I am really honored to be included in Newsweek and REAL Trends' list of Top Realtors, ranking number 3 in Arizona. I am so appreciative of all my loyal clients. To say I love what I do would be an understatement, and to say I do it alone is definitely not accurate. A grand thank you to Kathy Wright, my assistant of 20 years for consistently providing excellence and accuracy to our clients.
To all the service-oriented, vital partners including title companies, lenders, appraisers, maintenance vendors...the list goes on and I couldn’t do it without you. And to everyone at HomeSmart, I thank you for putting up with my neverending work schedule and always responding to my emails and phone calls. I really appreciate everyone who supports me, although as my clients know, when you hire me, you get me.
All that I do, I do for my family. They have made sacrifices over the years, as most of you know that I work 24/7. I could not have achieved this much without their support and commitment to my success, and for that I am eternally grateful.
2020 has been filled with both turmoil and hope. Hope that humanity will come together to fight both the pandemic and social injustice. I understand the role of listening that comes with this change and I am committed to doing more so that I may continue to provide fair and trustworthy service to my current and future clients. I could not have achieved this much without their support and commitment to my success, and for that I am eternally grateful.
I am looking forward to going to California in mid-July to get out of the sun, play golf and can only hope that the hotels and restaurants are open. I was fortunate to list 18 homes in our area the past 30 days ranging from $375,000 to $1.2 million. We have now sold 59 homes in 2020 and have another 12 in escrow.
The major question I get asked by buyers and sellers today is about the impact that COVID-19 has on our market. The crazy answer it has very little impact on the many buyers and sellers that are out there. Certainly we are all keeping our social distancing in viewing homes but our real estate market is on fire and as good as I have seen it in over 25 years. I am seeing multiple offers on homes and I even had multiple offers the past few weeks on a million-dollar North Central home.
There are a few reasons for the demand to buy and sell homes in our area and it all starts with our great low interest rates. The second reason is that there is a huge demand to live in North Central/Biltmore areas, not only for the location but our home values are still at a reasonable number compared to Arcadia and Paradise Valley. I am always asked whether there are many buyers coming from out of state to our area and, again, the answer really is no. The buyers in our area typically grew up in this area, or work in the area or my best reasoning is mom and dad are convincing their kids to move back to this area so they can see the grand kids more and are helping their kids with buying some of these homes.
The one request I have for you guys is that there is a big demand for luxury homes that are valued over a million dollars. I have four or five buyers right now that are looking to buy a high-end home in our area and would like to move to North Central with in the next two to three months. I have sold 11 homes priced at more than a million in 2020 (including a Bartlett States home for $4.1 million) and I am seeing more families moving to our ‘hood from PV and Arcadia because it is closer to their schools and because they get more bang for their buck here.
Please call me if you are thinking about selling any priced home that you currently reside in because there now are more buyers that there is inventory. I work seven days a week so there never is a day that will not work for me unless it is a few days in July while I am in California playing golf!! Have a safe July and I look forward to hearing from you if you are either wanting to sell or buy a home.
Last month I wrote about the impact of Covid-19 on our local real estate market and I stated that I felt the North Central/Biltmore areas would remain strong because most of our sellers live here year round. I have always felt our area will always recover faster because of its central location to the whole Valley, amazing schools, the best retail and restaurants in the valley and proximity to the court houses and hospitals for the lawyers, doctors and nurses living in our ‘hood.
Ihad a listing that I am proud of that just closed in April for $4.1 million, which is located at 2205 E. Colter St. (in the area of 22nd Street and Missouri). This magnificent home is 11,000 square feet with a large home theater that is situated on 2 acres. This is the most amazingly constructed home that I have ever sold in 28 years. The home was on the market for over a year when we took over the listing. We advertised the home in the North Central News, sent out more than 5,000 postcards, did an amazing video of the home including drone shots, marketed it over all the internet sites and had a large realtor tour visit the home.
We actually had it in escrow in just 3 weeks but it was contingent on the buyer's home in Arcadia selling, which we had it in escrow for $2.6 million. Everything was looking good until Covid-19 hit us in March and the buyer for the Arcadia home canceled because of the stock market. Two weeks later I convinced the sellers of the Colter home to purchase the Arcadia home of the buyer that was in escrow because this family loved the Colter home but had to sell the Arcadia home. This time the Colter home closed in April for $4.1 million and now the sellers of Colter will sell the Arcadia home, which will be a little easier to sell with 5,400 square feet instead of 11,000 square feet.
My point of this month's article is, first of all, to not give up on a sale and, second, sometimes we have to be creative in our marketing strategy to achieve the results we are after. IT ALSO TAKES A LITTLE LUCK.
I hope all of you have a safe summer and, most importantly, I hope that all of you who own or work in a local business are back to working again. Congrats to all of our 2020 graduates and much success in moving on to the next level of either school or joining the work force. I am guessing that the last three months will be a time that all of us will never forget!!
I apologize for not writing an article in this paper for the first time last month, but I needed time to understand what was going on not only in North Central but basically all around us regarding Covid-19.
I am only going to write this column regarding what I know best and that is real estate -- representing both buyers and sellers, especially in the North Central area. I have closed 29 homes in 2020 (including four since March) and I currently have 14 homes in escrow ranging for $345,000 to $4,300,000.
The difference in today's world compared to the short sale/foreclosure crisis we had from 2008-2012 is that sellers have equity in their homes now. North Central values were not as impacted then compared to the rest of the Valley because a majority of our residents live here all year round compared to some areas that have part time residents. Here are some key points that Tina Tamboer from the Cromford Report has recently pointed out to us:
• SELLERS ARE RETAINING THEIR HOME VALUES
• WE WILL NOT SEE A RUSH OF FORECLOSURES
• WE HAVE A DIVERSIFIED EMPLOYER BASE HERE
• SELLERS HAVE EQUITY AND FIXED PAYMENTS (NO BALLOON PAYMENTS LIKE IN 2008)
I respect that presently some sellers do not want strangers in their homes so we are actually marketing our newer listings with virtual tours, which gives buyers a better perspective of what the subject home looks like without having to view the home in person. We are even including drones on some of our listings. The bottom line is that we are spending more money on marketing our homes and I truly feel that gives us an edge.
There are some great Realtors in North Central and I truly respect our agents who are part of our long-time North Central Tour. In order to be successful in our area, you need to know all the homes that have sold in the past 5-10 years and you basically need to know what the active homes look like. I have sold more than 3,500 homes in 28 years of real estate and more than 2,500 homes in North Central, so I think that gives me an edge.
Please stay safe and be smart even after we all get clearance to resume a normal lifestyle. Also, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE support our local businesses.
I teach a three-hour continuing education class every two months, which is Agency Law and Marketing Essentials, and was honored to have 153 people in my February class. I discuss the marketing ideas that have worked for me, ultimately helping me sell an average of 118 homes per year and also talk about what ideas didn't work. The key that that I share with agents is that you have to spend money and continue to market yourself and your properties if you want an edge in our competitive market. My spend is more than $5,000 per month. This includes sending out 3,000 post cards every month marketing my active listings and $1,500 per month in marketing my recent sales, which range from $275,000 to $2.4 million. We also add marketing dollars on advertising our homes in the North Central News (three full pages) as well as social media and various Internet sites.
I am very appreciative of all my clients in 2020. This includes the 19 home sales and more than $18 million in sales so far. I am seeing more and more younger families moving to our neighborhood from Paradise Valley and Arcadia. They realize our values in the Central corridor are the best. We also have great public schools and let’s not forget the impact that All Saints’, Brophy, Xavier and other private schools have in our neighborhood. Additionally, being close to our downtown also is very important for judges, attorneys and doctors and nurses who have recently moved to North Central. If you are new to our ‘hood, enjoy our restaurants and businesses that are unique and special to those of us who have lived here a long time.
Thanks again for the kind words and letters that many of you sent me for my family’s tribute to our dad Herb in last month's article.
Hope to see you at a Spring Training game this month! Have a great March.