Nov. 18, 2017

Home Selling Process: The Appraisal

Appraisals:  What Sellers Need To Know

If a buyer is using financing to purchase your home, then the buyer's lender will order an appraisal of the property.  Appraisals are not a guarantee of value, they are an opinion of value completed by a 3rd party.  However, their opinion is what matters most to a buyer’s lender.  An appraisal can make or break the deal.  The buyer’s lender will only lend based on the appraised value.  Unless the buyer can cover the difference in cash, then you will have to decide between lowering the sales price or looking for a new buyer.  

At our Pricing and Strategy Meeting, we took a look at what homes sold for recently in the neighborhood as well as those that were currently on the market.  We also considered in what price ranges buyers were looking for homes near your house.  With this information you determined the best list price for your property.   Sometimes this process is an easy one with comparable homes that set a pretty specific price range for your home, and other times that range can be large.   

We went through this process with buyers, as well as appraisers, in mind.  As we discussed, the appraiser will complete the same process when evaluating the home.  Appraisers are trying to find the information that supports the sales price and the method used by many appraisers to establish market value is to compare similar homes in similar condition that have recently sold.  

The appraiser will review the information and also complete a tour of your home.  They often verify items such as square footage, bedroom count and upgrades. The appraiser then completes an appraisal report that typically includes at least 3 sold comparable homes along with any adjustments for items such as pools, 3 car garages, upgrades, etc.  Homes currently on the market or under contract are also considered to see where the market is trending.

It’s important to note that appraisals are somewhat subjective.  There’s a saying in real estate that you if you ask 3 appraisers for an opinion of value, you’ll most likely get 3 different opinions.   And this is in part due to some of the challenges that appraisers face.  For example, if there are not a lot of photos or information available on the MLS, the appraiser could use a home that needs repairs as a comparable home to a more updated home unless they do the research and not make the proper adjustments.  Or an appraiser may not be familiar with the area and pull comparable homes from a neighborhood that is not comparable to yours.  

What can you do to help?  Your main job is to make sure your house is still looking its best, after all, this could be the MOST important showing that you have!  It’s best if you are not at the property and give the appraiser the time to complete the report.  

Once the appraisal is received, if the value comes in below the sales price, it can be very hard to get the value changed.  My main job is to be proactive and try to combat some of the possible challenges that appraisers face upfront.  First, I make sure that the appraiser is familiar with the area.  If an appraiser has not completed an appraisal in the neighborhood in the past 2 or 3 years, we can request a new appraiser.  

Before the appraiser goes out to your property provide the appraiser with the following:

  • Copy of purchase contract and any counter offers
  • List of all property upgrades
  • Comps from past 3 to 6 months
  • Good comps:  a comp that, once adjusted, lands at or above sales price
  • Bad comps:  explain why this is a bad comp and should not be used, such as poor condition, an inferior lot, bank-owned, lack of upgrades, etc.

It typically takes an appraiser 48 to 72 hours to submit the appraisal report to the buyer's lender.  Once I have received a copy of the appraisal we can go over the findings and what your next steps will be. 

If you have any questions feel free to contact me at 623-252-9350 or

Nov. 9, 2017

First-Time Buyers: How Much Do You Need For a Down Payment?

First Time Home BuyersFirst-Time Home Buyers Are Making Smaller Down Payments!

According to the National Association of REALTORS 2017 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, the median down payment for first-time buyers has dropped to 5%, down from 6% last year.  In September, 60% of first-time home buyers put 6 percent or less down when purchasing a home.  These numbers are much lower than most first-time home buyers think they are.  In fact, earlier this year, NAR conducted a survey and they found that most consumers that did not currently own a home believe that they need a down payment of 10% or 20%.  

Some buyers can take advantage of even lower down payments, FHA has a low down payment option of 3.5% and there is a conventional loan program that only requires a 3% down payment.  Some downpayment assistance programs still exist as well.  

If you've been thinking about buying a home, talk to a mortgage professional about the different loan programs out there that could help you get into a home for a smaller down payment.  Contact me at 623-252-9350 or if you'd like me to send you the name of a local lender and help you get a game plan together for owning a new home in 2018!!  


 First Time Home Buyers


Nov. 8, 2017

Home Selling Process: The Home Inspection Period

What You Need to Know About the Home Inspection Period When Selling Your House

The home inspection period begins the next day after all parties have signed the Purchase Contract and any Counters.  Typically the home inspection period is 10 days. 

During the inspection period, you must make your home available for the buyer to complete inspections.  You must also make sure that all utilities remain on at the property.  This is the buyer's time to fully inspect the house and the surrounding area.  It's important to give them full access.  This may cause some inconvenience and you may only receive a short notice for a last minute inspection, so it is crucial to stay flexible during the first 10 days to make sure you don't inadvertently cause any delays.  

If you completed a pre-inspection before you listed the house, you have a good understanding of the current condition of your home and it puts you in a better negotiating position.  However, that doesn't mean the inspection period is a done deal and in the bag.  The buyer may still complete their own inspections, including a full home inspection.  Be aware that the buyer may still find additional items or pertinent information about the house during this time.  In addition, the buyer may have specialized contractors come out to complete further inspections, such as HVAC companies or roofing companies during their home inspection period.

Per the Purchase Contract, the buyer may cancel during the home inspection period due to the inspection findings and receive their earnest money back.  Or the buyer may request repairs through the Buyer's Inspection Notice and Seller Response (BINSR) form.  All repairs must be requested at one time and within the inspection period.

If repairs are requested, the BINSR becomes the mechanism to negotiate the repairs.   If you choose not to correct or repair some or all of the items disapproved by the buyer, the buyer may cancel the contract and receive their earnest money back.  Sometimes a credit or price reduction will take place on a separate addendum to the contract in order for both parties to come to terms.  

If you have any further questions about the home inspection period please contact me at 623-252-9350 or

Nov. 8, 2017

Home Selling Process: Multiple Offers

Options For Handling Multiple Offers

A.  Request that the buyer gives you a 24 hour response time for all offers on the MLS.  If a good solid offer comes in right away, take it.  All other subsequent offers can be held as backup offers.

B.  Request that the buyer allows you a longer response time, allowing you to collect other offers, and then review all offers received at one time.  

  1. You can then pick the “best” offer OR
  2. Ask all buyers to submit their “highest and best” OR
  3. Be clear to the buyers and ask for what you want by sending a multiple counter form out to all or some of the buyers with your requested terms (can be tailored to each individual offer) OR
  4. Counter only one of the offers, hoping the other buyers will still be interested if you don’t come to terms with the first offer

Disclosing Information About Other Offers Received

Another issue that often comes up is the information that you allow to be disclosed to potential buyers about any offers, even verbal, that you have received.  As the seller, you are allowed to disclose all of the terms of a contract to other buyers.  You will need to decide how much you want to disclose.  For example:

  • Do you want to disclose the full terms and financing terms of any offers received?  Things to consider:  Will this push a buyer to make a higher offer, or will that buyer go after a different home?
  • Do you want to not disclose the terms and financing details?  Things to consider:  Will this leave money on the table by not giving an incentive for the new buyer to offer more money?

Dealing with multiple offers can sometimes be tricky, but if you have a clear understanding of how you want to deal with multiple offers it will make the process easier.  You can then easily convey to the parties wanting to purchase your home how you will proceed.  

Nov. 8, 2017

Home Selling Process: Reviewing Offers

The moment you've been planning for has arrived and you have received an offer on your property!  Now what?  Since an offer is about more than just the sales price, it is important to look at all of the terms in the Purchase Contract and how it will affect your bottom line and your time off the market.  

  • Purchase Price:  First, it's a great idea to revisit our original range of value covered in the Pricing and Strategy Meeting.  Next, it's important to look at the whole picture and see if this offer helps you achieve your goals.  There's a lot that goes into determining if this is a sufficient sales price so it's important to look at the other items as well.
  • Earnest Money:  This should typically be 1% of the Purchase Price, but if there are extenuating circumstances, you may want to request an increase in the Earnest Money amount.
  • Downpayment:  Typically the higher the down payment the better, but this often depends on the type of financing the buyer is using.
  • Type of Financing:  There are pros and cons to different kinds of financing.  For example, with a buyer using FHA financing, the FHA appraised value sticks with the property for 90 days and any future buyers using FHA financing.  A conventional appraisal does not stick with the property.
  • Seller Concessions:  Is the buyer requesting that you contribute to their closing costs?  How does this affect your bottom line?  What happens if the property does not appraise and the purchase price is lowered?  Will you still meet your desired net?
  • Personal Property Included:  Sometimes a buyer will ask for personal property in a purchase contract.  If you would like to receive compensation for these items they will need to be dealt with outside of the contract in a separate bill of sale. 
  • HOA Fees:  The HOA Disclosure must be provided with the buyer's offer.  By Arizona law, the seller has to pay any HOA resale disclosure fees.  If there are additional fees involved the buyer may request you to pay for them on the HOA Disclosure.
  • Close of Escrow Length:  They typical escrow for a financed buyer is 30 to 45 days.  A cash buyer can close more quickly.  If the buyer is asking for a longer than normal close of escrow it's important to determine why and if that will work with your goals.  There are tactics that we can discuss to help limit the days your property is off the market, such as shortening up the inspection period, requesting the appraisal be ordered within 2 days after the inspection period is over and making the earnest money non-refundable after a certain time. 
  • Additional Requests Made By Buyer:  The buyer may make additional requests or ask for special terms which could affect your bottom line or the time off the market.
  • Property Appraised Value:  You might not learn the appraised value until 2 to 3 weeks after contract acceptance.  It's important to consider if the property will appraise for the offer purchase price.  If the property does not appraise the buyer may not be able to come in with the difference so you may have to reduce the sales price to continue with this offer. 
  • Repairs: Keep in mind that the buyer will have the opportunity to ask for repairs during the home inspection period.  Hopefully, you have chosen to complete a pre-inspection so you are one step ahead of the buyers and already either know the repairs needed or have even completed some of the repairs.  This puts you in a strong negotiation position from the start.  ?

Have questions?  Contact me at 623-252-9350 or


Oct. 18, 2017

The Process of Selling Your Home

Home Selling Process

How I help you set yourself up for a successful sale of your home.

Home Selling Process 


Oct. 11, 2017

Custom Home on 1 Acre Lot for Sale In Litchfield Park

Wow!! What a great find!!  This custom home has southwest charm and a beautiful mountain view to enjoy Arizona's breathtaking sunsets!!  It has a 3 car garage plus a RV gate with RV parking.  There is not an HOA!!  Plenty of room in the back to add a garage, shop or horse facilities.  Versatile split floor plan with 3 bedrooms and an office.  It has tons of custom touches that make this property unique.  Custom wood cabinets, doors and beams add to the character of this home.  It has three patios, three fireplaces and a large fenced pool overlooking the mountains.  The original owner has kept it well maintained, has had the property pre-inspected and it is ready for move in!  Click below to see photos and more information.


Custom Home on 1 Acre Lot with Pool!! Amazing Mountain Views!!

Market Stats

Single Family Home
Main Features
3 Bedrooms
2 Full Bathrooms
1 Half Bathroom
Interior: 2,545 sqft
Lot: 40,500 sqft
Year Built: 2001
MLS #: 5672428
5034 N Tuthill Road
Litchfield Park, AZ 85340

Cinda Rose

Cinda Rose

The West Valley Home Team at Realty ONE Group
(623) 252-9350
[email protected]


Listed by: Realty ONE Group

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Oct. 2, 2017

Pre-approval for a Mortgage is Essential

Pre-approval is Good for Everyone

Buyer’s mortgage pre-approval is good for everyone in the transaction. It saves time, money and removes the uncertainty of knowing whether the buyer will be qualified after negotiating a contract. The direct benefits include:

  • Looking at “Right” homes - price, size, amenities, location
    Pre-approval is good for everyone.png
  • Find the best loan - rate, term, type
  • Uncover credit issues early - time to cure possible problems
  • Negotiating power - price, terms, & timing
  • Close quicker - verifications have been made

There is a significant difference in having a trusted mortgage professional take a loan application and run all the necessary verifications compared to going through calculators on a lender’s website. Besides the peace of mind, the cost of being pre-approved is a bargain and generally, limited to the cost of the credit report.

Even if a person has been pre-approved, a second opinion from a different lender may be a good option. It can verify there is a good deal or you’ll discover that you can improve it. Either way, it works to your advantage. Contact me if you’d like a recommendation of a trusted mortgage officer.

Sept. 29, 2017

Homeownership: Easier to Play the Game

Easier to Play the Game

It’s much easier to play a game when you know the rules so you can avoid mistakes that may keep you from winning. Homeownership isn’t a game but there are some rules that will protect your investment and increase your enjoyment.

Most people want a home of their own to raise their family, share with their friends and to feel safe and secure. In most cases, it is also their largest asset. These suggestions can help protect your investment and make homeownership more enjoyable.



  • Don’t overpay for your home
  • Maintain your home to protect its value
  • Minimize your assessed value to lower property taxes
  • Make extra contributions to save interest and build equity
  • Validate the insured value of improvements and contents
  • Be aware of current surrounding property values
  • Make mortgage interest payments deductible
  • Invest in capital improvements that increase market value
  • Don’t over-improve the neighborhood comparables
  • Keep records of capital improvement & other maintenance

We’d like to be your personal source of real estate information and we’re committed to helping from purchase to sale and all the years in between. If you need assistance with any of the items mentioned in this article or need a recommendation for a service provider, it would be our pleasure to help.

Sept. 28, 2017

Protecting Your Credit

Protecting Your Credit

One of the “big” three credit bureaus recently announced that a massive hack has exposed the personal information of up to 143 million people. To add perspective to that statement, that is about two-thirds of American credit card holders or close to half the population of the United States.  Part of protecting your credit is being vigilant and making it difficult for thieves to steal your identity. 



If you suspect you are a victim of identity theft, an initial step is to place a fraud alert on your account. Contact one credit reporting company (Equifax, Experian or TransUnion), tell them you are an identity theft victim and ask the company to put a fraud alert on your credit file. Confirm that the company will contact the other two companies.

The initial fraud alert will make it harder for an identity thief to open accounts in your name. The alert lasts for 90-days and it can be renewed.

A more severe precaution called a credit freeze restricts access to your credit report. A credit freeze makes it more difficult for thieves to use your identity to apply for loans or credit cards in your name.

By contacting each of the three credit reporting agencies separately, you can request a temporary freeze. This would prevent them from providing credit information without both your explicit permission and a PIN that temporarily lifts the freeze.

Unlike the fraud alerts, the agencies may charge you a fee for instituting the freeze in addition to another fee to lift the freeze each time.

A credit freeze will not affect your credit score. If you are in the process of buying a home, contact your loan officer and discuss the decision you are considering. If you will be making a mortgage application in the near future, you can temporarily lift the freeze for the lender you are using.

A trusted mortgage professional is a key team member in purchasing a home. Making an appointment with them is one of the first steps along with determining your real estate professional. Contact us to get a recommendation of a trusted mortgage professional.

To request a credit freeze, you can do it online or by phone:

Equifax – 800-349-9960 | Experian – 888-397-3742 | Trans Union – 888-909-8872

For more information, see Credit Freeze FAQs at the Federal Trade Commission.

It is important to personally monitor your credit reports through annual credit to discover any unusual activity.