Tuesday, January 20, 2015

What does a home seller do when an offer is received within the first few days?

There must be something wrong if an offer comes in the first few days or week of listing a home for sale, right?   The short answer:  NO.

When a seller puts their home on the market the exact date and arrival time of an acceptable offer is unknown.  It could be one day, thirty days, ninety days or never.

So what should a seller do if an offer comes in right away?   Does it mean the house was obviously way overpriced because there is already an offer?

Sometimes it is a matter of plain luck that the right buyer walks into a seller's home in week one.   In an area like central Florida (Brevard County) we get a lot of folks relocating to Florida for retirement  or a change of employment.   The fact that someone shows up at just the right time could be pure coincidence (albeit a great one)!

[Could it be your Brevard County, Florida real estate agent prepared a very efficient targeted marketing campaign that brought results right away.]
I suggest sellers start with an examination of their intended goals.   Specifically,
  1.  How much did the seller think they would realistically get for their home?   
  2.  How long did the seller expect to wait to sell?
A few points to consider about offers to purchase a home.
  1. Ponder the price carefully.  How does the closing date fit into the seller's time table?   How clean is the offer?  Is the buyer well qualified?   
  2. Will there be a higher offer later?  There is no guarantee that a higher offer will come in.- ever.  And if a higher price does come in later what is the real benefit to the price increase?  What is the cost of carrying a mortgage plus the other associated costs like insurance, association fees, taxes, etc.?
  3. Consider the impact of delaying a sale on your personal and family situation.    A slightly higher price may net a few thousand or more but no one knows for sure if and when the offer will come.  If the family has already relocated is the separation and added stress worth it?   Or what about the disruptions to a seller's lifestyle?
As an experienced Brevard County, Florida real estate agent I have seen this from both sides of the transaction.   I have worked with sellers who rejected the first offer only to eventually take their house off the market or sell at a lower price than the first offer.  I have had seller's agents call me to ask if my buyers still wanted the house after the offer was rejected months earlier. 

The thing about buyers and rejected offers...they keep looking and eventually find a house to buy.

So what does a seller do when that offer comes in?   Just like any offer it must be evaluated based on their intended goals because they (or their agent) never know what may come next week, next month or whenever. 

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

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Home Seller Tips: Its the details that sell a house.

The process of selling a home is disruptive to a seller who is still residing in their home.  Interruption to the daily routine is just a way of life until the transaction is closed.

The seller's agent's primary job is to market the  home to the right pool of buyers and get qualified buyer prospects in the seller's house (and get an offer that meets the seller's timeline, price and terms).

But what if the marketing material is flawed?   What if one or more of the critical details is left out - or just as bad - wrong?   These errors cause buyer prospects to disrupt the seller's routine  and then find out the omission is a disqualifying factor?

Its the details that sell a house.

Twice over the past couple of months I have encountered the same situation.  In both cases the marketing materials said the homes were concrete construction which my buyers required.    

In both cases my buyers specifically wanted concrete construction only.   In two cases we "viewed" a home that was "concrete" only to find out it was really wood frame construction.

The point here is not to place blame for the inaccuracies but rather to urge sellers to review their agent's marketing materials to be that "second set of eyes" to find any errors.  

Buyer's agents work hard to qualify their buyer clients.  Buyer's agents do not get paid based on the numbers of homes shown.  Buyers want to show only homes that meet their client's needs.  Accurate marketing materials are key to the process.

If you are selling your Brevard County, Florida home make sure you request your real estate agent provide copies of marketing materials including the MLS entry for your review

Accurate marketing material is critical to minimizing the disruption and getting your home sold sooner.

Considering selling your Viera or Melbourne, Florida home?  Send me an email for a free market analysis.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Home Owner Tips: Is your project an opportunity to challenge yourself?

Home Seller Tip:  Sweat may not add equity but no sweat will certainly cost money when ready to sell.   I am referring to deferred maintenance which costs real dollars when selling a home.

Read "What is the cost of deferred maintenance?"

But sometimes the "sweat equity" is only imagined because the work has not been done at the expected level for the neighborhood. Is this Sweat Equity or Sweat Inequity ?  Regardless of what one sees on the HGTV shows some projects should not be viewed as an opportunity to challenge yourself.

Even when work is done if the project has omitted involving the appropriate governmental body (in most cases the local building department) the sweat equity could disappear.

The lack of permitting may be spotted by the property inspector during the course of their inspection as some check permits (open and closed).

Get your permits and inspections done at the time the work is done and keep copies.   The cost of retroactively obtaining permits and approval can cost a lot of money (and, more importantly, a sale).

It would be nice if knowing the limit of ones skills was a requirement of home ownership.   I am one of those types who should not be allowed to touch a saw, a wrench or anything electrical except to plug it in!

Perhaps that is a little harsh.

Many of us can paint, clean carpets and mow the lawn.  When you are ready to sell these are the things that will return your sweat investment.

The key is this:  Addressing maintenance issues, staging your home professionally and disclosing issues that impact the value and pricing appropriately for the market, you are truly positioning your home to be sold!

If you are ready to sell your Melbourne, Florida home, please give me a call at 321-693-3850.  Send me an email for your free market analysis.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Home Seller Tips: Will your Viera, Florida listing be expiring soon? Why?

Nothing lights the fire under a real estate agent's bottom more than an imminent expiring listing - (except for an offer).

So as the pending expiration comes near you may notice some increased activity like increased contacts and follow up from your current listing agent; offers to conduct an open house now (although none done previously), a suggestion now to lower your price or perhaps some print advertising or postcards show up in your mail. 

With an expiring real estate listing a homeowner needs to assess the entire listing period.  All options need to be considered including the decision to re-list with the current agent,  list with another real estate agent or perhaps take the home off the market for some period of time.  [Sometimes, taking a home off the market for a month or two while addressing "issues" can be a good move.]

If your listing is expiring I suggest you ask your agent why your home has not sold.  Then I suggest you ask yourself why it did not sell.

As a seller did you contribute to your agent's failure?   It is time for an introspective look at yourself.  Did your actions (or inaction) contribute to the non-sale of your home.   Sometimes the listing agent will make suggestions to assist on preparing the home for the market.   Were the suggestions made but discounted by you?  Did the listing agent suggest a higher price than you really felt your home was worth?   Did you "over rule" the recommended price because you felt your home was worth more and just knew a buyer would come along who could see your home for what it is worth?    Did you accommodate all reasonable showing requests?

There are lots of reasons homes do not sell even after on the market for several months.   Should you extend your Viera, Florida listing or find another Viera real estate agent?   That decision is between you and your agent.

If it is time to consider a change, give me a call at 321-693-3850 or send me an email.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Monday, January 5, 2015

Home Remodeling: Design for yourself or with an eye to the future?

Should a home owner go "all in" when designing or remodeling a house or should they exercise caution and design for the future (i.e. re-sale, family changes)?

There is no one size fits all answer to this question.   The answer to this question depends on the individual owner(s) and their current stage of life. 

If one is single will there be change in the future?  Is there a marriage or the birth of children in the near future?  What about aging parents moving in? Or will there be children leaving the nest soon? 

Will the home be a temporary residence as one looks to re-locate in a few years due to employment changes or increased income?  Is there a chance one will be retiring in a few years and moving to Brevard County, Florida?

While any of the above possibilities could be in play most owners want to personalize their home and have it suit their current needs.   Still, when they do decide to sell some things that are just "too personalized" may limit re-sale prospects or, at a minimum, the sales price.

For instance, the absence of a tub in the master bathroom may not seem like a big issue.  But I have seen some seemingly perfect houses rejected by my buyers because there was either a tub or shower only in the master bath.   Hint:  Although one may only use a shower do not be quick to discard the addition of a bath/soaking tub when building.

Another design preference my buyers have noticed lately is odd shaped rooms with lots of angles and little wall space which restrict furniture or television placement.  While these rooms may have some "wow effect" for the current owner the designs may have the opposite effect when selling.

Almost all real estate agents will tell you the same thing when getting ready to sell your home - depersonalize and de-clutter.   Most of these steps are simple.  None require major work although sometimes a new coat of paint will work wonders.   These are primarily cosmetic and not costly structural changes.

I suggest that if a home is not the last home one will ever own then choose to design with an eye to the future.   And while personalizing is quite desirable, practice moderation if you will be selling in a few years.

Ready to buy a home in Melbourne, Florida?   Call me at 321-693-3850 if I can help in any way.   
Is it time to sell your Melbourne, Florida home?  I can help.  Ask for your free market analysis.


Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net