Monday, November 24, 2014

Home Buying Process - Getting to the Closing (after the contract is signed!)

Whether buyer or seller a meeting of the minds (signed contract) is only the beginning of the end.   There will be many players (and emotions) involved in the process from contract signatures to the exchanging of keys.  At times there will be drama, excitement, fears, name it! 

The process I speak of here is specific to the Brevard County, Florida real estate purchase/sale process but similarities exist regardless of location.

Who are some of the actors?

Besides the obvious actors like the buyer, seller, buyer's real estate agent and seller's real estate agent probably the most important actor is the mortgage lender.

It is critical buyers have an open communication link with their mortgage lender.  Once a mortgage pre-approval has been received it is critical that nothing be done to impact it (no job change, no new major purchases, no new credit account or application, etc.).

Then there are the property inspectors.  The home inspector and termite inspectors are key to identifying red flags that either need to be addressed or send the message to walk away.  Some issues may require further examination by the expert (i.e. HVAC, contractor, etc.).   And if there is a pool or spa there may be an additional inspector involved as well.

With my buyers in Brevard County, Florida I always include an inspection contingency - a buyer's "get out of jail free card"  in all offers to purchase a home including cash offers.

Then there is the appraiser.  Although not part of the mortgage lender mentioned above it is this independent appraisal of value that ultimately determines whether a mortgage lender will indeed provide a mortgage loan.   This where I prefer buyers use a local lender who uses a local appraisal company  although a buyer has no impact on which appraiser is used.  I just spoke with an agent who had a buyer fail to obtain a mortgage because the appraiser was in Tampa - almost 150 miles away!

Finally, there is the closing agent.  In Brevard County, Florida the closing agent is typically a title company although attorneys provide closing services as well.

There can be other incidental actors involved as well depending on whether the sale is a distressed sale (short sale or foreclosure) or even an estate sale.

Whether buyer or seller keep your lines of communication open with your real estate agent as well as your mortgage lender.  Ask questions as they arise and be responsive to any and all requests for additional information.

Remember, with real estate transactions time is of the essence.  Do not miss deadlines!

Considering buying a home in Brevard County, Florida?  Call me at 321-693-3850 or send me an email.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

Friday, November 21, 2014

Home Seller Tips: List your Viera, Florida home for 30 days - period.

Home owners thinking about selling their Viera, Florida house or condo are very often nervous about committing to a Viera real estate agent for a potentially long time.  I can understand their concern when it comes to a long listing agreement to sell their home.

What happens if there is no activity What do they do if they are unhappy with the real estate agent they chose?   After all, sitting and waiting is not a marketing strategy!

I do not believe in long term listing agreements.  If I do my job correctly, there is no long commitment required.

What is my job?  To promote your home in such a manner as to get multiple offers with the last one being the best!

Selling your home disrupts your lifestyle.  Selling your home involves a lot of uncertainty about the future.

Sellers usually want to sell their home now and not six months down the road.

That is why I tell Brevard County, Florida home sellers to judge me by my 30-10-1 rule.

What is my 30-10-1 rule?   List your home wit me and you will have at least 10 showings in 30 days with at least one reasonable offer.  In other words, give me thirty days and and they can walk if they are not happy with my results.

What do I ask of my Viera, Florida home sellers?

Commitment to the process.  This includes adequate preparation for the market.  This includes accommodation of reasonable showing requests.  This includes maintaining their home in a ready to show condition that will impress prospective buyers.  This includes establishing a reasonable listing price that is supported by comparable properties.

Ready to sell your Viera, Florida home?  Call me at 321-693-3850 or send me an email

Monday, November 3, 2014

Where does the best advice available for home buyers come from?

If you are considering buying a home in the near future there will not be a shortage of advice.

Advice will likely come from all directions. 

The know-it-all at work will likely be among the first to offer advice as he knows it all.   And then get ready for the family experts.   Uncle Joe who knows everything will tell you the secrets of getting the best deal in town ("Go FSBO" may even be uttered).  And then lets not forget the Internet.  There is never a shortage of information on the Internet.

Buying a home requires specialized knowledge.  Buying a home requires specialized local knowledge.

Evaluating advice (solicited or not) can be a challenge.

If you are considering buying a Brevard County, Florida home here is some more unsolicited advice. But, in this case, I am a real estate agent with specialized local knowledge.  [By the way, this is the answer to the question posed in the title.]

A few points of unsolicited home buying advice from experience...
  • Deal with the finances first - period.  
  • Perception is reality.  You need someone to clarify your perception.
  • Don't spend as much as you "can" on your home.  Regardless of the direction often real estate market buying high is not good strategy.
  • Decide what your real requirements are and go from there. Then the pluses that separate these homes will lead you to the right decision for you. 
  • Don't acquiesce to the "must have" items you will regret not having later. 
  • Don't trust all you read.  The seller or their agent may be mistaken or, hopefully not, intentionally misleading.  This also applies to "public" records and MLS listing information. 
  • Don't rely solely on what you "hear" someone say.
  • Once a mortgage is pre-approved, freeze life as you know it. Don't make major purchases, open new accounts, change jobs.
  • The only thing that can not be changed later is location.  Choose wisely.
  • Homeowner associations exist to maintain uniformity and conformity.  
  • Work with one real estate agent only.  Remember buyers don't pay the real estate agent fees - sellers do!
  • Take your real estate agent with you to new construction models as well.
The above general comments are not all-inclusive but are provided only as a starting point to focus the reader.

If buying a home in Florida is in your plans, give me a call at 321-693-3850 if I can assist in any way.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at