real estate: Gift of Gratitude - 11/21/12 03:48 AM
Gratitude unlocks the fulness of life.
It turns what we have into enough and more,
It turns denial into acceptance,
Chaos to order, confusion to clarity.
It can turn a meal into a feast,
A house into a home,
A stranger into a friend.
Gratitude makes sense of our past,
Brings peace for today,
And creates a vision for tomorrow.
~Melody Beatty
This quote expresses my deepest appreciation for all that I have.  Please feel free to share.
Wishing you and your family a very happy and blessed Thanksgiving,
Barb Merrill Works 4 U!

real estate: 4 bedroom 3 bath Ahwatukee Phoenix Home for Sale - 02/02/12 09:33 AM
4 bedroom 3 bath stunning Ahwatukee Phoenix home for sale bordering Mountain Park Ranch in the Desert Breeze subdivision, 48th Street and Chandler Blvd. is the perfect place to live. Absolutely No HOA in Desert Breeze, a part of the master planned community of Ahwatukee Phoenix home for sale. Easy access to I-10 and 202 Loop, 15 minutes into Sky Harbor International Airport, near Thistle Landing Office Park, less than 5 miles to Avnet, Inc. and Intel, Inc.-Chandler Facility, less than 10 miles to Chandler Regional Hospital. Located in the renowned Kyrene School District for educational excellence. Charter Schools include Summit … (6 comments)

real estate: ACTIVE or AWC - Clarifying the Gray Area - 01/15/12 07:12 AM
What does it all mean?  An ACTIVE listing in the MLS means that the property listed is available and the seller is taking offers.  AWC means Active With Contingency.  AWC is the gray area that confuse people who are searching the multitude of MLS Search websites out there for the exact availability of the property.  AWC can be used for a variety of reasons and the situations change as the climate of our market changes.  What are the Contingencies?  Here is the most updated uses: 1.  In a Short Sale situation, a sellers agent will change the listing from Active to AWC when a purchase contract … (1 comments)

real estate: Short Sale with Multiple Offers - 09/28/09 04:35 PM
Here in Arizona the competition for a Short Sale can be fierce.  The demand for low cost properties can create a multiple offer situation.  When representing the Seller, there have been 2 philosophies on how to manage multiple offers on a property.
First, the Seller accepts the highest and best offer and only that offer is presented to the bank.  All other offers are held in back-up position until the current Buyer withdraws, Buyer's offer is rejected by the bank, Buyer rejects bank's counter-offer or Buyer fails to qualify for financing.  In the case where a higher offer comes in after the original … (3 comments)

real estate: Defining Debt - 09/27/09 04:15 PM
Someone once told me that having debt makes a person more responsible.  He felt that by increasing your debt you become more motivated to work and therefore are driven to succeed.  The larger the amount of debt you accumulate, the greater your chances for success.  He used the term debt lightly without defining the purpose.  Is debt  used for a personal or business neccessity or for a luxury item?  He continued to explain that the purpose we work is to provide perks, otherwise, there would be no purpose in getting out of bed in the morning.
I plan to get out of bed … (3 comments)

real estate: A Sign of a GREAT Lender. . . - 09/25/09 12:42 PM
. . .is someone who keeps you well informed of the ever changing mortgage incentives that the powers on high giveth and taketh away.  Bob Wasieko with Security Mortgage updated this morning the situation with the USDA Rural Housing loan program which has been available in the rural counties of Arizona.  This program has been an affective tool in stabalizing our rural economies.  For all those who are affected by the discontinuance of this program, here is the latest. . .
The Congress has failed to re-authorize funds for the USDA Rural Housing loan program....yet.  Thus, when the federal fiscal year ends … (0 comments)

real estate: We have Hit BOTTOM! - 01/16/08 12:20 PM
This is how I see it. . .This is the time to seriously consider making a purchase.  The Feds are due to lower the prime interest rate on the 30th of this month to 5.25%.  It will take a couple of weeks for this change to effect the bond market which will in turn lower home mortgage rates.  The government is doing this to head off a major recession and stop the decline of home values.  When this rate is established the price of houses will begin to increase in value once again because monthly payments will become more affordable.  Already … (6 comments)

real estate: Seller Concessions - What's you Favorite Flavor? - 11/02/07 09:37 AM
I am always trying to keep up on the latest real estate marketing strategies.  My Managing Broker and I are working on a listing proposal that includes a Seller Concession being made with a full price offer up front as part as of the public remarks on the MLS profile sheet.  I have seen some of these promoted on the MLS in the Phoenix metro area as incentives to attract buyers.  They come in a variety of flavors.  Maybe the seller will pay the first year of HOA fees,  possibly the first few months mortgage payments or 3% towards closing costs. Sellers are willing to consent to … (4 comments)

real estate: Message to Fire Victims included in our ranks. . . - 10/23/07 10:31 AM
My heart goes out to those who have lost structures and damage to properties in the Southern California area fires.  I especially send my heart-felt thoughts to those who are amongst our ranks of Active Rainers.  The real estate agents, brokers, lenders, title agencies, home inspectors, handymen and the list goes on and on of those who depend on the real estate market for their livelihood. Please know that this Arizonian is a native Californian and is sad to see such devastation to my birth-land.  I truly feel your loss.  … (0 comments)

real estate: Commission Split 50/50? - 10/21/07 01:27 PM
I am thinking out loud!  How is it that the SELLER in a real estate transaction carries the burden of the cost of both sides of the real estate commission?  Why isn't it split equally between buyer and seller's agents and distributed at the close of escrow?  Wouldn't that help level the financial disparity for both parties allowing for a more active market?  Both the buyer and seller enlist a real estate practitioner to negotiate in their behalf and exercise their expertise in securing all legal details of a transaction, then why does the SELLER pay all the commission? … (7 comments)

real estate: Sign on the dotted line! - 10/10/07 11:26 AM
I came across an interesting selling technique that goes beyond the box.  He called it a Reverse Offer.  When an interested buyer visits an Open House or is considering your listing along with another, shortly after present him with an offer, just as a buyer would, from the seller spelling out all the terms of the contract, including the purchase price.  Actually receiving a physical document in writing with the buyers name on it may be just the nudge he needs to make a decision.
Has anyone tried this?  I would like to know if it works.

real estate: Winter Wonderland - 10/07/07 02:26 PM
With the onset of the winter visitor months, Arizona is the haven for out-of-state residents.  The weather has cooled to a pleasant daytime 85 degrees and will only drop about 10 more degrees in the next 8 months.  The days are warm and the nights are cool, perfect for many outdoor activities such as, GOLF, tennis, hiking, bike riding, watching the sunrise or experiencing breath-taking desert sunsets.  Life doesn't get much better than this!  To make life in the Valley of the Sun even better this year, we are hosting the Super Bowl along with various other bowl games and then … (1 comments)

real estate: Floor Time? - 10/04/07 03:51 PM
I work in the Corporate Office of Independence Realty Professionals, Inc. in Tempe, Arizona.  The designated broker is very pro-active in creating tools for his agents to use in furthering their business.  He has put together a lead-generating website, to use as a referral network for his agents and is now organizing an advertising campaign to attract prospective buyers into a telephone lead capturing station manned by agents who have signed up for "floor time".  I need some feedback as to whether or not this is worth the effort.  I am struggling with the thought that this form of marketing is "behind the … (1 comments)

real estate: The Credit HIT on a Short Sale - 09/28/07 06:01 AM
Foreclosure:  Worst 7 years on Credit Report - 4 years recovery FICO drop 200 to 250 points
Deed In Lieu Of Foreclosure:  Better 7 years on Credit Report - 3 years for recovery(questionable) FICO drop 150 to 200 points
Short Sale:  Best 7 years on credit report - 18 months to 2 years recovery FICO drop 100 to 120 points
Although a Short Sale isn't pretty, it's the best option with minimal consequences, even if the seller walks away with no money and/or financing the difference at an affordable payment.

real estate: Be A Listing Presentation Winner! - 09/26/07 03:23 PM
One of our fellow Active Rainers, Michael Klijanowicz, responded immediately to my request for marketing strategies that he uses to successfully secure listings even in situation when a possible client is enlisting the presentations of other real estate agents besides himself.  This is how he comes out a winner:
1.  Step-by-Step Listing Presentation Agenda
2.  10 Step Marketing Plan
3. Questions for potential sellers to find out exactly their real estate expectations and help open discussion to educating them on current market trends, thereby setting a realistic list price.
To contact Michael and receive this valuable information, he can be contacted or visit his … (3 comments)

real estate: What's your life worth? - 09/15/07 11:51 AM
As I was crawling down the freeway heading for home yesterday, I noticed the Cadillac Esplanade in front of me was randomly swerving into the left medium only to quickly correct itself.  Then it would surge forward followed by slamming on the brakes to come to an abrupt stop.  This erratic behavior drew my attention and I peered into the rear window to investigate.  The driver had a cell phone propped up on the steering wheel where he was texting feverishishly.  He would laugh and continue on again. I am positive the person who was receiving his messages was fond of him.  He … (6 comments)

real estate: Dear Miss Manners, - 09/13/07 03:01 AM
In the real estate world when fudiary responsibility is so emphasized as a given to our clients, do we return the same courtesy to our fellow agents?  Standards are set by the National Association of Realtors as a Code of Ethics to spell out our duties and conduct to one another.  This is how I read Article 16:
ROBBERS (Realtors) shall not engage in any practice or take any action inconsistent with exclusive representation or exclusive brokerage relationship agreements that other ROBBEES (Realtors) have with clients.
It's all about respect, trust and professionalism treatment to our fellow Realtors.  Take a good hard look at your … (2 comments)

real estate: Mentality Adjustment - 09/10/07 03:42 PM
I feel like I just got pistol-whipped by a buyer this weekend!  I have a reasonably priced condo in a centrally located Phoenix neighborhood listed, that after being on the market for 12 days a buyer made an offer.  He offered $15,000 below asking price with $500 earnest money, wants seller to pay 6% of the closing costs, and have the seller pay for the appraisal.  It was everything I could do to stop my seller from turning on me for presenting such an offer.  Don't shoot the messenger! A return bullet of diplomacy fired at the brain helped bring the seller to his … (7 comments)

real estate: Buyer's Revenge - 09/08/07 04:32 AM
Buyer's are feeding off the glut of properties on the market. For those who restrained themselves during the real estate feeding frenzy that drove home prices to new caloric highs are now feasting on the skinny seller who is suffering from stretch marks left by his quickly deflating bargaining power. "In a lot of communities, smart shoppers can actually get more house for the same money than they could a year or two ago" says Sid Davis, the author of A Survival Guide for Buying a Home. How can we, as real estate practioners, best negotiate in the best interest of … (4 comments)

real estate: Scottsdale REALTOR Home Tour BBQ - 08/15/07 03:52 PM
Focus On Fall to get back into the real estate rhythm by attending the Scottsdale Realtor Home Tour put on by Independence Realty Professionals. All agents and their guests, residents, and interested parties are invited to participate, Wednesday, September 12th, to view Scottsdale's finest showcase properties. Meet at the Scottsdale Independence Realty Professionals Scottsdale office, 9449 N. 90th Street, Suite 102, Scottsdale, AZ 85258 at 9:00 am promptly. Each home will be exquisitely displayed and formally visited. Tour will conclude at the Rio Mountain Estates gated-community situated in the beautiful high desert of the Rio Verde foothills with a complimentary BBQ … (0 comments)

Barb Merrill, GRI, Associate Broker (Cactus Mountain Properties, LLC)

Barb Merrill

GRI, Associate Broker

Tempe, AZ

More about me…

Cactus Mountain Properties, LLC

Address: Tempe, AZ, 85284

Office: (480) 570-5263

Mobile: (480) 570-5263

Email Me

Keeping well-educated on current market trends and issues is the best service I can give my clients. Whether a 1st time home buyer, a life change relocation, a 2nd home purchase or a seller which deserves the very best in negotiating skills enhanced by the information gained through blogging. The thriving economic enviroment of Arizona along with affordable housing is a welcoming home for everyone. This is what motivates me to provide excellence in the residential real estate field.



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