How did you become involved in real estate?
Buying and selling real estate is something I have always wanted to do. I was simply way too busy in my 20’s and 30‘s and 40’s starting businesses and negotiating the buying and selling of tens of millions of dollars of electronics and telecommunications businesses. I obtained my license when I relocated to Arizona.
Where in the Phoenix region are you active?
I’ve focused on the East Valley part of Phoenix, from the Mesa and Gilbert areas, all the way down to Queen Creek and San Tan Valley.
When selling a home, what can the owner do to maximize its value?
I would strongly recommend having an experienced agent do a walk-through before making any changes or updating. An experienced agent knows what sells, and he/she will determine what, if anything, needs to be completed prior to listing the property.
Paint, carpeting and tile always go a long way here in the desert. Sometimes we even lightly stage an empty home. Under certain circumstances, we actually pay to have some of our listed homes staged.
What advice do you have for clients who are preparing to buy a home?
For buyers who have never bought a home before, I like to meet with them and explain the entire home purchasing process so that they know what to expect. There’s always a bunch of questions to be answered, and sometimes these initial meetings take several hours.
Finding the right home is the fun and easy part; it’s the negotiation process with the seller, the loan process and the home inspection process that can create real challenges. Whether you’re a first-time buyer or an experienced buyer, the first step you should take is to find the right agent to work with.
Realtors, like doctors or attorneys – are not created equal. I am always amazed that most people don’t carefully choose the person they are going to entrust with the largest asset they’ll ever have or potentially one of the largest purchases they’ll ever make.
How is technology changing the way people buy and sell homes?
Most people now do much of their own research from their iPad or smart phone. However, while much of the online information is accurate, there’s a lot that is not accurate. I find that I often have to re-educate my clients or correct misinformation.
What features are the most important with today’s buyers?
Here in the desert, granite counter tops in the kitchen, tile flooring, stainless-steel appliances and updated 2 or 3 tone paint colors are very important. With all the flipping and rehabs going on all over the East Valley, even many of the lower-priced homes offer these amenities; so in turn, many buyers are expecting them.
What is the hallmark of the service you provide to your clients?
Negotiating is probably the area I most excel in. Understanding the nuances of the business and making each transaction a win-win transaction to both parties is fulfilling to me. And I’m constantly communicating with my clients, and conversely – I’m always available to them when they need me. I have always been knowledgeable about the loan process and up-to-date with what programs are available.
I cannot tell you the number of times I have been able to make a deal work while negotiating an offer because I understand how to structure an offer to best serve my client’s needs and, at the same time, keeping the seller’s constraints satisfied. Many people believe that it’s the lender’s role to structure the offer, but if the agent doesn’t understand what the best option is, he/she can’t possibly negotiate well.