When To Get An Appraisal

An appraisal is a licensed professional’s unbiased opinion of a home’s value at a specific time. This estimation of value primarily serves to protect the interests of buyers and lenders. Buyers don’t want to pay more than a home is worth. And lenders want to ensure that the collateral, which is the home, justifies the loan. However, there are also advantages for sellers to get an appraisal.

When is an Appraisal a Good Idea for Sellers?

Internet websites such as Zillow and provide home buyers access to an abundance of real estate data. While this is convenient for buyers, the data is often inaccurate. Moreover, this problem is widespread when it comes to the website’s estimated value of Las Vegas luxury homes. These websites don’t account for the value of custom finishes, views, lot position, etc. What’s worse is they often don’t assign the proper value to guard gated communities.

Custom homes with views and high-end amenities have a thinner sales market, especially at higher price points. If your property is unique, buyers’ agents may not be able to support your sales price by comparable sales. Having the opinion of an impartial third-party appraiser can eliminate confusion and help justify your asking price.

Using the Appraisal to Your Advantage

Over half of the luxury home buyers in Las Vegas use a mortgage for their purchase. When a buyer applies for a loan, their lender has its own appraisal done. The bank will only loan a portion, typically 80%, of the appraised value. Here’s a good example:

A buyer contracts to buy a home for $1,000,000 and the bank requires a 20% down payment. So that’s an 80% loan-to-value (LTV). In this case, if the home appraises for $1,000,000, the bank will lend $800,000. The buyer then has a down payment of $200,000. However, if the home appraises for $900,000, the bank will still only loan 80% or $720,000.

It’s a red flag for the buyer if the appraisal comes in below the sales price. In this example, the buyer would have to come up with an extra $80,000. Buyers don’t like unwelcome surprises. More to the point, no one wants to overpay for their home. Therefore, when the appraisal falls short, the buyer often calls off the sale. So getting an appraisal to justify the sales price for your luxury home can be to your advantage.

Actual Las Vegas Luxury Home Transaction Success

In an actual transaction, one of our listings had a higher sales price than the recent sales in the neighborhood. But the home, in this case, had complete interior renovations. The inside of the home was as up-to-date with custom finishes as any buyer could want. We had a lot of interested buyers, but they had a hard time justifying the price. The buyers only became comfortable paying the sellers price after they saw the appraisal we advised the seller to get. Again, having an appraisal was a huge benefit to our seller.

We also recently had an all-cash deal where our listing went into contract at $1,350,000. The buyer’s appraisal came in at $1,300,000. However, upon review, we found there was no accounting for certain items. This property had nearly $400,000 in upgrades! So our seller paid for a second appraisal, which came in at $1,370,000. With that appraisal in hand, the buyer felt comfortable paying $1,350,000 and the sale closed.

Is a Luxury Home Appraisal Right for You?

An appraisal is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Not every Las Vegas luxury home should get an appraisal. We work closely with our clients to employ the best sales and pricing strategy. If you’re selling a unique Las Vegas luxury property, you should at least consider an appraisal. This is true regardless of how far along you are in the selling process.

We have a long history of successful high-end residential sales. We also make sure the sale closes at the highest possible price. Please call us at 702-605-7480 with any questions including whether an appraisal is right for you. You can also email me at I reply to every email personally. Hope to hear from you soon! – Rob Jensen


How Fast Should My Home Sell?

One of the most common questions that luxury home sellers ask is “How fast should my home sell?” 

Beyond the price and condition of your home, how fast your home will sell depends on market conditions—specifically absorption rate and days on market. Understanding these indicators will give you an idea of how much activity to expect once your home goes on the market. There’s also a distinction between “now” buyers and “new” buyers to keep in mind. Knowing which type of buyer to focus can help your home sell quicker.

Absorption Rate: Predicting How Fast Your Home Might Sell 

Absorption rate is a common tool used to get a feeling for how competitive the market is, specifically for a home like yours. As lovely as your home may be, to a buyer your home is one of many choices. There’s always a supply of similar homes available. Of course, these homes are not necessarily the same as yours, but they might have a similar square footage, location, price point, golf course frontage, views, amenities, etc. 

In essence, absorption rate is a rough measurement of supply and demand. When you calculate absorption rate, the result is a length of time (in months) that it will take to sell current inventory.  A buyer’s market has eight months of inventory or more, while a seller’s market has four months of inventory or less. Anything in between is considered a balanced market, which doesn’t favor either party. See the examples below (done with easy math) to understand how absorption rate is calculated. 

Example 1:

If there have been ten sales in the last ten months, that’s one sale per month. So, if you’re seeing about one sale per month and there are currently ten homes for sale, that’s an absorption rate of ten, meaning there’s about a ten-month supply of homes on the market. In this scenario, the market is a little bit softer, so selling your home is going to be more competitive. This is a buyer’s market. 

Example 2:

If there are about two homes selling per month and ten available, you now have a five-month supply of homes on the market—a big difference. In this scenario, the market is definitely much stronger, but it’s still not a seller’s market. Here, the market is considered balanced or neutral.

Example 3: 

If there are three homes selling per month and ten available, you now have just over a three-month supply of homes—a seller’s market!

Clearly, absorption rate is worth looking at to help you understand how competitive you might need to be. The key here is to calculate absorption rate based on comparable homes sold over a recent timeline in your specific location. At the Rob Jensen Company, we report absorption rates in the Las Vegas area every month in our newsletter. To make sure we’re offering the most relevant and helpful data to our clients, we break the absorption rates down by different price points within the local guard gated market.

How Fast Should My Home Sell

Days on Market

Another statistic to consider is how many days competing homes have been on the market. Look at the comparable homes that sold in your area, then find out how quickly they sold. More importantly, look at how quickly they sold once they were priced correctly.

Sometimes homes sell for top dollar shortly after they are listed. Other times there’s a price reduction involved before you get a sale. You might have noticed a home sitting on the market for a year or more. When you look at the price history for homes like these, you’ll often find that the home sold quickly after a price reduction or two.

For Example…

The home mentioned in the chart below featured a desirable modern design with loads of upgrades and high-end finishes. All things considered, it was in top condition. We marketed the property extensively using targeted video and print campaigns. In the first few months, we had 12,970 video views (3,644 on YouTube, 6,320 on Facebook, and 3,006 on Instagram). Using our monthly newsletter, we shared the listing (complete with high-quality photos and professional copywriting) with 11,558 locals living in guard gated communities. We also sent it to 3,917 targeted subscribers on our email list.

Once the clicks and calls started rolling in, we showed the home to six interested buyers—but no one made an offer. Why is that? In real estate, if the marketing is done right, the home is in great condition, and you’re still not getting offers—then it’s time to take a closer look at the price. After this home sat on the market for almost three months (83 days), we sat down with the sellers and decided to lower the price. Once the home was priced correctly, it went under contract in just 25 days!

How fast should my home sell?

When you figure out the right strategy and your home hits the market, you should have activity in the first one to three weeks, regardless of what price bracket the home falls into. If you’re not garnering buyer’s interest during this peak traffic period, it might be time to reconsider your strategy.

Two Types of Buyers That Look At Homes

“Now” Buyers

A “now” buyer is someone that has been looking for a home for a while—the last couple months to the last year. They’re usually more educated in terms of the market. They understand pricing, and they may have even missed out on the perfect home, either because they were outbid on a property or they didn’t get their offer in fast enough. “Now” buyers are further along in the buying cycle, have more motivation, and are generally ready to pull the trigger. 

For properties with features or amenities that warrant top-tier pricing, sales price records are made in the days or weeks following launch. When your home hits the market, you’re tapping into a pool of “now” buyers. How big that pool is depends a lot on your price point. The higher the price point, the thinner the market. Whether you have 100 or 1,000 potential buyers, when you go live on the Multiple Listing Service and the home hits the market, making the most of that grand opening is critical. You generally don’t see homes sitting on the market for three or four months and then selling for full price.

“New” Buyers

On the other hand, there are “new” buyers. These buyers are newer to the market and are generally two to ten months out from being ready to buy. At this stage, they’re still deciding what part of town they want to live in. This is especially true if they’re moving from out of town. Though it will happen eventually, waiting for “new” buyers to get educated and mature into “now” buyers is a mistake. Regardless of your financial ability to hold onto your house, sitting on the market doesn’t help unless the market is appreciating. If none of the “now” buyers are biting in the first few months (in general; remember to look at days on market and the absorption rate specific to your property), this could be a sign of a bigger issue. It could be marketing, it could be condition, or it could be price.

How Fast Will Your Home Sell?

When it’s time to sell, understanding market conditions will help you make the correct decisions before launching. Take the above concepts into account when establishing your selling strategy, and you’ll be one step ahead of the competition. Ultimately the timeline for your home sale comes down to your game plan and your goals. At the Rob Jensen Company, we make sure to do the market research for each specific property ahead of time. That way, we can bring this information to the table when it’s time to discuss selling your home and meeting your price and timing goals. If you have any questions, we’d be happy to help. Contact us today!


Don’t Let Your Home End Up As A Dead Listing

There is no shortage of real estate agents who want to list your home for sale. So it’s common for other agents to do whatever it takes to get a new listing, whether it’s an unrealistic listing price, discounted commission, or rushing a home to market that’s not properly prepared for sale. The listing then gets put on the MLS and the agent crosses their fingers and hopes something good happens.

Unfortunately this often leads to a listing that expires because the home is never sold. Telling homeowners what they want to hear and depending on luck is not an effective way to get your home sold. Skill and expertise always produce better results, especially in the guard gated communities we specialize in.

So how do you determine who has the skills and expertise that will actually get your home sold? Just ask one specific question: What percentage of their listings actually became closed sales?

I’m proud to say that of our 40 closed transactions and counting year to date, we are batting 100% when it comes to getting our listed homes sold. Zero listings expired. Producing these results requires doing something that virtually no one else in our industry would do. We tell homeowners the truth and politely pass on listing a home when the price and/or condition are not realistic to delivering what you want – getting your home sold.

We’re in the business of selling homes, not gathering a collection of listings and depending on luck. So that’s our promise, we won’t waste your time or ours. If you’re interested in selling your home, please contact me at 702-605-7480. You can always count on us to shoot straight and tell you the facts.

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Global Marketing Helps Get Your Home Sold

Las Vegas is a world-famous entertainment destination and international travelers visit our city on a daily basis. Many of these visitors also do something else – they buy luxury homes. Whether it’s one of multiple personal residences or for investment properties, international buyers are an active force in our local guard gated real estate market.

In addition to getting local and national exposure for our seller clients, we also advertise heavily to international buyers. Our responsibility to our seller clients is to expose their homes to the highest qualified number of buyers possible regardless of where these buyers live. Our marketing plans always include a strong local, national, and global presence.

Each of our exclusive listings appear on 106 separate real estate websites in 62 countries. Here’s just one advantage this global exposure provides to our seller clients: These country-specific websites are approved by the country’s government. In other words, the websites are not blocked or censored in their own country as can be the case with US based real estate websites. Representative countries included in our global marketing plan contain some of the biggest players in international real estate transactions such as China, UK, Japan, Australia, France, Russia, Canada, Spain, Hong Kong – to name just a few.

If you’re considering selling your home and would like to hear more about how we sell our clients’ homes for the best prices, in the shortest amount of time, with the least amount of hassle, please give us a call at 702-605-7480. I look forward to speaking with you.

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The Only Brokerage Model That Ultimately Puts Clients First

One of the biggest issues facing the true professionals in the real estate industry is the overwhelming amount of part-time, commission only, and unqualified real estate agents that clutter the landscape. This has caused many people to lump all real estate agents into one less-than-ideal category.

We get it. No one recognizes this or is more frustrated by it than we are. But it’s important to realize that the real estate industry is similar to other professional services industries. Just as every doctor, lawyer, consultant, accountant, etc. does not have the same level of expertise, there are top real estate professionals who are drastically more qualified than the norm and consistently provide exceptional value to their clients.

Here’s what sets us above the pack. Every member on our team is a salaried full-time employee. We do not have commission-based independent contractors or part-time hobbyists working for us. Because there is no financial incentive whatsoever to do anything else, it’s easy for our staff to put our clients’ interests where they belong – first. This is extremely rare in the real estate industry and translates to a client-based focus that is second to none.

Additionally, we never try to be all things to all people. It is simply impossible to be an expert in every type of real estate in the Las Vegas Valley. Everyone on our staff is highly trained in the 43 luxury home communities in Summerlin, Las Vegas, and Henderson which we specialize in.

Whether you are looking to sell your home, or buy a new home in one of our luxury communities, our unique business model will provide you with exceptional value. Please call me at 702-605-7480 and I’ll be glad to speak with you personally about your individual needs.

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How To Maximize Your Home’s Sales Price

I often work with home sellers that have upgraded their home. These upgrades can be as simple as new appliances or as complex as a full remodel. In order to maximize your home’s sales price you must have an accurate list of everything you’ve done and the associated costs.

This helps with the sales process because a detailed list supports a higher asking price and can be incorporated into the property brochure and marketing materials. Be aware that not every Realtor advises their clients properly on this issue. It’s common to see listings being advertised with a big dollar amount spent on upgrades or remodeling with nothing to back it up. Unless it’s documented and in writing, most buyers and their agents believe the numbers are inflated and not realistic.

Additionally, any upgrades will increase the cost basis of your property which ultimately affects how much is taxable profit when you sell the house. You should always speak with your accountant regarding your cost basis and a detailed list will be important to them.

If your home sale requires an appraisal, and most do, the appraiser will also appreciate an itemized list of upgrades to help support the sales price. Buyers can pay over the appraised amount for a home but they rarely do, so it’s best to provide the appraiser will all relevant information.
Please call me at 702-605-7480 if you’re considering putting your home on the market. I’ll be glad to share my 15 years of experience in the local luxury real estate market and show you how it can be used to your advantage.

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New Schools, New Construction & Soaring Home Sales

We constantly monitor what’s happening in and around our guard gated communities and would like share with you some recent updates.

New Schools – Summerlin is widely regarded as having some of the best private and public schools in all of Clark County and there are two new additions: The Shelley Berkley Elementary School in The Cliffs village and the Rosemary and Billy Vassiliadis Elementary School in The Paseos. These two new public schools will be open for the upcoming school year.

Toll Brothers Expansion at Mira Villa – The prominent Las Vegas homebuilder purchased 10 acres of land at Summerlin’s Mira Villa luxury condominium complex located at Rampart Boulevard and Canyon Run Drive. The company plans to finish development of the project and add a total of 103 new upscale units.

Soaring Home Sales – The sales of homes in Las Vegas are soaring! According to GLVAR, (Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors) the number of homes sold for the first six months of this year are the highest in the last five years. Through the first half of 2017, statistics from GLVAR show that 22,331 existing local homes, condos and townhomes were sold throughout Southern Nevada. Available home inventory continues to shrink and it’s a seller’s market right now.

There are plenty of other goings-on in our guard gated communities but not enough room in this letter to publish it all. Please call me at 702-605-7480 if you’d like to learn more about the local luxury home market or are interested in selling your home while the market is hot!

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First Impressions Sell Homes

When is the best time to sell your home? The answer is – when it’s ready. The only appropriate time to sell your home is when it’s looking its best. And it doesn’t matter whether it takes a day, a week or a month to get your home ready for potential buyers.

Residential real estate is an emotional process. You’re looking to appeal to the potential buyer’s emotional reaction when they consider purchasing your home. Our experience has proven that taking the time to get the house to show its best—whatever that may entail—will absolutely pay off.

There is no substitute for a first impression. That first impression starts online from the photos and the marketing that buyers see, to when they first pull up to the curb and take in the curb appeal, and then ultimately walk into the home and take in all that it offers—from the layout to the upgrades and how fresh and new and nice it may smell.

We specialize in working with buyers and sellers in 43 guard gated and select gated communities in Summerlin, Las Vegas, and Henderson. Seller clients in these communities are provided the services of our design consultant, who will as a courtesy, make select staging recommendations to maximize the final sales price of your home.

If you are interested in selling your home and creating the best first impression possible, please contact me at 702-605-7482 to arrange a free design consultant consultation.

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Beware Of New Construction When Buying A Home

The new home construction market is hot right now and there are numerous opportunities to buy the latest contemporary designs. The advantages of new construction are that you may get to choose your own lot, elevation, and interior design stylings. You also get the added bonus of being the first one to live in the new home.

However, be aware of the risks involved. New construction buyers are always at a disadvantage when they walk into a new home site without an agent representing them. The agent at the new home tract solely represents the builder/seller. Regardless of how friendly and helpful they are, they are well trained to represent their employer’s best interests, not yours.

It is crucial for you to have your own real estate expert looking out for your best interests. Here’s the good news – the builder will pay 100% of the fee for you to be represented. It costs you nothing and there is no discount for not being represented! The only criteria is that you must bring your real estate agent with you to the new home tract on your first visit. And it must be on the first visit. Otherwise, the new home builder will not pay for your representation and you’ll either have to pay for it yourself or have no representation throughout the entire transaction.

If you’re considering buying new construction, please reach out to us at 702-605-7480. We are experts in the new construction developments in all the finer guard gated and gated neighborhoods.

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How The RJC Succeeds In This Industry

We recently held our annual Client Appreciation Party. The party was hosted at Vintner’s Grill and over 200 of our current and former clients were able to join us for this celebration. We’d like to thank everyone for the tremendous support we have received over the years that makes this event possible.

The Las Vegas real estate market is far too large to effectively “be all things to all people”. In addition to good old fashioned hard work, one of the primary keys to our success lies in our focus on the guard gated and select gated communities which we specialize in. We keep a watchful eye on these communities and publish the updated sales statistics monthly. We are also constantly updating our data on changes in HOA rules, CC&R amendments, local school issues, and new construction developments surrounding the neighborhoods we focus on.

There is no substitute for experience. We provide our knowledge and guidance to both buyers and sellers who have a home or buying interest in these communities. Please contact me at 702-605-7480 to learn more about how our focused expertise can benefit you.

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