Wednesday, September 26, 2012

How much escrow do I have to put down? What if I want to walk away?

I am not an attorney. This is not offered as legal advice. Consult an attorney regarding escrow issues if necessary.

The real estate purchase agreement in Florida is named Residential Contract For Sale and Purchase for a reason - it is a contract

I always approach the preparation of a listing agreement or purchase offer with the same care as I know the written word is king.

If it isn’t in the purchase agreement, it isn’t part of the deal - especially regarding personal items and appliances that are to convey.  In other words, no side deals.

As a real estate agent in Florida I prepare approved contracts - not create or modify contracts.

Sometimes I get the feeling buyers and their agents take the "walk away" solution too lightly.  Sure there are usually contingencies like a property inspection or financing which allow a buyer to walk away.  It is for this reason I am constantly reminding sellers that "Under Contract is Not Sold."

But just the option of changing your mind and walking away is not part of the process.

Since I am not an attorney I will just include here an excerpt from paragraph 15 (a) of the Residential Contract For Sale and Purchase says, in part,
"BUYER DEFAULT: If Buyer fails, neglects or refuses to perform Buyer’s obligations under this Contract, including payment of the Deposit, within the time(s) specified, Seller may elect to recover and retain the Deposit for the account of Seller as agreed upon liquidated damages, consideration for execution of this Contract, and in full settlement of any claims..."
So how much earnest money do I advise buyers to place as escrow?

As much as necessary to let the seller know your offer is serious and small enough you could live with losing if you forfeited it instead of closing.

I am not an attorney. This is not offered as legal advice. Consult an attorney regarding escrow issues if necessary.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

How Long Should a Seller Wait For Closing?

Florida Today newspaper, Sunday September 23, 2012, Real Estate Question & Answer provided by Gary L. Waters, PLLC, Broker Associate of Serving Brevard Realty in Merritt Island, Florida.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Most Annoying Neighbors Ever By: Dona DeZube

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Budget Kitchen Remodeling: 5 Money-Saving Steps By: Gretchen Roberts

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

How do you choose your real estate agent?

There is no simple answer to this question.

The first question to answer is "What are you trying to accomplish?"  If you are selling, you need an agent who works with sellers in your neighborhood (or area like Viera, for example).  The same can be said for buying.  Local knowledge is key whether buying or selling.

The next question is about experience.  Let's face it...regardless of academic training  accomplishments, real world experience means a lot.  By experience I mean RESULTS.

This can be especially true if you are going to be involved with a short sale.  Again this applies the same whether buying or selling.

I am not going to list all the questions you should ask but rather just leave you with these two rules about real estate agents.
  1. They are not all created equal.  
  2. You get what you pay for.

Here are a few articles on how to choose a real estate agent.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Selling Your Home - Rule Number 1: Your Listing Price Is Always an "As Is" Price

I am sure if a meat market priced hamburger at steak prices someone would eventually buy it.

The reason it may sell could be the buyer may be unaware of the current market price for hamburger.

Or it could be the buyer is in a hurry to make a decision and the timing makes an immediate purchase decision the best move.

Or it could be that money is not an issue.  Of course, I am doubtful that last reason is valid because money is always an issue. 

Now think about pricing your home to sell.

Can you get away with pricing it as if it were something else (or located somewhere else)?

Your listing price should realistically reflect the "as is" condition of your home.  The "as is" condition may indeed be perfect and move in ready.

The "as is" price must take into account any repairs required, if any.  The "as is" price should take into account the competition.

Just as a butcher can't sell hamburger at steak prices, you can't sell a house that is not priced correctly.  Your buyer will be an informed buyer.  Your buyer will comparison shop.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Secret to Selling Your House

Okay, maybe it is not really the key to selling your house but it is the key to successful business transactions.  And selling a house is a major business transaction!

It is a simple thing - being accessible.

For a Brevard County, Florida home seller accessible means allowing the prospective buyer to view your home on the buyer's schedule (within reason, of course).

Accessible means having a real estate agent who is available when there is an issue or a question from the seller or a buyer's agent.  Accessibility does not mean telephone only but includes emails, text messages, Facebook messages, direct tweets on Twitter, a face to face meeting if needed or whatever is desired or required. 

Accessible means having a real estate company available to schedule appointments and coordinate showings.

Accessible may not be the key to selling your house but it is important to me.  As a real estate agent in Brevard County the key to my business is being accessible.

The key to business success is contained in these words I read this morning from a frustrated shopper "the first person I talk to gets my business." 

When you are ready to sell your Viera, Suntree or Rockledge, Florida home, call me at 321-693-3850 and see if I am accessible.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Home Buyer Tips–What you buy, you must maintain…

As the inventory of homes for sale in Brevard County, Florida shrinks, the challenge to find a home that is well maintained and move in ready can be a bigger challenge than in the past few years.

And, if you are lucky enough to find one, the price you pay will take that into consideration.  This is a point that sometimes bargain hunters forget... a price is low for a reason.

Move in ready means a seller has taken the time and money to care for the home since they purchased it.  None of the deferred maintenance that results in an inspection report with multiple issues.

As a buyer looking for that home to purchase in Brevard County, Florida keep in mind as you look at that pool home and envision the wonderful times ahead enjoying its cool waters (or warm water with the solar heating system on the roof), there will be maintenance costs.

Or maybe it is the fireplace, or all that lush landscaping out front in your half acre yard, or that seawall and covered dock with boat lift on Merritt Island, or whatever.

All these amenities and characteristics are nice and go a long way in making your home comfortable.

But they must be maintained.

One day your new home will be on the market again.  And the price will reflect the maintenance and care given during your ownership period.

As a real estate agent working with sellers in Merritt Island, Viera, Rockledge and Suntree, I find it so much easier to sell a home that has been maintained and updated through the years.   When you are ready to sell your Merritt Island, Rockledge or Viera home, call me to discuss how I can work with you, please.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Real Estate is Local–Want to know about Brevard County, Florida Real Estate? Ask a local real estate agent!

It is probably one of the most overused phrases in real estate.  You know the one…”Real estate is about three things – location, location, and location.”

And the one who knows about location is a local real estate estate expert!

In Brevard County, Florida I consider myself a location (and relocation) expert.

I consider it a compliment when folks considering relocating to Brevard County, Florida call or send me emails with questions about the local real estate market, school system or just about anything else.

I also consider it an honor when the local newspaper calls me for my view when they prepare articles for their real estate section.

I was quoted again today.  Hey, its not the NY Times or Wall Street Journal but real estate is local.

Today's article focused on optimism in the Brevard County real estate market. 

"Activity is strongest in the lower price ranges, mostly $100,000 to $200,000. Buyers are seeing more houses draw multiple offers, and they’re getting the message that they need to make a serious bid if they’re interested, said Gary Waters, Realtor for Century 21 Baytree."
Waters encourages po­tential sellers to take heart in the buying side of the equation. Even if they sell for less than the market value of several years ago, they can take advantage of low interest rates and low prices when they buy a replacement home."
If you are considering relocating to Brevard County, Florida whether its a 55+ community in Viera, a beach side condo in Satellite Beach or even some acreage where you can keep your horse, call me if I can help in any way.