Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Home Buyer Tips: See More Than A House When Shopping for Your Next Home.

Once you buy a house you can't move it...unless its an RV!

While the home purchase process focuses on the physical characteristics of the house buyers must not forget all the things that can't be changed. 

What are some of these unchangeable things?

Schools.   If you have children, not only is school quality what you desire but what about the walk/ride to school?  If your children will be walking or biking to school is the route safe?
Crime Rates.  Many buyers are tempted to ask their real estate agent about crime in the area.  While the agent may know the answer they should really be the source of the source.  In other words, they should direct you to the local law enforcement agency.  Call them up and ask.  They have no reason to be anything but honest!
Commute Times.   Not only is the proximity of schools important but also the commute time to work or other activities you will be frequently engaged in like golf, college campuses or whatever. 
Traffic patterns.  Ease of access to major routes is a lot different than being located on the major route. 
Parks, Playgrounds and Leisure Activity.  While this is close to the commute times mentioned above it is also different.    If you want to take the kids to the park, playground or sports activity it may not be convenient to drive a half hour each way to drop them off for ball practice.

While the specific house is most important for home buyers it is critical to consider the area as well.  Drive the neighborhood and see the things that come with your house - its surroundings!

Finally, investigate these things. Don't take the seller's word that the park is close by, the schools are excellent, etc!    If buyers approach the home buying process with an attitude of "Sellers Disclose, Buyers Verify" there will likely be fewer surprises down the road!

Here are more articles to consider when buying your next home in Florida.

If you are ready to buy a house in Viera, Rockledge or Melbourne, Florida I want to help.  Call or text me at 321-693-3850 or send me an email.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Home Buyer Tips: Livable Space or Just Space - Is Bigger Better?

I have been spending a couple of hours working on some comparables for a customer who is interested in buying a home in Viera, Florida.   The challenge in this case is that, while the house is very nice, it is also one of the largest in the subdivision.  

Also the list price is significantly higher than most of the past sales (all of the past sales during previous ten months).  

My question for the listing agent:  How did you arrive at the market price?  What did you use for comparable properties?  Or, was it what the seller wanted?  Was it what the seller needed to net? 

Probably a bigger question for prospective buyers:  Aside from a cash offer, how can one finance a home that is much higher than the others comparables? 

What if the appraisal comes in low?
Under Contract is not Sold.
Highest Offer Not Always Best Offer.

And the bigger question for the seller:   How does your real estate agent plan to sell your non gated community home for a price that is higher than everything else and more in line with the homes for sale in the larger, nearby gated communities?

Smart buyers understand that, given a choice between buying the largest home in a neighborhood other smallest home in the same neighborhood, they should go small!

Besides the largest house may not be the best floor plan.  After all, it is all about livable space and not just space

I understand many sellers believe their home is the nicest house in the neighborhood.  I understand many sellers believe their “nicest home in the neighborhood” will sell for significantly more than any other house in the neighborhood. 

As a Viera, Florida buyer's real estate agent I understand my job is to assist them in buying a house for the best price possible in a time frame that meets their schedule and, most importantly, is within their budget. 

If prospective buyers have a real estate agent like me they will likely be advised it is almost always better to buy near a neighborhood’s mid-point as it pertains to price and size.  

After all, its all about the buyer - not me, or the seller!

For information on buying or selling a home in Viera, Florida, give me a call at 321-693-3850 or email me.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Your Real Estate Agent Is Just a Real Estate Agent!

The title of this short article is not meant in any way to detract from the professionalism and service Realtors provide customers.  Rather it is meant as tip for prospective home buyers and sellers.

I recently read a comment that real estate agents wear a lot of hats and clients expect them to know it all.

Buying or selling a house is very often the greatest financial decision an individual makes in a lifetime. And it should be approached fully informed.

But what is that information based upon?  Certainly not just the information on the internet - including this article. 

How do you know when the advice is good?   Anything found on the Internet must be evaluated on its own merits.

Whether buying a home or selling the first step is hiring a real estate agent.   As a buyer this is a good deal because you don't pay for the agent you hire - the seller does!

And while the real estate agent one chooses must be knowledgeable in the market and processes they must also acknowledge their limitations.

Most real estate agents are not
  • Appraisers.  While real estate agents provide an opinion of value (a market analysis) in the end it is just that - an opinion
  • Tax Advisers.  Consult a CPA/accountant if you need to know the answers. 
  • Legal Experts.  Attorneys are the experts.  A real estate agent who in not an attorney is treading on dangerous ground when they offer anything remotely resembling legal opinions. 
  • Homeowner Association Expert.  What the rules allow or don't when it comes to the association rules is not your real estate agent's bailiwick.
  • General contractors.  Unless your real estate agent is an experienced contractor then estimates of repairs or opinions of condition are out of their expertise.  Further, when you have a home inspection the property inspector will tell you the condition of property - not provide a prognosis or diagnosis.
  • Clairvoyant.  What will be built on the vacant lot in the future is not in their tool kit.  
  • Investment Adviser.  What the future value of a property or projected return on investment will be is not a real estate skill.
When you are ready to choose a real estate agent to help you sell your Melbourne, Florida home or buy a home in Melbourne, Florida, understand what they are and, more importantly, what they are not.

Here are six articles about buying or selling a house in Florida:
  1. Why You Should Not Call the Listing Agent.
  2. Choosing a Real Estate Agent to Sell Your Melbourne, Florida Home.
  3. Is It Desirable to Choose the Biggest Real Estate Company to Sell Your Home?
  4. Is a Long Listing Contract Desirable When Selling Your Melbourne, Florida Home?
  5. What Should A Seller Expect From Their Florida Real Estate Agent?
  6. Multiple Offers, Appraisals and Financing.

If I can help you with the purchase or sale of house in Melbourne, Florida please call or text me at 321-693-3850.


Image courtesy of khunaspix at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Home Seller Tips: How To Choose The Right Agent To Sell Your Home

Rule Number 1 When Selling Your Home:  Sellers should not list with real estate agents who do not possess local knowledge.

That said, they do.

But I am sure most sellers do not intentionally hire an agent to sell their home who is not a local expert. 

So how does it happen?

There are the obvious contributors to selecting the wrong agent  such as a relative, a friend's brother or sister, your boss' agent... yadda yadda yadda. 

And then some believe what the agents say about themselves.  Many agents promote themselves as the local Brevard County, Florida real estate wonk.   Okay, wonk is my word.

Their preferred word - expert.

With the wide use of the Internet to market properties many agents have expanded their market area beyond the immediate area of their office.   A license to sell real estate is not a license to practice in all areas!   

I see that sometimes in the Brevard County area when agents from the Orlando area list homes here without a great deal of local knowledge.   Combine the out of area agent with an out of area appraiser then things can get a little nervous for sellers and buyers.

Just FYI...offices can join out of area multiple listing services without living in the out of area location.   In fairness to some brokerages the office may be out of the area but they have agents who live and work in the local area (Why not work with locally owned brokerage?)

This is not a "how to interview real estate agents to sell your house" article.  But here are links to some helpful articles to assist with choosing the best agent agent to sell your Melbourne, Florida house.

If you are ready to sell your Viera, Florida or Melbourne, Florida home, call or text me at 321-693-3850 for your market analysis. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Buying a Home in Florida: Why You Need an Exclusive Buyer's Agent

I recently had a prospective buyer cancel an appointment with me because they had contacted the seller's agent directly after speaking with me.   I am not sure what transpired during the conversation.

The prospect made one comment that got me to writing this: "I don't want to step on the listing agent's toes."   I can appreciate the considerate attitude, for sure.

I have written this multiple times over the past nine years of writing blogs (four of them) about buying and selling homes in central Florida.  

The name on the sign out front works for the SELLER - not youCalling the listing agent is not going to get you a better deal.

I explained that, in Florida, the concept of dual agency is against the law.  In other words a single real estate agent can not represent both sides of the transaction although an agent may provide both parties limited representation as a transaction broker

Here are some related articles:
So if you are considering buying a home in Viera, Florida get your own agent.  Your Viera, Florida real estate agent should have only your interests at heart.

It is simple.....

While it is possible for an agent to "double end" the transaction (receive commission for buyer and seller) in the end only one side can actually be represented.

The listing real estate agent represents the seller – first and you, hopeful home buyer, last.

If you are selling your Melbourne, Florida home make sure your agent is representing you and not the buyer they bring.  

If you are ready to sell your Viera, Florida home, I want to work for you!   Call or text me at 321-693-3850 or send me an email.