Realty Executives Phoenix

Jeff Franklin

Jeff Franklin



(Published on - 7/9/2018 9:30:46 PM)


Buying a home can be a fun and exciting time but do your homework and make sure you take everything into consideration. We have put together some things you should be thinking about throughout this process.  The following thoughts are a combination of our suggestions as well as ideas from the article we have linked below from HGTV.




  • SAVE MONEY for down payment ahead of time.
  • Get PREQUALIFIED. Find a good lender to make sure they find the best program for you and who is proactive in putting out fires. It’s also better to get a local lender who knows the hurdles and hoops to jump through for your area.  WE CAN RECOMMEND SEVERAL TRUSTED LENDERS IN YOUR AREA!
  • A LARGER DOWNPAYMENT means a smaller monthly payment. 20% down eliminates the mortgage insurance, however you can get into a home with a much smaller down payment. If you are short on cash for a downpayment you can ask for the seller to contribute to your closing cost. This works well in a buyer’s market. Seller contributions can also be requested in a seller’s market but is much less likely to be accepted which makes it more difficult to buy the homes you want the most. However, if you are patient and a little more flexible you may still find a seller willing to contribute to your closing cost.
  • BUDGET REALISTICALLY! Don’t try to keep up with the Jones’s!
  • RESERVE some cash for improvements.
  • REALISTICALLY EXAMINE SACRIFICES you may have to make to buy a home. Just because a lender pre-approves you for a loan doesn’t necessarily mean you should spend all of it. (ie, cash on hand, emergency fund, job security)
  • LOCATION – Select a location or geographical area.
  • Understand SCHOOLS affect home values
  • Understand FUTURE HOME VALUES as with any investment, Real estate is not a recession-proof investment. No one can predict future value of a home.





  • FIXER UPPER could save you a bundle. Looking for the worst house in a good area can be a great strategy. However, make sure you get a professional to give you estimates for renovations. HIGHER PRICED HOMES could actually save you money since you don’t have repairs or renovations. WEIGH YOUR OPTIONS!
  • LOW-BALLING doesn’t pay off! Be fair and realistic with your offers and negotiations. Playing hardball could cost you the home you really want! Especially in a competitive (seller’s) market!


THINGS TO DO DURING YOUR 10 DAY INSPECTION PERIOD (Which begins the day after your offer is accepted)


***Evaluate everything that is a concern to you during your inspection period***


  • HOME INSPECTIONS – Get a home and termite inspection and investigate any concerns. In Arizona you have 10 days from contract acceptance to do all of your investigations. Home inspections cost $400-$500 for most houses.  WE CAN RECOMMEND SEVERAL TRUSTED HOME INSPECTORS IN YOUR AREA!
  • HOME WARRANTY – It’s a Good idea to purchase a home warranty at least for the 1st year as protection from unexpected repairs because you don’t know the condition of the home. Cost usually $400-$500.
  • NEGOTIATE FOR REPAIRS after the inspection. When you have a home inspection you will generally receive a long list of things the inspector recommends to be fixed. However, this is normal and he is just making you aware of what repairs should be made. It is a good idea to focus on just the big ticket items that are expensive and affect the safety of the home If you seem to be unreasonable with your request the seller is less likely to negotiate with you.
  • READ DOCUMENTS  (ie contract, HOA, CCR’s, loan documents, title documents and any other documents given to you)
  • BUILDING PLANS Check building plans for the neighborhood. Building plans can have a positive or negative affect on home values and satisfaction.
  • RENOVATIONS,  REPAIRS AND ESTIMATES should be done by professionals.
  • TALK TO NEIGHBORS, DRIVE THE NEIGHBORHOOD different times during the week, weekends day and night.


WE ARE HERE INSURE YOU FIND THE RIGHT HOUSE, AT THE RIGHT PRICE, IN THE RIGHT LOCATION AND MAKE THE PROCESS GO AS SMOOTHLY AS POSSIBLE!  Please don't hestitate to give us a call to find out how we make a difference when you buy or sell a home!


Here is the link for the full HGTV article with some additional tips.  (I added some other helpful information above that was not in this article.)


CLICK HERE for more helpful post and information for buying a home.


Don't Let Remodeling Hype Pull You Under

(Published on - 2/19/2018 8:49:21 PM)



It’s a no-brainer. You can fold laundry to it, play your own music in the background or walk away from it. Then you can come back 55 minutes later and see the “big reveal” of a home that was renovated on a reality real estate TV network. It’s gorgeous, of course, and people are giddy over the results. Who wouldn’t be?

The formula for each show like this is the pretty much the same every time. Find fixer-upper. Buy fixer-upper. Choose a budget with or without the buyers (if you are an investor, you do this for yourself). Show all the unexpected stuff that happens along the way as the home gets made over. Who knew there would be lead paint applied to and asbestos behind the walls of a 100-year old house? Then show the gratifying final product — one that looks NOTHING like the original on the inside (fully staged, of course) and sometimes on the outside.

But how about those budgets and timelines they present, usually listed right there on the screen? After all, what you’d pay for materials and labor in Waco, TX, does NOT equate what you’d pay in LA, New York, or Miami, so are these shows just leading us down the rosy path to dream home budget disaster? Does pricing include labor? How much of the stuff you see is furnished by sponsors, home staging professionals, or contractors hoping to get noticed and willing to give away their services? Do these 7-8 week timelines they talk about happen only when the show employs multiple crews working around the clock — something we plebes could never arrange nor afford? Since the credits at the end of the shows do not include these disclosures, we’ll never know.

Doing a bit of research, here is what we found:

Renovation costs on reality TV shows are usually unrealistically low. Contractor quotes for gutting houses on these entertaining shows coming in at around the $50,000 to $60,000 for some savings-strapped homeowner or clever house flipper would probably soak the rest of us to the tune of $100 to $200K. In neighborhoods close to major cities, renovation costs for an entire house flip would rarely be less than six figures unless the house was a tiny bungalow or a condo.

The average cost of a kitchen remodel alone (new cabinets, appliances, countertops, etc) — WITHOUT relocating appliances, plumbing, or changing the room’s footprint —is about $30,000 according to Home Advisor. So when you watch these shows and see walls coming down to make way for new kitchen islands, sinks being moved necessitating jack-hammering concrete foundations and fancy vent hoods with marble backsplashes being installed, you can bet the price would be triple for you and me, and there would be no remaining budget for that new fireplace fascia, the gorgeous new master bath or a state-of-the-art laundry room they include in the show.

So if you’re in the market for a great deal on a house to live in, remodel or flip, pay no attention to the man behind the curtain of a reality real estate TV show when it comes to pricing and timelines. Values are not what they seem (nor profits), and expectations are wildly out of line with reality. These shows (while fun to watch to gather ideas for projects you’d like to tackle in your own home) are crafted for entertainment value first and foremost. In the meantime, they do get the laundry folded.

Source: TBWS.


Starboard Financial


(Published on - 1/24/2018 5:34:09 PM)

Cheap Curb Appeal Tricks That Offer the Best Home-Selling Returns

 | Jul 20, 2016

Most savvy home sellers know that curb appeal is important to make a great first impression on potential home buyers as they pull up and park at, well, your curb. But if the prospect of painting your whole house or landscaping your yard seems too pricey, never fear: There are plenty of ways to create high-impact curb appeal on the cheap.

Check out these ideas that require little investment time but pay off big-time down the road.


Paint the ugly bits

Not up for painting the whole house? Then one budget-friendly alternative is to repaint just the trim, mailbox, and other small areas. You can also put your brush to better use by covering up unsightly things like the electrical box on the side of the house and any pipes and parts that are connected to it. Match the color to that of your house for a clean, streamlined look.


Bye-bye, dull gray electrical equipment!
Bye-bye, dull gray electrical equipment!



Update your garage door

Improving this utilitarian spot is one of the easiest ways to give the exterior of your home a face-lift, advises Dan Grandon, president of Closet Factory Franchise Corp.

"First you should consider the purpose of the space. If you use the garage for work, go with a door that features large window inserts as this helps bring more natural light into the space," he notes.

However, if your garage is mostly used as a dumping ground, you might want to focus on a more energy-efficient design, like an insulated door. And it goes without saying, the garage should be pristine (many buyers will enter the house through this space).

A neat—and therefore spacious-looking—garage is one of the first things a buyer sees from the curb.
A neat—and therefore spacious-looking—garage is one of the first things a buyer sees from the curb.

Closet Factory


Create a sitting area

Carol Marcotte, a designer with Form & Function in Raleigh, NC, likes to set up an outdoor spot on the front porch to amplify the first-look attractiveness.

"Stage a place to sit that includes a pair of chairs with a couple of cute outdoor pillows," she suggests. This idea helps your home look friendly and lets potential buyers envision themselves on your front porch, sitting and waving to the neighbors. Save your pennies by putting out weather-safe indoor furniture you already own.

"If your outdoor porch doesn't have enough room to accommodate a lot of furniture, just a small bench can make a big difference," adds Anna Shiwlall, a designer with 27 Diamonds in Los Angeles.

This inviting spot telegraphs a friendly neighborhood.
This inviting spot telegraphs a friendly neighborhood.

Catherine Nguyen Photography


Trim the hedges

Of course you'll make sure your lawn is cut regularly, but don't forget about the bushes that surround the property. There's not much worse than blocking the view of the house with overgrown boxwood. Plus, there's the safety factor, says Marcotte.

"Burglars could hide in those bushes," she warns. Simple trimming and weeding can help beautify your yard and won't cost you a dime.


Add small accessories

Small details can raise the wow factor without breaking the bank. For example, hang a colorful birdhouse or two in the prominent trees of your front yard. Or place a couple of cute garden statues or sculptures (a frog, turtle, or other animal) among the flower beds. An arbor or trellis from a garden store makes a nice focal point, especially when placed near the entrance to the backyard or patio.

Historic Garden Restoration in Wilmette, IllinoisAdding a statue is an easy garden upgrade. Just keep it classy.


Hide the clutter

We're talking garbage cans, recycling containers, air conditioners, compost bins, and garden tools. A jumbled pile of hose needs corralling, so coil it and store it inside a large pot or basket. Prefab lattice can be joined together to create a smart-looking fence to hide cans, bins, and that big ol' AC unit. Not handy enough to make a box? Arrange a few strategically placed potted plants in front or plant a bush to help conceal these items.


Make it sparkle

In addition to picking up the yard, you'll want to make sure the sidewalk and driveway look their very best, too. But rather than repaving, rent a power washer instead.

"You can do this fairly cheaply," says Marcotte. "You want to be sure the outside of your home is super clean, because it says 'well-maintained' to a potential buyer."

Jennifer Kelly Geddes has written for, Chewy, Modern Farmer, Celebrations, and


(Published on - 12/15/2017 10:02:36 PM)




If you want to sell your home fast and at top dollar it’s imperative that you make it as appealing as possible to prospective buyers.  If they find a handful of obvious things that should have been corrected, they will wonder how many things they can’t see that also need to be repaired.  If this happens they may either move on to another home or ask for discounts in the price to compensate for the condition.  Fortunately, there are some things you can do that are relatively inexpensive that can dramatically increase the show appeal of your home! Just remember, you probably won’t need to do all of these things to your home  in order to prepare it for the market but these are definitely important things to consider when you are assessing your home’s appeal to the buyer.



First, look at the paint and ask yourself if it has dings, does it look dingy is are the colors a non-neutral color?  If you answered yes to any of these questions you need to paint and possibly use a little spackel and texture to fill holes or dings.


Clean And Declutter

Make It Sparkle & Smell Good


Secondly, you need to clean (including the windows), declutter and make the entire home pleasing to the nose! Everybody knows that kitchens and bathrooms sell homes so make them sparkle.  Many sellers refuse to declutter because they think the buyers will overlook it.  Well, even if a buyer can’t pin point why they didn’t like a home it could very well be there was too much stuff in the home.  When you begin this process you will be tempted to store all the extra things in the garage.  Don’t do it!  Rent a storage unit and remove this stuff from your home.  It may cost you a few hundred dollars but you may get thousands more for your home. The buyers want to see how functional the garage is also.  So move anything you are not going to need or you can do without in the next couple of months to a storage unit. This includes removing seasonal and extra clothing and everything else that will make your closet appear more roomy.  You are going to have to pack all your things when you move anyway so let’s get started early.  By the way, buyers do not like to see the homeowner’s personal pictures either, they would rather see the home as theirs and not yours so remove personal and extra pictures.  LESS IS MORE!  This may seem like unnecessary work but if you are serious about selling your home quickly and for top dollar cleaning and decluttering is a must!


Open Blinds / Window Treatments And Turn On Lights

Open the blinds and make sure there is as much natural light as possible.  Also make sure you have enough lighting to make the home feel bright. Neutral paint will also make the home appear brighter.


Staging / Decorating


You most likely have seen interior decorators talk about staging or furnishing / decorating a home to supercharge the appeal to the buyer.  This could cost you a couple thousand dollars but it can also increase your selling price by 7-14% so it is definitely a good investment.  However, you do not have to hire somebody to do this for you.  By doing what we discuss in this article you will have gone a long ways towards staging but make sure you remove extra furniture also and splatter some color throughout the house with flowers, pictures, pillows, place settings at the table and so on.


Make Repairs

It is best to repair anything that will catch the buyer’s eyes and give them a negative impression of your home.  If they find a handful of things that should have been repaired they will likely wonder what else is wrong with the home that they can’t see.  If these things are not taken care of ahead of time, the buyers may move on to another home or ask for discounts in the price to make up for the condition of the home.  A couple of inexpensive things that can be done to spruce up the home is to replace outlets, outlet covers and light switches if they are looking dingy.  Another one is to replace calcified shower heads with new $5 shower heads.


Curb Appeal

Mow,Trim,Edge, Wash, & Add Color


Finally, but not least is to make sure that your home has curb appeal and is inviting when the buyers drive up.  It is not uncommon for a buyer to drive up to a home and see something that immediately gives them a negative impression of the home. If the yard, grass, plants and exterior of the home are well kept and trimmed, the buyers will have a great 1st impression and will enter the home with high expectations and are less likely to be looking for imperfections.  As a result, they will be more likely to be looking for reasons why they want to buy your home.


As always, we are here to help prepare your home in order to sell it fast and for top dollar.  Please give us a call and we will stop by to give you recommendations that will make your home more memorable and attractive to buyers!


Click this link to access the HGTV article that was used for this BLOG.  You can always go to Pinterest and search for Jeff Franklin for more ideas for staging.


CLICK HERE for more great post and information for selling your home.



12 Ways to Make a Fantastic First Impression on Buyers

(Published on - 12/15/2017 5:08:23 PM)

In the Phoenix area, as well as much of the United States, we are experiencing a seller's market. This has been fueled, primarily, by the lack of homes for sale and it may be a while before builders can catch up with demand. What does this mean to you if you are considering selling soon! Basically, it means there are not enough homes to meet the demands of the buyers. As a result, buyers are competing aggressively for the nicer homes and often receive multiple offers for their home. Not to mention premium sales prices.


Unfortunately, many sellers think this means they can put their home on the market just as it is and price it over market value. This is a big mistake because if it sets on the market too long prospects begin to wonder what's wrong with it and choose not to look at it or they figure you are probably ready to sell at a discounted price. You never want to put yourself in this predicament! During the down market many people were buying homes with the intention of fixing the house up and benefiting from the sweat equity. It seems like most of today's buyers are wanting a move in ready home and are also looking for upgrades.


If you are looking to sell your home please read the article below to find out how to get your home ready to sell fast and for top dollar. By the way we will be with you every step of the way! We would love to take you to lunch and answer any other questions you might have about selling a home in a seller's market. Please don't hesitate to call if there is anything we can do for you!  (Check out the featured article below.)






12 Ways to Make a Fantastic First Impression on Buyers

 | Jan 21, 2015    (

First impressions count.

You may not be able to tell a book by its cover, but you'll likely pay more for a book if the cover is charming and attractive.



If your home is for sale, or soon will be, creating a positive first impression is one of the most important things you can do. Thankfully, it's not hard. Here are 12 steps you can take; most of them fall under simple maintenance and organization, but some of them could possibly help you decide when it's time to move.

How to impress visitors

1. Go outside. Mow the law, prune bushes, remove dead tree branches, and get rid of outdoor furniture you don't plan to take with you.

2. Clean the front door and lintels, or paint them if necessary.

3. Check for leaks throughout the house. A drip may not seem important, but it could suggest poor maintenance elsewhere in the house. Don't leave room for doubt in a buyer's mind.

4. Clean out closets and storage areas. Donate old clothes and furniture to local charities. This will create a sense of greater space in the home, and mean fewer items to move.

5. Professionally clean the carpets. This is especially important if the carpeting will remain for the new owners.

6. Flip every switch to make sure the electrical works throughout the house. Prospective home buyers will do this. Fix any switches that need help.

7. Caulk around tubs and sinks. New caulk looks better than old caulk, and you'll also prevent those tricky leaks.

8. Replace lightbulbs that don't work and use as much wattage as the fixture will take. Good illumination makes your home seem light and airy.

9. Tour the property from the perspective of a first-time visitor. Is there anything that may seem uncomfortable to visitors? The 30-year-old green shag carpeting can be off-putting and mirrors in poorly lit basements can be dangerous, for example.

10. Clean out medicine cabinets. Remove out-of-date items, and consider removing prescription pills when buyers visit. Buyers might look in every nook and open every door. No one wants to be embarrassed by what they find.

11. If you have a pet, make arrangements to have it elsewhere when your home is being shown. Some people have allergies. No one wants to be barked or pawed at when they enter.

12. Ask your broker to examine the property for specific showing tips to make your home more attractive when compared to others in the area.

Updated from an earlier version by Peter G. Miller.

Anne Miller lives in New York and writes real estate news and advice stories.
 CLICK HERE for a short video about, How To Sell Your Home Fast And For Top Dollar!


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