Buyer Resources - Articles



Buying a home can be complicated, but here are some valuable resource articles that may be helpful for you as you are going through the home buying process. These articles cover the basics from understanding how real estate agents assist with the process, analyzing your budget and financial status, dealing with inspections, making an offer for that home and preparing for the paperwork process that goes along with this life changing financial decision. For assistance or quick answers to your real estate questions, give a call to (928) 300-9031 or Contact me!

Disclaimer from Carol Anne:  These articles above are loaded by HomesConnect and I can't make them stop it.  I don't see them before they go up, so please don't nail me if they say something weird.

The article below is something that I wrote while President of the Sedona Association of REALTORS® for our members to share with their clients.  I thought I'd share it with you, too.  



1:  Buying real estate today is not like the last time you bought real estate, and not like when your parents bought real estate.  The rules have changed. 

Some of the reasonably priced inventory on the market today is either bank owned (a foreclosure) or a short sale (a property that we are trying to sell for less than the owner owes on it.  We have to get the bank/lender’s permission to do this.  This bank/lender does not often have a reliable system in place to deal with our request, which means that short sales can be frustrating, bizarre, and unpredictable.)  

Understand that the bank/seller or bank/current lender in these situations does not care whether or not you buy this property.  If you step away they know that somebody else will step up. 

The old back-and-forth negotiation rules that we all know and love will probably lose you a deal or two.   

Listen to your REALTOR®’s advice – this is not our first rodeo. 

2: All real estate agents are not the same. 

About half of the real estate agents out there are just that – people licensed by the State of Arizona to sell real estate.  The other half are REALTORS®.  REALTORS® are also licensed to sell real estate. 

The difference is that REALTORS® have joined the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), the Arizona Association of REALTORS® (AAR), and if you are reading this, it was given to you by a member of the Sedona Verde Valley Association of REALTORS® (SVVAR). 

A REALTOR® has sworn to abide by the NAR Code of Ethics.   If they have not sworn to adhere to the Code of Ethics they will not be allowed to be a member of any of these organizations.   You can read the NAR Code of Ethics at

Look for that big ®.  It means that you are dealing with an ethical professional.  It means that your REALTOR® is highly trained and regulated, and that you now have the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and the REALTOR’S® Property Resource (RPR) at your disposal. 

3:  Zillow’s Zestimates (and their ilk) are not gospel.  They’re usually not even very accurate. 

Zillow, Trulia, County Assessor’s property valuations – none of these tools are a reliable way to figure out what a particular property is worth.  When you come to your REALTOR® and say “I want to offer the Zestimate price” you may or may not hear the snort, but I’ll bet it was there.

Zillow is an advertising site, not a property valuation site.  Do you see those “Featured Partners” ads?  Zillow makes money by selling those ad blocks, and they sell the ad blocks by getting people to come to Zillow hoping to get an insider’s scoop on property values.  

Your REALTOR® has something better.  We can pull current, accurate, targeted valuations through MLS and RPR®, using the RPR REALTOR® Valuation Model. 

We know the neighborhoods and we know the properties.  We can tell you what a property is worth and then we can prove it. 

4:  Your REALTOR® works on a commission basis.  

REALTORS® do not usually get a salary.  We get paid when your deal closes.  We spend thousands of dollars to get licensed and thousands more in dues and continuing education every year.  Gas, vehicle maintenance, clothes, cards, paper, ink, computers, office, MLS & SVVAR & AAR & NAR dues, all of this overhead is given to you on faith that you are real and are going to try to buy one of the properties that we show you.

People who think “It’s fun to look, and a cheap way to spend a Sunday” with no intention of buying might as well just come into our homes and steal money from our wallets and take the food off of our tables.

Also, trying to grab a piece of our commissions during the deal is not cool.  It’s not “just good business” on a client’s part – it’s tacky. 

5:  Buying real estate does not have to be a fight. 

Even though on paper this is an inherently adversarial process, in reality it doesn’t have to be.  Some people say “Yeah, but they want to get the highest amount while I want to pay the least.  Of course it’s adversarial!”  I would counter with “You want to buy the property.  They want you to buy the property.  Your REALTOR® wants to help that to happen.  Where’s the adversarial part?”

Deals can get blown and relationships ruined by the attitude that we must squeeze the last drop of blood out of the “other side.”  We must not leave even one smidgen of crumb on the table!  

Well, maybe you should leave that last crumb.  Wouldn’t it be so much better after close of escrow if you felt comfortable calling up the seller and asking if they know why the pipes are making that funny noise? 

6.    Your REALTOR® has the same fiduciary requirements to their clients that your attorney, priest, or doctor has. 

That’s right – a REALTOR®’s client can expect the same level of confidentiality from their REALTOR® as you expect from your priest.  Our agency relationship with a client mandates: 

·        Confidentiality

·        Accountability

·        Reasonable Care and Due Diligence

·        Loyalty

·        Obedience to lawful requests

·        Advocating and Good Advice

·        Disclosure

If you choose to be simply a customer the only duty that we legally owe you is honesty. 

7:  How do I become a client instead of just a customer?  

Ask for, read and then sign the Buyer’s Broker employment form with your REALTOR®.  If you don’t, all that you can legally expect is disclosure. 

8:  Yes, consensual dual agency is legal in Arizona. 

Your REALTOR® is legally allowed to be both yours and “the other side’s” REALTOR®, as long as everybody involved is aware of what it means and agrees and gives written permission for them to do so by signing the Consent to Limited Dual Agency form. 

What does signing this form mean to you?  It means that the REALTOR® sort of sits on the fence in between both parties, refereeing.  The reality is that sooner or later you will ask a question (How much will they really take for this property?) that your REALTOR® will answer with, “I’m sorry.  I’m not allowed to answer that.”  Rest assured that the other guy will get the same answer when he asks that same question (How much will they really pay?). 

9.     Your Arizona REALTOR® is allowed to write contracts.  

Arizona is one of the few states that doesn’t make you run to a lawyer to get your offer written.  Arizona REALTORS® are very highly trained in contract writing, and this is part of the service.  If you want to run anything by your attorney, feel free.  You don’t have to, but you certainly can. 


If you have any question, ask your REALTOR®.  They’ll be happy to explain until you’re satisfied.

Carol Anne Teague
Carol Anne Teague
Associate Broker, GRI, ABR, CNE
2855 W SR 89A Ste2 Sedona AZ 86336