Thursday, December 8, 2016

Don't Read This Real Estate Article.....

..... unless you are seeking information about buying a home in Florida.

Considering a move to Florida?  If so, begin with these ten  articles.
If you are ready to buy a home in Melbourne, Florida or the planned unit development of Viera, please give me a call at 321-693-3850.

Have other questions about buying or selling a home in Florida?  Send me an email or give me a call!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Rockledge, Florida Home For Lease - 3BR 2BA 2 CAR GARAGE $1,350

Available now!  This move in ready Rockledge home for $1,350 a month, one year lease!

Three bedrooms two bath two car garage concrete block stucco home in the centrally located Three Meadows development.   Built in 1995, this smoke free home is in great condition and is located near excellent schools, shopping, several golf courses.

With beaches, Patrick Air Force Base, Kennedy Space Center as well as major Melbourne employers within easy commute, this home will not last.

Open floor plan with 1,320 sq.ft. under air.  The enclosed, tile back porch easily cooled as well!

Features gas heat and water heater.  Sprinkler system on well water.   Carpet in bedrooms, laminate in living room and dining area.  Tile kitchen and baths.   Quiet city street, sidewalks and more!


Send me a text or call 321-693-3850 for more information.

Your Credit Report and Buying a Home

The first step in the home buying process involves obtaining a mortgage.   Most often prospective home buyers seek the assistance of a mortgage lender to obtain a mortgage pre-approval before looking at their first home.

The mortgage pre-approval is often confused with the mortgage pre-qualification.  But these are total different items.

A mortgage pre-qualification is a simple process.  And when it comes to mortgages simple is not good enough!

Mortgage pre-qualification applicants provide information about their income and expenses.  Based on that information the lender can give a general idea of their likely approval mortgage amount. 

But the mortgage pre-qualification is not the same as a mortgage pre-approval.  And sellers (and real estate agents) place little faith in the pre-qualification. 

But the mortgage pre-approval is different. 

While the pre-qualification is a simple, cursory look the mortgage pre-approval is a serous look at a prospective buyer's fiscal situation and the state of their credit. 

This involves much more than just answering a few questions and get a letter. 

The mortgage pre-approval involves providing proof of income.  Lenders will verify employment.  They will look at W-2 forms and copies of tax returns.  They will ask questions.  They will seriously review the prospect's credit report.

Of all these items the one that can often slow up the process is the credit report.   Obtaining a credit report is not a problem.  Having a correct credit repeat can be a major roadblock!

In today's high technology world identity theft happens.  Sometimes the wrong person's information ends up on a credit report.  Sometimes wrong accounts get listed.  Sometimes negative reports may still be reflected after they should have fallen off. 

When one is seeking a mortgage fr a home purchase is not the time to find these problems because sometimes the problems can't be fixed quickly.

As a matter of routine everyone should review their credit report.  It is free - Get Your Free Annual Credit Report.

A few final thoughts about credit reports and mortgages....
  • A mortgage pre-approval letter from a local lender is often the difference between one offer being accepted versus another.
  • The approved amount is not the must spend amount.  This is where your local real estate agent can help keep you grounded!
  • Mortgage pre-approval letters can expire.  Most sellers want a recent letter.
Here are a few links about the home buying process.

Considering buying a home in Melbourne, Florida?  Call or text me at 321-693-3850 if I can help in any way!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Why Buyers Should Call the Listing Agent - Myths and Realities

Some prospective home-buyers I have spoken with over the years called me about one of my listings.  One of the early questions I always ask is whether they are working with another real estate agent.

Sometimes the answer is no.

Sometimes the answer is yes.  If a caller already has an agent I send them back to their agent in a very nice way.

Having an established relationship with a buyer's agent prohibits the listing agent from interjecting them self into that relationship.  If a listing appeals to a buyer, call your real estate agent.  A buyer's relationship with their real estate agent is not open to interference by another real estate agent.

By placing a property in the local multiple listing service (MLS) system listing agents have agreed to pay a buyer's agent a "coop fee."

Remember, it does not cost a buyer anything to have their own representation (don't call the name on the sign out front!). 

Sometimes the purpose of the call is try to get a better price.  However, thinking "I can get a lower price by working with you because you know what the seller will take" is flawed.

First of all, even if I knew what the seller would take for the property, I would not disclose that to anyone.  Listing agents work for the seller - not a prospective buyer.

Sometimes the call is motivated by thinking the listing agent will lower their commission because there is no other agent involved.  This reduced cost can then be passed on to a seller in the form of a lower selling price.

Listing agents have a contract with their sellers.  That listing agreement already has a predefined payment.

Click Here For Additional Reading:
Ready to buy a house in Melbourne, Florida?  Call or text me at 321-693-3850.

Elections and Life....

To paraphrase the Serenity Prayer "Change the things you can, accept the things you can't."  This came to mind this morning as I watched reports of protesters dissatisfied with the election results.

And to those college students skipping class...the rest of it goes like  " and the wisdom to know the difference."

There have been fifteen presidential elections during my lifetime.  Although I have been mistakenly thought of as old I was not old enough to vote in all of them.

But I have voted in every one ever since I became of age.
Relax, boys and girls, here is the secret to surviving afterward.....
After every one of those elections the sun came out.   And it will tomorrow as well.
Relax.  Take a deep breath. 
Hurry back to class.  Get back to work... 
If you are ready to buy or sell a house in Melbourne, Florida, call or text me at 321-693-3850.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

Monday, November 7, 2016

Selling Your Florida Home: The First Step....

Selling a home is a process.  There has been much written about the process.   Once a decision is made to sell your home what is the first step?

Some say it is hire a real estate agent.  Some say prepare your house.  There are probably as many answers and recommendations as there are people!

I say that choosing your real estate agent is the third thing to do.

So what are the first two things to do when getting ready to sell your home?

Number one: Manage the mindset.  Sellers need to change the thinking from selling my home to selling a house.   The house is now someone's future home.  Go ahead and clear the mind so when feedback comes a defensive posture is not assumed.  This is key for the second step.

Number two:  Choose the real estate agent who will sell the house.  Notice "the" house and not "your home."  Part of this process will be require an open and frank discussion about the property condition, competition and market prices.

Step 3:  Know what the next step is going to be.   This does not refer to the step in the closing process but the bigger picture.    Where are you moving?  Where will  you live?  Where is life going? 

Thinking about selling your Melbourne, Florida home?  Call me and lets talk about "the house" and where you are going next!  Call or text me at 321-693-3850.

 Image courtesy of ddpavumba at

Monday, October 31, 2016

Selling Your House: Your Pricing Already Reflects This. Does Your House as Well?

When it comes to selling a house or condo it is always the price that seems to be the "driver."   Regardless of where the price falls against the competition one thing is certain. 

Price reflects the seller's motivation.

But sellers must not forget motivation is conveyed to prospective buyers in other ways.

How do prospective buyers "read" the seller's motivation.  Let me count the ways...
  • First, price is the number one indicator.   Put another way...price is the smell test.
  • Condition.  If  a house is not ready for new owners prospective buyers many buyer prospects will doubt the seller really wants to move it.
  • Accessibility.  If getting in to see a house is more difficult than scheduling a doctors appointment then the seller may not relay be motivated to sell.
Sellers hire real estate agents for one thing - results.

Even the best agent in the world can't deliver if the motivation and cooperation is not there.

Ready to sell your Melbourne, Florida home? Call or text me at 321-693-3850 for your free market analysis.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Home Seller Tips: The Four Ps of Selling Your Home

This morning I received a text from another agent whose listing I had shown buyers last week.  The text was simple...agent bonus of $XXXX for buyer.

I did not respond for a couple of reasons. 

If my buyers had really liked the house we would have made an offer.  Secondly, offering me a bonus will not cause me to push any specific property on my buyer customers.

There are lots of "games" used when selling a home.  I recently published "Will Pokemon Go help you sell your house?" on another blog I write. 

Games do not sell homes. 

So what sells homes?

Start with the four Ps of selling your home Preparation is key.  Pricing is a number one.  Promotion is vital.  Presentation is critical.

Preparation begins before a house gets listed.  Sellers usually get one chance to impress prospective buyers. A house that has not been prepared beforehand will not be likely get a second visit.

Pricing must reflect seller motivation, circumstances and competition.  It goes without saying it must also be a reflection of the property's real condition.

Promotion is simple.  Getting your home's information in front of the most potential prospective buyers.  This involves your local real estate agent having marketing plan which has identified who the likely buyer will be and where they will come from.

Presentation is key.  This is a broad topic.  It involves ease of being seen by prospective buyers (no 24 advance notice, no agent must accompany all showings, no owner must be present, etc.).  Most serious buyers have a tight schedule and the ability to view when seeing other homes is key.  Accommodation when possible is critically important. 

Presentation also can be interpreted as being "show ready" every day the home is on the market. Unless a house is vacant buyers understand that there are people living there.  Still, forgoing some routines and habits for the short time a house is actively on the market is a small price for finding a buyer.

Selling a house is an orderly process.  It begins with the decision to sell.  The next decision should be choosing a local knowledgeable real estate agent to sell your home.

Your real estate agent is key to the process and can offer solid advice.

If you are considering selling your Rockledge, Florida home, call or text me at 321-693-3850 for your free market analysis.  I would be happy to discuss the process and make recommendations on how to best prepare your home.

Call or text me at 321-693-3850.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Home Buyer Tips: How Long Does It Take To Buy a Home in Florida?

While holding an open house recently I had a visitor remark they "were buying a house in a couple of months."

My follow up conversation brought to light three red flags.  
  1. The lack of understanding about how long the purchase process takes; 
  2. No effort was made to obtain mortgage pre-approval or pre-qualification; 
  3. Friend who does mortgages.
Why are these red flags?

First, this is a first time home-buyer who really had not been educated on the process.    Since he had no real estate agent that is quite understandable.

The first step in the home buying process?  Get a local knowledgeable real estate agent you can trust.   Here is a quick summary of the home purchase process in Florida - Contract to Closing in Twenty Steps!  Who pays for the buyer's real estate agent?  The seller. 

Secondly, a seller (and a real estate estate) wants to have some confidence of a prospective buyer's ability to pay.  Seller's do not want to take their home off the market without confidence the transaction will close.  Real estate agents get paid only after a deal is closed.

Unless paying cash, it is critical a prospective buyer know what they can afford (including acquisition costs).   If a buyer can't afford a property everyone is just spinning their wheels!

Lastly,  buying a home is very often the largest financial decision many buyers make.  Trusting a "fiend," relative, or anyone without an understanding of their experience is a major risk.

Take a look at these home buyer articles.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Choosing Your Realtor: Want a Listing Agent or a Seller's Agent?

When I speak with prospective home sellers in the Viera, Florida area I like to point out the difference between having a home "For Sale" and home "listed" in the multiple listing service (MLS).

Put another way.....There are two types of agents to choose from  - "Listing Agents" and "Seller's Agents."

What is the difference?   Mechanics and results.

There are the mechanics of listing a home which most real estate agents can manage to complete. 
Then there are the results...  Sold!  Sold! does not just happen.  

Sold! is the culmination of a planned process with a realistic achievable goal.

What does the process involve?  

Beyond the basic steps like listing agreements, disclosures, signs, entry into the MLS system, etc. there are the details of the process like providing advice and counsel regarding pricing and preparation.  There is the communication and responsiveness to the client and prospective customers/buyers.   There is the development of a marketing plan that makes sure the pool of most likely buyers know the home is for sale (more than a sign and MLS entry).

Here are a few articles on the home selling process...

For additional information on how to sell your Melbourne, Florida home, call or text me at 321-693-3850.  

Remember, real estate agents get paid when property is sold - not listed.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Selling Your Home: Grey Poupon is Not Just Mustard!

Grey Poupon is a brand of whole-grain mustard.  I remember many of the commercials on TV where some person asked "Pardon me, Do you have any Grey Poupon?"

The point of the commercials was simple - distinguish yourself from the competition and get noticed.

To me Grey Poupon is not just mustard because I see it differently from any other yellowish condiment.   The marketing and presentation made it stand out.

How does this apply to selling a house?

In many communities, like our Viera (Melbourne), Florida planned unit development, many of the subdivisions are "cookie cutter" developments built by a single builder with only a handful of models.  While some have different front elevations on the surface there is not much difference.  Not only does this apply to single family homes but this can be especially a challenge when selling condos where there are usually only maybe four different floor plans in an entire complex.

The challenge when selling is to differentiate your home from the others...distinguish yourself and get noticed.

The seller's real estate agent must put together a marketing plan that makes the home stand out.  Of course the easiest way to make a house stand out is price. 

Some sellers take this approach by pricing at the lower end of the market and thereby encouraging competition among buyers.  When the inventory is low this could be a great approach.

Your house may be gold on the inside but in some communities it may look the same from the outside.... Start the selling process by thinking  "Grey Poupon." 

After all, your house is not just a house.

 Image courtesy of Sira Anamwong at

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Home Seller Tips: An open house brings all sorts of unknowns into the process.

There has been a lot of discussion about the benefit of an open house - especially for the seller.   The reality is very few homes are ever sold by the agent at an open house.

Not every house is a candidate for an open house either.  But, if an open house is considered then there are preparations required by sellers and their real estate agent. 

Consider this incident...  "Real estate agent reportedly lets in jewel thieves during open house; $150,000 in loot stolen" 

Among the several thoughts that came to me was Glad it wasn't me!   Some of the other thoughts included 
  • The headline makes it sound like the agent was almost a willing party who "lets in" the crooks.
  • It appears there was only one person on site.
  • The preparation phase was inadequate.
  • You never know who is watching.
I am sure the agent did not open the doors to the thieves on purpose.

An open house brings all sorts of unknowns into the process.   

The neighbors, tire kickers, people just wasting time and an occasional prospective buyer may show up at an open house. Thieves can easily dress up as a buyer and even ask the right questions!

It is incumbent on a listing agent to determine the requirements of the open house and bring additional persons to help in the case of a large property.

Sellers need to be aware that strangers will be perusing their home.   Most real estate agents do not have personal knowledge about the character of the customer.  Sure, the buyers are pre-qualified based on ability to purchase and motivation but anything else is rarely known.

Sellers must prepare for selling by removing or securing valuables especially highly pilferage-able, small items like jewelry, money, laptops, etc.  Sellers should secure items like firearms, medications, and important personal papers (financial, passports, etc).

Finally, the good news...  There was a surveillance system.   Real estate agents and buyers need to always be aware that they are potentially being video-recorded.   In this case the agent did not have to try and explain the missing property!

The seller did indicate that this was his last open house.  His advice - "appointment only.'"  After all, you never know who cometh through the front door!

Ready to sell your Melbourne, Florida home?  Call or text me at 321-693-3850 for your market analysis.

“Character Thief In Good Person” by kittijaroon provided by

Friday, August 26, 2016

Home Seller Tips: The Secret Location For Agent Interviews

One of the keys to selling your Melbourne, Florida home is to hire a real estate agent who is not only local but also knowledgeable.   

I always recommend sellers interview at least three agents before deciding who to hire.   [For more, read the related article links at bottom of post.]

But these real estate agent interviews are like a boy picking up your daughter for a first date.  They know they are going to be quizzed and better be on their best behavior with the right answers!

Sellers are at a disadvantage because these these agents will likely all appear to be knowledgeable.  All will probably be dressed to impress, responsive to questions and saying what you want to hear!

My suggestion is don't do the initial interview in your home but at this really really secret location....

At a nearby open house.

I call this the "just browsing" screening process. 

Choose homes for sale ideally in your neighborhood or another nearby neighborhood.  Stop by and take a look.  Be a browser.

Observe how the agent presents them-self to all visitors.  You know what you like and don't like in sale people.  And real estate agents are primarily sales people.  

Are they employing pressure and arm twisting?  Are they knowledgeable about the product (listing)? 

Do they make you feel comfortableAsk them about the neighborhood.   Ask them about home prices and seller attitudes.   

Don't ask the easy questions.  Ask about homeowner associations.  Ask them about criminal activity.  What about school quality and school assignment areas.  

See how far out on a limb they will go with answers.  A good local real estate agent will also know the limitations of their knowledge as well as potential liability.  Do not be surprised if you get advised to call the schools or local law enforcement folks for answers.   

This is not the final selection process.   

You may not find the agent you are going to hire but you may just find some to skip when the interviews start for real!  I like to tell new agents to always expect any contact at an open house to be an interview.

By the way, this "just browsing" interview technique works well for prospective buyers who can have a relaxed, no pressure consultation! 

Thinking about selling your Rockledge, Florida home?  Call or text me at 321-693-3850.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Selling Your Home: Use the Right Bait.

The first hurdle prospective home sellers, especially longtime owner-sellers, must clear before putting their home on the market is they are selling a house and not a home.

While it may be perfectly natural for a person to become sentimental when selling a home the nostalgia must be tempered.  The nice thing about memories is they are easily transported to the next home.

Although not the only factor in selling a house pricing is the key factor.  Pricing a house unrealistically is akin to fishing with no bait. 

Anyone who has done much fishing understands their target and the best bait for the environment.

Similarly, when selling a home, it is key a seller (through their real estate agent) understand the environment of the sale.

The environment encompasses factors like
  • seller reason, 
  • motivation and 
  • circumstances (timeline, existing mortgage, property condition, competition).
With an understanding of the environment the bait (price) is chosen.

Pricing too high is like fishing with no bait whatsoever. 

Sometimes, a less than ideal bait will get some nibbles and, even a catch occasionally. 

Ready to sell your Melbourne, Florida home?   Give me a call or text at 321-693-3850 so we can talk bait...
Image courtesy of meepoohfoto at

Monday, July 18, 2016

How to NOT Sell Your Florida Home.

You want to not sell your house?    Well here is a short primer on how not to sell your home.
  • Smell.  Odors, whether from smoking, last night's fish or whatever will turn a prospect as quickly as anything.
  • Inaccessible.  Rarely will a house sell if a buyer has to jump through hurdles to get inside.  Having an "agent must accompany all showings" or "24 hour notice required" will not promote viewings.
  • Competition/price.  There is a reasonable price range based on your competition.  If too much above it, then buyers may skip your house.
  • Location.  This goes right along with the pricing and competition.  Your neighborhood or location will command only a certain range of prices.
  • Neighbors.  Although its only the house for sale it is also your neighborhood and neighbors.  Loud music, cars parked on the lawn, overgrown, and neglected lawns all tell a story.  
  • Photos and clutter.  The home is for sale.  Too many photos or personal items (actually anything whatsoever) that distracts from your house is not a good thing.  If it has a handle buyers will open it!
  • Dated.  I had someone stop by an open house on Saturday. They have their home for sale.  They proudly stated they were the second owners since it was built in 1957.  They also indicated it needed updating as it still had the original pink stove, etc.  Most buyers do not want original equipment in a 1960s or 1970s house.  Shag carpet was nice back then!
Want to know how to sell your home?   Consider doing the opposite of the above items...
  • Clean
  • De-clutter
  • De-personalize
  • Be flexible with scheduling showings
  • Enlist your neighbors help
  • Do some basic updating (within reason and budget)
  • Price it right for your location, motivation and circumstances (choose the right real estate agent!)

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Home Buyer Tips: Multiple Offers and "Winning"

I remember a few years back when I advised a Viera, Florida home buyer that there were multiple offers and the seller wanted his best offer.  He responded with a simple question,"Is this a scam?"

In the real estate world I must assume the existence of other offers to be real.  Realtors operate under a code of conduct.  Still, I have no concrete evidence of other offers.

Multiple offers happen frequently when it is a seller's market AND a property is priced right.  [Read Signs Your Home is Not Priced Right.]

Sellers who receive multiple offers are in the catbird seat - maybeOffers are more than price only.
Each offer must be evaluated independently. 

Still, regardless of "winning" price, if a mortgage is involved then the property has to appraise.
Those are words every seller and buyer should understand.

Just this week I had buyers get into a situation that involved multiple offers.  In this case my buyers understood the situation and knew what they were willing to spend.  That is the key point.

These buyers were not emotional.  They had not formed an attachment to the property. 

As much as sellers would like buyers to view the process as a competition, not all buyers fall into an emotional trap.

They did not. 

If you plan to buy a home in the Viera, Florida area I want to help.  I will make sure you understand the market, your budget and the home buying process

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Home Buyer Tips: New Paint is Not Always a Good Thing

Fresh paint sounds like an automatic positive selling point.  In many cases it certainly would be.  But, as a buyer, there is one time when new paint may not be your friend. know, investor quick sales. 

No, this is not an accusatory post. 

Rather, consider it as a cautionary post.

As a general rule sellers disclose and buyers verify.   But very often investors are quick to point out they have "no disclosure because seller never lived in house."

Still investors should know if they previously repaired a leak in the roof, had an AC issue or whatever if there were tenants in place for any given time. 

And with a foreclosure sellers may have idea of previous issues based on the condition when purchased.

So when buyers walk into a new foreclosure flip, the new paint will look clean, the plumbing fixtures and the like will be new but what about any underlying issues.

That is the reason I always urge buyers to have a property inspection performed.

While a property inspector may not be able to tell a prospective buyer what is behind the paint they may be able to tell if moisture is present.  And they do a lot more!

Here are a few more articles on buying a home.
Ready to buy a house in Viera, Florida?  call or text me at 321-693-3850 if I can help in any way.  If you prefer, send me an email.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Things Sellers Say..."I don't have to sell" and more.

Anyone who has ever been on more than a few listings appointments has likely heard the words "I don't have to sell" uttered.  To be honest it is most often followed by a "I am not going to give it away" statement.

As a Melbourne, Florida real estate agent I don't get defensive or respond to these comments in an adversarial manner.

Very often, what is said is not what is meant. 

So, what does it really mean?

On the surface it means...uh oh...not motivated!  

The gut response from an agent who is only interested in listing their house is "Why did you call me then?"

But deep down it could mean something else...

Any real estate agent worth listing your home for sale (good real estate agent) should have the skill-set to address this response appropriately.
  • Part of being a good real estate agent is being a good listener.
  • Part of being a good real estate agent is knowing what questions to ask (and when).
  • Part of being a good real estate agent is being able to advise in a positive, reassuring, easily understood manner.  
  • Part of being a good real estate agent is knowing that "Why did you call me?" is rarely an appropriate response.
"I don't have to sell" may really mean  "I have an interest in selling but I am not desperate." 

It may signal a distrust of the real estate agent in front of them at the moment. 

It may be the seller's way of saying...Tell me why I should hire you to sell my Melbourne, Florida home.
Sellers need to know their real estate agent is working for them and not against them.
Part of being a good real estate agent is being a team builder beginning with the prospective seller....even if they don't have to sell!

Ready to sell your your Melbourne, Florida home?  Call me or text me at 321-693-3850, please!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Brevard County, Florida Town House/Condos Market Report for May 2016 compared to May 2015

Presented here is a recap of the Brevard County, Florida Townhouse/Condo market for May 2016 compared to May 2015:

  • Closed Sales were up 10.5% in May 2016 with 262 units closed compared to 237 in May 2015 with an increase in cash sales by 4.8% in May 2016.
  • New Pending Sales are up 4.2% and New Listings are up 4.3%
  • Median Sales Price for Town homes/Condos stayed the same at $140,000.
  • Months Supply of Inventory is down 9.8% to 3.7 months compared to 4.1 months in May 2015.
  • Traditional Sales increased 21.8% with a median sales price of $143,200.
  • Foreclosure/REO Sales were down 61.3% with a median sales price of $110,200.
  • Short Sale Closings were down 49.7% with a median sales price of $102,550.

Brevard County, Florida Residential Report for May 2016 Compared to May 2015

A quick recap of the Brevard County Residential Market for May 2016 compared to May 2015:
  • Closed Sales rose 2.6% in May 2016 with 942 units closed vs. 918 in May 2015.
  • Cash Sales decreased 18.2% compared to May 2015.
  • New Pending Sales increased 6.2%  over the previous May sales.
  • New Listings also increased in May 2016 by 3.8%.
  • Median Sales Price for Brevard Single Family homes were up 11.4% to $185,000 compared to $166,000 a year ago.
  • Months Supply of Inventory decreased 10.3% to 2.6 months compared to 2.9 months in May 2015.
  • Traditional Sales were up 12.9% with a median sales price of $190,000.
  • Foreclosure/REO Sales went down 44.1% with a median sales price of $131,000.
  • Short Sale Closings were down 41.7% with a median sales price of $99,950.

Monday, June 20, 2016

But It is the Seller's Fault!

I have been hosting open houses more frequently lately to provide the best exposure of my sellers in light of the lower  inventory level of homes for sale in Brevard County, Florida.   And there are certainly benefits to the open houses, for sure.

Still, some people who are looking at homes for sale  are the most negative people I have ever met.  
My term of endearment for them - Negative Nellie.  Many of these exhibit the same state -
  • denial a home in the neighborhood could be priced so high...
  • denial that home prices in their budget can't be found in the area... 
  • denial that home prices increased more than 15% in the last year....
  • denial that the market is a seller's market.  [Inventory is about 90 days which typically means seller's market.   In Brevard County it is a seller's market.... more buyers shopping for fewer homes available.]
As I address these folks concerns about the real estate market and trends I try my best to convey that it is not a specific seller's fault. 

Just as when it was a buyer's market with falling prices I reminded sellers that it isn't the buyer's fault their home's value was lower.

Still, it is what it is...the real estate market.     There will always be negative folks.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Look For a Realtor Who Can Pull Off the Triple Play When Hiring a Real Estate Agent to Sell Your Melbourne, Florida Home?

It is baseball season so let me first put hiring a real estate agent in baseball terms.  This may be all the explanation anyone looking to choose a Realtor to sell their Melbourne, Florida home will need.

In the game of baseball a team is less likely to pull off a triple play with rookie players at the key positions than with experienced personnel.  When the ball comes the player better know what to do with it.

In real estate the ball is the property and the players are your team.  As a seller you want the play completed without a costly error.   

The real estate agent's triple play (offer received, contingencies cleared, sale closed!).

I  believe the largest real estate offices are not as motivated to sell your Melbourne home because they have plenty of listings.

My self serving advice on hiring a real estate agent to sell your home... Consider a small office who is focused on results.

All real estate agents are not the same.   All real estate brokerages are not the same.

Waters Realty of Brevard is not just any other real estate office.  Waters Realty is me.   Why do I not have a lot of agents working with me?  Because my reputation is protected by limiting my exposure. 

I am Waters Realty of Brevard.  Nothing matters more than the customer experience when working with me.  I am what you see. I am fair. I am honest. I tell you what you need to hear.  I always respect your time.   I have lost business because I would not go against these self imposed principles.

It is the customer's experience and nothing more that matters to me.

While most agents have access to the same data and many of the same tools it is the whole package - knowledge, marketing plans, experience, availability and process management skills that separate me from others.

I have written over two hundred posts about how to sell your home.  Here are three to get you started.
Ready to hire an agent to sell your Melbourne, Florida home?  Lets talk.  Call or text me at 321-693-3850.

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Saturday, May 28, 2016

2 Bedroom 2 Bath Condo for Sale in Melbourne, Florida $24,000

I just got off the phone with a caller who was looking for a condo she saw on the Internet for sale in Melbourne, Florida.  It sounded like a great deal...two bedroom two bath condo in Florida for $24,000!

Unfortunately she, like many before her, relied on an inaccurate mega real estate website like Zillow.

If you are considering buying a home in Florida please contact a local real estate agent who has access to the local multiple listing service.  Realtors can provide current information and provide insight into the local market.

For example, in Melbourne, Florida, it is a seller's market. 

Prices are rising.  There is competition among buyers for move in ready properties.  And the inventory of distressed properties is low.

So while sites like Zillow, Trulia and others may provide information about an area and even links to local resources, remember to contact a local Realtors if you are seriously considering buying a home. 

Florida home sellers, call a real estate professional as well!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Buying Your Next Home: Understand What You Can Buy.

Two out of three prospective Viera, Florida home buyers I have spoken with this week shared one characteristic... They had the cart before the horse.  In this case the cart represents mortgage pre-approval while the horse represents the home shopping.

Buying a house is really a logical process.    It has a logical starting point and finishing point.

One of the first things that should be accomplished is understanding what you can buyThis starts with a mortgage pre-approval. 

Your chosen lender will review your application, check credit history/scores and determine a maximum purchase price for consideration.  Note this price is not in stone nor is it the amount a buyer must spend.

I am not a mortgage expert.  I leave that up to the professionals who are quite capable of providing advice on qualifications and different loan programs. 

Early on ask your lender ask what types of properties you can buy.  Sometimes the type of loan program or lack of cash requires restrictions be placed on the specific property sought (i.e.  foreclosure or auction property).

Understanding what you can buy also includes the type of property and conditions of sale.  Some condo complexes are not FHA or VA approved so they must be eliminated. 

The property type may be restricted such as in no manufactured or mobile homes.  Some properties are short sales and the timeline will not fit.

The most important advice I can give prospective home buyers:  Know your loan status (amounts, types of homes, projected costs, etc) and know your mortgage lender's contact number.  If you have a question about your mortgage, ask!

Buying a home is a cooperative effort involving multiple people.  Buyers, their real estate agent and mortgage lender all need to be on the same page.

Ready to move to Brevard, County, Florida?   I can help you find a local lender, your next home and the moving company to help you out!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Home Seller Tips: The More Information Available, The Easier For Buyers To Decide.

When a home goes on the market the age of the key components and systems is usually disclosed - especially if they are newer.  This is great information for a buyer to know when it comes to the costly systems like the roof and air conditioning (particularly in Florida).
But I suggest sellers make available other information that prospective buyers may find helpful.  The more information a prospective Florida home buyer has at their disposal, the easier for them to make a decision to make an offer or move along.  Things like...

Utility bills.  Perhaps one or two from the hottest months to give a general impression of the higher costs.  It would nice to have an idea of where the thermostat is set during these months as well.   This is directly linked to the age and energy rating of the HVAC system. 
Lawn service.  Many homeowners do not take care of their lawns and have a service handle the the mowing and other necessary related upkeep (like sprinkler system, trimming trees, etc).  How much do you pay?  Any recommended service providers?
Water costs.  How much is your usual monthly water bill?  
Reclaimed water.  Is you lawn system on reclaimed water (what cost) or is there a well.  Depending on the lawn (i.e. St. Augustine grass), the amount of water necessary can be greater (and more costly).
Pool maintenance.   What is the cost of your monthly pool service?  Is it self maintained or contracted? If so, who is the the service provider?  
Cost for trash service.  Sometimes it is included in the property tax bill so this is not a needed item. But if it is paid separately, prospective buyers should have idea of the cost.
Homeowner Insurance cost. While policy coverage can vary and different carriers charge varying rates, prospective buyers would like to have an idea what to expect.
Flood insurance.  Is it required?  If so, what is the cost?  Sometimes buyers will ask about flood potential. In the Brevard County area back in 2008 Tropical Storm Fay dropped like 30 inches of rain on the area in a three day or so period. How did the area handle the deluge?

Beyond the monthly mortgage costs (principal, interest, taxes, insurance) homeowners will have to expect the above costs as well as homeowner association fees, utilities and upkeep. 

The more information a prospective buyer has at their disposal when viewing your home the easier it will be for them to make a decision - either good or not.

Ready to sell your Rockledge, Florida home?  Call or text me at 321-693-3850 for a free market analysis.

Homes For Sale in Rockledge, Florida - Open House Saturday May 7, 2016

I held an open house last Saturday at my listing in Rockledge, Florida.  It has been quite a while since I put the time into an open house.  And it has not changed after all these years.

I love the chance to meet people and tell them about the market and my listings.

Besides, you never know who will show up at any particular open house- maybe even a buyer!  

You almost always have some people who need some filler for their afternoon schedule.  They have no interest in buying but just want to see what is out there.  I think the car sales people call them tire kickers!

Sometimes you will have a Negative Nelly in the crowd who is quick to offer criticism about almost everything. 

In some cases there are the nosy neighbors although my most recent experience lacked any neighbors.  I have found through the years the neighbors can help a person sell their home or hinder the process.

Of course HGTV and other similar channels have done amazing things in educating the casual home shopper!   They are looking under sinks, opening electrical panels, discussing removing walls and the like.  Wow!

When you combine the TV programs with the mega real estate web sites there is an almost educated pool of prospective buyers.  In a market with rising prices, these mega websites are more wrong than ever (in my opinion).   Relying on some automated computer algorithm located some place across the country using less than current information to determine what the market is here in Florida today is asking to be ill informed!  Call a local real estate agent.  If you have one, tell the agent hosting the open house.

Finally,  there are serious prospective buyers who stop by open houses.   They may not buy this house but they are serious about assessing what is for sale and if it is a possibility.

So I will be holding another open house at 897 Brunswick Lane in Rockledge, Florida on Saturday May 7, 2016 from 11:00 a.m. to about 3:00 p.m.   
For information on homes for sale in Rockledge, Florida, call or text me at 321-693-3850.