Phone: (623)693-6509
Fax: (623)218-9055
Buyer’s Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I use a Realtor when searching for a home?

Real estate transactions are among the largest financial investments consumers make during their lifetime. Therefore, it makes since for them to recruit the help of a professional who is trained in the business. Realtors have access to the most up-to-date and comprehensive data on properties currently available. Not only can they locate or collaborate with you to search for the perfect home, they can negotiate the price based on comparable sales in the local market once you’ve found it. In addition, Realtors provide valuable resources such as information on local amenities, schools and utilities. They can refer you to lending institutions, inspectors, home warranty companies, and more. Their greatest purpose is to walk you through the home buying process one step at a time, helping to schedule, explain and represent your best interests along the way.

Why choose Jeni Carter?

Because I will do all of this and more! I will take time to listen to your needs and truly help you locate the property that best meets them. Once found, I’ll use my ingenuity, creativity, and strong negotiation skills to put you in the strongest position to obtain exactly what you want at a price that fits your budget. Once the transaction is over, I will not go away. I’ll be there as a resource to help you in adjusting to life in your new home and possible new community. . . And, I will be there to help your friends who are looking for the same top-notch service that you received!

Who pays the real estate agent’s commission?

Real estate fees are typically negotiated and paid by the seller. Only in very rare situations, possibly on homes not advertised on the MLS or in commercial purchases, is the buyer ever asked to contribute to the Realtor’s commission.

Do I need a Realtor if I am purchasing a new home from a builder?

Yes! The advantages of using a Realtor are the same in buying a new home as they are in buying a re-sale. Builders have real estate sales agents representing their best interests. Don’t you deserve to have someone representing yours? A Realtor can research what similar homes have sold for and advise you on the best price to offer. They can help you understand the very long and often complicated contracts, and assist you with any problems that may arise as the home is being built. It is especially important to have representation when building a semi-custom or build-to-suit home. These transactions are complex and it is important to be proactive in negotiating features and time-lines to ensure that you get exactly what you want.

Can I get a better deal on a new home without a Realtor?

Absolutely not. New home builders have spent huge amounts of time and money developing relationships with expert Realtors in their area. They would never be willing to discount the Realtor’s fees off of a buyer’s purchase price for not using a Realtor. In fact, most would tell you that they prefer you are represented by a Realtor so that they have a liaison who understands the home building and buying process and can relay that to the buyer.

How much can I afford to spend on a home?

The common rule of thumb is three times your gross annual household income. However, as in all situations, circumstances vary. Determining factors include:
-your income
-the amount of cash you have available for down payment, closing costs and cash reserves required by the lender
-your outstanding debt
-your credit history
-the type of mortgage you select
-the current interest rate of your loan

Should I get pre-approved for a loan prior to looking at properties?

Definitely! If you are not going to pay cash, it is imperative that you begin the loan process prior to beginning your search. All offers will require a statement of your pre-approved status from a lender at the time of their presentation. Also, working with a mortgage broker in advance will allow you to determine your payments, including PITI (principal, interest, taxes and insurance) quickly upon locating a home you are interested in purchasing. This payment may, of course, be a determining factor in if the home will fit in to your budget. To get started on this today, contact Kevin Reed at or Jodalee Ebaugh at

Should I make low-ball offers on properties?

I do not recommend making offers that are significantly below the home’s current market value. There are always exceptions to the rule, but in general, it is unrealistic to believe that a seller is going to accept far less for a property than it is worth. Often making an extremely low offer will insult the owner and make it very difficult to negotiate after the initial proposal has been made.

Should I avoid short sales?

No. They are definitely not the easiest deals to close, but they do seem to be improving. If you are not in a hurry, short sales may offer some of the best opportunities on the market. However, you will definitely want the representation and assistance of a Realtor in dealing with these. They are often tricky and sometimes incur additional expenses that the seller or seller’s lender is not willing to pay. A Realtor can help navigate and advise you through this process. (Note: If you need a property right away, short sales are probably not the best option. A Realtor can at least let you know which ones may have the potential to close quickly based on the particular lender’s guidelines, a pre-approval of the seller, etc.)

Should I avoid bank owned properties?

Never! These are some of the best priced, easiest to close deals available. Although problems and delays can arise, on average, these can close as quickly as traditional sales. The lender has no emotional attachment to the home so the negotiating is generally kept to a minimum. One thing to keep in mind on these is that prior to placing the home on the market, the bank has already performed multiple appraisals. Therefore, they are usually only open to offers that are in the ballpark of their current asking price. Often times, multiple offers even result in these listings going for a price that is above asking.

How is the amount of property tax determined?

Arizona property taxes on owner-occupied residences are levied based on the assessed value rather than on the current market value of a home. The assessment for Maricopa County is currently 10 percent of full cash (market) value. So if a home is valued at $350,000, the tax will be based on the assessed value of $35,000. The exact tax bill is determined by where a home is located within the county. Cities, schools, water districts, community colleges, bond issues, etc. can affect the specific rate. The tax rate applicable to each parcel of property is the sum of the state, county, municipal, school, and special district rates. The average tax rate on homes in Arizona, before exemptions and rebates, is approximately 1% of market value or 10% of assessed value. So, again, if a home is assessed with a full cash value of $350,000, and a property tax rate was exactly at the average 1%, then taxes would be $3,500 per year.

When are property taxes due in Arizona?

First half taxes are due October 1, delinquent after November 1. Second half is due March 1, delinquent after May 1. You may pay both halves together until Dec 31. If you miss a deadline you may owe fees plus interest charges of 16% per year prorated monthly.

Realty One Group
Realty One Group
7975 N. Hayden Road Suite 101A • Scottsdale, AZ 85258
Phone: (623)693-6509 • Fax: (623)218-9055

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