Tuesday, September 02, 2014

What is your biggest challenge when working with home buyers?

The title question is not one I usually receive as a buyer's real estate agent in Viera, Florida.  But I recently received it from prospective buyers.

What is your biggest challenge when working with home buyers?  I am not sure the answer they were seeking.  Is there a correct response?

My reply did not apply directly to the process but rather the buyer's expectations.

There is way too much inaccurate information available about the real estate market on the Internet.  Much of the information has not been vetted or, most likely, has not been updated.  Some information was accurate at the time but nothing seemingly ever leaves the Internet.

So my biggest challenge is very often just bringing expectations in line with the budget.

Once a prospective buyer is educated on the current market (inventory, price, location variability, etc) and the home buying process they are ready to make the hard choices.

What are the hard choices?  Deciding between the "must have" requirements and "nice to have" qualities will set the course.  (Sometimes the hardest choice is location.)

http://www.garywatersrealty.com/2013/02/how-much-should-your-buyers-agent-know.htmlOnce the budget is established and expectations aligned with the market the challenges are rather minimal.  Click on related reading for an article about choosing your Melbourne, Florida buyer's agent.

Ready to buy a home in Viera or Melbourne, Florida?  Give me a call at 321-693-3850 or send me an email if I can help in any way.


Sunday, August 31, 2014

What is the price of homes in Viera, Florida now?

Last week someone asked me about the price of homes in Viera, Florida now.  Actually their question was "What is the selling price per square foot of homes in Viera now?

For those who are not familiar with this method of computation it is simply the price of a property divided by the square foot under air measurement.   For example, a $200,000 home that has 2000 sq.ft. of air conditioned space would be $100/ft² ($200,000 ÷ 2,000).

Using this method to make a generalization about home prices has its limitations.  The reason is simple.

Other factors can influence the cost per square foot could be the differences in materials, location, when it was built, etc.  If a home is custom built or a tract home/cookie cutter plan the per foot costs can be different.

And the location will impact price such as in Fairway Lakes at Viera on the Duran Golf Course.  Or if is located within a gated community or has water frontage.

When asking about home prices it is best to consider location and quality.  Make it an apples to apples comparison otherwise price per square foot is of little value in price comparisons.

For information on home prices and homes for sale in Viera, Florida, please gvie me a call or send me an email


Image courtesy of Suvro Datta at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Brevard County, Florida Residential Home Sales Report July 2014 (Melbourne, Florida Home Sales)

Below is a brief summary of the July 2014 Brevard County, Florida residential sales compared to July 2013 residential sales.
  • Closed Residential Sales -  Up 7.9% for July 2014, units closed were 890 compared to 825 in July 2013, with an decrease in cash sales by -8.3% compared to July 2013.
  • New Pending Sales - Up 5.5%.
  • New Residential Listings -  Up 0.3%.
  • Median Sales Price for Brevard County Single Family Homes - Up 19.8% to $148,500 compared to July 2013 which was $124,000. 
  • Median Days on the Market - Down 12.5% (35 days compared to 40 in July 2013).
  • Months Supply - Down 8.3% to 3.8 months compared to 4.1 months in July 2013. 
  • Traditional Sales - Up 23.2% with a median sales price of $175,000.
  • Foreclosure/REO Sales - Down -3.3% with a median sales price of $81,175.
  • Short Sale Closings - Down -62.2% with a median sale price of $113,000.
For information on buying or selling a home in Melbourne, Florida including Viera, Suntree and Rockledge, call me at 321-693-3850 or send me an email


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Home Seller Tips: What is a motivated seller?

I read  "those words" again this morning in a real estate advertisement.  The words? Motivated seller.

Motivated seller, in my opinion, is a term thrown around rather loosely by real estate agents trying to entice everyone and anyone in the world to come see their listing.

But the words most often mean very little. 

How do you know if their really is a motivated seller?

The ultimate sign of a motivated seller is a price that, while it may not be the lowest in the neighborhood, says, "Hey, I am ready to make a deal!"

If you are ready to sell your Melbourne, Florida home, what can you do to show your prospective buyers know you area a motivated seller?
  • Get your house ready - move in ready, that is.
  • Have a pre-listing home inspection to support your price.  This includes fixing any issues that show up during the inspection.  
  • Offer your buyers a one year home warranty (list your Melbourne, Florida home with me and I will provide). 
  • Finally, price it competitively for location, condition and competition.
Do the above things and your home will not be for sale very long because buyers will know you are a motivated Melbourne, Florida home seller.

https:www.facebook.com/garywatersrealtyCall me at 321-693-3850 to find out how I can help you sell your Melbourne, Florida home>  If you prefer, send me an email.


Saturday, August 16, 2014

Home Seller Tips: Your Home's Two Prices

I saw the below on a Facebook for sale page.  Read it very closely..."Works great.  Has red line...but..."

This reminds of many home sellers when it comes time to discuss their home's condition.

There are problems.  But they have lived with them for a long time.

The problems are not terminal problems but rather more like an annoying irritation that will either go away or become less noticeable.

But the truth is while it may be an itch to the seller it can be a major (possibly terminal, as in deal killer) illness to a buyer.

As a seller I suggest there are two ways to view your home.  The price it will sell for with problems and the price it will sell for with the problems addressed.

Rarely will the two prices be the same.  Think about this as you prepare your home for the  market...you control which price.

When you are ready to sell your Melbourne, Florida home, please call me at 321-693-3850 for your free market analysis.


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Heritage Isle in Viera Florida - Are Prices Increasing in this Melbourne Florida 55+ Community?

Are the selling prices of single family homes in Viera's gated 55+ community of Heritage Isle going up?   A review of the Brevard MLS system shows that during the period of December 1, 2013 through July 31, 2014 there were 50 recorded closings of single family homes in Heritage Isle.

Of these fifty sales there were fifteen built in 2014 with an average selling price of around $240,000.  The home choices in Heritage Isle vary greatly so the selling prices reflect that variability.

The average selling price in June/July 2014 was about $260,000 while the average selling price in April/May 2014 was $212,000.  And then in February/March 2014 it was $255,000.

From this you can see there is no easily discernible increase It all depends on the house.   Look at what has sold since the beginning of July 2014:

Since July 1, 2014 there have been four single family homes sold in Heritage Isle with sale prices between $255,990 and $410,000.
  • 6451 Ingalls St - A brand new construction Lennar built 3 bedroom 3 bath two car garage home with 2,032 sq ft sold for $255,990
  • 3524 Gurrero Dr - A  Burgoon Berger built 2007 3 bedroom 2 bath 2 car garage lake front home with 2,207 ft sold for $310,000
  • 3443 Carambola Circle - A 2005 built two story 5 bedroom 4 bath three car garage lake front pool home with 3,200 sq ft under air sold for $410,000. 
  • 6011 Ingalls St -  A brand new construction Lennar built 3 bedroom 3 bath three car garage home with 1,930 sq ft sold for $274,990.
There were four townhouse/patio homes sold since July 1as well with selling prices between $153,900 and $179,940 (average price around $177000)

So what is currently for sale in Heritage Isle?    There are ten single family homes for sale in Heritage Isle.   The list prices range from $219,900 to $433,900.   Six of the ten listings are priced above $289,000  and have at least 2,300 ft under air with 3 or 4 bedrooms.  The other four listings are 2,015 sq.ft. and less (smallest 1,697 sq.ft.).

So are prices increasing at Heritage Isle in Viera?  Possibly.  One thing is certain - they are not getting lower!

For information on homes for sale in Heritage Isle, please give me a call at 321-693-3850 or send me an email. 


Viera, Florida 55+ Community - New Construction Prices Summer 2014

Here are some general prices provided by the Lennar Homes builder/developer at Viera, Florida's premier 55+ community of Heritage Isle.    The prices listed below for Heritage Isle new construction show three prices which reflect the different front elevation choices available.   For the villa style homes, there is only one option.

The prices below may have changed since receipt of this information and should only be used for general pricing estimates.    Base pricing for all deliveries effective: Sunday, June 01, 2014 

Further, it does not cost the buyer anything to be represented by their own real estate agent when purchasing new construction. In real estate - even new construction - everything is negotiable.

Manor Homes:
The Columbus II 3 Bedrooms | 2 Bath | 2 Car - 1,677 Sq. Ft. Living Area $214,990 $214,990 $216,990
The Bonita II 2 Bed | Study | 2 Bath | 2 Car - 1,866 Sq. Ft. Living Area $225,990 $225,990 $227,990
The Normandy 4 Bedrooms | 3 Bath | 2 Car - 1,909 Sq. Ft. Living Area $229,990 $229,990 $230,990
The Hamilton II 3 Bed | Den | 3 Bath | 2 Car - 2,032 Sq. Ft. Living Area $231,990 $231,990 $233,990

Estate Homes: 
The Ascot II 2 Bedrooms | Study| 2 Bath | 2 Car - 1,779 Sq. Ft. Living Area $243,990 $243,990 $245,990
The Devonshire II 4 Bedrooms | 2 Bath | 3 Car - 1,930 Sq. Ft. Living Area $259,990 $259,990 $261,990
The Kennedy II 4 Bedrooms | 3 Bath | 3 Car - 2,277 Sq. Ft. Living Area $276,990 $276,990 $278,990
The Monroe III 4 Bedrooms | 3 Bath | 3 Car - 2,615 Sq. Ft. Living Area $305,990 $305,990 $307,990

Sunrise Villa:

The St. Kitts 3 Bedrooms | 2 Bath | 2 Car Garage - 1,337 Sq. Ft. Living Area $174,990
The St. Barts 3 Bedrooms | 2 Bath | 2 Car Garage - 1,479 Sq. Ft. Living Area $179,990
The St. Thomas 3 Bedrooms | 2 Bath | 1 Car Garage - 1,501 Sq. Ft. Living Area $184,990

agent@moving2brevard.comFor information on new construction and re-sales homes in Heritage Isle, please give me a call at 321-693-3850 or send me an email.

If you would like specific floor plans for review, please let me know as well.  I am an independent real estate broker and not affiliated with the builder 

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Why do real estate agents charge different rates?

I just read an article that had as its central theme that real estate agents who discount their fees are compensating for a lack of knowledge.

My response was simply "hogwash!"   I was tempted to use a similar word that referred to a different animal.

What I charge a customer to sell a Viera, Florida home is not an indicator of skill level or service quality.  Rather, it is an individual decision that depends on my business goals, plans and work load.

Lets say you want to buy a brand new Lexus car.   If the price quote you get from Lexus of Melbourne in Viera, Florida is less than the price a Lexus dealership in another nearby city charges does that mean the car or service from the dealership will be less?

What another real estate agent charges and what I charge are independent variables in a very large real estate world.   There is no set fee, normal fee or usual fee.

While Waters Realty of Brevard is not a discount real estate brokerage  I am open to possibilities. The key is talking!

When you are ready to sell your Viera, Florida home, call me at 321-693-3850 or click the link below to send me an email.  After all, it doesn't cost anything to talk about how I can sell your Viera, Florida home.


Image courtesy of Tina Phillips / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Friday, August 08, 2014

Buying and Selling a Home in Florida: Why Trulia, Zillow and Realtor.com don't matter?

Why do I say mega giant web sites like Trulia, Zillow and Realtor.com don't matter when buying or selling a home?

The short answer:  From negotiation strategies to procedural steps, it is a local knowledgeable real estate professional who will be there to advise home buyers.   Sellers want a local expert in their corner - not some LCD monitor!

ZTR are major (the biggest) real estate portals.  While it is a fact most buyers and sellers start their research on the Internet it is also a fact that a local knowledgeable real estate agent will be involved most often before the keys are exchanged.

Why is that? 

Because, regardless of information portal used including local MLS sites, real estate transactions are defined by local knowledge including knowledge of neighborhoods, price trends, inventory and absorption rates, schools, local issues... you name it.

Buyers and sellers live in an interactive world - not some sterile data driven world that may or may not reflect reality.

From negotiation strategies to procedural steps, it is a local knowledgeable real estate professional who will be there to advise home buyers.  I guess one could have an inspection done, get the results and then go back to Google and get advice on "What to do with the home inspection results."  Go ahead Google it.

There are thousands of information resources available on the Internet.   While some are valid resources , others offer outdated, unverified and just plain wrong information.  Sure the ZTRs of the world will continue to serve as a starting point.

But every consumer (buyer or seller) is unique with different goals and circumstances.  The information and guidance provided should be individualized and not some generic one size fits all solution.  In other words, a local real estate professional.

When you are ready to buy or sell a home in Melbourne, Florida give me me a call after you have checked out the mega web sites.  I will give you the local perspective and the data to support my opinion.


Monday, July 28, 2014

Experienced Melbourne, Florida Real Estate Agents Earn 85% Commission!

Experienced Melbourne, Florida Real Estate Agents can earn up to 85% commission at Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC.

I remember about eleven years ago when I was first licensed as a real estate agent.  I worked for one of the big box brokerages.  The training was excellent but the earned income was less than excellent.

On top of the commission split the broker took (3--50%)  there was a contribution for errors and omissions insurance (malpractice) and a master franchise deduction of about 8%. 

I guess it was the price I paid for training and to gain some experience.

But that is not the best business model for Melbourne, Florida real estate agents.

You can benefit from training and keep much more of your commission.  How much?  Well it depends on your experience but this could be 20-25% more than you are  making now!

Experienced agents can make 85% or more; new agents start at 75%!

Give me a call at 321-693-3850 and lets talk about working for Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC in Melbourne, Florida.

Send me an email with any questions you may have or to get started on keeping more of your own money!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Buying a House in Florida: Where do you start?

The home buying process is really very logical to those of us who deal with it daily.  But for first time home buyers or those who have not purchased a home in years it can seem confusing.

So where do you start?   The first step is to deal with the finances.  This can not be over emphasized.
Without a solid financial plan any time spent looking could be a complete waste of everyone's time.    I recommend beginning with an appointment with a local mortgage loan officer to discuss your financial picture (obligations, income, cash on hand for closing costs) and review your credit.
Then get a mortgage pre-approval letter from the lender.  A mortgage pre-approval letter is different from a mortgage pre-qualification letter

Why is this step so important it must be done first?  Because it controls most decisions made in the home buying process unless a buyer is paying cash.  Read:   Step One:  Get the Letter.

Later on when you are ready to submit an offer the seller is going to want to see a mortgage pre-approval letter or proof of funds if the offer is a cash offer. 

The next critical step is to get your own real estate agent.   BUYERS DO NOT PAY THEIR REAL ESTATE AGENT SO GET YOUR OWN.     Read: Who pays the buyer's agent?

When you call me you should expect to receive a lot of questions.   My goal is to gain an understanding of what buyers are looking for in a home.

Some of the questions are intended to gauge a prospective buyer's knowledge and experience level.
What are some of the questions to expect? 
  • When?  The process takes time.  Depending on the circumstances (cash, mortgage, short sale, new construction, etc) this time may be a couple of weeks or six months or more.  
  • Financial picture?  The ability to obtain a mortgage or the availability of cash is the most basic of considerations
  • Experience with the process? Your real estate agent is a resource and adviser.  Knowing a buyer's background helps a real estate agent keep the buyer up to speed on the process. 
  • Familiarity with area?  Simple but critical.
  • Expectations?  Buyers often begin the process by looking at one of the several online resources that provide real estate information.  This is OK but the validity is sometimes lacking.  Gaining an understanding of a buyer's expectations of the market may head off disappointment later.
  • Are you working with another real estate agent?  This is the  MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION buyers should receive when they call a real estate agent the first time. Choose your real estate agent and stick with them.
Give me a call if you are ready to buy a home in Brevard Count, Florida.   Have a question about the process, just send me an email or give me a call at 321-693-3850.


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Home Buyer Tips: What not to do when viewing homes for sale.

Courtesy is not just for church, dates and social gatherings.  Courtesy should also be present when shopping for a home.

Here are a few suggestions for those looking at homes.  Many are common sense and are included in advice provided by their real estate agent.  Still, sometimes the message never quite makes it.
  • Show up.  Selling a home is disruptive to daily routines and lives.   This is understander able.  Sellers leave, take a walk with the dogs.  
  • Show up (Part Two).  Show up and be punctual. 
  • Hands off!  Don't touch personal belongings of the seller.  There is no reason to pick up anything.
  • Hands off (Part Two).  Don't open open drawers in bedrooms, bathrooms, desks, etc.  Don't open cabinets.
  • Don't expect perfection.   Most properties are not perfect.  There will likely be flaws - especially if a home has been lived in for any time.
    The paint colors, flooring and the gawd awful wallpaper (yes, it is out there) will likely not be your preference.
  • Honor Requests.    Sellers often make small requests such as remove shoes upon entering or don't let the cat out.  These are not major inconveniences and should be honored.  Of course I often recommend sellers provide "booties covers" so the shoe issue is minimized.
  • Limit trips.  Once a house is under contract there will be reasons to come back. There will be inspections.  There will be a final walk through before closing.   In the interim, limit trips to measure, take pictures,etc. What is the old saying about a bad penny always returns
Buying and selling a home can be is stressful.  Courtesy and respect shown to all - all the way to the closing table - will make for a more pleasant experience.

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


Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Market Activity in Fairway Lakes at Viera - Homes For Sale in July 2014

Fairway Lakes at Viera offers home buyers seeking gated, new (or newer) construction executive living near one of the best golf courses in Brevard County plenty of choice.

Fairway Lakes at Viera  is located near the new Viera Hospital ans well as Viera High School.

Nearby is The Avenues at Viera shopping center as well many other shops and restaurants. 

Currently there are six homes for sale in the Fairway Lakes at Viera.    Home sizes for the homes for sale in Viera vary greatly with sq.ft. ranging from 2,605 to 4,049 with an average around 3,200 sq ft.

Most of the homes currently for sale in Fairway Lakes have four bedrooms and three baths with three car garages.   All of the homes for sale in Fairway Lakes at Viera are standard (fair market) sales built between 2007 and 2013.

Current list prices range from $514,000 to $680,000.   While that is a wide price range three of the listings are at or below $600,000.   If you are considering selling your Fairway Lakes home this may be the time as they are moving with four homes under contract at this time.

Among the builders represented by these homes for sale in Fairway Lakes at Viera are Toll Brothers, Emerald Homes, Viera Builders and DR Horton.

Three homes sold in Fairway Lakes since June 1, 2014.   These three, as reported in the Brevard Multiple Listing system, were:
  • 3058 Lamanga Dr - a five bedroom four and a half bath, 3445 sq ft  two car garage direct water home built in 2010 which sold for $498,000 on 06/17/14.
  • 6675 Arroyo Dr - a three bedroom three and a half bath pool home with three car garage and 2,989 sq.ft. plus water/golf views built in 2007 sold for $545,000 on 06/30/14. 
  • 3067  Lamanga Dr - a new construction by Viera Builders with 3,457 sq.ft. and three car garage featuring golf and water views sold for $556,000 on 07/18/14.
For information on homes for sale in Fairway Lakes at Viera or to sell your Fairway Lakes at Viera home, call me at 321-693-3850 or send me an email.