Thursday, February 27, 2014

Home Buyer Tips: Looking and snooping are not the same.

When working with sellers I provide a lot of information on getting a house ready for the prospective buyer's perusal.   There is an expectation that prospects will look in closets and cabinets to gauge available storage space.

Outside of the usual cautions about safety and security when preparing your home for sale, I advise sellers most prospective buyers do not go through cabinets.

Still, I am amazed at some buyers who want to "snoop" when they should be looking!

Snooping sounds so intrusive. Perhaps it is more just a case of extreme curiosity with no intended harm.  Still, it is beyond the scope of viewing a house.

Sellers should expect it.

Lastly, prospective buyer please put yourself in the position of a seller.   What would you want strangers - yes, these folks are complete strangers -  probing in your home? 

When you are ready to sell your Viera, Florida home, give me a call at 321-693-3850 or send me an email for your free market analysis.

Image courtesy of Carlos Porto /

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Home Seller Tips: Do I need to paint my house to sell it?

The first impression your house makes with a prospective buyer will be the lasting impression.   If it is a positive, then selling the home just got easier.

I believe many sellers already know the answer to the question and may only be asking their real estate agent's opinion to confirm their belief.

Compared to other home improvements, painting is a cheap "nice touch" so why not?

Additionally, while preparing a home for the new paint sellers can deal with another issue which I call "showing your everything"   Removing excess pictures and other personal items from the walls and displays will allow prospective buyers to focus on a home's characteristics.

In any market the tiniest advantage is still an advantage. 

Fresh paint will always give a house a fresher and newer look.  If a home is vacant the walls (and floors) are going to get a lot closer scrutiny.

A poorly prepared property will not bring a buyer as quickly and as much money as a well prepared, well staged, clean, competitively priced property.  I would even go another step and recommend a pre-listing inspection be conducted to assist in your preparation.

Considering selling your Viera, Suntree or Rockledge, Florida home?  Call me at 321-693-3850 for a free market analysis.
Image courtesy of khunaspix /

Monday, February 17, 2014

How not to get the best price on your next home purchase.

Home buyers should have their own real estate agent.  It makes sense especially since the seller almost always pays for the buyer's real estate agent.

The first way to not get the best price is to call the name on the sign out front.   Still some mistakenly believe they will get a better deal if they call the seller's real estate agent.

The problem with this line of thought is the seller's agent already has an agreement with the seller that states what they will be paid when the home sells.  There is absolutely no incentive for a seller to sell at a discount because their agent has the buyer.

A key point buyers should remember is that here in Florida there is no dual agency....the seller's agent can't represent both sides in a residential transaction. 

Another way buyers can lose is when they call the for sale by owner to skip the real estate agent all the way.  The beneficiary here is most often the seller - especially if they are experienced in the process and the buyer is a novice.

Look back at the first two sentences in this article.
  • Your real estate agent will do the research for you.  
  • Your real estate agent will provide the comparable properties so you can make an informed decision.
  • Your real estate agent will negotiate for you. 
  • Your real estate agent knows the home purchase process and the safeguards to put in place during the process to protect your interest.

Your real estate agent does not cost you money while not using a real estate agent may cost you.

Considering buying a home in Brevard County, Florida?  Call me at 321-693-3850 or send me an email if I can help in any way.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Buying and Selling a Home in Brevard County, Florida

Closing a real estate transaction is not like buying a Slurpee at the 7-11.   

That is why it is important you choose a local knowledge real estate professional to guide you through the process. 

If you are considering buying a home in Brevard County, Florida, please give me a call at 321-693-3850 or email me.


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Selling Your Home: The path of least resistance is preferred.

A wise real estate agent once told me they offered this advice to prospective home sellers "The path of the least resistance will increase your chance of success."

What she meant was accommodate reasonable showing requests.

A few days ago I requested to show cash buyers from out of town a home in Viera, Florida.  It was the one listing they were most excited about seeing.  I try to request showings a couple fo days out when possibel.  In this case it was two days.

Image courtesy of renjith krishnan /
The response was "How about at 1:00 four days from now?"

My out of state buyers missed out on that house.  We have a couple of other properties under consideration right now.

Selling your home requires teamwork - your real estate agent, the buyer's agent, buyers,, the seller.

If you are really serious about selling your Viera, Florida home then consider the path of least resistance when it comes to requests from prospective buyers.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

How long does it take to close the home purchase in Florida?

How long does it take to close the home purchase in Florida?  I received this question from some out of town buyers just yesterday.  In this particular case they are cash buyers which has one answer while a buyer with a mortgage would get another response.

I will address the closing time for the cash buyer in Brevard County, Florida.

A cash transaction can be done in a matter of days if the seller owns a property mortgage free and the buyer is paying cash.  Still I recommend buyers proceed cautiously.

First of all,  I always recommend a property inspection be done with an appropriate inspection contingency (even if it is an "as is" purchase.)   Likewise a WDO/termite (wood destroying organism) inspection is recommended.  Also a survey is highly recommended.  Do not assume you know where the property lines are located.

And although it is a cash transaction buyers should consider having an appraisal performed (consider an appraisal contingency even for cash purchases).  The closing agent (title company) will conduct a title search which may take a day or more.

If the seller has a mortgage the title company will also need to obtain a payoff from the lender. If a homeowner association is involved then the closing agent will need to obtain an estoppel letter from them as well.

Still a cash closing can be done in a matter of a couple of weeks if all falls into place including the other participant's schedules.

Now lets consider the time for closing a transaction involving a buyer mortgage.

In this case buyers should expect a contract with limited contingencies to close in usually 30-45 days at most.   The assumption here is a normal standard sale.  Short sales and even foreclosures have their own idiosyncrasies which can stretch the time somewhat...OK for months!

Think about all that was discussed above and add 30-45 days for the mortgage lender to do their processing (underwriting, appraisals, etc).   Much of this can be dependent on the lender the buyer has chosen to handle the mortgage.

The above is provided as general guidelines based on my experience as a Florida real estate agent working with buyers and sellers in Brevard County, Florida.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /

Friday, February 7, 2014

Florida Real Estate Agents - Useful Links When Considering a Move to Brevard County

Looking for a Florida Real Estate Agent?  Give me a call  at 321-693-3850 or send me an email.

Why do people look for a real estate agent?  They are considering buying a house or condo.  They are considering selling a house or condo.  They may be looking for a house or condo to lease.

www.moving2brevard.comRegardless of the specific reason they seek service.

I listen to Clark Howard on the radio when I get a chance.  When Clark Howard takes a listener's call he commonly greets them this way.."How may I be of service to you?"

As a Florida real estate agent that is my attitude. 

I am here to serve your Brevard County, Florida real estate needs.   Let me know what I can do for you.

If you are just starting your research on the Brevard County, Florida here are a few links to sites I recommend you browse.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Buying and Selling Your Florida Home: Needs, Wants, Give and Take.

The key to a successful real estate transaction begins with clearly defined needs.  To get to the needs the wants must be defined as well.

When I first meet a prospective home buyer in Brevard County, Florida I always start with the same thing...What do you want in your new home?

When I first meet a prospective home seller in Brevard County, Florida I always start with the same thing...How much do you want for your home? 

The response to this question tells me if our starting point is reality based.

The real estate market sets the prices

The selling price of a house will be determined by its local competition.  There is a limit to how much a seller can get for their home.  If it is over improved for the neighborhood there will be a ceiling.  If it is dated or in need of repair there will be a limit. 

A seller will have their wants.   But the home's location, condition and competition will decide how much they will get for their house.

A buyer will have their wants.  The wants are often characterized by an ideal quality such as location, age of structure, size, room count, view, school district or one of a multiple other characteristics. 

Buyers and sellers have their needs.  

Most often financial needs is the overriding consideration for any real estate transaction to close.

For sellers there may be an existing mortgage that must be paid off.  For sellers it may be a net proceeds amount.  In some cases it may be a short sale that must be negotiated.

For buyers it may be the mortgage load including the taxes, insurance, association fees, and upkeep costs.  Home costs are not the only budget item to be considered.

Whether buyer or seller, a successful closing requires a clear understanding of needs and wants.  These will likely evolve as some give and take occurs along the way to a closing.