Call your accountant, tax advisor or financial planner. They could be invaluable in providing information you may not have considered. Remember, because of their nature and the resulting “domino effect” they usually create, home sales aren't easily undone. So before you decide to sign the sales contract, take your time, be confident in your decision and don’t look back. If you have any hesitancy, take it as a sign you should step back and regroup. As with most things – especially emotional decisions like selling your home – let your conscience be your guide. Chances are, your instincts will tell you what’s best for you and your family.

Don’t Look Back

After you’ve given due consideration to these and other tips pertaining to selling a Scottsdale home and still decide you’re ready to sell, go for it. Shift into high gear, hire a sales professional, list your home at the most attractive price possible for a comfortable, manageable closing date – and don’t look back! As humans, we’re all guilty of second-guessing ourselves. However, if you’ve gone through the thought-provoking exercise, consulted with the right people, and feel selling is the best thing to do, you’ve done your due diligence. No second-guessing required. Own your decision and press forward.

The proverbial bottom line is this. A decision of this magnitude should be made by you and you alone. Others can provide their opinions, their expertise and their advice, but when the dust settles, you’re still the one who has to make the final decision. Once you feel confident in your research, information gathering, processing and mulling things over you may just find that the agonizing decision you wrestled with at one time now seems obvious – one way or the other.

See more articles pertaining to selling a Scottsdale home in the Scottsdale Home Selling Tips section of our site below Scottsdale Real Estate Categories in the column to your right.

Remember, we also post tips daily and would love it if you Follow us on Twitter and Find us on Facebook, too.

So, you entered the Scottsdale home selling market. And, so far your house is still unsold. There could be several reasons your home hasn't sold yet. Perhaps the economy isn't right for your prospective purchaser. Maybe your home doesn't have enough curb appeal. Maybe it's just plain bad luck that the right buyer hasn't seen your home yet. Whatever the reason – or excuse –, your home is still on the market. Let's take a look at five mistakes some homeowners make when they are selling their house.

The asking price is too high.

Naturally, everybody wants to sell their home for as much money as possible. However, if your home is not priced competitively and comparably to other homes in your neighborhood or market, you better be prepared for it to remain on the market for longer than you hoped.

Furthermore, unless you’re delusional and are expecting a multi-millionaire to pay cash without blinking an eye, most purchasers will need to obtain a mortgage loan. In that case, your home still needs to appraise at an amount sufficient enough for the lending institution to make the loan. Simply put, a lender won't approve a loan for, say, $300,000 on a house that’s appraised at $275,000. While it's certainly possible to find a buyer willing to pay cash, most smart buyers aren't going to overpay for a house. After all, they didn't get in a position to pay cash because they make poor investment decisions.

Your home contains too much of your personality.

When trying to sell your home in the Scottsdale home selling market, declutter and put away your knick-knacks.

Let's say you love rabbits. Throughout your home you've assembled a collection of rabbit knick-knacks from all over the country. Ceramic rabbits, brass rabbits, wooden rabbits – everywhere you and your prospective purchasers look. You see cuddly, cute bunnies. You buyers see rodents that are a nuisance and steal food from bird feeders. Say your husband is an avid hunter who proudly displays his deer and duck mounts on the den wall – six of them at last count. What he may see as the results of successful hunts, some buyers – especially females – may not be able to relate to. They see poor, defenseless, dead animals. In either instance, it's not likely your home will get a second visit, Pack up the rabbit statuettes and store the hunting trophies. And get them out of sight.

All too often, homeowners make this mistake in the Scottsdale home selling market by not removing the clutter, photos and memorabilia from their homes as they should. Remember, a prospective buyer wants to be able to picture themselves and their belongings in the house, not those of the current owner

Do not conduct tours of your home. 

Most real estate agents agree – conducting a home tour is a job best left to the professionals in the Scottsdale home selling market. The reason? Simply because most buyers are very uncomfortable when the seller is present for a home showing. Prospective purchasers don't feel relaxed or able to freely explore the house if the owner is there. As one real estate agent put it, it's similar to shopping in a retail store where an over-enthusiastic sales clerk follows your every move. If that's ever happened to you, you probably didn't stay in the store very long. Moreover, you probably didn't return –  much less buy anything. Leave the home tour to the professionals. Allow them to give the prospective buyers enough time to take a thorough look at your home without you looking over their shoulders.

Do not let your pets take over your house. 

This can be challenging, at best. If you're a pet lover, no doubt you feel like your pet is part of the family and belongs in your house. However, your goal is to sell your home as quickly as possible. The experts recommend finding a temporary place for your pet while you're trying to sell. It's also a good idea to do whatever is necessary to make prospective buyers forget that you even own a pet. In other words, when you clean your home of your clutter, don't forget about your pet’s clutter too. That includes dog beds, litter boxes, various chew toys, scratching posts and other pet reminders. Keep in mind that buyers may recognize pet odors that you have become used to. Those odors can be a huge turn off – especially to buyers who don't have or don't want pets.

Restricting or limiting when buyers can see your home.

Until your home sells, your job is to try to sell your home to anyone willing to pay the asking price, or as close to it as possible. If you're serious about selling, you'll want to make it as easy as you can for potential buyers to visit and view your home. Most real estate agents agree that putting restrictions or time constraints for when prospective buyers can visit is one of the biggest mistakes you can make in the Scottsdale home selling market.

While it can certainly be an inconvenience – even an invasion of privacy – remember, you're in the business of selling your home. As such, it’s incumbent upon you as a serious seller to be prepared to make your home available for a showing whenever possible. You never know when the right buyer will come along, so be prepared. Again, your goal is to sell your home. Be willing to make time and convenience concessions if requested – that's considerably cheaper than making huge reductions on the selling price!

See more articles pertaining to selling a home in Scottsdale in the Scottsdale Home Selling Tips section of our site below Scottsdale Real Estate Categories in the column to your right.

Remember, we also post tips daily and would love it if you Follow us on Twitter and Find us on Facebook too.

For illustration, let’s compare two Scottsdale single family homes for sale in the market. We’ll assume they’re comparable in all the pertinent ways. They’re the same size, the same style and the same age. They’re even located in the same neighborhood. The only difference is in the asking price. Home A is listed at $279,900 and Home B is listed at $265,900. Let’s assume a buyer comes along and looks at both homes and determines that either home would be a great fit for his family. Realistically, which home do you expect will get the first contract offer? Let’s examine several factors worth remembering when it comes to pricing Scottsdale single family homes for sale.

Scottsdale Single Family Homes: Price Right and Sell

The illustration above, although relatively simplistic, is accurate in the way some sellers view their homes when they list them for sale. While many people may think pricing the home higher than it’s worth may give themselves room to negotiate, in truth such a decision could dissuade a buyer altogether.

Scottsdale single family homes will sell faster if they are priced right to start with.

A competitively priced home at the outset will likely sell at the higher end of the value range. If it stays on the market for an extended period of time, the lower it ends up in that range. According to Zillow, homes that linger on the market tend to sell for considerably less than their listing price – as much as 5% less after just two months.

Often there’s an ongoing battle between seller and real estate agent. The homeowner has an extremely one-sided opinion of the real estate market, and his experience is likely limited to only one home – his own. Real estate professionals, of course, are equipped with the knowledge and experience of what’s going on in the various neighborhoods in their market. Armed with limited knowledge, some sellers stubbornly over-value their homes – this is particularly the case with homes for sale by owner. Real estate agents have the advantage of knowing that Scottsdale single family homes for sale that are priced right and show well will sell.

Because the real estate market and prospective homebuyers usually respond to new listings in the first several weeks, it’s important to enhance a home’s attractiveness right off the bat. Price the home right and it will sell – especially if you take your agent’s advice on cleaning, decluttering, staging and improving the home's curb appeal. Price it too high or throw it on the market before it’s ready to show and you’ve hurt your chances of a sale. Little or no interest means the home stays on the market longer than it should, newer, more competitive listings are added and your home becomes “old news.”

As an unsold listing loses interest, it usually results in a price reduction – especially after several weeks or months of little activity. In addition, the home may very well develop a stigma attached to a sales price that started too high, was reduced, but still remained unsold. When that occurs, savvy agents and buyers often make an offer that’s even lower than the reduced price. The result isn’t pretty, as sellers risk losing the momentum and advantage of being a new listing on the market for Scottsdale single family homes for sale and quickly surrender their bargaining power.

Add to that scenario the risks of a changing market and you have an even more challenging set of circumstances. Let’s say a seller lists his home in April in an active early spring market. The chances of an overpriced home actually selling can be impacted by increased inventory, an economic slowdown, rising interest rates or other market conditions. Six months later, the price range for the home is substantially lower than it would have been if it had been priced right in April. Therefore, changing market dynamics is an undue risk a seller should take by pricing a home too high.

Continuing the nightmare, let’s assume the house remains unsold on the market. As more time goes by, the sellers may get complacent. Their enthusiasm about selling their once-prized home severely dampened, they become slack in their ability or desire to show the house in its best condition. Curb appeal suffers. Word on the street and in the Scottsdale single family homes market is, the house “has issues” since it’s been on the market for so long without much activity.

Prospective buyers that do show interest end up low-balling the price, testing to see how "motivated" the seller is.

A word of advice to sellers: If you’re serious about selling your home, take pricing it just as seriously. Have a plan in the event your home doesn’t sell quickly. If you find that you and your real estate agent disagree on the price – as long as it’s not a big difference – consider asking the higher amount. However, be prepared to reduce the price fast if you need to, especially if the price range is more in line with the comparably priced homes getting high traffic and multiple offers. Activity among Scottsdale single family homes for sale will likely improve and the market will respond accordingly to a property that is perceived as being priced correctly by a seller who demonstrates they are serious about selling their home.

See more articles pertaining to Scottsdale single family homes for sale in the two sections of articles on Scottsdale Real Estate and Scottsdale Homes for Sale just below Scottsdale Real Estate Categories in the column to your right.

Remember, we also post tips daily on Twitter and Facebook. Check us out there too.

Among the various Scottsdale home selling tips are the usual recommendations such as decluttering your home, cleaning the carpets, sprucing up the landscaping and perhaps doing a little painting. While those are certainly good suggestions designed to maximize the curb appeal and presentation of your home to prospective buyers, here’s another important “to do” to add to the list.

Vital Statistics – Scottsdale Home Selling Tips

There is one thing we recommend you do before you sell your home:  Check your home’s vital statistics. Consult your local government’s resources to ensure it has accurate information regarding your home.

One of many Scottsdale home selling tips is to check on vital statistics and building permits for your home.

You’ll find your local municipality has information on your home – regardless of its age, size or location. Your town’s building department and assessor’s office will both have records about your home. The reason to check those records prior to listing your home for sale is simple – often the information contained therein could be erroneous. If the records don’t match your home’s reality, any resulting issues that are unresolved could delay the sale or even squash it completely. For example, let’s say you’ve always been told your home contains 2,759 square feet. Armed with that information – without verification – you list your home at an asking price based on comparably-sized homes. When a buyer signs a contract to purchase your home he assumes, as you did, that the square footage is correct. However, at some point prior to the loan closing – either during the appraisal process or some other routine event – it was discovered the correct square footage is actually 2,579. A transposition error caused you to assume your home had 180 more square feet than it actually does. While 180 square feet isn’t a huge difference, if the sales prices was calculated at, say, $90 per square foot such a mistake could potentially mean a difference of $16,200. That’s enough to make the mortgage lender alter the amount they would be willing to finance and it could substantially change your prospective purchaser’s interest level in paying a higher than market asking price.

So, remember this one of many Scottsdale home selling tips:  Consulting your municipality’s building department could have avoided the above-referenced discrepancy. The town or municipality keeps records of every construction permit issued and all buildings built. In addition, the building department is responsible for making sure that if any changes are made to the building they meet the current codes in force, and that the work is performed by licensed contractors. The primary concerns of the building department are home health and safety issues. Therefore, when an application is made for a new construction or home improvement permit, a building inspector from the code enforcement office must physically visit the property to review, approve and give written permission that the work done by the contractor, electrician or plumber is approved and meets the local codes.

When a purchaser agrees to buy your home and signs the contract, often they (or their representative) may go to the building department to perform due diligence. In the event there’s an open permit – a permit that was applied for, but never signed off on for final approval – that could raise a red flag. Even worse is if no record exists in the building department of work performed that should have been inspected and approved.

Sometimes home sellers discover a mistake was made. For example, permits weren’t approved or closed properly, but the seller assumed they were. The mistake could have been made by the building department, the former owner or the building contractor. In addition, it’s not unusual for homeowners to mistakenly assume that any type of renovation was performed as the building code requires, only to find out it wasn’t. Such a mistake can potentially present a problem when a seller tries to sell his home. The reason is that once the title to the property transfers to the new owner, he assumes responsibility of any illegal work not meeting the code requirements. That’s a liability few, if any, buyers want to inherit.

In addition to the building department, the town or county assessor maintains records on the local real estate market to ensure the assessed value of your home is correct and comparable to what the market reflects. The assessed value, of course, affects the real estate property taxes.

Before you put your property on the market for sale, add this to your list of Scottsdale home selling tips: Go to the town hall or county courthouse (the source varies from state to state) and check the property records. You’ll find that many times solving issues such as open construction permits or errors on a piece of real estate can be fairly easy. Remember, it’s better to tackle a potential problem ahead of time before it could jeopardize the sale of your home – especially if it causes delays and the proverbial “domino effect,” creating additional problems down the line.

If there’s a larger issue or more complex problem, real estate experts suggest holding off listing your home for sale until it can be cleared up. For example, lowering your property assessment may take time to appeal and plead your case to the property authorities. Because of that, it may be best to get the assessment lowered first, then put your home on the market. A lower tax bill will, no doubt, be an advantage to your prospective buyers.

See more Scottsdale Home Selling Tips in the section of our site below Scottsdale Real Estate Categories in the column to your right.

Remember, we also post tips daily and would love it if you Follow us on Twitter and Find us on Facebook too.