Thursday, October 29, 2015

Selling Your Home: Your neighbors WILL be involved.

Recently I was driving through a local neighborhood previewing some properties for an out of town buyer relocating to Brevard County, Florida.    One of the things that stood out in this particular neighborhood was one of the neighbors.  I am not sure if the lady actually lived next door or was just walking her dog.

Still, she made a very negative impression with her less than welcoming inquiry as to whether she could help me find something.

As a real estate agent I don''t judge the neighborhood by one foul mouthed neighbor.   But out of town buyers may not know the "story" behind this exception.

Part of selling your home is selling your neighborhood. 

If you are getting ready to sell your Melbourne, Florida home take a good look at your neighborhood.

Think about the things that you may find annoying about your neighborsdisruptive or loud, a yard with absolutely no curb appeal, a home with obvious deferred maintenance, several nuisance dogs who bark constantly, etc.

When I work with buyers I almost always suggest they drive through the neighborhood during the late afternoon or on the weekend.   Take a look at what things are like when kids are not in school and most are home from work.  

I sometimes suggest buyers question neighbors.   If I do it I am sure other agents do as well. 

When I go on listing appointments I always ask about the neighbors.  Almost 100% of the time the answer is the same. Never met a seller who said they had a jerk for a neighbor....nope, always the salt of the earth!

When you are ready to sell your home, enlist your neighbors help, if possible.  You want to make your home stand out.

Sometimes the one thing that makes your home stand out are your neighbors – for good or bad!  

Your neighbors will be involved...make it a positive!  

If you are ready to sell your Viera, Florida home I want to help!  Call or text me at 321-693-3850 for your free market analysis.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Buying a House in Florida: We Can't Move Until You Move....

No, this article is not about packing materials and moving vans.  It is directed at prospective home buyers who contact me and "want to buy a house." 

Buying a home is an organized process.  Each step of the process is ordered.  The first step should be finding a local real estate agent to help you.

One of the first areas your real estate agent will address is your ability to purchase.  It serves no purpose to go look for a house if a purchase is not possible.  Most buyers are not cash buyers.  If one has the ability to pay cash then all that is necessary is a proof of funds letter or statement. Read "Questions Your Real Estate Agent Will Ask When You Call them the First Time."

But most buyers obtain a mortgage for a purchase as large as a house or condo.  The ability to purchase is given substance when a buyer has a mortgage pre-approval letter.  So when your real estate agent requests a letter or recommends contacting a mortgage lender, act.

Because your real estate agent can move until you move

Here are some specific articles about the home purchase process - especially mortgage pre-approval, mortgage pre-qualification and cash purchases.

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

Want a list of Brevard County, Florida mortgage lenders? Call me at 321-693-3850 or send me an email.

Monday, October 19, 2015

What is the secret to selling your home?

Regardless of topic there is always a "secret" that, once learned, opens the gate to success, right.  There are millions of articles on the Internet that claim to reveal the secret of selling your house.

But you don't need to search Google for the secret to selling your it is!

The secret to selling your home is simple.
  1. Set a price that appropriately reflects condition.
  2. Set a price for its location.  You can't change the zip code or the neighborhood.  You can't change the school quality (in the short term).  Remember location, location, location!
  3. Set a price based on the competition.  A house is likely not going to sell for much more than similar competitive properties in the same location.
  4. Set a price that reflects the circumstances of the sale including timeline and type of sale (estate, short sale, etc.).  The circumstances of the sale do not include a seller "getting what they need from the sale."  The market will set the price a willing motivated buyer will pay
So the secret is all about price.  Selling anything is always about price.

The real challenge to selling a home is managing the process so as to get the most money possible while meeting the sellers goals and timeline.  That challenge requires process management.

The secret to success when selling your home is simple....Hire a knowledgeable local real estate agent. 

Here are some articles to help find a local Melbourne, Florida real estate agent.

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

Monday, October 12, 2015

Home Seller Tips: Expired means "participated."

A month or so ago there was a lot of conversation regarding kids receiving trophies for participating in some event or team sport.  One story that garnered the most attention was about James Harrison of the Pittsburgh Steelers giving his children's participation trophies back.

And then just this morning I saw the new Kia automobile advertisement about participation.  The point made was very strong.  Watch the Kia "participation" commercial here.

Sometimes participation is not recognized equally. 

Such is the case in real estate. 

To participate successfully a home gets sold for the most money possible for a home's condition, location and the circumstances of the sale.

If trophies for participation are given out in real estate for participation they would go to "expired listings."  A listing expires for multiple reasons although, in my opinion, it is a pricing issue.

The root of the pricing issue may be the seller motivation, poor real estate agent choice or possibly a problem with presentation (availability for showing, staging, preparation).

Regardless of reason expired means "participated."

I am not advocating a wining at all cost approach to everything in life.  Each individual must decide whether participation in anything is enough for them.

Home owners do not hire real estate agents just so they can participate in the real estate marketing process.  And no professional real estate agent gets paid for participating only but rather particpating successfully (winning).

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

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Is this the Best Time to Buy a House?

It seems that not a month goes by when I don't receive a mailer from the local car dealer that services my vehicle.  Seems they think it is the right time for me to trade in my car for a new one.   But I am not ready to buy a new car.   There is only one reason it is the best time for me to buy - they are selling cars!

As one who sells real estate estate in Melbourne, Florida, I am always seeking out people for whom it is the right time to buy or sell their Melbouren, Florida home.  That is the nature of the business.

Still, I understand that for all most it is not the best time to buy a house.

People buy a house or condo when the circumstances and motivations are right for them.  Usually its because they desire to become home owners and not renters.   The motivatuion may be to put down firm roots.  The desire may be to no longer move.  It is those prospective Melbourne, Florida home buyers I seek to help. 

If the motivation is already there but some doubt remains consider these reasons to move buy a house now. 
  • Interest Rates.  They remain low, for now.  A rise of 1% in interest rates can make a tremendous difference in total payments (principal, interest, tax, insurance) .   And that increase in mortgage payment can cause a buyers ability to purchase to be lowered as mortgage
    approval amounts could decrease depending on total income, credit scores and other factors.   
  • Home Sales Prices are increasing.  Price is simply a reflection of supply and demand.
  • Rental Rates are increasing.   Just as home prices are rising so are rental prices in Brevard County, Florida as well.  And rental rates rarely ever go down so you should expect to be paying more next year!
If the motivation and ability to purchase is there, then this is the right time to buy a home in Melbourne, Florida. 

If one is considering moving up to a larger home now or even downsizing this is likely a good time to sell and buy.

I am not my car dealer.   You will not receive a mailer from Waters Realty of Brevard telling you it is time to buy a home in Melbourne, Florida.  You will not find a mailer or email from Waters Realty of Brevard telling you it is time to sell your Viera, Florida home.  

Why?  Because only you really know when the time is right buyer or sell a home in Florida.

If your circumstances, motivation and goals are pointing you toward buying a home in Florida I want to help you.  

Please call me at 321-693-3850 or send me an email.

Image courtesy of renjith krishnan at

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Because you closed a deal does not mean they will ever call on you again! Customers have choices.

The stories are legendary when it comes to poor customer service received at DMV offices.  I suggest the same can be said about cable companies.

Just last week I had one of those experiences at a local Brevard County, Florida cable company.  Without detailing the experience suffice it to say that it was not without hassle.  In the end we left with the service we intended to get although the process was less than ideal. 

As a consumer I recognized what I considered to be poor service or, at a minimum, a customer service experience that was below my expectations.

As one who is in the customer service business I take such experiences and treat them as opportunities to review my own methods and practices.

So what are my lessons learned from one afternoon in the cable office?

1.  Understand what your customer is seeking.   Do not assume the consumer has a thorough knowledge of your products, services and the processes involved.
2.  Deliver what you say and confirm your customer understood and got answers to their questions.
3.  Use language and terms you are certain your customer understands.  It is really easy to use the language of your trade (doctors, real estate, legal, construction, etc).
4.  Never assume all is well because one of the parties to the transaction understands!  Above all else this was particularly the worst part of the experience cable experience where the clerk remarked "That is OK, your husband understands."  If your customer ever feels like you are being condescending it should be game over.
5.  Know who the decision maker really is.   See point number four.
6.  There are always other options.  In this case the product was cable services and not real estate.  Unlike cable and cell phone, I know I am not the only real estate agent in Brevard County, Florida and must be customer focused - always.
In real estate just because you closed a deal with a consumer does not mean they will ever call on you again or recommend you to another consumer.

If you are looking for a Viera or Melbourne, Florida real estate agent, call me at 321-693-3850.  I understand the above paragraph!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Which is better a buyer's agent or seller's agent when selling your home?

I saw the subject question posted on another real estate site earlier this week.   I know few real estate agents who specialize and practice solely in one side of the transaction.

Many sellers choose to use the same agent who sells their home as their buyer's agent for their new home.   Many buyers very often call their buyer's agent later to sell the house they helped them buy. 

The reason these consumers use the same agent for both types of transactions is simple - its all about the agent's skills and trust.

What does a seller want from their real estate agent?

The above graphic says it all.   Prospective sellers should interview several agents and work with the one they trust who can meet their goals in their time-frame - regardless if they are a "buyer's" or "seller's" agent or work with both.  Its experience, professionalism and local knowledge that counts.

Here are some related articles on interviewing and choosing a real estate agent to sell your Florida home.
Ready to sell your Melbourne, Florida home?  Call me at 321-693-3850 or send me an email if I can help.