Preparing you for a successful sale
Hilary and Jay—Long Realty Company
Striving to continually raise the bar...
Hilary & Jay
Associate Broker and REALTORS® Long Realty Company— A Berkshire-Hathaway Affiliate
Hilary Backlund and Jason Lotoski are a husband and wife real estate team based in Oro Valley, Arizona, and also serving the surrounding areas of Tucson, Catalina and Marana. They relocated to Tucson in 2005 and are in love with the area and all it has to offer. Real estate is not a sideline for Hilary and Jay. They are full time REALTORS® and are passionate about providing the highest quality of service for their clients. Both Jay and Hilary love home remodeling, landscaping and interior and exterior design. They’re creative and quick to see the potential of a home, and they willingly share their ideas with their clients. This talent has morphed over the years into incorporating complimentary staging for their clients, a valuable service for their clients that other Greater Oro Valley real estate agents do not offer. Hilary and Jay know that real estate transactions can be stressful, and they are committed to making your experience smooth and pleasant. Both out of the box thinkers, they are quick to provide solutions for their clients during difficult transactions. Thoughtful and sensitive to individual needs, you can be assured of their genuine and careful concern for their clients. As recipients of Long Realty's most prestigious award, the 1926 Circle of Excellence every year since joining the company in 2012, these top Oro Valley real estate agents continue to work tirelessly to raise the bar and exceed client expectations. Whether you’re buying your first home or selling a home you’ve lived in for decades, Hilary and Jay are the right team to trust for your real estate needs.
For a more in-depth look at the process and what to expect when you sell a home through us, please visit our Seller Tools page.
Housing Expectations 2019-2020
NAR (National Organization of REALTORS®) publishes some great data every year in regards to housing expectations. For monthly statistics and outlooks relevant to the Greater Tucson area including Oro Valley, Marana, Catalina and SaddleBrooke, please visit https://thepropertyaces.com/housing-reports/
Hilary Backlund and Jason Lotoski are a husband and wife real estate team based in Oro Valley, Arizona, and also serving the surrounding areas of Tucson, Catalina and Marana. They relocated to Tucson in 2005 and are in love with the area and all it has to offer. Real estate is not a sideline for Hilary and Jay. They are full time REALTORS® and are passionate about providing the highest quality of service for their clients. Both Jay and Hilary love home remodeling, landscaping and interior and exterior design. They’re creative and quick to see the potential of a home, and they willingly share their ideas with their clients. This talent has morphed over the years into incorporating complimentary staging for their clients, a valuable service for their clients that other Greater Oro Valley real estate agents do not offer. Hilary and Jay know that real estate transactions can be stressful, and they are committed to making your experience smooth and pleasant. Both out of the box thinkers, they are quick to provide solutions for their clients during difficult transactions. Thoughtful and sensitive to individual needs, you can be assured of their genuine and careful concern for their clients. As recipients of Long Realty's most prestigious award, the 1926 Circle of Excellence every year since joining the company in 2012, these top Oro Valley real estate agents continue to work tirelessly to raise the bar and exceed client expectations. Whether you’re buying your first home or selling a home you’ve lived in for decades, Hilary and Jay are the right team to trust for your real estate needs. For an in-depth explanation of the process when selling through us, as well as more valuable tips, please visit our Seller Tools page.
Housing expectations 2019-2020
Existing Home Sales:
Median Home Prices:
2.3% this year and 3.3% in 2020
to 4.3% in 2019 pushing up in 2020 to 4.5%
Potential speed bumps
Tight inventory conditions
Increasing home prices
Rising mortgage rates
Waning consumer confidence and potential slower GDP growth
*The Case for Optimism
Locally, home prices continue to rise, but this should slow somewhat in the next year as new home build projects continue to mount. However, our local market is based on a variety of factors, including new companies like Caterpillar and bio-tech drawing new employees to our area, how terrible the winter any given year is in other parts of the country, propelling people to finally make the move to a warmer climate. Rising home prices in California and other states are also driving new residents here. We are optimistic about the market in the next few years barring some unforeseen shakeup.
7 things you need to know when selling a home.
Whether you are selling in a hurry, or selling at your convenience, be aware of the major influences that the market and the terms of your sale can have on the resale value and amount of money you keep in your pocket.
Determine an accurate fair market value
Take the time to work closely with a reputable buyers agent who can create a thorough Comparative Market Analysis for you. You’ll need to get a good look at comparable properties in your area that have been appraised recently.
Find out what kind of buyer your property will draw
This will have an effect on what kinds of repairs you may elect to do, as well as determine what kind of financing a buyer can utilize when purchasing the home.
Get a pulse on the overall market conditions
Home sale’s ratios, buyer activity levels, and neighorhood competition can all influence the value of your property, as well as how long it may be on the market.
Perform all improvements that have a net positive on your resale value
Regardless of home condition, there are always improvements that can positively influence your re-sale value. Smells are highly important to focus on, as well as cleanliness.
Choose the right agent for your transaction
Passionate, knowledgeable local experts who intimately know your neighborhood and market is crucially important. Equally important is their communication, organization, marketing skills and negotiation expertise.
Prepare your home for market and showings
The cosmetic appeal of a property highly influences it’s value. To the average buyer, cleanliness is a proxy for how well the home was cared for. Be sure to send the right message with a bright & clean experience free of unwanted odors. Your agents should provide you detailed information on how to make your home as appealing as possible to potential buyers.
Get feedback from every buyer if possible
Your agents should contact every agent who shows your home to their clients. Receiving feedback on the home condition and showing highlights (or lowlights)will allow you to make changes if needed to improve desirability.
"Reality TV" versus real world conditions
A 30 minute HGTV or Bravo program on real estate is not a realistic representation of how things work in real life.
Reality TV Show myths
Buyers only look at three homes before they make a decision to purchase
The homes being chosen from are still active on the market and available for sale
When you flip a home, all you have to worry about is repair expenses when calculating profit
The house sells during it's first open house on the market
Real estate agents sip cocktails while effortlessly selling homes via a few phone calls during lunch at a chic bistro
Real world conditions
We have had buyers that made offers the first day and others that we showed 100 plus homes to over a period of months, even years.
Did you know that many times it is all staged for TV? Many of the homes featured are sold or off market already.
Many of these shows ignore taxes, insurance, interest, utilities, closing costs and commissions.
While it definitely can happen, most properties typically sell after a showing with their buying agent
While many homes sell very quickly, it is generally the caliber and quality of the home, as well as it's preparation, pricing and marketing that will drive buyers in to purchase
Sometimes it takes time
The right buyer for your home may not yet be searching the market. Other times, an early showing can circle back to make an offer weeks or months later.
Price it right
Price according to market value, just above or just below depending on your goals and timeline.
Get it looking as perfect as possible
Pretend like Queen Elizabeth is coming to tea and it's being covered on Entertainment Tonight. Yes— THAT level of clean and spiffy. It will pay off.
Find a great agent
To achieve the best outcome, you'll need enthusiastic and knowledgeable professionals experienced in your specific market who are well-versed in what it takes to sell a home.
Meet your average first time home buyer
If you are selling a home that would make a good first time home purchase in the area, you'll want to better understand today's first time home buyer needs.
What kind of house do they want?
Move in ready homes
Upwards of 68% of buyers are looking to purchase a move-in ready property.
43% are looking to buy in a suburban area outside of a major city.
Energy efficient and smart technologies
Younger buyers make up a larger and larger market share, and are willing to pay premiums for upgrades they perceive to be good for the environment, or capable of reducing their energy footprint.
Large entertainers style kitchens, bright open floor plans are very popular. New homes are being built with large bedrooms and baths. Attractive outdoor spaces are also a huge draw.
Common types of buyers in our area
With new companies arriving and current ones expanding, many people from other areas are accepting job positions here.
Upsizing, downsizing, moving toward work or school, trading in for a different style of home or neighborhood—there are a plethora of reasons why people sell their local homes to buy new ones just miles away.
The Tucson area has always been a hotspot for retirees, and it just keeps gaining more and more traction as thousands of boomers continue to recover their losses from the Recession and embrace the good life.
When to invest in your house
Home ownership is one of the largest obligations you can place on yourself, and with it comes a slew of costs and responsibilities. Even when selling your home, you may want to consider which investments to make in order to get the most out of your transaction.
Property exterior could use improvements
Property exterior looks great from all angles
The carpets have stains and/or wear and tear
The carpeting is near new or like new
The house has no strong odors at it's entrance
The home smells like pets, smoke or garbage
Kitchens & baths
These rooms are attractive, modern, clean and inviting
Kitchen & baths
These rooms need repairs, improvements or replacements
I have capital that could be used to invest in the property
I do not have any options for covering the cost of repairs
8 Popular home remodeling trends
When selling a home, it's important to compare properties in your area to better understand what a competing property may offer buyers in value and convenience. You may want to consider some of the following upgrades to add value and interest to your home once it goes on the market.
Use materials and products in upgrades that are friendly to the environment.
Soaking tubs, large showers, and bold flooring choices are in vogue, but we recommend being judicious when selecting trendy finishes like flooring. Timeless, functional selections will always be appreciated by a new homeowner.
Hardwood floors, as well as faux (tile) or engineered hardwood floors are very popular, but porcelain and ceramic tile, as well as natural stone seems to hold the top spot for the most part in our area.
Updated appliances in the kitchen do a lot to add perceived value.
Even a minor facelift can really reap rewards. Talk with your agent on what improvements could bring you the most ROI.
Textures, natural wood, reclaimed barnwood and other materials can add style. Just don't overdo it.
Improve lighting fixtures and overall light balance throughout the home. If your home is dark, up the wattage in the bulbs and keep the curtains open. Replacing the old light bar in the bathrooms or old dining room fixture can really freshen up the space and can usually be bought quite reasonably.
Add plants, things weeded and apply fresh gravel where needed. Paint the front door if needed (or wash/polish it) and make sure the handle is clean, attractive and in working order.
Accepting the right offer from a buyer
A national survey by Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate found that baby boomers are providing financial support to help their children and grandchildren become homeowners.
There is no more crucial time in your home sale than when you are considering multiple offers and exploring their various terms. Not all offers are equal, and the highest priced offer is not necessarily the best overall offer. The right offer to accept is one that incorporates both highest price and the best terms.
All cash offers
An offer in all cash has the benefit of being able to close more quickly than a financed offer. This is because there is no lender or loan terms for the buyer to work through. However, many savvy cash buyers will write in an appraisal clause.
First time home buyer programs
In some states, first time home buyers have additional financing opportunities available to encourage home ownership. These programs typically do not add any additional burden to a seller.
VA Loan programs
VA loans will typically have an escrow period the same length as a conventional loan. Appraisal standards can sometimes be more strict, so if your home has questionable comps or needs repairs this can complicate the sale.
The vast majority of offers you will receive are from buyers taking out a conventional loan. Expect an average 30 day escrow period and an earnest money deposit.
At times, you may be presented with an offer that is contingent on the sale of another residence. While this does not automatically make this an inferior offer, it does often result in a longer than a 30 day escrow period. If a quick sale is a requirement, this can be a less than ideal candidate. Keep in mind that an offer contingent on the CLOSING of an already "sold" (under contract) property is much better than the contingency for a house to sell.
Earnest Money Deposit
If your buyer is serious about a purchase, and is confident in their ability to close escrow, they will have no problem with providing a down payment in good faith. However, the Arizona contract is very buyer friendly and there are multiple points where a buyer can cancel and still retrieve their earnest money.
Closing Cost Requests
It is not uncommon for a buyer to request funds back as part of the terms of sale. This can apply to anything from repairs on the home, to help with the loan downpayment. This amount reduces the net proceeds from the sale of the home.
Why you need an experienced listing agent
FSBOs accounted for 8% of home sales in 2016. The typical FSBO home sold for $190,000 compared to $249,000 for agent-assisted home sales
Remember, the point of selling your property is to sell it for the most you possibly can. This is heavily aided by the marketing reach that a real estate agent can offer, and motivated buyers will typically see an agent has having more credibility when compared to a FSBO (For sale by owner).
The more exposure through superior quality marketing and onsite visits from participating agents will result in a better chance of receiving multiple offers on your property, which will help add leverage when selecting one that most accurately meets your goals.
The results should be measurable
Increase your visibility to buyers
Buyers increasingly are utilizing real estate agents and starting their searches for property online. A listing represented on the MLS in your area will increase the effectiveness of marketing efforts.
Real estate agent
Yard sign/open house sign
Friend, relative or neighbor
Home builder or their agent
Directly from sellers/Knew the sellers
Print newspaper advertisement
Explaining your closing costs
Your total net proceeds are reduced by a number of costs that are typically associated with a property sale. It's important to know the basics about these. It is recommended that you sit down with a real estate agent who can walk you through a net proceeds estimate to determine your equity at close of escrow.
1/2 of title & escrow
Expect to pay for half of the transfer taxes, title insurance, notary fees and other miscellaneous costs associated with transferring the title.
As the seller you will pay for the listing agent and buyer agent commissions. This is typically a split of 6% with half going to each agent.
Any outstanding mortgage balance you may still carry on the property will need to be satisfied at closing.
Your tax responsibility will be prorated to the date of sale, and any outstanding balance will be need to be paid in order to transfer the title and record the sale.
The buyer will select and pay for their own inspectors. Generally, a whole home inspection, roof inspection and pest inspection will be preformed. However, many buyers also hire pool, plumbing and HVAC inspectors, while some go even further and engage structural inspectors or radon tests. (Radon is virtually unheard of in the Tucson area, but people from out of state can still be concerned. *Before the closing, the SELLER will need to have the septic tank (if not on sewer) pumped and certified. This is a MANDATORY condition to close title in the state of Arizona.
Regardless of the type of offer you have accepted, you may still be asked by the buyer for home repairs as part of the sale once the results of the inspections are known. Some repairs are required by lenders prior to funding.
Typically prorated, any outstanding balance up to the date of sale will need to be satisfied prior to close of escrow.
After the closing
An ongoing relationship with our clients
Despite closing escrow marking the end of the property sale process, it also marks the beginning of an ongoing relationship. If we can ever be of assistance to you—contractor recommendations, what remodeling to do, where you should take your out-of-town guests while they are in Tucson, whatever—just reach out!
Your referrals are key!
Maintaining an ongoing client relationship is just part of an overall commitment to provide a level of service well above and beyond expectations. We are so appreciative when our past satisfied clients to let their friends, family, neighbors and co-workers know about us! It is a huge compliment. 🙂 Here is a link to some testimonials from past clients. We would love to make you on of them!
Drop us a note
We would love to meet you and see your property! If you are considering a home sale in the near future, let us know in the form below or call/text us anytime at 520-344-2237. Thanks for checking out the guide! Hilary & Jay