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.