Monday, December 22, 2014

You Need a Florida Realtor® Because..."That's not how we do it at home."

Over the past decade or so I have heard many comments from buyers about the process of buying a home in Florida.    The one I have heard most often from folks relocating to Florida, especially from other states, has been  "That's not how we do it at home."

That comment is exactly why it is imperative buyers have their own real estate agent if they are relocating to a new area.

Real estate markets are local - even within the same County.   In the case of buying a new home a local expert will be able to quickly identify the products available in the marketplace (including new construction/builders).

Real estate processes are local - even within the same Country.  Your local expert has a network of providers who will likely be involved in the process of buying a house or condo (buyers are certainly free to choose their own providers).  Still, when one is relocating from another area it is nice to have someone who can point one in the direction of providers to consider such as inspection companies, mortgage lenders, insurance providers, etc.

When you decide to buy a home in Florida one of the first steps is contact a local real estate agent who has experience in the process and knowledge of your target area.

If you are considering a move to Viera, Rockledge or Melbourne, Florida call me at 321-693-3850.

Image courtesy of 2nix at

Friday, December 19, 2014

New Construction Homes For Sale - Why You Need Your Own Realtor®

Who doesn't like that new car smell?  For anyone who has ever visited a builder's model home the same can be said of the look....clean, fresh, modern, up to date...perfect. 

Sometimes the "new" can overwhelm another sense - common sense.  OK, maybe not so much common sense as the ability to be totally reasonable

This is the point when having your own buyer's agent is most needed.

Have you purchased a car and when it came time to "write up the deal" there were all these incidental "add ons?"   The same can happen when purchasing new construction.

First of all, as a buyer of new construction your real estate agent does not cost you anything.  The builder pays for your real estate agent.

Secondly,  builders do negotiate.  Why not have your agent available to ask questions as well and, in the end, help you negotiate the best deal possible?

And what about all those "add ons?"  Some builders like to present these as "options" or "upgrades." 

But, what is the real "after market value" of that builder upgrade package?    Is the builder quoting an inflated retail number?

When you are ready to buy a home in Viera, Florida (including new construction homes for sale in Viera), please give me a chance to represent you in the process.  I can be reached at 321-693-3850 or by email.

 New Home Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Choosing Your Real Estate Agent to Sell Your Florida Home

The way prospective sellers go about choosing a real estate agent vary greatly from calling the one with the most signs nearby, getting referrals from a friend or family member, just doing an Internet search (almost said the Yellow Pages!) or to keeping the postcards that come with the junk mail.

Regardless of method used to identify prospective real estate agents it is what one does next that is key to selecting their real estate agent.  Who (and how many) to choose one to interview. 

The Realtor® Interview.   It is during this interview the real agents vie for your business by trying to impress you with their expertise (or charm).    During this self promotion opportunity the selected real estate agents will seek to reveal one thing - what the agent wants you to hear with the most favorable statistics and recommendations being at the forefront.

Knowing this a homeowner should be prepared to ask the tough questions.   Here are some questions to ask prospective real estate agents during the interview:

Ultimately the choice of a real estate agent will be based on what is most important to the seller.    It could be the one who
  • proposes the highest listing price or 
  • charges the lowest commission or 
  • promises a contract in the fewest days or 
  • has had the most listings (does not mean the same as sales)or 
  • closed the most sales or 
  • who has been in the business the longest  or
  • has the most initials behind their name, or
  • has the best looks (yes, looks influence decisions)
  • whatever! 
Ultimately the basis for choosing a particular real estate agent to sell your home will be the key characteristic(s) valued most.

If you are ready to sell your Melbourne, Florida home, please give me a call to discuss what I can do for you.

For a free market analysis, let me know.  I can be reached by phone at 321-693-3850 or by email.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Homeowner Associations - Everyone has an opinion!

Opinions about homeowner associations run the entire spectrum from praise worthy to being cursed.   Believe me, I have heard them all!

Some view HOAs as oppressive with rules that serve only to frustrate the home owners.  Some want the freedom to do as they please without regard to anyone's approval. 
Others see HOAs as necessary to make sure things stay pretty much the way the neighborhood looks today. 

In the Viera and Suntree areas of Brevard County there is no escape from HOA rules.   Both of these areas are planned unit developments consisting of many newer (and some older) developments with lots of rules.

But the rules can vary from one subdivision to another.  I know of areas where one is restricted from leaving a pickup truck in the driveway over night.  Some prohibit commercial vehicles (including a vehicle with a magnetic sign) from being visible.   

Most have rules covering changing paint colors, having a fence including type/height.  Some will not allow a boat or an RV to be parked overnight.

HOA rules exist to promote uniformity and consistency in the homes.   I can understand the rules.  Likewise I can understand when buyers do not want the rules!

When one is looking buy a home in Florida one of the documents provided is the HOA disclosure. 

If you are the buyer - read the HOA disclosure and the documents.  I would go a step further. These documents are written by lawyers. If you have concerns get an attorney to review them for you. Don't accept the sellers interpretation of what you can or can't do.  

Go a step further and review the association meeting minutes including the financial statements.  Find out how many owners are delinquent with their dues.  What are the restrictions on rentals?   What does your association fees cover?  Are there any pending assessments?

Know what you are getting into before proceeding.   

You know your lifestyle.   Don't purchase a home only to find the association rules and deed restrictions are an obstacle to your lifestyle.

What about the areas where there are no association rules?   

There are some things the code enforcement folks will find find and issue citations requiring corrective actions.   But that may not stop the neighbor from painting his house pink and placing pink plastic flamingos in the front yard.  

Associations exist in single family, town house and condo communities.  One of the earliest questions to ask yourself when considering buying a home in Brevard County, Florida, is whether you want to live in a community requiring association membership.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Home Buyer Tips: Commit To Your Realtor.

I recently read an article where the author (a mortgage broker) had a prospective buyer come by to see a home he was selling himself.  Because of his vocation he knew the right questions to ask about mortgage pre-approval and if they had their own real estate agent.

They had been pre-approved for a mortgage.  They had previously worked with a real estate agent but dropped them because the real estate agent had asked them to sign something.

The document they had been asked to sign was an exclusive buyer brokerage agreement.   The real estate agent wanted then to commit to them during the process of searching for a home to buy or rent.

Real estate agents do not get paid based on hours or effort expended (only get paid for results - bought, sold, leased) this is a way to get them to personally commit to the process in writing.

Click here to read more about "Who pays the real estate agent."

As a routine practice I do not usually have a buyer customer sign anything when I am am working with someone wanting to move to Brevard County, Florida.

At the time of first contact with a prospective client I ask a lot of questions.  And I do ask for a verbal commitment from them.  In some cases I will ask for a signature.

As a buyer's real estate agent, this agreement is my employment agreement with a buyer (although I will ultimately be paid by the seller).  This is very much like listing a home for sale where the listing agreement is my employment contract.

Again, although I don't use the buyer brokerage agreement very often if one is asked to sign one its not a bad thing or a trick!

Ready to buy or sell a Viera, Florida home?  Call me at 321-693-3850 if I can help in any way.

Image courtesy of marcolm at

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Preparing Your Home for Sale - Pay Now or Pay Later.

Home sellers should not expect buyers to do the things they have failed to do for freeThere is a cost to deferred maintenance and neglect

Many maintenance items are simple but when selling they can become distractions and turn off prospective buyers.  More importantly, many of these maintenance items are inexpensive.  What are some of these simple items?
  • Missing down spouts on gutters 
  • Clogged gutters 
  • Broken window pane 
  • Lighting additions with exposed electrical tape connections  
  • Missing bolts where pool enclosures meet the decking 
  • Torn screening  
  • Heating element on the range that needs replacing  
  • Broken sprinkler heads  
  • GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) replaced with non-GFCI outlets  
  • Pool lights that are out 
  • Repair deteriorated exterior door framing.
The most important reason to deal with these maintenance items when you prepare your home for the market is this:  Prospective buyers will want to add the costs of these items up and subtract them from any offer price or walk away from the deal entirely.

Better yet... get a pre-listing property inspection done and get a jump on the items that will show up (they always do!).

Ready to sell your Melbourne, Florida home?  Call me at 321-693-3850 or send me an email.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Residential Real Estate Absorption Rates in Brevard County (November 2014)

Absorption rate is one of those terms real estate folks use to describe local market conditions.  Basically this rate describes the market as to whether the advantage falls on the side of buyers, sellers or neither.

In its most simple terms absorption rate refers to supply levels.

Most real estate professionals agree that a 6-9 month supply level is a balanced market with neither buyer or seller having the advantage.  Once the supply level equals or exceed nine months the shift becomes a buyer's market.

On the other side once the supply level drops below six months, sellers have the advantage. And when the level sinks to three months or less sellers find themselves in their strongest position.

Where does Brevard County, Florida stand as we near the end of November 2014?   The latest data provided shows the residential real estate inventory at 3.0 months supply in October 2014 (compared to 4.5 months in October 2013).

So what does a buyer or seller do with this information?

Buyers must understand the competition for the most desirable properties will be keen. Looking to buy a house with a low ball offer is not a good strategy.

For sellers the rule is the same... a move in ready home that presents well will command a higher price and stimulate competition among buyers including multiple offers.

Real estate is all about timing and the timing is good for those selling their Brevard County, Florida home in 2014.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Selling Your Viera, Florida 55+ Community Home - Take a Look Inside

Home owners who live in 55+ communities such as Viera, Florida's Heritage Isle, have the advantage of knowing who their home buyer will be, at least demographically.

Their prospective buyer will likely share many of their characteristics.  These traits may include retiring, downsizing (or not), escaping the cold winters up north while possibly looking for a neighborhood of their peers.

One of the most common characteristics in my experience as a real estate agent working with buyers seeking a Florida 55+ community is they are ready to relax and not deal with home maintenance or repairs.

As a seller the above paragraph is key when you prepare to sell your 55+ community home.

Most prospective home buyers in Florida 55+ communities are not looking to remodel a home or update the home.  They are not anxious to re-paint or put in a new kitchen.   They are not looking for a fixer upper that needs new carpet, appliances or air conditioning systems.

If one is considering selling their home in one of the several Brevard County, Florida 55+ communities like Indian River Colony Club, Grand Isle or Heritage Isle, take a look inside your home.  The above communities all offer exterior maintenance and landscaping to a degree so the curb appeal will already be there.

If you are considering selling your Grand Isle or Heritage Isle, please give me a call to discuss how I can work with you.  I will gladly come by your home to make suggestions for preparing  to sell as well as provide a free comparative market analysis.

Click on each of the below topics for additional information about preparing your home for sale.

Your real estate agent's challenge is getting the right people in the front door is key to effectively market your home.  Your job as a seller is to ensure once they arrive they are impressed!

Monday, November 17, 2014

For Sale By Owner - Selling Your Home Yourself - FREE Advice!

If you are considering selling your home as a for sale by owner seller, consider this....There is more at risk than just a few dollars you saved from paying your real estate agent!

Over the past several months there have been multiple stories involving real estate agents being harmed during the normal course of business.  In one tragic case the real estate agent was murdered.  In multiple others there have been assaults reported.

The above paragraphs are intended to draw attention to the safety risks involved and not scare anyone.

There are many more risks associated with selling on your own.  Still, if one is comfortable with the process and aware of the limitations/potential negatives associated with going it alone, I wish you well.

If you are considering the pros and cons of hiring a real estate agent or going it alone, here are some related articles.  CLICK ON EACH TOPIC TO READ THE ARTICLE.

Of all the concerns a seller must have including theft (property, identification, medication), personal safety is paramount.   You never know a person's motives and intent.  How much risk do you take?

If you are weighing the decision to sell your Melbourne, Florida home as a FSBO or hiring a real estate agent to sell your Melbourne home, please give me a call at 321-693-3850 to discuss your options.  And, should you decide to go it alone, you can find free advice here as well!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Home Seller Tips: Some things buyers don't care about...

Selling your home is a business transaction.  In the best of cases buyers and sellers are cordial throughout the process.  But, in most cases, the parties are not best friends or family.

I recently had a seller's agent tell me that the offer price on her listing had to be at $XXX,XXX because that is where the seller needs to be to buy their next home.

Not long ago I had a listing agent tell me their seller paid $XXX,XXX for their home and did not want to sell for any amount under that price. 

These two cases bring to light a common theme.....
  • Buyers do not care what the seller paid for a property.  
  • Buyers do not care what the walking away money will be for the seller!
Back in the old black and white TV days there was this show called "Lost in Space."  One of the "stars" was a robot who often uttered in his mechanical voice "That does not compute."

Such is the case when a seller's real estate agent suggests a counteroffer to meet the seller's needs.

As a buyer's agent my goal is to meet my customer's needs first.

If the deal happens to work out for the seller as well we can all do the happy dance!

Profit Loss Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at
Dance Image courtesy of Mister GC at

Friday, November 14, 2014

Home Seller Tip: Price Sets Expectation

I rarely preview properties prior to showing homes for sale in Viera, Florida and the surrounding communities.   These are some of the primary areas I work in and consists of many newer homes in the middle price range of our Brevard County, Florida housing market.

In this price range there is an expectation a property will be move in ready or require minimal work by a new owner.

Anyone considering selling their Brevard County, Florida home should take the above sentence to heart.

The challenge for many sellers is to back away from the comfort of your home's current condition and take a look at it from an outsider's perspective.  Sellers should expect prospective buyers to be critical of their home and work to minimize the opportunity for negatives.

If you are considering selling your home ask yourself if there are any issues you have been living with that really need to be addressed.

Regardless of your home's condition the key is to price it appropriately for the market and competition.   

After all, it is the price that sets the expectation.

 Image courtesy of jscreationzs at

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Home Buyer Tips: Appraisal Contingency or not?

My home buyer customer "lost" in a multiple offer situation this week.  It was a disappointment.  The question that always arises when an offer is rejected in favor of another is "Why did the seller take the other offer?"

Many times the why is not really known.  I am not sure what the other offer price was but I am confident it was close to my buyer's offer.   Still, the other offer looked more appealing because of two issues.  First, the other had a "size-able down payment."

But I believe the main reason was a little thing called an "appraisal contingency. 

Buyers want to feel confident that the appraised value of the property they are buying is at least equal to the contracted purchase price.  Even most of the cash buyers I have worked with have opted for an appraisal even though no mortgage was involved.

It makes sense, right?

If a mortgage is involved then the appraisal will be of utmost importance.   The lender is not going to loan more than a property is worth.   If the buyer is putting down 10% of the appraised value but the appraisal is low then it could mean more money out of the buyer's pocket.

The appraisal contingency protects the buyer.

If the appraised price is less than the purchase price the buyer has two options (a)  terminating the contract with a refund of the deposit to the buyer; or (b) waiving and removing the contingency and continuing with the contract.*    Another option if the appraisal is low is for a buyer to request the seller lower the contract price to the appraisal price.

It is easy to see why most sellers will favor an offer that has no appraisal contingency and only an inspection contingency.  If the inspection goes well then the chances of closing go up tremendously.

I believe buyers should have as much protection allowed when buying a home including inspection, financing and appraisal contingencies.

Considering buying a home in Melbourne, Florida?  Give me a call at 321-693-3850 if I assist in any way.

Selling your Viera, Florida home?  Call me for a free market analysis.

I am a Florida licensed real estate broker.  The above is not to be considered legal advice.  

*The above options extracted from the Florida Realtors® and The Florida Bar Comprehensive Rider to the Residential Contract fro Sale and Purchase, 9F.  APPRAISAL CONTINGENCY

 Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Home Seller Tips: Why did the seller call the buyer's agent?

This is not one of those "Why did the chicken cross the street?" jokes.  Why did the seller call the buyer's agent?  The answer can be one of several mentioned later. 

But first I will cover the purpose of the seller's call.   The owner had to identify himself several times before I remembered the property he was calling about.  My business card had been left on the counter when I showed his home a few days ago.  He wanted to know what my buyer thought about his house.

This is commonly called feedback.   It is usually provided by a buyer's agent upon request of the seller's real estate agent.  Sellers rarely call the buyer's real estate agent.

Still I understand why sellers are curious about what "they" are saying after every showing of their house or condo.  It is only natural curiosity.
  1. Did it show well?
  2. Is it priced right?
  3. Is it a consideration?
  4. Will they be submitting an offer?
  5. Will they need to see it again?
  6. How does it compare to the competition?
In this case I had to think of the few good points.   I had to sugarcoat the remainder of my thoughts and only added a concern about the busy traffic.  I did not go forward with comments about the awful paint colors, amateur job of enclosing a porch, and a few other things.  Suffice it to say my buyer was not impressed.

Many times the feedback received by a real estate agent is a pretty generic "showed well, not what we were looking for....yadda yadda yadda."  This type of feedback really is useless.

By the way, the best type of feedback is an offer to purchase!

So why did the seller call the buyer's agent?

It could be they are really anxious and need to sell.  It could be their real estate agent is not providing the communication and follow up they expect.  It could be they are serious about addressing any negative issues about the presentation and need to know what to work on next.  It could be a combination of all of the above.

If you are selling your home and have questions and concerns, call your real estate agent first.  After all, you are paying them.  They work for you.

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

Image courtesy of Mister GC at

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Home Buyer Tips: Is Offering a Percentage of List Price a Good Strategy When Buying a Home?

While most sellers negotiate (including new home builders) there is no single best way to approach the offer/negotiation process as every seller and every buyer is different.  Of course they all want the same thing - the best deal possible (price, terms).

So should offering a percentage of list price be in a buyer's play book?   Some may consider 90% of list price a good starting point.

It could be but without knowing the specific property and circumstances it is not possible to say.

The short answer:  Never make an offer using a specified percentage of list price.  Homes recently purchased in Brevard County, Florida sold for an average of 92.4% of original list price.    But original is rarely the final list price.

There are many factors to consider when making an offer to purchase a property.

Chief among these is whether the property priced right for the location, market and competition.  The answer to that question is best answered in consultation with your local knowledgeable real estate expert. 
Ready to buy a home in Melbourne, Florida?  Call me at 321-693-3850 if I can help in any way.

 Image courtesy of ddpavumba at

Friday, October 31, 2014

Home Buyer Tips: Just because it says so doesn't make it so!

The available information about a particular property can vary greatly.  This is especially true if you are considering the purchase of a foreclosure!

Similarly, if you are considering a purchase from an investor the amount of information provided will be likely limited.  I have seen many investors use the "excuse" they have no knowledge of the property since they never lived in a particular house.

Here in Florida it makes no difference whether one has lived in a house.  The rule is simple...if it materially affects the value the seller must disclose known defects, conditions and issues.  Here is some related reading with links on Florida real estate property disclosures.  

If a seller is owner occupied then the chance of getting information is higher.  But then that information may or may not be correct.

There are some sellers who are unsure if something that happened long ago should be disclosed or if something is important enough to disclose.  My thinking is simply "if it is something you would like to know if you were the buyer, why not disclose it?"

Then there is the multiple listing information.  Most of the time there is a disclaimer indicating the information provided is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed.

Then there is the public records such as the property information on The Brevard County, Florida Property Appraiser website.  Is it 100% accurate?  Here is the disclosure "No warranties, expressed or implied, are provided for the property records and mapping data herein, or for their use or interpretation by the User."

Florida is a caveat emptor state.  What does this mean to anyone wanting to buy a house in Florida?  Due Diligence.

DISCLOSURE:   I am not an attorney, tax adviser, building inspector, architect or anything other than a Florida licensed real estate broker.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Home Seller Tips: Influence the Buyer's Motivation

I have heard it many times. I have read it more times. What is it?  SELLER MOTIVATED!


What motivates a seller?  

It could be the seller has already moved and the house is just sitting with carrying costs accruing (HOA fees, taxes, mortgage payments, insurance, etc.)

It could be the seller is not in a financial position to obtain a new mortgage in the new location until the financial obligation of an existing mortgage is cleared.

It could be changes in life (death in family, loss or change of a job, divorce).  It could be the birth of a child.  It could be retirement.  It could be a combination of several of the above.

Sometimes the words "Seller Motivated"  are tossed about because sellers expect them to be used.   Sometimes the sellers believe they are motivated.

What motivates a buyer?

It could be... less pressing

Most often buyers are not up against a pressing time table.  There is always the option of finding temporary accommodations if moving to a new area.

Still, a buyer's motivation can be changed when they find the right house in the right location at the right price.  The secret to changing a buyer's motivation is simple - present the best deal on the market by pricing for location, condition and competition.

In an ideal world every seller would be motivated as well as every buyer.  And the two shall meet quickly.
Ready to sell your Melbourne, Florida Home?  Call me at 321-693-3850 for a free market analysis.  Let me show you why Waters Realty of Brevard is different than the big name real estate offices in Brevard County, Florida.

Image courtesy of renjith krishnan at

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Whether Home Buyer or Seller, This is Real Estate Rule #1: Perception is Reality.


Perception is reality.  While this is probably true about most human experiences, in real estate,  it is rule number one.

The challenge for real estate agents (whether working for the buyer or seller) is to make sure perception does resemble the real reality.  


This is done when a seller's real estate agent recommends preparations to improve property marketing (repairs, staging, pre-listing inspections, etc.).   This is accomplished by providing documentation supporting the current market forces (inventory, competition, price trends, etc.) that will impact the eventual sales price.

Similarly, the buyer's real estate agent provides competitive listings (and sold comparables if it is a serious contender).

Once provided with the realities it is up to the buyer and seller to decide for themselves to buy, sell or walk away.

Considering selling your Melbourne, Florida home?  Call me at 321-693-3850 or send me an email if I can help in any way.  

Need to check your perception about the Melbourne, Florida real estate market, give me a call!


Mobile Home  Image courtesy of Stoonn at
Florida Mansion Image courtesy of Chuck Felix at

Friday, October 24, 2014

Home Seller Tips: If You Price Too Low or Too High, Don't Worry....

I ran out of space with the title above.  It should read like this...
"If you price too low or too high, don't worry because the market will adjust the price for you.
When talking about pricing a common seller concern is pricing too low.  But sellers should remember this point - you can never list your home too low.

Nothing says a seller must accept any offer even at or above list price.

Besides, some sellers will deliberately price low as a way to generate multiple offers quickly and get buyers into a bidding war!

On the other side of the spectrum there is danger in pricing a home too high for the market as the home sits.  And buyers wonder what is wrong with "that" house.

Ultimately, it is the market that sets the price. 

Multiple offers:  Is this a scam?

Negotiation Strategies to Close the Deal

Improve Chances Your Offer will be Accepted

 Ready to buy or sell a Viera, Florida home?  Call me at 321-693-3850 or send me an email.

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Home Buying Process: Logical Steps with a Reason.

As a real estate agent I guide my customers through the home buying process in a logical order.  This preferred order exists for a reason - to save time, disappointment and money.

Take a look at the graphic below, please.

Steps one and two above are pretty logical.  After all, one must have the ability to buy before getting a to the contract stage.   Most seller's agents will also require proof of ability such as a mortgage pre-approval be submitted with the offer.

Each of the steps following the contract involves an expense for the buyer.  The property inspection and termite inspections set the stage.  If there are major problems that can't be worked around (repair, concessions, etc) there is no need to have the septic system (if there is one) done.  A good septic system is not relevant if the property has major structural issues.

And assuming all the previous inspections are acceptable then the lender will charge for an appraisal.  And if the property appraisal is acceptable then the final "inspection" is the survey. 

Each of the above is an expense for the seller.

While the cost of each inspection noted above will vary by the property a good ballpark figure here in my area of Florida is about $1,500 dollars at minimum for all of them - likely more.

That is the reason for the process.  Each step has a price but if done in the order presented above some expense can be saved if a showstopper is revealed during any step.

Ready to buy a Melbourne, Florida home?  Call me at 321-693-3850 or send me an email.

Considering selling your Viera, Florida home?  Request your free market analysis today.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Guiding Principles: Realtor® Code of Ethics

I recently posted an article about disclosure of the contract price before closing.  In it I mentioned real estate agent responsibilities as well as the Realtor® Code of Ethics.  The Realtor® Code of Ethics is presented here so all can see what I use as a guiding principle.

Ready to sell your Melbourne, Florida home?  Call me at 321-693-3850 for a free market analysis.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Should a Seller Talk about the "Accepted" price? What about a buyer?

Should a Seller Talk about the "Accepted" price?

Why should it matter if the contract price is disclosed prior to closing?   Because... a deal is not a deal until the ink is dry.

People love to talk.  When a seller gets accepts an offer on their the excitement may lead to inadvertent disclosure to neighbors, friends or even complete strangers.  However, the accepted price should be a guarded secret until closing.

Buyers may not have the motivation once it is signed off on by the seller.  Buyers may let the contact price slip to neighbors during an inspection.  Sometimes it is incidental to the future neighbors stopping by to introduce themselves and the subject arises.  Still, who knows the neighbor's motivation?

For sellers, it pays (perhaps literally) to keep the mouth sealed.   Buyers walk.  Homes "fail" inspections.  Financing issues arise so homes go back on the market.

And anything that provides prospective buyers a clue to a seller's motivation is a disadvantageSo, sellers - keep quiet!

Your real estate agent will not disclose the accepted price until the deal is closed whether you are seller or buyer.  Real estate agents have legal responsibilities to their clients in addition to the Code of Ethics

[REALTORS promote and protect their client's interests while treating all parties honestly.]

As a real estate agent I have had other agents call me about the price my buyer has for a contracted house because they are doing neighborhood "comps" for a client.  My response is always the same - no disclosure.

What is the point of this post?  Buyers and sellers - protect your interests by not disclosing the contract terms until the ink drys.

Let me help you sell your Viera, Florida home, please.  Call me at 321-693-3850 or send me an email.

Image courtesy of stockimages at

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Selling your Melbourne, Florida Home - Be Optimistic, Be Realistic.

I am an optimist.

When I work with buyers I take the attitude of "We will find the best house that meets your expectations and budget."

When I work with sellers I take the attitude of "We will sell your house at the best price possible based on your home's location, condition, the circumstances of the sale."

When I see a home that is obviously overpriced for the current market (location, competition, condition) I wonder if the real estate agent has been forthcoming with the realities.  Or, did the agent knowingly list above the market (some do).

I have never had a prospective home seller ask me to mislead them with an overly optimistic inflated market analysis.  That is not to say their expectations were reasonable.

Still, my responsibility when I am invited into a seller's home is to provide an accurate, honest assessment.

That is all anyone really wants - the straight truth

Optimism is a good thing - unless unfounded.

What should My Realtor do for me?
What does the listing price say about a seller?
Barriers to selling your home
Show Buyers a property that exceeds their expectations.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /

Friday, September 26, 2014

Return on your investment: Sellers expect it; Buyers ignore it.

Added value, return on investment.   These are the concepts home owners (eventual sellers) expect when they do something to their home.

I have been asked many times about how much a pool will add to the value of a home.  My response is always something like...put in a pool if you are going to use it.

While at a listing appointment recently I was impressed with the condition of the older home.  The seller had recently installed a new air conditioner ($7,000) and a new roof ($11,000).

These were necessary maintenance items.  These were necessary lifestyle accommodations - especially in Florida.

Prospective buyers will appreciate the new air conditioner.  They will find comfort in the recent roof replacement.

While I am doubtful buyers will give anywhere near the "full value" in their offer price this I feel confident about:
  • The selling price should be higher than a property with an older roof.
  • The selling price should be higher than the same property with an older, less energy efficient, air conditioner.

However, don't expect a full return on the investment

Your real estate agent will definitely promote these features in their marketing.  Prospective buyer's agents will make sure the features are brought to their client's attention.

Still, if you are looking for a dollar for dollar return on the "added value," don't.   And, while buyers expect home owners to maintain their home, these items will result in a higher selling price than a neglected property.

Rather than looking at any potential return on home maintenance I suggest homeowners consider this....Why are you considering doing these projects?

Likewise, consider the cost of deferred maintenance.

Ready to buy or sell a home in Melbourne, Florida?  Call me at 321-693-3850 or send me an email.

Image courtesy of renjith krishnan at

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Home Seller Tips: Who, What and Why?

I want to sell your Viera, Florida home.  But before you hire me to sell your Viera, Florida home I must pass your test - the real estate agent interview.

Just a quick word or two on the real estate agent interview...

I recommend you interview at least three real estate agents.  I also want you interview me last.  Why do I want to be last?   So you can ask me those lingering questions that may remain.  So you will have a reference by which to judge my marketing plan and recommendations.

As a seller there are several things I need to know to move forward with selling your Viera, Florida home.  These are some of the important preliminary questions to expect when you call me to sell your Viera, Florida home.

First, the "Who."

If you are selling your Viera, Florida home I want to know the answer.  I need to be confident you are the person on the title or, if not that person, are an individual with the authority to sell the property.   And if you are married this "Who are you" approach will apply to both parties.

I also want to know the "Why." 

It is important to know the circumstances of the sale (mortgage(s), pay-off estimates, etc.)  Are the mortgage payments current or is there a potential foreclosure looming?  Is this a possible short sale?  Is this an estate sale?  Are there probate proceedings in progress?

"What" are your goals?
This partially touches on the "Why" question above.  What is your time frame?  Will you be relocating or purchasing another house or condo in the area?  Will you need the proceeds from the sale to move forward?  What do you expect to walk away with?  What, if anything, is wrong with your house?   What do you think your house is worth?

With most of the answers above I can go forward with a presentation and marketing plan that addresses your needs and desires.

By the way, I have intentionally left the question about your home's worth last because all the other answers will build upon that answer.

Do this before hiring your real estate agent.
What sellers want to know about selling their home.
Finding an agent: It is not how many listings have you had!
Who sets the selling price? 
Is it necessary to hire the biggest real estate company to sell your home?

When your are ready to sell your Viera, Florida home, please give me a call at 321-693-3850.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at