Friday, August 26, 2016

Home Seller Tips: The Secret Location For Agent Interviews

One of the keys to selling your Melbourne, Florida home is to hire a real estate agent who is not only local but also knowledgeable.   

I always recommend sellers interview at least three agents before deciding who to hire.   [For more, read the related article links at bottom of post.]

But these real estate agent interviews are like a boy picking up your daughter for a first date.  They know they are going to be quizzed and better be on their best behavior with the right answers!

Sellers are at a disadvantage because these these agents will likely all appear to be knowledgeable.  All will probably be dressed to impress, responsive to questions and saying what you want to hear!

My suggestion is don't do the initial interview in your home but at this really really secret location....

At a nearby open house.

I call this the "just browsing" screening process. 

Choose homes for sale ideally in your neighborhood or another nearby neighborhood.  Stop by and take a look.  Be a browser.

Observe how the agent presents them-self to all visitors.  You know what you like and don't like in sale people.  And real estate agents are primarily sales people.  

Are they employing pressure and arm twisting?  Are they knowledgeable about the product (listing)? 

Do they make you feel comfortableAsk them about the neighborhood.   Ask them about home prices and seller attitudes.   

Don't ask the easy questions.  Ask about homeowner associations.  Ask them about criminal activity.  What about school quality and school assignment areas.  

See how far out on a limb they will go with answers.  A good local real estate agent will also know the limitations of their knowledge as well as potential liability.  Do not be surprised if you get advised to call the schools or local law enforcement folks for answers.   

This is not the final selection process.   

You may not find the agent you are going to hire but you may just find some to skip when the interviews start for real!  I like to tell new agents to always expect any contact at an open house to be an interview.

By the way, this "just browsing" interview technique works well for prospective buyers who can have a relaxed, no pressure consultation! 

Thinking about selling your Rockledge, Florida home?  Call or text me at 321-693-3850.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Selling Your Home: Use the Right Bait.

The first hurdle prospective home sellers, especially longtime owner-sellers, must clear before putting their home on the market is they are selling a house and not a home.

While it may be perfectly natural for a person to become sentimental when selling a home the nostalgia must be tempered.  The nice thing about memories is they are easily transported to the next home.

Although not the only factor in selling a house pricing is the key factor.  Pricing a house unrealistically is akin to fishing with no bait. 

Anyone who has done much fishing understands their target and the best bait for the environment.

Similarly, when selling a home, it is key a seller (through their real estate agent) understand the environment of the sale.

The environment encompasses factors like
  • seller reason, 
  • motivation and 
  • circumstances (timeline, existing mortgage, property condition, competition).
With an understanding of the environment the bait (price) is chosen.

Pricing too high is like fishing with no bait whatsoever. 

Sometimes, a less than ideal bait will get some nibbles and, even a catch occasionally. 

Ready to sell your Melbourne, Florida home?   Give me a call or text at 321-693-3850 so we can talk bait...
Image courtesy of meepoohfoto at

Monday, July 18, 2016

How to NOT Sell Your Florida Home.

You want to not sell your house?    Well here is a short primer on how not to sell your home.
  • Smell.  Odors, whether from smoking, last night's fish or whatever will turn a prospect as quickly as anything.
  • Inaccessible.  Rarely will a house sell if a buyer has to jump through hurdles to get inside.  Having an "agent must accompany all showings" or "24 hour notice required" will not promote viewings.
  • Competition/price.  There is a reasonable price range based on your competition.  If too much above it, then buyers may skip your house.
  • Location.  This goes right along with the pricing and competition.  Your neighborhood or location will command only a certain range of prices.
  • Neighbors.  Although its only the house for sale it is also your neighborhood and neighbors.  Loud music, cars parked on the lawn, overgrown, and neglected lawns all tell a story.  
  • Photos and clutter.  The home is for sale.  Too many photos or personal items (actually anything whatsoever) that distracts from your house is not a good thing.  If it has a handle buyers will open it!
  • Dated.  I had someone stop by an open house on Saturday. They have their home for sale.  They proudly stated they were the second owners since it was built in 1957.  They also indicated it needed updating as it still had the original pink stove, etc.  Most buyers do not want original equipment in a 1960s or 1970s house.  Shag carpet was nice back then!
Want to know how to sell your home?   Consider doing the opposite of the above items...
  • Clean
  • De-clutter
  • De-personalize
  • Be flexible with scheduling showings
  • Enlist your neighbors help
  • Do some basic updating (within reason and budget)
  • Price it right for your location, motivation and circumstances (choose the right real estate agent!)

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Home Buyer Tips: Multiple Offers and "Winning"

I remember a few years back when I advised a Viera, Florida home buyer that there were multiple offers and the seller wanted his best offer.  He responded with a simple question,"Is this a scam?"

In the real estate world I must assume the existence of other offers to be real.  Realtors operate under a code of conduct.  Still, I have no concrete evidence of other offers.

Multiple offers happen frequently when it is a seller's market AND a property is priced right.  [Read Signs Your Home is Not Priced Right.]

Sellers who receive multiple offers are in the catbird seat - maybeOffers are more than price only.
Each offer must be evaluated independently. 

Still, regardless of "winning" price, if a mortgage is involved then the property has to appraise.
Those are words every seller and buyer should understand.

Just this week I had buyers get into a situation that involved multiple offers.  In this case my buyers understood the situation and knew what they were willing to spend.  That is the key point.

These buyers were not emotional.  They had not formed an attachment to the property. 

As much as sellers would like buyers to view the process as a competition, not all buyers fall into an emotional trap.

They did not. 

If you plan to buy a home in the Viera, Florida area I want to help.  I will make sure you understand the market, your budget and the home buying process