My Blog

Oro Valley Homes for Sale - Buying a Home with a Long Time on the Market


A real estate listing can tell you an awful lot about a home, beyond just the price—essential stats like the year the property was built and the price per square foot.

But one of the most important numbers to be aware of is the days on market, or DOM, the amount of time the home has been listed for sale on the multiple listing service. The DOM gives you an idea of how other buyers are reacting to the property and whether it's priced high or low.
Properties with a high DOM are commonly referred to as stale listings, meaning the house has been languishing on the market for a long time. Depending on the specifics of local housing markets, experts consider that a house starts becoming stale around three to five weeks—and it usually causes one of two possible reactions. Some buyers think such homes are a bit tainted, while others believe they'll have more bargaining power and can get the house at a steal. Which is more true?
Buyer beware?
First of all, let’s dispel the myth that there’s always something wrong with the house when it doesn’t sell quickly. There are a lot of factors that could come into play.
As homeowners progressively lower the price on the home, the perception is that something is wrong with it—and this perception sometimes keeps would-be buyers from looking at the house.
Sometimes, a high DOM may be due to factors out of the seller's control.
Perhaps the seller accepted a contract at some point, but it fell through because the buyer couldn't qualify for financing.
But the problem could also be the home itself. Outdated interiors or big-ticket items in need of repair can scare buyers away. Some people would never gamble on buying a house with roof damage.
Buyers are also turned off by homes that need a new paint job, landscaping work, and upgrades to patios, floors, and appliances.
Location is yet another factor that could stall a home’s sale.
Houses on busy roads or in a flood zone typically have longer days on market.
And, of course, bad listing photos can tarnish buyers' opinion of the house before they even set foot inside.
Deal or no deal
Does a high DOM give buyers more bargaining power? Sometimes.
When there is no demand for the home, sellers may be willing to accept less than the initial asking price.
Just be aware: Sellers aren’t always desperate, regardless of how long the home has been on the market.
Proceed with caution
You may be able to strike a deal, but the first move is to understand why or if the house is overpriced.
Is it the location, a major defect, repairs needed, or difficult sellers?
The house may seem fine, but there may be issues that are not immediately apparent.

Oro Valley Homes for Sale - New Tools


I am always looking to integrate the best tools to provide a better experience for my clients. This Fall, I launched a new website to provide you with better information and insights into the real estate market. Below are just a few of the great features available on my website that help you be better informed on Arizona's housing market.
Property Watch. With my new website, you can save property searches, save favorite properties, and get notified via email immediately about new listings and price changes.
Stay Up on Real Estate Trends. Market conditions are continually changing, and my website provides you with the most up-to-date market stats, neighborhood trends, and real estate market articles.
Get Estimates of Your Home's Value. Online estimates are a great place to start, and my website provides three different automated estimates to assess your home's worth.
While my website has a lot of amazing tools, it's my years of experience and first-hand knowledge of the market that brings the most value to our relationship. Give me a call or email me. I look forward to helping you!

Oro Valley Homes for Sale - Preparing for Thanksgiving


More than ever, Arizona residents have options when it comes to sourcing their Thanksgiving meal. Whether you decide to cook from scratch or pick up side dishes from your local suppliers, here are a few options to consider.

Precooked Turkeys. Order early and have your turkey ready-to-go for you on the big day. If you're looking for just the bird or a complete meal with all the fixings, Whole Foods has you covered. AJ's Fine Foods also offers several options for your Thanksgiving feast – along with plenty of side options. If you have a large gathering all flocking around your food, Costco is an excellent choice to get your fully cooked turkey.
Sides & Desserts. Many times you're invited to Thanksgiving and tasked with bringing along an appetizer, side dish, or dessert. There is nothing more traditional than picking up a pie, and Tucson's Back Dough can help you with that. There are many choices, but of course, pumpkin, apple, and pecan are always a safe bet. Other pie places in Tucson to consider are Village Bake House and B-Line Café – be sure to call your order in ahead of time! If you're in the Phoenix metro area, stop into Pie Snob for the perfect Thanksgiving treat.
Let's Just Eat Out. Sometimes you know you're likely to burn the turkey, or maybe you aren't up to the cooking task, but that doesn't stop your stomach from rumbling. Local Tucson restaurants have you covered this year, such as Maynard's Market + Kitchen, which is offering a 4-course prix-fixe menu starting at $65 per adult. Agustin Kitchen, located in downtown Tucson, features everything from a starting salad to a sweet dessert. Fleming's Steakhouse, both the Phoenix and Tucson locations, has both herb-roasted turkey and a filet mignon with all the trimmings and dessert starting at $52 per adult guest. If you're a Phoenix resident, you can spice up your Thanksgiving dinner at The Mission in Old Town Scottsdale.
The holidays can be an exceptionally stressful time, and sourcing pre-made local food can help alleviate some of the stress. Spend less time sweating the small stuff, and think about what brings you joy and gratitude this holiday season.

Oro Valley Homes for Sale - Buying a FSBO


Will buying a FSBO home be easier, riskier, or the same? Here's what to expect.

Most sellers will work with your agent
Smart home sellers know that most buyers work closely with a buyer’s agent for weeks (if not months or years), and they will plan to compensate the buyer’s agent just like any other seller would. Buyer’s agents act as advisers through the ups and downs of the home search. If a FSBO opportunity crosses your path, ask your agent to make the first contact. Most likely they can still work for you and get paid for their efforts.
You shouldn’t think of the home differently
If you find a great home in a prime location that meets all of your criteria, don’t think of it as any different if it’s listed FSBO rather than listed by an agent. The main thing to keep in mind is that you will meet and see the owner face to face. A home sale is more emotional and personal than, say, the sale of a used car or a piece of furniture. As such, seeing the owner might make you uncomfortable. Try to get past it and keep your eye on the prize: your dream home. Leverage your agent, and be ready to ask for time alone in the home if you need it.
Laws still apply
If the law stipulates that the seller has a duty to disclose problems, inspect the home, or perform any repairs, the FSBO must cooperate. The problem some sellers have with going solo is that they aren’t familiar with real estate processes or procedures. Or they want to do it their own way. Trust your gut and your agent’s judgment if you think the seller is neglecting a duty or not allowing you to do your due diligence. Even if the home is great, it might not be the right opportunity for you. If it doesn’t feel right, move on.
Pricing may be off
Homeowners who list their home themselves tend to share one thing in common: They reject local agents’ opinions about their home’s value. Sellers (FSBO or not) who are unable to emotionally detach from a home or who don’t have a solid plan post-closing sometimes self-sabotage their sale by overpricing. These sellers typically meet with local agents before they list. But they don’t like the agent’s pricing strategy and want to give it a stab on their own. Sometimes, when they fail to sell solo, they enlist the help of an agent, and get the home on the market at the right price. Why? Because when it comes time to get serious, sellers often want representation. But if you love a home, and the price is off, move on to the next, whether listed by owner or agent.
A home for sale without an agent isn’t off limits. Ask your agent about the listing, and be open to seeing it and treating it just like any other opportunity you or your agent finds. A good real estate pro should tell you up front that they could represent you in any sale. Go in with your eyes wide open and know that, just like any negotiation, it may or may not work out.

Oro Valley Homes for Sale - Open House


11491 N Palmetto Dunes Ave, Oro Valley, AZ 85737

3 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms, 2 Car Garage, 1871 SF, Golf, Views, $286,000
Immaculate, bright & airy 3 bedroom/2 full bath (1,871 sq ft) home on a premium lot in the heart of Oro Valley backs golf course. No neighbors behind. Open concept Chef's kitchen boasts stainless appliances, island with breakfast bar, nook with lovely bay window and plenty of storage. Master suite hosts a luxury bath with dual sinks and garden tub plus access to rear patio. Formal Living & Dining room off foyer. Other amenities include vaulted ceilings, archways, alarm, plus 3-car garage with built-in cabinets. Covered patio and extended yard with pavers features mature trees and foilage offering ultimate privacy. Minutes from community center, golf, shopping, restaurants, hospital & more. A must see.

Oro Valley Homes for Sale - Short Sale or Foreclosure


What You Need to Know About Short Sales

If you owe more on your loan than your home is worth and need to sell your home, the transaction is called a short sale. You can only do a short sale if your lender approves it, because they must agree to take less money than they’re owed. To qualify, you must prove financial hardship with documentation. For example you could document that you lost your job and no longer have income to cover your housing payments.
You also must work with your real estate agent to provide your lender with sale prices of comparable homes in your neighborhood that recently sold. If your bank approves the short sale after analyzing this data, you can list your home for sale, and the lender must review each offer you get on your home before you can formally accept the offer and close the sale. A short sale will cause your credit score to drop as little as 50 points if you don’t incur any late mortgage payments during the short sale process. Your score can drop as much as 200 points, however, if you do incur late payments during the short sale process.
Rates are the lowest for borrowers with top-tier credit scores of 760 or higher, and rise as credit scores drop. Getting a new home loan after a short sale can take as little as two years if you put 20 percent down or more, and as long as four years if you put 10 percent down. However, as credit markets have improved in the years following the 2008 financial crisis, you can find lenders who may lend to you sooner. You will also need to consult your tax preparer for any tax consequences you might face on the part of the loan that was forgiven by your lender.
What You Need to Know About Foreclosures
If you’re in a financial hardship situation and stop making your payments, a foreclosure will be the ultimate result whether you owe more than your home is worth or not.
When you miss a payment, it’s called default. You’ll get a notice of default from your lender when you become 30 days late on your mortgage. If you continue to miss payments after that, you’ll eventually receive notices telling you that the lender will begin foreclosure, which will result in the lender repossessing and selling your home.
Foreclosure procedures differ by state, and as such, can take different lengths of time from state to state. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides a breakdown of foreclosure processes by state and includes timing estimates.
Your credit score can drop 200 to 400 points in a foreclosure. It hits credit harder than a short sale because you have to accrue late mortgage payments on your way to foreclosure. It can take up to seven years to get a new home loan after a foreclosure, but it can be significantly shorter if your hardship situation was beyond your control — such as the job loss example. You just need to connect with lenders to determine which one will lend to you sooner. Remember to specify that you have had a foreclosure.

Oro Valley Homes for Sale - Are Open Houses Worthwhile?


Listing agents often argue that in our digital world, open houses are a waste of time. The majority of people who attend are nosy neighbors, ‘looky-loos,’ or other types of tire-kickers. Instead, their argument goes, serious buyers today don’t want to wait for an open house. When someone likes a home’s online photos, he or she will make an appointment to see the property during the week. So is it time to close the book on open houses?
Not at all.
Today, buyers can easily vet potential homes by looking at photos and floor plans online. But there’s only so much you can glean from that.
By visiting a home, you can see how the online floor plan actually looks in the ‘real’ world. You can see details you’d probably miss looking at photos. You can get a feel for the property and compare your reactions to the home to others you’ve visited.
People can turn into serious buyers through open houses
Serious buyers don’t materialize in a puff of smoke; they become serious over time. Many spend a good deal of time looking at properties online or at open houses on their own before even engaging an agent. They spend months or even a year actively looking with their agents.
Buyers need to become educated about the market, the types of homes available in their area, as well as what to expect in their price range. Open houses give buyers a no-pressure environment in which to deepen their education about the local market, so they can make a more informed decision. A buyer may use an open house as a first showing of the property.
But when buyers become serious about a home, an open house provides them another opportunity to spend time in the home, to get to know it better, without the confines of a 15-minute private appointment.
The convenience factor
Open houses are also a lot more convenient for the seller. Rather than having to clean the home and vacate it 10 times during the week, a two-hour Sunday open house allows as many people as possible to take their time and view the home thoroughly.
Open houses are a tradition that still makes a lot of sense. Sellers would have to live on eggshells 24/7 to accommodate countless private appointments. If nothing else, open houses can help weed out the tire kickers so that when you make an appointment to show your home, chances are it’s with a serious buyer.
Open houses help sellers gauge the market’s response
Opening up your house to the masses is the best way to get a feel for how the market responds to your home. A good listing agent will want to see as many buyers come through as possible to gauge their reactions to the home.
Are people walking in and out quickly? Or are they hanging around? What questions are they asking? What are their biggest hang-ups or concerns?
This is the kind of valuable information you can’t get online. Long Live Open Houses.

Oro Valley Homes for Sale - Real Estate Agent Myths


Agents get a 6% commission, no matter what

Most people assume that their agent is pocketing the entire commission. That would be nice, but it’s just not accurate.
First, it’s helpful to know that the seller pays the commission, and they split it four ways: between the two brokerages and the two agents.
Finally, the brokerage commission isn’t fixed or set in stone, and sellers can sometimes negotiate it, depending on services.
Once you start with an agent, you’re stuck with them
If you’re a seller, you sign a contract with the real estate agent and their brokerage. That contract includes a term — typically six months to a year. Once you sign the agreement, you could, in fact, be stuck with their agent through the term. But that’s not always the case.
If things aren’t working out, it’s possible to ask the agent or the brokerage manager to release you from the agreement early.
Buyers are rarely under a contract. In fact, buyer’s agents work for free until their clients find a home. It can be as quick as a month, or it can take up to a year or more. And sometimes a buyer never purchases a house, and the agent doesn’t get paid.
Before jumping into an agent’s car and asking them to play tour guide, consider a sit-down consultation or a call, and read their online reviews to see if they’re the right fit.
Otherwise, start slow, and if you don’t feel comfortable, let them know early on — it’s more difficult to break up with your agent if too much time passes.
It’s OK for buyers to use the home’s selling agent
Today’s buyers get most things on demand, from food to a ride to the airport. When it comes to real estate, buyers now assume they need only their smartphone to purchase a home, since most property listings live online.
First-time buyers or buyers new to an area don’t know what they don’t know, and they need an advocate.
The listing agent represents the seller’s interests and has a fiduciary responsibility to negotiate the best price and terms for the seller. So working directly with the selling agent presents a conflict of interest in favor of the seller.
An excellent buyer’s agent lives and breathes their local market. They’ve likely been inside and know the history of dozens of homes nearby. They’re connected to the community, and they know the best inspectors, lenders, architects and attorneys.
They’ve facilitated many transactions, which means they know all the red flags and can tell you when to run away from (or toward) a home.
One agent is just as good as the next
Many people think that all agents are created equal.
A great local agent can make an incredible difference, so never settle. The right agent can save you time and money, keep you out of trouble and protect you.
Consider an agent who has lived and worked in the same town for around ten years. They know the streets like the back of their hand. They have deep relationships with the other local agents. They have the inside track on upcoming deals and past transactions that can’t be explained by looking at data online.
Compare that agent to one who’s visiting an area for the first time. Some agents aren’t forthright and might be more interested in making a sale. Many others care more about building a long-term relationship with you, because their business is based off referrals.
You can’t buy a for sale by owner (FSBO) home if you have an agent
In a previous generation, sellers who wouldn’t deal with any agents tried to sell their home directly to a buyer to save the commission.
Smart sellers understand that real estate is complicated and that most buyers have separate representation. And many FSBO sellers will offer payment to a buyer’s agent as an incentive to bring their buyer clients to the home.
If you see a FSBO home on the market, don’t be afraid to ask your agent to step in. Most of the time the seller will compensate them, and you can benefit from their knowledge and experience.

Oro Valley Homes for Sale - Open House


11961 N Sage Brook Rd, Oro Valley, AZ 85737

5 Bedrooms, 3 Bathrooms, 21/2 Car Garage, 2953 SF, Pool, $419,000
You've discovered the LEAST EXPENSIVE 5 bedroom single level home in Oro Valley! This phenomenal floor plan features a spacious kitchen & great room area with upgraded maple cabinets & granite, a very large living room & dining room, plus a multi-functional bonus room. Built by Monterey Homes and located in the popular Verde Ranch community with multiple parks, this corner lot property offers easy access to the multi-use path, backs to common area wash, and provides excellent views of the Tortolita Mountains. The expansive backyard includes a relaxing pool which is perfect to cool off in during the warm summer months and a covered patio with ceiling fan. Good storage throughout & 8' doors too! Excellent Oro Valley location nearby to amenities, school, and a rare 5 bedroom/3 bath layout!

Oro Valley Homes for Sale - Home Security Tips


The harder you make it for a thief to gain access to your home and your valuables, the less likely he or she is to try.
A security protocol for your home should include the following best practices that will help to reduce the risk of becoming a victim.
Keep Track of Who Has Keys to Your Home
Who has a key to your home? Keep a list (somewhere safe) of who has been given a key to your house. Besides immediate family members, there may service providers who come weekly that you have given a key to. On a regular basis, review this list and make sure everyone who has a key is still working for you or should have this sort of access to your home.
Check That All Locks Work
Check that all lock devices work correctly on windows and doors. It is easy to check and should be conducted regularly.
Add Lighting Outside Your Home
Thieves look for doorways and windows that are not well lit from the street. Add motion-detecting lights around the perimeter of your property. When movement is detected, the lights will automatically turn on. Motion detector lights must be high wattage to illuminate an area, especially one that has many trees or shrubs. Think obnoxious floodlights that light up the sky – and house, and lawn – making it difficult for the intruders to find a place to hide.
Get an Alarm System
If you are interested in a higher level of security other than locking doors and windows, you may want to install a security system. There is a reason why words like “stealth” and “stalk” come to mind when talking about a burglary. Having an alarm system that is loud and persistent, reaching neighbors and tied directly to the local police department shows the would-be robber that the time at your home is limited before police respond to the alarm. There are many options that can be implemented on your own – if you're looking for a more economical solution, there are a number of affordable home security system options now available that include video monitoring,
Lock Away Your Valuables
The odds that your home will be the target of a burglary are low. But if it is, how easy would be it for the robbers to find your valuables? While keeping jewelry in a jewelry box or somewhere in your closet is certainly convenient, it is also convenient for the intruder. Criminals will look in the obvious places. Put a little thought into what would make you most comfortable in protecting whatever it is that is of value to you. That can be anything from a fire and burglar-proof commercial container, home safe or a hiding place that only you know about. Banks also offer safety deposit boxes for those extra special items of value.
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