Saturday, September 20, 2014

Home Seller Tips: Is an open house really for you?

Open houses are not the most effective way to sell a home but they can be a key component of the marketing plan.

According to the 2013 National Association of Realtors® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers 45% of buyers used the open house as a part of their search process.

Still, not every property is suitable for an open house.   The property location may not be convenient to major traffic.  Its price point may be too high (or low).  The  property may not show well (fixer upper).  Perhaps the circumstances of the sale (illness, death in the family), have created additional barriers (absentee owners, for example).


But, if an open house is decided upon the house must be prepared early and not at the last minute.

If an open house is in the works for your Brevard County, Florida home, how do you prepare?

    agent@moving2brevard.com
  1. Clean everythingobvious, right?  I know this is not always the case.  Check for yourself, stop by some open houses.  [This is where I will refrain from my favorite – if you can smell it, you can’t sell it – phrase.]
  2. Lock away items that can easily be stolen including jewelry, laptops, iPad, cell phones, etc..
  3. Hide prescription medications Apparently thieves are targeting prescription drugs during open houses!
  4. Remove/lock away weapons.   Do not leave a weapon where it can be stolen or more importantly, handled by a child ( no weapons under your bed or rifles sitting in the closet).
  5. Curb appeal. – Nicely landscaped lawn and flowers. 
  6. Depersonalize.  Put away the things that will detract from your home.  This includes excessive family photos, trophies, political affiliations and adult only materials.  This suggestion is not intended to be judgmental. 
  7. Clean the Front Door – First impressions set the tone!

So should you invest your time with an open house?  


When there are fewer competing properties an open house is much more effective.  In a buyer's market -use it!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Brevard County, Florida Single Family Home Sales August 2014 (By Type of Sale)


The above graphic illustrates  the single family residential sales market in Brevard County, Florida for August 2014 by percentage of total closed transactions.   There was a time not so many years ago where the foreclosure sales and short sales numbers were easily reversed. 

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

The above statistics based on extracted information from Brevard Multiple Listing service on this date.



Thursday, September 18, 2014

Market Update - Sonoma at Viera, Florida - Florida Homes for Sale


Sonoma at Viera located in the planned unit development of Viera, Florida offers gated living in a convenient central Brevard County location near several golf courses (Duran Golf Course), excellent schools (Viera High School, Kennedy Middle School) , shopping at the Avenues at Viera.

With easy access to both US1 and Interstate 95 the location is ideal for commuters to Orlando (40 miles) as well as those working in Melbourne as well as the Kennedy Space Center.   Also nearby is the new Viera Hospital, outpatient medical offices, multiple places of worship and much more.

What is currently for sale at Sonoma at Viera?


At this time there are three active single family listings in Sonoma at Viera.  All three homes have many features in common including four bedrooms, three bathrooms, screened pool, three car garages with 2004 construction.   All of these fair market listings are similar in size with All with approximately 3,200 sq.ft. under air.  Listing prices range from $469,000 to $529,000. 

What has sold recently in Sonoma at Viera?


Since August 1, 2014 there have been three homes sold in Sonoma at Viera.   
  • 4561 Chardonnay - A 2004 built pool home with 4 bedroom/2 bathroom/2 car garage home with 2,616 sq.ft. which sold for $390,000.  (Standard Sale)
  • 4994 Pinot St -  A 2004 built pool home with 4 bedroom/3 bath/3 car garage on pond with 2,1616 sq ft under air sold for $287,000. (Short Sale)
  • 4730 Chardonnay -  A 2004 built pond front pool home with 4 bedroom/3 bathroom/2 car garage home with 2,353 sq.ft. which sold for $327,000.  (Standard Sale)
For information on homes for sale in Sonoma at Viera, please give me a call at 321-693-3850 or send me an email.

http://www.moving2brevard.com/LISTINGS

Considering selling your Viera, Florida home?  Give me a call at 321-693-3850 for a market analysis.  If you are ready to buy a home in Rockledge or Viera, Florida, I can help as well.


agent@moving2brevard.com


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Market Update Fairway Lakes at Viera - September 2014 - Golf Course Homes For Sale

Fairway Lakes at Viera, located in the Melbourne, Florida planned unit development of Viera, just off Interstate 95 in Brevard County is a newer deed restricted gated community offering home buyers executive recent construction.

At this time there are six homes for sale in Fairway Lakes at Viera.  Of these homes, five are resale and one is a new construction home.  All are standard sales with list prices ranging from $499,500 to $680,000. 

The largest of the homes for sale in Fairway Lakes at Viera at this time is a five bedroom five bath three car garage home with over 4,000 sq.ft under air located on both lake and the golf course.

Previously sold by Gary Waters
The smallest home for sale is the new construction home with three bedroom and three bathrooms and two car garage.

What has sold recently in Fairway Lakes at Viera?


Three homes sold in July and another three in August 2014.  Since the beginning of August all homes selling in Fairway Lakes at Viera were new construction.  
  • 3178 Lamanga Dr - Four bedrooms three full baths plus one half bath and two car garage with 3,167 sq.ft. under air sold for $451,810.
  • 3148 Lamanga Dr - Four bedrooms three full baths plus one half bath and two car garage with 3,167 sq.ft. under air sold for $458,900.
  • 3028 Lamanga Dr - Five bedrooms four full baths plus one half bath and two car garage  with pool located on golf course and lake which sold for $635,000.  This was a builder's model so it had many "upgrades."
For information on homes for sale in Fairway Lakes at Viera, please give me a call at 321-693-3850 or send me an email.

Considering selling your Viera, Florida home?  Give me a call at 321-693-3850 for a market analysis.  If you are ready to buy a home in Rockledge or Viera, Florida, I can help as well.


http://www.moving2brevard.com/LISTINGS


agent@moving2brevard.com

Home Seller Tips: Price to Sell in Six Months?

I had a recent listing appointment where the prospective seller wanted to sell no sooner than six months from now.  After all, in his words, the Melbourne, Florida real estate market is improving so my selling price will be better, right?

His statement brings to light two issues pertaining to selling your house -  timing and pricing.

Timing your Home Sell


How long should it take to sell a house in Brevard County,  Florida?   There are multiple variables impacting the exact time to sell your Brevard County home but, most importantly, it is the the product - your house.  A property that is move in ready, a seller who is move out ready, and who makes presentation easy (easy appointments) is a great start. 

With no hiccups along the way a buyer obtaining a mortgage is usually looking at a 30-45 day time from contract to closing (allowing time for inspections, survey, appraisals, etc.).   This is for a standard sale and not a foreclosure or short sale.    A cash buyer can close in a week to ten days easily if there are no title issues as well as the inspection and appraisal (recommended) are accomplished.

So, how long will it take to sell my house?    There is no easy answer but a good rule of thumb is 90 days from listing to close (taking my 30-10-1 rule and adding the days mentioned above).  The above areas touch upon two of what I call the Three Ps of Selling Your Home (price, preparation and presentation).     I will address pricing next.

Pricing your Home to Sell


A competitively priced house is key to getting an offer.  The key here is being competitive.  Competitive does not mean priced to sell in six months.  

Based on the time to close suggested by my prospective seller my seller would have a property sitting at least four months before getting an offer.   That is a lot of days on the market.  Extended days on the market can cause a prospective buyer to think "What is wrong with the house?"   Pricing high is close in six months only serves to make competitive listings more attractive.

Why would a seller want to go through the hassle of having their home viewed for months knowing it is pried too high for the current market?

And if the seller did get an offer there are plenty of things that could go wrong in the interim while waiting to close.  Buyers have health issues or changes in family makeup.  Buyers lose jobs. Buyers change their mind (even with a contract) and walk away.  Buyers credit worthiness can change  so a mortgage is out.

Finally, how could I really predict what a home may sell for in six months? 

When you are ready to sell your Melbourne, Florida home give me a call at 321-693-3850. 

We can talk six months early.  We can do all the things necessary to prepare your home for the market.  We can put in on the market 90-100 days ahead of your desired closing and price it for the current market not some unknown.

agent@moving2brevard.com


 Image courtesy of digitalart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Home Buyers, Seller: Why do you want a quick closing?


The question to both seller and buyer should read "Why would you not want a quick closing?"

What is the typical time frame for a real estate closing in Brevard County, Florida? 


With all the cards falling in place a buyer obtaining a mortgage is usually looking at a 30-45 day time from contract to closing (allowing time for inspections, survey, appraisals, etc.).   This is for a standard sale and not a foreclosure or short sale.   A cash buyer can close in a week to ten days easily if there are no title issues as well as the inspection and appraisal (recommended) are accomplished.

The above criterion is what I would define as a quick closing.

What would interfere with a quick closing?

For a buyer there can be challenges to their time table.  If a buyer is selling a home that has not yet closed it may be necessary to contract and wait until the first home is sold.  This may be necessary for mortgage approval.   Of course many sellers are hesitant to accept such terms.   Buyers may be planning on relocating in a few months but want to go ahead and contract for the new home and wait until closer to that actual move.

For sellers there could be some challenges like tax implications if the home being sold is an investment or perhaps awaiting a new home to be built.  Or its a job relocation or whatever.

Sometimes there are legitimate reasons for delayed closings.

Absent unusual circumstances, buyers and sellers should insist on a quick closing.  The longer one waits to close the transaction the more opportunity for something to kill the deal.

Ready to sell your Melbourne, Florida home?  Call me at 321-693-3850 if I can assist.  Call me for your free price right market assessment.

http://www.moving2brevard.com/LISTINGS


agent@moving2brevard.com

Monday, September 15, 2014

Market Update - Phillips Landing in Rockledge, Florida - Florida Homes for Sale

Phillips Landing, located in Rockledge ,Florida, just off Interstate 95 in Brevard County is a newer deed restricted community offering home buyers good value in recent construction (2004-2013).

This deed restricted development offers residents a community pool, playground, parks, excellent schools nearby (Hans Christian Andersen, Kennedy Middle School)) and more.  Located in a central location  with easy access to both US1 and Interstate 95 the location is ideal for commuters to Orlando (40 miles) as well as those working in Melbourne as well as the Kennedy Space Center.

At this time there are two active single family listings in Phillips Landing.   Both of these homes are located on Bridgeport Circle and share many features in common and some differences as well.   Both are fair market listings with four bedrooms/two baths and a two car garage.  Both are located on the pond and are similar in age (2005/2006 built).   The major difference is one is much larger (2,394 sq.ft. vs. 1,846 sq.ft.).

What has sold recently in Phillips Landing?

Since August 1, 2014 there have been two homes sold in Phillips Landing.   
  • 1462 Hemingway Blvd - A 2005 built pond front  3 bedroom/2 bathroom/2 car garage home with 1,614 sq.ft. which sold for $175,000.  (Short Sale)
  • 3273 Hawthorne Ave -  A 2008 built pond front 4 bedroom/2 bath/2 car garage on pond with 2,119 sq ft under air sold for $233,000. (Standard Sale)
There were also four homes sold in Phillips Landing in July 2014 including:
  • 2340 Bridgeport Cir - $198,000, 4 bedroom/2 bath/2 car garage with 1,848 sq.ft. but not on pond. (Standard Sale)
  • 1660 Bridgeport Cir - $208,000, 4 bedroom/2 bath/2 car garage with 2,172 sq ft  not on pond. (Foreclosure)
  • 3254 Hawthorne Ave - $238,000, a 2,432 sq ft  4 bedroom/3 bath/3 car garage on pond, built in 2009. (Standard Sale).
  • 3244 Hawthorne Ave - $259,900, a 2,432 sq. ft.  4 bedroom/3 bath/3 car garage also located on a pond, built in 2011. (Standard Sale).
For information on homes for sale in Phillips Landing in Rockledge, please give me a call at 321-693-3850 or send me an email.

Considering selling your Rockledge, Florida home?  Give me a call at 321-693-3850 for a market analysis.  If you are ready to buy a home in Rockledge or Viera, Florida, I can help as well.


http://www.moving2brevard.com/LISTINGS

agent@moving2brevard.com

Sunday, September 14, 2014

First Time Home Buyer Advice

First time home buyers require (and deserve) to receive professional counseling and advice from a Realtor who understands their needs.  This requires a patient real estate agent who can educate as well as show houses.

Key point:  If you are a first time home buyer ask the real estate agent you call about their experience with first time home buyers.

The process of buying a home starts with the decision to buy.   If a prospective buyer is ready for the responsibility of home ownership the first step is deal with mortgage financing.

The most important step in the home buying process is to really know up front your mortgage qualification limitation.  Your loan amount will be based on your credit history. 

Talk with your lender about interest rates, special programs for first time home buyers, closing costs, monthly payments, down payment requirement, and any other question you may have about a home loan.  Your lender is one of your key resources in the home buying process (your real estate agent is the other).

What about the budget?  

 

The cost of home ownership includes expenses beyond the mortgage.  Buyers should not overlook these additional expenses when buying a new home:
  • Association Dues
  • Homeowner Insurance 
  • Flood Insurance, if required. 
  • Taxes
  • Special Assessments (governmental, association)
  • Closing Costs. Check your lender's GFE (Good Faith Estimate).
 [Key point: The mortgage limit you qualify for may not be the amount you need to spend to get your house.]

Once the buyer has a budget established and needs identified  then the fun starts (many do find the search exciting!).  Once a home is found and a contract to purchase in place there will be other steps including inspections, appraisals, potential repairs, surveys, and more.

Finally, the keys will be handed over to you at the closing table!

The above steps show why it is extremely important a first time home buyer have a patient, knowledgeable, available real estate agent who they can trust.

If you are ready to buy a home in Brevard County, Florida give me a call at 321-693-3850 or send me an email if I can help in any way

The above post was inspired by the words of a new first time buyer client who commented a previous real estate agent said "call me when you are serious about buying."   When you call me that is the first step you have an interest.  It is my job to determine the level of interest and work with the caller.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Home Seller Tips: Terms Define the "Real" Price

Sellers have many concerns but, in the end, there are two overriding concerns when a home seller receives a purchase offer - terms and ability to close.

Most think price alone is the greatest consideration but, in my opinion, "terms" is more appropriate.  Terms include price.

Although at first glance an offer price may appear to be acceptable it is all the other contingencies and requests that further define the price.  Some of those contingencies include...
  • Closing date.  Sellers have a schedule.  They don't want to wait an excessive time.  The longer a closing is delayed the more time for something to arise that interferes with closing
  • Closing cost assistance.  An attractive offer can become less attractive when the 3% or $5,000 or whatever is subtracted from the selling price.
  • Inspection and repair contingencies.  While inspections are always recommended having repair requests tied to the offer such as "repair this, that, etc. " listed on the offer at presentation may make the seller believe this buyer will be a pain all the way to closing.  Sellers want to avoid pain
  • Financing contingency.  When a mortgage is involved there is always a potential problem.   A higher offer that may not make the appraisal is just a hope while a slightly lower offer for cash may be the best option.
Now the second major concern - ability to close.   Has the seller been validated by your listing agent?  A good real estate agent will educate the buyer on the process and prepare their offer so it provides confidence to a seller that this deal will get done.

As a buyer know your offer is more than the price alone.  As a seller know the offer received is more than the price alone.  Terms will define the "real" price.

Ready to buy a house in Brevard County, Florida?  Call me at 321-693-3850.  If you are thinking of selling your Melbourne, Florida, send me an email for a free no obligation market analysis.

agent@moving2brevard.com

Image courtesy of jannoon028 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Homes for Sale in Heritage Isle in Viera (September 2014) - Melbourne, FL Premier 55+ Community


Heritage Isle, Melbourne, Florida's premier 55+ community offers gated living, newer construction in a community with facilities few developments can offer.  With condos, patio style homes and single family detached homes there is something to appeal to anyone looking for a Florida 55+ community.  All in an ideal location near shopping, the new Viera Hospital, several golf courses and more.

What has sold recently in Heritage Isle in Viera?

There were twelve proeprties sold within the Heritage Isle community during August 2014.  Of these two were condo units (two bedroom, two bath, about 1200 sq.ft. with a detached carport).  These condos sold for $121,000 and $125,000.

Also, there were two patio style villa homes sold in August. These attached units are typically two bedroom two bath with one car garage with a "flex" room and screened porch occupying about 1,407 sq ft under air.

There were eight single family detached homes sold in August 2014 with prices ranging from $221,000 to $410,000.   The wide range of selling prices is somewhat deceiving as only one home sold for more than $275,000 in August.

The home selling for $410,000 is about as large as you can get in Heritage Isle with all the features like about 3,200 sq.ft under air, five bedrooms, four full bathrooms, a three car garage and a pool on a water front lot.

Of the other seven homes sold there were four with selling prices between $221,000 and $230,000.

What is currently for sale in Heritage Isle?


There are currently 21 active listings for properties for sale in Heritage Isle.  Of these, there are eight patio stye villa units for sale with half of those being new construction.  List prices for the patio homes range from $164,900 to almost $189,000.

The thirteen single family homes for sale in heritage Isle are priced from $219,000 to $429,900 with most (five units) priced under $250,000.

Of the homes for sale the home size varies greatly with the smallest at 1,677 sq.ft. and the largest at over 3,200 square feet under air.   Heritage Isle offers many choices for buyers with some homes on the water, some with 3 car garages and even an occasional private pool.  For the most part homes are in the three bedroom two bath two car garage variety!

For information on Homes for Sale in Heritage Isle, please give me a call at 321-693-3850.  If you prefer, send me an email.

Remember, a buyer's agent costs you nothing - even with new construction.

agent@moving2brevard.com



Monday, September 08, 2014

Viera, Florida Homes for Sale: Why do prices vary so much in the same development?

A recent buyer asked me why the homes for sale in the same Viera, Florida subdivision varied so much.  There can be a myriad of reasons why homes in the same development are listed for (and selling for) at quite different price points.

Although contrary to the belief of many buyers homes are rarely created equal.

This is a key point that needs repeating.  Homes are rarely exactly the same unless one is buying new construction directly from the builder within a cookie cutter development.

Many of the neighborhoods in the Viera and Melbourne, Florida areas consist of single developer tract homes with similar floor plans and materials with some variation in front elevation.

These homes are often referred to as zero lot line, cookie cutter houses and are usually less expensive to construct than custom (or semi-custom) built homes which results in lower new home selling prices. 

In some subdivisions like Rockledge, Florida's Phillips Landing subdivision there were several builders (Condev, Holiday Builders, Adams Homes, for example).   Knowing who the builder was (or is) can sometimes explain a big difference in listing price that otherwise baffles buyer prospects.

Then the price of a cookie cutter home built by the same builder in a different location can vary greatly especially if located in Viera, Suntree or on Merritt Island. 
  

If you are considering selling your Viera, Florida home I urge you to read Marketing a Home that is just like the others and then give me a call to discuss how I can work for you!

agent@moving2brevard.com

The Home Buying Process: After Your Offer is Accepted.

You have found the house and your offer has been accepted by the seller.  Now, what?

The offer is only the first of many steps to reach the closing table.   It is critical that buyers (and sellers) understand this.

Below are some of the steps in the process although depending on whether the offer is a cash offer or subject to financing some steps may not be applicable.

A few of the steps pertain to the process I use with my buyers.  Your real estate agent may do things differently or at different points.
  • Property inspections.  First things first.  Whether a cash offer or subject to financing I encourage all buyers to have the property inspection completed.  Do not count on a seller disclosure to tell you all you need to know.  Read Home Inspections - Know what to expect. 
  • Wood Destroying Organism (Termite) inspections.  Usually done concurrently with the property inspection.  Get these out of the way.  Inspections can be a get out of jail free card. 
  • Request Repairs.   Depending on the inspection results repairs may still be requested and done by the seller.  Even as is doesn't mean the seller may not make repairs to close the deal.  Still buyers should remember this "as is" does not mean many as "as if" in perfect condition. 
  • Remove inspection contingency.  With the property inspection completed issues addressed it is time to remove the inspection contingency. 
  • Appraisals.  This is the next major hurdle along the way. What if the appraisal comes in low?  Do you need an appraisal on a cash offer? 
  • Remove appraisal contingency. 
  • Survey.  This is a necessary step. You must know where your boundaries are!  Also most title insure policies require a survey be done. 
  • Insurance.  Get the homeowner insurance policy binder in place. 
  • Maintain control of your finances while you await closing.  Do not do anything that impacts your credit rating/score negatively.  Some of these things include...
  • Don’t change jobs, 
  • Don’t apply for a new credit card, 
  • Don’t make a major purchase like that new car, 
  • Don’t help someone else by co-signing on their loan,
  • Don’t do nothing. 
Although there is no a specific step above a review of the homeowner association documents as well as association finances should have been accomplished early on in this process. 

Other items like confirming school assignment boundaries should be addressed before the offer is written.

Another item to consider is checking the sexual predator web sites.    You can't control who moves in later but you can know who is there today. Check my helpful links when relocating to Brevard County.

There are many players and steps in the Florida home buying process and many things that can go wrong along the way.  Whenever a question arises call your real estate agent or mortgage lender.  They both want to see you successfully close on your new home!

Ready to buy a home in Brevard County, Florida?  Call me at 321-693-3850 or send me an email if I can help in any way.

agent@moving2brevard.com


 Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Friday, September 05, 2014

Home Seller Tips: Is your home dated?

I read it quite often...recent updating or updated.  And then I show the same homes and buyers say things like needs updating.

I have come to the conclusion that sellers think of updated as having occurred during the previous decade while buyers look at it as completed yesterday!

What counts as being updated?

Put a little differently, what "dates" a home?

In my opinion these are some of the primary "daters" of a house or condo.
  • Wallpaper.  This is a highly personalize decision and once applied is rarely removed - even when a home is being sold.  And lets not forget about the wallpaper borders too!
  • Paint colors.  Colors, like cloths, has a season or two - not decades.  Mauve had its time in the spotlight.
  • Appliances.  Take a walk through your local appliances stores. If your stove or refrigerator does not resemble (somewhat) what you see then updated may not be an appropriate description.
  • Appliance colors.  Rare but still out there are some colors that were once favored like harvest gold, avocado and the like. 
  • Counter top materials.  Laminate is not updated unless the property is an investor re-sale.  At certain price points buyers expect solid surface, Silestone, granite, etc.
  • Carpeting.  Besides paint this is probably one of the easiest updates that can be accomplished.  
There are some things that date a home that can not be easily changed or is financially not reasonable.  Things like design obsolescence (formal living/dining rooms, all baths on first floor and bedrooms on second floor, low ceiling heights with popcorn finishes, etc).

The key point about selling your home is this....
Your price and marketing materials set the expectations.  If a prospective buyer is expecting updated, give it to them.  If the price is appropriate for location and condition, then an offer will come sooner than later.

Ready to sell your Melbourne, Florida home?  Call me at 321-693-3850 or send me an email if I can help in any way. 

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.


agent@moving2brevard.com