Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Brevard County, FL Residential Market Report December 2017

The below Brevard County, FL single family and condo market report is provided by the Space Coast Association of Realtors.  
Here is the summary for the Brevard County single family home market for December 2017:
  • Closed Sales are up 0.4% for December 2017 in which the number of units closed was 836 compared to 833 in December 2016, with a decrease in cash sales of -15% compared to December 2016.
  • New Pending Sales are up 3.8% and New Listings are down -1.4%.
  • The Median Sales Price for Brevard Single Family homes is up 19.3% to $227,789 compared to a year ago, which was $191,000.
  • Months Supply of Inventory is up 12.5% to 2.7 months, an increase from 2.4 months in 2016.
  • Traditional Sales are up 4%, with a median sales price of $229,500.
  • Foreclosure/REO Sales are down -49%, with a median sales price of $165,450.
  • Short Sale Closings are down -37.5%, with a median sales price of $119,000. 
A quick recap of the Brevard County Townhouses/Condos for December 2017:
  • Closed Sales are down -3.6% for December 2017 in which the number of units closed was 215 compared to 223 in December 2016, with a decrease in cash sales of -20.3% compared to December 2016.
  • New Pending Sales are down -9.9% and New Listings are down -0.5%.
  • Median Sales Price for Townhomes/Condos is up 20.7% to $175,000 compared to a year ago, which was $145,000.
  • Months Supply of Inventory is down -8.3% to 3.3 months in December 2017 from 3.6 in December 2016.
  • Traditional Sales are down -3.3%, with a median sales price of $175,000.
  • Foreclosure/REO Sales increased 12.5% with a median sales price of $116,000. 
  • Short Sale Closings are down -100%, with no sales in December 2017.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

The Greatest Reward of Being a For Sale By Owner (FSBO) Revealed....

I have spoken with many "experienced" for sale by owner (FSBO) folks over the past decade or so.  I believe the actual number of FSBOs I encountered was greater in the 2004-2006 real estate run up.

If you recall 2004-2005 was when everyone wanted to pay whatever just to buy a house!

When the market has buyers clamoring over each other and in bidding wars price does not matter (although appraisals did).

Still, all this market hysteria drove many sellers to go it alone.  After all, the victory in being FSBO is saving the real estate commission, right?

Studies have shown on many occasions the savings yield by FSBOs is smaller than the proceeds gained by sellers using the services of a professional Realtor.

As 2018 begns I have read articles projecting tremendous increases in home prices this year.  Who really knows for sure?

The best think a home seller can do is know the market now.  To know the current market and projected values when selling call your local real estate expert.

Lastly, as suggested by the title....

The greatest reward of being a FSBO is...the ego sees success in "I did it myself!"  

Ego seldom allows clear picture!

Monday, December 4, 2017

Selling Your Home: First impressions are rarely changed - except with a big price reduction!

I just read an article that stated the market was turning in 2018 (if you can believe such forecasts) to one that is balanced if not shifting to favor buyers.

Another article I read suggested sellers move their home (get contract signed in 2017) this year because the new tax bill in process addresses changes regarding capital gains.  (As proposed, owners must live in their house at least five years out of the last eight; currently, the requirement is two years out of the last five.)

Regardless, here are some cold hard facts every seller needs to understand before putting their house on the market.
  • Your house is really not that special!  The sad truth is no house is as special to a stranger as it is to the owner.  No house is worth as much to a stranger as it is to the seller. 
  • Lower available inventory does not mean buyers will overlook material deficiencies. 
  • Buyers will necessarily accommodate your restrictive showing conditions.  If you really want to sell then accommodate reasonable showing requests.  A twenty four hour advance notice is not accommodation - unless there is a real reason such as medical or child care issues.  Even with these there is a chance the buyers will skip your house.
  • Price is still king.  Even in a tight market the philosophy of "if you will price it they will come" is faulty.
  • While a seller may look for reasons to get more buyers will always look harder for reasons to pay lessMake sure your house is ready for the market on day one. If something is in need of repair do it before the sign goes up! 
  • Don't expect to price high and negotiate down a lot.  An unreasonably optimistic price is often a sign the seller will be unreasonable in negotiations.  While a seller may set a list price it is the market that sets the real price.  Buyers have a lot of resources available - especially local knowledgeable real estate agents. They will know when the price is overly optimistic.
  • The first ten seconds will set the tone of the entire viewing.  Like your mother said...first impressions matter.   First impressions are  rarely changed - except with a big price reduction!
Preparing to sell a house begins on day one when its purchased.  A house must be maintained through out its entire life to maintain its value.   

Selling your home can be an exciting time but it requires work - on your part and on the part of your Realtor. 

Thinking about selling your Viera, Florida home?  Call or text me at 321-693-3850 to discuss market values, the process of selling (and costs).


Thursday, November 9, 2017

Sellers - Control What You Can When Selling Your Home

I recently had the occasion to show a very nice home in one of the more exclusive gated communities in the Brevard County area.  My prospective buyers were specifically looking for a gated community in the planned unit development of Viera located north of Melbourne.

They liked the home and the neighborhood.  They did not like the gate guard's lack of friendliness.

I added a comment sort of like "Gate guards are like everything else in life.... they change."

Still, these particular buyers felt the attitude of the front gate reflected the attitude of the neighborhood!

While I do believe a personable friendly gate keeper is a positive I don't believe they reflect the neighbors in general.  

Besides,  this particular individual  may have been having a bad day.  We never know what is going on in a person's life and should not let one interaction define them permanently.

Still, the buyers checked the neighborhood off their list.

As a seller there are things you can control and others you can't.  Your focus must be on the things you as a seller can shape.

Consider things like... 

  • Landscaping Your yard needs to look appealing because as you heard as a child, first impressions matter!  
  • Exterior paint.    At a minimum look at your front door.  If the paint is recent make sure it is clean.  If not, a new coat of paint is an easy fix.   
  • Lighting.   When will your home be seen?   Lighting is critical,e specially during the winter when it gets darker earlier.  Light and bright is good.  Dark and gloomy, not so good. 
  • Interior Paint.   This goes hand in hand with the lighting recommendation.  Light, neutral, non high personalized paint is best.    
  • Clutter.   This can be thought of as just too much stuff including furniture.   Extra furnishings as well as over-sized furniture can detract from a homes usable space.  And this goes for the kitchen counters as well.  Put away mall appliances and things that take up counter space.   
  • Cleanliness.    Sometimes sellers do not have the funds to spend on new paint or whatever.  But cleanliness costs little more than effort.  The nose is key.   Jokingly I like to say "if you can smell it, you can't sell it."  Furthermore, once showings start refrain from cooking things that leave a smell for days.  
  • De-personalize.    While this is sort of "clutter" related it deserves its own bullet point.  By this I mean to take the "you" out of the house. Portraits, artwork, diplomas, collections/hobby items, pictures off the refrigerator, etc.  Have buyers focus on the house not the occupants.  
  • Safety and Security.    Think about risk management as well.  Consider any trip hazards, security issues like personal weapons.  Think about removing personal papers and medications.  Remember, most real estate agents do not know their customers very well.  This is especially critical if your real estate agent holds an open house where all sorts of complete strangers show up.
The last preparation item I urge sellers to consider is the pre listing inspection If a house is more than five years old there may be hidden issues.   A pre-listing inspection can bring to light issues that can be fixed or addressed in the marketing/pricing process.

Properly preparing a house for the market takes time.   Sometimes sellers make the mistake of rushing a house to the market and doing preparation concurrently.  While this may be necessary due to circumstances, avoid it if possible.   Sellers usually only get one chance to impress prospective buyers. 

As a seller you can (and should) control the product a prospective buyer sees from the moment they pull up front until they drive away.