Friday, August 28, 2015

Selling Your Home: Inform with these listing terms!

There are times when a real estate agent struggles to come up with something "nice" to say about a property.  This may have been the case with a recent MLS entry I read where the narrative prominently included "Check out the awesome tree in the front yard!"

And while this may not seem like a major selling point it may have been one of the best qualities of the property.   It is much better in my opinion to use words that accurately reflect the property than some vague flowery words.  Facts speak when selling a home!

Some words and phrases are not very well defined.  Sometimes it is simply a case of  beauty in the eye of beholder).

What do some of these words and phrases bring to your mind?  Can you see it or is it just fluff?  Do these phrases really inform?

    Don't believe everything you read.   While the above is my opinion the following infographic provided by the Florida Realtors provides terms based on a university study.

    Thinking about selling your Melbourne, Florida home? Call me at 321-693-3850 or send me an email.

    Thursday, August 27, 2015

    Home Buyer Tips: Used Car and Used House....What is the difference?

    If you read used car advertisements you might run across terms like "gently used," "well maintained," "no worries," or whatever.  The message from the seller is a simple me, this car is a diamond!

    And while the car may be a real gem it is a rare buyer who does not look under the hood.  And if the buyer knows as little about cars as I then they may even have a qualified mechanic take a look.

    The independent mechanic will have no emotional attachment to the car and will provide a real assessment.

    Now shift gears (pun intended)....

    Many sellers swear their house is in move in condition with no problems whatsoever.   And, in their eyes, that may be the case.

    Some buyers will quickly fall in love with a house and fail to see any potential issues.

    In Florida sellers and real estate agents are required to disclose anything that materially affects the value of a property and is not readily visible.  As a real estate agent working with buyers I may point out issues that could warrant additional investigation during the due diligence period.

    I have worked with many prospective buyers who were quick to open up the AC or look at the plumbing or whatever.   Some may take a peek in the breaker box as well.   But most have little real knowledge of what they are looking at.   I have had buyers climb the attic stairs to take a look at the roof from the inside.   I actually had one buyer climb on the roof to "check for soft spots."   This is not inadvisable - ever!

    While looking under the hood is something that needs to be done it should be done by a qualified home inspector who has no emotional attachment whatsoever to the house or the deal.

    Property inspections are not expensive here in Florida (cost is usually in the $300-$500 range).    And even with an "as is" purchase contract it is wise to include an inspection addendum.  This inspection addendum is a buyer's get out of jail free card.

    Trained inspectors will give a report on a property condition at the time of inspection.  The inspector will not be able to tell you if the AC will last a month or five years.   They will not tell you how much exact life is left on a roof system.   Just like the mechanic who can give you a report on a car's condition today the property inspector can only report on what they can see and test on the inspection day.

    While a house is not a used car it warrants a look under the hood.   Here is some additioanl readuing about the home purchase and inspection process.
    Ready to buy a home in Viera, Florida?  Call me at 321-693-3850 or send me an email.

    Thursday, August 20, 2015

    Brevard County, Florida Single Family Home Market Report - July 2015 Data By Florida Realtors

    The July 2015 Brevard County, Florida single family home market is summarized with additional charts provided to expand on the data. (Courtesy Florida Realtors)

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    Wednesday, August 19, 2015

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    Monday, August 17, 2015

    The Relationship Between Market Value, Assessed Value, Taxable Value When Buying or Selling a Florida Home

    Whether buying or selling a home there are a couple of key points to remember about a residential real estate transaction:
    1. A prospective buyer does not care what you paid for your home.
    2. The assessed value at the property appraiser's office has nothing to do with the price a prospective buyer should offer.
    The current Brevard County, Florida residential market (like most other areas of Florida) is a seller's market.    There are simply more buyers chasing fewer available properties resulting in rising prices and multiple offer situations.
    A buyer may want to use the assessed value from a tax appraiser's office to determine an offer price.  But the assessed value has nothing to do with market value.   There is no "secret multiplier" that can be applied to the assessed value to determine the market value.

    Likewise some sellers like to refer to a big real estate web site that offers Z-estimates to get their property's selling price or worth.   Again, they have little to do with  market value primarily because the value lacks current data.  Hint:  call a local real estate agent. 

    Here is a question from the Brevard County Property Appraiser website about these values.
    Q. What is the difference between market, assessed, and taxable values?
    The market value is the most probable selling price, based on the actual sales of similar properties, less the typical costs of sale.
    The assessed value may be less than the market value if the property is a residential property having homestead exemption and is therefore protected by the "Save Our Homes" Constitutional assessment limitations.
    The taxable value is the assessed value less any applicable exemptions.
    My suggestion for any buyer who really wants a specific house...Make your initial offer a reasonable offer with only the necessary contingencies.

    Contact me about the Florida First Time Home Buyer Program.   I can refer you to knowledgeable lenders!

    Wednesday, August 12, 2015

    Home Seller Tips: Name Your Price, Someone Will List It!

    There will always be someone to list any house at any price to               .

    Today was haircut day.   While in the chair the stylist discussed a house up for sale in her neighborhood.   She said the price was way too high.  She said the house was not special. No pool, small, no remodeling.  Neighbors usually know and, in my experience, are quick to tell prospective buyers when they pull up!

    I am familiar with the neighborhood.  It is, in my opinion, most likely listed for at least 25% above the market.

    I am not sure of this seller's motivation.  If the list price is based on what they paid for their house that is a flawed strategy.  Buyers do not care what a seller paid!

    If a seller really wants to sell the price will reflect reasonable market influences.  The price may be slightly higher than the competition due to condition factors (or upgrades) but the price will still be attractive enough to attract interested or curious prospects.

    What does a listing price completely out of line with an area say about a sellers' motivation?

    In the current Brevard County, Florida residential market there are plenty of competing buyers when a house is priced realistically and is move in ready.

    But there is a difference between hopefully optimistic and unreasonably overpriced.    If a seller's house is indeed priced correctly above similar nearby properties it is critical their real estate agent conveys the difference to prospective buyer agents. 

    But if a seller wants to list at an unrealistic price there will always be an agent to do just that because a listing with a sign out front and Internet marketing power will bring leads to that agent - even if they don't bring a buyer for the house

    My philosophy is simple - list to sell!  I would not list at any price if I knew I could not sell it at or near that price.

    Is it wise to list your home for a price that is higher than the market?
    Your selling price is only your selling price - not the buyers!
    Unless a Seller understands this they are doomed to fail!
    What your listing price should reflect.

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

    Monday, August 10, 2015

    Home Seller Tips: Selling Your Home is No Different Than Playing Golf - Understanding Risk

    Anyone who has ever attempted to play golf knows it is not easy.   If it were, everyone would be playing and you would never get a tee time!

    While watching a PGA Seniors Golf tournament a few weeks ago one of the commentators proclaimed "to play well you have to take what the course gives for the conditions."

    Being a real estate agent I immediately thought about home sellers and how they (and their real estate agents) could learn from that proclamation.

    In golf one can play aggressive and likely end up in trouble.

    A golfer who makes a living playing could end up missing the cut and not making money.  An aggressive home seller may take a chance by pricing high for the market, condition and competition with the result being failure.

    The golf course conditions set the likely best score a golfer can get with their game.  The real estate market sets the most likely price.

    Understanding this, as well as the risk for being aggressive, is key for accepting the results.

    Image courtesy of tungphoto at

    Tuesday, August 4, 2015

    Real Estate and Life...Its All about Perspective.

    We all view things differently based on our own set of circumstances and goals.

    For instance, this morning as I hit the drive thru at McDonald's for my usual un-sweetened tea (so not southern) I asked the young man at the window "How's it going"    His reply was a real snappy "Wonderful...No kids, no bills!"   

    This is quite the contrast from the older lady at another McDonald's near my office when I order the same.  I learned from her routine response to thank you "yeah" that it was likely safer to not go near "How's it going?"

    Given his twenty-something look that was probably a great answer.

    How does this relate to a real estate blog?

    People are different.  Real estate is a people business.

    Circumstances that lead to either buying or selling a house or condo are rarely the same.  Experience levels are sometimes different.  Knowledge of the process can vary greatly.   Goals and time constraints vary.  Even in the same transaction significant others can view things completely differently.

    Perspective varies.  

    It could be "Wonderful, No Kids, No Bills!" or it could be just a "yeah!"

    Either way, when you are ready to buy sell a Viera, Florida home, call me at 321-693-3850 or send me an email.

    As I drove away I thought to myself... wait until you reach my age and you will know that kids (and grandchildren) with a few bills is not necessarily a bad thing!

    Image courtesy of tiverylucky at

    Originally posted on Florida Homes For Sale Blog on August 3, 2015.

    Monday, August 3, 2015

    Selling Your Home: Is the Open House an Outdated Concept?

    As I drive around the central Brevard County, Florida area on weekends I see fewer open house signs out.  Are real estate agents really doing fewer now than in previous years?

    Maybe.  Maybe not.

    One explanation could be fewer open house signs may be an indication of a market with lower inventory and more buyers.  Knowing the favorable market why would a seller want an open house?

    Some sellers do not want an open house.  They do not want a bunch of strangers running loose in their house.  [Hosting real estate agents try very hard to supervise all people coming to an open house however it is not foolproof.   Your real estate agent most likely will not know any of these people.]

    Many sellers believe an open house is more for the listing agent to try and get buyers to sell another house to later than for them.  While most open houses do not result in a buyer walking in to buy the home that day it could happen - especially in this market.

    Could it be real estate agents know that with the median days on the market in Brevard County hovering around thirty days it is not necessary for them to sit an open house when they could be on the golf course?  I doubt this is an accurate explanation for most real estate agents.

    Could it be that not all properties are suitable candidates for an open house?   The short answer, yes.

    Not all properties are suitable for an open house (location not convenient to major traffic, price point too high or low, property does not show well, circumstances of sale (illness, death in the family), etc.)   

    Another explanation for fewer open house signs on the weekend could be the open house was conducted during the week.  There are some properties that, based on location and afternoon traffic, may be well suited for a during the week open house.   If the most likely buyer is a retiree or second home buyer, then a weekday or afternoon open house may work fine.

    So, is the open house an outdated concept for selling your home?  No.

    Is it a worthwhile effort for you and your real estate agent?  It all depends. The key is with the right property, success can happen.

    Discuss the pros and cons of the open house, including the best day of the week, when interviewing real estate agents to sell your Viera, Florida home.

    Considering selling your Melbourne, Florida home?  Call me at 321-693-3850 for a market analysis. If you prefer, send me an email.