Realtor Q&A: Karl Tunberg, Midland Real Estate Alliance

With more than 20 years of experience in the Arizona real estate market, Karl Tunberg has built a stellar reputation by serving his clients’ interests above all else – handling each transaction with knowledge, experience and integrity.

He’s got an extensive background in commercial real estate, new home sales/construction and residential brokerage, just to name a few areas of expertise. Karl is a Realtor partner of ours because he’s simply one of the best in the game; a true professional with sound instinct and real principle.

What is the most important thing for people – both Realtors and homebuyers – to know about the current Phoenix home market?

First, the Phoenix housing market is dynamic. With more than 25 municipalities and homes spread over 250 square miles, you can find just about anything you’re looking for – from low to high [prices].

While there are many location choices, the amount of available homes has shrunk significantly over the past couple of years as the robust Arizona economy continues to grow. Currently, there are 18,000 to 19,000 single-family detached homes on the market for a city housing more than 6 million people…with 100+ people moving into the area each day.

As an agent or new homebuyer, time is of the essence. The market is brisk; there is a lot of competition for good, available homes and they sell very fast. If you’re trying to find a home or find a client a home, you need to be diligent, aggressive and smart.

Diligent in following up and searching for the right home for you or your client. Aggressive in the offer (full list price or better, limited or no concessions requested of the seller and a short escrow period). Smart in your approach and handling of the negotiations, inspections, selection of the mortgage company/team, and all other aspects of your search and selection.

Purchasing a home, or representing a client for their purchase, is a huge responsibility and usually the largest investment that a person will ever make. Handling the process with intelligence is paramount.

What is the one question you get repeatedly from your first-time homebuyer clients and how do you address their concerns?

The question I always hear is, “How much is this home really going to cost me?” Most new homebuyers are scared about the “unknowns” in the homebuying process – loan fees, title fees, Realtor commissions, inspection fees, etc. The entire process has its own language and most people don’t have any idea what these terms mean.

Providing your clients with, or seeking out the information from, a professional mortgage or real estate person is a key step to doing your due diligence when getting involved in the home buying process. As a first-time or new-to-the-area buyer, you should always hire a professional for both your real estate search and your mortgage.

Having someone who represents your interests makes a huge difference in what you will pay for, the value you get, and the long-term investment potential. As a newer agent, joining a team, getting a mentor and working with great affiliate partners (mortgage, title, inspectors, warranty companies, etc.) will help you bridge the experience/knowledge gap quicker than all the classes you could go to for years. There is no substitute for being humble, hardworking and smart.

Where do you see the Phoenix market going this year, and how can Realtors and potential homebuyers best prepare for what’s to come?

The Phoenix market is very strong right now. Net migration, employment, affordability (in comparison to other U.S. markets) and quality of lifestyle are all drivers for the market. The lack of quality inventory, rising construction costs, lack of skilled labor and over-inflated land prices are all external pressures on the resale and new construction housing market in Phoenix.

To some extent, the market’s strength is also eroding itself by growing too quickly, a bad trap that is no stranger to veterans of the market. The best preparation and advice I can offer is to seek wisdom from the history of the market. That may seem like an obvious statement, but greed and rampant speculation can easily blur your vision.

I’m not recommending to stay out of the market, but just to be cautious, analyze the deal, be conservative in your expectations and keep in mind that this market can change quicker than you can cancel a deal.

Are you a Phoenix-area Realtor with an interesting perspective to share? We want to interview you! Tell us about yourself in the comments below and you could be featured in a future Realtor Q&A.

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