Friday, July 31, 2015

For Sale By Owner - Managed Transaction Assistance Available in Melbourne, Florida

Regardless of whether it is a buyer's market or a seller's market there have always been a small percentage of home sellers who want to go it alone.   For varying reasons (although I think it is the perception of saving money) these home sellers do not feel the necessity to hire a full time real estate agent to handle selling their home. 

I understand that completely.

I also understand that there are times when these For Sale By Owner (FSBO) sellers want the assistance of a real estate professional in some type of limited capacity. 

I read an article this morning where a seller apparently told  a prospective buyer something like "I have sold many houses, know what you need to sing and can save you money!"

These words have probably been spoken by many FSBO sellers to prospective buyersAnd while the seller may have had some experience in the process I wonder about prospective buyers.  

I have worked with a lot of first time buyers as well as experienced buyers who have been confounded by the Florida home buying process beyond the basic offer, accept and close steps.   This can happen with experienced buyers relocating from other states as the process can vary considerably.

But there is help for FSBO sellers and buyers who want to buy from a FSBO seller.


Let me manage your for sale by owner real estate transaction.  My services will be completely fee based and determined by what you need from me.  This goes for sellers and buyers.


Buyers, if you are considering a for sale by owner home purchase, call me before you approach the owner.  I may be able to get the seller to cover your buyer agent fees.


Send me an email to discuss Waters Realty of Brevard's For Sale By Owner Managed Transaction Assistance services.


Gary L. Waters is a Florida licensed real estate broker and owner of Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC in Melbourne, Florida.  Call Gary directly at 321-693-3850.



Thursday, July 30, 2015

Should a First Time Home Buyer Purchase a Foreclosure Home?

Over the years I have come to believe many first time home buyers see the easiest route to home ownership through the foreclosure market.

"But you can do better!"

That is what I tell prospective first time home buyers who contact me about buying a foreclosure home in Brevard County, Florida.

I understand the appeal of foreclosed properties - price.

However, in my opinion, there are a couple of flaws in taking this approach.

First, potential financing issues.  Foreclosures, as well as some short sales, are usually priced low for a reason - deferred maintenance.  Some of these properties have been vacant for a long time.  Some may have been vandalized.  Some, although newer construction, may have been stripped of the appliances, cabinets, sinks, ac units. Some may have problems with a leaking roof.  Thus the discounted price

If a buyer is getting a mortgage there will be an appraisal.   Mortgage lenders want to know the value of a home being financed is equal to or greater than the financed amount as well as being in a condition that supports that value. There are some conditions which can prevent financing (especially VA or FHA) like  AC missing/non functioning, leaking roof, water intrusion, older electrical (aluminum wiring, etc.), plumbing problems and other conditions.   

Secondly, available on-hand cash.   In a foreclosure, even if the bones are good, bring a suitcase full of cash.   What condition would you be in if your doctor said "bones are good?"  

Not all buyers (including most repeat buyers) are suitable prospects for foreclosures or short sale purchases.    Buyers should discuss needs with their real estate professional to determine if one a distressed property is a consideration.  Consider things like goals, how long you plan on living in the home, prospects for a job change that requires relocation, changes to your family (children, a marriage), etc.   This is why it is critical to have a local, knowledgeable, experienced real estate agent working for you.  Remember, your own buyer's agent will not cost you anything.

What is a better alternative for a first time home buyer in Brevard County, Florida than a foreclosure (or any other place)?   

A fair market sale that is in move in ready condition is a better choice even if it is an older home.  "Move in" condition does not necessarily mean nothing must be done to the property but rather no condition issues are present to prevent financing or that requires immediate work.

If you are ready to buy a home in Viera or Melbourne, Florida,c all me at 321-693-3850 or send me an email.  Ask for a referral to a local lender - especially one that can help first time buyers.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Home Buyer Tips: The Perfect Home Exists Once This Decision is Reached.

I recently posted an article about buying the imperfect home.   The discussion focused on buyers coming to a decision about what they are looking for in a home purchase.

To help buyers decide what they want in a home I suggest this break down.
  1. Decide first on the "Must haves."  These include things like location, space requirements (inside and outside), age and type of construction, school district and the like. 
  2. Next consider the "Can't haves."  Just like you must have certain things, there are things you just do not want. Know what these are from the start and share with your Realtor® early to avoid wasting your time.
  3. Lastly are all those "Nice to have items."   While not necessary identify those extras so your Realtor® can include them in the search.  Your Realtor® is the market expert and may just know where to find these as well!
So what decision must be made in order to find the "perfect" home? 

When budget and reality meet the hardest choice buyers must make is deciding what one can live without.   This is the point where the "must have" list is scrubbed to reveal the real must have characteristics.

Yes, nothing is ever perfect but imperfect can work pretty well.

Ready to buy a home in Melbourne, Florida  Call me at 321-693-3850 or send me an email if I can help in any way.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Brevard County, Florida First Time Home Buyer Program

Brevard County, Florida First Time Home Buyer Programs exist in July 2015 - if you know where to look.    As a Brevard County, Florida real estate agent I can refer you to some mortgage lenders who can help you put your home buying goals in motion.

If you are a first time buyer there is at least one program I am aware of at this time.  In a nutshell it offers up to $15,000 in down payment and closing cost assistance to first time buyers in Brevard County, Florida.

Of course, a buyer must qualify for a mortgage based on credit history/credit score, employment history and have a little money to contribute to the process.

If you are a first time home buyer and would like to speak with a lender, just send me an email. I will gladly provide you with a few lenders in the Brevard County, Florida area to help you.

agent@moving2brevard.comAnd when you are ready to buy your Brevard County, Florida home, I would welcome a chance to help you.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Changing Your Hard Drive...How Difficult Could That Be? Selling Your Home...How Difficult Could That Be?

Changing a hard drive?  How difficult could it be?

I got a warning message a few days ago that my hard drive on my office desktop was eventually going to fail  ( a S.M.A.R.T. error message).  After researching it a bit I found that I should be pro-active and order a new drive.

The Internet is a great thing. I found the drive I needed and checked with the computer maker (Dell).  Their price was high so I shopped around and ordered one from Best Buy.

Again I say the Internet is a great thing.  I searched for information about how to change a hard drive.  There were lots of articles from which to choose.  The advice was abundant

And it all really seemed so easy.

In the end I did change out the drive and clone my failing drive.  It took me about eight hours (seven to learn and about an hour to accomplish the task).

Was it really worth eight hours of my time?  Would I have been better off if I had  paid someone to do it for me?

This experience reminded me of some of the home sellers I met over the years who chose to go the for sale by owner (FSBO) route.

The Internet is a great thing.  They picked up all they needed to know from the Internet.  Some may have accomplished their goal.
And it all really seemed so easy.

But was it worth it?

Was their time really well spent?   Did their net results gain them more than if they had called on a professional.

Sometimes "because you can" may not be the best choice.

Considering selling your Viera, Florida home as a for sale by owner?  Call me for an analysis and advice.  It is free - even if you choose to go it alone!

Image courtesy of Sorapop at

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Home Seller Tips: Why do you want to know how much I owe on my house?

When a home owner calls a real estate agent to sell their home they will likely be on the receiving end of a lot of questions.  One of the questions  most important questions a prospective seller will be asked is their mortgage status.

What are some of the mortgage specific questions a seller may be asked by a prospective listing agent?

But it is very important to know some basic information about a prospective seller's mortgage such as:
  • Is there a mortgage?
  • Is there more than one mortgage (a second/home equity line)?
  • Is your mortgage current?
  • If not, how far are you behind with your payments? 
  • Have you received a lis pendens (notice of pending action like foreclosure)? [Notice: I am not an attorney.]
  • Who is your lender?
  • What is your mortgage balance?  
  • Are there other liens on your property?
The real estate agent a seller hires to market their home must get a general picture of the type of sale/seller's circumstances.   The loan balance will help your agent prepare a projected net proceeds estimate based on your home's probable selling price.

These mortgage questions, along with a few others during the pre-listing interview, will help your agent understand whether there is a  "need to sell" or just a "want to sell."   If there is a required break even number a seller must receive then your agent needs to be able to determine if there is even a possibility of making it in the current market.

So when I ask you about your mortgage (and related questions) it is not to be intrusive but to better formulate a plan of action.

Ready to sell your Viera or Melbourne, Florida home?


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Home Seller Tips: Who are you going to listen to?

The real estate agent you choose to sell your Melbourne, Florida home will likely make a lot of recommendations. 

Recommendations vary greatly based on the specific property and seller circumstances.  Suggestions may run the entire spectrum from type of sale, listing price/strategies, preparing for the market to whether to have a pre-listing inspection performed.

Sellers should evaluate these recommendations and can choose to act on the recommendations or ignore them.

Sellers hire me because of my expertise in Melbourne, Florida real estate.  Still, I have previously had some sellers choose to ignore my recommendations..... until.
  • Until the issue shows up on a property inspection report and the buyer either walks or requests repairs. 
  • Until the issue shows up on an appraisal or four point inspection.
  • Until showings disappear and no offers arrive.

Sometimes sellers are deaf to their real estate agent but hear quite clearly when the appraiser, inspector or buyer speaks.

As a seller, consider the recommendations of your real estate agent from the beginning rather than waiting to hear it from someone else.   By that time it may have already cost more than the initial expense had an issue been addressed early.

Again I ask, who are you going to listen to?

Ready to sell your Melbourne, Florida home?  Call me at 321-693-3850 or send me an email.  I will provide you a market analysis and recommendations. 

You can chose to accept my recommendations or ignore them.  What do you have to lose...they are free!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Buying or Selling a Florida Home: What does your counter-offer mean for the transaction?

Whether buying a car or a house most buyers expect to negotiate a little.   But in a hot housing market like the Brevard County, Florida residential market buyers need to consider the competition when they submit an offer.

Is it really in your best interest to offer $10-$15,000 under what you are willing (and have already decided) to pay?

What happens if other offers come in at the same time?  I is not uncommon for several offers to arrive within a 24-hour period while you are awaiting a response.   Keep this in mind when preparing your offer strategy.  And what if the buyer does not counter your offer.  After all, they can choose to just reject it outright.

As a seller, consider your property and the activity you have had (as well as the days on the market) when evaluating an offer.   If you have not received an offer and it has been 30 days, consider whether a reasonable offer should be countered.  There is no guarantee another better offer will come in.

Read about days on the market and what they mean: What do you do if your house is just sitting?

What happens when you counter an offer?  A counteroffer rejects the current offer.  A counteroffer to a counteroffer kills the counteroffer.....etc.

A prospective buyer is not obligated under any previous countered offer.  There is no do-overs as in  “OK, I will take your previous offer.”

Whether buyer or seller consider the advice of your Realtor expert who is working for you when preparing or responding to offers. 

Ready to buy a home in Viera. Florida?  Call me at 321-693-3850 if I can help in any way.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Should I list my vacant home or leave the tenant in place?

Should I list my home when its vacant or leave the tenant in place while selling?   The obvious answer to most sellers...Yes, leave the tenant in place!

I recently saw an unscientific poll that asked Realtors® this same question in the form of   "Which would you prefer to list a vacant house or a tenant occupied house?" 

Although I was not surprised the first twelve responses were ten to two in favor of vacant.

Why the different perspectives?

For sellers retaining rental income while selling just makes sense.  Sometimes, depending on the location, the presence of an occupant will serve as a deterrent to potential vandals or thieves.  Yes, sometimes thieves will steal components like air conditioners, garage door openers and appliances.  Sometimes, if well maintained and clean, a property will show better with furnishings instead of empty.

Finally, if the buyer is an investor, having a tenant in place saves the expense and vacancy while locating another tenant.  Seems like a win-win for buyer and seller.

For real estate agents having a tenant in place can lead to showing problems.   Sometimes tenants have pets that must be taken care of before strangers come inside.  Some tenants do not want anyone coming in while they are not present. 

Sometimes the tenants just do not want to cooperate for fear of having to move when a property sells.   I have even witnessed tenants "bad mouthing" the local schools, the property, the neighbors or whatever to attempt to discourage a prospective buyer.  [Suggestion:  Owners consider offering your tenant an incentive to cooperate such as bonus/rebate part of rent,etc.]

In Florida, real estate is sold subject to any existing lease.  I recommend tenants get a long term written lease initially and a written annual renewal when the lease expires.   Otherwise, a month to month tenancy could result in a lease cancellation upon sale or, at a minimum, an increase in rent.

So what is the best answer?  As usual, it depends.  It depends on the seller-tenant relationship.  It depends on the location.  It depends on the local market and composition.   Every property and circumstance is different.

If you are ready to buy or sell your Melbourne, Florida home, give me a call at 321-693-3850 if I can help in any way.