FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

Seller’s FAQs

What’s the current real estate market like in Tucson, Arizona?

Currently in 2023, it is considered a seller’s market. A buyer’s market occurs when there is less than 6 months supply of inventory at the current rate of home closings. Tucson currently has about 2 months of inventory. We’ve been in a buyers market since 2015.

How much is my home worth in Tucson, Arizona?

The value of your home in Tucson, Arizona depend on many factors including location, age of the home, condition, amenities, and recent sales in your area.

While using automated value calculators is fun, the algorithm has never been inside your house. For the most accurate opinion of value, it’s best to actually see and tour the home. Contact us today to schedule a home value analysis of your home.

How long does it take to sell a home in Tucson, Arizona?

It depends on the location and condition of the home. Currently in 2023, homes are averaging 20-30 days on market, before accepting an offer. Homes that are priced and marketed well often sell within the first week.

Once a home is under contract (has accepted an offer) the home can close between 14 to 45 days. Cash sales can close in as little as 14 days. Conventional loans usually close in about 30 days. FHA and VA loans can take up to 45 days to close.

What’s the best times of year to sell a house in Tucson?

Spring is the busiest time of year for real estate in Tucson, but it also usually has the most competition with more homes on market.

It can really depend on the sub-market your home is in. If your area is popular with retirees or snowbirds, you’ll want to be on the market when they are in town, which is around February to April. If your area is popular with families, you’ll want your home on the market in May or June, so they can move in before school starts in the fall.

The market usually slows down a bit for the holidays, however buyers still looking at this time are usually more serious and there are fewer homes on the market to compete with.

However, with the current market conditions, houses sell year round. So the best time to sell your house is when you’re ready or need to move.

What repairs are needed before I sell my home?

We recommend fixing or removing any little broken items that may be on your “honey-do list”. Also complete any maintenance items like servicing your HVAC, recoat your roof (if needed), and yard clean up. You may want to address cosmetic items like interior or exterior paint depending on its current condition. Need a good contractor referral? We can help, just contact us.

Should I stage my house before selling in Tucson, Arizona?

Staging your home can help sell your home faster and net you more. If your home is vacant, staging can help buyers visualize how they can furnish a room. We offer complementary light staging to our seller clients. However some sellers prefer full staging. In that case we can recommend a local staging company we’ve worked with.

If you will be living in your home while selling, it’s a great idea to start packing some unneeded items prior to listing your home for sale. You can reduce clutter and stage your home with furnishings you already own. We offer suggestions on how to show your home in the best light possible, to sell your home for more and in less time.

What are the closing costs for selling a home in Tucson, Arizona?

The costs can vary but your costs will include realty broker commissions, title insurance, recording fees, escrow fees, and taxes. Contact us to request an estimate of closing costs customized for your property.

What do I need to disclose when selling my house in Tucson?

Sellers will fill out the Seller Property Disclosure Statement (SPDS) to the best of their knowledge. The document is there to protect you and the better filled out it is, the more confidence your buyer has in their decision to purchase your home.

The SPDS covers a multitude of items about your property. It will ask you about any work and/or repairs you’ve had done to the house, HOA info, utility providers, whether your home is in a historic district, age of HVAC, etc. We recommend you supply this disclosure as early as possible, that way we can have firmer footing when negotiating repairs down the line.

Do I need to hire a real estate agent to sell my house in Tucson, Arizona?

No, a real estate agent is not required to sell your home. But it is beneficial to hire a trusted professional to navigate you through the process, give you advice tailored to your situation, expertly market your property, hold open houses, and negotiate on your behalf.

How do I choose the right real estate agent to sell my Tucson house?

You’ll want to meet with the agent to learn more about their business style, market knowledge, experience, communication skills, and track record. The transaction may take a few months, so you want to make sure you hire someone you’re comfortable with. Real estate agents are not all the same. Who you hire matters.

What’s the average commission rate for a real estate transaction in Tucson?

Commissions are always negotiable. We charge a 6% total commission upon the completed sale of your home (you do not pay upfront, it is paid at close of escrow). Of that, half of it is offered to the buyer’s broker. The other half goes to our brokerage (Tierra Antigua Realty), who then pays a portion to the listing agents (us).

Agents are not employees, and as such we do not have expense accounts. Agents pay for their own income taxes, self-employment taxes, health insurance, retirement savings, vehicle expenses, photography, property marketing, and more, out of those proceeds.

How do I price my house correctly?

Pricing your home is an important part of your marketing strategy. You’ll want to consider factors such as recent sales in your area, current market conditions, the condition and features of your home, including any recent upgrades or renovations made. We help you with the process by showing you all the current market data in your area, so you can make an informed decision.

What’s the most effective way to market my house in Tucson?

Marketing starts with prepping the house for sale, which will help us get stellar photos and video of your home to show it in the best light possible. We try to create a buzz around your home by leveraging open houses, social media, and real estate websites. If you choose to hire us, we will create a custom marketing plan for your property.

Buyer’s FAQs

What’s the average price of a home in Tucson, Arizona?

In April 2023 the average sales price of all residential properties in Tucson is $400,000. The median sales price of all residential properties in Tucson is $337,000.

What is the housing market like in Tucson?

The housing market is still a seller’s market. We are experiencing lower than normal inventory and high buyer demand. It has leveled off compared to the last 2-3 years, but we are still seeing a lot of competition especially with more desirable homes and locations.

How much should I expect to pay for closing costs in Tucson?

Buyer’s closing costs in Tucson can vary depending on the price of the home and other factors, but generally, they are around 2% – 5% of the purchase price. Depending on market conditions, the seller may be willing to pay for some of the closing costs.

How much of a down payment is required to purchase a home?

It depends on the type of loan. FHA loans can have down payments as low as 3.5%. Conventional loans usually require 5%, while VA loans require 0% down. Want more details? Contact me for lender recommendations.

What is earnest money?

Earnest money is a good faith deposit that signals your serious intent to purchase a property. There is not set amount, but it is traditionally around 1-2% of the purchase price. Earnest money is held in escrow until the closing of the sale. It can be applied to the down payment at the close.

What’s the property tax rate in Tucson, Arizona?

The Pima County Assessor calculates the property taxes for each property. It will vary a bit depending on location, size, and assessed value. But in general, property taxes are about 1% of the value of a home.

If the home is a contributing property within a historic district, it may be eligible for a significant property tax discount.

Can I save property taxes by buying a home in a historic district in Tucson?

Buying a non-income-producing contributing property in a historic district can lead to a 40-50% property tax savings, assuming you don’t make changes to the historic character of the exterior.

Contact the Arizona State Historic Preservation Office and the Pima County Assessor’s Office for more details.

How long does it take to buy a home in Tucson?

The timeline can vary, depending on how long it takes to find a home that meets your needs and criteria.

Once you have an accepted contract on a home, it can take anywhere from 14-45 days to close, depending on what type of financing you are using. 14-21 days is common if buying with cash. 30-45 days is common when getting a loan.

Is a home inspection required when buying a home in Tucson?

A home inspection is not required when purchasing a home in Tucson, Arizona, but it is recommended.

The types of inspections you should consider are: a general inspection which will include inspecting major systems for the home, a termite inspection, a roof inspection, a sewer scope and/or septic inspection, and a pool inspection.

There are other inspections that may be advised depending on the property, such as a well inspection, a solar inspection, etc.

How do I get started buying a house in Tucson?

The first step in buying a home is to contact a real estate agent you trust, they will likely refer you to a trusted loan officer if you are getting a mortgage. After you are pre-approved, we can start searching for homes.

Before we start house hunting, we like to meet with you to discuss your wants and needs and to answer any questions about the process and what to expect with the current market conditions. When you find a home you love, we’ll write up an offer.

After your offer is accepted, we’ll schedule inspections and negotiate any needed repairs. The bank may order an appraisal. A few days prior to close we’ll meet at the home for a final walk-thru to ensure the property is in the same condition as it was when the offer was submitted.

On closing day, you’ll get the keys!

How do I choose the right real estate agent to help me buy a home in Tucson?

You’ll want to meet with the agent to learn more about their business style, market knowledge, experience, communication skills, and track record. The transaction may take a few months, so you want to make sure you hire someone you’re comfortable with. Real estate agents are not all the same. Who you hire matters.

How do I choose the right lender to help me buy a home in Tucson?

We recommend working with a local lender. Why? In our experience a local lender is more responsive because they know that they will likely get referred to other clients when they do a good job. They are also easier to contact by phone, and are available on weekends.

When our clients choose a national bank or an online lender, it complicates the transaction and can even put your earnest money in jeopardy (!) if the lender is not responsive.

We have recommendations for lenders who do great work. Contact us, we’re happy to share their info with you. Please note: We do not get paid for recommending any lender or any other vendor, that is illegal and unethical.

Is it a good time to buy a home in Tucson?

Like the stock market, it’s impossible to time the real estate market. A good time to buy a house is when you can afford the payment and when your current living situation is no longer meeting your needs.

When buying a house, you’ll also want to make sure that you’ll be staying in this house for at least 4-5 years, so that you build up enough equity to get you through any future downturns the market may go through. If you are planning to move in 1-3 years, we would recommend renting instead of buying.

I already own a home. Can I finance a condo as a second home or as an investment property?

It is difficult, if not impossible, to finance a condo if you already own a primary residence. In this case, you should consider townhouses, duplexes, or single family homes instead of a condo. Or your other option is to pay cash for the condo instead of financing.

FAQs about Living in Tucson

Does Tucson have good schools?

Check out school ratings at Niche.com or GreatSchools.org or PublicSchoolReview.com for reviews and details. Tucson and the surrounding area has several school districts, as well as charter schools and private schools to choose from.

Tucson is also home to University of Arizona, a top research university and Pima Community College, one of the largest community colleges in the country.

What’s the climate like in Tucson, Arizona?

Tucson is located in the Sonoran Desert at an elevation of about 2400 feet above sea level. The weather is hot and arid for much of the summer. July-September is the summer rainy season which brings us a little reprieve and some much needed rainfall. Fall, winter, and spring are usually pleasant.

June has the hottest high temperatures with an average high of 101°F. December has the lowest high temps with an average of 66°F.

Night time temperatures are typically about 25°F degrees lower than the highs.

What’s the water situation in Tucson, Arizona?

Tucson is within the Sonoran Desert, and water conservation is engrained in our culture and has been practiced here for decades.

Here are some great resources about water management in our area:
Tucson Water’s Master Plan
University of Arizona Water Resources Research Center
Watershed Management Group

Is Tucson safe?

Here are some crime stats resources in Tucson and Pima County.
Search the sex offender registry here.

What are Tucson’s top attractions?

Tucson’s top attractions include Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Saguaro National Park, Sabino Canyon, Catalina State Park, and Pima Air and Space Museum.

What types of homes are in Tucson, Arizona?

There are a wide range of types of homes available in Tucson, Arizona. Single family homes are the most popular and can range from modest starter homes to expansive estates in the foothills.

For those looking for a more affordable option with less maintenance required, there are several townhome and condo communities in Tucson as well.

Manufactured homes are more common on the outskirts of town and may come with more land.

Homes in Tucson range from historic Sonoran row houses dating from the late 1800s to present day master-planned communities. We had a post-war building boom, so there are a lot of midcentury ranch style homes in the area too.

What are the top industries and employers in Tucson?

University of Arizona is the largest employer in Tucson and a major contributor to our local economy.

Tucson is home to several major aerospace and defense companies such as Raytheon Missile Systems, which is one of the largest employers here. Davis-Monthan Air Force Base also employs a large number of Tucsonans.

The healthcare industry is another top industry with Tucson Medical Center and University Medical Center as two top employers.

Pros and Cons of Living in Tucson

Have other questions? We’re here to help!

Nick and Kim Labriola Tucson realtor Real estate

Vibrant mural painted on the Tierra Antigua Realty office in downtown Tucson. Artist: Ignacio Garcia
Vibrant mural painted on the Tierra Antigua Realty office in downtown Tucson. Artist: Ignacio Garcia

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