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Stephanie Weiss Moves

Make a "Weiss" Move!

By Stephanie Weiss | Agent in Gilbert, AZ
  • Listing Photos Do Have an Impact

    Posted Under: Home Selling in Chandler, Curb Appeal in Chandler, Property Q&A in Chandler  |  November 12, 2013 4:36 PM  |  1,055 views  |  4 comments

    Stephanie Weiss MovesI view properties online on a regular basis and a couple things that continue to baffle me are the lack of professional photos and what those photos reveal.

    Let’s start with the photos. Most agents are not…I repeat not professional photographers. Why a seller would not demand that the real estate agent provide professional photos and more importantly, why the agent does not offer it is just plain inexcusable.  The agent that is not providing professional photos is, in my opinion, doing a monumental dis-service to the home seller.   In our online world, these photos make an immediate impact on the potential buyer.  It can factor into whether they put this on the list of properties to see or not to see.  Once the home has been on the market for 120 days, what could possibly be the part of the agents’ explanation as to why this property has not sold? Did the agent send a copy of the link to the seller once it was loaded in the MLS? 

    I have clients that are having a new home built here in Chandler. They are selling a property in Kentucky. When I asked my client if their Kentucky agent was providing professional photographs, they told me the agent said they would not do so with a 3 month listing agreement. After nothing happened during those 3 months, the listing agent then said (before the listing expired) she thought now she should obtain professional photos. Needless to say, my client was not impressed let alone interested at that point and decided to rent it out. When they do decide to sell that property, they will not list with that agent again.

    What the photos reveal are also important.  Have you seen those kitchen photos with post-it notes all over the refrigerator and so many miscellaneous items on the counters a potential buyer cannot see past them?  I consistently see many photos online that are dark to the point you can’t see them, are upside down or sideways and blurred. What kind of agent loads photos into the MLS without reviewing them?  How about all those items in the bathroom such as toiletries hairspray, makeup and the toilet lid up?   Why an agent would take photos of a property in that condition is beyond me but I see it time and time again.  If there are too many distractions in the photos, it can turn a buyer off.  Cleanliness is also a key.  A home that appears junky and unkempt may send the message “this is what you see” but what you can’t see may not be maintained either.

    It’s a delicate balance to suggest to potential listing clients that “less is more” and a clean and neat home matter but it’s the agents’ job to sell the home.  My suggestion is your selling your home anyway and you’ve mentally moved out so why not transfer some things into a storage facility or clean out what you know you won’t keep anyway.  Have you ever completed your move and wondered why you moved all those things you ended up throwing out?  I did that....once.

    Researcher Michael Seiler concluded buyers spend 60% of their time looking at the photos, 20% on property descriptions and 20% on agent comments.  How House Hunters View Your Listing

    Properties that are well presented online move faster and get offers in a shorter period of time.  All my listings contain professional photos because I want the best exposure for the seller coming out of the gate and while I enjoy taking photos, real estate is my specialty, not photography.

    Stephanie Weiss REALTOR®
    480.273.7472 cell/text  602.733.5997 efax
    Stephanie Weiss Moves
    Stephanie's Blog
    Search All Properties!
    Also a member of the White Mountain Association of Realtors!

  • Why You Should Work With a REALTOR®

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Chandler, Home Selling in Chandler, Property Q&A in Chandler  |  December 5, 2012 10:22 PM  |  1,293 views  |  No comments

    Stephanie Weiss MovesNot all real estate practitioners are REALTORS®. The term REALTOR® is a registered trademark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION of REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics. Here are five reasons why it pays to work with a REALTOR®.

    1. You’ll have an expert to guide you through the process. Buying or selling a home usually requires disclosure forms, inspection reports, mortgage documents, insurance policies, deeds, and multi-page settlement statements. A knowledgeable expert will help you prepare the best deal, and avoid delays or costly mistakes.
    2. Get objective information and opinions. REALTORS® can provide local community information on utilities, zoning, schools, and more. They’ll also be able to provide objective information about each property. A professional will be able to help you answer these two important questions: Will the property provide the environment I want for a home or investment? Second, will the property have resale value when I am ready to sell?
    3. Find the best property out there. Sometimes the property you are seeking is available but not actively advertised in the market, and it will take some investigation by your REALTOR® to find all available properties.
    4. Benefit from their negotiating experience. There are many negotiating factors, including but not limited to price, financing, terms, date of possession, and inclusion or exclusion of repairs, furnishings, or equipment. In addition, the purchase agreement should provide a period of time for you to complete appropriate inspections and investigations of the property before you are bound to complete the purchase. Your agent can advise you as to which investigations and inspections are recommended or required.
    5. Property marketing power. Real estate doesn’t sell due to advertising alone. In fact, a large share of real estate sales comes as the result of a practitioner’s contacts through previous clients, referrals, friends, and family. When a property is marketed with the help of a REALTOR®, you do not have to allow strangers into your home. Your REALTOR® will generally prescreen and accompany qualified prospects through your property.
    6. Real estate has its own language. If you don’t know a CMA from a PUD, you can understand why it’s important to work with a professional who is immersed in the industry and knows the real estate language.
    7. REALTORS® have done it before. Most people buy and sell only a few homes in a lifetime, usually with quite a few years in between each purchase. And even if you’ve done it before, laws and regulations change. REALTORS®, on the other hand, handle hundreds of real estate transactions over the course of their career. Having an expert on your side is critical.
    8. Buying and selling is emotional. A home often symbolizes family, rest, and security — it’s not just four walls and a roof. Because of this, home buying and selling can be an emotional undertaking. And for most people, a home is the biggest purchase they’ll ever make. Having a concerned, but objective, third party helps you stay focused on both the emotional and financial issues most important to you.
    9. Ethical treatment. Every member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION of REALTORS® makes a commitment to adhere to a strict Code of Ethics, which is based on professionalism and protection of the public. As a customer of a REALTOR®, you can expect honest and ethical treatment in all transaction-related matters. It is mandatory for REALTORS® to take the Code of Ethics orientation and they are also required to complete a refresher course every four years.

    If you’ve been sitting on the sidelines, now may be a good time to make a Weiss move!

    Stephanie Weiss, REALTOR®

    480.273.7472 cell   866.935.1151 fax

    ValleyWide Property Services

    2040 S. Alma School Rd #1-449

    Chandler, AZ  85286

    StephanieWeissMoves@gmail.com

    StephanieWeissMoves.com

  • Tips for Buying in a Tight Market

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Gilbert, Property Q&A in Gilbert, Moving in Gilbert  |  December 5, 2012 8:44 PM  |  985 views  |  No comments

    IStephanie Weiss Movesncrease your chances of getting your dream house in a competitive housing market, and lower your chances of losing out to another buyer.

    1. Get prequalified for a mortgage. You’ll be able to make a firm commitment to buy and your offer will be more desirable to the seller.
    2. Stay in close contact with your real estate agent to find out about the newest listings. Be ready to see a house as soon as it goes on the market — if it’s a great home, it will go fast.
    3. Scout out new listings yourself. Look at Web sites such as REALTOR.com, Trulia.com, Zillow.com or browse your local newspaper’s real estate section, and drive through the neighborhood to spot For Sale signs. If you see a home you like, write down the address and the name of the listing agent. Your real estate agent will schedule a showing.
    4. Be ready to make a decision. Spend a lot of time in advance deciding what you must have in a home so you won’t be unsure when you have the chance to make an offer.
    5. Bid competitively. You may not want to start out offering the absolute highest price you can afford, but don’t go too low to get a deal. In a tight market, you’ll lose out.
    6. Keep contingencies to a minimum. Restrictions such as needing to sell your home before you move or wanting to delay the closing until a certain date can make your offer unappealing.   
    7. Don’t get caught in a buying frenzy. Just because there’s competition doesn’t mean you should just buy it. And even though you want to make your offer attractive, don’t neglect inspections that help ensure that your house is sound..

    If you’ve been sitting on the sidelines, now may be a good time to make a Weiss move!

    Stephanie Weiss, REALTOR®

    480.273.7472 cell   866.935.1151 fax

    ValleyWide Property Services

    2040 S. Alma School Rd #1-449

    Chandler, AZ  85286

    StephanieWeissMoves@gmail.com

    StephanieWeissMoves.com

  • What's a Home Warranty?

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Chandler, Property Q&A in Chandler, Home Insurance in Chandler  |  December 5, 2012 8:01 PM  |  535 views  |  No comments
    Stephanie Weiss Moves

    A home warranty is a service contract, normally for one year, which helps protect home owners against the cost of unexpected covered repairs or replacement on their major systems and appliances that break down due to normal wear and tear. Coverage is for systems and appliances in good working order at the start of the contract.

    Check your home warranty policy to see which of the following items are covered. Also find out if the policy covers the full replacement cost of an item.

    • Plumbing
    • Electrical systems
    • Furnace
    • Water heater
    • Heating ducts
    • Water pump
    • Dishwasher
    • Garbage disposal
    • Stove/cooktop/ovens
    • Microwave
    • Refrigerator
    • Washer/dryer
    • Swimming pool (may be optional)

    If you’ve been sitting on the sidelines, now may be a good time to make a Weiss move!

    Stephanie Weiss, REALTOR®

    480.273.7472 cell   866.935.1151 fax

    ValleyWide Property Services

    2040 S. Alma School Rd #1-449

    Chandler, AZ  85286

    StephanieWeissMoves@gmail.com

    StephanieWeissMoves.com

  • Top Ten Things You Need to Know About the 3.8% Tax

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Chandler, Home Selling in Chandler, Property Q&A in Chandler  |  October 24, 2012 1:26 PM  |  1,610 views  |  2 comments

    1) When you add up all of your income from every possible source, and that total is less than $200,000 ($250,000 on a joint tax return), you will NOT be subject to this tax.

    2) The 3.8% tax will NEVER be collected as a transfer tax on real estate of any type, so you’ll NEVER pay this tax at the time that you purchase a home or other investment property.

    3) You’ll NEVER pay this tax at settlement when you sell your home or investment property. Any capital gain you realize at settlement is just one component of that year’s gross income.

    4) If you sell your principal residence, you will still receive the full benefit of the $250,000 (single tax return)/ $500,000 (married filing joint tax return) exclusion on the sale of that home. If your capital gain is greater than these amounts, then you will include any gain above these amounts as income on your Form 1040 tax return. Even then, if your total income (including this taxable portion of gain on your residence) is less than the $200,000/$250,000 amounts, you will NOT pay this tax. If your total income is more than these amounts, a formula will protect some portion of your investment.

    5) The tax applies to other types of investment income, not just real estate. If your income is more than the $200,000/$250,000 amount, then the tax formula will be applied to capital gains, interest income, dividend income and net rents (i.e., rents after expenses).

    6) The tax goes into effect in 2013.If you have investment income in 2013, you won’t pay the 3.8% tax until you file your 2013 Form 1040 tax return 2014. The 3.8% tax for any later year will be paid in the following calendar year when the tax returns are filed.

    7) In any particular year, if you have NO income from capital gains, rents, interest or dividends, you’ll NEVER pay this tax, even in you have millions of dollars of other types of income.

    8) The formula that determines the amount of 3.8% tax due will ALWAYS protect $200,000 ($250,000 on a joint return) of your income from any burden of the 3.8% tax. For example, if you are single and have a total of $201,000 income, the 3.8% tax would NEVER be imposed on more than the $1000.

    9) It’s true that investment income from rents on an investment property could be subject to the 3.8% tax. BUT: The only rental income that would be included in your gross income and therefore possibly subject to the tax is net rental income: gross rents minus expenses like depreciation, interest, property tax, maintenance and utilities.

    10) The tax was enacted along with the health care legislation in 2010. It was added to the package just hours before the final vote and without review. NAR strongly apposed the tax at the time, and remains hopeful that it will not go into effect. The tax will no doubt be debated during the upcoming tax reform debates in 2013.

    The 3.8% Real Estate Tax

    This should not be considered legal, tax or investment advice when considering buying or selling real estate.

    Stephanie Weiss
    REALTOR®
    ValleyWide Property Services
    2040 S Alma School Rd #1-449
    Chandler AZ  85286
    480.273.7472 cell   866.935.1151 fax
    Stephanie Weiss Moves

  • Summer Monsoons are Just Around the Corner!

    Posted Under: General Area in Phoenix, Property Q&A in Phoenix, Home Ownership in Phoenix  |  July 2, 2012 11:55 AM  |  1,218 views  |  No comments
    AccuPro Inspection Services
    Here in the Southwest desert our homes see some of the most extreme temperatures in the nation and are exposed to some of the harshest conditions for building materials anywhere.  The information below will help you identify some of the issues that could contribute to costly repairs or damage if not addressed before the onset of our next monsoon storm.


    Roofing System: What Should You Do
     – If your roof is 10 years old or older and you have not had your roof inspected in the last five years (regardless of what style or type of material is on your roof) you should contact a licensed roofing contractor today and schedule a roof inspection!

     

    Roofing Systems Explained – Whether it is a shingle or tile roof, roofing materials often reach 160 degrees or more as a result of elevated temperatures in the attic.  Materials used to seal dissimilar materials at the valleys, chimneys, vertical walls and vent pipes expand and deteriorate over time at these high temperatures.  The typical useful life of most of these sealing materials is three to five years, so it becomes extremely important to have the roofing system inspected by a qualified roofing contractor a minimum of every five years.

     

    Monsoon storms typically bring driving rain that will penetrate cracks and crevices in the roofing system and may also enter attic spaces through defective turbines and attic ventilation systems.  Turbines are designed to rotate with a light breeze and will deflect incoming rain during a storm; however, a faulty turbine will allow the wind driven rain to rapidly enter the attic, so it should be sealed or replaced as soon as possible.

     

    Often a roofing contractor need only spend a couple of hours on your roof using inexpensive materials to properly seal any potential points of moisture penetration and can typically provide you with a 12-month guarantee against future leakage.  The cost for such service should be no more than a few hundred dollars if no major problems are identified and will be far less expensive than a roof leak and the associated water damage after the fact.

     

    Air Conditioning System: What Should You Do – Identify your primary condensate drain(s) and ensure they are running freely and that the water is clear.  When you find the primary drain, look up.  Normally you will see a similar pipe high on the wall, which is the secondary condensate drain line.  If the upper pipe is dripping, or you are unsure about were your primary condensate drain is running, you should contact a qualified air conditioning technician to ensure your system is operating properly.

     

    Air Conditioning Systems Explained – Typical air conditioning systems in the Phoenix area are either a split unit with a condenser coil at ground level on the perimeter of the home, or a package unit located on the roof.  Regardless of which system you have, the air conditioner acts as a dehumidifier and removes moisture from the conditioned air within the home.  This moisture (or condensation) must run to the outside of the residence in a pipe.  This pipe is typically identified by a white 3/4 inch PVC pipe terminating at a 90 degree turn-down at a low point on an exterior wall of the residence.  It is also known as the primary condensate drain.

     

    In the case of a split unit, the evaporator coil, or air handler, (the other half of this system) is typically located in the attic or, in some cases, a hallway closet or garage.  It is this evaporator coil which produces the water that must exit through the condensate drain line.

     

    During normal air conditioning months this condensate drain will drip.  However, during the monsoon--months of high humidity--this drain line will run with water.  Additionally, in homes with the evaporator coil in the attic, there should be a secondary drip pan to catch any water that may overflow the coil in the attic.  Condensation overflowing the unit in the attic is not uncommon and is typically a result of poor filter changes or no maintenance on the system.  This secondary condensate drain looks much like the primary condensate drain, only it typically comes out high on the exterior wall.

     

    Grading & Drainage: What Should You Do – Ensure the openings from the rear of the property, typically gate(s) and area drains, are open on both sides of your property and are allowing the free flow of water to the front of the residence.  Look at the grading and drainage of your lot and ensure that excess water does not pond adjacent to the exterior walls or foundation of the residence.  If neccessary, have any ponding areas modified to ensure proper drainage away from the structure.

     

    Grading & Drainage Explained – While the furthest thing from our minds at this time of the year is water building up around the perimeter of the residence, this is the most common time of the year that water intrusion or ponding water causes structural issues and moisture damage.  Monsoon storms can bring as much as an inch of rain per hour or more, and ensuring this water does not pond up adjacent to the foundation is a critical concern.

     

    Most residential lots are designed to drain the water from the roof and yard during a heavy rain to the street and, ultimately, the municipal storm drain.  In the case of a block fence this means there are limited ways for the water in the backyard to get to the street.  In most cases we have a gate in one side-yard and a block with decorative holes at the base of the block fence in the other side yard.  This hole at the bottom of the fence is typically called an area drain as it allows the water to drain from one area (backyard) to another area (front yard).

     

    If these area drains become clogged with litter, or the landscaping has been modified in such a way that the water from the backyard does not freely run to the front yard, then moisture penetration and/or structural movement due to ponding water activating expanding or compacting soils under the foundation becomes a real possibility.

    AccuPro Inspection Services Can Help--Remember we not only do state certified home inspections, but also mold inspections and testing; indoor air quality testing; and maintenance and safety inspections; or any other limited inspection based on your specific needs or concerns.  Call us anytime and we will be happy to answer any questions you might have, and if we can't or don't know the answer, we will find someone who does!

    $25 Discount – Please mention this newsletter when you talk to our staff about your next inspection, or let your friends or family members know about our services, and we will give them a $25 discount off their next inspection.

    http://www.accuproinspect.com/

    I use AccuPro for all my home inspections and they are excellent at what they do! 
     

    Stephanie Weiss, REALTOR®
    ValleyWide Property Services
    480.273.7472 cell   866.935.1151 fax

    Stephanie Weiss Moves

  • FSBOs Vanish, Sellers Turn to Real Estate Pros

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Gilbert, Home Selling in Gilbert, Property Q&A in Gilbert  |  February 15, 2011 3:17 PM  |  970 views  |  No comments

    For-sale-by-owners are rare nowadays.   In fact, the number of FSBOs dropped to record lows over the past year.

    Unrepresented sellers make up just 11 percent of the market, down from 13 percent in 2009, according to the 2010 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers.

    With today’s more complex transactions–such as with short sales and foreclosures and frequent changes in mortgage lending–more sellers are finding comfort in the help of real estate professionals to guide them through the process.

    FSBOs once were lured to try to sell themselves because they thought they could save on commission fees, but now sellers are realizing that if they don’t use an agent, it’ll likely cost them more in the long run, experts say.

    “Selling by owner does not guarantee the seller will put 5 [percent] to 6 percent more in his or her pocket in trade for doing all the work and taking on potentially costly liabilities,” Margaret Woda, associate broker with Long & Foster in Crofton, Md., told The Washington Times. “On the contrary, prospective FSBO buyers have their eyes on that 5 percent to 6 percent as well. It’s more likely the buyer will win this negotiation in a buyer’s market with a huge price reduction–probably even larger than the saved commission.”

    Some FSBO sellers also often make the mistake of listing their home at a higher price than the market warrants. But even if they do find a buyer for that price, unless it’s a cash purchase, the home has to be appraised and many deals can then fall apart.

    Source: Realtor.org News

 
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