Phoenix MLS is the BEST Buyer Home Search Tool

A Phoenix Realtor will utilize the Phoenix MLS (ARMLS) and FlexMLS portal to streamline your home search

Phoenix MLS
A Phoenix Realtor will have the greatest technology at their fingertips to assist you with your home search, primarily the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). For the purpose of this post we will be referencing the MLS used primarily in Maricopa County which is the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service (ARMLS).   While the Phoenix MLS customized home search portal is your best resource for up-to-date homes for sale it also has some industry terms worth decoding for easy interpretation.

Phoenix MLS terms explained

If you have received or will receive a customized home search via the Phoenix MLS there are some terms you may want to familiarize yourself with.  Some of the terms below you will find commonly associated with homes listed in the Phoenix MLS (ARMLS).

AWC-I=the home is under contract and the Sellers have the ability to continue to market the property for back-up offers.

In today’s market, a Phoenix Realtor will be asked this question a lot largely due to the amount of short sales on the market. Short sales utilize this option quite a bit due to the nature of the transaction.  Bank owned foreclosure properties typically do not use this status upon verbal acceptance despite popular industry opinion as they typically go straight to ‘pending’ status once all docs are signed. It is important for your Phoenix Realtor to call the listing agents on foreclosure homes to ensure they do not have an accepted offer.

ACTIVE=the home is available and accepting offers

AWC-C=the home is under contract and the purchase is contingent upon the sale of the buyers property

AWC-O=the home is under contract per a buyer’s option to perform within a certain time frame at a set price

PENDING=the home is under contract an no longer accepting offers
ADOM=Agent days on market, i.e. how long the current listing agent has had the active listing
CDOM=Cumulative days on market, i.e. how long the property has been listed in the MLS overall

Phoenix MLS is the BEST home search tool for Buyers

Along with a plethora of property information at your fingertips including a direct link to the county tax records, mortgage calculator, property photos and the satellite/birds eye map view that the Phoenix MLS has to offer, your Phoenix MLS portal is also the first website to be updated with new properties and/or listing information. This means BEFORE Zillow, Trulia or any other real estate marketplaces update their information your Phoenix MLS portal will already be spot on accurate with the most current property details.  However, the #1 feature Buyers love (yes LOVE) with the Phoenix MLS is the customized home search portal.  This portal allows Buyers to login with their own username and password, save, sort and track listings, ask questions about a listing and request showings with just a click.

Do you have your own Phoenix MLS portal yet? If not please contact us today to get set up with your Phoenix MLS portal–the best Phoenix home search tool available today at no cost!

11 Steps to Buying a Phoenix Home Series-Closing

Your almost ready to move into your Phoenix Home

Phoenix home closing
When do I get the keys?  A question that is commonly asked by anxious home buyers anticipating getting settled into their sometimes long awaited Phoenix home. The answer=As soon as it records.  In most cases Buyers can not take occupancy of their Phoenix home until the transaction closes and records. This is especially the case if you are buying a Phoenix foreclosure home.  However, this is a negotiable term and in some instances you may be able to occupy the property earlier than closing.

Review of the Phoenix home transaction from contract to close

Your Realtor should inform you on each phase and what to expect as you move along.   The key milestones leading up to this point from the time your Phoenix home contract was accepted (assuming you are financing your purchase with a loan) are outlined below;

  • Escrow
  • Loan application
  • Due diligence
  • Appraisal
  • Underwriting
  • Loan docs
  • Final walk-thru
  • Signing
  • Funding and recording
  • Occupancy/Keys :)

Prepare so your Phoenix home transaction is a smooth one!

With a positive attitude, a little education on the Phoenix real estate market and an experienced Realtor by your side, your Phoenix home transaction should go off without a hitch!  Upon this conclusion to our  11 Steps to Buying a Phoenix Home Series (and for a shameless plug :)) we would like to remind you to contact our team of experienced Buyers Agents today to get started with your Phoenix home search.

Our Phoenix home listings below are updated in real time so please take a moment to browse recent Phoenix foreclosures below:

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11 Steps to Buying a Phoenix Home Series-Accepted Offer!

This is a very happy day in the Phoenix home buying process

Buying a Phoenix home process in escrow
Each buyers experience leading up to an acceptance on their Phoenix Home is unique. The acceptance of terms by both parties is a very delightful milestone when rejections, multiple offers and multiple counters are the norm.

Next up: Open escrow on your Phoenix home

The amount of earnest money is obviously negotiated before you get to this point.  Typically you will have up to 24 hours to open escrow unless of course this term has been changed during negotiations, such as the case with many bank addenda that allow up to 48 hours to open escrow.  Arizona is a title state (versus attorney state) which means you will be opening escrow on your Phoenix home with a title/escrow company which is a third party that holds the funds according to the contractual terms negotiated. Typically, unless otherwise negotiated, your earnest money remains refundable through the inspection period as well through various other contingencies that must be removed such as qualifying for your loan if applicable and the Phoenix home appraising at value.

Know your obligations as a Buyer upon acceptance of your Phoenix home negotiations

Opening escrow is your first order or business once your Phoenix home offer is accepted but that’s just the start. Once you are under contract there are several things you must do as a Buyer that requires your timely attention as you may hear and read in your contract that ‘time is of the essence. If you do not already have a full loan application in with your lender you will be required to do so within 5 days if not negotiated sooner such as in a bank addenda for a Phoenix foreclosure home.  Your inspection will start so it will be time to conduct your due diligence on the property typically within 10 days.  You will want to have your loan paperwork complete as soon as possible so once your Phoenix home appraisal comes in your file can go to underwriting ASAP to ensure you meet your close of escrow (COE).

Understand your Phoenix home transaction is very time sensitive

Time is of the essence when buying your Phoenix home and with this in mind all parties are required to proceed in a timely fashion to complete their obligations to avoid complications from nonperformance.  Your Realtor will help guide your through each phase of the transaction. A great resource that you will be given when you write your initial Phoenix home offer is the Arizona Dept. of Real Estate Buyer Advisory.  This serves as a great reference tool throughout your Phoenix home transaction and you can click on the link above to bookmark it for future use.

11 Steps to Buying a Phoenix Home Series-Home Search

The Phoenix home buying search process is an exciting experience!

Phoenix home search
It’s a very exciting time to be shopping for your first home of even your second or third if that is the case. The main thing to remember is there is a method behind the madness so to speak and a systematic approach to the home buying process is the best way to stay focused, save time and reduce stress. If you have read the previous posts to this 11 Steps to Buying a Phoenix Home Series that are listed at the top of this page you already know that addressing credit issues, selecting a mortgage specialist, getting pre-qualified and selecting a Realtor preceding the home search phase of the Phoenix home buying process.

Be realistic with your Phoenix home buying wish list

It is important to determine from the start how much Phoenix home you can afford and where you can afford it. Since you already analyzed your monthly budget you know what a comfortable mortgage payment would be and when you are pre-qualified, depending on the fluctuation of rates, you should know approx. how much you can spend on a Phoenix home and stay within your monthly budget. This is the top of your price range. Locations and neighborhoods are going to have different price ranges to buy into a specific area.

Also, certain amenities you may desire such as a basement, no HOA, upgraded lot sizes, horse privileges, golf course communities, proximity to schools or work, etc will help determine which areas of the Valley you can consider and still stay within your price range.  If your desired amenities do not meet your acceptable price range you will have to modify your wish list accordingly. Your Realtor should be able to tell you exactly what areas of the Valley fall within your budget and meet your other Phoenix home wish list requirements and also which amenities you may have to compromise in order to be within a certain area. Once you find the right balance you can narrow your search to specific neighborhoods, communities and/or geographical boundaries.

Foreclosures are great first time Phoenix home buying options and offer a great value

The current real estate market is distressed and as a result there are foreclosure homes throughout the entire Phoenix-Metro area and neighboring Valley cities. Many times these home are move-in ready (despite what some new home builder advertisements like to depict), and foreclosure homes also may qualify for free home warranties, closing cost incentives and down payment assistance programs.  Overall a Phoenix home purchase that is a foreclosure (bank owned) property overs first-time home buyers and second home buyers or investors a great value.

Click here to search foreclosures in all Phoenix-Metro Valley cities to find your Phoenix home.

11 Steps to Buying a Phoenix Home Series-Selecting a Realtor

Selecting a Phoenix Realtor is the first step of the home search process

Phoenix RealtorIf you are not already working with a Realtor while you are getting pre-qualified for your home loan than it will be the next step in your Phoenix home search once you have completed, or better yet while you are completing the home loan application process. The Loan Status Report (LSR) as mentioned in our previous post in this 11 Steps to Buying a Phoenix Home Series–Financing, is the Arizona letter that will be required to accompany any offer you write on a property requiring financing.  It is also one of the requirements most Realtors like to see prior to scheduling private showings at any Phoenix-area homes that are for sale.

Neighborhood knowledge is an important consideration when selecting a Phoenix Realtor

It is important that you select a Phoenix Realtor that is familiar with the specific neighborhoods you are interested in and is knowledgeable of the current market trends within that community, neighboring communities, and the Phoenix-Metro real estate housing market overall.  In today’s Phoenix real estate market, it is more important now than ever to have a Phoenix Realtor with their finger on the pulse of the housing market, distressed sales within a given city, community or neighborhood and that can provide the most recent sales trends with their advanced technology capabilities. For example, the Multiple Listing Service, Cromford Reports and various other advanced real estate technologies are not available to every real estate agent and are great resources to aide in your home search.

Employ a Phoenix Realtor with strong negotiating skills and foreclosure experience

In this market, everyone is looking for a deal and understandably so. In today’s Phoenix housing market, 9 out of 10 times the best value in any given neighborhood is likely to be a Phoenix foreclosure home for sale. Our last series, Phoenix Bank Owned Foreclosure Process Explained goes into detail about the process of buying a Phoenix foreclosure home and similarly for this series it is important to note that employing a Phoenix Realtor that has knowledge in foreclosures will benefit you greatly.  In addition to foreclosure experience, effective negotiating should be a skill that your Phoenix Realtor possesses. Making sure you have an experienced Phoenix Realtor that is looking out for your best interest and know how to negotiate effectively can be the difference between a successful closing and a cancellation or fallout.

Overall you want to make sure your Phoenix Realtor is accountable

Timely responses, professional demeanor, attention to detail and a high level of accuracy are all great signs that your Phoenix Realtor is accountable and highly capable to handle your home search and transaction with attentiveness and accuracy in respect to your best interests.

To recap you want to make sure you employ a Phoenix Realtor that;

  • possess in-depth knowledge of the neighborhoods of interest to you
  • is familiar with current Phoenix real estate market trends
  • has access to cutting edge real estate technologies
  • has extensive foreclosure (bank owned) experience
  • implements sharp and skillful negotiation tactics
  • is accountable

I’m not trying to toot my own horn but this is my blog ;) …so I’m going to do a quick plug for our World ranked RE/MAX foreclosure team, The HomeStyle Team. We currently have several real estate agents with extensive experience in negotiating foreclosures that are ready to assist buyers and investors alike in all Valley   Cities within the Phoenix-Metro area, Maricopa County, Pinal County, Anthem as well as Flagstaff . Our buyers agents are savvy and knowledgeable. We hope you consider us when looking for a Phoenix Realtor to represent you on your next home purchase!