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

Monday, September 22, 2014

Sell your home in the fall? Sure, why not?

Fall arrives today.  Some selling their home (or considering selling their home) think the selling season is over for the year.  After all, people move during the summer so the selling season drops off after summer is over.

But not so fast, folks... especially anyone considering selling your Florida home.

Why market your home in the Fall?   As a seller you know your circumstances today.  You know the interest rates today.  

As a seller you know what the market is today.  You know what the home prices are today.  You know what teh competition is today.

Some see the coming holiday season as a barrier ts selling in the Fall.  But those holidays are still at least ten weeks away.   As a seller you have plenty of time before the holiday rush of Thanksgiving and Christmas (both of which can be worked around). 

As a Fall seller you typically will have less competition in the "off season."  Take advantage of this.  As a Florida seller you will have snowbirds and retirees coming into the market.  And first time home buyers shop year round.

Sellers (and real estate agents too!) have no clue what the economy, inventory or the real estate market (including competition) will be next spring.

Selling a home is a year round opportunity if prepared don't need a lot of buyers - you just need one!

Are you ready to sell your Melbourne, Florida homeCall me at 321-693-3850 for a no obligation consultation including a market analysis.

If you prefer, just send me an email to let me know how I can help you.

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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Home Buyer Tips: Should a buyer give the seller feedback?

I recently read a discussion among real estate agents on a Facebook real estate forum about feedback.  The discussion seemed to lean toward being critical of real estate agents who did not provide any feedback to listing agents after having shown their listing.

For those unfamiliar with the term it refers to a response that answers questions like...
  • How well did the property show?  
  • What did your buyers think?  
  • What do you think about the price?  
  • Any recommendations to help me sell this home?  
When I list a home I tell my sellers that feedback will be rare, possibly disingenuous and likely not very useful.  Still, I ask for it because my sellers expect it.

I have mixed feelings about feedback.   Many buyers see six to eight or more homes in a day.  And the ones that stick out are either really positive or not so great.  Somewhere in the middle is where most properties fall - not quite the one but still within the defined base needs.

When working with buyers I ask general questions like thoughts about property, location, price and if it is a consideration.  I offer buyers writing materials to take notes while viewing properties.  This is key to getting their feedback later - feedback I can use as a buyer's agent but not necessarily share with others.

The focus of my questions is to narrow WHAT MY BUYERS ARE LOOKING FOR IN A HOME...not what your sellers are offering.   During this discussion there will be some answers your seller may or may not want to hear.  Further there may be responses I can't share. 

As I see it there are two forms of legitimate feedback - an offer or no offer.  Any other feedback is most likely fluff.

Besides, if the house showed well and was priced well there would have been an offer.

Ready to buy or sell your Melbourne, Florida home?  Call me at 32-693-3850 if I can assit you in any way, please.

 Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at