AZ Lending Experts, a Mesa-based mortgage firm, is hoping to protect potential home buyers in the Valley’s challenging, and growing, real estate market by providing foresight with its new service, the “Phoenix PreList.”
Richard Simon, co-owner of AZ Lending Experts and co-creater of Phoenix PreList, said steep competition from investors and businesses are creating the most havoc in the real estate market for individual homeowners. Arizona’s comparatively low property taxes provide a big incentive for outside investing and homeowners looking to sell are still behind financially, limiting available inventory.
“Some people are still upside down on their homes and haven’t recovered enough to sell. The biggest reason is investing.”
As a result, Simon said the Phoenix PreList has been in the works since March. It launched in July with a goal to limit competition for potential home buyers and help them avoid “bidding wars,” which can drive up prices.
Phoenix PreList is a free service that helps home buyers find new houses in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area, including the East Valley, for sale prior to the homes being listed in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), and therefore publicly available. Subscribers sign up with their email and are emailed lists of properties from participating agents. They can view the property address, asking price, amount of bedrooms and bathrooms, and the contact info for the agent.
Simon, who moved to Phoenix in January 2003 after graduating the year prior from Texas Tech University with a degree in business finance, said it’s like an “exclusive list” where a “private sale” can take place before a home officially hits the market.
Simon said he hasn’t seen anything like his program in other markets and expects growth to continue.
Phoenix PreList isn’t out to make a profit right now, Simon said. It’s free for real estate agents and subscribers, but Simon said revenue through advertising could be possible if there’s enough Internet traffic.
Real estate agents can sign up to promote their listings, which Simon said makes them more likely to work with active home buyers. He asks they put notice of their listings at least 24-48 hours before they hit the MLS so subscribers can have enough notice to take advantage.
Phoenix PreList also supports “for sale by owner” properties, although not commercial properties. Simon anticipates being able to include photos for listings on the site and letting subscribers add restrictions so they only receive listings for properties within their budget, desired location, and other factors.
AZ Lending Experts is located at 3707 E. Southern Avenue Suite 2114 in Mesa and co-owned by Scott Roberts.
Aaron Rop, a senior studying journalism at Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, was an intern for the East Valley Tribune this past summer.