Thursday, May 29, 2014

Home Buyer Tips: What if I am interested in a "For Sale By Owner" home?

What is so appealing about to buyers about a for sale by owner (FSBO) property?

There is a perception among buyers that a FSBO automatically means good deal (read that as lower price).

While FSBO sellers are attempting to save on a real estate agent commission there is no guarantee they are offering a product that is reasonably priced even if not discounted

Buyers I have worked with through the years have been pretty consistent if the topic of FSBOs ever came up during a conversation.   The overwhelming opinion is a "FSBO" is really discounted.

I suggest this approach for buyers who show any interest whatsoever in a for sale by owner home. 

  1. Write down the information from the sign but don't contact the seller.
  2. Discuss the home with your real estate agent.  
  3. Let your real estate agent contact the seller and arrange a visit.  
  4. If you like the home and want to make an offer, follow your real estate agent's advice.  This includes a comparative market analysis, comparable research, requesting disclosures, etc.
  5. If the seller will not pay your agent (many FSBOs will), consider the benefit versus cost to have your own agent working for you.
agent@moving2brevard.comIf you are ready to buy a home in Viera, Florida  please give me a call at 321-693-3850.

If you are considering selling your Viera, Florida home as a FSBO, send me an email.   See how little it costs a seller to have professional assistant in selling your Viera home.

"Discount" image courtesy of Stuart Miles /
"For Sale By Owner"  image courtesy of Stuart Miles /

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Sell your Melbourne, Florida home without hiring a real estate agent.

Some Viera and Melbourne, Florida home sellers do not want to deal with a listing agent.  The most extreme are those who decide to go completely For Sale By Owner.  Still some would like to do most of it themselves but would like some assistance with promotion.

Request a  free market analysis.
In that case what is the best solution?

Perhaps the option to place your Viera or Melbourne, Florida home for sale in the multiple listing service for a fee and manage the entire process yourself is appealing.

Although I prefer to manage the entire process including representation of the seller, I can place your Melbourne or Viera, Florida home in the MLS for a one time fee.

If you are considering selling your Melbourne, Florida home as a for sale by owner, consider whether multiple listing service exposure would help.

Give me a call at 32-693-3850 to discuss your marketing options when you are ready to sell your Viera,  Melbourne or Rockledge, Florida home.

If you prefer, send me an email.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

What is a "motivated" seller or a "serious" buyer?

I always encourage home sellers to review the marketing material their real estate agent puts out about their home.  Not so much for grammar mistakes but just to know what is being said especially any inaccuracies (like what is included in the sale).

I have read many listings where the MLS states rather emphatically "Seller motivated."

First of all, how many sellers are not motivated.   The bigger question is the degree of motivation.  A few descriptive adverbs may sound nice but how much more meaning does "very" carry?

As a seller's real estate agent I have on occasion received calls from a buyer's agent who had questions about a Viera home I had listed for sale.  Some of these agents say their buyers were serious.  Some put it as really serious buyers?  

Adding adverbs like "very" or "really" may sound better but serious and motivated are best conveyed by pricing.

Most buyers interpret motivated sellers as one with with a reasonable, competitive listing price. 

Most sellers interpret serious buyers as those who make, at a minimum, a reasonable "lets talk" offer who also have a mortgage pre-approval in hand (or a proof of funds).

Are you seriously motivated about buying or selling a Viera, Florida home?  I want to talk with you!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Why you should call YOUR real estate agent.

I read an article this morning where an agent had some customers make the comment "Anyone can open a door." when there was a schedule conflict with showing them a house today (holiday).

My response to these buyers would have included the sentence  "Your real estate agent is not just anyone."

Your real estate agent is your personal source of information about the real estate market and the processes involved in the purchase of your home.  Your real estate agent is your local expert.  Your real estate agent understands your needs, priorities and your budget.

Perhaps these folks do not understand how real estate agents work (and get paid either).  Perhaps these folks were going to call the listing agent.

Then again, the listing agent works for the seller and not them or any other buyer in the state of Florida.  In Florida there is no dual agency. A real estate agent works as a single agent of one party, or as a transaction broker but can not represent both buyer and seller.

Do you have a question about the Brevard County, Florida real estate market?  Send me an email or give me a call at 321-693-3850.

Who wins? FSBO Buyer or FSBO seller

Sometimes I wonder who has the advantage...the FSBO seller or the FSBO buyer?

FSBO buyers have this primary consideration....get a better (lower) price because the seller saves the real estate agent commission.

FSBO sellers have this primary consideration - get a better (net) price because the real estate agent is cut out.

The advantage goes to the one with the knowledge.  Knowledge of the process is an advantage.  If one does not have a handle on the ins and outs, they are at a disadvantage.  Knowledge of the local market is an advantage.  If the buyer is represented by a real estate agent then they likely are in the position of advantage.

Sometimes those who have knowledge of the FSBO challenges still chooses to hire a local expert.  Take this headline for example, CEO Enlists REALTOR® to Sell His Home

In this case the CEO believes his house is too much home for a FSBO transaction.  What about your most valuable possession?  Does your home deserve less professional care?

Friday, May 23, 2014

Home Buyer Tips: Choosing Your Brevard County, Florida Mortgage Lender

There are many things your real estate agent will know.  And most real estate agents are aware of the limits of their expertise. 

One of the areas in which I am not an expert is mortgage lending.  Sure I can answer some basic mortgage questions but when it goes deeper I refer mortgage loan questions to a local Brevard County, Florida mortgage provider.

I do not have some secret preferred Brevard County, Florida mortgage lender list.  Still I prefer my buyer customers select mortgage lenders who meet these characteristics plus the one mentioned in the last sentence
  • local,
  • real person,
  • real office.
Many inexperienced buyers will be surprised by all of the questions and requests these lenders ask.  To some it may even appear to be mostly a hassle.

But your mortgage professional will not not make requests or give advice without a reason.  All of the players in the home buying process have the same goal - getting you to the closing table

And the last characteristic I want in a lender... 
  • focused on solutions and not the hurdles.  

Related Articles:

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Home Seller Tips: If your price is higher, show them why!

Many of the homes for sale in Viera, Florida developments were built by the same builder(s) and look very similar.  It is not uncommon for a development to only have four or five floor plans with the major difference being the front elevation.  Once inside, many look alike.

So when it comes time to sell your Viera home it is critical to differentiate your home from all the other contenders.

If your home is better than the others say so.

If your list price is higher, show them why!

As a Viera and Melbourne, Florida real estate agent one of the questions I ask prospective sellers is "What quality do you like most about your home?"

When I am hired to sell your Viera, Florida home I am going to use the answer to the above question as the starting point when preparing my marketing plan.

Want to sell your Viera, Florida home?   Give me a call at 321-693-3850 or send me an emailLets set that interview date!

Five Year Trend: Brevard County, Florida Single Family Home Sales (2008-2013)

Five Year Trend: Brevard County, Florida Single Family Home Sales (2008-2013) as provided by Florida Realtors®.

The closed single family sales as well as the median sales prices have both been stair-stepping into "plus" territory since the end of 2010.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Home Seller Tips - You can still live in your house!

Selling your house disrupts your life routines.  There is absolutely no way to get around this and still accommodate showing requests, open houses, inspections, etc. unless you move out before selling your homeThe reality is most do not have the luxury of vacating their home while selling.

Sellers are living beings not frozen in time waiting for the buyer to show up.  Coming and going, work, school, youth sporting events and whatever still happens.  So keeping your home showroom ready at all times can be a challenge if not really impossible.

As a seller's real estate agent I am a realist.  I do not expect a showroom perfect home.  I have an expectation of my seller clients doing the little hings to not distract prospective buyers.  What are some these things a seller can do to aid in selling their home?
  • Consider a pre-listing home inspection.  If your home is more than a few years old, I always recommend a pre-listing home inspection. 
  • Remember the two rooms buyers focus on when looking for a new home.  The kitchen and bathrooms are two of the critical features that influence buyers when shopping for a new home. 
  • Protect yourself. Don't forget safety and security 
  • Make sure you are showing only your home.  Too much furniture makes a house look cluttered and small.  People don't stand around in amazement impressed by a rooms capacity.
  •  Take down some of your pictures and diplomas.  Lots of family pictures, may again distract from the properties positive characteristics.
  •  Remember the exterior of your home.  You only get about ten seconds to impress.  You either grab the prospects attention right away or it becomes an uphill battle once inside your house.  Look at the paint, lawn and flower beds. The front door needs to be clean and inviting.
  • Selling your home is all about the "senses" including smell.  Preparing your home for the market is hard work.
The above list is not the complete list of how to prepare to sell your home but it is a start.  More importantly, none of the issues addressed above mention moving out.

You can sell your house and live in it as well.  The good news is most buyers understand this as well  - within reason.

So when you get ready to sell your Viera or Melbourne, Florida home, call me for a free market analysis.  Want advice on getting it ready to sell, call me.

Finally, I want to be your Realtor® of Choice when you sell your Melbourne, Florida home.

7 Landscaping Mistakes That Wreck Curb Appeal

Visit for more articles like this.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Home Buyer Tips: Home Ownership Rule Number One

If there was one thing I could tell new first time home buyers, what would it be?

Most home buyers will know the obvious key issues.  First, of course, is is make your payments or time.  Likewise, keep your home owner insurance in force including flood insurance if you are in a flood zone.  

So, aside from the obvious issues, what is my number one rule for new home owners?

Page one of your home owner manual should read in BOLD...."Do not neglect maintenance issues - ever."

This means preventative maintenance on major systems.  This means when the little things happen, address them.  Little problems can become major problems very easily.

This also means to know your limits.

Don't attempt things you are not qualified to handle regardless of how easy it appears on television. I have seen many examples with results that can best be described as collateral damage.

Do not make repairs, additions or changes that require obtaining a permit (and accompanying inspections).  Eventually that permit issue will rear its head.

Finally, turning a blind eye to a problem doesn't mean it will not rear its ugly head when you go to sell.  This would be rule number one in my homeowner's manual.

And when you do get ready to sell your Melbourne, Florida home, you will not be jumping through hoops doing all the little things required to get the best price possible for your Melbourne, Florida home.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Home Buyer Tips: What is "the view" worth?

What is "the view?"   I know there is a talk show on television that goes by a similar name but that is not what I speak of here.
There are lots of different views in the Brevard County, Florida real estate market.

There is the ocean view or river view as well as the very common lake view or pond view.  (By the way a lake and a reclaimed water pond are not the same - except during rainy season.)

And then there is the golf course view or preserve/conservation area view

Regardless of view another quality should be evaluated and described accurately - the all important type of view.

Is it a direct view?  Or is the view only visible when one is in the yard or sitting by the pool?  Or does the view require sitting in a certain room of the house or condo.

In real estate it is all about location.  The addition of a special view to a property always increases the price of the property.

Compare condo prices "on the beach" where the unit is directly facing the ocean or faces west toward the street or parking?  Or the golf course view looking over a manicured green versus the golf course tee box.  "On the golf course" is direct but it is not the same.

Finally, what is a view worth?   In new construction builders always price the lot at a premium allowing buyers to know price of a view.  With resales it is possible for an analysis to come up with a general value for differences in site view.

Still, as with all things... Ultimately the worth of a view will be determined by the buyer.  What would you pay for direct ocean or a golf course view or lake front?  That is a question all buyers must ask themselves.

When you are ready to sell your home promote the characteristics that bring the greatest value to market.  It may be the view, the neighborhood, the amenities, the lifestyle....

Ready to sell your Viera, Florida home?  Call me at 321-698-2850 if I can help in any way.

Rockledge, Florida Homes for Sale: Become an informed buyer.

Just because you can doesn't necessarily mean you should.   

In the real estate business it is not uncommon to see some do it yourself additions that are lacking in design, performance, or both.

Almost always it is the older homes that seem to be the "victim" of non-permitted, non-inspected additions.

As a buyer you inherit what you are buying including the problems.

Some things a buyer should never inherit unknowingly include the projects where the home owner skipped a few steps along the way.  Things like getting permits, code inspections and, more importantly, introducing some dangerous shortcuts, are not fun to deal with later.

As a buyer, make sure you understand this and become an informed buyer.

How does one become an informed buyer?
First, hire a local, knowledgeable real estate agent.  Buyers, at least here in Florida, generally do not pay for their real estate agents.  The seller does! This includes new construction as well.  So this absolutely no need to proceed without your own Florida real estate agent.

Secondly,  hire the right experts once you have identified the house you are considering purchasing.

Who are these experts buyers should "hire?"  Number one, a qualified property inspector.

Thinking about buying a Viera, Florida or Melbourne, Florida home?   Step one, call me at 321-693-3850

If you prefer, send me an email.


Thursday, May 1, 2014

Best home in neighborhood, highest list price...bad strategy?

Best home in neighborhood, highest list price...bad strategy?

Anyone who has ever sold a thing knows being competitively priced is important.  When selling a home most sellers are urged to price near the competition.

But what if your home is better than the others in the neighborhood?  Is it wrong to price well above the competition?

The short answer:  It is OK.

The discussion here is not about an over improved home but one that has the better view, truly upgraded components.

A short word about over improvements in a home.  Over improvements can be something as simple as adding a room (square footage) making the property have more gross living area than all of the surrounding properties.  Or it may be having a higher quality and finish than the neighborhood standard.

Care should be exercised when making additions or upgrades if you intend to sell soon.  Just like a pool...add it if you are going to use it and enjoy it - not with an expectation of a return on the investment.
However, if you are going to price your home higher than other "similar" homes in your neighborhood it is critical to tell potential buyers the WHY.

More importantly, it should live up to the billing