Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Home Buyer Tips: Look Beyond What You See...

Who has not heard these wise words of counsel...Don't look at where you are but where you are going.  These can be encouraging words, for sure.

When working with home buyers I provide similar advice although it is usually re-worded somewhat.   Put into the context of the home buying process it sounds more like "look beyond what you see before you at this time."

What do I mean look beyond?  It is simple...disregard the distractors that really mean very little.

What distractors?

Paint color is one of the most common but it could be that gawd awful wall paper sometimes present.  Or it could be the clutter that makes the room look small.  Or the neglected landscaping that makes you wonder why the homeowner association hasn't done something yet!

Or it could be the filth or smell.  Yes, sometimes people do not clean their house before putting them up for sale...I kid you not!  Of all things one can do to prepare a home for the market the least costly is cleaning!

I have found the ability to look beyond these distractors is a rare trait among the less experienced buyers.

This is not to say the distractors will not be deal killers.   It is just a matter of seeing what can be and not necessarily what is.

It all comes down to what a buyer is seeking in a new home.  If a home buyer has no desire to make any changes whatsoever then the decision is easier.   But if a buyer will consider making some changes then the ability to see what could be is critical.

There are a couple of limiting issues buyers must consider when seeing what could be:
  1. Understand the required skills and time required to take the property where it needs to go, and
  2. Is the available budget sufficient after the cost of buying and moving to allow changes?
Key Point:  Buyers need to understand the impact distractions have on their decision making when shopping for a home.  Just as importantly sellers need to understand the role distractions can play in getting an offer on their house.

Ready to buy or sell a home in Melbourne, Florida and the surrounding area?  Call me at 321-693-3850, please!


Friday, September 18, 2015

How to NOT sell your home to the buyer who really likes your home!

I hate solicitation calls!   Whether in the real estate business or any other business there is always someone wanting to separate you from your money.

As a Melbourne, Florida real estate agent I am always getting out of area calls.  So when my phone rang early this morning with an unfamiliar zip code I figured it was someone relocating to Florida.  

Instead it was some sales call from California.  

After being grilled for five minutes with nothing but questions and criticism of my current methods of marketing to people who are looking to buy a home in Melbourne, Florida I finally ended the call rather abruptly.  

This caller was a great example of what can happen during the home sale and purchase process. 

I have rarely ever gone on a listing interview where a prospective seller did not boast about their home's positive qualities and characteristics (location, updates, neighbors, schools nearby or whatever).  Sometimes that pride was accompanied by an overly optimistic opinion of their home's worth.

After providing a market analysis and thorough explanation of market conditions the seller usually decides on a reasonable listing price given the competition, circumstances of the sale and the property's qualities (good and bad). 

Once the house is on the market sellers are anxious for showings and excitedly anticipate feedback from showing agents.   (Feedback is rare and the best feedback is an offer.)

One thing I have noticed through the years when working as a seller's agent is when prospective buyers really like a house and a potential offer may be forthcoming more "nitpicking" comments showed up during feedback.  

Many times the criticisms was a "set up" for a lower offer.

And even when negotiations were successful then comes the inspection. While property inspectors are only reporting findings the delivery of these results are often interpreted by sellers as criticism.

This is one of the great challenges when buying or selling a home......criticism and how it is received.

If the ego gets involved (and bruised) then the hopes of a satisfactory closing sink.  You are never going to sell or buy anything if you want to argue.
With the call this morning there was no one between the two parties (yours truly and the anonymous caller) so it ended abruptly.   I still have no idea what the caller was selling or what company they represented (Is expecting an introduction early on asking for too much?)

Fortunately, in the case of buyers and sellers, the real estate professionals involved can be the calming voices
As a matter of practice I never use any method of business generation that involves a technique that will not work on me like cold calling.  I will never bother anyone who visits my website to search homes for sale in Brevard County, Florida.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Why Would a Real Estate Agent Say This? "Anyone can sell their own home."

Thinking about selling your Viera or Melbourne, Florida home?   Why not do it yourself as a For Sale By Owner (FSBO)?   After all, anyone can sell their own home, right?

The process is simple.

A seller needs just one buyer with the ability and desire to purchase.  

agent@moving2brveard.comBut, in the current Brevard County, Florida real estate market, having only one buyer trying to buy your home could mean it has not been marketed to the right people.

In the current Florida real estate market, a well maintained, move in ready home that is priced appropriately will likely receive multiple offers.   

While the for sale by owner price may be on target (emailed a real estate agent to get a free market analysis) it could be the right message gets ignored because it is delivered the wrong way (case in point, consider politicians).

Its all about maximizing exposure to the most likely to buyer pool.    

A FSBO seller needs targeted focused marketing to get multiple offers (and the best price).   A focused marketing plan is more than just a sign out front or an advertisement in the Sunday Florida Today real estate section (who reads the Sunday paper anyway?). 

Call a local knowledgeable real estate agent about how they would create a customized marketing plan to effectively market your home.

All homes are not the same.  A cookie cutter marketing plan found on some Internet web site does not always work.

One final word... 
As a FSBO getting a buyer is one thing.  What about the other considerations like your family's safety... the buyer's ability to close....escrow monies and the process?  There are a myriad of issues when selling your home.
Don't minimize the process or the risk.
If you are considering selling your Viera, Florida home talk to me about a marketing plan that will create demand.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Why would a seller ask for a proof of funds letter if the buyer is getting a mortgage?

One of the first steps in the home buying process is obtaining a mortgage pre-approval.  This is usually done right after or about the same time as one chooses a real estate agent to serve as their agent throughout the entire purchase process.

Key point:  It is important for buyers to remember the listing real estate agent works for the seller.  Also, it costs nothing to have your own real estate agent represent you.

The home purchase process usually involves making an offer to purchase with a small amount of money offered as earnest money to show the seller that the buyer is serious.  This escrow money will go toward the purchase and is refundable if the property fails an inspection or financing falls through.

It is common practice to provide a copy of the mortgage pre-approval letter at the time of offer. Sellers want to know a prospective buyer has the ability to complete the purchase.

If the offer is a cash offer then the prospective buyer should expect to provide a letter documenting available funds to complete the purchase.   This proof of funds letter should come from a bank, investment company or similar institution and simply state the buyer has sufficient funds available for the purchase. 

Sometimes, if the offer includes a significant down payment, the seller may request proof of funds for the down payment amount.  While I have never had a seller ask for a proof of funds letter for the down payment I can understand if it gets requested.  I do believe the lender a buyer is using for their mortgage may influence whether a letter is requested.  My experience has been most sellers are more comfortable with a local brick and mortar lender and less comfortable with Internet only lenders.

If you are considering a home purchase in Brevard County, Florida and would like some local lender contacts, please email me for a list of lenders.   While I usually do not recommended specific lenders I can tell you who past clients have successfully used in the past including Michael Smith with Movement Mortgage in Melbourne, FL.

Here are a few related articles about the home buying process.
Have a question about the home buying process in Florida?  Give me a call at 32-693-3850 or send me an email.

Ready to sell your Melbourne or Viera, Florida home, I can help as well.  Ask for your free no obligation market analysis!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Home Seller Tips: Should a seller take the first offer?

A few years ago the Florida real estate market was really down.   Back then almost any offer was a good offer.

But a shift has come. 

Now with the median days on the market in Brevard County down to about a month rarely does a move in ready property stay on the market very long before an offer arrives - very often on day one.  It is also not uncommon for sellers to receive multiple offers very soon after listing their home.

In my opinion, just as every buyer is different so is every offer. There is no correct answer to the title question.

Some subscribe to the philosophy of the first offer will be your best offer.   It could be but not always.

It will always depend on the buy and their motivation.  If the buyer is a searching for bargains a low ball offer may arrive first.  But if a buyer is motivated and needs to relocate then the first offer may be full list price or close to it.

So how does a seller evaluate early offers?  The same way a seller would evaluate any offer.  All offers should take into consideration things such as:
  • the circumstances of the sale (motivation), 
  • the timeline involved, 
  • any external pressures like moving a family or starting a new job, 
  • mortgage owed, 
  • the immediate competition,  
  • the terms of the offer (the offer is more than just price),
  • and any other peripheral issues.
Every sale is different.  There is no right or wrong answer to teh title question.

When a seller prices within reason and a buyer understands the market first offers can work out for all.

Considering selling your Viera or Melbourne, Florida home?  Call me at 321-693-3850 for a free market analysis.

Ready to buy a Florida home?  I want to help you!


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Home Seller Tips: Where is the light fixture?

When viewing a home prospective buyers will sometimes ask their real estate agent "What is staying with the house?"    In my experience buyers are usually referring to items like a washer/dryer or perhaps a shed in the back yard.

The easy answer...Personal property goes, Real property stays. 
Disclaimer:  This article I am referring to real estate transactions in Florida only. I am not an attorney.
What is personal property?   Simply put personal property is something that is easily move-able (like a washer or dryer). 

Personal property can become real property once attached to a house like a light fixture or ceiling fan.  When in the box sitting in a closet or garage these items are personal property.  Once attached they become real property.  The same goes for trees and plants permanently in the ground. 

What should a seller do?  I recommend sellers prepare a clearly identified "stays with the house" list that can be provided with the listing documents to help the buyers and their real estate agent answer the question in sentence one above.

If something like a ceiling fan or chandelier will go or be replaced I suggest the change happen during the preparation phase.  It is better for a prospective buyer to see a basic light fixture rather than a hole in the ceiling!

And if some personal items (like furniture) will be sold to the buyers, handle that as a side transaction outside of the real estate purchase.   Besides, lenders do not want to see personal property on a purchase agreement.

In the home purchase process the last thing a buyer does is a walk through inspection to make sure the property has been adequately maintained and to ensure everything that is staying with the house is present.  

The key to a smooth transaction is open and clear communication.  The last thing a seller or buyer needs is an avoidable crisis because something is gone or has been replaced.


 Chandelier Image courtesy of Sira Anamwong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net