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Friday, August 31, 2012

Homes Sold Brevard County, Florida August 2012

These are the early numbers with today being the last day of closings for the month.  Of course I wonder how many buyers will actually close on a Friday before a holiday weekend.... 

Here is a summary of the residential properties sold in Brevard County, Florida during August 2012.
  1. Total number of residential units sold – 562
  2. Average Days on Market – 82
  3. Average Listing Price $151,401
  4. Average Selling Price – $144,055
  5. List/Sell Ratio – 95%
  6. Median Selling Price – $105,000
  7. Supply – 4.3 months
How do these compare to August 2011?
  1. Total units sold - 602 (but we still have closings to be entered)
  2. Average Selling Price – $152,621
  3. List/Sell Ratio – 93%
  4. Supply – 7.9 months
  5. Median Selling Price – $103,000
  6. Average Days on Market - 116
One thing is certain...inventory has shrunk considerably with a total active single family home listing inventory of only 1980 properties as of August 31, 2012.  Of these active listings there are 344 short sales and 175 foreclosure/HUD properties.

For information on buying and selling a home in Brevard County, Florida call me at 321-693-3850 or email me.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Home Seller Tips– How do you evaluate the offer on your home?

You have your home on the market.  The showings have been frequent over the first week or two.  An indication you have it priced for the market!

The feedback has been mostly positive.  An indication you have prepared it well.

Now you have received your first offer.   How does a seller evaluate an offer?

When presented with an offer the first thing the seller asks is “How much?”  This is only natural as it is all about price.

Assuming the offer price is reasonable the next question should address the terms – “Is this a cash offer?”  If so, is there a proof of funds letter accompanying the offer.

If there is going to be a mortgage  "Is there a recent mortgage pre-approval letter accompanying the offer?"   Most professional real estate agents working with serious buyers understand this and provide it with the offer.   [Make sure it is not a pre-qualification letter.]

So far so good…

Now....Is there sufficient escrow money (a good faith deposit)?”   When working with buyers this always seems to be a stopping point when preparing an offer.  There is no set amount so I always urge buyers to offer enough to let the seller know they are serious but not so much as to not be able to walk away from in a worse case scenario.

Still looking positive now.... “What is the timeline?”   Buyers have schedules especially if there is a job transfer involved or perhaps children who need to start school.  Sellers have schedules.  Lenders have schedules.  There are inspections to be conducted.  There is a survey to be done.   Is it a short sale?  There is another great big unknown for your calendar!

Other factors that determine a seller’s response include seller motivation, any repair issues, a counter-offer  as in short sale or even family issues like an illness or death or divorce. 

How does a seller evaluate an offer?   Through consultation with their real estate agent and, if necessary, their attorney or tax adviser.

If you are considering selling your Viera, Suntree, Rockledge or Melbourne, Florida home, call me at 321-693-3850.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Ocean Front Condos for Sale in Central Florida–Just some thoughts…

I spent time this week showing condos along central Florida's Atlantic Ocean.  Condos for sale in places like Cocoa Beach, Satellite Beach, Indian Harbour Beach, Indialantic.

 A really nice day with lots of sunshine.

Every time I show beach front condos it reinforces some of my opinions about Florida condos…

Things like height.  Price goes up the higher you get but above the fourth floor you lose the sound of waves crashing and the ability to really see the sand!

Age doesn’t matter.   Just like people age is not an indicator of anything!  The age of the condo building is not always an indicator of condition. Some of the nicest units are 1980s built while some of the least attractive are less than ten years old!

End units are always more desirable than inside units.  OK, maybe this is just personal preference....more natural light, more windows, more sliding glass doors, a larger balcony.  Of course the price of an end unit will be more than the smaller inner units!

Finally... I could easily adapt to a a Florida beach front condo lifestyle!

If you are ready to buy or sell a condo in Florida....

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Selling Your Brevard County, Florida Home - Hey, Do You Know This Cat?

While reviewing a few MLS entries this morning I noted some of the phrases, descriptions and types of information being offered.  A few of these (with commentary added by me) included...
  • "A diamond in the rough" is how it was described.  Kind of ambiguous but it did get the point across.
  • It said  "There is a cat in the Master Bath, do not let out!"   Now I am assuming this refers to the feline and not some guy still living in some 1960s counterculture! 
  • It said it was "Newly built."  But it is 2012 not the year 2007.  Perhaps only five years old would be more accurate.

Most multiple listing services limit the amount of space for a narrative to describe the property for sale. 

The words chosen need to be factual and concise - not just flowery ambiguous or meant to showcase your real estate agent's vocabulary.

If you are selling your home I urge you to review the marketing material your real estate agent prepares including the MLS entry and any flyers.

Sure you are counting on your real estate agent to market your home in a professional manner but it is good to know what is being disseminated.

If you are considering selling your Viera, Florida home, call me to discuss how I can work with you.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Selling Your Brevard County, Florida Home - A couple of clues why you can't sell...

You have your Brevard County, Florida home or condo on the market.   Let's see it has been over four months and still no buyers.  You are starting to feel like your house gets no respect! 

Your unit has been on the market now for 125 days…. a little longer than the 86 days average for this market in July 2012.

Your unit has not had a price change except for the five times your agent pretended to make a change only to leave it the same price.  This “trick” is how an agent can make it show up on the hotsheet as a price change to try to gain attention.

Most real estate agents see through this flawed attempt at "motivation."   You may not even know your agent is doing this either. 

I did want to include your unit in the nine properties I showed my out of state buyer yesterday.   After all, it is his second trip to town to shop for an ocean front condo.  

Then I noticed these showing instructions…

“Must Come By Listing Office To Pick Up Unit Key. No lock box.”

We have a tight schedule.  Your price is not really that attractive.  We will skip your unit as I am doubtful you are really motivated.

If I ever listed a property where the seller would not allow a lock box on the property I would include theses instructions…

“No Lock box, listing agent will meet you at the property to open for buyer’s agents.”

I suggest your agent adopt these suggestions if you want to sell.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Brevard County, Florida Real Estate Market Update (July 2012 vs. July 2011)

Year over year comparison (July 2011 vs. July 2012) of Brevard County, Florida real estate market showing some positive change.

Selling Your Home - Which numbers sell your house?

When looking for a new home do buyers care more about room size of space utilization and layout?  Does a buyer really know how much space any particular home for sale in Viera really offers?

Sellers, do the pictures in your real estate listing really tell prospective buyers much about your home and all it offers?  Did your real estate agent include all the numbers?

In the Brevard County, Florida multiple listing system what information about size is available?  
  • Living Square Foot - This is the area under air conditioning.  It is usually generated from data in the Brevard County Property Appraiser records.
  • Total Square Foot - Also from the property appraiser office this reflects the area under roof. 
  • Bedroom and Bathroom count - Simple numbers 
  • Room Measurements -  Generally, if included, these are the numbers based on the agent's measurements or possibly pulled from a blueprint.  These numbers are from the longest distance, wall to wall.  If a room is not square or rectangular this may be a bit misleading. 
  • Lot size - This will tell you how much land is available but not necessarily how close the
These numbers do provide some answers for a buyer.

But it is only when a prospective buyer visits the property they can really tell how much usable space is available.   They will be able to see the layout and possible uses for them.

As a seller it is critical that rooms not be crowded with every bit of furniture you own.  As in all things moderation is key.

Sometimes it is necessary to have a professional stager come in and re-arrange or even change out furniture to bring your home's strength to the attention of prospective buyers.  It could be it is not the numbers that tell the buyer as much as the use of the space.

All the above numbers are useful in selling your home.  The primary number will always be the price!

When you are ready to sell your Brevard County, Florida home, call me.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

How much house can you afford?“qualified for” should not be interpreted as “should spend"

One of the first steps in the home buying process is determining the limits on how much to spend.

To do this I recommend most buyers (especially inexperienced or first time buyers) seek the advice of a trusted lender - ideally their local banking institution as as a starterLater on in the process their will be time to shop lenders for services, rates and costs.

This fist step is the mortgage pre-approval process.  Note that mortgage pre-qualification means little to a seller.

Pre-qualification does not involve a lender examining your credit history, employment history, income, expenses etc.  Mortgage pre-approval will tell you the maximum amount of mortgage you can qualify for based on the results of the lender research.  That is what you want to know.

Here is the key for all buyers - “qualified for” should not be interpreted as “should spend" nor is it meant to be your budget. 

The real question how much do you want to spend every month for housing.   Make sure you understand that there are other numbers to consider when buying a home.

It is at this point you need to find a local real estate agent who can guide you along the home buying process.

Your real estate agent should tell you what is available within your total expenditure goal. 

At this point you may have to modify your housing requirements (what you must have, can't have and can live without for now).

If you are considering buying a home in Rockledge, Suntree, Viera or Merritt Island, call me at 321-693-3850 if I can help in any way. 

Finding a real estate agent in Brevard County, Florida

When it comes time for you to engage a professional whether lawyer, accountant, real  estate agent or whomever, how do you go about finding your professional?

Many go to the Internet and Google a name, definition, area or some other phrase such as real estate agent in Viera, Florida.

The information you "pull" is a good starting point.  It may be a web site.  It may a blog.  It may be a recommendation on some other site. It may be an article in a local newspaper.It may be a  Facebook business page.

The information a professional provides on the Internet gives you a reason to call.

There is another marketing technique called "push" which I don't do.

Push is annoying.  It could be a phone call or some other interruption.  It could be just sticking a business card in every hand that is nearby, open and capable of clasping the business card!  It is pushy! 

If you seek a real estate agent in Brevard County, Florida, call me at 321-693-3850 if I can assist in any way.  Email me at if you prefer.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Selling Your Brevard County, Florida Home–Focus on the goal not the “I’s”

Maintaining a focus on the goal is key to success.   I am sure every athlete that participated in the recent Olympics can attest to those words.

Although not on the level of competing in the Olympics selling your home is a major undertaking that requires focus.

The intended title of this post was something like Selling Your Brevard County, Florida Home–Focus on the goal not the irritations.”  

Then I accidentally typed iterations instead of irritations. An iteration...repetitive behavior like answer phone, schedule showing, put away the pets, leave the house for another showing...and repeat.

Then I thought well maybe what I meant was interruptionsJust the process interrupts your daily activities and makes planning "normal" things a challenge!

The road to the closing table is not always a smooth trip.  There will be bumps along the way.  There may be a detour or two along the way.

When you choose a Realtor® to work with you to sell your Brevard County, Florida home choose carefully.

Choose a real estate agent who will be there to guide, counsel and remind you to focus on the goal and not the all the I’s along the way!

Here are a few articles on how to choose a real estate agent.
If you are considering selling your Viera, Suntree or Rockledge, Florida home, call me at 321-693-3850 to discuss how I can work with you!

Florida Golf Course Homes for Sale - Baytree, Duran, Turtle Creek, Viera East, Suntree and other nearby golf courses

This town house located at Rockledge, Florida’s Turtle Creek Golf Course backs to the fairway .

This two bedroom two and a half bath two car garage town house sold last week for $57,000 as a short sale.  The buyer got a good deal on a direct golf course property with on $60 a month association dues.

But as I caution all home buyers – there is always a reason for low prices.  This unit will require some investment and time to deal with a few issues. 

If you are interested in buying a Florida golf course home I can help you. 

Regardless of price range, golf course direct homes, condos and town homes are available throughout Brevard County, Florida.  For those who want to be near the beach in Cocoa Beach and south along A1A.

The Suntree area of north Melbourne offers townhomes and homes on the Suntree Golf Course.   Homes are available in the Baytree Golf Course gated community of Suntree.

The nearby Duran Golf Course is next to several very nice communities like the Fairway Lakes at Viera.  Viera East Golf Course has many nearby homes for sale.

For those looking for a 55+ community consider Indian River Colony Club which has its on golf course or Heritage Isle which is next door to Duran Golf Course.

And many of the communities like Rockledge’s Chelsea Park, Plantation Point or Phillips Landing are only minutes from several golf courses.  Brevard County Florida offers about 40 golf courses so whether north, south, central or beach side there are choices!

If you are considering a golf course home in Florida…give me a call or send me an email for information.


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Is it time to move up to that larger home? Is it worth holding off selling your Brevard County, Florida home until prices get higher?

I spoke with someone last week about selling their Viera, Florida home.  They have been on the fence for some time.  They, like most sellers, want more money for their home.

Their goal is to purchase a larger, newer home.  They have equity in their home although not a great deal.

They remain on the fence.

I left them with this question: Is it worth holding off selling your home until prices get higher when the cost of the replacement home will be higher as well?

Home prices have been increasing lately.  This is likely tied to the shrinking inventory in Brevard County, Florida.  

Mortgage rates continue to be near all time lows but for how long?  Average rates on fixed mortgages went up this past week for the third consecutive week.   Freddie Mac reported the 30-year loan rate increased to 3.62% which was a little higher than last week’s 3.59%.

As mortgage rates increase a borrower's purchase price decreases as well as the total obligations will climb.  [Lenders calculate and use a borrower's total obligations and housing costs to determine loan approval limits.]

With increasing home prices and low mortgage rates move up buyers should give a lot of consideration to making the sell/buy decision soon.   The question to buy now or later is especially important for those who are renting right now as well!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Florida Homes For Sale - What is the ideal selling price? What is the ideal buying price?

If the baseball Hall of Fame great Yogi Berra had been a real estate agent he would likely say this about selling your Viera, Suntree and Rockledge, Florida home:
"Selling your house is ninety percent price.  The other half is condition."
Price is the most important consideration when it comes to attracting a buyer.  And the price should be reflective of its current condition.

Price is not cost.  This includes "the pool."  Want a pool, get a pool.  But do not expect the buyer to give it a great deal of consideration in the price.  Besides the buyer may like your home but could care less about the pool!

Sellers and buyers see the ultimate selling price completely differently.

If your home has been on the market quite a while and you have not had an offer, Yogi the real estate agent might say something like this...

"I never blame myself when I’m not selling.  I just blame the real estate agent and if it keeps up, I change agents.  After all, I know it isn’t my fault when I’m not selling, how can I get mad at myself?"

FYI - Yogi Berra's real yogiism went this way..."I never blame myself when I'm not hitting. I just blame the bat and if it keeps up, I change bats. After all, if I know it isn't my fault that I'm not hitting, how can I get mad at myself?"

If you are ready to sell your Viera, Suntree, Rockledge or Melbourne, Florida home, call me at 321-693-3850. 

What is the value of my home?

What is the value of my home?  This is usually the first question those contemplating selling their Brevard County, Florida home will ask me.  When some find out I am a Brevard County, Florida real estate agent they may ask that question in a more casual way just out of curiosity.

Whatever the reason behind the question I always ask for for clarification as there are different interpretations of “value?”

Some see a neighbor’s house on the market and assume that is the value of their home.  The listing (asking) price of anything is usually not its value.

When one is asking in the context of selling their home there are a few different “values” to consider.
  • One is the value to the homeowner.  This may not be a realistic figure.  This may have a lot of sentimental value converted to dollars. 
  • There is the market value which is what someone will pay who wants to buy your home.  Notice this is not what a seller paid for the home or paid for any improvements.  Sure they may influence the market value but cost is not he same.
  • There is an appraised valueRegardless of the offer price, if the buyer is going to get a mortgage your home’s appraised value will be a major factor in obtaining a lender’s laon approval.
  • Another consideration could be the current use as a home or, in some cases, potential uses in another form such as rezoning for commercial or office space.  This can result in a couple of different values.
So, what is the value of my home?  In its most simple terms the question really will come down to….

Is the seller's value close to the buyer’s value?

Considering selling your Viera, Suntree or Rockledge, Florida home?   This may be the time to make the move to a larger home before prices climb again. (They will eventually).

Call me for your free market analysis.

Friday, August 17, 2012

There are only three types of homes for sale in Florida. Which is the one for you?

If you are considering buying a house or condo in Florida there are only three choices for you.
  1. Foreclosure. 
  2. Short sale. 
  3. Standard sale.
For most buyers, only one type of sale will meet their needs or desires.  If you are buying a home in Florida which is the best type for you?

Foreclosure.  Bank owned, REO, repossessed or whatever you want to call it, these properties are usually the ones with the lowest price in the neighborhood and in need of the most repair.  Some will not qualify for financing. Depending on the property, some foreclosures have been "stripped" by the owner before the foreclosure takes place. I have seen appliances, vanities, cabinets, garage door opener, AC units name it removed!  Some foreclosures really are only shells.

Short sale.  A short sale occurs when a seller must sell due to a hardship and the selling price will be less than the mortgage.  These require lender approval.  Most short sales are still owner occupied.  Short sellers try to maintain the property in good condition because hey want the best price so the lender will sign off on the contract.  This process can take months..... One important thing to keep in mind is that although they are distressed sales - they are not going to give them away.  But they will sell for a discount!

Standard sale. These are the regular, fair market sale, traditional sale. They may involve creative financing, cash or a standard mortgage.  These include new construction as well.  The timeline for closing may be only weeks or a month or two.

Which type of property is the best for you?  It depends on your situation.

If you are moving to Florida or want to buy a second home in Florida, call me at 321-693-3850.

If you need to sell your Florida home and a short sale may be the only option, call me at 321-693-3850.   A short sale is a better choice than a foreclosure!

Short sales are not a usual real estate transaction and takes some patience.  Short sales are not a usual real estate transaction and take the efforts of a good team to complete.  I have that team! 

Gary Waters, Florida licensed real estate agent serving buyers and sellers along Florida’s Space Coast.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Selling Your Brevard County, Florida Home - Make sure your real estate agent is responsive.

There are lots of expert articles available about how to select a real estate agent to sell your home.

Some of your considerations should include experience, local knowledge, Internet presence, marketing me if you are looking for a real estate agent to sell your Brevard County, Florida home.

So you already have your Viera, Florida home for sale.  The real estate agent has a sign out front and an entry in the MLS system pictures.  I see six pictures.  (How many pictures should an agent use?)

My buyers have actually already seen your property.   They have a real interest.

The first thing I do before writing an offer is call the listing real estate agent and find out two things - any offers yet and request the seller property disclosure.  Sometimes the property disclosure is attached to the MLS entry.  Yours wasn't.

I called.  No answer.

I emailed. Four days later and still no answer.

In the interim they changed their mind.  I am certain you did not lose a sale in this case.

Still, what if they had been ready to “pull the trigger” and make the offer that day?

There is a lot of work that takes place after the listing agreement is signed.  Being receptive and accommodating to buyer agents is one of the tasks.

Check your real estate agent's responsiveness.  Get a copy of the listing narrative/MLS entry.  Find out how many pictures are allowed vs. how many are being used.  Ask them for reports on activity.

Don't sign a listing agreement and then just wait for an offer.

When you are ready to hire a real estate agent to sell your Brevard County, Florida home, call me.  I will answer the phone or respond to your email.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Fairway Lakes in Viera–Only one home remaining for sale (under $500K, that is).

If  you are moving Brevard County, Florida and seek gated, new(er) construction, golf course living, consider making Fairway Lakes at Viera your next home.

The Fairway Lakes development in Viera offers executive homes on one of central Florida's most desirable golf courses  – Duran Golf Club.

Located near the newest hospital in Brevard County (Viera Hospital), the newest high school (Viera High School), The Avenues at Viera mall and more, Fairway Lakes is one of the most popular communities in Viera.

Only one home has sold so far during August 2012 (only the 15th) - a 2,989 sq.ft. 3 bedroom 3.5 bath 3 car garage pool home located at 3277 Lamanga Drive which sold for $490,000 on August 7, 2012. 

Activity has been steady recently with two other homes in Fairway Lakes going under contract in the past month.   Both homes are listed between $419,900 and $429,900.  Being a able to buying a home in the Fairway Lakes at Viera development for less than $500,000 seems like an attractive deal. 

There is currently only one home for sale in Fairway Lakes at Viera for under $500,000 (listed at $425,000 a 5BR/4.5 bath with3,200+ sq.ft.). 

The remaining four homes listed for sale in Fairway Lakes are priced between $599,999 and $649,000.   All of these homes were built between 2007 and 2009 and most are on the water.

If you are considering golf course communities in Florida, Fairway Lakes as well as the nearby Wyndham at Duran deserve consideration.

For information on homes for sale in Fairway Lakes, call me directly at 321-693-3850 or email me

Home Buyer Tips - It is faint, but it is there... (Location drives the budget)

It is faint, but it is there...the words I am sure my first grade teacher thought to herself about the prospect of my learning the alphabet.

It is faint, but it is there... the words I thought to myself of the prospect of finding a home on a recent home buyer’s budget.

There are limits to what can be found within any given price range in Brevard County, Florida.  (Or any other place.)

Here are random examples of homes sold in Brevard County, Florida since July 2012 .  These are homes were similar - four bedroom two bath two car garage homes built after 2000.
  • Titusville - $125,000  2006 built home with 1979 sq.ft. 
  •  Rockledge - $192,000 2000 built  home with 2960 sq.ft.
  • Viera - $197,000 2005 built home with 2261 sq.ft. 
  • Melbourne (Pineda area) - $162,950 2004 built home with 2010 sq.ft.
  • West Melbourne - $188,000 2011 built home with 2742 sq.ft. (new construction)
  • Palm Bay - $120,000 2007 built home with 2344 sq.ft.
If you are moving to Brevard County, Florida and considering a home purchase remember this....

Location drives the budget.
Is it the budget drives the location?

For information on homes for sale in Brevard County, Florida, call me at 321-693-3850 or email me at

Selling Your Brevard County, Florida Home - Pricing Your Home to Sell

When selling your home there are lots of rules.  Some can be broken and still have a successful sale result.

Here is one rule that rarely is broken by any buyer.

***Price and condition are inseparable.*** 

Price almost always mirrors condition.

Unless there is some other factor outside of the norm - like a future change of zoning or some new future development - that makes condition a non-issue, that is. 

When pricing your home to be sold (rather than to be viewed) here is a short list I have used when discussing pricing with Brevard County, Florida sellers.
  • Your listing price must be consistent with the competition.
  • Your listing price must be consistent with similar properties that have sold recently.  
  • Your listing price must be consistent with the property's condition.  
  • Your listing price must be consistent with the your motivation.
If you are thinking about selling your Viera or Rockledge, Florida home, call me for a free market analysis.

This free comparative market analysis will tell it like it is...regardless if enlist my help to sell your Viera home!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Home Seller Tips - “too much” stuff can make prospective buyers think “too little” room.

The hardest part of selling your Viera, Florida home is getting it ready to place it on the market.

There are a few axioms in my repertoire of real estate sayings like “If you can smell it, you can’t sell it” and “You’re selling your house, not your life” which refer to a few of the keys to presenting your home to the public -
  1. Clean – enough said.  Buyers will know and understand you are living there but they will not understand dirty.
  2. Depersonalize – sure you are proud of your (your family's) accomplishments but remove photos and other distractions. and
  3. De-clutter – “too much” stuff can make prospective buyers think “too little” room.
Getting your home ready to sell is the major chore for any seller.   

Your real estate agent will share the bulk of the remaining burden of the trip to the closing table but you – the seller – must carry the burden of preparation.

When you are ready to sell your Viera, Suntree or Rockledge, Florida home – call me at 321-693-3850 or email me.

I want to be your Brevard County, Florida Realtor® of Choice.

Pricing to Sell - Its a beautiful home in a not so beautiful neighborhood…

I saw a home listed for sale earlier this week that, in the agent only remarks, said “this really is a beautiful house…."

As beauty is in the eye of the beholder, in this case the seller and listing agent, I will concede it very likely is a nice house.

This particular property may be suffering from a condition called over improvement.  It may indeed be the largest home in the neighborhood.   It may the one that was completely overhauled a couple of years ago while the others are twenty-thirty years old and in original condition.

There are a lot of considerations when pricing a home to sell.  Likewise, there are lots of considerations when considering which home to purchase.

One of the common considerations, whether buyer or seller, is the neighborhood.

The first thing a seller must sell is the neighborhood.  The first thing a buyer must buy is the neighborhood.

Because, although it is said too frequently, real estate is location,location, location – period.

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