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 that fence, that is.

Image courtesy of franky242 at 
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
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
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
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
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
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.