Real Estate Golden Girls Describe the Local Market: Anything Can Happen


My best advice for my buyers is this: be prepared. Be flexible. Be persistent. It takes a lot of “No” to get a “Yes”.

Realtors Rosemary “Rosie” Lamberson and Freddi Paulsrud of Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty are seasoned experts in the vibrant Flagstaff real estate market. With 80 years of experience between them, Rosie and Freddi share their valuable knowledge as “The Golden Girls of Real Estate”.

FBN: For buyers and sellers, the past year and a half has been like riding an extreme roller coaster. How would you explain where we have been and where we are going in the real estate market?

Rosie: A lot happened last year! Forget the slow start of 2020 with all the unknowns of the pandemic epidemic, which has made buyers and sellers a little hesitant to pull the trigger. Now there is a strong demand with very low inventories, low interest rates and repressed buyers are scratching to enter the market. This is what is happening. We also have buyers who are exhausted and have given up. It’s just difficult for everyone at the moment. House prices are rising for many reasons: demand exceeds supply, construction prices are rising because the cost of building materials is rising, and people are moving here because they have learned that they can live. and work from anywhere.

Freddi: Plus, buyers come from expensive urban centers like Los Angeles and New York, where they sold their 1,200 square foot home for $ 1.5 million. So buying a 2,500 square foot home for nothing less seems like a bonus. Plus, baby boomers are downsizing and coming in with cash, making it fierce competition for the first-time homebuyer looking for a home of the same size. All of this makes some sellers now drink the Kool-Aid in this home buying frenzy and overvalue their homes, thinking that they are going to sell no matter what and end up having no exposures.

Rosie: I just spoke to a real estate agent and asked him how it was with a particular house. He said he was still in the market and didn’t know why. Well, it’s listed for over $ 300 per square foot. Pricing a home should be at market value based on our comps and seeing what the market will support. Often times when we have this conversation with our salespeople they will understand it. It might not be a conversation everyone has with their salespeople.

Freddi: I totally agree. I think some sellers over-inflate the value of their properties because things sell out so quickly. But if you go back and review the homes that sold quickly, it’s because they had the right price and the buyers pushed the price up. When you say, “Oh, well, my neighbor got 15 offers for his house at $ 400,000, so I can ask for $ 650,000”, well, we might have to remind them that the house with all the offers was immaculate and at the right price. You can’t increase the price for the same floor plan because none of those 15 buyers will come and buy your home. Sellers who overvalue their homes are shooting themselves in the foot before we even put a sign in the front yard. If we have a good list and we rate it well, we can have 10 offers. This is when I will prepare a spreadsheet for my salespeople highlighting the advantages and pitfalls of each offer.

FBN: Is there an end in sight to this intense sellers’ market?

Rosie: One thing about the market, it’s not easy for either the buyers or the sellers, even though the sellers are in the driver’s seat. According to projections, it will stay that way for a very long time. Flagstaff is surrounded by the national forest, it always has been. I like to show my buyers a Forest Service card. With all the state lands, national parks, and federal lands, we have very little room here for private lands and that always drives the price up. And then when you put that claim on steroids, well, we’ve really been found out. We have a vibrant community of runners. Young people come here. People who can work from home come here.

Freddi: I think it’s interesting that with a warmer climate our winters are almost nonexistent some years and I see a lot more retirees coming here. They said, “We don’t want to live in the snow. But in Flagstaff, you really don’t have to live in the snow. It’s just an occasional inconvenience.

Rosie: It is. And at any time, you can come to Sedona or some other place of breathtaking beauty.

Freddi: What I’ve noticed too, especially with our second home market, is that buyers who could maybe take their families to Hawaii or on a cruise say, “I just want to have a house that we can. bring to our family. spend time together and not have to fly to get there. It translates into the fact that the people of Phoenix come here and buy second homes.

Rosie: We’ve definitely seen this “don’t fly” trend during the pandemic. People have simplified their lives and found that they can have a great job without having to fly.

Freddi: And not having to fly with your whole family to Hawaii gives you a lot more discretionary income to be in Flagstaff!

FBN: How can homebuyers improve their odds of success and compete with cash offers?

Rosie: Buyers can make sure they qualify for a loan, know how much they can afford, and where they want to live.

Freddi: They must have a wish list. They can say to their real estate agent, “Here is my Top 10 and here are the 10 others that I can be flexible about. In this market, they will never get 100% of everything they want. If they understand that at first …

Rosie:… then they’re going to live in Flagstaff! “

Freddi: My mantra is, “Make it easy for a salesperson to say ‘Yes’. »Show that you are pre-qualified and that you have the money to pay the difference if the house is not priced to your bid. Take a quick inspection. Be flexible with your closing date depending on the seller’s needs. Work with a seasoned professional.

Rosie: I had this situation recently with two instances. I had 12 offers on one house and 20 offers on the other. None of the sellers chose the cash offer. I want to give buyers hope that this can indeed happen. Some buyers have been looking for over a year and it is very frustrating for them. It’s hard for us too, because we get involved.

Freddi: When your buyer starts to cry, it’s heartbreaking. Sometimes a personal letter to the seller helps. If I have raised my kids in this house and two offers turn out to be roughly equal, I would most likely be drawn to a buyer who wants to continue the wonderful memories I leave behind. My best advice for my buyers is this: be prepared. Be flexible. Be persistent. It takes a lot of “No” to get a “Yes”. NBF

For more advice from The Golden Girls of Real Estate, visit

Rosemary “Rosie” Lamberson is a real estate agent at Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty. His office is located at 1750 S. Woodlands Village Blvd., Suite 200, in Flagstaff. She can be reached at 928-853-3626 or [email protected]

Freddi Paulsrud is associate broker at Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty. His office is located at 219 N. Humphreys St., Flagstaff. She can be reached at 928-853-3737 or [email protected]

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.