1) It's been 20 years since I was in Phoenix. Are suburban homes in the $500K range availalbe. How old are they?
There are plenty of homes available in the $500,000 range. If you haven’t been to Phoenix in 20 years what you would have thought of as the outskirts of town has plenty of hustle and bustle. I suggest contacting an agent, Joe Bourland and let me know what it is you are searching for in a home. Local understanding will be a great help to you.
2) Is the Phoenix area considered a buyer's or seller's market?
As a whole the Phoenix area is currently considered a buyer’s market. The problem with that statement, though, is no one buys a market. Meaning each home is seen on it’s individual merits and position within it’s local comparisons. Some areas in Phoenix are seeing increases in values while most are heading in the opposite direction.
3) What are the basic steps to selling a house?
The basic steps to selling a home are simple: decide you want to sell, find a buyer, agree to terms, sign some papers, move out. The reality is that each of these steps have numerous steps in order to actually complete a sales transaction. I have been involved in over a thousand transactions and no two are alike.
4) Do you think that Real Estate discounters are affecting the Real Estate market?
Statistically, discount brokerage firms deal in a very small percentage of real estate transactions. Real estate brokerages operate under a few different business models one being that of a low, sometimes upfront, fee. As a former manager of a nationally ranked full service office, I know what it is like to balance a real estate office budget. There is typically not a lot left over money piled around. As for discounting, in order to sustain a profitable office brokers will either have to sell more homes which strains there resources or spending less on advertising, staff, etc to keep the doors open. No one wants to do the job for free.
5) Can I purchase a decent home for around $500,000 and where?
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What might be decent for you might not be decent for Steve Nash. As the Valley median home price is around $255,000, doubling that price should find most people decent comfort.
6) Why shouldn't a buyer use a discount buyers agent?
More often than not, discount buyer agents are newer agents with less experience. Not only are they less likely to understand the nuances of the real estate contract but are also less likely to know community information, have honed negotiating skills or be able to analysis a property. Will discount brokers have a counseling session to find out more about what your wants and needs really are? Then did they actually find properties that fit those desires saving you time and expense? Are they aware what a Superfund site or fissure is and if the house you are looking at sits over one? Could you have gotten the house for less money had the agent negotiated better on your behalf? Did they recommend a quality inspector to find out the real pros and cons on the properties condition? Were they available quickly or were they working there real job during the day? Just like buying anything from a discount store after you get home you realize why quality costs more.
7) Why shouldn't a seller use a discount sellers agent?
All real estate agents are not the same. It has been a stereotype quality real estate agents have been stuck with for years. A perception from the public is that an agent after taking a listing will do the three P’s: Put it in the MLS, Place a sign in the ground and Pray it sells. In today’s fast paced world of expectations that just doesn’t work. Buyer’s are more suffisticated then ever before and sauve agents have adapted to their needs. Accurate information on pricing, neighborhood and city trends, proper staging, quality imaging are a few of the major points that full service quality agents use to differentiate themselves.
As a former branch manager of a national top 10 Century 21 office and top agent at a Re/Max office, I know the behind the scenes efforts that go into getting a home sold. Most real estate companies run on a very tight budget including heavy advertising to help sellers and gain clients. Discount brokers just can’t compete with full service in regards to advertising dollars spent. Also, full service agents are some of the most educated agents in the business. Designations are extremely important as to an agent’s level of commitment to their chosen carrier. I personally have invested thousands of dollars into additional education in real estate traveling from California to Washington to New York in a constant drive to stay on the cutting edge of real estate. Who do you think would be more qualified to represent a seller?