Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Choosing Your Brevard County Realtor® in 2014 and other prognostications....

Consumers will soon have greater choice when they go to select a real estate agent in 2014.

When the market went "south" five or six years ago many left the profession for other jobs.  Now that the market is back those "experienced" agents are returning.   Likewise the real estate schools are bustling with increased enrollments.

My advice to those seeking to hire an experienced real estate agent in 2014 is to delve deeply into the experience component.   I read an article yesterday that indicated most sellers are now interviewing an average of three agents before selecting a real estate agent to work with them.

So what are some of the important areas to ask a real estate agent before hiring them?  [Even though the seller usually pays the buyer's agent, as a buyer you are still hiring them!]

  • when (recent experience is key)
  • what type(s) of transaction (buyer, seller, short sale, foreclosure, condo, etc.)
  • how many, 
  • who (ask for references and call a couple)), 
  • where (remember, it is all about local).

So what are some of my "other prognostications?"

  • Interest Rates:  Likely not lower but how much higher? 
  • Home Prices:  Likely not lower but how much higher?   

If you are considering selling your Viera, Florida or being a first time buyer in 2014 then the time to start preparing is now.   Call me to discuss the preparations necessary whether buying or selling in 2014!

Image courtesy of digitalart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Friday, December 27, 2013

Selling Your Home - Pricing Strategies

Selling Your Home - Pricing Strategies 

When you are ready to sell your Viera, Florida home you will likely call on a real estate agent to assist with the process.

And the agent you choose to sell your Viera home will likely have lots of experience in the Viera, Florida area.  After all, local knowledge is a key quality you want in any real estate agent you choose to help you regardless if seller or buyer..

During the selection process you will be presented with a comparative market analysis on your home that will compare properties that are most similar to your home and recently sold.  It will also show similar homes currently on the market in the Viera area.

And it will recommend a listing price.  But it is entirely up to you to accept or reject the agent's recommendation.

Here are five articles about pricing your home for the market.

What do all these comps have to do with pricing my house to sell?
Pricing to get a "let's talk offer."
What your listing price SHOULD reflect.
Using the SOLD data and not the HOPE data to price your home to sell!
But what if my house sells too quickly?

As a seller you must must understand your circumstances (timeline, selling reason, mortgage status, etc.) and work with your agent to develop a pricing strategy that is tailored to you.

A word of caution here...when the market is improving optimism grows as well.

Considering selling your Viera, Florida home?  Call me at 321-693-3850 for a free market analysis.


Saturday, December 21, 2013

"Above All Do No Harm" - The "Hippocratic Oath" applies to this real estate agent as well.

The below article was recently posted on one of my other blogs.  It starts like this...
"No, I do not have a key hidden."   Maybe it should not surprise me after all these years.

I had a real estate agent from a property management company who was showing "one of their rentals" across the street from one of my listings call me this afternoon. The agent called to ask questions about the floor plan. I provided the information she was seeking. 

 Then she asked me the question about a hidden key. I was perplexed. Read the rest here.
This seemingly insignificant phone call reminded me of one of the most important things about being a Brevard County, Florida licensed real estate agent

Simply put...Above all do no harm. 

This short saying is probably recognized by many as being from the "Hippocratic Oath."  No I am not equating myself with a doctor.  But my commitment to my clients is no less.

As a Realtor® it applies to all I do when working with my customers.   As a real estate agent I am fortunate to be trusted by people, many of whom are complete strangers when we first meet, to assist them with what is very likely one of the most important financial undertakings of their life - the purchase or sale of a home in Brevard County, Florida.

If you are considering buying or selling a home in Florida,  I would welcome an opportunity to earn your trust.

Call me at 321-693-3850 or email me.    I am Gary L Waters, PLLC, Florida licensed real estate broker.


Friday, December 20, 2013

Home Buyer Tips: The mythological crime free neighborhood...

Home Buyer Tips:  The mythological crime free neighborhood...

Unfortunately there are few, if any, areas where crime does not make an appearance at one time or another.  Sociologists, psychologists, politicians and others make a living trying to explain the reason crime exists.   I will leave that to the "experts."

As a real estate agent who works with many buyers moving to Brevard County, Florida (many from out of state) I sometimes am asked about which areas are “safer” to live in.

Sometimes the question is a simple "Is this neighborhood safe?"  Sometimes they are looking for facts like the crime rate for a particular area.

As a real estate agent I will never tell you if an area is safe.   I will always refer you to the local expert for an answer - local law enforcement.   Still, in my opinion, to believe any area is or will always be crime free is to believe in the tooth fairy.

Here are links to Brevard County, Florida law enforcement agencies.  If you have a question, give them a call!

Brevard County Florida Sheriff's Office
FDLE Sexual Offenders and Predators Database
Rockledge Florida Police Department
Melbourne Florida Police Department
Palm Bay Florida Police Department
Titusville Police Department
Satellite Beach Florida Police Department
Cocoa Florida Police Department
Cocoa Beach Florida Police Department
West Melbourne Florida Police Department

And for the answer to the crime rates, here is a summary of Brevard County Florida crime statistics provided by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for the period of January - June 2013. 

Moving to Brevard County, Florida? Call me at 321-693-3850 if I can assist is any way!

Image courtesy of olovedog at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Home Seller Tips: Can Florida Buyers walk too easily?

I read an article this week where a real estate agent in another state was expressing the opinion that buyers can walk from a contract too easily because of the property inspection.   My response is simply "this is the process."

When I work with home buyers in Florida I always include a property inspection contingency in every offer to purchase.  This contingency is included even if the offer is an "as is" offer where the buyer is not expecting the seller to make repairs.

I view the inspection contingency as a "get out of jail free" card.  Property inspections are subjective and the results are evaluated by the buyer - not the seller, inspector or any real estate agent.

Is this contingency "fair" for the seller?  Most sellers would likely respond "No!"  However, it part of the risk assumed when selling.  You may be surprised at how many "contracts" never close for various reasons including financing issues, title questions, etc.  Some deals crash and burn - that is the nature of the business.

What happens if a seller repairs an identified issue or even every issue listed on an inspection report.  Can the buyer still walk?

The comprehensive rider to to the Florida residential contract includes  **"If Buyer determines, in Buyer’s sole discretion, that the Property is not acceptable to Buyer...."  Nowhere does it say "unless all repairs have been fixed by the seller."

agent@moving2brevard.comAgain, this is the process we follow in Florida.  The buyer should have their earnest money returned without issue.  To contest it will likely require an attorney.


**Comprehensive Rider to the Residential Contract For Sale And Purchase
CR-1 Rev. 6/10 © 2010 Florida Realtors® and The Florida Bar. All rights reserved.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Selling Your Home: Tricks of the Trade or Misleading?

Are they misleading or just marketing tools?

I noticed a house for sale in my area.  I saw the sign up out front.  Then I noticed the MLS listing about a week later.   This happen at times when the listing agent buys some time just in case they get a buyer call before any other agent.  This "trick" is not fair to a seller.   

I recently read an MLS entry for a three bedroom two bath home however the remarks said "can be converted back to a three bedroom."  Apparently a wall was removed and a conversion had taken place.  So it was really a two bedroom house.

The above is very similar to the five bedroom listing that is really an office that "could be used as a fifth bedroom." 

Or the MLS entry that states "new appliances" or "new roof"  but is actually five or six years old. I guess it all depends on your definition of "new."

So is it misleading or just marketing tools?   It a deliberate misrepresentation and wrong.  How is it different than a used car "owned by a little old lady who only drove it to church on Sunday?" 

Read more about selling your Viera, Florida home.


Friday, December 6, 2013

Home Seller Tips: So it is not so "mauve-ilous!"

First impressions matter.  When I enter your home for an initial listing appointment, like prospective buyers, I make a quick assessment of your house.

That wall paper or mauve paint...wow!

But the first impression your home makes on me is not a deal killer.

I will almost certainly make recommendations fro preparing your home for the market.  And it will likely include a recommendation for a more neutral, less personalized wall color.

But the first impression you make on prospective buyers is not as easily dismissed.

What you want prospective buyers to remember are your home's positives like space, cleanliness, curb appeal, openness, updated appearance...not the "mauve-ilous" paint!

Painting is a simple fix.  Address it early so buyers can see its potential.

Considering selling your Viera, Florida home?  Call me at 321-693-3850 to discuss how I can work for you!  If you prefer, send me an email. Ask me for a free, no obligation market analysis.

Image courtesy of iconmac at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Home Buyer Tips: What the seller paid is not relevant...

When considering the price to offer on a home there are many factors involved in the decision.  The primary consideration, of course, is affordability.  Another includes availability of acceptable alternatives.

One factor that should not be a be a consideration is what the seller paid for the house.

Still, while the seller's acquisition circumstances are a totally unrelated matter, few buyers I have ever worked with did not want to know what the seller paid for a house.

Still, what a seller paid for their house is not relevant today.

If the house was purchased at a tax sale or as a foreclosure the price paid may be significantly less.  If the seller purchased the home around 2005 the market price paid may be significantly more than today's market price.

What matters today is the current market.  Home prices have risen some and continue to climb slowly in Brevard County,. Florida.

The selling price today is based on competition, location, condition, seller motivation, circumstances of sale (short sale, foreclosure, estate sale, standard sale, etc) and other factors - not on what the seller paid.


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Secret to Negotiating a Home Purchase (or Sale)

As a Brevard County, Florida real estate agent my job is to help buyers find their perfect Brevard County, Florida home and then get them the house at the best price possible.

When working with sellers my job is to get the seller the best price possible. 

Whether working for buyer or seller this process involves negotiation.  

Still, as a buyer's representative, sometimes there will be no negotiation even after the perfect house has been located.  No matter how skilled I may be at the art of negotiation unless a prospective buyer is being realistic some sellers will never sell at what a buyer "thinks" is a good price.   The definition of "good" often varies greatly.

Buyers need to see themselves from the seller's perspective.  Would they sell their own home for such a deep discount? 

Similarly, sellers need to consider this....would they really pay that much for this house (if they did not already own it)?

The secret to negotiating a home purchase is this.... having a let's talk offer on the table.

The secret to negotiating a home sale is this... having a let's talk counteroffer on the table.

Whether buyer or seller, the OBR method is the best pricing strategy.   Optimistic But Realistic supported by market data.

Here are a few more articles on negotiation strategies...


Monday, December 2, 2013

Brevard County, Florida Residential Market Inventory (2009 through 2013)

Extremes are bad for market normalcy regardless of the type of market.

In real estate a "normal" (balanced) inventory is considered six months inventory.   Less than five plus months is considered a seller's market.  More than six months is usually considered a buyer's market.

The "ideal" market is one where there is some balance.

The "best" market depends on your position in the market -  buyers want excess inventory, sellers minimal competition.

Right now the Brevard County, Florida single family home inventory is beginning to favor sellers as indicated by slightly increasing sales prices.

Here is a look at the Brevard County, Florida single family home inventory over the past five years.  

Produced by Florida REALTORS® with data provided by Florida's multiple listing services.


Saturday, November 30, 2013

Have Your Florida Property Taxes Been Paid Yet?

Florida property taxes are paid annually in arrears. So come January 2014 homeowners should be paying (or already paid as they are due in November) their 2013 property taxes.

But home owners should not wait to pay.

There are discounts for early payment - 4% if paid within first 30 days after original mailing date, 3% in December, 2% in January and 1% in February.  After February, there is no discount.

Taxes become delinquent on April 1st.  

If you have a mortgage on your home then you are likely paying your taxes with your payment each month.  And your mortgage servicer is required to pay the taxes in November for the maximum available discount.  This is something you can easily verify!

If your home has no mortgage you should go ahead and pay early so as to not forget.  Also, if you have multiple properties you should receive a separate tax bill for each account.

If you have property in Brevard County, Florida here are links to both the Property Appraiser and Tax Collector websites.

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Decision to Buy a House: If not now, when?

Eventually the leap will be much larger...off that fence, that is.

Image courtesy of franky242 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net 
I read an article yesterday that quoted someone who said something to the effect that "if I had bought this house 15 years ago, it would be worth  XXX dollars!"  What they should have said is "I am glad I finally bought my house!"

The long term appreciation of real estate is almost a given.  Over time the value hopefully increases but not at a meteoric pace like it did about 8-10 years ago.

There will be dips just as there will upward spurts.

Statements such as the "if" comment mentioned happen routinely in many different contexts.  People say it when referring to their health (should have exercised, should have quit smoking, should have git that screening exam, etc).   I  hear some say it in reference to having gotten out of the military after so many years....if I had stayed in the military I would have been retired by now.

The key is not would, should or could.  The key is doing something now.

Is it time for you to finally buy that Viera, Suntree or Rockledge, Florida house while prices are still attractive and interest rates low?  If so, call me at 321-693-3850 or email me,

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Home Seller Tips: Multiple offers....good or bad?

As a home seller, receiving multiple offers sounds like a good thing, right?   After all, you will have several offers from which to choose the best.

When working with home buyers the first thing I do once an interest in a particular property is expressed is request a copy of the seller's property disclosure.   The seller’s disclosure is a series of questions a seller is asked with property questions like any roof issues, systems (AC, heating, etc), appliances, association rules, water damage, zoning or future use changes, etc.

At the same time I ask the seller's agent whether an offer has been received or if other offers are expected.

This is good information for my buyers to know before making any offer.  

But should a seller tell prospective buyers when there will be other offers coming in?

When I am working with sellers I don't believe there should be any disclosure about potential offers.  An offer that has not been received is not an offer to be considered seriously!

Should a seller ask all prospective buyers to submit their "highest and best" offer?   As always it is up to the seller.

Why shouldn't a seller disclose other offers being considered?   Some buyers may decide they don't want to get in a bidding war with others so they walk away.   Some buyers may think their offer will be too low so they don't submit an offer either.

Some offers may not materialize.   Either way, there is some risk involved.


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Home Seller Tips: All about value, not just price..

The number one rule in real estate is this...Sellers always want more money while buyers always want to pay less.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Prospective buyers always ask the same question first...What is the price?   But the answer to this question alone does not determine whether a person buys anything.

A price is really impersonal.   It is an assigned number.  It may or may not have a rational basis.

So what determines if a person will buy anything?   It is simply the value one assigns to an object that decides whether they make a purchase.  

As a real estate agent in Viera, Florida I help my customers identify their target property through a variety of tools including lots of questions.  And when we find "the home" I work with them to understand the potential value they will receive from the purchase.

This value may have multiple components like future property appreciation, market trends (increasing prices), available choices (shrinking inventory), time frame or some intangibles like emotions.

After all, it is all about value and not just a price.


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Choose a Real Estate Agent Who Can Deliver Results.

The home selling process usually involves some sort of compromise before a deal can be reached.  This is the nature of negotiation.

While everything in real estate is negotiable, one thing that a seller should not compromise on is the level of service expected from their real estate agent.

Sellers must decide early on in the process how they define success (price, time, terms) and select an agent who understands and can deliver on their expectations and who will be there to guide, counsel and keep them focused on their goals.  After all, the home selling process can be stressful.
Here are a few articles on how to choose a real estate agent.

If you are considering selling your Viera, Florida home, please call me at 321-693-3850 to discuss how I can deliver the results you desire.

My success depends on your success!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Home Buyer Tips: Choosing the wrong real estate agent can be costly...

Home Buyer Tips:  Choosing the wrong real estate agent can be costly.  This is not intended as a shot at any real estate agent in Brevard County, Florida.  There are hundreds of superb Realtors® in Brevard County, Florida. 

Image courtesy of ddpavumba at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Still, choosing the wrong real estate agent can be costly.

What situation is that?  Using the seller's real estate agent.

I spoke with someone recently who said they always call the listing agent.  When I asked why they did not use their own agent they were very honest with me.

They said "because the seller's agent knows what is wrong with the house and how much the seller will take if they want to make an offer."

Without going into detail I related two things regarding this statement.

  • First, the sellers (and their agent) must disclose anything they know that materially affects the value of the house.  Further, they should have an inspection done before any purchase to identify issues.
  • Secondly, the seller's real estate agent owes their customer complete loyalty and that includes not disclosing anything that works against their client.  Don't look for some "they will take it low price" or a reduction in price because the seller's agent is handling the sale.

More importantly, the seller pays for the buyer's real estate, so why not get your own real estate agent?    Let your real estate agent do the research based on your requirements.  Have your real estate agent set up your showings.  Have your real estate agent work with you throughout the entire process.

In Florida there is no "dual agency" in Florida.  The listing agent represents the seller, first and foremost. 

There is one other situation where a buyer may not realize they are working with the seller's agent is new construction.    If you are considering a new home purchase, consider having a real estate agent represent you. The folks greeting you in that new model home work for the seller.

Similarly, if the home you are considering is located in a community with an on-site "community" real estate office (such as Indian River Colony Club in Viera), take your real estate agent with you on your first visit.

Are you considering buying or selling a Viera, Florida home?  Call me at 321-693-3850 to find out how I can work for you.


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Home Buyer Tips: How much should you pay for that house?

It is always nice when I hear someone looking at homes for sale in Brevard County, Florida make the statement "I like it."

This is usually followed by something like "What do you think I can get it for?"  or "What do you think they will take for it?"

Regardless of how it is asked my response serves the same purpose - as a reality check.   Shopping for a new home can be exciting.  The key is to not let the emotions or situation (like a multiple bid situation) drive the decisions.

I usually ask prospective buyers what they think it is worth.  This gives me an idea of the degree of seriousness.

Then I proceed with my answer.

I am a data driven person.  Comps and competition is where I start.

Image courtesy of njaj at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
The homes that have sold recently will reveal part of the answer.  The circumstances surrounding those transactions will further clarify the data.   And then knowing how many competing active properties and their prices will add more clarity.  That is the data part of the answer.

Another component of the answer is motivation.

Although it can be very useful, rarely is a seller's motivation revealed to the buying public

I can provide the above bits of the pricing puzzle but it is up to the buyer to add the final part of the puzzle - knowing their own motivation.

A buyer needs to understand their purpose of buying at this time?   Is this just a stopping off point in a career?  Are they looking to build equity and move up five years down the road?   Are they looking for a "pennies on the dollar deal" pie in the sky opportunity? 

If I have done my job correctly I should already know the buyer's reason for purchasing.  That is why I ask all those questions up front!

There are lots of factors to weigh when deciding on an offer price.  And, regardless of offer price, if there is financing involved, the bigger question is will the property appraise?

When you are ready to buy a home in Brevard County, Florida, call me at 321-693-3850.  I want to be your Realtor of Choice in Brevard County, Florida.


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Choosing your real estate agent: The Biggest Mistake a Seller can make...

Comparing real estate agents to sell your Viera Florida home, involves (or should) an evaluation of the real estate agents in multiple areas.  Sometimes sellers will base their decision on only one or two points.

Image courtesy of ddpavumba at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
The biggest mistake in selecting a real estate agent to sell your Viera home is to make the choice based on which agent told you to list your Viera home for the highest price.

As a seller it is always nice to hear someone throw out a high price but a high price without supporting data is just a number.

Another factor that should never be the major determinant when you sell your Viera, Florida home is the commission charged.

A discounted commission means very little if your home will not sell with discounted service.

Your real estate agent should earn the money you will be paying them to sell your Viera, Florida home.

Don't look at any commission fee without a marketing plan to go with it.  Know what your real estate agent will be doing to earn their fee.

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

If you are considering selling your Viera, Suntree or Rockledge, Florida home, call me at 321-693-3850 to discuss how I can work with you!


Monday, November 4, 2013

Buying and Selling a Brevard County, Florida Home: Successful transactions involve information exchange...

Buying and Selling a Brevard County, Florida Home:  Successful transactions involve information exchange...

Information exchange is key to closing any transaction without unnecessary delays and chaos. Those who get results understand this concept.

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Real estate agents are involved in the process every day.  Asking questions is just the nature of the business.

But buyers and sellers are not involved in the home buying process every day. 

It is imperative real estate agents explain to clients early on in the process - especially buyers - why open communication is critical to the home buying process.

Buyers need to understand why their real estate agent is asking all those questions.

Buyers need to understand the reason why their real estate agent is asking them to speak with a local lender to obtain a mortgage pre-approval. 

When you are choosing a real estate agent to help you sell your Viera home or buy a home in Brevard County, Florida make sure your agent understands this concept.

And, most importantly, do not be afraid to ask questions.  

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Upgraded, New and Other Ambiguous Real Estate Terms....

One of the most common words I see in real estate narratives is "upgraded."  And its definition varies greatly from seller to seller.

In some cases I have seen it used instead of the word updated.  (And updated very often could have been ten years ago!)

In some cases it is used to indicate a product that is a level above the standard.   This seems pretty common with many of the builder add on incentives I have seen in the Viera, Florida area.

As a buyer you need to see it to determine the value of an upgrade.   In the case of a builder it could be reflected  as "$10,000 in upgrades" with  "retail" prices quoted.

Another over used word is "new."   New implies what?  Recent comes to my mind.

Sometimes new really should be "newer" as within the past year or two....not decade.

When it comes to shopping for a home buyers should pay less attention to the words used and rely on their eyes as well as the eyes of their home inspector. 

So where do you start when you are ready to buy a home in Brevard County, Florida?  Right here.



Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Home Seller Tips: When it is time to sell, become "no one."

As I entered a home for sale yesterday and noticed the multicolored walls I thought to myself...Wow, so colorful!

Personalizing is part of living!

Your surroundings and possessions represent who you are as a person.

This includes your clothes, transportation and your home.

Still when the time comes to sell become "no one."

Lose your identity.

What should a seller do to prepare a home for selling?   There are lots of components to preparation but one of the most critical involves presentation including neutral colors and removing clutter.

That highly personalized paint is best if covered with something in a neutral, light hue.  All those degrees on the wall, the pictures everywhere, the items on display should be minimized.  You are selling your home not you.   Show your home, not your everything!

Become "no one" while selling...it is only temporary!

Ready to sell your Viera, Florida home?  Call me if I can help in any way!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Relocation Help: When should you place your Viera, Florida home on the market?

Image courtesy of cooldesign at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
A job relocation can be as easy as packing the car and leaving or the complete opposite.   In the latter case there are lots of things to get done.

So what do you do first?  The old standby response here...It depends.
  • on whether the family is moving together.  
  • on whether there is a house to sell.  
  • on whether one must sell the current home to purchase a new home at the new location.
  • on whether you will be holding onto your home as a rental property in anticipation of a return to the area.
  • on whether you are upside down and a short sale could be a consideration.
Based on all the considerations above the time frame may be very short or six months or longer!

Assuming you are going to sell your Viera, Florida home, when do you start the process?

The first question to ask is "How long does it take to sell a home in today's Brevard County, Florida real estate market?"  

Over the past month or two the average days on the market for central Brevard County areas including Viera, Suntree and Rockledge has been about 90 days.

The days on the market is the number of days from listing to contract.

Depending on the circumstances of the sale the time to close once the contract has been signed by all parties can vary greatly.  It could be
  • a couple of weeks or less for a cash sale; 
  • a month to six weeks for financing; 
  • or another six months for a short sale.
So when should you place your home on the market?  Another ambiguous response...It is hard to say. 

I recommend contacting a local knowledgeable real estate agent as soon as you know a move is in the future.  It is much better to start early than wait until the last minute.

If a move is in your future, call me at 321-693-3850 and lets talk about timing.  If it is a potential short sale it is critical to start early!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Summer Lakes in Viera, Florida - Executive Homes for Sale in Viera

Summer Lakes in Viera (Rockledge, Florida zip code 32955) is an exclusive gated community featuring executive homes (3,000- 8,000 sq.ft. under air) with tremendous appeal to the most discriminating executive buyer.  These homes all the amenities one would expect in a custom built feature rich dwelling from the tile roof to the front door to the pool deck and summer kitchen!  

There was a time when most of the homes for sale in Summer Lakes in Viera, Florida were "distressed sales." 

It looks like Summer Lakes in Viera has survived the downturn.  All four of the current active homes for sale in Summer Lakes are standard sales.

These homes for sale in Summer Lakes are priced from $899,900 to $1,290,000 (all but one are above a million dollars).

Of the seven sales in 2013 (as reported in the Brevard MLS system) three were distressed sales and four were standard fair market sales.

Homes selling in Summer Lakes during the past six months included:
  • 4440 Chiming Lane - a 4,013 sq ft (foreclosure) four bedroom four bath three car garage pool home sold for $700,000 in June 2013.
  • 4410 Chiming Lane - a 5,339 sq ft (standard sale) four bedroom five bath four car garage plus pool  home sold for $1,205,000 in August 2013.
  • 3143 Bellwind Circle - a 5,067 sq ft (standard sale) four bedroom five bath three car garage pool home sold for $1,165,000 in April 2013.
  • 3203 Bellwind Circle - A foreclosure with four bedrooms four and a half baths with three car garage pool home sold for $870,000 in September 2013.
For information on executive homes for sale in Viera, Florida, including Summer Lakes and Wyndham at Duran, call me at 321-693-3850 or send me an email

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Home Seller Tips - Which is better a cash offer or an offer with a mortgage?

Image courtesy of Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
There are times when cash is the preferred method to purchase a home.  Sometimes, as in the case of a property in poor condition, it is the only option.

But in those cases where cash is not the only option, cash buyers need to remember this rule.
  • Cash does talk but it does not always talk louder than a better offer that has financing.

Cash offers really only have one advantage over an offer with a prospective mortgage - no appraisal contingency.   And some cash offers may still have an appraisal contingency just to assure the buyer the property is worth what they are going to pay.

Sellers do get excited about a cash offer if it is reasonable!

Still sellers should consider this - a buyer who is obtaining a mortgage should not be considered less desirable than a cash buyer.

I have worked with buyers who could have paid cash but instead obtained a mortgage.  The decision to have a mortgage or not is between the buyer and their bank or financial adviser.  A mortgage does not mean the buyer does not have the means.

The best advice I can give sellers - evaluate every offer as a whole, not just the offer price.

Considering selling your Viera, Florida home?  Call me at 321-693-3850 or send me an email for your free market analysis.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Viera, Florida Homes For Sale: How do buyers choose between equally nice properties?

100_3671The little rascal on the right is my Boston Terrier, Diesel Dog.  He likes to play - all the time!   While tossing around tennis balls I decided to throw two at the same time and see which one he would select.

They both look the same on the outside. They have the same characteristics.  When tossed they were in the same area.  Which would he choose?  

This is very similar to my experience with home buyers in Viera, Florida..

Many of the homes look very similar.  While there are custom homes and semi custom homes, many are cookie cutter homes.   I have never had a customer ask me which one I would choose although they have asked which area is "best" (avoid this potential trap).

Decisions are always made by the buyer (seller).

So, how do buyers choose between equally nice properties?  Sure, price, condition, neighborhood (location), and other characteristics are important but sometimes I think it is the "intangibles!" 

It really is not which house in Viera, Florida my client chooses but the fact they choose one! 

By the way, Diesel chose the yellow ball.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Choosing Your Real Estate Agent: What does your real estate agent want from you?

When a customer calls a real estate agent there is usually very little doubt what they are seeking.   Of course identifying the specifics of the need often requires some very specific questioning. Why do real state agents ask so many questions?

Image courtesy of jscreationzs at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
As a real estate agent in central Brevard County, Florida (including Viera, Suntree and Rockledge), if the customer is a seller they want a contract on their house.

Not just "a contract" but a contract for the most money possible, a contract that will close, a contract that will meet their timeline and terms.

If the customer is a buyer, they want to find the best house possible that meets (or exceeds) their needs within their budget.

As a real estate agent what do I want from my customer?
  • Open communication with no holds barred (but still civil!).  
  • Factual information.  As a buyer, the basis for a purchase (mortgage qualification or proof of cash).  As a seller, disclosures about the property and existing mortgages.
  • Cooperation.  Being a seller requires a lot more cooperation and flexibility.
  • Responsiveness.  In real estate contracts time is of the essence.
  • Future business.    I want to earn and receive your referrals.  I want to serve your next real estate need!
When you are ready to buy or sell a house in Viera, Florida (and the surrounding Suntree, Melbourne and Rockledge areas), please give me a call at 321-693-3850 or email me if I can assist in any way.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Real Estate Statistics - Residential Trends in Viera, Florida in 2013.

I have never been a real fan of statistics.  I learned a long time ago to never take statistics at face value.

In the real estate business we often use statistics to give a "state of the market" presentation to prospective buyers and sellers.  Some of the statistics used include:
  • Sale to List Ratio
  • Average Days on the Market/Cumulative Days on the Market
  • Median List Price/Average List Price
  • Median Selling Price/Average Selling Price
  • Absorption Rate  
Very often the data is used to provide a picture of where the market is today and the trends by showing the current month vs. the same month last year (or five years).   Make sure you understand the data's source. 

For example, below is a depiction of residential trends in Viera, Florida (specifically the area west of I-95) through September 2013 as reported in the Brevard MLS system on October 15, 2013..

Statistics are meant to either impress, distress or inform.   If you have questions regarding residential real estate in Brevard County, Florida, feel free to ask me.  Considering selling?  Ask about a free market analysis.

Gary L. Waters, PLLC is a Florida licensed real estate broker-associate working with buyers and sellers in Brevard County, Florida.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Planning Your House Hunting Trip to Florida....Step One

Job transfers usually involve at least one house hunting trip to the new area.  These trips, while exciting, can be hectic as they often only last from a few days to perhaps a week at the most.

So what should one do first when transferring to a new area in the not too distant future?  

First of all, whether you are going to buy or rent, touching base with a local knowledgeable real estate agent should be your first step.

A local real estate agent should be able to provide answers to your many questions, email links and information about the area and then send you some listings to provide you an idea about the local real estate prices (sales and/or rentals).

And when you are ready to take your house hunting trip to Florida, plan ahead.  Let your real estate agent know in advance.   You and your agent can put together a plan of action before you arrive in your new area.

I have had a few cases through the years where out of town folks just arrive unannounced only to find I am already committed to other clients.  Still I was able to help them by referring them to a colleague but lost in all this was the rapport already established and, more importantly, the understanding of their needs and wants.

Moving to Brevard County, Florida in the future?  Call me at 321-693-3850 or email me so we can get to work on making your transition as smoothly as possible.