Monday, March 23, 2015

What condition should a seller leave their house in at closing?

One of the last steps in the home buying process is for the buyer to do a a final walk through inspection.  With my buyers I prefer to do this on the way to the closing table.

The main focus of the final walk through is to make sure the house is in the same condition it was in when contracted including the appliances and lights, etc. that are supposed to remain are still present.

Not nearly as valuable as the physical house and associated property there is also an expectation the property will be clean.   While there will not be a white glove inspection it is expected that the property will be emptied of trash and personal contents.

It is expected that hazardous materials like old paint cans and insecticides and flammable items will be gone as well and not left in the garage.

Trash at the curb is usually not a problem.  Even older appliances or TVs that will be picked up is not a problem as long as a special pickup scheduled by seller, of course

While it is not necessary to have Merry Maids clean your house before going to closing please respect your buyers by having your house ready for the new owners.

And if a gift certificate for Merry Maids is desired, in Brevard County, order here.

What is a "Walk Through?"

"Cleaning "image courtesy of AKARAKINGDOMS at
"Garbage Truck Driver"  image courtesy of vectorolie at

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Home Seller Tips: Dealing with multiple offers.

As the Brevard County, Florida home sales market continues to heat up with fewer move in ready listings sellers are finding themselves in a very good position.  Buyers should enter the market knowing they may not be the only buyers wanting the home they find.

Sellers are seeing multiple offers more frequently. 

How many sellers would not want to be able to say "Give me your highest and best offer"? 

But sometimes the highest may not be worth the paper it is written on! 

Why?  Because most buyers are financing

Financing requires an appraisal.  Many buyer's agents make it a practice to include an appraisal addendum which basically says either appraise at or above contract price or I can walk.

Appraisal contingencies are not that uncommon.  Most cash buyers I have worked with opt for an appraisal addendum as well.  Who wants to pay more than a house is worth?

So how does a seller evaluate multiple offers?  The most important advice I can give here is to evaluate the offers just as you would any other offer. 

Here are two of the most important considerations with any offer to purchase your home.
  1. First and foremost, sellers know your bottom line.    Know what is and is not negotiable.  
  2. Remember the offer is often much more than the price. Read my thoughts on when the highest offer may not be the best offer.  Remember terms define the real price.
A few words of advice for buyers who find themselves in a seller's market.  
  1. Be realistic with your offer.  Make it an appropriate "lets talk offer" that, even if rejected, will result in a counteroffer.
  2. Your offer should include reasonable terms such as a defined closing date, reasonable deposit (escrow),  appropriate support like a mortgage pre-approval letter at the time of offer.
  3. In a multiple offer situation which is becoming more common in Brevard County, consider including a letter to the seller explaining why you like the house so much.  Whatever it takes to get the home of your dreams.
  4. Calling the listing agent will not result in a better deal for you.  The agent works for the seller.
Whether you are ready to buy a home in Melbourne, Florida or to buy a condo in Cocoa Beach, Florida, give me a call at 321-693-3850 if I can help in any way.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Home Buyer Tips: Would Disney World accept 80% on price of admission?

Home Buyer Tips:  Would Disney World accept 80% on price of admission?

What kind of response would you get if you went over to Disney World in Orlando and went up to the admission gate and offered $84 for Disney World admission?

This really is meant to be a rhetorical question.  The response would likely be something like "Please step aside for those willing to pay the price of admission."

Now, lets change the scenario.

What kind of response do you think you would get if you went to a home seller in Viera, Florida and offered 80-85% of listing price?   [By the way, the $84 used  above represents 80% of the Disney World single day ticket price of $105]

Although several responses are possible the most likely one will be similar to the "Step aside and let the buyers in who are willing to make a serious offer."

What is a serious offer?  While price is usually issue number one when it comes to evaluating a serious offer it may not be the highest priority.   An offer that is above the market price may not appraise and subsequently will fail to close. 

A seller may accept an offer that is less but cleaner (not excessive contingencies).  It may be the offer with the soonest closing date.  It may be the "as is" offer instead of the one with a repair contingency.  It may be an offer with conventional financing as opposed to FHA or VA loans.  It may be the offer without the personal property requests (TV, washer/dryer, riding mower, etc).

Suffice it to say home buyers, like Disney visitors, must be willing to pay the price of admission.  And while that price is likely negotiable starting at 80% of list price may not be the best strategy.  

Make it a Lets Talk Offer!
Serious Buyers, Motivated Sellers!