Thursday, July 31, 2014

When do you ask for repairs on an "As Is" contract?

What do you mean ask for repairs on an "as is" real estate purchase offer?  Doesn't "as is" mean it is the way it is - period?

NOTE:  This refers to buying a home in Florida.  Check with a local Realtor® in your state.

 "As is" simply means in its current condition.   And "as is" rarely means "perfect."

I encourage all buyers including "as is" buyers to have the appropriate inspections done.

Here in Florida it is easy to add an inspection contingency to an offer.   An inspection contingency is  sort of a "get out of jail free card" that can be exercised post-inspection.   Buyers should be cautious as too many contingencies can work against their offer being accepted when there are multiple offers.

And so while it is true  "as is" offers mean "take it as it sits" the reality is many attempt a return to the negotiation table after the home inspection. 

And many times the sellers will agree to the requests for repairs or concession.

So, when should you ask for repairs on an "as is" purchase?  If there are real issues that you were unaware of then ask after the inspection.  This is not the time to nitpick every little imperfection (see paragraph two above).

Many times the seller will address the problem or offer a credit toward repairs.  Or, they may tell the buyer "as is" means "in its current condition."

Ready to buy a house in Melbourne, Florida?  Call me at 321-693-3850 for advice on the process.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Is the Time Right to Sell Your Melbourne, Florida Home?

Deciding to sell your Viera or Suntree (Melbourne, Florida) house or condo is a major decision in this market.   While interest rates continue to be at historical lows and inventory (competition) low, the decision to sell your Melbourne, Florida home is yours and not some real estate agent who tells you the time is right. 

Depending on circumstances there are reasons to sell now and reasons to delay.  Some of these include...
  • If you have a mortgage, what is the payoff?
  • If you owe more than the net sale proceeds, how much cash will you be required to bring to the closing table?
  • Is your situation one that requires a short sale?  Short sales are not as numerous in Brevard County in 2014 but they are still a viable option for some sellers.  What is a short sale?
  • What is your time frame?  Depending on your circumstances the time to find a buyer and close the transaction can be as short as a couple of weeks to six months or longer.
  • Why are you selling? This is critical. I wrote about it several years ago its not your Realtor's job to...
  • Will you sell it yourself (FSBO) or hire a real estate agent? The decision to go it alone or hire a real estate agent is critical.
Assuming the decision is to hire a real estate agent to help you sell your Melbourne, Florida home, what are some of the considerations?

First, your real estate agent should be very local The geographical layout of Brevard County, Florida makes it difficult for a real estate agent to be a Palm Bay and Titusville local expert.  As for me, I concentrate on central Brevard County including Viera, Suntree, Rockledge, Merritt Island, Cocoa and the Pineda area.  [I refer to other agents if I am not comfortable with a client's area.]

Your local real estate agent should be able to:
  • Tell you "the marketable price" [not the selling price] of your house or condo?
  • Tell you what is happening in your neighborhood such as short sales, foreclosures,etc.
  • Know how many houses or condos are on the market in your neighborhood.
  • Know who your most likely buyer is and have a plan to market to that buyer pool.
  • Tell you if your house “qualifies” for an open house. [Some properties and/or locations are just not open house material.]
  • Make recommendations for preparing your house for marketing.
Selling your Viera house? Call me to discuss how I will market your property and get it sold.  There is much more to consider but the above is a great start.

Call me at 321-693-3850 or send me an email.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Florida Real Estate Questions: What if the appraisal is low?

Florida Real Estate Questions: What if the appraisal is low?  

The below article appeared in the Florida Today Newspaper on Sunday July 27, 2014.  If you have a question about buying or selling a home in Florida please send me an email.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

How to Pick Paint Colors

Visit for more articles like this.

Friday, July 25, 2014

4 Tips to Determine How Much Mortgage You Can Afford

Visit for more articles like this.

How to Assess the Real Cost of a Fixer-Upper House

Visit for more articles like this.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

First Time Home Buyer Mistakes: Relying to Heavily on the Internet.

Online resources are a great thing.  Some people swear by them. Some people swear at them.  But online resources have their limitations.

If you are considering buying or selling a home in Brevard County, Florida  I recommend you take a look at a recent article posted on the CNBC web site titled  "8 biggest mistakes first-time home buyers make."

This informative article includes Internet information among the eight mistakes made by first time home buyers.   As a real estate agent I was not too surprised that this list mentions online resources two times.

According to the article first time buyers put too much faith in online loan information.  While they do say researching online about mortgages is good the best move is to talk with several mortgage loan officers.  I would add several local mortgage loan officers.

The other mistake online resource mistake is placing too much faith in online home values.  I have seen this for years with sellers who take these estimates as "the whole truth and nothing but the truth!"    Real estate markets change and these "values" do not update as quickly.

Whether buyer or seller, as humans, we still want to use the information that supports our position best

My advice is simple.
Research all you want and then when it is time to buy or sell a house, call a human being who knows the area...your local expert.   Any online value estimate without context is of little value (motivation, condition, competition, etc).
If your plans include moving to Brevard County, Florida, call me at 321-693-3850 or send me an email.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Know the risks....Use a Realtor®.
I received a call yesterday from a young lady asking about a rental property in Melbourne, Florida.

After much questioning I finally understood the situation.

She had found the property listed on "so and so dot com." 

She wanted to know if I had ever heard of the web site.  I had but had no opinion or experience  with this site.  She said she had called the landlord (owner?) about the property but wanted to check with me to see if it was a real listing before she gave them money.

Her concern was "There are so many scams on the Internet with real estate."

Her concerns made me wonder why people who know the risks still go down the path.    

No, I am not in charge of the Good Housekeeping seal.   I can't vouch for or recommend you deal with any specific individual.  I do know that Realtors® operate under a state license as real estate agents as well as a Code of Conduct.
As a consumer one must always proceed with caution and perform their due diligence.   Starting with the assistance of a Realtor® is step one.

If you are considering buying, selling or renting a house in Brevard County, Florida, choose a professional who will look out for your interests as step one.

Call me at 321-693-3850.  If you prefer, send me an email.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Home Buyer Tips: Do you know who is listening or watching?

Sometimes sellers want to stay in their house when buyers are looking so they can eavesdrop on the conversation.  Is there interest?  Can they answer a question or offer clarifying information?

Or, if they left, they would anxiously await for their Realtor® to get some feedback on what the buyer prospects thought and if they were interested. 

Now it is not necessary for them to wait.

Remember the old video cameras of years ago?   Some were so heavy one risked injury just carrying it on a shoulder!

Today the ability to record as well as monitor in real time is less cumbersome and expensive. 

Technology is inexpensive.   Cameras are smaller.  A laptop computer sitting on a desk could have a webcam doing a live feed.  Or someone could be listening over the monitors in the baby's room.  I have read that there are even stuffed animals that are really cameras.  And security systems often provide live feeds to owners while they are away.

Am I worried a buyer is going to steal something?   No, not really although most real estate agents do not personally know their clients.

Am I worried a prospective buyer may say something like how much they are willing to pay?   Maybe.  Offers should be discussed in a private environment and the subject property may not fit the bill. 

This is just only a caution to never know who is watching or listening

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

Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono /

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Home Seller Tips: What is wrong with 700 days on the market?

I just read an article where a buyer was "forced" to see a house that had been on the market for over 700 days.  The buyer's initial response when offered the property as a prospective home to view was "What is wrong?"

Days on the market are often viewed as an indicator of a couple of things.

First, the price is too high!  After all, if it was even near the market there would have been an offer already.  Secondly, there is something really wrong with the property.  It could be structural.  It could be location.  Prospective buyers will lean toward the really negative.

How can you prevent your home from being a 700 day listing?

Buyers are going to judge you in a couple of ways.
  1. First, the price.  If the price is reasonable for your home's age, location, and size, then you have won the half the battle to getting an offer.
  2. The second, and most important way, is by what they see.  Buyers are going to judge you the moment they pull up in front of your house. And whatever they find inside will serve to reinforce that verdict!
The logical strategy then seems pretty simple.  The place to start is with the curb appeal.Landscaping is key.  A clean bright (fresh paint) front door sets the tone.  Clean sidewalks and stain free driveways are a good welcoming path as well!

Once inside light and bright is the rule.  Use only the furniture necessary to allow prospective buyers to "size up" the space.  Your Realtor® can share much more on staging your home for selling!

agent@moving2brevard.comAnd the property mentioned above? 

The buyer bought it.  It had undergone a major renovation and updating during the listing period. So nothing was wrong - except the decision to renovate while trying to sell.  But that is another post.

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

Monday, July 7, 2014

Distressed sales still happen but not as often in Brevard County, Florida

There are still some distressed sales in Brevard County, Florida.  In June 2014 about 70% of all single family homes sold were standard sales (approximately 550 of 800 sales).  But the 30% of distressed sales is different than years gone by as about 25% were foreclosures.  This is consistent with May 2014 when standard sales were about 75% of single family home sales and foreclosures were about 23% of the sales.

The below graphic shows the trend since 2008 in Brevard County, Florida.

For information on homes for sale in Melbourne, Florida call me at 321-693-3850 or send me an email.