Article in Daily Courier Brings hope to Prescott Area Market

Home prices are continuing to rise, moderately but consistently in Yavapai County. Single-family home price sales through September had a median price of $238,000, up 7 percent from the $222,000 in 2013, according to county assessor, Pamela Pearsall . The year-to-date median price through September was $225,000, up 5 percent from 2013 for Yavapai County home sales.

According to Pete Weaver, president of Prescott Area Association of Realtor (PAAR), the average sales price for local homes from January through early October went  from $207,000 to $234,000 from the same time last year. “Sellers are getting on the average  97 percent of their list price – that’s identical to last year,” Weaver said. “Time on the market is down 20 percent from the same period last year.”

The average home sales price In Prescott this year through early October was $299,000, up 9 percent from $273,000 last year. Thanks to larger developments (Granville, StoneRidge,  etc.), Prescott Valley’s year-to-date average through early October was up 15 percent from last year.

Chino Valley’s 2014 average is up 19 percent from the $144,000 last year to $171,000 .

This is indeed encouraging news to the community and brings a hopeful outlook to the future of  Prescott area real estate. It has been many years since we have had this kind of growth in the housing market. Now is a great time to sell your home if you have been waiting for the market to “come back”.

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Prescott Area Real Estate Market is Roaring Back

According to an article in the local Prescott area newspaper, the Prescott Valley Tribune the housing market is roaring back in the Prescott Quad City Area! With construction happening all over quad-cities, it could only mean one thing… the market for new homes is finally making a comeback in the Prescott, AZ area.

In the Prescott Valley Granville development, construction equipment is working hard to complete construction on 300 homes by late October.

“We’re running out of (completed) lots,” said Universal Sales Associate Shannon De La Sierra, gesturing to a site map full of “sold” markers. “Pretty soon, we’re not going to have anything left to sell.” It’s a not a moment too soon for the economy to turn around, she said. “Last year, we sold 125 homes. The year before that was 68. The year before that was 35. And the year before that was 15.

Richard Parker, Prescott Valley’s Community Development Director, agreed, “We’re up several hundred percent over last year. We’ve projected we’re going to do somewhere in the neighborhood of 500 residential (housing) starts this year.” That’s as opposed to 27 new starts in 2010. He called the current trend “healthy, if not robust.”

“We were wondering if (the market) would ever come back,” De La Sierra said.

It has, Parker said. “We’re going to see an increased number of building permits unless something happens nationally.” As for fears that this is yet another bubble, he said, “I don’t see it. Prescott Valley has, I think, a lot of potential into the near- and mid-future,” which he defined as five to 10 years.

Parker noted other major developments which are currently in the works: Glassford Hill Heights, which is going before the town’s Planning and Zoning Commission in April, and Quailwood, which is “clicking along.”

Joe Contadino, president of Universal Homes, said, “The dirt’s flying around. The market’s been really good.”

He called the Granville project “the largest earthmoving project in Yavapai County,” and said they would end up moving “in excess of 500,000 cubic yard of earth.”

He said they have about 1,400 homeowners and still have 2,000 homes to build.

Contadino added “When the market tanked, everybody left or got into something else other than construction,” he said. “So rebuilding those trade skills has been difficult to meet market demand.”

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Article in Prescott Courier about Using a Real Estate Professional

An article in the Daily Courier features 5 reasons to use a real estate professional instead of listing yourself:

1. Pricing Is Difficult

Just a few years ago, you didn’t have to worry about overpricing your home. If it was too high, all you needed to do was wait as historic appreciation was taking place. The situation is quite different today. With the possibility of a continuing drop in home values, overpricing your property will cost you time. In this market, time costs you money. A professional real estate agent will discuss how increasing inventory could dramatically impact the value of your property in the months to come. They will help you set the right price in today’s market.

2. Negotiating Ability Is Crucial

Buyers today have an almost unlimited supply of homes from which to choose. They realize this puts them in a great negotiating position. Most buyers are now being represented by an agent. Sellers need to also be represented by a professional expert trained to negotiate real estate contracts.

3. Mortgaging Is Key to the Deal

The biggest impact on the housing market collapse is that lending standards are much stricter today than they were a few short years ago. Rules are constantly changing. Even FHA has gone through a guidelines overhaul in the last several months. You need a real estate expert who has teamed up with a knowledgeable mortgage professional to make sure that the buyer in the deal is in fact capable of obtaining a mortgage. Losing time with an unqualified buyer costs you money in a market where prices are falling.

4. Your Family’s Safety

We have always found it puzzling that the same person who will lock every door and window and set the alarm today will then allow total strangers into their house tomorrow. The real estate industry trains its practitioners to take steps to protect themselves and their clients. Take advantage of putting a person between you and the person calling on an ad or a yard sign.

5. You Probably Have More Important Things to Do

Selling a home could turn into a full time job. Learning the necessary disclosures, coordinating the dates of your closings, dealing with a challenge regarding your appraisal and re-negotiating the offer after an engineer’s report are just a few of the concerns you may face. You would probably be better off spending that time with the items important to you and your family and leaving the challenges to your agent.

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In addition to this list of compelling reasons to use an agent, consider the following: In an era of Trulia, Craigslist®,®, etc., you might be wondering why you can’t just sell your home on your own. There are plenty of resources available to you as a homeowner and no one knows your home like you do. So why do you need a REALTOR®?

In fact, there are a few compelling reasons.

First of all, a good Real Estate professional has an understanding of the local market. While most people get their information on real estate trends from national news, Realtors know that “all real estate is local,” and it is their business to be very familiar with it. A good Realtor would be able to value your property with by pulling comparable properties and using their experience.

A Realtor also has a built-in network. He or she is in constant contact with other real estate agents, each of whom has a personal inventory of clients who may be interested in your property. This gives you a large number of potential buyers who would never see a sign in your yard or a classified in the local paper.

And speaking of advertising, this should come at a cost to your Realtor, including signage, information packets, the multi-list system, multiple on-line sites, professional photos, virtual tour, flyers & mailers and more.

A Realtor should work hard for you. He or she is bound by a code of ethics, and you should never have to worry that your Realtor is dividing his or her loyalty between you and a buyer, without your informed and written consent. And he or she will be able to help you avoid legal issues by ensuring that your contracts and disclosures are accurate and up-to-date.

Realtors also have a long-standing relationship with lenders and title companies, and will be able to help you find reputable companies to help your transaction go smoothly and without unexpected setbacks.

Having said that, though, there often are setbacks. Realtors are professionals and offer experience bringing transactions to the closing table. They will be prepared for last-minute glitches, and will do all that they can to keep the transaction moving smoothly to a close. When appraisals don’t come in as high as expected, or an appliance suddenly stops working, it can be very stressful; and having a calm, competent Realtor will be an enormous asset.

You should try and choose a local Realtor, of course. These are people who are very involved in their communities and know the neighborhoods, lakes, recreational opportunities, etc. If you are selling from a distance, and you receive notice of a burst pipe, your Realtor will know who to call. If a foot of snow blocks your driveway and there’s a showing in four hours – your agent will know who to call.

Finally, a Realtor possesses something you don’t when it comes to selling your property: no emotional attachment. They may empathize with your love for your home, but will still be able to recognize and advise you on the things you may need to do to prepare you home for sale, and maintain professionalism and courtesy when dealing with a lowball offer while you as a proud homeowner may be offended and lose your cool.

Working with a real estate agent is not free of course. The Realtor will have made an investment in signage and advertising, not to mention time and diligence. But most importantly, it’s difficult to put a price on the peace of mind you will get when you work with a knowledgeable professional.

Nice Article on a FSBO site that stresses importance of listing photos

Quoting an article written in the Los Angeles Times,

“A picture may be worth a mere 1,000 words in other circles, but in real estate, it enters the realm of deal or no deal.”

In today’s modern real estate market an estimated 90% of home buyers are starting their search on the Internet. It’s no wonder that photos are to home sales today what curb appeal used to be: the place where first impressions are made.

In a web features survey conducted by the National Assn. of Realtors, they highlighted that buyers found “very useful,” 83% mentioned photos, 81% liked detailed property information and 60% named virtual tours.

Decisions about which homes a buyer wants to see — and ones to skip over — are made based on what a buyer sees online.

“If you can’t get them in the door, you can’t sell the house.”

said Kenny Bellini of Santa Monica Coldwell Banker.

Agents and sellers are often turning to professional photographers to take those jaw-dropping glamour shots even when the home isn’t an architectural gem. When a professional photographer is brought in, it’s most often the realty agent who pays for the service as part of the marketing plan, however many agents do not want to invest the money in making their client’s home look it’s best to potential buyers.

With millions of potential buyers starting their search online sellers cannot afford to have their home dismissed as an option because of of mundane photos. Comparable homes that offer professional quality bright, cheery photos and crisp color are much more likely to be shown when compared to amateur agent photographed dark, blurry photos.

In fact, I believe compelling listing photos are the most important part of marketing a property in today’s real estate market. You could spend lots of money in advertising in print publications but if photos of the property aren’t engaging, it doesn’t matter how many potential buyers you reach if the home doesn’t look desirable. In fact, it could actually be a deterrent if the photos don’t do the home justice. Many homes may be exactly what a buyer is looking for but if the photos don’t reflect that, the buyer will move on and keep looking.

Also, there are many people relocating across the country that buy a home they have never seen and make their decision solely based on home specs and photos! Listing photos are extremely important to those who can’t physically see the property and are acting on what they can see on the internet. This is becoming increasingly popular as real estate websites are offering higher resolution pictures and videos.

It is important to choose the right realtor when you decide to place your home on the market. The market is filled with lazy, unambitious agents that will place a sign in the front yard and wait for a contract so they can get paid. Choosing a real estate agent or team(such as the Stringer Real Estate Group) with an aggressive marketing plan including the most engaging photography available will yield to more buyers walking through your door and will give you a better chance of selling your home quickly. Please contact us today to get a risk free market analysis of your home.

Real Estate Listing Photos: Worth More than 1000 Words?

This is a wonderful article about the importance of having quality photos for your listing. In this modern real estate era, it could be the difference between getting a showing or not, and is true more often than not. With approx. 90 percent of home buyers starting their search online you can’t afford to not make your home stand out. Without crisp, bright wide angle photos taken by a professional you are at the mercy of dark, narrow, crooked low res photos taken by an agent usually with little effort from their point and shoot camera or cell phone. If your listing photos are bad then all the marketing in the world will not attract buyers if the house doesn’t look attractive.

With a photography background and thousands of virtual tour shoots under his belt, Royce Stringer of the Stringer Real Estate Group will make your house look incredible, leading to more showings and often a higher selling price. The question you should ask yourself is “Why am a willing to pay an agent a commission if they aren’t willing to spend any time or money marketing my property and representing me”?”

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