Tuesday, November 27, 2007

What We Found On Saturday In Chandler/Gilbert

This past weekend a buyer client and I spend a few hours looking at homes in the Chandler/Gilbert area. I had set her up with the auto notification email system through our MLS so that she could spend some time looking at what was going to be available in her price range for the areas that she was interested in. We have been out looking at homes a couple of time prior to this past weekend, but just haven't found a home that would suit her needs, mostly her furniture's needs. Sometimes these are the most challenging clients to find a home for. She inherited the rather large furniture from her mom when she passed away last year and can't seem to part from it yet. And I fully understand her position. So the first thing she considers when we walk into a home is whether the family and dining rooms will fit her furniture. Most won't. Last week she sent me a list of homes that she wanted to go and look at on Saturday. I did all of my research and made all of the necessary phone calls to schedule appointments to view each property; although, most were vacant. Furthermore, all but two of the homes were either a foreclosure or a short sale. For those not familiar with the term, a short sale is when a seller (most likely their real estate agent) has negotiated with the lender to allow the home to sell for less than what is owed on the property, or "short" of what is owed. For my client's situation, these types of properties could have been the answer to her tight budget. Many times, sellers that are in a distressed situation are much more willing to bend on price. However, my optimism was short lived as we began our tour Saturday.

Phoenix Real Estate For SaleThe first home on the agenda for the day was a 1,557 square foot, 3 bed, 2 bath, 3 car garage home priced at $225,000. This home was a lender owned property, being sold "As-Is", as most of these type so properties are. First, we had to navigate our way through the grossly overgrown mesquite tree in the front yard whose branches were touching the ground and completely blocking the front walk-way to the door. We finally get to the front door to find no lockbox. That's not all that uncommon; many times agents will put the lockbox on the side of the house on the gas meter, or the hose bib. No problem I thought, I'll just go and get it and be right back. I'll touch more on this in a later post…stay tuned.

So I finally get the key and get myself back to the front door. We entered and found a home to which my client commented, "How do people live like this?" Needless to say, we spent about 30 seconds in the home, mostly looking around with our jaws on the floor dumbfounded at the condition of the home, before we high-tailed it out. So we got back in the car and I jokingly said to my client "So this one isn't going to work, right?" She chuckled and didn't even respond with an answer.

"That's okay", I said, "We've got several more to look at today. I'm sure not all of them will be this bad". Boy was I wrong. Out of the nine houses that we had on our schedule for the day, 2 were in a condition conducive to actually selling, however not to my client. Neither of them would have accommodated her furniture!! That day we saw holes in drywall, carpet that looked like the owners had changed their car's oil in the family room, landscaping that looked like it hadn't been touched in a year, missing appliances (not just refrigerators and washer/dryers), vinyl flooring where more of it was peeling than was still affixed to the floor, and overall filth. I hadn't seen houses in this state of disrepair in quite some time. I felt like taking a shower when I got home it that helps you understand what we experienced that day.

We've since been out again looking at homes that I chose for her to look at and have found a batch of homes in much better condition, and at very competitive prices. I'm very confident that we will find a home for her in the next couple of weeks that she will be delighted with.

-Steve Nicks

[tags] Foreclosures, Short Sales, Home Shopping, Phoenix Real Estate [/tags]