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Monday, November 27, 2006

Seller's Status Report


The below text was extracted from an email I sent a client as a monthly report. It tells a little bit of what I am experiencing day-to-day in this market. If you are a seller, this may be your experience as well.

"I just wanted to check in with you and let you know how things are going. I have spoken to ------ several times over the past few weeks while scheduling showings. I know she has been putting effort into painting the living/dining room and the family room. We continue to have fairly frequent showings. I do believe the prices have returned to realistic levels for this market. After all, the job base in this locale can only support a certain level of housing costs."

"I held an open house yesterday at one of my listings and had a lot of traffic so buyers are out there. By the way, whenever I do open houses I carry flyers on all my listings and promote them to all open house visitors. I still believe you have the best priced pool home in Viera. Interest rates are still reasonable and buyers are looking. The issue in this market remains insurance premiums and property taxes. With the recent elections there is a promise of a special legislative session to address the insurance problem. Hopefully for all of us residents of Florida, this will result in some sort of reduction or, at a minimum, limiting the rate increases!"

"The "average" days on the market now in this area is approaching 4 months so it is not uncommon for a listing to be active for 6 months or so. The lower end homes seem to move a little more quickly. A report in the newspaper a couple of weeks ago stated the median sales price had dropped to $194-195K. However, properties are moving!"

"I still firmly believe that our price is very attractive at $265,900. We have the best priced pool home in Viera. The buyers out ther now are the opne's looking to move at the first of the year - job transfers, etc. Finally, do I have your approval to continue the listing another month?"


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

This is the Time!

Sitting in the barber shop yesterday I picked up the November issue of Entrpreneur Magazine. An interesting article by the Editor (sorry I do not remember her name) caught my eye. After reading the article I thought about its applicability to real estate too! She basically said "Waiting is a waste of time!" and "There never will be a perfect time." That is most assuredly applicable to the housing market at this time.

Buyers who need a home are buying! Sellers who need to move are selling! And the resultant prices are realistic for the area. Perhaps the prices are where they should have been about a year or so ago when the "Bulls" were running wild! If you are in the situation, pick an excellent Realtor and tread cautiously. The folks who were fishing for buyers have just about left the market and any Realtor really working for you as a buyer will find the property you are looking for! Happy House Hunting!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Pricing Strategy that Works????

I just read an article from the August 7, 2006 US News & World Report by Alex Markels which deals with the "New Housing Market." An interesting point made in the article is that sellers need to do a reality check. Interestingly the article states that many real estate agents are recommending that sellers price at or below the comparable property values - even 10% below. This does seem like a realistic strategy. Buyers know it is a buyer's market and keen buyers are looking to negotiate even further. Why not price low enough to get multiple buyers bidding up the sales price for a home? Sounds reasonable! I encourage you to get a copy of the article and read it, whether you are activley buying or selling or just considering making a move!

UPDATED APRIL 18, 2008: The story is still the same. If you want to sell in this market it is imperative that the price be competitive.

Good Luck! Remember to consult a knowledgeable Realtor when buying or selling real property! Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Melbourne, Florida.

Friday, September 08, 2006

The Sky is Falling!!!!!!!!!!

Not Really........... everyone (except the keen and brave) seems to think this is not the time buy in Brevard County! WRONG!!!!!!! This is the time to latch onto the VALUES! Prices have certainly dropped and this opens the door to opportunity. Folks buy stocks when the market is low so why not buy real estate when the market is down? Makes sense, doesn't it?

There are so many values to be had and sellers are willing to negotiate even further. Of course there are these sellers who are realistic in their list price so the margin for concession is reduced somewhat. These sellers are the folks who decided to list the property at a real price instead of the inflated prices of six months ago!

As a Realtor I do not accept listings any longer that are not competitively priced. I work hard for my sellers so it is of no value for me to put energy into a doomed listing! Besides, now I do not have to explain to a seller why no one has called or visited the home!

Now is the time to buy (and sell if you are willing to price appropriately!).

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Deals on Florida Properties...... Rockledge, Melbourne, Cocoa Deals!

Almost 8,000 homes for sale in Brevard County...... Boy, what a time to be a buyer! Sellers are having to make a very important decision. Either understand the market realities or let a home sit on the market! No matter how good your real estate agent is (read this as "me"), if you don't price appropriately for the market, it ain't selling! I do encounter my share of sellers who in the words of Jack Nicholson "can't handle the truth," most are living in the present!

One year ago buyers were at the mercy of the sellers, and sellers knew this. The shoes on the other foot now with sellers being at the mercy of the buyers! This is just the normal cyclical nature of the market.

Want to see what is for sale..... www.brevardmls.com and Gary Waters, email at agent@moving 2brevard.com , is your key to successful real estate transactions in Brevard County, Florida!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Real Estate Humor..............

I have heard so much whining from real estate agents, sellers, buyers, mortgage brokers, etc these past few months that I thought I would share a couple of comments. First, an agent told me the other day that his income had dropped so much he was going to start charging admission to Open Houses! I thought that was a little extreme so I suggested in a tactful manner that he borrow the Salvation Army's red kettle (it is their off-season) and hire a bell ringer during Open Houses! Things are not that bad, REALLY!

I read an article in Realtor Magazine that suggested buyers are now looking closer to their workplace for homes. Seems gas has changed buyer patterns. Used to be that buyers drove away from the city to they reached an area where they could afford to purchase. I guess the price of gas has changed some attitudes. Either way, interest rates have steadied, mortgage rates are lower today than anytim in the previous 5 months..... Optimism abounds. Whether a buyer, seller or investor, sitting on the sidelines is not nearly as exciting as getting in the game!

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Market Issues and More

Am I optimistic?

Activity seems to be picking up although sellers are still leaning toward listing homes for sale at higher prices! The old saying in real estate is "Location, Location, Location." That is more true today in this market than I can recall! A home in Viera, Florida will just naturally sell for more than a home in the more rural areas on North Brevard County or in the less developed areas of Palm Bay in the southern part of Brevard County. With almost 7500 single family homes for sale in the County, pricing for location is critical.

Other issues that seem to be pressuring the market include homeowner's insurance and taxes. Some areas are harder to obtain insurance at a reasonable price..... especially "beachside" or even on the barrier island (Merritt Island). The hope is that with a gubernatorial race in the near future someone will address the insurance marketplace. Unemployment remains reasonably low and, as most folks know, employment is the major factor is determining the real estate market.

Am I optimistic........... you bet!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Use a Real Lender, Please!

When it is time to buy a house the second most important area of consideration is your mortgage lender. (The first is finding the right property.) Based on my experience in working with clients, please, please consider a brick and mortar real lender. Go to a bank, a credit union, a mortgage banker..... avoid internet bankers and fly by night (read as no track record, newbie) mortgage brokers who use some "invisible" lender. You need someone you can speak with, who is available to discuss issues, who will follow up and be there to the closing.

The most impressive mortgage loan officer/lender I have met is one that handled my own personal mortgage. He was there the whole way even coming to the closing table with me(us) to make sure all went well. I have seen homebuyer's wishes dashed a few days before closing and that is not a happy situation. As a Realtor I can guide you through the process and assist in the process. My success is achieved only when you close whether you are a BUYER or SELLER. Save yourself some heartache by chosing a real lender, please!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Its Happening!

It seems that the market has leveled off and now folks are ready to get in the game! This, of course, is based on my on experience over the past week. The inquiries have increased in frequency, showings are increasing, and, hopefully, the contracts will follow. In this field, as in any sales field, a positive attitude is critical. Critical for my success, yes. Critical for my clients, yes! Why would anyone want to list their home with a negative agent? Who wants to spend a day looking at properties with a down in the mouth real estate agent?

Give it another week or so, after the Fourth of July, and we will see. Why not get in the game?

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Another new listing.....


I just listed a new property for sale that is quite unique in this area. One acre, gated community, beautiful home! And, its only $499,000. That is a bargain in this market. Sure, you can get more house for $500K but you also get zero lot lines, neighbors just 10 feet away. For that kind of money, you certainly want some privacy. Of course, there are as many differing tastes as there are people. Some folks just do not want the maintenance that comes with a large yard. Then again, some want to be in their hot tub or pool and know they have some privacy.

I have homes listed from a low of $185,000 to a high of $665,000. Contact me by email at agent@moving2brevard.com if I can assist in any way.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

A Private Florida Retreat!


As we move into the summer "buying season," more and more properties are becoming available. With over 7,000 hmes for sale in Brevard County, the choices are abundant. Some are unique, some are "more of the same." I just listed a home yesterday that is a real lifestyle, a Florida retreat. This home has it all...for a price! The home has almost 3 acres, horses allowed, its on lake, a workshop, a horse barn, two "sheds", a greenhouse/nursery, an inground pool, a hot tub, 1200 sq ft deck, a huge porch with summer kitchen, gated entry, gazebo, a fireplace, a "solarium style" master suite, and more. Even the contents are for sale at $10K. This is a turnkey estate that is ready to move in! Located close to I-95, this property is convenient to Orlando, not far from beaches. A real one of a kind property for the buyer looking for a retreat..... a home close to everything yet still with privacy.


No zero lot lines here. No neighbors so close they can see what you are doing when you are outside! This is a real private estate in an area where estate size homes are rare. Call me today or see this home at
www.brevardmls.com .

Friday, May 26, 2006

Rates Rise, Fall, and Buyers are Still NervousI!


Seems like the interest rates fluctuate with the tide these days. Seems like everyone is nervous, but life must go on! People have lives to live. If you must sell because of a new job or a move, set the price reasonably competetively and sell. If you must buy, make a reasonable offer. Looks like most homes here have been selling for about 95% of the list price. Home prices have settled a bit so it is time to move on with buying and selling.

Folks always get so uptight when involved in any real estate transaction. It is a serious investment or divestment but come on, let me be the one to ease the burdens associated with real estate. Actually, it is the job on any real estate agent you employ to lead you through the process. I am not saying to blindly go along with everything but rather to seek the counsel of a professional Realtor with a reputation for solid service. As it has been said before.... "trust but verify."

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Buyers Maintain Advantage

As we approach the Memorial Day weekend, buyers continue to maintain the advantage in this market. Listings are plentiful, choices boundless! It is amazing to see the reaction of sellers to the market. I see the dreamers who still have their homes listed way above any practical price, sellers listing at an appropriately competitive price, and even the bargains out there. I even have a couple of them listed myself, bargains that is!

The only(?) negative in this market is the fluctuation in interest rates, mostly creeping up in small increments. Okay, the interest rates are not the only negative issue. Excess inventory is seen as a negative by sellers. I guess negativity is in the eyes of the beholder. Regardless, I am extremely positive. Positive because the correction of this market was inevitable. It could not continue as it has in the past few years. Folks were being priced out of the market.

Oh well, you can not please all..... only yourself.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Where Has Patience Gone?

Seems like everyone, especially sellers, is getting a little nervous in this market. Prices have leveled, interest rates have risen, inventory has climbed, and sellers have gotten nervous. Just as it has always been and will forever be..... properties priced correctly will sell. Period. Exclamation mark!

I have seen it all in the last month. Sellers jumping to new Realtors because the home did not sell. Buyers backing out of contracts for no reason. Folks listed with "discounters" holding their own open houses and then complaining because the Realtor only put the house in the MLS service. Showings continue to happen without offers. All indicative of the inventory and competition in the market.

This market puts even more pressure on the real estate agent. Direct mailing, open houses, internet marketing, flyers, and anything that can (or possibly) work. I say, be optimistic, as we are now in May and I truly believe the real estate market in Brevard County is a May to September market! Sellers, hang in there! Buyers, get out there and find that bargain!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Do you want a recreational Realtor?

The toughest thing to do in today's real estate market is to sell a house! The biggest mistake a seller can make is to hire a "recreational Realtor!" Is a recreational Realtor one who plays a lot of golf? Could be.... Is a recreational Realtor one who loves the Florida beaches and waterways? Could be as well! However, in this context, a recreational Realtor is the real estate agent who "plays at selling real estate." Real Estate is a vocation just as any other profession. You do not find very many doctors, lawyers, dentists, and engineers out there practicing their chosen vocation without a goal in mind!

Florida has some wonderful golf courses, waterways, beaches, and attractions so enjoying them is part of the lifestyle! Professional Realtors do find the time to do them all. How else can one sell the Florida Lifestyle unless one has personal experience with the Lifestyle?

How do you know if a Realtor is "recreational?" Ask! Do you work fulltime at real estate? Do you have a team of colleagues who work with you? Or, just as important, do you have a support network in place to provide assistance if you are not available? Also, ask about previous success in the market. There are other things that go into finding the best Realtor which I will comment on later. Suffice it to say that when hiring a Realtor choose a "Vocational Realtor" over a "Recreational Realtor!"

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Buyers need to impress the Realtor Too!

Buyers are making their rounds throughout the area taking flyers, making notes and comparing properties more closely than ever! With the large number of homes for sale, shrewd buyers are making the move, albeit cautiously! Now is the time when the buyer is being more critical of present condition of the property as opposed to things that can be fixed later. Over the psat couple of years sellers have enjoyed the luxury if having multiple buyers competing for the opportunity to "get the contract!" As the old saying goes "what comes around, goes around."

If you are a seller, be prepared have lots of lookers. Sure this can be an inconvenience but it is now necessary to accomodate potential buyers. How can you do this? Be available for showings during the "real estate hours." Most buyers seem to be in the looking mode between about 11:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., even the early evening. If you are going to be home, take a walk when the prospects arrive. If you have a pet, take it with you. Some folks are either sensitive to pet dander or even afraid of even the tiniest dog! Use all the tricks of the trade such as leaving lights on, brightly lighting the spaces. Potpouri or scented candles work great as well. Of course, avoid the presence of the greatest offender these days, tobacco smells! Other smells such as fried foods can be a turnoff as well.

Even if the propsects do not buy your house, staging it appropriately is important for another reason. You are also trying to impress the Realtor so he or she remembers your home and wants to show it to their next client. Why would a Realtor want to show a home that isn't on par or even better than the competition?

Monday, March 20, 2006

Take advantage of the situation!

It matters not what the Wall Street Journal or any of the newspapers say, real estate is a local trend. One area may be a buyer's market while others are still a seller's market. You need to find out what the state of your home market is and go from there! Sure, interest rates impact the market but the truth is the local employment trends impact home sales more than anything. After all, if there are no jobs or job growth, the outlook for sales (and prices) is weakened.

Sellers in this market have gotten so antsy that I have had sellers (with homes listed with real estate offices) drop off their own flyers, encouraging agents to show their homes. Sellers have to remember that price is the most important factor impacting moving their property. If you can not price a property right, who cares if there is a for sale sign out front!

If you are in the market for a home, I say "take advantage of the situation." Besides, one year ago sellers were not hesitant to leverage their position to an advantage!

Friday, March 17, 2006

What Sellers Want!

It seems that sellers all want the same thing - buyers!!!!! But they do not want "educated" buyers. Rather, they want someone to walk in, fall in love with the house, and offer an unreasonably high price, in cash! That would be an ideal seller situation! What do buyers want? Well, they want an uninformed seller who is willing to part with a property under market price, in move-in condition, with seller paying at least part of the closing costs! Again, an ideal situation. So what is a consumer to do??????????

Balance can be achieved by hiring the right professional. In this case it is a knowledgeable real estate agent, either a seller's agent or a buyer's agent depending on your particular side of the transaction. How do you choose an agent? Local market knowledge is the key. Make sure the agent has represented sellers and buyers in your area. Professional education is the basis to a sound real estate career but experience (i.e. success) in your market is the primary criteria! But where do you look for that agent? Ask friends, family, those with whom you come in contact daily. Most folks are quick to recommend an agent who has done a great job for them in the past. More importantly, they are quick to "un-recommend" an agent who was less than stellar in their assistance. A professional Realtor can balance the buyer/seller playing field. After all, buyers and sellers are not in an adversarial relationship, just looking for a win-win outcome!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

They came, They saw, they left!!!!!!!!

With the inventory of homes rising, the competition has become intense to lure that buyer to your property. What can an owner do to make it attractive to the prospective buyer? First of all, if the property is priced correctly, buyers will come. Once they pull up in front of your home, the opportunity to impress begins. Conversely, it is also a lost opportunity if your home is the "dog" awaiting a "dog biscuit."

Curb appeal is everything. I have never sold or bought a home without going inside. If the yard is a potential cover for "Junkyard Monthly," get your act together. Lawns should be well maintained (i.e. green), flower beds free of weeds (a few new plants with actual flowers would be nice), and even a new coat of paint. Heaven forbid your home have mold or algae visible on the roof or side - pressure wash it! And, finally, if they do get out of the car, please ensure the front entry is clear of clutter. You do not need a prospect to trip over a flower pot or similar item. Want to make great first impression, clean that front door! Nothing sets a negative tone more than filth around the door knob!

Need more staging tips, please email me at agent@moving2brevard.com or send a note from my website www.Moving2Brevard.com

Monday, March 13, 2006

Real Estate Deals in Florida!

I just spent the afternoon previewing properties in south Brevard County, specifically Palm Bay, Florida. This is definitely a buyer's market! I preview brand new construction 1800-2050 squar feet of living area for $229,000 and less. Some of these new homes are priced at less than $118 per sq foot. The times have changed in the past year! Three bedrooms, 2 bath, 2 car garage, concrete stucco, ceramic tile and carpeting, so much to choose from! The inventory remains high - currently over 6,300 single famly homes for sale.

Brevard County has such diverse areas - beachside, north, central and south - all have much to offer. Whether you want a condo, new construction, older established neighborhoods, over 55 communities, we have it all! New construction builders are making deals as well. The time time to buy is now! Take a look at http://www.brevardmls.com and see for your self and then call me!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Listings, Listings, everywhere listings!

There are over 6,000 single family homes for sale on the www.brevardmls.com website. This does not take into account the hundreds (I am sure) that are FSBO (For Sale By Owner)! Combine this with the 2,400 condo/townhomes listed as active and you will find a buyers market. This is the time for the buyer to exercise the leverage of having many similar properties from which to choose and anxious sellers waiting for that offer! Another item of interest - interest rates have hit their three year high - another market influence that does not bode well for sellers!

I must admit that I do represent sellers as well as buyers so this is a bittersweet situation! However my experience has been that a property priced correctly will sell at a correctly negotiated price! Professional real estate agents know the market and the market really does set the price. Buying a home unrepresented in this market can be a mistake. Similarly, trying to sell a home unrepresented (FSBO) can be a mistake!

Getting started..............

OK, so I have been a little slow to get with this "blogging" thing but, like they say, better late than never! As a resident of Central Brevard for 10 years and Realtor for 3 years I have seen major transformations in the local area. Whatever you are looking for, Brevard County has it to offer. I will be writing about the different areas of the County and posting so visitors to my website www.Moving2Brevard.com will get a feel for the area (from my perspective). Visit my site, email me questions about the area and I will post the responses here!

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