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BlogArizona.com - the ORIGINAL Arizona Real Estate Blog
BlogArizona.com offers discussions on a wide variety of subjects, but focuses on Arizona and real estate.  The articles  posted here are contributed by various working professionals.  Their insights and experiences will inform, educate, challenge and entertain our readers week after week.  Some of the best reading on blogs often comes from reader Comments!  We encourage you to use the 'Comments' feature to join discussions and interact with both our Contributors, and our other readers.  We do require that you first review and accept our 'Comment Rules' in order to preserve the quality and integrity of this blog.  Also be aware that all visitors are subject to our Terms of Use.

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BlogArizona Category: Landscaping

This page contains all BlogArizona posts related to Landscaping.   Read a specific post by clicking on a title below, or scroll further down the page to read through all posts in this category.
  • BlogArizona.com - An Arizona Real Estate Blog

  • Monday, August 16, 2010

    Commercial Real Estate Question...

    Here's a question for all the commercial real estate agents, brokers and developers out there.  Why do commercial real estate developers always put these bumpy landscape tiles right by grocery store entrances and exits?  There must be a good reason because all the major grocery stores have these.  But they're such a pain because stuff starts falling off your cart as soon as the wheels hit these things.  If you try to go over them slowly, the cart's wheels get stuck.  If you try to go over them quickly, your cart bounces around and stuff falls off.

    This may sound sexist but I'm saying it anyway... the bumpy landscape tile idea came from some guy who's never had to push a cart overflowing with groceries through the parking lot!  Just sayin'.  :)

    Why do commercial real estate developers use these bumpy landscaping tiles at grocery stores?

    Posted by Shannon Hubbard, AZ Realtor & Computer Guru on August 16, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack

    Saturday, August 14, 2010

    AZ Homeowner Needs a New Landscaper

    One of these things is not like the others... two of these things are kind of the same!

    Decapitated palm tree in Mesa, Arizona!

    Posted by Shannon Hubbard, AZ Realtor & Computer Guru on August 14, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Sunday, April 06, 2008

    Selling a Home in AZ and Not Sure What to Disclose to the Buyer?

    I recently received an email with this question about disclosure of sex offenders when selling a home in Arizona:

    "Recently in USA Today 3/20/2008 in an article written by Matt Reed, he stated  " Arizona has one of the nation's toughest laws, requiring sellers and agents to disclose neighboring sex offenders to potential buyers."

    Yet Arizona real estate law attorney Richard Keyt stated on his website the following: " The presence of a sex offender in the vicinity of the property is not a fact that is required to be disclosed by law."  His web page was last revised 3/23/2008.

    Additionally, a form from the Arizona Association of Realtors, Residential Seller Advisory version 02/2008 stated: "By law, sellers are not obligated to disclose that the property is or has been: ( I'll skip to paragraph 3: located in the vicinity of a sex offender."

    My question is has the governor or the legislation changed this provision of law recently? Who is correct?"

    First, I have to say that I'm not an attorney so I can only address this question in the general sense and from a Realtor's perspective.  So do not consider my answer as legal advice, and ALWAYS consult an attorney for questions about your own specific situation.

    Second, don't believe everything you read in the mainstream media!  Of course, you can't believe everything you read on the internet either.  But I do know bloggers who are much more thorough about checking facts than some of the major media outlets.

    Arizona legislators are constantly updating our laws, and real estate disclosure is a hot topic.  However, I don't think a change to the law is the source of confusion in this case.  From my experience, I'd say all of the sources quoted are technically correct.  I think this is the USA Today article that was referenced in the question, here's the AZ real estate attorney who was mentioned, and here's the Arizona Association of Realtors (AAR) Residential Seller Advisory form.

    The AAR Residential Seller Advisory does indeed state, "By law, sellers are not obligated to disclose that the property is or has been... located in the vicinity of a sex offender."  But if you keep reading, it goes on to say, "However, the law does not protect a seller who makes an intentional misrepresentation."  And then the top of the next page says, "Sellers are required by law to disclose all known material (important) facts about the Property to the Buyer".

    So what is considered to be "material" or "important"?  Generally, anything that may affect a buyer's decision to buy is definitely material and should be disclosed.  To be safe, I tell sellers that EVERYTHING is material to the buyer.  At least, a seller has to assume that everything is material because they don't know what's material to the buyer.  Every buyer is different... what seems minor and unimportant to the seller may very well be minor and unimportant to one buyer.  However, that same item may be extremely important, and thus material, to another buyer.  If it ends up in front of a judge, I would guess that anything and everything the buyers find out later, that the seller knew and didn't disclose, will be considered material!

    The AAR Residential Seller Advisory reinforces this idea with it's heading, "When in doubt, disclose!".  If the sellers know there's a sex offender living down the street and the buyers ask, I would tell the seller to disclose it, in writing, to protect both the sellers and the buyers.  Even if the buyers don't ask, I would still tell the sellers to disclose it, in writing.  It doesn't matter if the buyers are older or don't have kids.  You cannot assume they don't care about a sex offender living nearby.  They may have grandchildren who visit and play outside, or friends that come over and bring their kids.  My point is, you shouldn't try to get inside the buyer's head and figure out what is, or is not material.  Only the buyer can decide that.  Just disclose it and let the buyers make that call... whether it's a maintenance problem, or something you know about the neighbors, homeowners association, schools, etc.  Disclose whatever you know.

    I know many people are reading this thinking, "Disclose it, even if it they don't ask? That would probably kill the deal."  Well, it's better to kill the deal now than end up in court later.  And actually, being honest from the beginning by making full disclosure reduces the risk of a last minute deal-breaker, 29 days into the transaction.  As a seller, if the deal isn't going to close, don't you want to know right away instead of AFTER your house has been off the market for a month?

    Full disclosure isn't just for sellers either.  It's a two-way street.  Buyers should also disclose anything that might be material to the sellers, like if they know something which may affect their ability to qualify for a mortgage.  The "golden rule" can (and should) be applied to real estate transactions, just like anything else in life.  Every transaction is smoother, less stressful and turns out better in the end if both parties are honest and upfront with each other from the beginning. 

    But buyers, don't be naive!  You should NOT rely on the sellers to disclose all material facts about the property you're buying.  Even if the sellers are honest people, they may not know all the material facts.  So buyers must also do their "due diligence" by investigating everything that's important to them.  The AZ Department of Real Estate advises buyers to read and investigate the items on this checklist for Arizona home buyers.  While the law may require certain disclosures, "Buyer Beware" is a reality!

    Visit Shannon Hubbard's Home Page     Written By: Shannon Hubbard

    Great American Realty, Inc.

    Cell: (480) 695-6672
    Email me

    Posted by Shannon Hubbard, AZ Realtor & Computer Guru on April 6, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (14) | TrackBack

    Monday, March 24, 2008

    Homeowner Needs Help with HOA Issue

    I get many emails from homeowners who are having problems with their Homeowner Associations, and are seeking advice.  I'm not an attorney, so I can't offer advice on how to handle specific HOA problems.  But I've been there myself, so I found the email below particularly interesting.  Without revealing any personal information, I'm posting the majority of the email along with my response:

    "I don't know if you can help me with this but if you can offer some help or direction that would be greatly appreciated.  I have a truck that I have had parked on the side of my house for four (4) years.  Nothing was ever said.  Now, I have received a letter from my HOA telling me I can't park it there because it can be seen over the gate.  Maybe six (6) inches of the roof.  And, that it is parked in a "Landscaped Area", which it is not. It is a utility area that is not landscaped at all.

    We buy these houses with big double gates so we can utilize the area behind these gates for things like this.  I can understand if it was something offensive, but no one has ever complained or said anything about the truck being there till this.  Any help?"

    My Response...

    "...I'm sorry you're having a problem with your HOA.  I had a similar problem myself and know first hand how frustrating it can be.  Obviously, every situation is different and your situation is probably based on very different facts, CC&R's, legal principles, etc.  And I'm not sure if you're in Arizona, but state laws also can affect your situation.  So the best advice I can give you is to seek advice from an attorney, which I am not.  From a homeowner standpoint, I can tell you that when I consulted an attorney in a HOA situation several years ago, the advice I was given was to work within the neighborhood to gain support and resolve the problem.  Here's what happened to me several years ago:

    We had a nearly new pickup truck parked in the 'third-car' area of our driveway.  But it wasn't paved like the rest of the driveway, it was covered with rocks.  The truck was driven every day, and we had been parking it there for about 3 years or more when a certain Board member decided to make a stink about it.  Our attorney told us that in our case, by allowing us to park there for several years, the HOA had given us "constructive notice" that it was allowed.  Our CC&R's did not specifically prohibit it, however they did not specifically allow it either.  So our attorney claimed that in the absence of a restriction, it was permitted.  Then the Board member tried to use some vague landscaping clause to make us stop parking there.  Of course, there were others in the neighborhood who parked in a similar manner, so we found them and got them to show up at the next meeting for support when we addressed the Board.  Since only a few people usually showed up to Board meetings, we only had to get a few neighbors to show up to have overwhelming support.  We also went to each of our immediate neighbors and had them sign statements saying that we had been parking there for years and they had no problem with it.  Additionally we went door-to-door and asked other neighbors who agreed we should be able to park there to sign a petition so we could amend the CC&R's to specifically allow it.  We came up just short of the 2/3 required for an amendment to the CC&R's, but it was enough to make the other Board members agree to drop the issue.  Shortly thereafter, the Board formally adopted a policy which allowed parking on rocks with certain criteria, which we met.  End of story.

    Again, your overall situation is different than mine, so you should speak to an attorney about the legality of your issues.  Much of the HOA's power comes from the CC&R's and an attorney can explain your rights under the CC&R's.  From a non-legal standpoint and from my experience as a homeowner, the power a HOA has comes from its members.  The unfortunate truth from my experience with HOA's is that in many cases, most members don't care and won't get involved in things they don't care about.  But if you can find those neighbors who are in similar positions, you may find strength in numbers.  Or you might find that others disagree with you totally and you are the minority in your neighborhood.  But chances are, there are others out there who recently got notices to stop doing things they've been doing for years also.  Did you recently have a new Board member elected who might be pushing a stricter agenda?

    Again, other than telling you of my experience, you're in lawyer territory!  While I can't advise you on how to handle your situation, I hope my story helps.  And I wish you the best of luck in resolving your HOA issues.


    Hope you found this interesting too.  Have a great day!

    Visit Shannon Hubbard's Home Page     Written By: Shannon Hubbard

    Great American Realty, Inc.

    Cell: (480) 695-6672
    Email me

    Posted by Shannon Hubbard, AZ Realtor & Computer Guru on March 24, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (16) | TrackBack

    Friday, January 18, 2008

    AZ Termite Inspector Licensing Agency Going Away

    Termite tube found in an Arizona home during a pre-purchase termite inspection If you haven't already heard, the licensing agency for Arizona termite inspectors and pest control professionals is going away - for good.  That's right, the Arizona Structural Pest Control Commission (SPCC) is being eliminated.

    Amid allegations of "cronyism, inefficiency, overregulation and instability", the executive director was recently fired by the seven member Commission.  In protest, the 3 Commission members who voted against firing the executive director have resigned.  A committee of Arizona lawmakers have since voted in favor of, and are introducing a bill to disband the SPCC altogether.

    Under the new bill, regulation & licensing of pest control professionals, including termite inspectors, will be transferred to the AZ Department of Agriculture.  Arizona lawmakers also considered transferring the SPCC's duties to the AZ Registrar of Contractors (ROC) or the AZ Board of Technical Registration (BTR).  However, agricultural pest control is already regulated by the AZ Dept. of Agriculture, so they are the most logical choice.

    Last I heard, the bill was supposed to be introduced in early January when the AZ Legislature reconvened.  While I have not officially seen anything stating the bill has been introduced or approved, I was told by one of my State Representatives in early January that the SPCC's duties will be transferring to the AZ Department of Agriculture.  I think he told me a time frame, but I don't remember what it was.  So it sounds like a pretty done deal, even if it has not been officially approved.  AZ Governor Napolitano mentioned late last year that she would consider the recommendation to get rid of the SPCC, and the State Representative I spoke with did not say the SPCC might go away, he said it was going away.  Additionally, the SPCC (like all such agencies) is subject to review every ten years.  I believe the SPCC's sunset review is due in June of this year, and even in the absence of other legislation, I don't think the SPCC is expected to be re-authorized or renewed.

    So, the "good ole boy network" at an Arizona licensing agency...could it really happen?

    Of course, I'm being sarcastic - yes, it really happens and probably more than you'd ever believe.  I have personally witnessed the type of abuse of power alleged here at another AZ licensing agency.  Luckily, it was not not directed at me personally.  However, I would bet that it's much more widespread than the public really knows.  That's a real shame since these licensing agencies are intended to protect the public.  But when the agency is corrupt, it doesn't protect anybody - it just raises the cost of doing business.  And that cost is ultimately passed on to the consumer, which means the licensing agency ends up hurting the very consumers it was supposed to protect.

    By the way, I want to apologize to my loyal readers for my recent "vacation" from blogging.  Between the holidays, visiting relatives and another project I've been working on, the time has just gotten away from me.  But I promise to post again soon.  In fact, my friend the AZ Mortgage Guru recently sent me a very interesting article, which got me doing some research on another Arizona licensing agency.  And what I found is definitely worth coming back to read.  So be sure to check back in a few days and read all about it!

    Related articles:
    - State Pest Control Director Fired
    - Arizona Structural Pest Control Commission May Disband
    - Pest Control Agency May Be Disbanded
    - Napolitano willing to consider abolishing pest control agency

    Visit Shannon Hubbard's Home Page     Written By: Shannon Hubbard

    Great American Realty, Inc.

    Cell: (480) 695-6672
    Email me

    Posted by Shannon Hubbard, AZ Realtor & Computer Guru on January 18, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

    Friday, August 03, 2007

    Monsoons Make Arizona Homebuyers Rethink Toscana

    Arizona skies just before a monsoon rain stormYes, the monsoons are back!  Over the past week or so, many areas of the Valley have seen some pretty major flooding.  Even the national news channels have shown stories of flooded AZ streets and people being rescued from their cars (remember Arizona's Stupid Motorist Law!).  As I drove through several Mesa neighborhoods earlier this week (trying to avoid the backed up traffic on major streets due to flooding), there were kids in their swimsuits standing near puddles on the corners, waiting for cars to come by and splash them!  Neighborhoods parks (retention basins) were flooded so badly they literally looked like lakes.  Kids were playing in the water on rafts and tubes.  Many teenagers had their quads out, driving along the edge of the 'lake' pulling their friends through the water on tubes.  It looks like fun, but I'm way too old for that!  I wanted to get a picture of some of the older kids in my neighborhood to post here, but my teenager wouldn't let me because she knew some of the kids and said it would 'be way too embarrassing"!

    While the monsoon floods are fun for Arizona kids, homeowners don't find flooding quite as entertaining.  Drainage is something homeowners always need to be concerned with, and it's something that should definitely be considered when purchasing real estate.  This week, Phoenix, AZ residents of Toscana found out the hard way just how important drainage really is, even when buying a luxury condo.  A BlogArizona reader sent me the following email with questions about the recent Toscana floods:

    "...I have heard from a local AZ friend that the garages in the Toscana development have flooded during the recent rains, causing a total loss for the cars parked there. I was considering a unit in the development.

    Do you or your readers know if this is true? And what went wrong? And what needs to be done? And what would be the repercussions to the development.

    Arizona skies just before a monsoon rain stormUnfortunately for many, it's true - the underground parking garages at Toscana flooded and destroyed several luxury cars.  Toscana's HOA is refusing to accept any responsibility as of right now and is telling residents to check with their automobile insurance companies for coverage.  The HOA says the flood was an act of God that could not have been prevented.  However, many residents are already threatening lawsuits, stating that the floods could have been prevented with proper drainage.  I'm neither a Toscana resident or a lawyer, but it seems to me the developers (Statesman) not only could have, but should have foreseen monsoon flooding in an underground parking garage.  Monsoons come every year, and proper drainage is a basic requirement for any project or development.  It will take some time, and a bunch of fighting between the residents, the developer and the HOA before it's clear who will pay for the flood damage.  But I personally find it hard to believe that either the developer or the HOA can totally escape liability for this drainage problem.

    Here's a local news story about the flooded parking garage at Toscana, and here are some videos about the Toscana flooding.

    Visit Shannon Hubbard's Home Page     Written By: Shannon Hubbard

    Great American Realty, Inc.

    Cell: (480) 695-6672
    Email me

    Posted by Shannon Hubbard, AZ Realtor & Computer Guru on August 3, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Tuesday, July 31, 2007

    Pigeons Can Cause Real Damage to Your Roof

    Anybody who has ever had a pigeon problem can tell you how difficult it is to get rid of them.  Once they decide to nest on your house, it becomes their home too and they don't want to leave.  If ignored, over time the debris left behind by the pigeons will interfere with proper roof drainage, and can cause water intrusion problems that are costly to repair.  So it's imperative that you keep your home pigeon-proofed, especially if your neighborhood has a significant pigeon population.  I'm by no means a pigeon expert, however I recently had to re-pigeon-proof my own home.

    There are a variety of options available, from simply blocking off desirable perching areas, to more extreme measures such as installing pigeon spikes or applying hot foot gel that burns their feet when they step in it.  It's my understanding that the poisons which were used in the past are now illegal in many places, which is fine since the other products seem to work without harming the birds.  There are also services that remove the birds humanely, and then release them in a galaxy far, far away.  However you choose to deal with your pigeon friends, my advice would be to save yourself a bunch of time and frustration and hire an expert.

    While pigeon problems are really no laughing matter, below is a funny YouTube video that was played at my Arizona ASHI® meeting this past weekend.  While I don't endorse trying this at home, anybody that's ever fought a pigeon problem can appreciate this video.  Enjoy, and remember...an ounce of inspection is worth a pound of repair!

    Scott Hubbard of Homewerx Home Inspections in Phoenix, Arizona Written By: Scott Hubbard
    Certified Home Inspector, ASHI® Member
    Homewerx Home Inspections
    Office: (480) 503-2611
    Toll Free: 1-888-THE-WERX
    Email me

    Funny Pigeon Video: (click below to play)

    Posted by Scott Hubbard, Arizona Home Inspector on July 31, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Saturday, July 21, 2007

    Home Maintenance and Do-It-Yourself Basics

    Homeowners often make repairs and/or improvements to their home right after moving in, and prior to selling.  Whether you're doing a major remodeling job or just installing new carpet or wallpaper, sometimes the most simple advice can also be the most helpful.  So always remember the basics:

    • Lefty loosey, righty tighty
    • Measure twice, cut once

    And last but certainly not least...an ounce of inspection is worth a pound of repair!

    Scott Hubbard of Homewerx Home Inspections in Phoenix, Arizona Written By: Scott Hubbard
    Certified Home Inspector, ASHI® Member
    Homewerx Home Inspections
    Office: (480) 503-2611
    Toll Free: 1-888-THE-WERX
    Email me

    Posted by Scott Hubbard, Arizona Home Inspector on July 21, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

    Saturday, June 16, 2007

    Summer Maintenance Links for Arizona Homeowners

    I intended to spend some time blogging this wonderful Saturday morning.  However, as the real estate market picks up speed for summer, so does my schedule.  So instead, I'll spend my day off doing 2 home inspections and a mold test.  Oh well, that's just how life goes sometimes!

    So for today, I'll just post some links to maintenance information that will help to prepare you, your family and your home for this summer season.

    Swimming Pool Safety & Maintenance

    Maintaining Your Home's Air Conditioner

    Saving Energy & Keeping Your AZ Summer Electric Bill Low

    Other Home Maintenance for the Arizona Summer

    Things to Do in Arizona During the Hot Summer

    And by the way, if you're looking for something (other than the proverbial tie) to give Dad for Father's Day, here are a couple of cool ideas (Hint, Hint to my wife & kids!):

    Can you tell I like airplanes?  Okay, so I can dream anyway...  Enjoy your Saturday!

    Scott Hubbard of Homewerx Home Inspections in Phoenix, Arizona Written By: Scott Hubbard
    Certified Home Inspector, ASHI® Member
    Homewerx Home Inspections
    Office: (480) 503-2611
    Toll Free: 1-888-THE-WERX
    Email me

    Posted by Scott Hubbard, Arizona Home Inspector on June 16, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Friday, June 15, 2007

    Is Your Arizona Home For Sale, But Not Selling?

    Many Arizona homebuyers are currently asking themselves, "Why isn't my house selling?".  If your house is for sale and nobody's looking at it, or if it's been for sale longer than the average days on market for a similar home in your area, you need to re-evaluate and make changes to your marketing strategy.  Regardless of whether you're selling as a FSBO or if you have a Real Estate Agent, there may be a variety of reasons your home is not selling:   
      House For Sale sign

    1.  Your home is overpriced.  This is by far the most common mistake I see sellers make.  There are a variety of tools, even for FSBOs, to help price your home properly.  Websites such as Zillow and HouseFront are available, but don't trust an online source alone.  Most REALTORS will provide you with a free Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) upon request.  Be sure to price your home in line with other similar properties for sale in your area.  And check out your competition because buyers will.  But don't just rely on other active listings when pricing your home, as they could be overpriced.  You should look very closely at the sale prices of similar homes which have sold in the last 3 months (the more recent, the better).  Also look at the prices of homes that are 'pending' sale, but realize the actual sale price is probably lower than the listing price.  And don't make the mistake of determining the price based on how much you need to get for your house.  Your needs have nothing to do with your home's worth.

    2.  There are too many similar homes for sale in your area.  This is the case in many Valley neighborhoods right now.  We are in a buyer's market, which means there are more houses for sale than there are buyers.  The only way to overcome this is by making your home stand out from the competition.  A lower price is one way to stand out, but it's not the only way.  You can offer a higher commission or a bonus to the buyer's real estate agent as an incentive to show your home.  You can offer the buyers a financial incentive, other than a lower price, such as paying part or all of their closing costs, or buying down their mortgage interest rate.  You might purchase a home warranty for the buyers, or throw in new appliances or a carpet allowance.  Or, you can get creative and offer incentives like a swimming pool, new cars, vacations, plasma TVs, paying the buyer's mortgage or HOA dues for the first 6 months. You may also want to offer seller financing if you're able, or offer a lease option with rent credit.  Another way to stand out is by having a Pre-Listing Inspection (also called a Pre-Sale Inspection).  Your buyer will probably have a home inspection anyway, and there are many benefits to having it done yourself.  For one, you can advertise your house as a 'pre-inspected home'.

    3.  Your home is in bad condition.  Some people look for fixer-uppers, but most people I deal with want a home that's basically move-in ready.  A home that's lacking maintenance or needs major repairs will be a turn-off to many buyers, even more so in areas that have brand new homes for sale.  If your home falls into this category, you have 2 choices: make repairs or price the home accordingly.  If you do sell your home as a fixer-upper, you will have to discount your price significantly.  Usually, you'll have to lower your price by much more than the cost of the necessary repairs to find someone willing to hassle with it.  If you decide to make repairs, be sure to hire licensed contractors, and keep your receipts.  Try to find contractors that offer warranties on their work, if possible, and make sure those warranties are transferable to the new owner when you sell your home.  New paint and new flooring are the best ways to spruce up the interior of your home. If you paint or make any other improvements, you should definitely stick to neutral colors - not necessarily white, just neutral.

    4.  Your home doesn't show well.  There may be several reasons your home just doesn't show well.  It might be too dirty, too cluttered, too dark, too outdated, in too bad of condition (see #3 above), etc. Clean and de-clutter all rooms in your home, even the closets and garage.  If the garage is stuffed with boxes (of all the stuff you packed up to de-clutter the house), the garage will look much smaller than it is.  Rent a storage unit for all the excess stuff, if necessary.   If you don't have time to do serious house cleaning, hire a cleaning company to do a thorough cleaning.  Pay special attention to the bathrooms and the kitchen, as your buyers will scrutinize these 2 areas.  Don't forget things like dusting the baseboards, ceiling fans & plant shelves, cleaning the windows & window sills, cleaning appliances inside and out, etc.  Then the hard part - keep the house clean while it's on the market!  Replace all light bulbs and ensure all the lights are on when you show the house.  You may even want to consider having your home professionally staged, especially if it's vacant.  Staged homes tend to sell faster and for more money.  Take a look at your home from outside and evaluate its 'curb appeal'.  Be sure your front landscaping is cleaned up and looking good.  If a buyer doesn't like the way a house looks as he drives by, he may never stop to look inside.  Also make sure to rid your home of any odors.  Baking bread, cookies, brownies, etc. is a good way to improve the smell of your home (temporarily)!

    5.  Your home is in an undesirable location.  If your home is in a bad location, there's not much you can do except lower the price to compensate for the bad location.  What's a bad location?  Your home might be in an undesirable part of town (such as an outlying area far away from Phoenix, or right next to a smelly dairy farm), or in an undesirable part of the neighborhood (i.e. backs up to a major street, or is right at the entrance to the neighborhood).  The old cliche rings true in good and bad real estate markets alike...LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION!

    6.  Your home is not being properly marketed.  If your home is not on MLS, you're going to need some other very aggressive marketing ideas.  Even if you want to sell as a FSBO, at least find a REALTOR to put it on MLS for you.  Compare your MLS listing and/or flyers to that of the competition.  What features do similar homes (currently for sale) have compared to your home?  Look at the MLS listing and review important information such as the directions (this may sound stupid but I've seen many MLS listings with directions that don't get you anywhere near the house!).  Be sure your home's features are all mentioned.  And make sure your REALTOR includes several photos and a virtual tour on MLS.  You should also ask yourself these questions:  Are you taking advantage of online marketing?  Is your real estate agent actively marketing your home and how?  Are you holding open houses?  What kind of feedback are you getting from people who've viewed your home?

    7.  Your home is not being made easily accessible to potential buyers.  We are in the NOW generation.  If I can't see your house when I want to see it, there are several other houses I can see.  Sellers who set restrictions on viewings usually don't get much traffic through their house.  When your house is for sale, it's not unusual for someone driving by to stop and knock on the door to ask if they can see your house.  While this might be a huge inconvenience, being stuck with a house you can't sell may be a bigger inconvenience.  Try to be as flexible as possible and don't set restrictions like, 'please give at least 2 hours notice' unless it's really necessary.  Also, make sure your pets are not a distraction during showings.  Not everybody loves big dogs.  And even a dog that you know is friendly could make potential buyers leave before they have a chance to fall in love with your home!

    The first 2-3 weeks a house is on the market is CRITICAL - this is generally when it sees the most activity.  When a listing is new, all the REALTORS who work that area and the buyers who've been searching that area will stop by to look.  After that, the traffic will slow down.  If it stays on the market too long, it becomes a stale listing and then it becomes very difficult to attract buyers or Real Estate Agents.  So avoid the mistakes listed above and you'll be at the title company signing closing papers before you know it!

    Related articles:
    Sellers Need Edge in Arizona Real Estate Market (June 2006)
    Arizona Sellers Turn to Pre-Listing Home Inspections in Slower Market (May 2006)

    Visit Shannon Hubbard's Home Page     Written By: Shannon Hubbard

    Great American Realty, Inc.

    Cell: (480) 695-6672
    Email me

    Posted by Shannon Hubbard, AZ Realtor & Computer Guru on June 15, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack


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