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According to the The April Greater Phoenix Monthly Housing Report for the W P Carey Scool of Business at Arizona State University the median home prices in the great Phoenix area are up 25% since December of 2011.
Our expert. Justin Rollins discusses what that means for home owners. Many, who think they are "upside down" on their Phoenix real estate or Scottsdale real estate are really ahead, especially if they bought their homes before 2005 or in 2008 or later.
These and other timely questions will be answered on this show.
Justin Rollins was rated as one of the top 50 real estate brokers in the Phoenix / Scottsdale, AZ area by the Phoenix Business Journal. He is also the #1 agent out of more than 600 West USA agents in Phoenix.
When Justin talks, the industry listens. If you are considering buying or selling Metro Phoenix / Scottsdale real estate, you MUST hear this interview.
Good morning folks and welcome to Chuck Trautman Interviews the Experts Show on KCFT radio. My guest today is Justin Rollins. Justin is one of the top real estate experts in the Phoenix Scottsdale area and a recognized expert on home values in the Phoenix area. Good morning, Justin!
Good morning, Chuck! Thanks for having me on.
Yeah, I'm really looking forward to this. I know you have some really good stuff with my folks out there. First thing I like to do is let our listeners get to know you a little bit. Where did you grow up?
Well, actually I grew up in Kansas. I grew up on a dairy farm in Kansas and that was quite of experience, every third of the morning getting up before school, I go and milk cow at 5 a.m.
Wow! How big your herd did you guys have?
I believe we had about 60 head that we actually milked twice a day and that certainly did keep us busy, and then my dad sold that in 1986 when the government did the BIO program. So we sold up dairy and then he try a little bit of everything from hog to sheep and finally the beef cows, which they still have today. So, I grew up on a farm 16 miles from the closest town.
Wow! That's an interesting background. So how did you decide to move to Arizona?
I actually -- I chased a girl. My wife now is actually had moved to Arizona to finish her master's degree at ASU. My family is also, not only did they have the farm, but they also have been in real estate for 30 years and so when I first moved to Arizona, I started doing foreclosures at that time, but in Kansas I'd owned a different business and was doing carpet cleaning trucks and we had some marketing pieces that we have a business, another path, another way of doing business. My girlfriend at that time, who was now my wife, had decided to move to get her master's degree and my business in Wichita had actually -- we had sold part of it and part of it is just imploded so I had nothing else going on and decided to move with her.
Well, we often follow women, don't we? (Laughs) You've got a heck of an entrepreneurial background. Tell us about your hobbies, what do you guys do for fun?
Well, we have twin girls that are 3. So that actually teach me more occupied than I guess I would like sometimes. They're into all kinds of stuff. We also do golf and I try to get out and golf whenever I can. I have a golf coach. I have taking some golf lessons, so I do that in my spare time. My wife is now into CrossFit and just started doing that. She definitely loving that. She does tennis and then you know we certainly, the girls are in swim lessons and they would just want to be in the water at all times. They recently told me that now, that they want to move to the beach. So, I may have to leave Arizona if they have their way about it.
(Laughs) That's good. 3 years olds can be handful, that's for sure. I remember that. So let's get down to the business. When did you get into real estate? You talked about foreclosures, when you first came to the area, was that one you started?
It was. I always said I never wanted to be in real estate because my family, like I said, had been in real estate for 30 years, never say never. So when I first moved to Arizona when I came out here with Shay that was in June of 2004, I moved here full time. I have been coming here a little bit before that, but we moved full time June of 2004, and I started doing foreclosures so I was actually doing foreclosures seized. At that time, we could go out find somebody that was in foreclosure, we'd knock on their door and they of course back then had a lot of equity. So we were letting them rent the houses back or we were just buying the properties and so the very first one we bought actually, we bought it for $605,000 and it sold three months later for $850,000 and of course, at that time, it really didn't take a lot of brains. It was just the market that was going up so much in '04 and beginning of '05, then so I thought, "Well, this is easy and this is what I should be doing." Well of course we both know that, that in last, but during that time, I also did get license for real estate and then just started helping other individuals and the whole, it was just being able to help somebody get a property sold that they had problems selling or helping them find a dream home. It actually became a passion of mine and so I ended up -- here I am still in real estate in a business I said I would never wanted to be in.
And it sounds like from the excitement of your voice that you actually you're loving it, so that's a good story. We've got to go to commercial for a minute, but before we do, please give my listeners your contact information, Justin.
Our office phone number is (602) 635-6364. They can also go check us out online at justinrollins.com, which is J-U-S-T-I-N-R-O-L-L-I-N-S.com.
Well, great. We'll be right back.
And we're back from commercial folks. You are listening to the Chuck Trautman Interviews the Experts Show on KCFT radio and my special guest today is Phoenix area real estate expert Justin Rollins. Justin, you won many awards, please tell us about that.
Well, West USA is where I have my real estate license and we have 2200 agents in our entire company. I'm actually in the top 1% of that and then I am out of our Kierland office, which are 660 some agents in that office and I am the number 1 agent for West USA out of our Kierland office. The Phoenix Business Journal has also picked me as the top 50 real estate agents that are in Phoenix, Arizona, which is right now is about 1800 agents and so to be picked in their top 50 that's in quite an honor.
Well, congratulations that certainly is. I mean 1% out of 2200, number 1 out of 600 and the top 50 out of 1800 speaks a whole lot for your knowledge of the market and for your ability to help people out. So speaking of the market, what's going on in the housing market right now as we speak?
You know, I think a lot of people probably don't realize how phenomenal our real estate market is right now, because you know for the last four years, I'd heard nothing, but doom and gloom. Our market in Scottsdale, Phoenix Valley is actually up 20% in the last three months. We had originally had expected about 40% increase over this 12 months, which of course we both know is just crazy. I mean, the normal market for our real estate market it should be a 3% to 6% appreciation. Obviously in 2005, we wouldn't have 50% at a month it seemed like, but that was unsustainable because of the market with the loans. Well today, 40% of all home sales were actually to investors, but it is all cash and the loans that are being done are loans that are the people are putting 10%, 20%, 30% down on. Our market is just fantastic right now and people that had purchased a home since about 2008 to 2012 were underwater have actually now with the market increasing are now able to sell their homes and I don't think a lot people really think about that. Even if they bought a home from 2008, 2009 the market has actually come up enough now that they can actually sell their homes.
I bet you're correct and listening to people out of the community, they're still complaining about being upside down, and that they don't realize what this market has done. When you talk about being up 20%, where does that statistic come from?
I get most of my information from The Cromford Report, which is actually put together by a gentleman by the name of Michael Orr and Michael Orr has now just taken over the head of the ASU real estate department and is actually that's putting up all the information now. Michael actually has been doing this for a lot of years, but Fidelity National Title started working with him about three years ago and what he actually does if he goes in to the MLS and verifies and correct all the information with 18,000 agents, you can imagine, an agent that doesn't sell so many properties per year likely to make mistakes and so you have a house to sold for $200,000 and they actually do in this type and we are putting it in the $20,000 sell price. So a lot of that information was correct. My goal actually goes back in -- staff on his team that will call the agents. They verify all the information, they make sure the information is correct and then they put out this statistics and it's up-to-date fantastic information and so now you can also see his information on Arizona Central, but in the republic it's been coming out and the information has all positive because the market has just been going crazy.
Well, I think if you have the ASU's name on that if there is a lot of credibility so that anybody saying, "Geez, it couldn't be up that much" or whatever, this is nip right in the bud by having that kind of professional organizations monitoring and tracking the sales. You've mentioned investors lying about 40% of the home is right now, I think you said. What factor they playing in the whole scenario of the market?
Well, investors have actually kind of dragged this market back out where we were. They -- we have investors that have coming in from Canada and all over, but we also have investors or local investors that are buying home and fixing them up and putting them back on the market which is actually driving the prices back up because we will take a house that maybe they bought it foreclosed, they needed a lot of work, they buy it for $100,000, they put in $50,000, sell it for 250 and now they've just increase the price for that entire subdivision when they resell that property and they're actually helping to stabilize neighborhood and bring the neighborhoods back up. With 40% of the home sold being invested they are, they are buying in the foreclosures, the short sales of the properties that have been neglected. They're putting a lot of money back into the properties and they're putting it back on the market which is just helping all of us.
We heard stories that there has been multiple offers made on many homes right now. Just talk to us a little bit about that. Is that a true fact?
That's absolutely 100% a true fact and part of that is also the investors that are making a little top for the first time home buyers to buy a home because the investors are willing to pay more for a house right now, but it is, whenever we get a new property, if the property is a decent property and in good shape, we are seeing four or five, six offers on each property and half the time they're going over asking price.
That's got to be pretty exciting for people who have a home listed or are expecting to list the home. We heard that's a great time to buy a home because it more, more give raise, it is also a great time to sell.
Well it's a fantastic time to sell. If you have had a property that you've been wanting to trade up or trade down, or just get in to something else, it is a great time that you can actually be able to sell your home. That you might not make any money on the current home, but at the same time when you go buy a home, you're gonna be buying a house that certainly under what it was in 2005, 2006, 2007, so you are buying properties today at a great value and our property would be going up the way it is. They're actually still going to make money on a new purchase. So, it's actually a great time to sell your home because you can actually sell that home that you've been holding on so that you may have been underwater. Today, you can sell it, start fresh, buy the home you really want and the area you really want because that was the thing in 2005 and 2006 we have a lot of individuals that wanted to be more in the Scottsdale or Downtown Phoenix closer to their jobs. They end up happened to buy a home in Queen Creek and Casa Grande because they had to move to an outlying area to get them to be able to pay the price that they could afford or surprise. Today, you are able to come back in to the areas that you really want to be in which is closer to your job and not have that long commute because you are paying the same price you would have paid in 2005 in those outlying areas.
Well, that's really good news because you think about the time they spent on their car and those loans, but also gas prices have more than doubled since the 2005 area, so that's a very costly commute also which gonna be going toward a nice place to live.
Well, you need to go is sell something again, Justin. So we are gonna go to commercial, but again please give my listeners your contact information so they can call and chat with you if they have some interest in finding the value of their home.
Sure. The phone number is (602) 635-6364 and to find out if they would like a free online home evaluation of what their current home is worth, they can find that on the justinrollins.com. It's J-U-S-T-I-N-R-O-L-L-I-N-S.com. There is a link on there that says 'sell my home' and if they can click on that, it will be an online evaluation of what their home is currently worth.
That's a pretty good service you offer to folks. So, without a lot of hustle they can get an idea of what or maybe be surprised with how good things they are. The host will be right back and asking Justin some more questions about these real estate marketing things.
Welcome back, folks. You're listening to Chuck Trautman Interviews the Experts on KCFT radio and my guest today is Phoenix area real estate expert, Justin Rollins and Justin has been sharing some fantastic information with us about how the home prices in our area have gone up by more than 20% since the course of the year and sharing good news about some folks who think they could be upside down or actually right side up on there on their house. I've heard you mentioned in the past interviews, Justin, about think like a buyer, what was that statement mean? I think you are talking about when someone who is gonna list their house that you want them, or think buy to buy it?
Yeah absolutely. Yes, so we have a -- I give all my clients -- it's a 89-step book basically. It's 89 ways that you can help your house look better for potential buyers. So you have to think like a buyer when you walk into a house and same thing when you're selling it, you want to think like a buyer and think you've got to declutter the house. How it's gonna make it bigger? To show bigger, you want to remove some of your personal items, the photographs of the kids and everything else. You are just trying to make the home as appealing to more individuals. So, you know, the landscaping has to look good on the outside, but we have an 89-step books that basically helps individuals go to that. We also have a staging expert that we can bring in that helps stage the home so it does get to more people which is obviously gonna bring more money back for the seller.
89-step book, is that available to people who list with you or does it -- can anybody get a copy of that?
We do have it up. I would give it up to anyone that requested it, but we do normally -- we always have it available for everyone who is gonna list their home and we meet with them in the beginning. I always hand to take them that book. In that way, they can go to the book and we set it out before I even come after the visit with them. That's when they have a chance to go to the book and kind of get my ideas that some other things I might want them to do.
And certainly we could make it available for anyone.
So, it's if you've listed the home and then they receive that guy then you come back to really make suggestions on what they could do to improve the saleability of the home, is that correct?
We do all of that before we list the property. Before they are ever goes on the MLS, we want to make sure it's in show-ready condition. So, we send out the book a couple of days prior to when I'm going to meet with them. That way they can have an idea. Then when I meet with them we'll go over there at the stuff. I go through the house, look at the overall condition of the house. If we need to paint some items, if we need to do some repairs, that's the other thing that people need to do up front. If you know something that's broken, the inspector is going to find that and the buyer is going to double what the price is. So, if the garage door is not working. If you could actually have it fixed for $200 you should do that ahead of time because when the inspector comes out, the buyer is probably going to ask for $600 off or he is going to ask for a lot more money than what you could actually had have it fixed for, so that's why we will try to go to the house. We find out what's wrong with their property and fix everything up and make sure we take care of those items ahead of time because it's going to be a lot less expensive.
And you have some folks that you work with if the home owner does not have a handyman or something you have some people you can recommend for them to come out and do some of these minor fixes?
Absolutely. We have affiliates that we have recommended for a lot of years now. They are wonderful painters, handymen. We just have a whole group of people that we have worked with who have done great work for us and I wouldn't recommend them if I didn't personally use them.
Well, that's what I thought. I thought that you have been on this eight years. You've got people who've been doing services for you that you know they are doing good work and I imagine a lot of home owners out there don't know who the go-to persons should be, so that's really helpful for them. So yes, that you talked about staging briefly and having the staging expert, what does that mean? What does the staging expert do?
Well, it depends on the house and what all needs to be done, but we do have a staging expert that we bring in. She will look at the house and really when she does it, she can help. She uses most of stuff that the individuals already have. She just declutters a little bit and then we use their furniture and stage it in a way that it makes the rooms look bigger. So you know, you can walk into a living room that is just jam-packed full of furniture and it just looks tiny, but if the same living room, if some of that furniture is removed and the other furniture is just turned or put in its proper position, it will make the room look quite as big and that's what she does. She will come out and put the house together and makes the house easier to sell for more money.
So, what happens if the home owner has a vacant home. They've already moved. The staging person recommend that they rent furniture or appliance to make that look like their home or do you just go ahead and take it vacant?
We do it both ways. Right now, everything is selling so fast. You don't necessarily need to stage the property, but it also depends on the size of the property. We have a property right now that we're going to put in on the market for about six and a half million dollars. That one, we will 100% stage just because it's a very large property and it's just doesn't feel homey the way it is, but you can also have a home that just shows fantastic that is they can. So, it depends. We don't necessarily always stage vacant homes. If we look at the house, then each home is a little different.
So, that's six and a half million dollar home. That's quite a piece of property. When you are taking on clients, what range of client do you work with?
We're all across the board, anywhere from 250,000 to 15,000,000.
Wow. Well let's just...
We have -- there's a team of us. So, that's one good thing about that's working with us is, you know I can't be an expert on everything and certainly I'm not an expert on buying a home. I'm surprised because I haven't been out there a long time but I have full-time buyers, they are just that all experts out there. So, my expertise is more of listing the homes and selling homes and it's more higher in homes. I also have team members that certainly work on the 252 a million range and they're experts in that market, so that's the one thing about working with us because is we have a whole team. We have the staff inside that once the property is listed they will help. You know, they stay in contact with the other sellers and help walk everything through, they make me look good.
Well, you just -- well I have ahead of me right to my next question because you have answered part of it already, but I think it is some of it bears repeating and you can elaborate on it, but why would a home owner list with you versus the other choices that may be out there?
Well, what I just touchdown there a little bit is we do have a team. It's not just one person trying to do everything because one person can't be great at everything. One person might be great at, you know, talking to individuals, but they're not great at putting together the marketing plan that also helps sell the property, so that's one thing. Another thing is that you want to work with an agent that certainly sells a lot of property. The average of real state agent according to the National Association of Realtors only sells six homes a year. I sold 124 homes last year so I sold 20 times what the average agent sells. So we do obviously have a lot of experience and a lot of buyers that are already in our pool. The other thing is we have -- I have a tiered commission structure. So if somebody list with me, it's already in all my paperwork, it's 6430. So basically what it is if I take a listing, I would take it at 6%. If there's another buyer's agent from another company, then of course 6%. If one of my buyer's agents -- we have three full-time buyer's agents. If one of my buyer's agents finds a property from one of his buyers that happens to be one of our listings, we only charge 4%. At the same time, our sellers can be out trying to sell their home as for sale by owner. If they happened to find somebody who wants to buy their home, that's not through any of my marketing, then I will help them walk a true title, it's 1%. If they find a buyer and they don't want me to do anything, they don't pay anything, it's 0% commission. We also sign a cancellation notice on day 1. So when I take a listing, I take it for six months, but I also give the seller a cancellation notice they want, which holds me accountable to them, but also they are still in charge. If they're to find something that I'm not doing that they want to be done, they can fire me at any time.
They just send me the notice that's already signed and in 24 hours later, I will have the sign out of the -- out of the yard and the key back to them. We have a communication guarantee. We have a guarantee that sells your home in 45 days a week period and mortgage. It's been a lot of different things that we offer that just a normal agent doesn't do.
Well, obviously Justin, if you're giving someone the ability to opt out of the agreement or sell their home for reduced rates, you're very, very confident, your ability to move the home and I think that speaks volumes for your expertise to take the risk away, you really are taking the risk away from the homeowners. It's not tied up in a 6 or 12-month agreement. You're pretty much saying, "I'm going to sell it for you fast." Well, I like that. You're a giving person too. Before I get to that, I want to back up a little bit. Before we did the interview, I was checking your website out and people really should do that because you've got some great testimonies on there for people you've helped that say wonderful things about you and that doesn't happen everyday either so congratulations on that. So, you have a Justin Rollins Foundation, tell us a little bit about that?
Well, the Justin Rollins Foundation is for PKD, which is polycystic kidney disease and it's near and dear to me because my mother is actually -- right now, today, she has an 80% kidney capacity left. She is looking for a donor. I have two aunts that have already had their transplants. My grandmother had the disease and, you know, she passed away before she was able to have a transplant. She was on dialysis for three years. My mother -- I recently went through the testing to find out if I could be a donor. Unfortunately, during that testing, we found out that I'm actually pre-diabetic, which means -- I could still do the transplant, but if I did, it's going to 100% push me into being a diabetic and so after talking with my mother and kind of coming up what's going to be the best for all of us, we decided that it's just not the courage for me to do it. I talked to her last night. Actually, she -- day 561 days on the list. So hopefully, she'll be getting her transplant shortly now. So I just wanted to start something that I can actually give back and help to try to help find a cure for that because I actually have a cousin that's 6 years old, but they just found out that he has it and it's a faradic area you know, that thing that's -- it's in your genes and I haven't -- during my testing, I did find out that I am not a carrier so that's a fantastic news. You know, I will not be passing it on to my children, but a lot of individuals do suffer for that. So it would just a way that I could give something back and really honor my mom.
Well, I think that's great. So of course, the policy that you make, the real estate transactions go to your foundation and I'm guessing also that your partners like title companies and other real estate agents are property contributors too. So, will you give your contact information? If anybody out there would like to give to the Justin Rollins Foundation to help with kidney disease research, please feel free to use the contact information on the website. Well, it has been pretty fascinating because I'm excited about that the market being up 20%. I'm sure those statistics are -- at the end of May so we have seven months to go. So this could be a gang buster year, mortgage rates, they continue to be down, is that right?
They are. Once again, we've hit another all-time low and mortgage rates are 2-1/2%, 3% now and you can -- it's just a fantastic time. I mean anyone that's in a position that wants to trade out whatever it is, move to a different area, it's just a fantastic time in real estate. It's so exciting to kind of -- we've busted back through the other side. We were always rated in the top five worst markets for -- you know, we had the most foreclosures, Vegas, Colorado, California. Arizona was -- it was always sad to be in that top five, the worst markets. As of today, we're actually the number one state in the United States for the fastest recovering state and it's just because we're not a judicial state. We're able to just run through all those foreclosures that we had. We got them worked through the system and we're just back on the other side. It's just a fantastic time to be in real estate.
How about listings? What's the oppose to going back to the start of these recessions and now, what's the number of listings of statistics look like?
Well, we're really -- that's another thing I don't think people realized. I'm glad you asked that because that's the one of the key factors of why our market is on fire. It's because we have no inventory right now. In 2009, we had about 60,000 homes on the market. In 2005, when home prices were shooting up and we dropped down about 5000 homes on the market. As of today, we only have about 15,000 homes on the market. So in 2009, when you couldn't give a home away at 60,000. These backed down to 15,000 homes. It's just unbelievable and that amount of time that we've shot through that fast. Our normal market is actually about 30,000 to 35,000 homes on the market. It's where we actually should be. Right now, in the 150,000 under market, we only have a two-week supply. Meaning, if we didn't get any more property then, we would actually run out of houses in two weeks because they're selling so fast.
So, again, for listeners out there, if you were thinking all about selling your house, think about supply and demand. If their inventory is low, that means a fast sale and a higher dollar for your home. That's really great news. I'm delighted about the good news you've shared this morning about this real estate market because you're right, our National Press has bid us up pretty good for years and this is a great news.
Well, they have. They bid us up for the last few years and the sad thing is I still have individuals that will call me or shoot me an e-mail and say, "You know, I've just seen in The Wall Street Journal, you know, the home prices or whatever..." Well, that was national. That's not Arizona reality. They also have been getting the e-mails about the Zillow. You know those very well. You say home prices are up, but the Zillow is still saying that it's whatever. Well, you know, Zillow is actually a fun little tool to look at, but it's not real. I mean Zillow doesn't take into account. It does remove pending sales and it also doesn't take into account any kind of upgrades or repairs that have been done to their home. So it's just a computer program, sometimes it's right, but most of the time, it's not. So, if you want a real evaluation of exactly what your home would be worth, then they need to call a real estate expert. I certainly hope they would call someone like me.
Well, since we're getting down to the end of the show. Again, I'd like to give you -- have you give your contact information again so they can contact you and also they could know where to go to get their online free evaluation of the value of their house.
Our phone number again is (602) 635-6364 and if they do want to get the free online evaluation of their home, they can go to justinrollins.com, which is
J-U-S-T-I-N-R-O-L-L-I-N-S.com and there will be a link on the home page there. That's for the free online home evaluation.
Folks, I hope that you are as excited about the information that Justin has shared as I am and you can also tell from the way he answered the questions. He is truly an expert on this market and on getting you the best price for your home. So, I encourage you to check it out, give him a call, or go to that website or both. And Justin, I want to thank you so much for coming on and being a guest on KCFT radio today. You've given some great stuff to my listeners and I very much appreciate it. Folks, you've been listening to Chuck Trautman Interviews the Experts on KCFT radio and my guest today is the Phoenix Scottsdale real estate expert, Justin Rollins. Thank you for tuning in.
Thank you, Chuck.
It's good to talk.