Information and help for the Seller

Check out the articles below for information on selling your home. Give me a call (623-606-8861) or send an email to to get more information or to have me evaluate your home value. Let me be "Your real estate warrior".

Selling your Home in Surprise or other areas of the Phoenix West Valley


AgentShow01.jpgThinking about selling your real estate on the market? Have you decided on your objectives? You might not hear that often from other realtors, so what does it mean? As your Surprise Real Estate Agent I want to help clarify what you want to accomplish in selling your home. This will make the difference between success and failure. As your Surprise real estate agent I want to understand what your needs since it will take a partnership to get your home sold, so good communications upfront is important. That list of questions include how soon do you need to sell? Are you considering a short sale and possibly foreclosure? Is this a move dictated by your job?  Does the home need to have staging or maintenance? There's more and we will take a little time upfront getting to know your needs.  

Do you want to know what your property is worth, a market analysis? You need to have a professional analysis of your market area, one that provides some solid analytical support for the proposed price range. Sometimes you hear that the house down the street sold for X dollars, a lot more than the analytics indicate. Make sure what you hear is accurate and within a time frame (2 or 3 months) that can help predict accurate market value. A Client Gateway customized for your evaluation is a great way to keep up with the neighborhood activies.

If you use an online program that promises to provide you with the value of your home, use a conservative approach and be sure to understand all the options for adding or subtracting value from your home. I have frequently spent time with clients on their computer to help them understand why these programs are often inaccurate and that can be either to low or high!


If you have any general questions about selling real estate in Surprise AZ or anywhere in the West Valley, please contact me; I'm pleased to help as your real estate consultant. Please browse my website for listings, selling advice, area reports and important local real estate information. If you don't see it, send an email and I will see what I can find for you.

"Your Real Estate Warrior" is more than just a phrase, it's my commitment to you.


How long will it take to sell my home?

 How long will it take to sell your home? Smart Realtors will tell you the first 30 days on market is the most important.  When thinking of Surprise real estate and Phoenix real estate in general, you want your home exposed not only to local Realtors, but to the broader national market. There are hundreds of realty search engines (more being added every day) for people to search for property to buy.,, truila, google and yahoo are just a few of the sites that you must use to get the broad distribution needed to market Surprise real estate for sale, or anywhere in the West Valley.

To reach this broad base of prospective buyers, you start with the MLS listing, add in the real estate brokerage web sites and the additional locations where the listing is syndicated. Syndication is where the owners of the web site have agreements with other web site search engines that automatically list your property on that site. Remember this is just a start, with so many web sites being used by buyers you need to insure your property goes across hundreds of web sites. I use a advanced technology marketing program called the National Listing Service (NLS) significantly extends the number of web search engines that your property would be listed.  In any case if you use maximize the use of technology for selling your home it will increase the opportunities buyers have to see it.

One of keys to reducing the amount of time your property is on the market is to make the listing as inviting to read. By that I mean you need to write about the property in terms of why should someone want to buy. That is more than just listing the number of bedrooms and baths. It talking about why they might want to live there in terms of the views, neighborhood or special features. They can always read the specs in the detailed list of features. You also want pictures and lots of them. Pictures of the rooms and different angles. You want to have your pictures provide the right visual clues to them (home presentation) that will help them make that final buy decision.

If you are a seller and on the market for more than 90 days and no offers, I think you have a couple of options (i.e. assuming you need to sell and not just testing the market) to have more showings. First carefully re-evaluate what the sales situation is in your neighbor hood. and that means selling activity on  homes, do another market evaluation. You may need to adjust pricing a little or a lot, it is market dependent. Do you have a pricing strategy? Dropping to the wrong price can cost you a lot. The second is to make sure your house is ready for market presentation. That means uncluttered, clean, bright, and staged to provide the best appearance.

In todays Surprise and West Valley real estate market  houses that have the best appearance can have multiple offers on them in the first several weeks. If your house is a short sale, you will need to pick the right offer for your financial situation. That should include considerations on taxes, what your lender is willing to consider to release the lien and if your home qualifies for Arizona anti-deficiency statues. When making your decision ask your realtor what options to have to insure the buyer will stick with the offer. I have several strategies I can present to you that will help keep the buyer in place while your lender considers your short sale. 

If you are selling your home and are not in a short sale, then when pricing your home you have to take into account the market conditions in your neighborhood as a result of distressed property sales. As an example in 2012 most of the home price increases since 2003 have been wiped out. This means you are going to need to look at other strategies than just lowering your price. As an example you may want to consider  providing short term financing to help a buyer to be able to purchase your home.

As your Phoenix and Surprise Real estate agent, I can help you with data on area sales and listings to price your home to sell. I have the experience to help put together strategies to get your home sold in this tough market. Give me a call at 623-606-8861 or email me at and  I will be glad to provide you with a free evaluation. Then lets talk about how to get your home sold.

Preparing your home for sale

When Preparing your home for sale, there are 4 visual effects that will help you sell.

Pack up early. Sellers should pack up several large pieces of furniture and as much of the clutter in each room as possible. Don't just shift the stuff to another room or garage- rent a storage space and get it out of the house before showing. The way you live in your home and the way you sell your house are two different things.

Stick with beige. Carpeting shouldn't look worn or flat and lifeless. Colors should not look like a box of crayons or be shaggy. If you have loud carpet in your home you should consider replacing it with plain "real estate" beige or the popular Frise in an offwhite or light color with some speckles to not show new spots. Don't assume that the buyers will be able to look past the bad carpeting and just take something off the price.  In a buyers market, it won't work.  Offering a credit might work, but some buyers just can't get past that first unflattering look. When you decided to put a more netural carpet in the home make sure that it is a good color match with your walls. If you decide to change your carpet let me know, I have several carpet sources that will provide carpet and installation much lower than big box stores.

Use the rule of three. Three items are pleasing to the eye. Whether it's artwork, figurines on a shelf, a magazine rack, pillows, or candles, arrange them in threes for a more pleasing display.

Paint your home to sell. Does you home have bright pink exercise room to energize you when working out? How about purple in the kids room? Yellow in the boys room and mermaids in the bath room? If any of these conditions exist or anything like that, you are setting yourself up for a long time to sell your home. In a buyers market, your house must be paint perfect!

What does Paint Perfect mean? So first lets consider a few points

  1. Look at the style and complement it with your paint.
  2. Use the color brochures found in many stores to see how paint comos work together.
  3. Try your paint first by buying quart size jars and trying it our in different places with different lighting. This can make a big difference in your paint selection.
  4. Try different combinations to see which one works best
  5. Make sure your exterior color selections fit your area and your HOA approves to the extent it needs to.

The next question is really how to select the paint. A few more points to consider are:

  1. Use the Pittsburg paint rule. (60-30-10) 60% of paint color goes to the body. 30% goes to the trim and 10% goes to accent items.
  2. Those items that you don't like about the house should be painted in the main color. These items tend to fade into the background.
  3. Use paint as an accent on those items that you want to standout.
  4. Paint your front door in a color that really pops, some examples are dark plums, cranberry reds, teal blues, mahogany stain.

Need more help look at these sties for additional help:

Benjamin Moore -

Sherwin-Williams -

Behr -

Rohm and Hass -

Following some or all of these suggestions will make your home more attracive. I would be glad to help you with a staging company. carpeting supplier, handyman for painting and repairs, roofers and other service companies to help you get your house in perfect condition to sell.

Reports that can help you sell your home.

 Selling your home is an involved process that affects your family and your future. These home selling reports will assist you in answering the many questions that arise during the home selling process. When you're armed with the right information, and an experienced real estate professional, you'll be closer to reaching your goal - selling your home fast, and for the best price.

Please contact me if you have any questions about selling your Surprise home.Below, select desired reports and complete the form provided.

Common Selling Mistakes
Learn the top nine selling mistakes, and what steps you can take to avoid them.
Selling Your Home
Remember what first attracted you to your house when you bought it? What excited you about its most appealing features? Now that you're selling your home, you'll need to look at it as if you were buying it all over again.
Surviving the Sale
Getting a good price for your home is important, but minimizing stress and simplifying the selling process can be just as essential.
The Right Selling Price
When you’re selling your home, the price you set is a critical factor in the return you’ll receive. Learn several factors to base the assessment of your home.
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Organize Your Garage

Garages come in many shapes and sizes, but most have one thing in common: clutter and some times bad smells. Lets talk about the need to organize. Faced with a mountain of old sports equipment, broken lawnmowers, and little-used tools, some home owners have a hard time finding room in the garage for their car. But when it comes time to sell a house, disorganization in this all-important area is a turnoff to potential buyers, who’ll be unable to imagine their own stuff in the space. Smells from trash from open cans, open paint or gasoline fumes are real turn-offs. The rest of the house might be perfect, but a bad garage can send a buyer packing.

Empty the garage. If you plan to tackle a garage organization project in one day, it’s most effective to remove everything from the garage, or from large sections of it, and haul it to the driveway. There, you can sort through it easier and group similar items together. Just be sure that you don’t drag out more than you can deal with during the time you have allotted to the project. Otherwise, you’ll end up dragging it all back in.

Keep, donate, or throw away. Separate your items into one of these three categories. When deciding which category to place each item, ask yourself some important questions: When was the last time you used it, if ever? Is the item in good working condition and safe to keep? It is something that’s still useful and relevant? Do you have a place to keep it? What is the worst thing that would happen if you got rid of it?

Use what you already have. Before you decide to buy new organizing systems for the garage, look around the house and ask yourself if you have any furniture that you’re no longer using or have considered replacing. That old dresser, buffet, bookcase, TV card, or filing cabinet can make attractive, original, and economical garage storage systems.


Will you pay taxes on your distressed home deficiency?

Need to short sale because of a bad mortgage?Did you have a foreclosure or are you trying to short sale your home? Be sure to take advantage of the rulings by IRS on foreclosure and short sale for information on possible exemption from income taxes. You don't wan to pay taxes unless you need to. Review information on the IRS tax advisory and be sure to talk to your tax professional. CALL ME if you are short selling your home. I have experience in short sales and can help you with this tough problem. 

How to Sell a House Where Pets Live

Almost everybody loves pets except the home buyer who is buying your house. Don't ask me why, but that's often how it works out. Home sellers who adore their pets have a hard time imagining the negative attitudes others harbor against pets. So, while this might be a bitter pill to swallow, if you want to get top dollar for your house, pay attention to how much you might lose with a dog or cat in residence. This is some information on how to sell your home with a pet.

Why Don't Home Buyers Like Your Pet?

  • Nervousness. Pets make some people very uncomfortable. Not everybody grew up with a family pet or enjoys outings at the zoo.
  • Fear. Real and irrational. It's not only dogs that instill fear in people. I recently showed a house with a large Rotwieller. He was very nice but not when I stepped to close to his food bowl.
  • Inexperience. Pets are not always predictable.
  • Your pets aren't their pets. They imagine yours bite, jump, vomit, claw, spit-up hairballs or are just plain hyper and bad.

#1 Preferred Pet Solution

The best thing to do to ensure top price for your home is to relocate your pets while your home is on the market. Putting them in the back yard, in the garage or in another room that you keep locked is insufficient, and it's not fair to them. You need to remove them from the house.

  • Let a friend or relative care for Fluffy and Spike.
  • Board them at a kennel.
  • Send them on vacation.

Overcoming Negatives Associated with Your Pets

If you shrug off all professional advice and absolutely refuse to move your pets out of the house, then at least minimize the

objections and nuisance factors, real or otherwise:

  • Cat Litter Boxes & Dog Potty Pads. Keep them out of sight and impeccably clean. Nothing turns off buyers faster than opening the door to the laundry room and being greeted by a full or stinky cat box. 
  • Carpet & Floor Pet Stains. Hire professionals to remove the stains. Buyers will spot them and form unfavorable opinions about the rest of the house. If the stains can't be removed, then remove the floor covering and replace it.
  • Pet Odors and Smells. 
    1. Bring in a neighbor to do a whiff test. 
    2. Do not use air fresheners. People with allergies will react.
    3. Try enzyme cleaners such as Simple Solution , Nature's Miracle or call a professional ozone company.

Remove Signs of a Pet

You may be required by state law to disclose that pets have lived in your home, but you don't need to advertise that pets live

at your house. Removing signs that you have a pet is simply smart practice. Why turn off a buyer at the get-go? It's those

first impressions that are so all-fired important.

  • Do not put photos online showing your cat asleep on the bed
  • Seal up doggie doors
  • Put away food and water bowls when not in use
  • Vacuum religiously, every day, sometimes twice a day
  • Pick up pet toys and put them away
  • Pack up cat trees and other signs of cat paraphernalia (you know who you are)
  • Remove photos of pets from refrigerator, walls and table tops
  • Pack up all cages, carriers and other tell-tale signs

Showing Your House

Put your pets into a carrier and attach a note warning buyers not to disturb them. The last thing you need is somebody sticking their hand inside the carrier and getting bit or scratched. You can't predict how your pet will react when locked up and alone. Your agent should notify buyers agents via the mls listing of a Pet Alert to insure the buyers is prepared for the pet and not surprised.