We at the Elite Team find we are often asked a wide range of questions from our buyers and sellers so we thought we would put together a list of some of those questions along with our answers. We hope this will be helpful for you, don’t hesitate to reach out if you have specific questions of your own.
Why would a buyer use an agent when they could call the for-sale-by-owner, on-line listing, or the number on the sign?
Our opinion is it is always a good idea to have a Buyers Agent represent you through the home buying process. The number one reason is if you do not have representation, you are at risk of being taken advantage of by the seller or just not knowing what steps to take throughout the negotiation process. You also may not know who to contact to schedule home inspections or termite inspections, or even know which inspections should be completed on a house. Often the toughest part of negotiating is asking for repairs on the home. A buyers agent should be an expert on how to negotiate those items.
Also, another consideration is the Code of Ethics that most real estate agents abide by. Not all agents are members of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) but those that join the organization must abide by the code of ethics. This code essentially stipulates that Relators deal with all parties of a transaction honestly. Under the code of ethics, a Realtor is obligated to put the clients’ interests ahead of their own. They are also required to make full disclosures about the problems with the property and be truthful in all marketing.
Finally, it is easier for a real estate agent to be “unemotional” in the purchase and negotiation process. As much as you, the buyer, want to think you will be able to stay levelheaded over the negotiations when you are fighting with another agent or seller over repairs or terms of a contract it is easier for a real estate agent to remain objective and will allow the buyer to not get overly emotional.
An important thing to know is, most of the time the buyer’s agent is not paid by the buyer. They are paid by the seller, so it will not cost you a thing to have the peace of mind of professional help and guidance.
Speaking of inspections, what are some good inspections a buyer should consider having?
Each home may require something a little different, but at the very least, a buyer should hire a licensed home inspector as well as a pest or termite inspector. These two items tend to pay for themselves in repair requests to the seller. Almost every home for sale, even with the most meticulous sellers, will require some repairs. A home inspector usually charges based on the sq footage of the home. On average, a 1500-2000 sq foot home would cost around $375 to inspect and a termite inspection will run around $120.
Another inspection that a buyer should consider preforming is a Radon test. There are areas of Flagstaff that tend to have higher readings than other areas of town. First off, What is Radon? Radon is a cancer-causing radioactive gas that you cannot see, smell, or taste. It is produced by the normal breakdown of uranium in the soil and rock. Flagstaff has a higher concentration of radon gas than other parts of the state because of the type of soil and rock present. Radon tests are rather easy to perform. A company will come and place a radon testing meter in the home for 48 hours. They will require that the doors and windows stay closed for a proper reading. At the end of the 48 hours, the company will come and pick up the test and provide a reading. Should it be high, they will also provide options for remediation.
Again, there are many inspections one can perform. It is up to the buyer on what they are comfortable with. Depending on the age of the home, we would also suggest that there is a roof inspection. This will determine if the roof is in good shape and/or how many years might be left on the roof. This could become a large expense for a buyer, so it is better to know during the home inspection period if the roof needs repair. This is also where a buyers agent will be helpful in negotiating with the seller on repairs or replacement.
How should I stage my home to get it ready to list and sell?
The main thing you want is for a buyer to be able to walk into the home and picture themselves there. That requires that the home is “de-personalized” as much as possible. You do not want a buyer distracted by your many family photos and not seeing all the nice aspects of the home. You also want to try to declutter the home as much as possible. So remove that rare collection of teacups from the kitchen. Your plan is to move, so a buyer will understand if there are moving boxes in a garage. Again, de-cluttering a home will allow it to feel larger and will allow a buyer to picture their items in the home.
You will also want to make any needed repairs that you may have been putting off. There are probably several little jobs that need to be done around the house like changing air filters and touching up paint. These small repairs will likely be inexpensive but will make your home more desirable.
Does the assessed value have anything to do with market value and what I could list and sell my home for?
Actually no, assessed value has nothing to do with market value. The assessed value that you see when you receive your tax bill is only a figure that the local municipalities use to collect the appropriate amount in taxes. In my opinion, I like to see my assessed value low because that will allow my taxes to be lower. One also needs to remember that the assessed value of a home often is behind the sales market because the valuations are often not recalculated until the beginning of the next calendar year.
What is the best time of year to sell a home in Flagstaff?
Of course, the best time of year to sell a home depends on the current state of the market, but I find the best time, is when you are ready to sell….Of course, properties sell year-round, but we in Flagstaff that we will usually have more inventory in the Spring months and it tends to pick up in April and typically tapers off around October. We also find when the temperatures in Phoenix hit the 100-degree mark, Flagstaff looks really nice. Summers also tend to be the busiest times to move because families like to make those large changes before the new school year starts. Spring also tends to be busier because people feel their homes look the best when the trees are in bloom and there isn’t snow that a buyer has to trample through to get to the house.
With all this said, currently, Flagstaff has very low inventory so if a seller wants to sell, this would be a fantastic time to do it!!
We hope that this helps answer some of your questions about buying and selling a home in Flagstaff. Anyone on the Elite Team would be happy to help you through the process. Don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.