Real Estate Information Archive


Displaying blog entries 1-5 of 5

Personal Property or Part of the House?

by Karen Picarello

When homeowners sell their homes, they often take things that their buyers thought would be left behind. For example, doorknobs or light fixtures can go missing. The last thing that a new homeowner wants to deal with is replacing these “permanent” fixtures in the home, but people have differing opinions on what constitutes personal property.

Common Items of Contention

1. Window Air Conditioner:

It may not seem obvious whether or not a homeowner should take the air conditioning. A good rule of thumb is that you should not leave any gaping holes in the walls as you leave. If it is a window unit, go ahead and remove it. If it is installed in the wall, leave it be.

2. Landscaping:

Landscaping can be expensive, but it is also a selling point of the home. If a buyer views the home with beautiful shrubbery and colorful perennials, they should move into a home with a similar appearance. If there is one plant that has sentimental value to you, dig it up prior to showing the home and put it in a pot. This will eliminate confusion.

3. Basketball Hoop:

Basketball hoops are not always personal property. If they are permanently mounted on a post cemented into the ground, it stays. But feel free to take mobile hoops.

4. Window Treatments:

If your curtains match your couch or other interior items, change them prior to showing the home. If you have blinds, leave them be. How you show your home is how the home looks in which the buyer expects to move.

5. Light Fixtures:

Light fixtures stay. Again, if you really are in love with one fixture and want to take it with you, remove it and replace it prior to showing the home.


1. It is illegal to remove some items from the house after showing it and agreeing to sell it as the buyer saw it. Therefore, if something needs to be removed, do it prior to showing the home.

2. Get over little things like how you will afford another air conditioner or find a fixture like the one you previously had. This is petty, and the items don’t really matter in the whole scheme of things. Is it worth losing a sale?

3. Lastly, communicate. If you are going to take a fixture, make sure the buyers know and have it in writing. There is nothing better than getting it in writing. This avoids conflict and allows you to take cherished items without fear of recourse.

It’s hard to let go of some things, but selling a home is a fresh start. Let it go, and move on to your new adventure.

Sell Your Home with a Quality Roof

by Karen Picarello

When selling your home, you must put yourself in the shoes of buyers and what they are worrying about when they look at it. Yes, they are worried. It is a home that has had wear and tear, and proper upkeep cannot be guaranteed…for the most part.

One of the main characteristics of your home that will considered when it comes to upkeep is the roof, and the condition and type of roof can be a factor that promotes or prevents a sale.

3 Types of Roofs Common to Arizona Homes:

1. Tiles:

When a person thinks of Arizona neighborhoods, the red tiled roofs are a hallmark that will come to mind. They are symbolic of the Southwest, and they stand out without being too trendy or eclectic. While tiles can be brittle when faced with blunt-force impact such as hail, they are rot- and insect-resistant. They can also withstand severe heat and cold, which is perfect for the Arizona desert. Tile roofs on average last over 50 years, and many lasts over 100 years.

Selling a home with a tile roof is great as long as the roof is intact. Damaged tiles that are not repaired quickly can equate to a huge cost for future homeowners. Otherwise, it is a great investment and makes buyers feel like they are getting a solidly constructed home at the very least.

2. Foam:

The flat-roofed stucco is also iconic Arizona, and the latest way to roof this type of home is in foam. The old bitumen roofs had seams, but foam roofs are seamless. They require maintenance, but they can last longer than the old-style roofs (which lasted about 20 years) if properly maintained. Another advantage of foam roofs is insulation and weight. The weight is minimal, and the insulation is great.

Selling a home with a foam roof is a step above a home with a bitumen roof, but it will cost more to have it installed if you already have the older style.

3. Asphalt or Fiberglass Shingles:

Fiberglass shingles are thinner and have a higher fire rating than asphalt but both include some asphalt. This type of roof is standard across the country, and the life of the roof is long. However, proper maintenance is again key to gaining buyer confidence, and the number of layers on the roof will give buyers a sense of how long the roof has to go before a complete reroofing.

The key to selling a home in Arizona is looking at maintenance and making sure your home is up to par with the requirements for your type of roof. Also, if you have a quality tile roof, for instance, it can be a great selling point.

To Rent or Not to Rent

by Karen Picarello

If you are considering investment rental property or want to convert your home into a rental, there are many things to consider. What sounds like an easy way to make money can turn out to be a disaster that ends with emotional and monetary loss. There are many things to consider when renting property, and here are a few ideas to get you started.

Rental Considerations

1. Whether or not to hire a property manager:

If you’ve never been a landlord, it can be a rude awakening. Even with background checks, it is amazing what damage “normal” people are capable of creating. Additionally, collecting rent, handling complaints, and handling evictions can be very stressful.

When a person only has one or two properties, a property manager may be a luxury, and one should only consider it if it works into a budget. Call a property manager, and get an estimate. If you are adding one more rental than you can reasonably handle, then it is essential to make this decision.

When deciding whether or not one wants to be landlord, one must consider the tough requirements. Are you willing to perform inspections? Are you willing to persist in payment collection? Most importantly, are you willing to evict a family who claims to be in financial distress? It may feel heartless, but a landlord who is not willing to run the rental like a business could end up in foreclosure and financial ruin.

2. Neighborhood:

If the neighborhood in which you are considering your rental is dirty and in disrepair, you will likely have a bad experience with tenants, or they won’t stay long.

Rental properties are often in low-income areas of town, so curb appeal matters both in how much you can charge and what type of people you will attract. Slumlords are a real thing, and you don’t have to abide by the stereotype. However, renting in low-income communities can be a challenge.

3. Surprise Expenses:

Lastly, rentals can be expensive, and you need to have a healthy reserve in order to handle surprise expenses. HVAC units and appliances can break. Plumbing can fail and cause water damage that may exceed the coverage of your insurance.

You must have a credit card or savings account with enough to cover your expenses, or your property will not be rentable. Like empty hotel rooms, empty rentals equal lost profits.

Renting is an excellent opportunity for many people, but those who go into it blindly may be disillusioned by the realities of investment rental properties.

5 Tips to Have Better Luck Selling Your Home

by Karen Picarello

There are a million tips that you can read about selling your home, but the truth is, there’s a bit of luck involved. Just like every other aspect of life, there are ways to improve your luck. Here are 5 tips to improving you luck selling your home.

1. Remove oddities:

You may be a bit eclectic, and so may the future homeowners. However, it is very unlikely that their eccentricities will match yours.

If you are a fan of garden gnomes and want to leave behind a legacy, make sure it is minimal. You don’t want potential homeowners to refer to your home as the “gnome house.” Likewise, weird window treatments or wall stencils should be removed prior to selling.

2. Paint in neutral:

Similar to removing oddities, you must get rid of trendy paint schemes. That burnt orange wall may look amazing with your home décor, but you don’t want it to deter a buyer with cool-toned furniture colors. Paint your walls a neutral color, so they are a blank slate for the next homeowner.

3. Invest in Landscaping:

Outside greenery makes a house inviting, and homeowners tend to disregard landscaping in favor of gardens and cost-savings. Invest in a landscaper to develop the exterior presentation of your home.

4. Insert life in the Interior:

One of the happening trends in home sales is a bowl or vessel full of lemons, and there is a reason for this. It introduces freshness into the home. It does not necessarily introduce the fresh scent of lemons into the home, but the visual speaks to all the senses. Likewise, any greenery you can put into the home helps homeowners to visualize their own lives there.

5. Minimize:

People who live minimalistic lives can get pretty particular when it comes to home items. However, most people who enter a home that is for sale want it to look like nobody lives there anymore. Family photos should be put away. Curio cabinets should be sparse. It should look like a picture from a home design magazine, not a home décor magazine. Allow the future inhabitants to envision it as their own space.

These are tried and true rules of selling a home. There are plenty of exceptions, but when you are selling, don’t try to be the exception. If you want to sell your home, make it appealing to the masses. Don’t try to attract the eccentric person who may or may not pass by.

The Finishing Touches: Tips for the Buyer and the Seller

by Karen Picarello

A home that is on the market should be pristine unless it is a foreclosure or a fixer-upper. It is not a used car, and people are not expecting it to be damaged or worn out. Yet, homeowners and prospective buyers are not sure what to fix or what to look for in a home.

5 Things to Fix or Look for in a Home for Sale

1. Plumbing:

In a finished home, you may not be able to see the pipes running through the walls, but especially in older homes, plumbing can become a huge expense. One easy way to confirm that things are on the right track is to look under the sink.

Some things are easy to tell, and if the plumbing under the sink is not correct, you can bet other things aren’t as well. Potential buyers should be looking for clean cuts and intact pipes. If it looks like pieces have been robbed from old plumbing projects, corners have probably been cut. Sellers should make sure that all exposed plumbing looks sound, and of course, fix any hidden plumbing problems as well.

2. Fixtures:

Light fixtures, sockets, and switches should all be updated within reason. If they haven’t been updated, then you can be sure that the wiring is probably in need of some work. Changing these items to updated versions also shows an attention to detail that shows the home has been cared for. Lastly, there should be no aluminum or knob-and-tube wiring.

3. Panel Box:

The electrical panel should be updated. Fuse boxes, although dated, may be okay. However, fuse boxes are typically overloaded, which makes them a fire hazard. The house should have a panel that is accurately labelled and can handle the current load of the home.

4. Insulation:

In very old homes with lath and plaster walls, there may be no exterior insulation. This means outside road noises will be heard while watching television, and cold air will be felt when standing next to exterior walls. This can easily be remedied with blown-in insulation, but make sure this is done prior to selling the home. It can be a major selling point especially when walls have not been replaced with sheetrock.

5. Floors:

If floors have recently been installed, check to see how hard they are and how they stand up to water. Then, find out how much they cost to repair. Homes with hardwood floors or high-end laminate may stand the test of time, but cheap cover-ups will not last.

There are many things to consider when buying or selling a new home, but these five things will give a buyer a sense of how well the home has been maintained.

Displaying blog entries 1-5 of 5

Contact Information

Photo of Team Picarello Real Estate
Team Picarello
RE/MAX Fine Properties North Scottsdale
21000 N. Pima Road, Suite 100
Scottsdale AZ 85255
Office: (480)860-8733
Fax: (480)860-8755