Real Estate Blog

Selling your house is a big decision.  It might be tempting to hire the first word of mouth recommendation you receive, but it will pay off for you to do some research.  After all, your real estate agent will set the sale price for your home, market your home, show it to potential buyers, and walk you through the entire sales process.  Speaking to friends and neighbors is a great way to get solid recommendations, but be sure to ask some of these questions below no matter who you interview.


  1. What is your experience and education?  A new agent might have a ton of time and be eager to get the house sold.  A seasoned agent will know how to guide you through the process from start to finish and handle unexpected issues as they may arise.

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We live in a world of “Flip this House” and several other TV shows that make it look very easy to make a quick buck by buying a low-priced house, rehabbing it, and selling it. But we know that’s not usually the case.  As a matter of fact, these shows really don’t teach much in terms of skills or how to do it.  The question is; does it make sense to attempt a “update and resell” and if so, how do you do it successfully? Here are some tips:


  1. Make your money when you buy, not when you sell.  A good rule of thumb is to factor in your acquisition costs, carrying costs, and rehab costs, planning on at least 3 months until you can sell (figure worst case scenarios to be safe).  Whatever that number is, you should shoot for a minimum of a 20% return. 
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There is a lot that goes into listing and selling a home, from pricing to marketing it.  Perhaps even more important is that the home is showcased extremely well when a potential buyer views it.  Getting them to the door is half the battle, getting them to the closing table is the real goal!  Here are some tips:

  1. Curb Appeal and Entry Way – Cut the grass and trim the bushes.  Often the pathway to the front door will become overgrown or have palm limbs hanging over it.  Remember to trim those back, it’s important to have a clear path to the door.  If you own a condo, make sure the area surrounding your door is clear - with the exception of a door mat and a couple pots with flowers.  Simple is best.
  2. Windows and Doors – Make sure your main door is
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In a real estate transaction, there are a lot of working pieces.  Once an offer is accepted by the buyer and seller, a series of other checklist items begin in the process of getting the property closed. 


  1. Make sure the buyer’s deposit is delivered to the Title Company or attorney.  This is important because it is what binds the contract and puts some skin in the game.
  2. If the buyer is getting a loan, make sure they get their loan application started right away.  Financing can be challenging right now and there is no reason to waste time with this process.  If an appraisal is needed, it also needs to be ordered right away.
  3. Home inspections should also be done promptly.  If there are repairs needed, it’s important to have ample time to get
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There are several factors that go into selling a property.  If you have been trying to sell your home for longer than you thought it would take, consider these points:

  1. One of the biggest factors is the price.  Typically, if you are getting only a few showings and no offers you might be around 5% overpriced.  If you are not getting showings or offers, you could be 10% or more overpriced.  It’s good to review pricing every 3 to 4 weeks.  If you are getting a lot of showings and interest, it’s best to wait and see if an offer comes in.
  2. How’s your curb appeal?  Could the exterior use a good painting?  Is the landscaping trim and tidy?  Is there fresh mulch on the ground?  Is the entry way clear?  Do you have bright flowers leading up to the entry
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It doesn’t matter where you happen to be in SWFL, it won’t take you long to stumble across a new development or a custom home being built.  New construction homes are back in full swing!  It’s great to see so much new inventory coming onto the market, as well as, newly gated communities sprouting up and each of them having different amenities going along with them.  Buyers are lucky to have so many options in today’s market to find their dream home. 

  1. New construction can bring the opportunity to easily meet new friends.  When everyone is moving into the community at the same time and from other places, it’s very easy to get to know everyone and build a solid foundation of friends.  Sometimes going into an established community can take more time to
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In today’s market it’s possible to see appraisals come in undervalue.  You might be thinking that you are selling your house for 'X' amount and the buyer wants to pay you 'X' amount - we all agree; it’s that simple.  Not exactly.  If the buyer is getting a mortgage it’s now up to the bank to determine their own value of the home.  They will hire an independent appraiser to come up with a value.  And hopefully that person’s opinion of the value is for 'X' amount and not less than it; otherwise the entire deal could unravel!


Nowadays, the system is run through 3rd parties and mortgage brokers cannot speak directly to the appraiser.  This is to control fraud and doesn’t allow the lender to influence the appraisers’ value.  Although the system is not

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One of the most stressful things a homeowner may endure in their lifetimes is surviving a home remodel while living in the house.  A lot of us have been through it before and vow to never do it again.  Washing dishes in the bathroom gets old very quickly!  Why is it so stressful and what can we do to ease the pain? 


  1. Hiring the right people is the key puzzle piece.  I’d encourage you to get at least 3 different bids from different contractors about the work you are looking to have done.  Do they do the work themselves or do they hire it out to other companies to do the work for them?  How long have they been in business?  Do they have referrals and pictures that they can show you of past jobs they’ve completed?  How long does it take them to do
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If you are new to the buying game, there can be a lot of costs associated with a home purchase that you might not be aware of.  Here’s a list of some:

  1. Appraisal Fees – For a typical home, expect it to cost around $350 - $500.  If you are financing, the bank will require you to get an appraisal and it usually has to be paid for upfront by you, the buyer.
  2. Survey Fees – These can be a few hundred dollars and up.  It all depends on the size of the land that your home sits on.  Usually the bigger it is, the more expensive these are. 
  3. Processing Fee – This can be up to $1,000 and charged by your lender if you are getting a loan.  I’ve seen these vary dramatically, so be sure to ask upfront what you are looking at.
  4. Loan Discount Points – 1 point
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If  you are patient and can perfect your negotiation techniques, I’m hopeful that you can land a great deal as a buyer.  Here's some tips to help with the process. 

  1. Start Low. A lot of people think, why go back and forth and meet in the middle?  Why not just start and end in the middle?  The reason is because everybody wants to feel like they are getting a deal.  You have to make the seller feel like they are winning by starting lower than you want to pay and working your way up on price.  That give and take allows both sides to feel they are winning in the transaction.  That’s important, because there could be buyer/seller remorse later on if there’s no haggling.  Perception is key, and it will hopefully keep everyone in the deal all the way
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