Saturday, March 29, 2014

Florida Real Estate Experts - When is local not so local?

Since the invention of the Internet by Al Gore the world has become smaller.  OK, bad joke!  Still, the Internet has placed an amazing amount of information in the hands of the public and furthermore allowed many to become information publishers (blogs, websites, etc).

But all of this information must be evaluated and not accepted at face value because it is on the Internet.

But this short article is not about the validity of information found on the Internet.

It is about how the Internet has allowed real estate agents to expand their reach and more easily project an image as a local expert.

There was a time when a real estate agent was made local by the presence of the office the consumer walked into when they were ready to buy or sell.

Now, with about 90% of home buyers beginning their search on the Internet, it is less easy to identify who really is a "local" expert.

As a consumer of real estate services I encourage you to evaluate how "local" any real estate agent is before hiring hem to help you buy or sell a house or condo anywhere.

How do you identify a local expert?  Questions, questions and more questions.

Want to know what you should ask?  Here are a few suggestions.

How much should your buyer's agent know about the market?
Selecting your real estate agent - Ask the right questions.
How do you choose your listing agent?
Make the listing interview questions a real test for agents.

If you have a question about buying or selling a house or condo in Brevard County, Florida, please give me a call at 321-693-3850.

If you prefer, send me an email. 

As a real estate agent my local expertise reach is limited to mostly central Brevard County, Florida.  My goal is simple - sell what I know.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Home Buyer Tips: What is your fee?

While discussing the costs associated with buying a home in Florida with a client last week, I was asked "What is your fee?"   

As a Florida real estate agent I never assume a home buyer understands the home buying process in Florida.  This would be a major mistake.   After all, how often do most people buy a home? 

What is the fee for a buyer's agent?  Who pays this fee?

In the case of buyers suffice it to say the seller pays the buyer's agent including new construction (and sometimes even for sale by owner sellers).  For this reason buyers should never worry about their agent being paid.

Sellers pay their agent and the buyer's agent.  

So what is the fee for sellers?  As in most things for sale, real estate agent services are negotiableThere is no standard fee.

If you are considering buying a home in Viera or Melbourne, Florida, please give me a call to discuss how I can work for you!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Buying or Selling a Florida Home? Consider your data source.

I just read an article about an experience a gentleman had problems with a damage claim for his car.   The insurance value assigned implied it was just a ten year old car.

But it was also a special edition limited production to commemorate a special point in the life of the model.

His problem was the "value" assigned was based on the car make model and year but not the special attributes.

My guess is it was based on a number from a table on someone's computer - and that is the real problem.

I have observed similar glitches in real estate valuations by buyers and sellers.

The only way to determine a realistic value for a home is to have all the information and a valid data source.

In real estate that is a local, knowledgeable real estate agent using local, current information and not some big name dot com (or Uncle Joe or Aunt Sue)!

Whether buyer or seller, consider your information source.

Buying or selling a home or condo in Brevard County, Florida?  Call me at 321-693-3850 for local, knowledgeable information.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Buying and Selling a Florida Home: In real estate and life, there is always a rear view mirror.

In life we sometimes find ourselves looking back at what has happened - not necessarily to make changes - but to see where we have been along the journey.

In real estate the same can be true.

If you are a seller and your Brevard County, Florida home has been on the market for a long time and you have lowered your listing price and still it is sitting, you may be tempted to look in the rear view mirror.

Where would you be today if the listing price had been more competitive?  What if you had followed the 30-10-10 rule of selling your home?

If you are a buyer in a rising market (such as the current Brevard County, Florida real estate market) you may be tempted to look back and wonder how much more home you may have gotten six to twelve months ago for the same price. as you'll pay now.

The rear view mirror is a valuable safety tool when driving a car but when buying or selling a home it may be more productive to focus on where you are today and not the past.

The decision to buy or sell, with a clearly stated goal, is a major life event.  Make sure you have only the best advice and help when you are ready to buy or sell your Florida home.

Considering or selling a home in Viera or Rockledge, Florida?  Give me a call at 321-693-3850 or send me an email.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Buying and Selling a Florida Home: Sometimes negotiation doesn't happen....

Sometimes it is clearly stated in the listing  - SELLER WILL NOT NEGOTIATE.  Another oft used phrase is "PRICE FIRM."

But most often home sellers expect to negotiate.

They do it in the automobile sales business.  And the expectation to negotiate is usually built into the property's listing price.

But sometimes negotiation doesn't happen.  Unlike the sellers mentioned in paragrapgh one, sometimes the negotiation is not necessary.

And the buyer still gets the property. 

Because the submitted offer was based on reality.  It was based on research about the market and comparable recent sales.

Because the offer was submitted with supporting documentation like a mortgage pre-approval letter.  

Because the offer was submitted with few "gotchas" except important contingencies like the inspection and financing contingencies.  In other words, a clean offer.

I prefer to think of it this way... the negotiation did happen.

But it happened behind the scenes and involved both parties understanding the market.  It happened behind the scenes when the real estate agents had the necessary skills and local knowledge.

Some really great words to hear from the sellers agent?  A simple "yes."

Image courtesy of Ambro /

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Downsizing to a 55+ community in Viera, Florida

Downsizing is more than just moving to a smaller house.   Downsizing may not even involve moving to a smaller house.

I see this very often when working with buying relocating to one of Viera, Florida's 55+ communities.    While Viera 55+ communities like Heritage Isle and Grand Isle offer smaller single family homes they also offer larger homes in the 3,000 plus square foot range.

Likewise, the Indian River Colony Club in Viera offers single family homes in all sizes as well.  But, Indian River Colony Club is not the same as the other two Viera 55+ communities.

For those seeking smaller, Heritage Isle offers patio style (villa) homes in the 1200 to 1,500 sq. ft. range with a single car garage.  Heritage Isle also offers the option of two bedroom two bathroom one car detached carport condominiums in the 1,100 to 1,400 sq.ft. range.

As I mentioned in the opening paragraph... downsizing may not involve a move to a physically smaller property.  It may simply refer to getting rid of some of the clutter of day to day life.

Things like work, lawn maintenance, exterior maintenance, the hassle of the big city and traffic.  After this past winter up north it may mean no snow shoveling and the occasional polar vortex!

Whether downsizing means smaller, larger or less work, the 55+ developments in Brevard County, Florida deserve a look if one is considering downsizing, either physically or mentally, and relocating to central Florida.

Please call me at 321-693-3850 or send me an email if you are considering a move to Florida.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Buyer and Seller finally the closing table.

When working with home owners selling their Brevard County, Florida home I provide advice on preparing their home for sale.  I also include advice on what to do when showings are scheduled.

My advice when prospective buyers are scheduled to see their home - leave.

Buyers want the privacy to view your home under the oversight of their real estate agent.  Prospective buyers need circumstances to promote open discussion about your home while in your home.

The one thing a prospective buyer does not need is a guided tour with commentary from a seller.  If a seller's real estate agent has done a satisfactory job the marketing marterials will highlught the property's strengths.

Not all information can be included in the limited space of a multiple listing entry.

Sometimes it is necessary to generate additional information to display in a place where it will be readily seen by all (kitchen counter, table, etc).   This may include customized flyers, the results of a pre-listing home inspection, sample utility bills (buyers always want to know) and whatever else a seller wants to provide.

When it is time for the home inspection after a contract is negotiated I offer the same advice - leave.

The property inspection is between the buyer and the inspector.  If there is an issue the buyer's agent will advise the seller through the seller's real estate agent.

If it is not possible for a seller to leave due to illness, etc. it is advisable to greet the prospective buyers and their agent (ask for business card/identification for safety), and then grab a seat on the porch or wherever.

Buyer and seller should meet at the closing table.  In the interim let the real estate agents do their job.