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Cash vs. Financed Sales Prices for Homes in Scottsdale, Cave Creek, Carefree, Rio Verde Foothills and Unincorporated Maricopa County Arizona

Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker

Sales prices for homes, land and condominiums in the areas of Scottsdale, Cave Creek, Carefree, Rio Verde Foothills and Unincorporated Maricopa County Arizona are experiencing discrepancies on a price per square foot basis.

Real Estate Appraisers can be the good guys and the bad guys when it comes to appraising real estate homes and land under contract.  Their method of determining market values for appraised properties is based upon historical data.  Short and simple, they look to past sales, compare the features of the sold properties versus the property they are appraising and determine a value based upon "adjustments" to bring the properties in line with each other.

Specifically, in the area of Arizona known as "Rio Verde Foothills", which will also include descriptive terms such as "County Island" and "Unincorporated Maricopa County" the available inventory of properties actively on the market for sale is limited.  In the area known as "Rio Verde Foothills" there are 39 active listings on the market as of this publish.

This area encompasses roughly 10,000 acres of land and is bounded by the Tonto National Forest to the North and the east, McDowell Mountain Regional Park to the south and Scottsdale to the west.  From above, you can see that prices range from a low of $329,000 to a high of $6,200,000.  The area is in high demand due to the spectacular views of Four Peaks......and the high desert rural settings.  Tracts typically are 1.25 acres and up.

4 peaks arizona picture
Early Morning over 4 Peaks


homes for sale,maricopa county,unincorporated maricopa county,county island,scottsdale,arizona
Active Listings Rio Verde Foothills aka Unincorporated Maricopa County


Sales of homes in the area of Rio Verde Foothills or Unincorporated Maricopa County have been steady when there is available inventory for sale.  Out of state winter residents love to come to this area.

Total sales in the past 6 months for this area are shown below:


Sold homes in Rio Verde Foothills, cave creek, carefree, scottsdale, unincorporated maricopa county
Total 6 months Sales of Homes

First, what we see is 56 sales for this area in the previous 6 month period  and there are 39 properties for sale presently.  The low sales price was $150,000 with a sales price of $71.40 per square foot and the high sales price being $2,200,000 at a price of $434.78 per square foot.  Likely, the $434.78 psf sales price included  extra land and structures.  The average sales price based upon these sales was $156.81.


Breaking this down further we find that of those 56 sales, 39 used some form of financing with an average sales price  of $500,562, the lowest sale being $219,500 and the highest  being $2,200,000 with an overall average price per square foot sales price of $155.62.


Scottsdale, Carefree, Cave Creek, Rio Verde Foothills, Arizona, Unincorporated Maricopa County
Financed Sales


Looking at the data from Cash Sales Only, we find that there were 17 sales, the lowest sales price being $150,000, the highest sales price being  $897,000, an average sales price of $455,959 and an average sales price of $141.79

Home sales rio verde foothills,cave creek, carefree, unincorporated maricopa county,
Cash Sales

Performing an appraisal is much more specific than just searching for averages and applying  that number across the board.  However, what we do see is that there is a significant difference between the average sales price per square foot of  single family homes in the area known as "Rio Verde Foothills" which is also referred to as "Unincorporated Maricopa County".

Another interesting part is the percentage of  "Cash Sales".  Cash sales represent 19% of the overall sales, or 1/5th of the overall total sales.  More importantly, with this overall analysis, we see a discount factor of  approximately 9% for a cash versus financed sale.

In the market conditions we are presently in, cash is king, which is evidenced by the discount factor seller's are willing to take for the added insurance that a sale will occur as loan qualification  adds to the closing time and the uncertainty of final approval.

I am asked often by sellers what discount factor is applicable for a cash sale.  This cursory study indicates that a 9% discount factor is the average for homes in the Rio Verde Foothills area, also known as Unincorporated Maricopa County.

It is interesting to note that since this is an "overall analysis of cash sales price discount factor" for  single family homes in this area it is very general.  I have also reviewed specific price sets or square footage sets  of homes and compared the analysis resulting in "Cash Sales" actually being higher per square foot than "Financed Sales".

What do we know from this?....that you should seek the help of  a Realtor proficient in digging deeper into the numbers and trends of the market than simply running a general overall analysis and placing a sign in the yard.  I know just the person....give me a call...623.262.0811 or email me at Jeff McDowell.


By: Jeff McDowell