Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Selling Your Florida Home - What are you required to disclose to potential buyers?

Selling Your Florida Home - What are you required to disclose to potential buyers?

In Florida most sellers using a real estate agent provide buyers with a written seller property disclosure.  Although the form is not required by law it does provide a basic set of answers to general questions a buyer should have about a property.

Questions on the seller property disclosure form include things like...
  • any existing or pending legal actions, claims, special assessments, etc.  
  • any homeowner restrictions,
  • environmental issues like any lead paint or Chinese drywall, etc.
  • general topics such as water source, sewer or septic systems, equipment related questions, etc.
Florida law does require sellers and their agents to disclose to potential buyers of residential property all facts known to the seller which materially affect the value of the property, which are not readily observable and which are not known by the buyer.

The last question on this form is the one I consider the most important...
"Is there anything else that materially affects the value of the property? NO  YES    If yes, explain:......"
When I provide the questionnaire to sellers my instructions are simple - answer all questions that are asked.

While buyers have a responsibility to perform due diligence a seller can't just put heir head in the sand and assume something does not exist if it should be disclosed.

Regarding the last question....
  1. If you think something should be disclosed then disclose it as well.
  2. If you were the buyer and would like to know this, disclose it as well.
If you are considering selling your Viera, Suntree or Rockledge Florida home, please give me a call if I can answer any of your questions or assist in any way.

Want a free market analysis?  Just email me.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Selling Your Home - What did the buyers say about your house?

Serious sellers want feedback.

They want to know what people think of their house or condo.

And when my buyers give me feedback on a home we just viewed I will pass along the comments to the seller’s agent.   
Granted there are times when I edit it somewhat!

Still, constructive criticism (or praise as well) can be used by the seller and their real estate agent to evaluate price, condition or other factors.

The secret revealed...click here for "What is the most useful feedback a seller can receive?"

But as for my opinion.... I don't usually share it. 

I don’t give it because the seller probably doesn’t care what I think - unless I am thinking about buying their home!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

For Sale By Owner (FSBO) Transactions–Everyone saves money, right?

 All parties involved in For Sale By Owner (FSBO) transactions are after the same thing - saving money.

The FSBO seller is thinking they are saving the expense of hiring a real estate professional to market and manage the sale of their home.

The buyer likely thinks they can save because because the FSBO seller will take less since they are not paying for a real estate professional to market and manage the sale of their home.

There is rarely a time I would recommend a buyer ever go it alone when buying a house in Brevard County, Florida.

The reason - the seller almost always pays the buyer's real estate agent - including many of the FSBO sellers.  

In the current Brevard County, Florida real estate market I rarely run across FSBO sellers.  According the the 2011 NAR Profile of Buyers and Sellers, 10% of sales last year were FSBOs.

You can sell your home yourself as long as you are aware of what is involved such as  
  • Pricing. Do you know the real market price or do you just know how much you want to walk away with at closing? 
  • Time. There is a significant investment of time when marketing your home. Will your schedule allow time for scheduling appointments and being present when potential buyers want to view your home.  (Weekends free - not likely!) 
  • Safety.  Who are these strangers who will be coming in your home.  I will admit that most real estate agent do not usually know their clients very well.  In this day and age, safety is a real concern for professional real estate agents. 
  • Marketing Plan.  Just putting a sign out front worked well when it was a seller's market.   Will it be easier to let someone who does this daily market your home?  Marketing is all about exposure to your most probable purchaser. Experience.  Have you previously completed such a transaction?  Experience is a great teacher - just ask any real estate agent.   
  • Staging Your Home.  Even if you decide to FSBO you should consider the services of a professional stager.  It has been said that a potential buyer will either be interested or turned off all within the first ten seconds after they arrive.   
  • Negotiation skills.  When that offer comes in, do you have the experience with negotiation skills.
  • Contracts, inspections, closing costs and procedures....

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Home Inspection - How Should a Buyer Respond?

All home buyers should have a home inspection done.

When a buyer receives the report from the property inspector (who is a completely neutral party) the response can go in several directions.

First of all an inspection report is only an assessment a property’s condition at one specific point in time.  The buyer's response to the report can go in several directions
  • request repairs be made, 
  • reduction in the contract price,
  • a combination of the first two, or
  • just cancel the contract.  The contract should always have an inspection contingency - even "as is" offers.
A quick word to sellers regarding inspections....  It does not hurt to ask for repairs based on an inspection contingency.

If a minor repair will close the deal, why not?  Of course this is a repair request - not a renegotiation of the contract.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Should you sell your tenant occupied home or wait until vacant?

Selling a tenant occupied property can be a challenge.  The truth is sometimes selling an occupied property can be a challenge as well.

There is no right or wrong answer to this question.

As an investor-owner it is in your best financial interest to have a tenant in place as long as possible.   An investor buyer may also like the idea of having a good tenant already in place who will be staying.

A great tenant can enhance the sales process.

On the other hand, a less than cooperative tenant can easily sabotage the process.

I have shown properties where the tenant made a mountain out of a mole hill by volunteering negative information about the neighborhood, purported problems, whatever.

Were the issues real?  Who knows as we never got to that stage because the buyers did not want to did deeper.

Many times the tenant does not help the seller put their best foot forward by keeping the property clean and uncluttered

If you are an investor-seller I encourage you to develop a cooperative relationship with your tenant.   Perhaps some incentive to work with you - not against you!

Call me for information on buying and selling real estate in Brevard County, Florida. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Selling Your Brevard County, Florida Home - The Internet says it is worth this…

The Internet is an amazing tool.  The amount of information available these days is unbelieveable!

When it comes to buying and selling your home there is a lot more information available than in years past.

The key is knowing which information is reliable and which is outdated or just plain wrong!

I have found that when it comes to buying or selling a house or condo there are many who will always research prices until they find something on the Internet to support what they want to believe.

In real estate it is usually on websites like Zillow which even admits their prices may be off or not current.  "A Zestimate home valuation is Zillow's estimated market value. It is not an appraisal. Use it as a starting point to determine a home's value."

Want to know the market value of your home?  Call a knowledgeable local real estate agent.   In Viera and Rockledge, Florida, call me at 321-693-3850 or email me for a free market analysis.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Selling Your Viera, Florida Home - Should Your Real Estate Agent Hold an Open House?

Open House?  

That is a question I almost always put on the table during the listing interview.

Not every seller wants an open house.  Not every property is suitable for an open house. 

An open house should be considered if the property:

  • has potentially wide appeal
  • is competitively (realistically) priced
  • is easily accessible
  • is properly prepared for presentation to the general public (including nosy neighbors!).
I am honest with sellers when discussing the potential benefits of an open house.  The reality is very few buyers purchase homes at or as the result of an open house.

Preparing for an open house.  The obvious logical stuff does not need to be listed here.  You know to clean, de-clutter, get the lawn mowed and the like.

The area I urge you not to forget as strangers enter your home are the safety and security areas.  Things like... 
  • Put away valuables. Small cameras, I-pads, I-pods, laptops or net books, money.
  • Put away or remove personal documents.  This includes bank and credit card statements, passports, birth certificates, etc. Think identity theft! Think identity theft! 
  • Put away or lock up firearms. There may be small children or theft!
  • Put away those medications (and alcohol!).  
  • Take the pets out for a walk, to the park, etc.
  • Remove trip hazards. You don't need to be sued!
If you are considering selling your Viera, Florida home, call me to discuss how I may assist you.  I also specialize in the Rockledge, Florida and Suntree (Melbourne,Florida) areas.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Keys to Selling Your Home: Facts, Evidence and Logic

Your home buyer pool is the most educated and sophisticated group of consumers ever.  
With the massive amount of real estate sales information easily available to the general public there is no reason why anyone should ever find themselves in the dark when buying or selling real estate.  

Seller rule number one.  If you believe your home is the nicest house in the neighborhood, you are probably normal.   That is the reason many of the sellers I deal with in Brevard County explain to me on my initial visit why their home is better than the rest.

Seller rule number two.  If you believe your assumed to be “nicest home in the neighborhood” will sell for significantly more than any other house in the neighborhood, your thinking is likely not completely logical.

If your house is twice the size of the rest of the homes, has the largest lot or is the only one with a pool, maybe it is an over improved property?    Why would someone buy the largest or highest priced home in a neighborhood?

Seller rule number three.  Facts and evidence regarding real estate sales in your neighborhood are easy to gather.

Ask your real estate agent (or email me) what
  1. is on the market
  2. has recently sold
  3. is under contract and, more importantly, 
  4. what has expired in your neighborhood.   
You will then have the real evidence and facts to make a logical assessment of your homes value in your local market.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Viera Florida Homes for Rent - Rockledge Florida Homes for Rent

It is not that I have anything against renters been there myself!

But I do limit my rental properties to the areas of Viera, Suntree and Rockledge because the time and investment does not provide a reasonable return on my time.
When I explain this to those seeking to find a home to rent they understand.

If they are looking in an area where I do not work  I gladly forward them the rental listings and provide the name of the listing agent!

Still if the desired target area is well defined as well as the property and budget requirements I will happily assist those looking to rent a home in Viera or Rockledge.

If you are looking for a home to rent in Viera and Rockledge, Florida, send me an email.  I will be happy to forward listings to you!

Single Family Homes For Sale in Brevard County, Florida - Inventory and Choices in July 2012

The Brevard County, Florida single family home inventory is shrinking.  Here is a general summary of the single family market in Brevard County as of July 17, 2012.  
  • Single Family Homes for Sale - 1,957 
  • Single Family Homes under contract - 2,157 
  • Single Family Homes Sold in June 2012 - 633 
  • Months Inventory Available - 3 
  • Single Family Homes for Sale (Short Sales) - 350  
  • Single Family Homes for Sale (Foreclosures) - 141
  • Percent of Homes Priced at or Below $200,000 - 53% 
  • Number of Single Family Homes Priced  at or Below $100,000 - 498
The above sales statistics extracted from Brevard MLS system on July 17, 2012.

For information on homes for sale in Brevard County, Florida, send me an email, please.

Brevard County Florida Schools–Among the best in the State and the Country

I read this morning that West Shore Junior/Senior High School in Melbourne, Florida is listed in the top 100 public high schools in the United States.

West Shore Jr./Sr. High School made the list at number 65.  Rockledge High School (number 985) and Cocoa Beach Jr./Sr. High School  (number 186) were both included in the top 1000 as well.

If you are considering a move to Brevard County Florida, a place to check out the school grades is at the Brevard County School Board website. Here is a link that takes you directly to the grading site.  There is also a link to determine, based on address, what school your child(ren) will attend.

If you are considering a move to Florida’s Space Coast, please give me a call or drop me an email if I can assist you in any way.