Tuesday, September 30, 2014

What is a real estate "specialist?"

There is an expectation that a "specialist" has some real substantial qualifications.   My Florida real estate license provides the public with an expectation that I am qualified to assist buyers and sellers with real estate transactions.

www.moving2brevard.comBut am I an expert?

I do not promote myself as an expert although I specialize in residential real estate sales.   I have represented buyers and sellers in a lot of transactions over the past eleven years. 

I am a Florida native who moved to Brevard County, Florida in 1996 upon my retirement from the U.S. Navy.   I have lived in the Viera and Rockledge area since 1996.   During my initial seven years in Brevard County I worked in the healthcare field and became a full time real estate agent in 2003.  

As a buyer or seller, you decide when you hire your Florida real estate agent whether they are a qualified local real estate expert. 

Ready to buy or sell a home in Viera or Melbourne, Florida?  Call me to discuss my qualifications.   I am confident that you will be satisfied with my background and experience as a Melbourne, Florida real estate agent.

 I can be reached at 321-693-3850 or send me an email.

agent@moving2brevard.com

Safety Practices when Buying or Selling a Home

"The body of missing Arkansas realtor Beverly Carter has been located north of the Little Rock area, the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office said early Tuesday."

When a home is for sale its easy for a real estate agent or seller to get excited about the prospect of selling and let their guard down.  I am not suggesting that is the case of Realtor® Beverly Carter's disappearance and murder.  Still, the case should serve as a wake up call for all - real estate agents, buyers and sellers.

Very rarely does a real estate agent know their buyer customers.  Very rarely does a seller know the person entering their home - especially at an open house.

Real estate agents, at a minimum, should require new customers to meet at their office or a public place of some type.  Real estate agents are in the "people" business but some "people" are dangerous.  Real estate agents should require identification up front.  Real estate agents should have an itinerary posted or shared with others.

The potential risk to sellers is greater than buyers.  As a Realtor® your home's security and your safety is very important to me.   Some key advice I offer sellers...
  1. Never open your door to an agent unless my office (or Showing Service) has contacted you to advise of scheduled showing. 
  2. Never open the door to strangers.  I provide my card at the time of listing.  If anyone comes to your door, tell them to contact me.
Here are a few other safety and security related articles:

The process of buying or selling a home, whether buyer, seller or real estate agent generates excitement.

Do not let the excitement get in the way of common sense safety practices.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Home Buyer Tips - The How much will a seller take?

Who doesn't want to buy at the lowest price possible?  So when a buyer has some interest in a property the questions start surfacing like...
  • How much will it take to get this house?  [This is always framed in such a manner as "What is the lowest the amount the seller will take?"]
  • Will the seller negotiate?
  • What is the lowest price I should offer?
Unless I am the seller I have no idea what the answer is to the first two questions although most sellers do negotiate some in the current market.

The buyer must decide the offer price but it is my job to provide comparable properties and information about trends that will allow the buyer to come up with an offer price.

The decision of how much to offer often requires consideration of multiple factors with the primary consideration being completely subjective - how attracted one is to the property/location.

So what is a reasonable offer?  It is one that is
  1. acceptable to the buyer, 
  2. supported by recent comparables, and 
  3. meets the buyer's objectives.
But sellers are really the ones in control of a real estate transaction.

So how much will a seller take?  

If you are serious lets put together a  reasonable "let's talk" offer and see where it goes.

If you are serious, act serious!
Terms define the REAL price.
agent@moving2brevard.com

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Brevard County, Florida Single Family Home Sales - 13 Month Trend


The below data reflects the median sales prices for single family homes sold in Brevard County, Florida over the previous four quarters (August 2013 - August 2014).

Also the graph represents the five years trend for the median sales price.


Produced by Florida REALTORS® with data provided by the Space Coast Association of Realtors®.

agent@moving2brevard.com

Brevard County Townhouses/Condos Report for August 2014 compared to August 2013

Brevard County Townhouses/Condos Report for August 2014 compared to August 2013: 
  • Closed Sales are down -2.9% for August 2014, with a decrease in cash sales of -4.5% compared to August 2013. 
  • New Pending Sales are down -2.6% and New Listings are up 2.4%.
  • Median Sales Price for Townhouses/Condos are up 15.7% to $125,000.
  • Median Days on the Market are down -26.3%, which is 42 days compared to August  2013, which was 57 days.
  • Months Supply of Inventory is down -14.8%, which is 4.8 months compared to August 2013, which was 5.7 months.   
  • Traditional Sales are up 12.6%, with a median sales price of $128,450.
  • Foreclosure/REO Sales are down -33.3%, with a median sales price of $52,250.
  • Short Sale Closings are down -60.0%, with a median sale price of $116,500
 Provided by the Space Coast Association of REALTORS® as a service to our members

Brevard County Residential Report for August 2014 compared to August 2013

 
Some highlights from the August 2014 single family homes sales statistics compared to August 2013 sales data.

  • Closed Sales are up 12.8% for August 2014 in which the number of units closed were 874 compared to 775 in August 2013, with an decrease in cash sales by -0.9% compared to August 2013.
  • New Pending Sales are up 6.5% and New Listings are down 2.0%.
  • Median Sales Price for Brevard County Single Family Homes are up 19.2% to $155,000 compared to a year ago, which was $130,000. 
  • Months Supply of Inventory is down -7.7% to 3.8 months compared to 4.1 months in August 2013. 
  • Traditional Sales are up 28.9%, with a median sales price of $172,500.
  • Foreclosure/REO Sales are up 1.9%, with a median sales price of $90,000.
  • Short Sale Closings are down -57.0%, with a median sale price of $145,000.
 Provided by the Space Coast Association of REALTORS® as a service to our members.   

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Home Buyer Tips - Seeing Every House is Not Realistic

Most home buyers start out with one goal - find the ideal property for them to purchase.  Of course, the definition of ideal eventually becomes more "as close as possible to ideal" as it becomes evident that most properties have some "imperfection."


So how many homes should a buyer look at in one day?  

My answer is five to seven, at most.

Why so few one may ask?  


First of all, time can be an issue as the commute time as well as the time spent in a property can add up and cause a log jam.  And when the schedule gets dragging it is easy to "just skip a showing," but which one, if any, will be dropped?   Most homes are occupied and, while sellers want to get their home sold, they are altering their daily routine for showings. 

Also, too many showings in one day can cause buyers to confuse attributes - both the good and the bad.   

One last word about time management When a house is found to not be a possibility there is no need to spend excessive time looking at it.

Prioritize your needs, wants and budget.  


Buyers should consider the "must have," "can live with," and "can't have" characteristics of potential properties as they prepare to search for a home.  The budget must recognize there are more "numbers" that go into home ownership than just the purchase price.   A word of caution to home buyers when it comes to mortgages -  forget the "approved amount" and look at the "required amount."

Screen MLS listings that best meet your "ideal." 


Buyers should recognize that MLS listings sometimes do not totally represent the real picture (nor do the photos).   Look at how long the schmoes have been on the market - fewer days, higher priority.  This assumes the extended days on the market reflect issues with the property or a price hat is too high.

Using the above tools to identify the best potential ideal homes buyers are ready for the day - seeing, at most, five to seven properties.

Why do I need my own buyer's agent?
What are the two most important steps to buying a home?
Why did you ask for a pre-approval letter first?
Questions to expect when calling a real estate agent for the first time.

Ready to buy a home in Melbourne, Florida?  Call me at 321-693-3850 if I can help.

agent@moving2brevard.com


 Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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.