I’ve spent almost 20 years uncovering the details and benefits of living in downtown Phoenix. The parks where I walk my dogs in the evening, the restaurants where I meet friends for dinner, the dry cleaner, the handyman, the grocery stores, etc..

And as an Historic Neighborhood Specialist in Phoenix, this has also allowed me to tailor my marketing to those that would be interested in purchasing a home here. I've lived here, worked here and played here (since moving to Phoenix from the Midwest in 1996) and I've watched CenPho blossom into the vibrant city center that it is today. Today, I live in a sweet Coronado Bungalow with my dogs, a few chickens (yes, Chickens) and my Macaw, Charlie.

Additionally, I know the types of buyers who are typically attracted to each of our individual Historic Districts. For example, a 50 year-old doctor with a thriving practice, her husband and 3 young children might be more inclined to purchase a 4,000 sq.ft. Spanish Colonial home in the Encanto-Palmcroft Historic District, whereas a young couple buying their first home together may want to step inside some hip renovated bungalows in the Coronado Historic District. My marketing for each property that I represent is geared toward this knowledge, too.

In my opinion, one of the biggest and most costly mistakes a homeowner can make, is not hiring and utilizing the listing agent that specializes (and also lives) in the area where they're selling. I understand that we all know someone that's "in real estate" and that it might be difficult to tell a friend that you’ll be listing with another agent, but how hard will it be to know that you didn't maximize what is - for most of us - the single largest investment that we hold today? If you’re leaving the downtown area, you might consider hiring your friend to find your next home instead of selling for potentially tens of thousands of dollars less.

“Don was fantastic! I had spoken to a few other Realtors about my mother’s house. They all were listed as being familiar with the historic districts. When I met Don I could tell he knew what he was talking about. He had fantastic suggestions and immediately had me hooked up with some great connections. We got an offer on the house before it was even listed! He was always available to take my calls and answer all the questions I had. I would recommend him to anybody!" — Jill

Jill is a great example of how a neighborhood specialist maximized her investment. When Jill inherited her mother’s 1000 sq.ft. home on a large lot in a popular historic district of Phoenix, she knew she would sell the property. She also realized that her mother’s home hadn't been updated in years, and that there were overgrown trees and shrubbery hiding most of the backyard and garage. Other agents that she contacted had already seen the condition of the home and rendered their lower opinions of value, but Jill was hoping for more.

She called me, and we met at her mother's home. After talking for a while and looking at the property, I gave her my opinion and it was significantly higher than the other agents. Why? Because I know the neighborhood!

  • I knew that investors were clamoring for neighboring properties to renovate and that there weren't many left.
  • I knew that her existing footprint would be added on to, since the average size of a home in this neighborhood was nearly double, and that there was plenty of land to do a large addition on, and
  • I knew that (in this case) the current state of the home had absolutely NOTHING to do with its value to an investor that was planning to renovate anyway. The value for this property was in what it could be – NOT what it was.

And only days after our initial meeting, I proved it with a full-price cash sale!

During our initial meeting, I will do for you, exactly what I did for Jill and so many others who hire me to sell their home.  I will help you decide what you want out of the sale, and then I will show you how get it.  If remodeling is necessary, we'll target key areas to update so that you will be able to get top dollar for your home.  I don’t just send you out somewhere to make those decisions alone, I walk through your home with you – room by room - so that when I leave, we all have a realistic punch list and time frame.

If you're entering the remodeling phase on your own, homeowners should also remember that real estate markets are local. Too often people will watch a show on HGTV filmed in another city across the country and make remodeling choices that are not appealing to our Central Phoenix market.

One great way to gauge what remodeling might be ideal for your own home before it sells is to identify the ideal price that you’d like to see the property sell for, then ask me to send you what is available and what has sold in the same price range right in your own neighborhood. Today’s MLS photos are large and many are pretty detailed, so we can treat them as a design magazine, noticing trends for color, counter-tops, tile and anything else you might be considering. In addition, we could spend an afternoon viewing these properties in person, so we can get the feel for where your home fits along-side others currently for sale.

If you'd like to talk about what I can do for you, call me anytime at (602) 919-8471

Thanks for reading,
Don Mertes, The Homesmart Elite Group