One strategy for selling your Scottsdale home is to recognize the segment of the general public most likely to appreciate its inherent features, then be sure your sales approach will appeal to them. That doesn’t mean you will turn your back on all the other groups of buyers, of course—but it does mean you will make a deliberate effort to be especially sensitive to that group’s preferences, and highlight the features that are most likely to top their wish lists.
When the Target Audience is Empty-Nesters…
The majority of current Scottsdale empty-nesters belong to the baby boomer generation. They are somewhere between 50 and 68 years of age, and there are about 75 million of them in the U.S.—nearly a quarter of the population. Empty-nesters are parents who currently don’t have any of their kids living with at home. Most empty-nest buyers are looking for a permanent address to settle down in as they hit their later years. The question is, what features make a home most desirable to empty nesters?
What can be slightly tricky about general rules for selling a home to this population is that although most are set on downsizing, they don’t want to feel shoehorned into their space, either. Empty-nesters are often moving out of a home that has become demonstrably too large after the kids moved out. But that can also mean that they are used to a lot of space—probably don’t want to be crammed into a tiny house that can’t accommodate children and grandchildren when they do come to visit.
It’s going to be a compromise. “Moderate space” would most likely be no more than 3 bedrooms and no fewer than 2—with two bathrooms the norm. This description offers nesters the possibility of catering to hobbies on a day-to-day basis, while still allowing some accommodations for guests. More significant properties—those with 4 or more bedrooms— are more likely to find success by marketing messaging that points toward growing families.
Easy to Maintain
As always, it’s a selling ‘must’ to ensure that your Scottsdale home is shipshape! When prospects are able to see how much care you’ve put into your property, they are that much easier to interest than when it’s clear they will be required to come up with their own extra sweat and budget dollars. When you know that part of your preparation will include replacements, it’s a good idea to emphasize ease of maintenance in your choices. Examples are gutters that are shielded, windows that tilt up for easy cleaning inside and out, etc.
Whether or not your home is likely to attract Scottsdale empty-nesters, knowing what part of the market will have the most likely prospects—and how to shape the sales messaging accordingly—is part of the no-obligation consultation I offer everyone who is deciding how they will go about selling their home.
Give me a call to schedule one this week!
Whether we see it as evidence of the advance of a wider green homes movement or simply of rising environmental consciousness, Scottsdale green homes are becoming properties with a distinct marketable sales advantage. What were once viewed as altruistic gestures practiced by only the most dedicated preservationists are going mainstream—and at a rapid clip. The National Association of Realtors® recently found that 70% of those surveyed believe eco-friendly features add value to a home. In other words, the practical advantages of ‘going green’ are becoming more and more evident to prospective buyers.
For sure, one reason for the increasing popularity of green homes in Scottsdale is a growing and sincere concern about sustainability.
But there’s also another reason: a growing and equally sincere desire to save cash!
There are in fact a number of practical reasons why green homes save their owners money:
- Tankless water heaters are one example of a technology that’s been around for a while, but which is now gathering popularity. The engineering is based on the fact that constantly storing and re-heating of a volume of water means wasting a lot of energy. Tankless units don’t store heated water; instead they pass it over coils that are only energized when hot water is needed. As a consequence, tankless water heaters can actually save their owners up to 50% on hot water costs!
- As global critics increase their cries for the conservation of fresh water, the idea that green homes can make a major difference is gaining traction. The EPA’s website lists multiple ways that green homes can save the precious resource, from WaterSense-labeled faucets and toilets to high-efficiency showerheads.
- Energy-efficient heating and cooling systems can make the most dynamic contribution to green homes. Regularly-maintained Energy Star appliances, combined with home management practices like heating and cooling only areas that are in use via programmable thermostats can make a welcome dent in the monthly bills.
Together with the ongoing wallet relief that green homes provide their owners every month, changing over to ecologically championed household appliances and practices is an increasingly practical exercise. When it comes time to sell your Scottsdale home, too, being able to provide those penny-pinched utility bills can make all the difference to cost-conscious prospects.
For more ideas on ways you can increase the value and sales appeal of your own property, I hope you won’t hesitate to give me a call!
You would think the outside competition for Scottsdale foreclosure bargains might have up and disappeared by now…but no! As The Wall Street Journal described it last week, the shrinking number of foreclosure opportunities hasn’t driven Wall Street’s professional investors completely out of the market. But new techniques are altering their approach.
Local Scottsdale foreclosure investors have had to worry about a previous incursion by big national private equity investment firms. In the aftermath of the real estate bust, sales of distressed properties assumed an ever-larger proportion of real estate activity. National firms seized on the growing supply of cheap foreclosed homes as a ‘sure-thing’ trade for investment firms backed by money from private equity companies who wanted ‘in’ on real estate.
Wall Street knew full well that depressed real estate prices were a temporary phenomenon. They would swoop down, buy foreclosures en masse, rent them out, and wait for the bounce-back. Scottsdale foreclosure investors suddenly had to worry about bargain-hunting by the national firms, instead of just the usual local competitors. It took agility and cash to compete with some very deep pockets. Even where they weren’t active, their impact was felt.
But by last summer, the New York Times was headlining “Investors Who Bought Foreclosed Homes in Bulk Look to Sell.” Where, at the height of the foreclosure onslaught, a full 50% of home purchases was made up of foreclosures and short sales, by this February, the percentage had retreated to barely 11%. Companies like Waypoint Real Estate Group began quietly shopping for buyers as they took their profits and tiptoed away…
So could Scottsdale foreclosure investors breathe a sigh of relief, knowing the big boys had carted off their wheel barrows full of cash? You’d think so, but not so fast! The WSJ article describes a new phenomenon from outside. “Racing to Buy Homes Sight Unseen” was the headline. Enter the speed-based investors!
Just as trading firms had developed systems that made equity trading a competition between banks of computers trip-wired to trade at the speed of light, a milder phenomenon is emerging in foreclosure investing. According to the Journal, one example is the investment trust executive who no longer goes to public auctions to find buys. It described a recent morning in which it took him seven minutes to bid on a Georgia home “he had never seen.” He uses a quantitative data analysis program as a way to accelerate searches for the “dwindling supply of available homes that can be transformed into rental properties.” In other words, some of the big buyers are finding ways to stay in the market.
But Scottsdale foreclosure investors don’t really need to throw up their hands. Although the data analysis programs are getting better, local knowledge and on-site evaluations should continue to give sharp Scottsdale investors the kind of fine edge that national data maps and renovation cost generalizations can never quite match. It’s like the difference between a perfectly-engineered robotic customer service system…and a knowledgeable human: no contest.
Scottsdale foreclosures may be less omnipresent, but without question they continue to represent great investment potential—and not just for the national investment firms. If you’ve ever thought you would like to hear more about today’s opportunities, call me for an on-the-ground analysis!
You would think that smaller homes would be skyrocketing in popularity right about now. Statistics show that the average number of people in American households is shrinking. Practicality would seem to dictate that a trend toward downsizing should be underway, with significant implications for Scottsdale real estate.
It’s no exaggeration to say that for as long as many Americans can remember, bigger has always been better. In terms of sheer floor space, the average American home increased from 1,900 square feet in 1993 to 2,400 two decades later. The reasons may have been both practical and psychological: for those who grew up in cramped quarters, space was the missing element—so elbow room and privacy became the essence of a desirable home. This was evident in Scottsdale real estate ads, where spaciousness was emphasized wherever possible, from the photographs to listing copy.
In fact, it seems that the baby boomer generation hasn’t given up their fondness for abundant living space—at least not in droves. At least not yet.
A recent AARP real estate survey found that 84% of the boomers expressed unflinching preference for continuing to live in their current digs for as long as possible. That might make sense, at least according to the arithmetic you can deduce from a 2013 Census survey. It found that a large-scale move toward downsizing doesn’t usually begin in earnest until the Head of Household reaches age 75. The most senior members of the boomer generation were born after 1945—so that won’t happen for a while.
Still, there are stirrings to suggest that some have started to rethink ‘Bigger is Better.’ Instead of defining themselves by real estate square footage, they’re beginning to prospect for smaller solutions. It’s entirely possible that Downsizer Nation might be just around the corner!
The logic is certainly there. Many downsizers do so in answer to what emerges as a more or less unavoidable lifestyle decision. Empty-nesters no longer have children at home, and begin to find themselves cleaning, fixing, heating and cooling substantially empty space. Some may hanker to start some serious globe-trotting—meaning they’ll spend less time at home (ergo, even emptier space). Still others find their lives are more outdoor-focused than before.
The reality of the time, energy, and money that goes into maintaining a 5-bedroom home with multiple levels can begin to trump its “EREF” (Elbow Room Enjoyment Factor). There’s the cleaning, keeping interiors and furniture fresh, maintaining windows, furnaces, fans. Then there are the outdoor areas to consider. Mowing, raking, shoveling…for some, the enjoyment of that part of the outdoors can gradually generate more tedium than enjoyment. It can push some residents into new appreciation for a Scottsdale real estate solution that simply requires less to do.
Whether your family is expanding—or beginning to seriously contemplate the reverse—I hope you will give me a call. I’ll be able to show you many appealing properties from the current crop of Scottsdale real estate offerings!
Residential sales in Scottsdale —in fact, all real estate dealings anywhere—remain the most local of commercial transactions. If your house is in San Francisco, a price spike in suburban Newark is probably of little interest, unless you plan on moving anytime soon. Even so, the new projection for overall U.S. residential sales had to perk up area homeowners’ interest.
The “best home sales market in eight years” was the forecast—along with “mortgage originations that will likely rise” and “larger gains in newly built home sales.” Scottsdale residential sales may make up but a tiny fraction of the data contained in CoreLogic’s analyses and data announcements, but any Scottsdale homeowners looking for a strong spring market couldn’t help but be buoyed by last week’s prognostications.
The basis for the surprisingly robust residential sales prediction was supported by a number of other data sources which have gradually confirmed solidification of the overall economic picture. With many economists agreeing that the U.S. economy “is poised to grow by close to 3%” this year, a heightened level of housing demand is bound to result. If that mark is achieved, it would be for only the second year in a decade. Gains in employment (in the 3-to-3½ million person range) are also expected.
The improving economic projection for 2015 was ascribed to three forces. The halving of energy prices which began last summer was deemed “unlikely to jump back up this year.” Anyone who’s been enjoying the freefall in prices at Scottsdale pumps will appreciate the immediate impact that has on family wallets.
The second positive force is psychological, and very real. The rise “in consumer and business manager confidence” in the recovery has been widely noted: the Conference Board (“up 4.9 points”); U.F.’s Confidence Index (“the highest reading in 10 years”); Small Business Optimism Index (“3rd highest reading since 2007”).
CoreLogic’s third factor was one that hasn’t been much talked about until now: governmental. Apparently, tax receipts have been stronger than expected, freeing state and local governments to spend more. That’s an unexpected economic stimulus—and of a kind that should be more welcome than some of the previous “let’s just create more money” variety.
CoreLogic puts residential sales growth in the area of 5%. Will our Scottsdale numbers match those projections? One reason to think so is the Scottsdale mortgage rate phenomenon. Rates remain tantalizingly low—but apt to begin creeping upward. That’s the kind of spur to home buyers that is apt to work as effectively as merchants’ “limited time sale” technique: tick! tick! tick!
If you have been delaying wading into the Scottsdale residential sales arena until the time is right, 2015 certainly looks like that time has arrived. I’m standing by to help you take advantage of the many opportunities this spring market is offering. Why not give me a call?