If you own a home in Phoenix, chances are someone else would love to buy it. In the last decade (2010-2020), Phoenix was the fastest-growing city in the U.S.; around 85,000 people moved into the metro area in 2021 alone.  So, if you’re ready to cash in and move out, read on for a rundown of everything you need to know about selling a house in Phoenix.

Sell a house fast in Phoenix

Timing is everything in real estate. Rather than running the risk of letting your listing gather dust, it’s important to understand when homes are likely to spend the shortest amount of time on the market. Over the past two years, Redfin data shows that April and May — the traditional spring selling season — have been exceptionally good times to sell a house in Phoenix; homes have gone to contract between 20 and 22 days during these months.

However, it’s important to recognize that times are changing quickly. It’s been a seller’s market in Phoenix, thanks to low inventory, record-low mortgage rates and a surge in interest from buyers wanting to relocate underneath the Southwest sun. Now, the market is quickly shifting back to a better balance for buyers: The number of sellers dropping their prices has been steadily rising since February. Data from the Phoenix Realtors Association shows that housing inventory — that is, the number of homes for sale — increased by more than 136 percent between September 2021 and September 2022. The trend seems likely to continue into 2023.

While individual buyers may be pulling back, you may be able to find an online company that wants to purchase your property. iBuyers, which include companies like Opendoor and Offerpad, are snapping up properties in Phoenix. At the end of 2021, iBuyers accounted for nearly nine percent of all home purchases, and they paid a median price tag of $423,725.

Things to consider when selling your house in Phoenix

As you’re gearing up to list your home, it’s important to consider a few key questions about your needs and expectations from the deal.

What kind of shape is your home in?

Is your home a fixer-upper in need of a lot of extra love (and money)? Then, it might be wise to list it as-is to let prospective buyers know that you expect them to deal with the repairs. Conversely, is your property in pristine condition? Perhaps you should be aiming to start a bidding war between multiple buyers.

How quickly do you need to sell?

If time isn’t on your side, the changing market in Phoenix may spell some trouble. Data from the Phoenix Realtors Association shows that single-family homes were sitting on the market for 48 days until they sold in September 2022 – a sizable jump from the 29 days it took to sell a year earlier.

So, if you need to sell your house fast, it’s important to think about how to eliminate the hurdles on the way to closing day. The biggest holdup tends to be waiting for a buyer to receive formal approval of their financing. With that in mind, it’s wise to try to sell your house for cash. It happens a lot in Phoenix, too. From individual buyers with deep pockets to instant-pay real estate investment companies — including the aforementioned iBuyers — around 32 percent of sales in Phoenix were all-cash deals in the middle of 2021.

How much will this all cost?

While selling a home in Phoenix likely has you focused on the financial gains you’ll see, it’s important to understand how much it costs to sell a house. In Phoenix, fortunately, sellers benefit from the lack of a transfer tax on selling a home in Arizona – a pesky cost that adds thousands of dollars in many other states. However, you’ll be on the hook for these expenses:

  • Realtor fees: This represents the biggest chunk of cash that eats into your profit potential. You’ll be responsible for paying your agent’s 3 percent commission fee (unless you negotiate a lower one) and the buyer’s agent’s 3 percent fee.
  • Title insurance: Sellers typically cover the cost of a one-time title policy for new owners. The cost varies, but it typically averages around $1,450.
  • Title service fees: You’ll split this cost with the buyer, and it varies. Expect to pay your half of anywhere between $550 and $1,250.
  • Unpaid property taxes: If you have any outstanding property taxes, you’ll need to pay your portion of that bill at closing.
  • Attorney fees: If you hire a real estate attorney (which is always a wise decision), you’ll need to pay them based on their rate and the number of hours they put into your deal.
  • Concessions: Don’t be surprised if the buyer requests that you cover a portion of their closing costs if they uncover any  major or necessary repairs during their home inspection.

What’s the market like in your specific area?

You’ve lived in Phoenix long enough to know that the metro area is huge – you’ve probably spent plenty of time in traffic getting around the region. So, rather than look at figures from the entire metro area, it’s important to focus on the activity around your neighborhood. Prices and time spent on the market vary between different parts of Phoenix. For example, in September 2022, homes in Maricopa County were selling for a median price tag of $398,000, while the median price tag in Gila County was more than $446,000.

Preparing your home for sale in Phoenix

No matter where your house is located in Phoenix, you’ll want to get it ready to impress buyers as soon as they see the listing online or walk in the front door. One of the best ways to get your place ready for prime time is hiring a professional home staging service. The cost of staging your home varies based on whether you need small assistance – decluttering and organizing, for example – or major help such as renting furniture to outfit some rooms.

In addition to focusing on what’s visible to a buyer, it’s smart to address what only a professional might see. A pre-listing inspection can get ahead of any problems lurking beneath the surface that you may want to proactively repair to avoid issues with a deal once you go to contract.

And even if you don’t conduct a home inspection in advance of your listing, you will need to complete the Arizona residential seller disclosure advisory form with all knowledge of any defects that could impact the property’s value or the ability for a new owner to use it and stay healthy and safe.

Selling your house with or without a real estate agent

To pay an agent or not pay an agent – that is the question that plenty of Phoenix sellers consider when preparing to enter the market. If you don’t want to pay a real estate agent’s commissions, you can opt for a for sale by owner (FSBO) listing — sell the house yourself, in other words. But be warned: You’re going to have a lot of work on your plate. Selling a home isn’t easy, especially in the current changing market. You’ll need to craft a compelling listing, advertise it online, schedule open houses and negotiate with a buyer’s agent. Plus, you’ll still need to pay the buyer’s agent’s commission.

You won’t need an agent if you sell to an iBuyer. But be warned: There’s no negotiating with these online firms — they make offers fast, but on a take-it-or-leave-it basis — and they charge service fees that are comparable to agents’ commissions.

If all that work sounds overwhelming, you’re better off finding a local real estate agent.

Pricing your home to sell

A real estate agent can be the best resource when it comes to the most important question you need to answer before listing your house in Phoenix: How much should you ask for it? While there are easy ways to estimate what your house is worth, your agent can help you review comps to get a sense of how much buyers have been willing to pay for similar properties in the past 30 to 60 days.

If you aren’t in a rush to sell, you might be willing to be a bit more aggressive with your initial asking price: Play the waiting game and see how many fish bite. Just be advised, properties that linger on a market too long start to look a little stale, and you may wind up having to drop the price.  On the other hand, if you want a guaranteed pathway to a sale, you can try to price well under the market to turn the heads of buyers and get them lining up outside your door.

Getting to closing day

Once you sign a purchase and sales agreement, getting to closing day typically involves a lot more work for the buyer than for you. However, you aren’t free from all your responsibilities. Time is critical here, so make sure you work with your attorney to respond to contract revisions and concession requests as quickly as possible. If anything changes that would impact the disclosure form you completed earlier – the pool’s heater breaks or the shower backs up, for example – you need to share updated information with the buyer.

Additionally, you’ll need to schedule movers and make sure the home is in good shape for the buyer’s final walk-through. Be sure to review the closing statement you’ll receive a few days ahead of the closing date, to make sure all the costs and expenses it lists are accurate.

Once closing day arrives, your attorney can handle all the final details of transferring funds to pay off your existing mortgage and covering all your closing costs. Then, the rest of the money is yours. Congratulations on your new life in your next home – wherever that may be.