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Luxury Top

Realtors Our Picks for the Best of the Best in Luxury Home Sales for 2013

Chey Castro • Walt Danley • Gayle Henderson Cathy Hotchkiss • Robert Joffe • Marnie Rosenthal • Sandra Wilken

See real estate listings inside by our top picks …

Top Luxury Realtors

The New Luxury Home Market There’s a nine-month supply of inventory, with more buyers than sellers by RaeAnne Marsh

With “luxury home” generally defined as a home valued at $500,000 or more, a high percentage of Valley homes would have fallen into that category only a few years ago. Today, however, with the average Valley single-family residence valued at $160,000, “luxury home” encompasses a more select market. Luxury properties span the Valley in gated and non-gated communities, and include horse properties and golf properties. Number of active days on the market increases with listing price, averaging 133 days for houses in the $500,000 to $600,000 range and 373 days for houses listed at more than $3 million. The average listing in the luxury category is $1.35 million, and Lein notes appreciation is not markedly different from a year ago. Compared to non-luxury properties of $100,000 to $200,000 that appreciated 28 percent per square foot in the past 18 months, luxury home prices increased $3 per square foot. A little more than 2,400 homes now on the market in the Greater Phoenix area qualify as luxury homes. Selling at an average of 250 per month, this is a 9.4-months’ supply; a year ago, there was an approximately 12.5-month supply. So the glut of homes on the market is definitely receding, and W. P. Carey School of Business reported in October that there were more buyers than sellers in today’s housing market overall. Only a small percentage of homes in the luxury bracket are lenderowned, notes Howard Lein, owner of Scottsdale-based franchise RE/ MAX Excalibur Realty. Percent of active listings has dropped from 3 percent a year ago to 1.6 percent today. In fact, foreclosed properties overall is no longer a dominant issue. While America’s housing market is finally starting to really recover from the Great Recession, some areas of the country are fighting back faster than others. New research from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University indicates one reason: Different states have dramatically different mortgage laws, and some — like Arizona — make it easier to push through tough times. “The laws across states use different legal theories as the basis for mortgages, and they balance the rights of creditors and borrowers very differently,” explains Assistant Professor of Real Estate Andra Ghent of the W. P. Carey School of Business. “The variations started early in America’s history, and they’re not really based on

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As part of our service to our readers, our editorial staff has invited these top luxury real estate agents to provide information on themselves, their expertise and details relating to their business in this Top Luxury Realtors special section.


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economic reasons, but they’re still having a major influence on what’s happening now with the housing market.” Key, she says, is quick resolution of the situation. “For example, if a state requires a longer period before foreclosures can happen, then that generally means the homes deteriorate more as the borrowers realize they’re going to have to leave and stop taking care of the property. This is bad for the neighbors and the property values.” Arizona is one of the states in which the damage happened relatively quickly, and there’s no longer a big backlog of foreclosures to go through the process. Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice at the W. P. Carey School of Business data shows Phoenix-area home prices have been rising dramatically since last fall. The market is seeing “some pushback from second-home owners who are concerned about maintaining their second-home lifestyle” in light of possible tax changes, Lein says. Other reasons for selling, he says, fall into the usual categories: death, divorce, relocation and kids growing up. And Lein observes, “There’s a pent-up demand for divorce. People couldn’t afford to get a divorce” when they were underwater on their mortgage. There is some speculative purchasing, but that is primarily for the foreclosed properties. Other buyers of luxury homes are “move-up individuals,” says Lein, pointing out that even if unemployment is in the high teens, there’s another 80 percent who “are working and susceptible to moving up.” And then there are the multi-nationals who are buying their luxury homes here. Canadians make up a large part of this market; joining them are individuals from Pacific Rim countries, and new to the mix are Chinese. According to Lein, purchases by Chinese are largely trophy properties on the West Coast, but “Paradise Valley has had some sale to what’s reported to be Chinese, who are so new [to Arizona] that, in many cases, they’ve never seen the property” in person. Lenders today have more to offer this market. Lein notes that two to three years ago, “there was literally nothing available.” But now, he says, “Every week, I’m being approached with new and improved financing programs for luxury-home buyers.”


RE/MAX Excalibur Realty W. P. Carey School of Business

The real estate market is improving and these agents are proven leaders in the Valley. In Business Magazine recommends these agents. Please visit for more information and articles on the local real estate market.

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Our Pic ks in Luxu fOr the Best ry hOme Of saLes fOr the Best 2013

Chey Cas tro • Wa chkiss lt Danley • Robert • Gayle Joffe • Hender Marnie Rosenthal son estate • Sandra

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Top Luxury Realtors

Chey Castro

Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty One of the primary attributes that sets Chey Castro apart from other Realtors is his in-depth knowledge and understanding of the financial side of any transaction — a skill that enables him to ensure that his clients’ financial needs are very well served. A proud native of Arizona, Castro graduated from Arizona State University (4.0 GPA; Summa Cum Laude) with a business degree in finance and went on to earn a Masters of Science in accountancy from the University of Notre Dame. In his first year at Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty, he was honored to make the Phoenix Business Journal Book of Lists for top-producing Realtors, and continues to be on that list year after year. Castro was privileged to be the only Realtor inductee into the esteemed Phoenix Business Journal 40 Under 40 Class of 2012. His early experiences in real estate development fueled and solidified his passion for high-end residential sales. It is his exceptional attention to his clients’ needs and intricate knowledge of the market that has led him to quickly become a top luxury-market Realtor. Colleagues have described Castro as “positive,” “optimistic,” “trustworthy,” “hard-working” and “ethical” — traits that he values highly in both his work and his personal life. His hope and objective is that after he completes a real estate transaction with a client, he or she would also agree with these words.

Profile Name: Chey Castro, MSA Company/Broker Name:  Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty Main Office Address:  7135 E. Camelback Road, Suite 360 Scottsdale, AZ 85251 Phone: (602) 570-2516 Website: Designations: Master of Science in Accountancy Specialty Areas: Silverleaf, DC Ranch, FireRock, North Scottsdale and Paradise Valley

On The Market



Custom Home in the Upper Canyon at Silverleaf situated on a premium lot that backs to the McDowell Mountain Preserve.

Custom Home with breathtaking views and resort-style backyard with heated pool & spa, built-in BBQ, firepit & putting green.



SOLD IN 2012

SOLD IN 2012

Paradise Valley


Single Level Custom Home with Venetian Plaster throughout and a lap pool with water slide and boulder-style waterfall.

Custom Home with charming outdoor courtyards at every turn and backs to a protected wash for exceptional privacy and city-light views.




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Top Luxury Realtors

Walt Danley Walt Danley Realty

For more than 35 years, Walt Danley has been one of the most productive and respected Realtors in the Valley of the Sun’s dynamic luxury home market. He has built his success on four guiding principles; integrity, knowledge of the market, understanding the needs of his clients and old-fashioned hard work. Danley’s peers have recognized his professionalism and his commitment to constantly improve and advance the industry he loves. Danley has served on the Professional Standards Committee for the Phoenix Association of Realtors, been involved in numerous panels providing guidance and instruction to new agents, and is always willing to lend a helping hand to other Realtors. He has also been selected as “Broker/Agent of the Year” on three occasions — an honor Danley cherishes because it is a tribute bestowed upon him by his peers. 2011 has been an especially exciting year for Danley, with the founding of Walt Danley Realty. Danley is grateful for many successful years with several of the Valley’s most respected brokerages, but he is especially proud of this latest accomplishment. Being able to provide clients exceptional boutique real estate service has always been Danley’s motivation; doing so under his own name is, quite simply, a dream come true.

Profile Name: Walt Danley Company/Broker Name: Walt Danley Realty Main Office Address:  6720 N. Scottsdale Road, Suite 140 Paradise Valley, AZ 85253 Phone: (480) 991-2050 Email: Website: Specialty Areas: Arcadia, Biltmore, Carefree, Cave Creek, Fountain Hills, Paradise Valley, Scottsdale

In addition to the contribution he makes to his profession, Danley is equally committed to improving our community. He is a strong supporter of the Humane Society, American Heart Association, Body Positive and the Arizona Science Center.

On The Market


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Lazy River Estate

Rare Bing Hu Design

Paradise Valley MLS# 4847214 5 Bedrooms, 6 Bathrooms 10,501 sq. ft.

DC Ranch MLS# 4822492 5 Bedrooms, 5.5 Bathrooms 6,198 sq. ft.



The Ultimate Biltmore Villa

Soft Contemporary with Views

Biltmore Mountain Estates MLS# 4727874 5 Bedrooms, 5.5 Bathrooms 6,951 sq. ft.

Scottsdale MLS# 4806932 3 Bedrooms, 2.5 Bathrooms 4,058 sq. ft.




Top Luxury Realtors

Gayle Henderson RE/MAX Excalibur Realty

“Follow the Best, Work with the Best, Be the Best” is more than a motto, it is Gayle Henderson’s commitment to always give her best. A full-time Realtor in Scottsdale since 1993, Henderson lends her experience and teaching skills as a freelance writer and national speaker when asked. Since joining RE/MAX in 1998, Henderson has received many honors and awards from RE/MAX and her peers and yet she cites as her own philosophy that of an American statesman: “My mark in this industry is not about the awards, titles and acknowledgements, but rather it is the little things that matter. The way you treat people and the way they treat you is what really counts. It is all about service.” With a firm belief in giving back to the community, Henderson contributes to Children’s Miracle Network and the Sentinels for Freedom, benefiting returning war veterans. Henderson holds the Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist designation. She has been honored for marketing excellence, joining the fewer than 5 percent of the nation’s Realtors holding ABR, CDPE, CIAS, CRS, GRI, e-Pro and CLHMS designations; a testimony to her commitment to education. When you hire Gayle Henderson, you get the benefit of her knowledge, experience and sound judgment.

Profile Name: Gayle Henderson, PC Company/Broker Name:  RE/MAX Excalibur Realty Main Office Address:  10458 E. Jomax Road, Suite 100 Scottsdale, AZ 85262 Phone: (602) 850-4335 Website: Designations: CRS,ABR, CLHMS, CDPE, IRES, CIAS,GRI,ePro Specialty Areas: Carefree, North Scottsdale, Northeast Phoenix, Paradise Valley

On The Market

Masterpiece of Southwest Living Located in the charming town of Carefree, this truly custom home maximizes Arizona’s informal lifestyle, incorporating the outdoor living spaces as extensions of the interior. Folding glass doors and windows incorporate the veranda with fireplace to the wet bar and great room. Cook’s kitchen has all the amenities imaginable, and two steps down from the casual dining area is a wine cave for storing your collection. Three separate wings split the master and three bedroom suites. View additional photos online.


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Top Luxury Realtors

Cathy Hotchkiss Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty

Selling real estate is not only Hotchkiss’s job, it’s what she loves to do. Buying or selling a home is one of the most important decisions clients make, and she works as a tireless advocate for them while establishing long-term relationships built on care and trust. She prides herself on outstanding service, personal support, extreme knowledge of the current market conditions and strong negotiation skills to enable clients to make sound, timely and secure decisions for their families. She has built a loyal clientele because she listens and understands what is necessary to achieve her client’s goals. Hotchkiss’s partnership with Sport Star Relocation Arizona,, brings another personalized aspect to her business. The assistance she provides is invaluable to high-profile clients that require additional services beyond the realm of just selling homes. She ensures all business is conducted in a sophisticated, professional and discreet manor, and strives to keep all tasks and schedules on time in order to make transitions as smooth as possible. The reputation of Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty for the highest level of service and technology and the complete personalized services provided by Sport Star Relocation Arizona present a highly unique advantage in the luxury real estate market. Combined with Hotchkiss’s successful track record and prestigious designations and certifications, she has proven to be an expert agent in her field.

Profile Name: Cathy Hotchkiss Company/Broker Name:  Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty Main Office Address:  8852 E. Pinnacle Peak Road, Suite J-3 Scottsdale, AZ 85255 Phone: (480) 236-3336 Website: w Designations: Realtor®, ABR, CDPE, E-PRO, GRI, SRS, Institute for Luxury Home Marketing Specialty Areas: Scottsdale, North Scottsdale, and Paradise Valley

On The Market SOLD


Echo Canyon

Silverleaf Upper Canyon

Highly sought-after Echo Canyon, 3 beds, 3 baths, 4403 sq. feet. Luxurious Master, Chef’s Kitchen, Fabulous Mountain Views.

5 bedrooms, 7.5 baths, 10,423 sq. feet. Fantastic custom home for entertaining, with fabulous panoramic city and mountain views.



Equestrian Estate

Landmark Condominium

Private & gated equestrian estate. 5 bedrooms, 6.5 baths, 7276 total feet. Beautiful custom main house with city & mountain views, separate guest house and caretaker apartment.



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Upscale Gated Landmark Condominium, 2 bedroom, 2.5 baths, study, designer finishes & golf views, great location adjacent to the Westin Kierland Resort.



Top Luxury Realtors

Robert Joffe The Joffe Group

Robert Joffe brings nearly 30 years of operating experience in many facets of the real estate business. For the last 12 years, the Robert Joffe name has become synonymous with Luxury Real Estate. His business acumen is unparalleled in the marketplace and his professionalism, integrity and product knowledge have earned him the highest-quality reputation. Joffe enjoys producing results for his clients, who, more often than not, become his friends.

Profile Name: Robert Joffe Company/Broker Name:  Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty

Joffe created ARJ Investments, a full-service real estate firm with the added component of introducing independent investors to the real estate market. Since the company’s inception in 2000, Joffe has personally sold in excess of $750 million. He now has numerous investors who allow him to manage their money in various partnerships.

Main Office Address: 7135 E. Camelback Road, Suite 360 Scottsdale, AZ 85251

In 2006, Joffe joined forces with Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty, a local luxury real estate giant. ARJ Investments is now The Joffe Group, and Joffe and his team are continually amongst, if not the, top producers in the company.


Joffe has earned many awards and distinctions for his leadership and production. He is consistently ranked in The Business Journal’s Book of Lists as a top producer in the Valley, and most recently was honored by The Wall Street Journal as one of the top 250 agents in the nation. His impressive individual rankings, as well as his superior team accomplishments, put The Joffe Group in a category of excellence that few have achieved.

Phone: (602) 989-8300 Designations: Associate Broker Specialty Areas: Arcadia, Paradise Valley and Biltmore

On The Market



This exquisite custom home is thoughtfully built with the finest-quality design and finishes. The fabulous exterior includes canterra and wood details rarely seen, and the interior is every bit as impressive.

Frank Lloyd Wright designed this unique house and separate guest quarters/ office in Arcadia, which sit on a phenomenal 2-acre lot with pristine views of Camelback Mountain.

$2,395,000 SOLD


$2,515,000 SOLD



This is an extraordinary new custom home with thoughtful design and magnificent spaces! Custom ceilings with exposed beams and intricate design, brick, granite, wood flooring, limestone, marble and fabulous millwork are more of what this gorgeous home has to offer!

This elegant home is for the truly lucky! This chic European custom home is created with the highestquality craftsmanship and not a single detail is missing. It easily parallels the finest homes you’ll find in the entire country, and the grounds are simply unbelievable.



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Top Luxury Realtors

Marnie Rosenthal Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty

As a top producer in the Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty organization, Marnie Rosenthal is a proven, successful real estate agent, specializing in Scottsdale homes for sale and lease within the Maricopa County real estate market. Year after year, her results-driven professionalism moves large volumes of luxury property in the North Phoenix, Scottsdale, Troon, Arcadia, Paradise Valley and Fountain Hills areas of Arizona. Buyers and sellers alike trust her and refer Rosenthal because of her stellar work ethic and broad network of resources. With an unparalleled expertise in real estate for both buyers and sellers, Rosenthal is unique in that she understands the client experience, and focuses on the client’s needs so as to not waste time. She surrounds herself with the most professional and capable experts in the business, creating a team that exudes service and reliability. Her expectations for her clients to receive nothing but the best are why she is so well-known and revered in the real estate market in Arizona and beyond. She is accredited with some of the most prestigious designations. Rosenthal’s certifications exemplify the value she places on current knowledge and education. Certifications are an Accredited Buyers Representative (ABR), Certified Short Sale Negotiation (CSSN), Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) and National Association of Realtors® Green Designation (GREEN).

Profile Name: Marnie Rosenthal Company/Broker Name:  Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty Main Office Address:  7135 E. Camelback Road, Suite 360 Scottsdale 85251 Phone: (480) 298-2971 Website: Designations: CDPE, CSSN, CNE, SFR, ABR, GREEN, HAFA Specialty Areas: Silverleaf, DC Ranch, Grayhawk, McDowell Mountain, Troon, Desert Mountain Golf Club, Mirabel Golf Club, Estancia Golf Club, Paradise Valley, Arcadia, Phoenix

On The Market

Fountain Hills Spectacular custom estate in the heart of North Scottsdale. Panoramic views of mountain and city lights. This home spared no expense on details and upgrades.

Contemporary secluded designer estate overlooking the valley with amazing 360º views from every vantage point. Sleek décor, finishes and architecture throughout home enhance it’s spectacular views.



Mirabel Golf Country Club/Scottsdale

Candlewood Estates/ Troon on Skinner

Incredible new construction with Tuscan architecture in prestigious guard-gated golf club on the golf course! Showcasing golf course and mountain views. Built with the highest materials and finishes.

Exquisite private estate with large Guest house in the wonderful area of Troon, North Scottsdale. Disappearing doors open the entire home, allowing the outdoors in! Truly an ENTERTAINER’S PARADISE!





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Top Luxury Realtors

Sandra Wilken Sandra Wilken Luxury Properties

Since founding Sandra Wilken Luxury Properties in 1995, Sandra Wilken has worked to create a firm that combines the expertise and networking power of a large corporation with the personal attention and detail-oriented service of a boutique firm. This devotion to personal attention is key to SWLP’s philosophy. Whereas many firms can lose sight of the client’s needs in the competitive atmosphere of luxury real estate sales, the team at SWLP is firmly dedicated to giving each client the time and attention he or she deserves. Knowledge is power in the real estate market, and, for this reason, SWLP prides itself on its “Team of Experts” approach to sales. The staff at SWLP brings a diverse set of skills to the table, and is intimately acquainted with the neighborhoods it services, such as Gainey Ranch, Paradise Valley, North Scottsdale, Silverleaf and DC Ranch, keeping its finger on the “pulse of the marketplace,” so to speak. With a reputation for professionalism and an impressive track record of results, SWLP continues to improve and expand. With clients from across the globe, and a widespread network of contacts, Sandra Wilken Luxury Properties has become a company of international stature.

Profile Name: Sandra Wilken Company/Broker Name:  Sandra Wilken Luxury Properties Main Office Address:  8777 N. Gainey Center Drive, Suite 178 Scottsdale, AZ 85258 Phone: (480) 596-0001 Website: Specialty Areas: Paradise Valley, Scottsdale, Phoenix, Biltmore, Arcadia and Golf Course Communities

On The Market

Whisper Rock

Homestead Located in Paradise Valley 5 Bed/ 5.5 Bath 6,718 sq. ft.

In the gated community of Whisper Rock 4 Bed/ 4.5 Bath 6,172 sq. ft.





Arcadia Located in the Vineyards at Arcadia 6 Bed/ 5.5 Bath 6,341 sq. ft.



Silverleaf Located in the gated community of Silverleaf 5 Bed/ 7 Bath 10,423 sq. ft.


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In Business Magazine - Top Luxury Realtors  

Our Picks for the Best of the Best in Luxury Home Sales for 2013

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