On the show today with us is Brenton Fernandez, top producing real estate professional with Brenton Real Estate Group at West USA Realty.
Brenton specializes in helping sellers to command top dollar for their home. Brenton has been listed in the Top 200 Power Brokers in the Nation 2011 to 2014 and is the Top Agent Magazine’s Company of the Year.
He’s at the number one brokerage in the East Valley in Production and featured in the President’s Circle in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014.
In this interview Brenton talks with us about simple strategies people use to increase the value of their home without spending a fortune in the process. It covers the right and wrong things to do when trying to prepare a house for sale. Welcome to the show, Brenton. Thanks for being with us today.
Brenton: Hi Ken. Thanks for having me. I am very excited in having this opportunity to speak with you and share with people what I do to sell homes fast for top dollar.
Ken: Brenton, tell us a little bit about your career in real estate; when you began and when it was clear to you that real estate was something you’re passionate about-helping people buy and sell property.
Brenton: It started for me back when I was in college in Central California. I graduated from Fresno State as a business major and had an emphasis in marketing. I was trying to figure out what I was going to do with my life and kind of fell into real estate investing. It was the mid 90s, real estate was a little flat in Central California, but getting better every month and I had a couple of friends that were involved in renovating properties and fixing them up to sell for a profit.
Basically, that was the start 20 years ago and just through trial and error and failing forward, I figured out the best way to buy a property, put a little money into it and turn it around for profit. By the late 90s, I was living in Los Angeles and the market was super red-hot. I started doing investing on a larger scale and that gave me the idea to help others do the same.
In October of 2004 I moved to Arizona specifically just for real estate investing. I then fell into becoming a full time Realtor to help investor clients that were from California purchase and sell homes in Arizona. I ended up loving Arizona and made South Chandler my home. It’s been 10 years now and I’ve helped a lot of clients, and met a lot of nice people. I show people what I learned after a lot of education and being in the trenches about the best strategies and the best ways to turn a profit with real estate.
Ken: It’s really an interesting story because you started out on the other side of the transaction as investors so you were the one that realtors were working with. You really got the insider’s view of the market to start with and then turned that into a successful real estate career. Brenton, right now, real estate in Phoenix is pretty active, especially in the East Valley cities of Chandler and Gilbert where you focus your energy. A lot of home owners are ready to sell their homes, possibly for the first time, and a lot of them seem to think that they need to spend a lot of money in remodeling and repairs to get the highest dollar from buyers. Would this be an accurate assumption if that’s what they’re thinking?
Brenton: Yeah, remodeling and repairs could be very key factors in getting top dollar for your home. You don’t necessarily need to spend a lot of money, but instead spending an amount that makes sense for you and your budget. That’s where I can step in and guide you on what makes sense financially. As far as upgrading into your property to sell it for top dollar, obviously, you don’t want to over improve on an area that doesn’t need it. You just want to improve the right areas.
The kitchen is the heart of every home and about 8 of every 10 homes is sold by the kitchen, by the way it looks and it’s design, so focusing and spending money on a kitchen is where you’re going to get the best return on your money. Typically, I like to tell homeowners that they usually can get 1 and a half times the money they invest on kitchen upgrades. First impressions are very important when your home hits the market so along with repairs and remodeling, you want to hire the right Realtor that can help you prepare your home to be sold quickly and for top dollar.
Ken: I know you help people that are looking at remodeling before a sale who hire you as a consultant to come in and talk about ways they can get top dollar when selling their home. Can you talk about the sort of help and guidance you offer that helps sellers see a return on their money, or how you might help steer them away from things that may not be as necessary?
Brenton: Yes, absolutely. Basically, when I first moved to Arizona, I was as an investor first and foremost. As a result, I already have relationships established with vendors that do all types of trades. When I walk a home for the first time with someone who is thinking of selling, they usually know that I do that; that’s why they call me in the first place. I’ll give ideas on what to do to update their home. Have features in the home that are being built today, in 2015. I advise on installing the features and the materials that are going to be competitive, so when a home buyer is coming through the home, they can compare it to the actual new construction.