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Monday, October 27, 2014

Unsolicited Advice For Home Sellers

If you are considering selling your Viera, Florida home there will not be a shortage of advice.

Selling your home requires specialized knowledge.  Evaluating advice (solicited or not) can be a challenge.

Advice may come from all directions.

The know-it-all at work will likely be among the first to offer advice as he knows it all!  "Uncle Fred" who knows everything will tell you the secrets.  Your neighbor (you know the guy who has not spoken to you twice in the past year) will tell you how much you should get for it.

Multiple real estate agents will  provide their take on the market, the price and how quickly they can get the job done (read this "hire me!").

If you are considering selling your Viera, Florida home here is some more unsolicited advice.
  • Disclose issues (current or past) up front.  Don't try to hide anything .
  • Don't expect to get what you paid plus a return on your investment. 
  • Deferred maintenance will be costly in the end.  Be proactive.
  • In the end the market will set the price for your home.  A ready willing buyer under no duress determines the ultimate selling price.
  • Don't price high now and reduce later.  This not a great starter strategy.  Buyers will wonder why your home has been for sale for so long!
  • Regardless of the direction of the real estate market buying high is not good strategy for buyers.  Reason enough for not listing high.
  • Decide what your real requirements (net proceeds) are and go from there.  The market data may or may not support this number.
  • Concentrate of the positives that separate your home from the others.  If it is "just like the rest," make it stand out by preparation, presentation and pricing.
  • Accommodate as many showing requests as possible.  Not all prospective buyers have flexibility in their schedule if they are relocating from another area.
  • Don't acquiesce to the real estate agent who gives you the highest recommended listing price. 
  • Don't rely solely on what you "hear" in the feedback, if received.  After all, perception is reality.  
When you are ready to sell your Viera, Florida home, interview at least three agents (including me, please).

Know the right questions to ask because selling your home requires specialized knowledge. 

Gary L Waters © 
Florida Licensed Real Estate Broker
Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC
3270 Suntree Blvd #2218
Melbourne, FL 32940

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Home Seller Tips: If I list my house, I am stuck for months!

"If I list my house, I am stuck for months!"

Those are the words I heard last week from someone who was considering whether to list their Viera, Florida home for sale or "go FSBO."   [I am not addressing the merits or shortcomings of the For Sale By Owner route here as it is up to the homeowner to use the method they are most comfortable with when selling.]

To address the statement in the title above I can only advise the way Waters Realty of Brevard operates when selling a home.
  1. The cost (commission charged) of selling your Brevard County, Florida home is between the seller and the listing real estate agent/company.   This means it is negotiable and agreed upon at the time of listing.  
  2. The length of the listing agreement is also negotiable.  I want sellers to commit to a 90 day listing agreement with this fine print:  cancel at any time without penalty.  If you decide to not sell, cancel.  If you decide you don't like the service I am providing, cancel.  
So, if you are considering selling your Brevard County, Florida home, give me a call at 321-693-3850.  What have you got to lose?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Brevard County, Florida townhouse and condo sales activity for September 2014

Brevard County, Florida townhouse and condo sales activity for September 2014 compared to September 2013 reveal similarities with single family home sales for the same period - selling prices up, days on market down as well as inventory down.
  • Closed sales - Up 6.5% 
  • New Pending Sales - Down 3.9%
  • Median Sales Price for Townhouse/Condos - Up 12.9% to $118,500
  • Months Supply of Inventory - Down 17.2% to 4.5 months
  • Median Days on the Market - Down 6% to 47 days
  • Traditional (Standard) Sales - Up 18.9% (median sales price ($139,990)
  • Foreclosure Sales - Down 15.2% (median sales price $58,600)
  • Short Sale Closings - Down 45.6% (median sales price of $170,000).

Above data provide by Space Coast Association of Realtors®

Brevard County, Florida Single Family Home Sales - Location Matters (Zip Code Prices)

It is a well known, often used phrase about real estate..."Location, Location, Location!"  The chart below demonstrates how selling prices vary by location in Brevard County, Florida.

This chart reflects only some of the zip codes in Brevard County, Florida.  These are single family detached home sales for 2014 (January 1 - October 15) by selected zip codes extracted from sales recorded in the Space Coast Realtors' MLS system.

While not every zip code is reflected the prices do reflect a difference in prices from north Brevard County (Titusville), south (Palm Bay), "beach side" and central Brevard County (Suntree, Viera).

For information about buying or selling a home in Brevard County, Florida please give me a call at 321-693-3850 or send me an email.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Brevard County, Florida Home Sales Jump in September 2014

September 2014 single family home sales data released by the Florida Realtors® show Brevard County, Florida single home sales continued to climb above same time last year sales.

The 25% change in closed sales is a positive sign for sellers.  Another positive sign for sellers is the decrease in months supply as well.

The graphic below clearly depicts the trend toward normal traditional sales and away from short sales.  Buyers should take note of the noticeably significant difference in median selling price between traditional sales and the other two distressed sale categories.  There is a reason why distressed homes sell for less.

For information on buying or selling a house or condo in Brevard County, Florida, please give me a call at 321-693-3850 or send me an email.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Home Seller Tip: Don't neglect these things to sell your home.

My guess is some people just don't want to to do the necessary work when it is time to to sell their home.  The reason homes are not "at their best" when they go on the market vary by seller.

Still, if a home is listed for sale by a competent real estate agent, the reason will likely not be because the seller does not know what to do to make their home present well.

This week the number of poorly prepared West Melbourne, Florida homes for sale I saw was absolutely amazing.   My estimate at least half of these homes for sale in West Melbourne, Florida lacked some of the basic requirements for preparing your home for sale.

Things like..
  • Dirty worn carpet (not slightly used).   While it is not necessary to replace most carpeting, dirty with stains present is not a way to impress prospective buyers.
  • Algae/mold on walkway right at front door.   A little bleach or a rented power washer solves this very easily.
  • Dirty house.   At a minimum cleanliest should never be a distraction when you are selling your home. 
  • Clutter... and I mean way too much stuff in this house.  The seller was present and joked their real estate agent said it was too cluttered.  Listen to what your agent says, they have a reason and they are not joking either.
  • Dark dungeons.   So it was not really a dungeon but it was way too dark.   The rule here is simple - light and bright sells homes
  • Highly personalized paint colors.   If one is selling a home then make it neutral.   A paint scheme that puts a different color on several walls in most rooms does not impress many and usually distracts.   Think neutral and light colors.  In this case, bland works.  
  • Items that do not convey.   Which ones?  We could only guess!   If some of the lights will not go with the house, let someone know which ones.   Better yet, Its best to remove any lights, fans or chandeliers that will not be sold with the house before it goes on the market.
  • Collectibles.  Even I got distracted in one house because of the collectible toy display.  Can't remember which house but I do recall the toys!
I can't remember a whole lot about many of these houses.   They had some feature that caused my buyer to reject them although they were within the the budget, desired square footage and defined location boundaries. 

I scheduled the appointments.  I know the area and market.  I know these houses meet my buyer's defined needs.

If I can't remember any good points about your house what do you think the sellers remember?  If your agent asks me for feedback I will gladly provide the appropriate comments from above.

If you want to sell your home then address some of the distractions noted above.

The interesting thing is almost all of these cost little more than time and effort now but neglecting to address them can cost a lot of dollars when your home does sell.

Ready to sell your your Viera, Florida home?  Call me at 321-693-3850 for a free market analysis.

Image courtesy of iosphere at

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Homes Sold Chelsea Park in Rockledge September 2014 - Homes For Sale in Rockledge

What is for sale in Chelsea Park subdivision in Rockledge, Florida?

Currently there are four homes for sale in Chelsea Park subdivision priced from $229,000 to $249,900.  These homes range in size from 3 bedroom 3 bath (1,586 square feet under air) to 4 bedroom 3 bath (2,418 square feet).  One of these is a new construction home (builder offering additional lots for sale and 11 floor plans - call me at 321-693-3850).

What has sold recently in Chelsea Park?

Since August 26, 2014 there have been six homes sold in Chelsea Park.  Selling prices ranged from $179,900 to $275,000.  The homes selling in Chelsea Park included:

  • 275 Tunbridge Drive - $275,000, 2,539 sq.ft. 4/3/2, 2005 built, standard sale
  • 358 Castlewood Lane -$265,000 2,416 sq.ft. 3/3/2 with pool, 2003  built, standard sale
  • 422 Wenthrop Circle - $179,900, 2,105 sq.ft.3/2/2, 2000 built, foreclosure
  • 308 Tunbridge Drive - $293,900, 3,232 sq.ft. 4/4/3 with pool, 2004 built, foreclosure
  • 468 Stonehenge Circle -$246,000, 2,416 sq.ft. 4/2/2, 2001  built, standard sale
  • 342 Castlewood Lane - $270,000, 2,416 sq.ft. 4/3/2 with pool, 2003 built, standard sale

Of the fifteen homes sold in Chelsea Park in 2014 eleven were standard sales and four were REO/foreclosures.   Selling prices for these fifteen sales in 2014 ranged from $179,900 to $310,000 (8 were between $240-$275,000).

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

Monday, October 13, 2014

Home Seller Tips: Good Schools Help Sell Your House!

Home buyers choose the home they purchase for all sorts of reasons.   In my opinion several of the key factors include (a) the immediate area surrounding the neighborhood, (b) the crime rate and (c) the quality of the assigned schools.

I am not a social scientist, activist or political pundit.  But as a Brevard County, Florida real estate agent I believe this is true....

Good schools make it easier to sell a neighborhood.

The title says it pretty well - good schools help sell a house.

But what if you are not selling your home?   Well, you probably will one day.  And when you do, the quality of the local schools will impact your price and home's desirability.

Even those who have no children in their local school system should be concerned about the quality of schools.  Good school districts have a positive impact on home desirability (values).

In the November 2014 Brevard County, Florida election ballot there will be a School Board Referendum on a proposed one-half cent local sales surtax.  A copy of the ballot language is presented here.

Read, review and decide for yourself then exercise your right to vote.

 Image courtesy of digitalart at

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Are You Wasting Your Time Searching Those Mega Real Estate Sites?

You know those real estate mega sites, right?  The Z-T-R sites that have thousands of properties that
  • may or may not be for sale today, 
  • may or may not reflect current prices, 
  • may or may not have accurate descriptions, 
  • may or may not have accurate school information...well,you get the point.
If the reliability of the information may be questioned are you wasting your time searching those mega sites?

The answer, of course, depends on how valuable your time is as well as well as your seriousness about buying a home. 

For cursory research these sites may be good starting points to gain a general idea about the home prices in an area.  Once an area is identified I suggest home buyers switch strategies to getting their own real estate agent.

First of all, your buyer's agent does not cost you anything - except the time to discuss your needs and desires.  Your real estate agent is your local expert.

Your real estate agent will help to identify your needs and set up an automated search of the multiple listing service which will provide the most accurate information about what is for sale, under contract and sold in your area. 

Why go on another site when your custom MLS search with access to the most current data is free and easily available?

Your agent will be available to answer your questions.  Your real estate agent will be able to refer you to other local experts and service providers which is likely better than a needle in the haystack options based on an Internet search!

So once again I ask you....Are you wasting your time on these mega sites?  Only you can answer that question.

If your answer is yes and you want to buy or sell a house or condo in Brevard County, Florida call me at 321-693-3850 or  send me an email.

And if you are contemplating selling your Brevard County home, call a local real estate expert for your market analysis.  Selling involves a lot of interaction, information exchange and preparation.  Start early

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Brevard County, Florida SAT Scores Best State, National Averages

Brevard County, Florida high school students, for the seventh year in a row, surpassed the Florida and national SAT score average.

The SAT test is made up of three scores (reading, math and writing) with a maximum score of 2400.  The test score is used as an entrance screening tool by colleges and universities.

Brevard County students once again outperformed the state average on the SAT, an entrance exam taken by students who are applying for college.  There were two schools in the county who were below the state and national averages: Cocoa and Heritage.

Above graphic published in Florida Today newspaper, Saturday October 11, 2014

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Home Buyer Tips: Respect the Space; Respect the Owner.

I read an article this morning that reminded of the sometimes intrusive nature of the real estate process.  This particular case caused me to think again about how the simple showing of a home for sale exposes the inner spaces of people's lives to complete strangers.

Regardless of how much a seller does to prepare a home for sale it is often impossible to "sanitize" it to the point of being  just a house.

If a house is occupied you are likely seeing things a person never shares with complete strangers.

If you are a home buyer consider the privacy of occupants.   

Here are a few suggestions for those looking at homes.  Many are common sense and are included in advice provided by their real estate agent.  Still, sometimes the message never quite makes it.
  • Show up.  Selling a home is disruptive to daily routines and lives.  Show up and be punctual.  Sellers very often leave but don't keep them "in the yard" with the dogs for an excessive time - especially in the hot Florida weather!
  • Hands off.  Don't touch personal belongings of the seller.  There is no reason to pick up anything.  Don't open open drawers in bedrooms, bathrooms, desks, etc.  Don't open cabinets.
  • Don't expect perfection.   Most properties are not perfect.  There will likely be flaws - especially if a home has been lived in for any time. The paint colors, flooring and the gawd awful wallpaper (yes, it is out there) will likely not be your preference.
  • Honor Requests.    Sellers sometimes make requests such as remove shoes upon entering or don't let the cat out.  These are not major inconveniences and should be honored.  It is a good idea for sellers to provide "booties covers" to make compliance easier.
  • Limit trips.  Once a house is under contract there will be reasons to come back. There will be inspections.  There will be a final walk through before closing.   In the interim, limit trips to measure, take pictures, etc. especially if the property is not vacant.
agent@moving2brevard.comBuying and selling a home is stressful.  Courtesy and respect shown to all will make for a more pleasant experience.

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Sell Your Brevard County, FL Home: Know Your Bottom Line Before You List Your Home For Sale

The negotiation process is not really that difficult.  A price is offered and it is either (a) accepted (b) rejected or (c) countered.  

As a seller the time to decide what you will take for your home is not when the offers come in but before you list your home.

Your real estate agent should provide you with comparable properties that have recently sold.  This is keyYour home will likely not sell for much more than the prices being paid for similar homes.

Further, just as a home buyer has an idea of the costs associated with purchasing a home, a seller should already have an idea of the expenses associated with selling their home.

Using this information a seller can project their net proceeds based on a probable selling price and be ready to make a decision and, more importantly, not be surprised at the closing table.

The graphic to the right is for general illustration only.  The costs can vary based on location (customs and traditions), circumstances and the terms of the contract.

When it comes to selling your home very few items are not negotiable (liens, debts, taxes mostly).

Have a question about selling your Melbourne, Florida home?  Give me a call at 321-693-3850 or send me an email.

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