Pride of Home ownership = More $$$$

I like this lawn ALOT!

Yesterday I was driving to a showing appointment and arrived early. I decided to drive around the neighborhood and look for any homes selling  by owners. This specific neighborhood amazed me at the diversity of pride in home ownership. There is usually a few homes in a neighborhood that you can immediately tell that the owners are proud of there home. The exterior paint and trim are clean. The landscape is meticulous, oh and how about that lawn. The one that puts all us guys to shame. You know, the one that is about 4 inches thick, perfectly squared and trimmed around all the sidewalks and trees. What surprised me the most of this one neighborhood was that you could drive  down one street and there where many of these great looking homes. Then you go around the other street and it was the total opposite. All the homes looked as if they were abandoned and the owners could care less of there curb un-appeal. I decided to blog about this because as agents we are constantly meeting homeowners who expect the highest amount of return on there homes when they sell. Many of them have no pride about there home.

It is very important that as a homeowner, you take the time to take care of your biggest financial investment. Go back, and remember how happy you were when you first moved in. You were excited about everything. You got to pick out paint colors, buy new furniture or maybe you even added new landscaping etc. Those moments where fun and invigorating. You where proud of your castle. Those feelings need to carry over to your prospected buyers. The more you take care of your home by doing the basic maintenance the more you will be able to sell for in the future. We love to see those 4 inch lawns and gorgeous landscaping when showing a home. I love it even more when it has my for sale sign out front :).

Need some pointers on preparing your home for sale , give me a call 305-244-7373 or reach out to me @SerfTheRealtor .

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Why its a great time to Sell your home

Why is it a great time to sell your home? Because your Realtor told you it is, why else. Well, the truth is, it is a great time to sell. The real estate market throughout the country is seeing a rise in sales prices. The biggest catalyst to this is the low level of inventory available in the market.

Bloomberg news reported Monday that prices for single-family homes rose during the last quarter in almost 88 percent of U.S. cities, with an average rise in Western states of 20 percent. The national median price for an existing single-family home in the U.S. was $178,900 in the fourth quarter, up 10 percent from the same period last year.

Florida differs from much of the country in its recovery. “After suffering some of the nation’s largest declines, data show that a rebound in this state is clearly under way,”  the Fed said. “However, Florida is in many ways unique. Significant investor activity has boosted the housing sector in the Sunshine State, as have the number of international sales in the Florida market” the Fed said in its fourth-quarter EconSouth publication.

Those where the statistics from the national levels. Locally in Miami, we definitely see prices rising. Its back to basic economy, supply and demand. In the recent past, we have been very firm on pricing to assure proper placement in the market. Today we have more liberty with pricing since limited options have created another frenzy in the market. Many homes again are advertised to brokers as “not contingent on appraisal”. This meaning if the home is sold for $300,000 and the lender values your home at $275,000 you need to put in the difference. F-R-E-N-Z-Y. All of these indicators tell you that it is a great time to sell. I agree!


Categories: Appraisals, Inventory, Market Trends, Sales, Selling | Leave a comment

Dealing with appraisal issues

If you’ve never had a low appraisal on one of your deals, then you haven’t been in real estate long. This is something that happens to frequently, especially in today’s market. With limited inventories and pricing all over the place it is our job to now when an appraisal needs to be challenged.

Appraisal challenges continue to increase as the market struggles; 10 percent of the nation’s Realtors said they had sales canceled because appraisals came in below the prices buyers agreed to pay, according to a recent survey by the National Association of Realtors. Another 15 percent said contracts were renegotiated after appraisals came in below contract; sellers dropped prices or buyers put up more cash. 33 percent of home builders said they lost sales because of low appraisals, according to an August survey by the National Association of Home Builders. That was up from 26 percent in a 2009 survey. If you’re on the receiving end of a low appraisal, how do you challenge it?

Think like an appraiser
If you want to challenge an appraisal then think and act like an appraiser. That starts with understanding how to measure a home, what constitutes living area, positives and negatives…. A few things to know

-Always meet the appraiser at the property

-Have some comparables and give them  a copy

-Learn about how and why adjustments are made to comparables

– No improvement returns dollar for dollar

– Appraisers measure the outside of homes; some use lasers, some tapes, some wheel, some round…others don’t. No two appraisers will measure a home the same way

– Condition and maintenance level matter, good condition is expected, poor condition will be detailed
If your home was listed for 100K and failed to sell, the appraiser will see that. Don’t expect a 100K appraisal since the market has already told you otherwise

– If your home has been on the market for a longer than usual time, the appraiser will see that and wonder why

Their estimate of value is based upon comparable sold homes (comps) in your area that meet certain criteria. Ideally, this includes:

– Closed within six months! Although some want 90 days

– Be located within the defined competing area, typically under a mile

– Be physically similar to your home – style, bedroom count, size, age, lot, location

– They should be a “reasonable alternative purchase” to your home; the comparables should be functionally equivalent to yours with similar appeal. If your home were offered for sale, the comps would be other purchase options to it.

Once you are ready contact the lender and ask to challenge the report. It’s called an appraisal rebuttal. Once rebuttal is ordered it can take between 3-5 days for a resolution. Know the odds are against you, but I will tell you I have won my share of challenges.  So if you feel the report doesn’t add up, go ahead and challenge it. Good luck!

Categories: Appraisals, Foreclosures, Sales | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Limited inventory & multiple offers oh my!!

Its no surprise to come across a property for sale that already has multiple offers. In today’s market, with limited real estate inventory, this is the norm. In fact I prepare all my clients to expect this with new properties that hit the market. With the Robo-signing scandal from 2011 all the major banks caught up in the scandal, where forced to hold off on foreclosures. This in turn lowered the amount of foreclosed properties to hit the market. We’ve heard from many experts saying the banks where going to release more inventory in the 2nd quarter of the year, but this has not happened.  So what can you do? Make sure your agent has experience with negotiating multiple offer deals. Its important that your offer be the “highest and best” you can afford from the beginning. Don’t forget that the terms of your contract are just as important, i.e. deposit amounts, closing dates etc. Also important are  inspections, appraisals and financing contingencies. Sometimes removing these contingencies will give you more negotiating power. It is “EXTREMELY” important to understand what that means. Ask your agent to explain. If your agent doesn’t know how to explain this to you where you can understand it and feel comfortable then don’t remove it or find another agent. Navigating the market today is difficult, but with the right Realtor® you will have a much better chance.

Categories: Foreclosures, Inventory, Sales, Short Sales | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

I live next to casa colgate!

Just recently I went to preview a home that was for sale in my neighborhood. This was a for sale by owner (FSBO) that had just come on the market. Since I farm this area I am constantly looking for new properties to sell. This particular property has great curb appeal. I new that once inside it would show the same pride of ownership! My appointment was in the evening and I arrived a few minutes early. I was right about the pride of ownership, the home was stunning. From the crown moldings to the kitchen decorations. Its like I stepped into Martha Stewart’s house.  After taking a tour, we sat down for my listing presentation. Once numbers where discussed the homeowners decided to give it another week and we agreed that I would follow up then. The husband walked me out. Once outside he was more forthcoming. He said he was really concerned about getting a buyer. I was a little confused, his home was beautiful and his price was not to far from market. I asked him why he felt that way and assured him that I would not have any problems. Thats when he pointed across the street and said ” I live next to casa colgate!” He was right, the neighbor’s paint choice resembled the color of colgate’s mint green toothpaste. I told him we would just add “Neighborhood will leave you feeling fresh and clean” to the sales description! Now every time I pass in front of that house I can’t help but sing a few bars from Outkast “So fresh and so clean clean!”.  Just another one of those Realtor days.

Fresh and Clean neighborhood

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Short Sales will increase in 2012

2012 will be a record year for short sales since The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act and Debt Cancellation expires December 31, 2012. There will be a lot of sellers jumping off the fence to list and receive the tax benefits. In our sales meeting today we talked about several topics including credit repair and shorts sales. I have been using a company called Short Sale Ops for about a year to process my short sales. I will post more about that later. I picked this video up from their facebook page. Enjoy.

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