Monday, August 11, 2014
Saturday, September 28, 2013
• How long have you been in real estate locally?
• Do you have a specialty or market focus?
• Are you more of a listing agent? Buyers agent?
• How many homes have you listed and sold in the last six months?
• Of the properties you listed in the last year, how many were sold with a cooperating agent?
• Will you prepare a comparative market analysis to determine list price?
• Do you have a detailed marketing plan?
• What is your brokerage fee? Typical fee for the area? Are you negotiable?
• What percentage of the fee do you offer cooperating agents?
• Do you have a website?
• What other online portals do you use for marketing homes? (Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com etc.)
• Do you offer any staging services?
• Will you meet other agents when they show the house?
• Will the house be opened up, with lights on, prior to showings?
• If you use a lockbox for showings, explain why.
• Do you have any assistants?
• Do you follow up showings for feedback?
• How often will you communicate activity to me?
• Do you have suggestions on things that should be done to make the house more saleable?
• Do you use video tours? If so, how?
• Do you produce any marketing materials like flyers, post cards, brochures and how are they used?
• Do you hold open houses for buyers? Brokers? If so, explain how that will be done.
• Can you say why I should choose you over other agents being interviewed?
Tuesday, July 09, 2013
Wednesday, June 05, 2013
Monday, June 03, 2013
Saturday, October 13, 2012
An article about me in the Sun-Sentinel from 1986.
Monday, October 08, 2012
Setting a list price for a property can be tricky. Here are a few examples of how list prices can go wrong, and some tips on helping you get the most for your property.
Over a year ago I had a seller tell me they HAD to get one million for their property. They explained that that was the number that would enable them to move. I suggested a list price of 850,000. They insisted on 1.1 million. I carefully explained that I didn't mind testing the waters at a higher price, as long as they were prepared to stick with me until it closed. They grew weary of the lack of showings, refused to reduce the price, and took it off the market after a year. Yes, one year, no price reduction. Next, an agent shows up and says he has a buyer. They list it with this agent at a price well under my original and possibly optimistic 850,000 figure. Alas no buyer. Finally they list it with yet another agent, who sold the property for 500,000. This is an extreme yet classic example of a seller ignoring good advice that probably cost them over 200,000 in the long run, and it was a long run for everyone.
Recently I had a seller contact me to say they wanted me to sell their house. I looked at the house and compared it closely to the recent sales and gave them a list price which I explained gave it a premium due to the improving market and lack of inventory. I carefully explained that the most recent comparable sale was the same house two doors down, that had close to 100,000 in recent improvements. This seller said she likes her old kitchen and baths and that the people who bought the other house don't even use the garage, a feature her house lacked. I explained that value in the market for a buyer is not determined by how much she likes her house, but by how much a buyer likes it and is willing to pay based mainly in market data and comparison. This seller listed her property with another agent 50,000 above what I felt was a optimistic figure.
Many agents will list a property higher than they know its worth, to get the listing, then beat the sellers price expectation down over time. This happens mainly because the seller is overly ambitious on setting value.
Other agents, especially during the 2005-2010 market, list properties well below market value. I know two agents in particular whose sales are consistently 20% below market. These agents make a very nice living giving their clients money away to buyers. Why do sellers let that happen? Desperation. They have listed it once or twice at too high a price, and the final agent smells blood and takes advantage of the client. See paragraph one. ( Although in that case the agent wasn't an unscrupulous self serving snake, just lucky to get the listing)
When you list a property for sale, be careful to choose an agent who can show you the sales data that was used in determining the value of your property. It is always a good idea, especially in the current market of low inventory and eager buyers, to give the hard data value some cushion to allow for variables and the potential that your house could be worth more. It is most important however, to reduce that figure within a few months of listing it, if a buyer isn't found, or feedback to your agent clarifies the objection of things you were hoping would be ignored. Make sure your agent keeps you up to date on cooperating agents opinion of value, recent sales, new listings and market activity, so you can work as a team to get the best price possible. Your agent should be your advocate, and you should be theirs.
Be assured that if I am your agent, I will neither exaggerate the value of your home to secure the listing, or undervalue it to get a quick commission if you are a stressed seller. Real estate commissions are hefty and pricing a property is an art. I work with you as my client to get you the best price possible.
Sunday, September 30, 2012
Friday, September 28, 2012
Saturday, September 22, 2012
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Tamarac, Florida. A look back at its unique beginnings, as I remember it told by those who built it.
Thank you Ken, for the City of
Ever notice how many agents claim to be in the "Top 1% of Realtors Nationwide?" A catchy tag line for sure, but what does it really mean?
The median income for real estate professionals in the NAR network last year was $34,100, a 4.5% decline from 2009. Realtor income dropped every year since 2002 when the peak salary hit $52,200. Realtor income is down 34.7% between then and 2010.The median income of Realtors dropped almost 35% over the last eight years, according to new data from the National Association of Realtors, as home sales across the nation struggle to gain footing.
When choosing a Realtor, they key question is not how much they make, but how much they make for you. I know some very successful listing agents in Fort Lauderdale who consistantly sell properties way under market value. Who are they working for? Choose an agent who works for you to get the best deal on a purchase, or the highest price on a sale. Realtors are paid handsomly for what we do, shouldn't you get your money's worth?
I prefer my tag line; "I Am Not Number One, You Are"
Friday, September 14, 2012
As the worlds economies continue to shift, and a wider gap between the uber-rich and the rest of us gets bigger by the day. The super rich seek not just the best of the best in real estate, but seek safe havens, not just for their money, but for their lives.
Miami has always been a haven for rich South Americans seeking stability and security in an envelope of luxury.
More recently, South Florida has become a magnet for newly rich Russians, particularly in coastal areas of northern Dade County.
Europeans, particularly the British and French who may have once gone to the coast of Spain, are now buying in South Florida where again, stability and security is key.
If you look at some of my vintage postcards of Fort Lauderdale from the 1940's, at www.southfloridahome.com the marinas show what was then luxury yachts, usually owned by captains of industry at the time. Today these look like toy boats compared to the mega-yachts docked cheek to jowl along every suitable waterway in the city.
Manned with an iphone, I recently took clients on my boat and googled the names of jaw dropping yachts we saw. The co-founder of Microsoft, Steven Spielberg, and Dr. Ruth were among the lucky owners of yachts that were close to cruise ship size.
While waterfront homes on the Las Olas Isles are pricey by most standards, often the yacht in back is valued many times higher than the real estate. Owners of many of these homes are rarely seen, because they are rarely in town. They may spend a few weeks, but otherwise it is the yacht crew using the house during provisioning stops between the Northeast and the Caribbean.
Palm Beach has always been the home of old money, and still is. Quite, dignified money.
Fort lauderdale, because of it's 144 miles of waterways and Port Everglades, is home to new money yacht owners. One house on the Las Olas Isles has a 14 car garage and a 4 million yacht in back, and is the Consulate of Mali. Mali, by the way, is one of the poorest countries in Africa. I question why they would need a Consulate in Fort Lauderdale?
Growing up in Fort Lauderdale, of course I was exposed to what were then, very rich people. A family friend married a man who inherited Gieco Insurance. They had probably the largest house around with an indoor pool, a grand entry staircase, and all built of pink brick. For the time, that was rich. By todays standards? Charming.
There are plenty of successful plumbers living in waterfront McMansions in Fort Lauderdale living the good life. There are also plenty of outrageously rich people. Sort of hard to tell who is who really.
This has always been a town where if you had enough money, it didn't matter how you got it, you could be a socialite. As archaic as that term may sound, being one was a very big deal for a long time in Fort Lauderdale. I could write a book about the rising stars of the newly rich who came to town and became not who they were, but who they wanted to be, and no one questioned it.
While I would like to say that I cater to the ultra-rich in my real estate business, the truth is, I don't. Which is not to say that if you are one, that I wouldn't like to sell you some major real estate.
It is more likely I find myself working with people whose wherewithal I can relate to. I think my feet are just to firmly planted on terra firma to appeal to that stratosphere.
But, if you want buy some real estate in the same town as some if the richest folk on earth, I will take you on my boat and show you how more than a few of them are living. No Reason why you shouldn't be among them.
Sunday, September 02, 2012
And speaking about above and beyond - his contact network is unparalleled. I had a flood midway through closing (a huge one). Rob directed me to a contractor that was amazing and fixed the issue in budget, on time, and very quickly. He also chose the legal team to handle all of the proceedings - and they couldn't have been any more perfect.
You just can't go wrong on his advise. I'll never deal with any real-estate situations again without him on my side.
Thanks again Rob!!
Friday, August 03, 2012
Flying Pig Ranch
Thursday, June 07, 2012
Saturday, May 19, 2012
We had been trying to sell the house on and off for over five years, with different realtors and different short-sale attorneys. We had it under contract five or six times, or was it seven? (I forget the exact number) Every time we thought we had a deal, something fell apart and we were disappointed once again. With the foreclosure auction just around the corner we had given up any hope that this time would be different. But it was different, because of each of you. You were able to accomplish what others could not and when the deal was about to fall through like all the others, you are the ones that made the difference. We have never met any of you in person, but you have touched our lives in a very meaningful way and we are most appreciative for all that you have done for us. We can now, finally, move on with our lives.
With sincere gratitude,
Marx & James
Sunday, May 13, 2012
Tuesday, April 03, 2012
The exclusion applies only to acquisition debt up to $2 million, or $1 million for married taxpayers filing separately, and cancelled mortgage debt not used to buy, build, or improve a principal residence is not eligible for the exclusion, but may be excludable under a different provision, such as bankruptcy or insolvency.
Under the Mortgage Debt Relief Act of 2007, the provision is for debt forgiven between 2007 and 2012, unless the bill gets extended.
For those considering a short sale, waiting to do a short sale after December 31, 2012 may lead to tax penalties that could have been avoided for the homeowner unless the bill gets extended.
Thursday, March 15, 2012
Saturday, March 03, 2012
One agent is a commercial broker not normally available on weekends. His voice mail is full and no reply to emails or calls to his office. When I did reach him, the unit showing as active is under contract, but he has three others the same, all vacant, but because his entire office is involved in a wedding, no one is available to show it. Um, lock box?
The next agent called to say the owners have guests in town and asked that it not be shown. When I had guests and my property was on the market, I told the guests it may be shown. Simple enough.
Three other units are tenant occupied and require 24 hours notice and have uncooperative tenants. I normally put a clause in a lease that speaks specifically to showings and how they will occur and what notice the tenant is to receive. I have never had an uncooperative tenant who appreciates simple courtesy.
Another agent has a full voice mail and no response to my email request.
If your property is on the market, be sure that your agent is available during reasonable hours and not off on weekends, voice mail is not full, email is responded to, and a workable plan is in place to reply to requests to show your property. If you have guests, alert them to possible showings or provide windows of time that it can be shown on busy real estate days.
I make a point when I list a property to make it easy to show my listings with a reasonable notice, I require the owners and tenants cooperation, and agents who know me, appreciate my cooperation with showings.
Setting up a showing should not be the obstacle to a successful sale.
Wednesday, February 08, 2012
The Producer of A&E’s Emmy-nominated home design show, “Sell This House: Extreme.” is looking for potential houses in the Ft. Lauderdale area for an upcoming episode of the show. They will be filming this episode in the middle of March, 2012. They are in the area Wednesday & Thursday and need to find sellers as soon as possible to begin planning their home makeover.
They have added a general contractor to the show. On top of decorating and staging, they will be looking for houses that can use some significant Remodeling. Kitchens, bathrooms, new floors, cabinets and even knocking out some walls are all options now! they are spending $20 - $30K on average for makeovers!
There is no cost involved to the homeowner. The objective is to produce an entertaining TV show in which we help you “Sell This House”. We bring all needed materials and the homeowners get to keep 99% of the items used in the staging process (curtains, linens, etc.)
They are looking for mid range homes that are poorly or over-decorated and about 800 to 2500 square feet. The family MUST be living in the home & it MUST be furnished! If your house is dated, cluttered, has bad paint, stained carpets, old wallpaper, too many houseplants, heavy curtains that block out the light, or has rooms that need to be better put to use, we can help!
The homeowners are an integral part of the transformation so they prefer homeowners who are in good physical health and are able to help our crew with the painting and re-decorating work. They also interact with our host so it is essential they are fluent in English. If the homeowner has a great personality…that’s definitely an added bonus.
The scout itself only takes about 20-30 minutes. They will arrive with a video camera and take a tour with the homeowners. The producers and designer will later review the tape and select the home to be featured on the show.
If you would like to be considered for this show contact Rob Rose at 954-328-9700.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
The author of this article is: Jon Prior
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Friday, October 14, 2011
Monday, October 10, 2011
I have spent the better part of two days responding to Realtor requests for showings that get cancelled, or rescheduled, or where the agent doesn’t even show up. Maybe I have just been in real estate too long. Maybe I just have an old fashioned sense of how to behave toward others. Yes, I really do believe that manners- treating others as you would like to be treated, and about making others feel comfortable, is important. I believe in the power of ethical and polite behavior.
Real estate veterans remember well the days when our professional relationships meant something. The pros know that we will deal with each other time and time again, and that has always nurtured camaraderie. For the most part real estate was a gentle business. It was a small community of Realtors that embraced ethics and the power of cooperation through the MLS. While there were still untrustworthy agents, we all knew who they were, and acted accordingly.
Today there are a huge number of new Realtors in the business who lack the basic fundamentals of business behavior. Market knowledge, professionalism, respect for your peers, empathy, ethical behavior and adherence to the Realtor Code of Ethics are keys, if not to success, then certainly to a respectable career that doesn’t abuse the rest of us.
The nature of the business has changed so that the traditional mentoring relationship that a broker had with a new agent doesn’t exist. How can we expect professionalism when franchise offices recruit new agents like mad in pursuit of a profit margin? I am amazed by the number of Realtors who lack respect for the value of other Realtor’s time. Please, let’s not ruin it for everyone. At the very least can you speak clearly on the phone, make appointments in advance during the business day and keep them, get familiar with a map, qualify your buyers and be on time? Is that too much to ask?
Friday, October 07, 2011
The biggest question my clients seem to have is whether we have reached the bottom of the market. I agree with real estate pundit Barbara Corcoran who says that when we have a consensus that the bottom has been reached, it is long past. I think for the most part the bottom was sometime mid-2010. What has the market in Broward been like so far in 2011? I have worked with a number of out of town buyers and have had hundreds of inquiries from others in the last few months, who have gathered from the news that Florida is having a huge fire sale. A big part of selling real estate has always been reconciling buyer’s expectations with the reality of the market. That is the biggest challenge in today’s market. I worked with four different clients in the last few months who all bid on foreclosure properties. I advised each of them to offer full price, and even more, and they all did. Two succeeded and two lost out to higher offers, one to an offer 50,000 more than the 840,000 list price. Before you think I am nuts to suggest anyone should pay over list during the worst real estate market of my 30-plus year career, let’s look at what the Broward County real estate market of condominiums and houses over 100,000 has done in the last 90 days according to the area MLS data. There are currently 4,206 houses for sale in Broward County over $100,000 that are conventional listings. There are 476 foreclosure listings and 1944 that are short sales. In the last 90 days 1000 conventional sales, 118 foreclosures sales and 443 short sales occurred. In the condominium market priced over $100,000 there are 4106 conventional listings, 291 foreclosures, and 1214 short sale listings. In the last 90 days 721 conventional sales, 330 foreclosure sales and 287 short sales occurred. I looked closer at this data and there are some definite trends that should help buyers understand what is happening in the market. First of all, the number of foreclosure listings is less than most consumers would expect. Foreclosures are the fastest selling category, with most selling within a few weeks of being listed. Most importantly, foreclosure listings are selling in a range from 5% under list to full price, to over list price in many cases. Buyers expecting to get discounts on foreclosure buys were entirely unsuccessful with that strategy, according to the numbers. The sales of short sale properties, that is, homes and condos where the mortgage balance is higher than the market value, had the longest days on market of all. Banks are still not moving with any speed in approving short sales. Short sales are the most frustrating segment of the market where the buyer has little control over the time frame for approval and closing, or if it will happen at all. Pre-approved short sales are the best bet, that is, one where the seller is pre-qualified and a price has been agreed on by the bank. The mortgage company is going to be looking for market value. Some sellers list short sales low to encourage a buyer, but be prepared to agree to a number that aligns with recent comparable sales when the lender responds. Conventional sales have been relatively strong in the last 90 days, pointing to strength in the market coming from the bottoming out of prices. Condos with water views and houses in all price ranges that are priced well, are attracting buyers. Again, the numbers show that properties sell when the price is within ten percent of what they sell for. No huge discounts off list are happening, but the seller has to be realistic in pricing to attract a realistic buyer. It looks like in general Broward County is trending to toward a stronger market. Smart buyers have the largest inventory of available properties to choose from right now. The best deals are in those places where there was the most speculative buying during the boom, such as condos downtown, and infill townhome developments. We don’t have the condo glut that downtown Miami has, or the housing glut of west Florida where overdevelopment was rampant, two areas that have contributed most to the perception of Florida being a real estate disaster. The market in Broward County will continue to be aggravated by the poor economy more than anything. The savvy buyer, however is acting now, and getting some of the best buys Broward County real estate consumers will see for a long, long time.
Wednesday, October 05, 2011
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Then they divorce the first agent, disappointed by the failed relationship, and start dating again, looking in earnest for the trophy wife, the agent who really holds the key to the sale of their property.
What this seller tends to overlook are the price reductions that took place, or that certainly will, once the trophy lister is engaged. Perhaps the seller will do some things to make the property more appealing. Unlike the first go round, now the seller is serious, and listens in earnest to the trophy lister, agreeing to make them happy with price reductions, easier showings, maybe a cleaner appearance overall.
It is during this second relationship that a sale occurs before the honeymoon is over and the seller starts to blame and complain again.
If you have had it with your agent who has failed you, take me on a date. I'll laugh and smile and make you proud, and in the end, I will sell your property, I guarantee!
Monday, March 21, 2011
Monday, March 14, 2011
One recent transplant, Doug Flood says, "If there ever was an 11th [Canadian] province, it probably would be Florida."
Canadians are the largest single group of foreign homebuyers, accounting last year for some 8 percent of total residential sales in Florida.
The maple leaf has long been a familiar symbol in Florida beach communities, on both the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. But over the past several years, Canadian visitors have increasingly become homebuyers.
Canadians are buying property to rent ou to generate cash flow. In most major centers in Canada, you can't buy property and be cash-flow positive. Not even close.
If you're Canadian, you have very low interest rates at home if you want to borrow against your house. You've have a foreign exchange par, dollar-for-dollar. Prices down here that are 40 to 50 percent lower than what they were five at the peak of the boom in 2005.
Canada Avoided The Housing Crash
Canada largely avoided the collapse in housing prices that devastated American homeowners and the U.S. economy.
Because of tighter financial regulations, things like subprime lending and securitized mortgages are unknown in Canada. Foreclosures are rare. So Canadian real estate steadily appreciated while property values in Florida, Arizona and other hard-hit U.S. markets went into the tank.
Brian Ellis, with Florida Home Finders of Canada, a real estate company based near Toronto, says, "It's put a lot of us in a very, very strong position in that we do have a lot of equity in our homes. And now, we can take some of that equity out, pay cash for either an investment property or a second home in the state of Florida."
Ellis holds seminars in Ontario and Quebec for people interested in buying homes in Florida. His company mostly markets new homes in developments where prices are good and where it can assure clients there are no hidden problems, such as underfunded homeowners associations or Chinese drywall.
Most buyers, Ellis says aren't planning on moving to Florida. They're investors, "all looking at buying property to rent out today to generate cash flow." Ellis says you can't do that in most major cities in Canada. "You can't buy property and be cash-flow positive. Not even close," he says.
There are wealthy Canadians buying multimillion-dollar beachfront homes. And there are people like Dennis Kivlahan, who recently bought a two-bedroom condo in Fort Myers, Fla., sight unseen.
Kivlahan is a high school history teacher from Ajax, Ontario. He used money from a home equity loan to pay $56,000 cash for the property in Florida.
"I liked the price. It was a very straightforward sale," he says. "We went on vacation there myself, my wife and children. And I saw the unit about three months after I purchased it."
Kivlahan is renting it out with the idea of possibly moving to Fort Myers when it's time to retire.
It's not just individual homebuyers taking advantage of low Florida prices. The Minto group, a Canadian homebuilder, recently bought nearly 1,000 lots near Tampa.
For Canadians, it is an investment and something more — a reminder in the depths of winter, they own a place where it's actually warm.
In a recent phone interview from his home in Ajax, Kivlahan said, "You know right now, as we speak, it's about minus 20 with the wind chill, so I wouldn't mind being down there."
That as much as anything explains why, through boom and bust, Florida real estate eventually always bounces back.
The existing tax bill on a property can vary greatly, depending on how long the sellers have owned it, what they paid, and whether they have homestead exemption, or other types of exemptions that reduce their tax bill. Don’t try to value a property based on the current tax assessment, it won’t make sense.
If you buy a property in 2011, your taxes will be the same as what they were for the seller. In 2012, your property will be re-assessed, and generally your taxes will be about 2.25% of the sales price. To get a more precise estimate of your future property taxes in Broward County, visit http://www.bcpa.net/TaxCalc.asp
There is no penalty charged for out of area property owners, but there are advantages to naming a residential property in Florida as your homestead, or primary residence. To do that you must be able to demonstrate that the property is your primary home. If it is, then you receive a reduction in your tax assessment and your taxes can only go up 3% over the prior year.
If your property is your homestead there is a list of other possible exemptions you may be eligible for. Go to http://www.bcpa.net/TaxCalc.asp to learn more.
For all of your Greater Fort Lauderdale real estate needs, contact:
R.L. Rose & Co., Realtors
217 NE. 2 Street
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301
Office (954) 467-3305
Mobile (954) 328-9700
"Helping People Make Southeast Florida Home For Over 30 Years"
Here are some ways I am able to help my clients find the best property, at the best price, as an out of town buyer.
I can set you up to get automatic emails of any property that may be of interest to you as it comes on the market. All listings, including foreclosure properties, are listed on a MLS system in this area. If a property that meets your criteria is listed today, comes back on the market, or has a price reduction, you will automatically get an email alert of it. If you would like to subscribe to this service the best way to begin is to answer the questions found on my Buyer Survey at:
Keep in mind, I don’t necessarily see the properties you are receiving. Please email me with any questions you may have on a property as soon as you receive them. As a native of the area with over 30 years in real estate, there isn’t a condo, city or neighborhood in Broward that I am not familiar with. I will give you invaluable, unglossed information to help you make an informed buying decision.
If a property is something you are seriously interested in I can make a custom video of it that can be viewed online. You will probably find that this gives you a very good picture of a property. I have sold many properties this way to out of town buyers. Due to the time involved in accomplishing this, please only ask that this be done until you have looked at all available information and pictures and are serious about the possibility of a purchase.
If you decide to make an offer on a property site-unseen, I can provide details on recent comparable sales and advise you on the sales history of the property, the situation of the seller, and other pertinent information to determine the best offer price and strategy. I will then prepare an offer that can be signed by you via email.
In the best case scenario, you would have a week or two to come to the area to see what you have contracted to buy. This way you are not coming to the area to see a property that you find has already sold when you arrive. There are a number of ways to structure an offer where you would have the ability to cancel the purchase within a short time frame, without specifically adding a clause that the contract is contingent on your personal inspection on some future date; terms that sellers typically won’t accept, and don’t accept if it is a foreclosure.
Of course, I offer this incomparable level of service only to buyers who are loyal to me as their Realtor. My time and knowledge are valuable commodities that I try not to give away. My website at www.southfloridahome.com should give you a sense of my knowledge of and experience with greater Fort Lauderdale real estate.
Monday, March 07, 2011
I recently had an agent encourage me to accept an offer on a property I have listed at $195,000, for $100,000. He explained that $100,000 is current market value and that I should take it. A week later this property sold for $175,000. Who is this agent working for?
I live in a townhouse complex where two different Realtors have convinced sellers to accept offers that caused everyone in the complex to lose at least $25,000 in value by getting the sellers to take considerably less than they could have gotten.
One of these agents has been very successful listing properties that have already been on the market and not sold, normally because they were over-priced. Looking at the MLS sales history of this agent, he consistently manages to sell properties 10 and 20 percent below market value. For this he is paid three to six percent of the sales price?
Another agent has sold three units under market value. Using the first and second of these sales as a comparable sale to demonstrate why the seller should take less. This was done by the same firm who encouraged me to take $75,000 less than an offer I got a week later.
More times than not, listing agents tend to list properties too high. That is as unprofessional as listing them too low, the main difference being in the second instance the Realtor gets paid but costs the seller money he didn’t have to lose, and in the first the Realtor wastes everyone’s time.
There is of course a middle ground. That is a property that is priced well with a seller prepared to be patient while the buyer is found. For my money, a Realtor who is able to identify the right price and obtain it has earned his commission.
As an example, I recently listed a townhouse in an eight unit community for $325,000. The last sale in the complex was a foreclosure at $285,000. I received three offers at or under $285,000 from agents who pointed to that sale, and even argued that prices had decreased since then. I sold the property for $315,000. As the sellers Realtor, I could have pushed the buyer to accept $285,000 or even less, and argued persuasively in favor of that due to the market. I would have been paid and avoided the risk of being fired for not selling it quickly (often the case with the first listing agent), and the seller would have lost $30,000. To me, that is not doing my job. Many agents would also be concerned that the property wouldn’t appraise at the higher price, but I was able to provide comparable sales of units in the area that supported the sales price.
Self-serving Realtors know that a seller faced with a short sale situation or a foreclosure are desperate. Sellers of short sales often don’t think about the possibility of a deficiency judgment against them after the sale, for the difference between what their lender netted from the sale and what it cost them. They are usually too stressed over the trauma of the sale. While the market is soft and sellers are at a disadvantage, be sure when you choose a Realtor, that they are on your side and not costing you money. In one of the examples I site, a potential judgment $30,000 less than it could be in the future is significant, and not something your Realtor should ignore in pursuit of a quick commission.
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Monday, February 14, 2011
I had to read your email a few times. You want me to drive 45 minutes in rush hour traffic to pick you up in Miami then 45 minutes back to show you some condos in the dark in Fort Lauderdale and return you to Miami by 10 p.m. for your flight to South America assuming your arrival and departure flights are on time, and drive back for another hour in traffic home? Are you serious?
My time is worth about $250 an hour. In 30 years I have not picked up clients at the Miami airport and not for a few hours of looking for some possible future purchase for sure. My time is just too valuable.
If you want to schedule a trip when you can be in the area when you are serious about buying something I am happy to work with you, but if you expect that kind of service I am not your man. I doubt anyone competant would do that.
Enjoy your trip to South America "
I doubt I'll hear from them again!
Monday, February 07, 2011
I have worked with a number of out of town buyers and have had hundreds of inquiries from others in the last few months, who have gathered from the news that Florida is having a huge fire sale. A big part of selling real estate has always been reconciling buyer’s expectations with the reality of the market. That is the biggest challenge in today’s market. I worked with four different clients in the last few months who all bid on foreclosure properties. I advised each of them to offer full price, and even more, and they all did. Two succeeded and two lost out to higher offers, one to an offer 50,000 more than the 840,000 list price. Before you think I am nuts to suggest anyone should pay over list during the worst real estate market of my 30-plus year career, let’s look at what the Broward County real estate market of condominiums and houses over 100,000 has done in the last 90 days according to the area MLS data. There are currently 4,206 houses for sale in Broward County over $100,000 that are conventional listings. There are 476 foreclosure listings and 1944 that are short sales. In the last 90 days 1000 conventional sales, 118 foreclosures sales and 443 short sales occurred. In the condominium market priced over $100,000 there are 4106 conventional listings, 291 foreclosures, and 1214 short sale listings. In the last 90 days 721 conventional sales, 330 foreclosure sales and 287 short sales occurred. I looked closer at this data and there are some definite trends that should help buyers understand what is happening in the market. First of all, the number of foreclosure listings is less than most consumers would expect. Foreclosures are the fastest selling category, with most selling within a few weeks of being listed. Most importantly, foreclosure listings are selling in a range from 5% under list to full price, to over list price in many cases. Buyers expecting to get discounts on foreclosure buys were entirely unsuccessful with that strategy, according to the numbers. The sales of short sale properties, that is, homes and condos where the mortgage balance is higher than the market value, had the longest days on market of all. Banks are still not moving with any speed in approving short sales. Short sales are the most frustrating segment of the market where the buyer has little control over the time frame for approval and closing, or if it will happen at all. Pre-approved short sales are the best bet, that is, one where the seller is pre-qualified and a price has been agreed on by the bank. The mortgage company is going to be looking for market value. Some sellers list short sales low to encourage a buyer, but be prepared to agree to a number that aligns with recent comparable sales when the lender responds.
Conventional sales have been relatively strong in the last 90 days, pointing to strength in the market coming from the bottoming out of prices. Condos with water views and houses in all price ranges that are priced well, are attracting buyers. Again, the numbers show that properties sell when the price is within ten percent of what they sell for. No huge discounts off list are happening, but the seller has to be realistic in pricing to attract a realistic buyer. It looks like in general Broward County is trending to toward a stronger market. Smart buyers have the largest inventory of available properties to choose from right now. The best deals are in those places where there was the most speculative buying during the boom, such as condos downtown, and infill townhome developments. We don’t have the condo glut that downtown Miami has, or the housing glut of west Florida where overdevelopment was rampant, two areas that have contributed most to the perception of Florida being a real estate disaster. The market in Broward County will continue to be aggravated by the poor economy more than anything. The savvy buyer, however is acting now, and getting some of the best buys Broward County real estate consumers will see for a long, long time.
Friday, September 24, 2010
Thursday, April 08, 2010
Sunday, October 04, 2009