Many Want To Take Their Home Off The Market For The Holidays

Many of my Sellers want to take their homes off the market for the holidays. "No one is shopping for a home at this time of year," they say.

Well, maybe. But why take it off? If there is anyone shopping at this time of year when most of us want to sit back and enjoy the Christmas season, you can believe they are serious buyers. I have sold a few homes the week between Christmas and New Years and in this tough market you don’t want to be missing out on any opportunity. Who knows? The buyer may be feeling more generous and appreciative of holiday decorated home. After all, as Arizona’s Christmas city, Prescott is so appealing this time of year.

Tax Credit Extension

Much anticipated, the news for the housing market came Friday when President Obama signed the extension of tax credits for home buyers and broadening their application.

The tax credits apply to contracts signed no later than April 20th, 2010 that close by June 30th, 2010. To qualify the borrower must have a yearly income of $125,000 or less for individuals and up to $225,000 for couples. Tax credits of up to $8,000 are offered to first time home buyers and now there is a $6500 tax credit for buyers who have owned their current home – valued at less than $800,000 – for at least five of the last eight years. Check out the Federal Housing Tax Credit website for more information.

Luxury Home Sales And Marketing Seminar 2009

Last Friday I had the privilege of sitting on a panel for the Luxury Home Sales and Marketing Seminar offered by the Arizona School of Real Estate and Business. The opening comments from a luxury home sales real estate agent set the pace of what proved to be an encouraging and inspiring event. My fellow panelists represented the state of Arizona from Tucson to the West Valley, from the Superstitions to Sedona. Their answers to the moderator’s questions regarding present market conditions were varied but on one subject we all agreed.

The doldrums of 2008 are behind us. And while our clients may have lost a significant portion of their wealth they have a great opportunity to invest in today’s buyer’s market, choosing from a good selection of inventory. Most also agreed, the luxury market, which at its robust best started at $1,000,000, is now perceived to start between $500,000 and $800,000.

REOs and short sales are almost as plentiful at the top of the market as they are at the low end and the last few months have seen buyers are finally stepping back into the market to take advantage of drastically reduced prices. A sales trainer from Toll Brothers (luxury production builders) admitted that in at least one case her company has “incubated” an entire development, literally pulling completed new homes off the market in the hope that waiting it out will improve their chances for higher prices. They may have a long wait. The short sale market that is their competition is forcast to grow in inventory as more and more lenders are deciding the short sale is a better option than a foreclosure. There really may be no better time for a buyer to buy.

October Has Been Our Best Month of The Year So Far

The Prescott Real Estate Market is slowing down as we approach November and have just had our first snow flurries.

I’ve always said we our market is more a reflection of the weather than interest rates or seasons. It seems colder a bit sooner than normal for us but we still have active buyers looking for that perfect home or deal. Overall, reported sales mark October as our best month of the year.

10 Steps To Sell Your Home Fast In Today’s Prescott Az Real Estate Market

Thinking of selling your home in Prescott? What can you do to make your Prescott home say "Buy Me". Here are my top 10 steps to sell your home fast in today’s Prescott Arizona real estate market.

#1 Decide to move.

If you "don’t have to sell" this isn’t the time to try. A seller who isn’t truly motivated to sell does not belong in this market. To an experienced Realtor, the words "we’re not in any hurry" translates to: ‘they want too much for their home in this market and they want me to market their home with my time and money on the chance there is some buyer out there who will fall in love with their home and not mind overpaying. Time for a reality check.

#2 Hire an experienced Realtor.

Many Realtors have found creative ways to make you feel like they are marketing your home. Find out what the marketing plan actually consists of. What can you expect in the way of advertising and web presence. Look at their website as if you were a buyer. Is it easy to navigate? Do the listings show well? Good quality photography is critical.

#3 Price your home to sell.

That might sound obvious but it is surprising how many homes languish in a down market because of wrong pricing. Price your home just under market value. This will make your home stand out and bring a quicker sale with less negotiating on your price. Failure to appraise has become a major stumbling block to sales in this current market environment of declining values.

#4 Review a blank purchase offer.

Knowing your standard costs and obligations, which vary by area, will prepare you to deal with a real offer. There’s a lot of emotion in selling a home and being prepared with what to expect will help you keep a cool head when negotiating.

#5 Pre-inspect.

Don’t wait for the buyer to perform a home inspection. Being proactive and taking care of the items that would show up on an inspection report ahead of time will attract a ready buyer.

#6 Prepare your property.

Think like a buyer starting at the curb and take a walk through your property with a notebook and pen. Pay special attention to the front door. This is where a buyer will be spending their first moments, waiting for their agent to open the key safe and open the door. Sellers usually go in and out of their home through the garage and are often unaware of the spider webs on the entry lights or leaves blown into the entry. Walk through every room noting the things you would want cleaned or changed if you were the buyer. If you’ve grown too used to your home to be objective, ask your Realtor to help you. Refer to Lights-Camera-Action(which I will create Jacob), a Seller’s checklist for suggestions to get your home ready for sale.

#7 Stage It.

If you are not a gifted decorator or tend toward clutter, consider having your home staged by a professional. There’s a real art to staging a home which is why model homes look oh-so-appealing. Pricing varies for this service, usually per square foot. Some stagers will charge a set fee to assess your home and provide you with a complete list of things for you to do yourself to show off your home to its best advantage. Check out for staging services in the Prescott area.

#8 Agree to a yard sign.

Sellers sometimes object to a yard sign because they are reluctant to let their neighbors know what they’re doing. If the neighbors are interested, they’re going to find out. That neighbor may just have a friend or relative thinking of moving into the area. Buyers often drive around on their own and are interested enough to call us from the sign. You want to take advantage of every possible exposure.

#9 Agree to a lockbox.

It will increase your showings. Make it as convenient as possible for an agent to show your home. "But, I’m always home." I hear. You shouldn’t be. It’s important that you leave when a buyer is looking at your home. It’s sort of like looking for a car on a car lot with a salesman following you around. As long as you are in the home, the buyer will see it as your home instead of letting themselves ‘try it on for size’. If you’re concerned about someone popping in on you, consider a ‘loose lockbox’. You just have to remember to put it outside every time you leave your home.

#10 Always be ready to show.

Never say no to a showing. Open the blinds, turn on the lights, set the temperature (vacant houses should be set no lower than 60 degrees in the winter and no higher than 78 in the summer), light a candle (apple or cinnamon scents are a good choice), gather the family and pets and leave the home. I understand, "it’s not convenient". But it is necessary.

If you follow every step, congratulate yourself. You are doing everything you can to sell your home.