3 Additions That Will Not Add Value to Your Home

 Home AdditionsWhen you own a home, there are additions that you can make to the property that will improve the value of your home. For example, a newly renovated kitchen or bathroom is a popular choice that will really make the home more desirable to buyers.

Also, adding storage space or a well-thought-out family room or other practical space can be a very good investment that will bring up the home’s value.

However, there are other projects that are not really worth your time or money and will allow very little opportunity to recover your costs when it is time to sell the property. Here are a few examples of things that you think might add to the value of your home, but really don’t.

An Elaborately Landscaped Garden

A beautifully landscaped garden might make the home more visually attractive to buyers when they are looking at the property, but it will not likely add to the selling price.

This is especially true if the new buyer is not interested in putting in the effort to keep the garden well-maintained and sees it as a burden. If they don’t have time to do the landscaping, they will need to hire a gardener which will add to their expenses.

A Hobby Specific Room

Are you tempted to convert a bedroom into a room that is specific to one of your particular interests, such as an art studio, a library or a wine cellar? This will not add a lot of value to the home, because the next buyer is not likely to share your passions.

It might even make the home less than desirable, because the next owner will not want to spend the time and money renovating the room back into a bedroom.

You can create a hobby room; just make sure that you make non-permanent chances to the room so that you can quickly and easily switch it back to a bedroom.

A Renovated Garage

Redoing your garage and turning it into a family room or a play room might give you a short term benefit, but you might regret it when you go to sell the home. Most people want a garage to serve its original purpose – as a place to protect their cars from the elements and store their shovels, garbage cans, leaf blowers and other outdoor things.

If you’d like to work with a Realtor who oversees EVERY portion of the real estate transaction give Debra Obrock a call: (480) 688-2000 or send her an Email

What To Do When Your Listing Gets Stale

BeggingAfter your home for sale has been on the market a few months, it’s getting stale and very few showings, you begin to wonder what to do to revitalize it. Standing on the corner begging someone to buy your home is not going to do the trick, so let’s look at a few options.

Have your Realtor run new comps. If you’ve been on the market even one month, look at the properties that have been listed since you listed yours and decide if you need to react. Also look at those properties that have gone under contract since your  home for sale was listed – and try to figure out why they were chosen instead of yours.

Is it time for new photos? Obviously if your home exterior was photographed in the snow and the tulips are now blooming, it’s time for new exterior photos. If you have done additional landscaping or completed a project, let’s get the photographer back out there to take new photos.

Review your showing instructions. When you listed your home for sale, you may have established restrictive showing instructions. I ran across a home for sale today that is only available for showings Monday through Friday at noon or in the evenings, and that is not going to work with my Buyer’s schedule. Try to be more flexible.

Are driving directions to your property easy and correct? This may seem picky since most of us have navigation devices, but do review the driving directions to your home to ensure they are correct and easy to follow.

Before you consider a price reduction, re-consider home staging. If you nixed the idea of spending money on home staging when you listed your  home for sale, please reconsider that decision now. Yes, it is money spent up front, but almost always an investment that will prevent unnecessary price reductions.

Landscaping and home maintenance – are you still show ready? Great internet photos will get buyers TO your home for sale, but if you’re not maintaining your yard, landscaping and pool, Buyers may decide not to even stop for a viewing.  Even staged, vacant homes need a light dusting and airing out on a regular basis.

Revise verbiage on the internet and syndicate again. I’ve been asked twice who the Builder was on a home for sale currently listed. I added that information to my internet verbiage and syndicated a second time. Not only are you providing relevant information, you are providing fresh information on the internet.

Consider feedback from Realtors and their Buyers. If you have heard the same complaint more than once, it’s time to do something about it. If your feedback says that your paint colors are too dark, please paint a lighter color. If there is a concern because the only patio access is from the side of the home, get a quote to add an additional exit – and display a rendering of how it would look.

The solution to a stale listing is not always more print advertising or more open houses. Exhaust the list above and see what results you get for your home for sale!

If you are interested in discussing how I would market your home for sale or what price I think it should list for, give Debra Obrock a call today at:480 688-2000.

Days on Market is a Negative for Buyers

Days on MarketOne of the FIRST questions they will ask their Realtor when viewing a home for sale is “how many days has this been on the market?If the answer is that the house has been on the market 122 days, the Buyers immediately wonder what’s wrong with the home and why nobody else has wanted to buy it. However, if the answer is 10 days on market, the home Buyer’s reaction is, “we had better take a look at this home and make a decision quickly before someone else snaps this up!”

What does “Days on Market” mean to a Seller?

When preparing your home for sale, take into consideration how home buyers will perceive your days on market should your home not sell quickly. Home buyers are getting very educated about real estate on the internet and will look for DOM (Days on Market).

Of course, this varies from market to market and longer days on market are expected in higher price ranges. But, regardless of make and model, excessive days on market will almost always ensure a low-ball offer.

Realtors have the same perception about days on market. If they see that a home’s DOM is greater than most of the homes listed the area they will no doubt conclude that the home is overpriced and will not waste their Buyers time by showing them the home.

So when you are ready to list your home, forget about “testing the waters” and price your home competitively from day one. Once your days on market have grown, you can’t undo that damage.

If you are interested in discussing how I would market your home for sale or what price I think it should list for, give me a call today at:480 688-2000.

Pass Your Home Inspection With Flying Colors

Home Inspection Home inspections are a tense time for everyone. Sellers are fervently hoping that nothing major is wrong with their home that could hold up the transaction.

Buyers are eager to hear that their new house is in prime condition. Whatever the wishes, one thing is for sure; any news from an inspector is usually bad news.

Home inspectors have a tough job. They have to be trained to spot hundreds of potential issues with a home and be knowledgeable of local codes, community restrictions and residential permit parameters.

Stay one step ahead of your home inspector by reading the list of common home inspection issues below. Then hopefully your inspection won’t reveal any unwelcome surprises.

Electrical Wiring

This is a common bubble-busting issue, especially in older homes. Wiring might have been up to code when the home was built, but it now violates code and is a fire hazard.

Look for ungrounded outlets, shoddy wiring or a mass of confusing connections in the electrical panel. Replacing an entire electrical system can be expensive, but it’s worth it not to risk a fire.


Look for signs of water damage in the ceilings. This could be a sign that something above, like a bathtub or sink is leaking into the floor or walls. Look around toilets and inside kitchen cabinets for traces of wet flooring or wood.

While external leaks are easy enough to fix, interior pipes might require you to rip up flooring.

Foundation And Framing

Examine the foundation and framing of your home for any structural issues. You’ll want to keep an eye out for cracking in the foundation due to water runoff or settling. Also, look for signs of wood rot or termite damage.

These issues affect the framing of your home and could cause scary structural problems if left unattended.


While it’s probably too difficult for you to inspect the roof yourself, just stand back in the yard and see if you can notice any bare spots. Also, check for water damage around the roofline from rain leaking in. Don’t get too discouraged about roof issues. It might not call for a complete replacement, but just a repair on one section.

These common home inspection issues affect both sellers and buyers. As a buyer, you’ll want to keep a eye out for these problems so that you know what you’d be getting for your hard-earned money.

As a seller, it’s good to stay one step ahead of the home inspector so that whatever price is agreed upon goes through.

If you’d like to work with a Realtor who oversees EVERY portion of the real estate transaction
give Debra Obrock a call: (480) 688-2000 or send her an Email


Curb Appeal Can Help Sell Your Home

Curb Appeal SellsNever underestimate the impact of curb appeal when selling your home.  When it comes to selling your home, curb appeal refers to the “first impression” that your house gives when a buyer approaches it from the driveway or the street.

How does your home look to a potential buyer from the outside? Does your house look attractive and inviting, or does it appear to be rundown a preview of what to expect on the inside of the home as well?

First impressions are important and even if the inside of the home is perfect, curb appeal can affect a buyer’s perception.

If you are trying to sell your property, you have probably mowed the front lawn and even planted flowers, replaced dying cactus, fixed the irrigation system in order to improve your curb appeal. However don’t overlook….

Common Curb Appeal Mistakes


Please No Lawn Statues or Lawn Ornaments

You might think that your little Garden Gnome is just so cute, but your potential buyers don’t necessarily have the same taste and you might want to hide them away for a while when your home goes on the market.

Dark Pathways

Your potential buyers might want to visit your home in the evening, so make sure you invest in some outdoor lighting to guide their way to your front door. The Desert skies ordinances against lighting in some North Scottsdale communities can make for poorly lit front walkways.  You will not make a good first impression if your potential buyer is missing their step while navigating your flagstone pathway at night with no light to guide the way.

Dying Flowers & Cacti

Adding flowers and desert landscaping to your front yard can improve your curb appeal, until the seasons change and they begin to go brown and whither. Do your best to keep up with the garden maintenance throughout the year so that everything still looks fresh.

Children’s Toys

If you have little ones, your yard is probably filled with discarded Frisbees, tricycles, skipping ropes, sidewalk chalk and other toys. Before showing your home, make sure that all of these are tidied away.

Your potential buyers might not have children and might not be fond of them, so they want to be able to see what the backyard will look like when it is not covered in brightly colored plastic.

These are just a few of the curb appeal mistakes to avoid, so that your home looks as appealing as possible.

Home staging is not just for the inside of the home, begin with your home’s curb appeal.

If you’d like to work with a Realtor who oversees
EVERY portion of the real estate transaction
give Debra Obrock a call: (480) 688-2000 or send her an Email

Who Should Attend a Home Inspection

Home InspectionThe home inspection should have present the both Listing an Selling agent and both the Buyer and Seller.  Inspection results are sometimes opinions and not a clear cut finding. The time to discuss it is during inspections – not after the fact. However, this is not typically the case. Instead the home inspection is done by the home inspector and the buyer and seller rely on the inspectors report to negotiate further terms before the sale of the home proceeds.

Why The Seller Should Attend the Home Inspection.

Often home inspectors will have questions that theSeller could easily answer and save everyone a lot of time. Also the home Seller will hear from the inspector what would be an acceptable repair to a condition.

Why The Buyer Should Attend the Home Inspection.

Home Buyers should be present to hear the findings of a home inspection. Not only will home inspectors call out what is in need of repair, they will offer advice as to what should be budgeted for, or how best to maintain or extend the life of a component. To read inspection results on a written report may seem shocking, while hearing it from the inspector’s mouth is much more informative.

How to Prepare for the Home Inspection.

Home Sellers should prepare for a home inspection by making sure there is ACCESS to all furnaces, electrical outlets and attic space. At a recent home inspection, I had to move half the clothes out of a closet in order for the inspector to access a furnace. I moved boxes placed in front of electrical outlets also. Often we will find boxes stacked so high in the garage that there is no access to a hot water heater or the attic.

It is not legal or proper for a home inspector to move items to inspect what the Buyer paid them to inspect – that is clearly the home Seller’s responsibility. An inspector’s time is as valuable as yours, so don’t be the cause of a 2nd trip to the property.

All Buyers want their new home to be as worry-free as possible when they move in, regardless of the age of the home. Realtors, Sellers, Buyers and Inspectors work together to make that happen on a budget and in a time frame with which everyone can accommodate.

If you’d like to work with a Realtor who oversees
EVERY portion of the real estate transaction

give me a call: (480) 688-2000

Home Prices Increasing At Highest Rate Since 1977

Home prices increasingHome Prices increasing at highest rate since 1977 according to data released by RealtyTrac Inc.  The U.S. housing markets continue to drive the economic recovery

National home prices rose by 11.90 percent year-over-year for June.

48 states reported rising home prices with only Delaware and Mississippi reporting lower home prices. Nevada led the states with a 26.50 percent gain over June 2012.

Cities also fared well on housing prices; 99 of the 100 largest U.S. cities reported gains in home prices.

Rising Home Prices And Mortgage Rates, Short Supply Of Homes

According to Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic, home price trends are rising at their fastest pace since 1977. While good news for sellers, homebuyers may find fewer affordable options over time while also contending with rising mortgage rates.

In spite of rapidly rising home prices, national home prices remain about 19 percent below their peak in April 2006.

Why The Shortage Of Available Homes?

Some homeowners are hoping to recoup losses on their homes before listing them for sale. This could be a risky decision, as many economists have previously characterized the last peak of the housing market to be a “bubble,” or an abnormal spike in home values.

In some markets cash buyers are snapping up homes and making it difficult for mortgage-dependent homebuyers to compete.

Another common scenario that presents challenges to home buyers in areas where homes are in high demand occurs when there are multiple purchase offers for one home.

Buyers who rely on mortgage loans for financing their home purchase can improve their chances by being pre-approved for a mortgage before shopping for a home.

Fewer Foreclosed Homes Contribute To Rising Home Prices

RealtyTrac estimates that 500,000 home mortgages will be foreclosed this year. This is approximately 25 percent lower than the number of 2012 residential foreclosures.

Bank-owned homes are typically offered at lower prices and with incentives such as direct financing, but most are sold as-is with no warranties or guarantees as to their condition.  Multiple foreclosed homes within a community can drag down home prices, so fewer foreclosed homes is positive for homeowners and communities alike.

Want To Buy A Home? Don’t Give Up

Rising mortgage rates and home prices can present challenges, but working with your local real estate professional can help with finding an affordable home. Programs are available for assisting eligible first-time buyers with their down payment and closing costs.

Adjustable-rate mortgage loans that provide a low fixed rate for a specified introductory period provide an alternative to higher payments required of a fixed-rate mortgage. An adjustable-rate mortgage may be a good option for first-time buyers who plan to “move up” within a few years.

For assistance in finding an affordable home please feel free
to call Debra at:: (480) 688-2000
for a list of homes in your price range.

Sales of Existing Homes Continue to Rise

Sales of Existing Home Sales of existing homes in June came in at 5.08 million nationally according to the National Association of REALTORS®.  June’s reading was reported to be the second highest since November of 2009; this should calm concerns about a lapsing recovery in housing markets.

Summer typically produces the highest prices for existing homes sold, as families seeking larger homes frequently move during summer months.

The June inventory of existing homes improved by 1.90 percent to 2.19 million homes or a 5.20 month supply. June’s number of available homes was 7.60 percent lower than in June 2012.

Gains in Sales of Existing Homes Can be Attributed to:

  • The shortage of available homes has been causing buyers to turn from existing homes to new homes in areas where both available homes and/or land for new construction are in short supply.
  • Here in the Phoenix area new construction is not keeping up with demand.  The shortage of qualified help is slowing down the building process and many buyers are not able to wait out the time it will take to have a home built.

Average Home Prices Continue Their Climb Nationally

So the news of more existing homes for sale is good news for home buyers and housing markets that have been held back by an excess of buyers seeking a short supply of available homes.

NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun noted that inventories of existing homes are expected to “broadly favor sellers and contribute to above-normal price growth.”

This trend was supported by June’s national average price for existing homes at $214,200, which represented a year-over-year increase of 13.5 percent. Rising home prices and mortgage rates continue creating financial challenges for first-time buyers and others seeking affordable home prices and mortgage loans.

Distressed home sales were down from 18 percent in May to 15 percent in June; this is the lowest market share since tracking began in 2008. June sales of distressed homes were significantly lower than in June 2012’s reading of 26 percent of existing homes sold.

The National Association of REALTORS® noted that falling levels of distressed sales are contributing to higher prices for existing homes.

FHFA Reports Home Prices Rise In May

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) reported Tuesday that prices for homes financed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac rose by 0.70 percent in May as compared to April’s downwardly revised 0.50 percent increase in home prices.

According to the FHFA Housing Price Index (HMI), home prices were up by 7.30 percent year-over-year in May, and are roughly equal to home prices reported for January 2005. May’s home prices remained 11.20 percent below peak prices reported in April 2007.

May’s FHFA data demonstrated steady growth of home prices for all nine census divisions on a year-over-year basis with home prices increasing from 2.70 percent to 15.80 percent in May.

Why to Sell Now?

As home prices continue to rise we will begin to see many more investors wanting to cash out on the homes they purchased during the housing crash adding to the inventory and weakening the strong Sellers Market.

Mortgage rates are beginning to rise, decreasing the number of Buyers willing or able to afford a higher monthly mortgage payment.

Take advantage of the strong Sellers Market  here in Phoenix.
Give Debra Obrock a call to learn what your home is worth.
480 688-2000

Why Isn’t Your Home Selling?

Existing Home SalesYour Home Isn’t Selling Because…

Your home has languished unsold on the market for months, but you can’t fathom why.

Chances are, you’ve overlooked what buyers really want. Let’s take a look in more detail at some of those issues you might have overlooked.

If your home isn’t selling…..

Your price is too high – This is the number one reason your house isn’t selling. Sure, you are attached. Your home is where you raised a family and created memories you can’t put a price on.

However, today’s buyers are more savvy than partial to your emotions. They either won’t look at over-priced properties, or when they do, they’ll make a low-ball offer, way below market value.

If your home has been on the market for more than 30 days, it’s time to review and adjust your price.

Your house is poorly located or poorly planned – There’s not a lot you can do about this: a small yard, a weird hill that makes mowing maddening, a sink hole down the street, neglect that’s turned to blight, a busy road nearby.

No matter how magnificent your home may be on the inside, outside factors can keep buyers from crossing the threshold to take a look. The only way to over come these obstacles is to lower the price until a buyer bites.

Your advertising is insufficient – Your real estate agent should do more than just list your home with the local multiple listing service (MLS), sit back and wait for agents to beat a path to your door.

When you choose a real estate agent, establish what the agent plans for marketing. What kind of photos will be used? Smartphone photos of your home aren’t smart. How will the agent describe your home in the listing? Are open house events and broker tours planned?

These are all important marketing approaches, but if they aren’t part of the plan, the lack of them could be a contributing factor to your home’s failure to sell.

You are inflexible – If you are not ready to show your home at a moment’s notice, say for a broker’s tour, you are a big reason your home won’t sell. If you can’t show it, you can’t sell it. The more buyers who see your home, the faster it sells. The more buyers who see your home, the higher the selling price.

Too much “you” is in the house – Those snaking handrails and electric blue kitchen you love so dearly, are not going to be big selling points. You want your home staged so that potential buyers can envision it as their home. Neutralize. Don’t fill those beautiful, built-in bookcases with family photos and dog figurines. Move personal items out of the house and paint the rooms a neutral color so you allow buyers’ imagination to help sell your home by seeing themselves in it.

Your house looks run down – That big water stain under the deer antler chandelier? Fix the source of the stain and the stain itself. Take down he chandelier. The roof may be new, but potential home buyers will zero in on stains, blemishes and discolorations and believe the cause of the damage remains. Give the carpets a good cleaning too. You don’t want to turn off a potential buyer because he or she thinks they will have to repair or replace something.

If you are keep these points in mind and plan accordingly, you should not have to worry about the reasons your home isn’t selling.

Source Realtytimes for RE/MAX

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