Friday, October 31, 2014

Home Buyer Tips: Just because it says so doesn't make it so!

The available information about a particular property can vary greatly.  This is especially true if you are considering the purchase of a foreclosure!

Similarly, if you are considering a purchase from an investor the amount of information provided will be likely limited.  I have seen many investors use the "excuse" they have no knowledge of the property since they never lived in a particular house.

Here in Florida it makes no difference whether one has lived in a house.  The rule is simple...if it materially affects the value the seller must disclose known defects, conditions and issues.  Here is some related reading with links on Florida real estate property disclosures.  

If a seller is owner occupied then the chance of getting information is higher.  But then that information may or may not be correct.

There are some sellers who are unsure if something that happened long ago should be disclosed or if something is important enough to disclose.  My thinking is simply "if it is something you would like to know if you were the buyer, why not disclose it?"

Then there is the multiple listing information.  Most of the time there is a disclaimer indicating the information provided is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed.

Then there is the public records such as the property information on The Brevard County, Florida Property Appraiser website.  Is it 100% accurate?  Here is the disclosure "No warranties, expressed or implied, are provided for the property records and mapping data herein, or for their use or interpretation by the User."

Florida is a caveat emptor state.  What does this mean to anyone wanting to buy a house in Florida?  Due Diligence.

DISCLOSURE:   I am not an attorney, tax adviser, building inspector, architect or anything other than a Florida licensed real estate broker.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Home Seller Tips: Influence the Buyer's Motivation

I have heard it many times. I have read it more times. What is it?  SELLER MOTIVATED!


What motivates a seller?  

It could be the seller has already moved and the house is just sitting with carrying costs accruing (HOA fees, taxes, mortgage payments, insurance, etc.)

It could be the seller is not in a financial position to obtain a new mortgage in the new location until the financial obligation of an existing mortgage is cleared.

It could be changes in life (death in family, loss or change of a job, divorce).  It could be the birth of a child.  It could be retirement.  It could be a combination of several of the above.

Sometimes the words "Seller Motivated"  are tossed about because sellers expect them to be used.   Sometimes the sellers believe they are motivated.

What motivates a buyer?

It could be... less pressing

Most often buyers are not up against a pressing time table.  There is always the option of finding temporary accommodations if moving to a new area.

Still, a buyer's motivation can be changed when they find the right house in the right location at the right price.  The secret to changing a buyer's motivation is simple - present the best deal on the market by pricing for location, condition and competition.

In an ideal world every seller would be motivated as well as every buyer.  And the two shall meet quickly.
Ready to sell your Melbourne, Florida Home?  Call me at 321-693-3850 for a free market analysis.  Let me show you why Waters Realty of Brevard is different than the big name real estate offices in Brevard County, Florida.

Image courtesy of renjith krishnan at

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Whether Home Buyer or Seller, This is Real Estate Rule #1: Perception is Reality.


Perception is reality.  While this is probably true about most human experiences, in real estate,  it is rule number one.

The challenge for real estate agents (whether working for the buyer or seller) is to make sure perception does resemble the real reality.  


This is done when a seller's real estate agent recommends preparations to improve property marketing (repairs, staging, pre-listing inspections, etc.).   This is accomplished by providing documentation supporting the current market forces (inventory, competition, price trends, etc.) that will impact the eventual sales price.

Similarly, the buyer's real estate agent provides competitive listings (and sold comparables if it is a serious contender).

Once provided with the realities it is up to the buyer and seller to decide for themselves to buy, sell or walk away.

Considering selling your Melbourne, Florida home?  Call me at 321-693-3850 or send me an email if I can help in any way.  

Need to check your perception about the Melbourne, Florida real estate market, give me a call!


Mobile Home  Image courtesy of Stoonn at
Florida Mansion Image courtesy of Chuck Felix at

Friday, October 24, 2014

Home Seller Tips: If You Price Too Low or Too High, Don't Worry....

I ran out of space with the title above.  It should read like this...
"If you price too low or too high, don't worry because the market will adjust the price for you.
When talking about pricing a common seller concern is pricing too low.  But sellers should remember this point - you can never list your home too low.

Nothing says a seller must accept any offer even at or above list price.

Besides, some sellers will deliberately price low as a way to generate multiple offers quickly and get buyers into a bidding war!

On the other side of the spectrum there is danger in pricing a home too high for the market as the home sits.  And buyers wonder what is wrong with "that" house.

Ultimately, it is the market that sets the price. 

Multiple offers:  Is this a scam?

Negotiation Strategies to Close the Deal

Improve Chances Your Offer will be Accepted

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

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Home Buying Process: Logical Steps with a Reason.

As a real estate agent I guide my customers through the home buying process in a logical order.  This preferred order exists for a reason - to save time, disappointment and money.

Take a look at the graphic below, please.

Steps one and two above are pretty logical.  After all, one must have the ability to buy before getting a to the contract stage.   Most seller's agents will also require proof of ability such as a mortgage pre-approval be submitted with the offer.

Each of the steps following the contract involves an expense for the buyer.  The property inspection and termite inspections set the stage.  If there are major problems that can't be worked around (repair, concessions, etc) there is no need to have the septic system (if there is one) done.  A good septic system is not relevant if the property has major structural issues.

And assuming all the previous inspections are acceptable then the lender will charge for an appraisal.  And if the property appraisal is acceptable then the final "inspection" is the survey. 

Each of the above is an expense for the seller.

While the cost of each inspection noted above will vary by the property a good ballpark figure here in my area of Florida is about $1,500 dollars at minimum for all of them - likely more.

That is the reason for the process.  Each step has a price but if done in the order presented above some expense can be saved if a showstopper is revealed during any step.

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

Considering selling your Viera, Florida home?  Request your free market analysis today.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Guiding Principles: Realtor® Code of Ethics

I recently posted an article about disclosure of the contract price before closing.  In it I mentioned real estate agent responsibilities as well as the Realtor® Code of Ethics.  The Realtor® Code of Ethics is presented here so all can see what I use as a guiding principle.

Ready to sell your Melbourne, Florida home?  Call me at 321-693-3850 for a free market analysis.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Should a Seller Talk about the "Accepted" price? What about a buyer?

Should a Seller Talk about the "Accepted" price?

Why should it matter if the contract price is disclosed prior to closing?   Because... a deal is not a deal until the ink is dry.

People love to talk.  When a seller gets accepts an offer on their the excitement may lead to inadvertent disclosure to neighbors, friends or even complete strangers.  However, the accepted price should be a guarded secret until closing.

Buyers may not have the motivation once it is signed off on by the seller.  Buyers may let the contact price slip to neighbors during an inspection.  Sometimes it is incidental to the future neighbors stopping by to introduce themselves and the subject arises.  Still, who knows the neighbor's motivation?

For sellers, it pays (perhaps literally) to keep the mouth sealed.   Buyers walk.  Homes "fail" inspections.  Financing issues arise so homes go back on the market.

And anything that provides prospective buyers a clue to a seller's motivation is a disadvantageSo, sellers - keep quiet!

Your real estate agent will not disclose the accepted price until the deal is closed whether you are seller or buyer.  Real estate agents have legal responsibilities to their clients in addition to the Code of Ethics

[REALTORS promote and protect their client's interests while treating all parties honestly.]

As a real estate agent I have had other agents call me about the price my buyer has for a contracted house because they are doing neighborhood "comps" for a client.  My response is always the same - no disclosure.

What is the point of this post?  Buyers and sellers - protect your interests by not disclosing the contract terms until the ink drys.

Let me help you sell your Viera, Florida home, please.  Call me at 321-693-3850 or send me an email.

Image courtesy of stockimages at

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Selling your Melbourne, Florida Home - Be Optimistic, Be Realistic.

I am an optimist.

When I work with buyers I take the attitude of "We will find the best house that meets your expectations and budget."

When I work with sellers I take the attitude of "We will sell your house at the best price possible based on your home's location, condition, the circumstances of the sale."

When I see a home that is obviously overpriced for the current market (location, competition, condition) I wonder if the real estate agent has been forthcoming with the realities.  Or, did the agent knowingly list above the market (some do).

I have never had a prospective home seller ask me to mislead them with an overly optimistic inflated market analysis.  That is not to say their expectations were reasonable.

Still, my responsibility when I am invited into a seller's home is to provide an accurate, honest assessment.

That is all anyone really wants - the straight truth

Optimism is a good thing - unless unfounded.

What should My Realtor do for me?
What does the listing price say about a seller?
Barriers to selling your home
Show Buyers a property that exceeds their expectations.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /