sotheby's real estate

Investing in Luxury: Las Vegas Homes Offer Ample Opportunities

For investors and potential homebuyers who are looking for luxury Las Vegas homes may be the answer. Whether located in Summerlin, along LV Boulevard, or Anthem in Henderson, luxury homes for sale are located in many ideal communities around the valley.

Condominiums in Summerlin Las Vegas Thinking of Summerlin usually conjures images of single-family homes in the suburbs. However, the condominiums at One Queensridge Place are some of the most luxurious residences in the whole area.

As an updated take on Art Nouveau art and architecture, these condos are magnificent and the quintessential example of the type of lifestyle that can be provided by Vegas multi million dollar homes.

Downtown Lofts for an Upscale Life Vegas has a vibrant downtown with equally vibrant lofts for a lifestyle of urban luxury. Developments like Newport Lofts and SoHo Lofts offer traditional yet sophisticated condominiums that are perfect for young professionals.

Located near the World Market Center, the downtown arts district, Lou Ruvo Brain Institute, and future home of the Smith Center for the Performing Arts, these condos are literally in the heart of the city.

The downtown area is truly up and coming. Don’t believe me? Go visit the artwalks and coffeeshops to see what I mean. Downtown is teeming with culture, shopping, and educational opportunities. It really is no wonder that so many of the young urbanites are flocking to this area.

Living on LV Boulevard Another option for a luxurious life in the city is to consider the several Las Vegas high rises located along The Strip. The condominiums at CityCenter are just as impressive as the CityCenter skyline.

And speaking of sky, Sky Las Vegas is another condo development on The Strip that features modern architecture and a full host of amenities for a sophisticated lifestyle.

Once-in-a-Generation Investment Opportunities Some analysts predict that home prices will begin a gradual increase as early as 2011. Others take a more pessimistic view and say that 2012 is the date when the market will begin to recover.

However, this September 2010 Business Week reported that thousands and in some cases, millions of dollars, have been slashed from the prices of condominiums in markets like Vegas and Manhattan. The same article referenced a report from Sotheby’s International that said the luxury real estate market hit bottom back in 2009.

In light of this report, it is unlikely that the prices of luxury homes will drop lower than where they are now. As the economy improves and attention to Las Vegas high rises increase, the city may soon face a shortage of high rise condominiums (see the September 9, 2010 article, “Second Homes: Las Vegas Condos for Sale,” from USA Today).

Investors should stop vacillating and work toward finding the perfect Las Vegas investment opportunity. Now that 2010 is in its final quarter, the time to act is now. “Vultures” from around the world seizing investment properties and already enjoying the returns. If you are looking for luxury Las Vegas homes, the time is now.

Today’s Housing Market: How It’s The Same, And How It’s Different?

Ladies and gentlemen: This is not your mother or father’s real estate market! While there are some similarities to past markets, the combination of politics, economics, finance, uncertainty, world affairs/events, interest rates, and lack of predictability, have formed a somewhat-uneasy alliance, which, when understood and considered, have little ultimate impact, yet, all-too-often, create a confluence of somewhat undesirable circumstances, which create stumbling blocks, obstacles, and obstructions. Perhaps more than ever, who you select, and why, to represent your interests, as your Real Estate Professional, has a major impact, in reaching the most desirable goals. Before you select this interview, carefully consider your objectives and goals, in a realistic, non-emotional manner. Rather than merely saying you want to get the highest price, or some pie-in-the-sky number, ask yourself, what you might be willing to pay, to purchase your home! Your real estate agent should provide you with Comparables, or what similar houses, in your market, have recently sold for. This is the best indication of suggested listing prices, but remember that every house is different, and slight differences often overly impact what a buyer is welling to pay, or if he is even interested. Let’s review 5 major considerations in today’s market.

1. Period of time interest rates have been at, or near historic lows: For the last few years, interest rates, and thus mortgages, have been at or near, historic lows. This has permitted people to purchase more house for the same monthly payment, yet the uncertainty continues to exist, as to how much longer they will remain so low. Most experts are calling for interest rates to nudge slightly upward in the next few months, but they issue the caveat, it depends on the overall economic conditions.

2. Historically low ownership rate: Because of several factors, including the economy, housing costs (especially in certain areas), rental availabilities, the necessary downpayment (which many don’t have, or don’t wish to commit), and uncertainty, in terms of the economy, jobs, etc, the percentage of people owning their own home is lower than it has been in decades.

3. Low inventory: Partly because of the demographics, in terms of age groups, etc, and somewhat because many homeowners ask themselves where they are going to move, as well as many individuals retiring later, we are witnessing, in many regions, a low inventory of homes listed on the market.

4. Willing and able buyers: There appear to be available buyers, in some regions, but these individuals, are often frustrated by the combination of low inventory, mortgage and downpayment obstacles, uncertainties, etc.

5. Mortgage qualifications: Banks and mortgage companies are constantly tweaking their requirements for accepting buyers for mortgage consideration. In the last several years, in order to qualify for the lowest available rate, one’s credit score must be somewhat higher than in the past, as well as other debt considerations. While this can be overcome, one must find the right buyer, with sufficient patience, energy and willingness, to overcome potential frustrations, etc.

Understanding the nuances makes one better capable of realistically listing their home for sale. Carefully interview potential real estate agents, and choose the one who’s best for you!

Real Estate: 6 Tips for Picking an Internet Ready Real Estate Agent

According to the National Association of Realtors 2009 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers almost 90% of buyers started their search online. If you are selling a home it is vital to pick a REALTOR that understands online marketing. Here are my top 5 tips for finding an Internet ready Real Estate agent.

1. Google them!

If you can’t easily find your potential real estate agent in Google that is not a good sign. Unless they have a really really common name or maybe have a celebrity name like Britney Spears or something they should be well ranked on the first page of Google.

2. Check their website.

Real estate agents websites don’t necessarily need to win design awards but they should be at a minimum professional looking and easy to navigate. Look how the listings are presented, if you don’t think the houses are shown in a way that will attract buyers to call then potential buyers will probably view your house’s listing in the same way.

3. Check their brokers website.

While it is important that your individual agent has a website also check their brokers site. If a broker is prominent in a particular area a large number of buyers may be aware of the brand and visit the broker site directly. The same principals apply here, the site should be easy to navigate and the listings should be presented well.

4. Facebook and twitter.

Your agent should ideally have a presence on both of these social networking sites. It’s important to remember that while other real estate agents are their competition they should have a working relationship with other agents. The fastest way to market your house is to other agents with active buyers.

5. Does your agent have a smart phone?

As crazy as it sounds some agents still not use a smart phone such as an iPhone. A smart phone allows for fast email conversations with potential buyers agents, allows Google search on the road, even twitter updates and pictures taken. If your agents phone is not so smart maybe you agent is not either.

6. Response time.

My number one trick to test a potential agent is response time. If they have a website contact form send a message through that, try email, @ them on twitter, call them. If you do not get a response within 24 hours on every contact you make Some agents check voicemail every day but only check email sporadically, that can potentially cost you a sale.

Here are some of my ideas for testing if your potential real estate agent has what it takes to cut it in today’s Internet focused market. Good luck selecting an Internet ready REALTOR!

Marta Walsh
Real Estate agent at Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty
Specializing in North Scottsdale Real Estate.

How Real Estate Professionals Help You SELL Your Home

Most people realize, when they decide to sell their home, they can either attempt to do – it – themselves (known as a FSBO), or hire a real estate professional, to help get it done. When one decides to not take advantage of a real estate agent, and thus uses the For Sale By Owner approach, he must familiarize himself with the advertising necessities, be on – call to show the house, know what to say, understand the legal requirements, paperwork, etc. Surveys indicate that the single – biggest reason, these people say they use this approach, is to avoid paying a commission, yet studies done for NAR (National Association of Realtors) consistently indicate that FSBO’s usually get a lower selling price, so even after a commission, it would still pay to use an agent. In addition, few of these individuals realize the amount of time, details, efforts, etc, involved, which might explain why about 90% of these people eventually turn the job over to a real estate professional. So, let’s, from a mnemonic perspective, examine how real estate professionals help you SELL your home.

1. Specific system; strategy; search: A qualified, quality, real estate professional uses a specific system, to market your home, to its best advantage. This begins with explaining pricing, staging, clutter, curb appeal, etc, and getting you to understand, and agree to a mutual strategy, which will best serve your interests! In addition, agents have access to many areas to search for buyers, come into contact with other agents, and generally, get more potential buyers, to take a look.

2. Experience; expertise: Just as you have a job or profession, where you have the experience and knowledge, an agent’s job is marketing and selling homes. Let the real estate professional’s expertise work to your advantage, and listen to his or her suggestions, ideas, etc. When agent and homeowner work as a team, you get the best results!

3. Listen: The right real estate agent, for your purposes, will listen attentively to you, to learn your thoughts, concerns, ideas, misconceptions, suggestions, priorities and goals. We usually say, we try to help a homeowner, get the best available price, in the shortest period of time, with a minimum of hassle, but which of these is most important to you.

4, Learn; leading; listing: Listening will help the agent learn about you, and tailor – make a strategy, specifically for you! Agents must urge homeowners to make the best decisions, for the homeowners’ best interest, sometimes despite themselves. This begins with getting the best listing price, from the onset, so the house is best – positioned to sell!

The Power of Real Estate Signs

Over the ages of professional real estate signage has played an important part. Passersby are attracted by signs and people who are looking for the houses can find them easier. People frequently go out on the weekends to look at houses with for sale signs hanging in front of them. While that is happening less and less the real estate sign still holds power and very few companies have changed them over the years.

Coldwell Banker uses a white background sign with a blue logo that is easy to distinguish from most other signs. Over the years little has changed about this sign. A new 3D sign was released not too long ago but only the effect of the design is changed, the core elements remain the same. The only major real estate company that you could confuse a Coldwell Banker sign with is Windermere. Windermere signs also use a white background but the text is also displayed on that white background. What makes it easy to confuse for a Coldwell Banker sign is the blue backgrounded for sale label that runs across the top of the sign.

Sotheby’s sign is relatively close to both Coldwell Banker and Windermere’s sign but just in the fact that it uses white and blue. The Sotheby’s sign is blue with white text. In complete contrast Keller Williams uses an almost completely red background for some of its signs. Depending on the usage of the real estate sign it may also contain a partially white or black background. No other major reality companies use the distinctive red backgrounds but a few smaller ones do.

Century 21 signs have a black background and are the only major real estate company in the United States to do so. The design is finished off with a yellow house logo and white text. A few smaller companies such as Platinum Realty, Reece Nichols, and Semonin Realtors use black signs but they all lack the distinctive yellow house shape.

Each one of these signs you were probably able to recall in your head because chances are you have seen them before. All of these companies have created a brand image that allow someone to instantly identify who is selling a house. Realtors get a sense of authority from their signs, people know who they are and who they work for based off the real estate for sale sign sitting guard in the yard.