Thursday, November 9, 2017

Sellers - Control What You Can When Selling Your Home

I recently had the occasion to show a very nice home in one of the more exclusive gated communities in the Brevard County area.  My prospective buyers were specifically looking for a gated community in the planned unit development of Viera located north of Melbourne.

They liked the home and the neighborhood.  They did not like the gate guard's lack of friendliness.

I added a comment sort of like "Gate guards are like everything else in life.... they change."

Still, these particular buyers felt the attitude of the front gate reflected the attitude of the neighborhood!

While I do believe a personable friendly gate keeper is a positive I don't believe they reflect the neighbors in general.  

Besides,  this particular individual  may have been having a bad day.  We never know what is going on in a person's life and should not let one interaction define them permanently.

Still, the buyers checked the neighborhood off their list.

As a seller there are things you can control and others you can't.  Your focus must be on the things you as a seller can shape.

Consider things like... 

  • Landscaping Your yard needs to look appealing because as you heard as a child, first impressions matter!  
  • Exterior paint.    At a minimum look at your front door.  If the paint is recent make sure it is clean.  If not, a new coat of paint is an easy fix.   
  • Lighting.   When will your home be seen?   Lighting is critical,e specially during the winter when it gets darker earlier.  Light and bright is good.  Dark and gloomy, not so good. 
  • Interior Paint.   This goes hand in hand with the lighting recommendation.  Light, neutral, non high personalized paint is best.    
  • Clutter.   This can be thought of as just too much stuff including furniture.   Extra furnishings as well as over-sized furniture can detract from a homes usable space.  And this goes for the kitchen counters as well.  Put away mall appliances and things that take up counter space.   
  • Cleanliness.    Sometimes sellers do not have the funds to spend on new paint or whatever.  But cleanliness costs little more than effort.  The nose is key.   Jokingly I like to say "if you can smell it, you can't sell it."  Furthermore, once showings start refrain from cooking things that leave a smell for days.  
  • De-personalize.    While this is sort of "clutter" related it deserves its own bullet point.  By this I mean to take the "you" out of the house. Portraits, artwork, diplomas, collections/hobby items, pictures off the refrigerator, etc.  Have buyers focus on the house not the occupants.  
  • Safety and Security.    Think about risk management as well.  Consider any trip hazards, security issues like personal weapons.  Think about removing personal papers and medications.  Remember, most real estate agents do not know their customers very well.  This is especially critical if your real estate agent holds an open house where all sorts of complete strangers show up.
The last preparation item I urge sellers to consider is the pre listing inspection If a house is more than five years old there may be hidden issues.   A pre-listing inspection can bring to light issues that can be fixed or addressed in the marketing/pricing process.

Properly preparing a house for the market takes time.   Sometimes sellers make the mistake of rushing a house to the market and doing preparation concurrently.  While this may be necessary due to circumstances, avoid it if possible.   Sellers usually only get one chance to impress prospective buyers. 

As a seller you can (and should) control the product a prospective buyer sees from the moment they pull up front until they drive away.


Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Homes For Sale in 55+ Communities in Brevard County, Florida

As of today there are fifty-one active single family home listings in Brevard County, Florida.  List prices range from $135,000 to $429,900.

About two-thirds of homes for sale in Brevard County 55+ communities are located in the Viera area. 

These homes include (by development):
  • Grand Isle (gated, Viera):  eight homes for sale, list price range $242,000 - $419,900
  • Heritage Isle (gated, Viera):  eleven homes, listed range $259,900 - $429,900
  • Indian River Colony Club (gated, Viera, resident owned, private golf course, total maintenance):  nineteen homes, list range $135,000 - $279,000
Some of the homes for sale in 55+ communities not in Viera include:
  • Alamanda Key (in Melbourne) : two homes, list range $230,900 - $289,900
    Pine Creek (gated in Melbourne): two homes list range $198,000 - $260,000
    The Savannahs (West Melbourne, new construction:  four homes, listing range $266,000 - $283,000 
 Featured Home For Sale in Melbourne 55+ Community:
 This FLORIDA HOME FOR SALE is the best deal in the 55+ gated community of Pine Creek in Melbourne, Florida!
There are presently two active listings in Pine Creek priced at $198,000 and $263,000.  There is one under contract priced at $230,000.  Recent sales (over the past six months) were reported at $263,000. $262,400 and $234,200.

The home listed at $198,000 is located at 3613 Osceola Drive (property under contract is next door listed at $32K more).
The 3613 Osceola Drive home is a two bedroom two bath two car garage 2003 built home with 1,335 sq.ft. under air.  Don't let the sq.ft. scare you as the open design and high ceilings give the impression of much more space.   Besides, when one is downsizing is all that extra space really necessary?

This home's location within the community is a big positive because it is close to the club house and community pool (across street about 200 ft away!)  
With association fees at $500 a quarter the lawn maintenance and exterior maintenance is included [REVIEW HOA DOCUMENTS TO VERIFY WHAT IS COVERED BY DUES].

For information on buying a home in one of Brevard County, Florida's exclusive 55+ communities please call or text me at 321-693-3850.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Do You Really Want to "Sell Your Home" or "For Sale Your Home"?

Regardless of what one is looking at there is one thing that is likely true.... A person is likely to see what they expect to see.

This is especially true when it comes to real estate (whether buyer or seller).

In speaking with prospective customers through the years I have learned this about listing appointments...  the homeowner is usually one of two types: (1)  A Seller or (2) A For Sale-er.

Put another way....  There are a lot of homeowners out there who think they are selling their home.  However, the truth is they are simply individuals with a home  "for sale."

And then there are the one's who understand what it takes to market their home and quickly become a seller. 

What do the successful sellers know? 

(1)  For a home to sell it must follow the Three Ps of Selling a home.
  • Price it right.  This means within the realm of reality. 
  • Preparation.   Do what is necessary to make sure all the little neglected items are addressed before placing  it on the market.  And, if there are major issues, make the decision either price accordingly (and disclose to prospective buyers) or fix the problem as well. 
  • Presentation.  Make it available for reasonable showing requests...follow the path of least resistance to attract buyers.
(2)  For a home to sell take advantage of the golden period.
  • The first sign a home is not priced right is no showings during what I call the "golden period."  The "golden period" is a term I coined to describe the first two weeks a property is listed.  This is when a seller needs to dazzle them early!
(3)  For a home to sell it must be marketed knowing that sometimes a price modification may be necessary. 
  • A measure I use to judge whether a home is priced correctly is my 30-10-1 rule.  If a home is listed for 30 days and has less than 10 showings and not one realistic offer, then the price is most likely an issue.
(4)  For a home to sell the owner and their real estate agent must understand first impressions matter, 
  • People do judge a book by its cover when the book is your house you are trying to sell.  There  are rarely second chances so do not place a home on the market with "problems to be fixed."  In other words, don't rush.  Do it right the first time!
What does a "For Sale-er" know? 

(1)  The market may be a seller's market but buyers are still choosy.

(2)  Over pricing a home will not move a home unless a seller adds a comment like (ask me about how much I will really take?").

(3)  Online valuation sites (like Zillow) don't know your market.  If you have thought about Zillow as the market expert read my take here... "Why Would a Realtor Use Zillow in Marketing a Home?"

Ready to sell your Melbourne, Florida home?  Let me help you.   Call or text me at 321-693-3850 for a free market analysis.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

How Does a Home Seller Price In Updates?

The 80s called and they want their hair and decor back...said no one ever. 

No seller ever wants to get feedback from a prospective buyer about their home needing updates.  But that is a common opinion expressed by potential buyers.

First of all there is one maxim about buying and selling anything...

Buyers will always look for reasons to pay less while sellers will always look for reasons to charge more.

When preparing a home for the market knowledgeable sellers (and their agents) understand this and will counsel sellers on the art of preparing a home for the market.

Here are some articles relating to getting a house prepared to sell:
Now back to the subject of updates.... 

First of all do not confuse update with maintenance

Deferred maintenance has a big price tag.  If the roof needs replacement or the air conditioning does not work expect this to limit offers.  And if an offer does come expect it to be reduced to reflect the defect plus the effort and time to repairI have seen offers where buyers wanted a $1500 "credit" for a $250 fix.

What is the cost of updating?  If it is purely cosmetic then the hit should not be as bad.  Still, expect the hit to be substantial. 

My suggestion when updates are anticipated...

Get estimates and price them in at the time of listing.  With documentation to support the list price (comparable, estimates) a seller can proceed more confidently and get their Melbourne, Florida home sold.

Ready to sell your Melbourne, Florida home?  Call text me at 321-693-3850 for your market analysis.