The rumors are true, life in Arizona is pretty sweet, with a side of hellish hot in the summer, and that’s why an estimated 240-300 people move to the valley every day. Yes, you read that right, every day. Phoenix was ranked number 1 in net migration for the 3rd year in a row and grew an estimated 1.78% to reach over 5,000,000 residents in 2019 -2020 (and we all know 2021 has been nothing short of crazy). With all the migration to the valley, we thought it was a good time to share our tips for out-of-state buyers; what to prepare for, how to search, when to get on a plane, and how to close your home.
Tip 1- Preparation
One of the first things I share with my out-of-state buyers is our current market data; it’s so important to convey an authentic look at the market as a whole but drilled down to the neighborhood or area the buyers are focused on. The main points I am sharing with my buyers are 1. The number of active listings, 2. The average days on the market 3. The % of the sales price to asking price 4. The type of financing most prevalent in the area. This market snapshot gives my buyers a realistic idea of what they need to do to be competitive and how quickly they will need to act on the right property.
Along with a market snapshot, it’s imperative to have your financing terms ready to go. A pre-qualification is critical, but also a proof of funds, earnest deposit verified and easily accessible, and if needed contingent sale contract and accompanying documentation. If all of that just made you go, “huh,” then speak with a Realtor today!
Tip 2- How to Search
If you are an out-of-state buyer, you will need to be comfortable with virtual touring. Most of my buyers are savvy online; they have typically been through all photos, videos, street views, satellite imagery, and even previous listings to map out a property. The next step is to do a virtual tour with your agent, easy enough, but it’s beneficial to have a list of questions sent over before the tour. Questions regarding materials, measurements, floor plan, and flow can help your agent give you the best tour. When I conduct a virtual tour, I also video the home after we hang up, touching on all the main questions and photos to provide further details. I recommend spending a half to a full hour doing your virtual tour, often the video quality is poor if you move too fast, and this virtual look may be the only time the buyers see the home before they own it!
Tip 3- When to Get on a Plane
Don’t jump on a flight right away when you see a great house or even after you’ve virtually toured the home. The best time to see the home is during your Due Diligence period, which is your inspection. Yes, after your contract has been accepted, that’s when you should come to see the home in person. It’s a ton of trust to put into your Realtor, but that’s what we do, we find the RIGHT homes for you and make sure not to waste your time.
Most of my out-of-state buyers jump on a plane to attend the inspection, which is a great time to be hands-on. That way, the buyer is aware of all the shortcomings of the home and issues that may need to be addressed sooner than later.
What if you can’t jump on a plane or physically see the home at all during escrow? That’s ok, as long as you understand the contract is legally binding and that the buyer is responsible for making their own decision. Your Realtor can show you properties, make recommendations, and help schedule your inspections, but they cannot make the decision for you.
Tip 4- How to Close the Deal
This is the easy part; your title company, lender, and Realtor will handle the timeline of your transaction and request all documentation needed along the way. When it comes to the closing, the title company will organize a mobile notary for you to sign wherever you are. If you are outside the US- this is a bit more tricky, but your title company will guide you.
Your final walk-through of the property will need to be waived, or you will have to appoint someone to act as your Power of Attorney to physically conduct your walk-through- this is something your Realtor legally cannot do.
Then it’s time to pack up that moving van (or hire someone to pack it up) and hit the road! Welcome to the desert!
Written by: Misha Renteria