Seller Tips

Between the years 2001 and 2004’s hot real estate market where home buyers and investors have capitalized, has finally cooled down. Late 2005 has brought indications of the “bubble” bursting throughout the nation. It is true that the real estate market has slowed down mostly in part of the high interest rates but also of the higher price of homes. Buyers have realized that homes have been considerably overpriced. Yet, most sellers refuse to accept the fact. FSBO’s are now facing a more challenging task of finding interested buyers. Not only are they competing with fellow FSBO’s across the street or the next community, they are being blown away by homes listed with brokers whose homes are not just listed in the MLS, but priced competitively and advertised well.

  • If you have decided to trade up, look at your budget and make a realistic determination of how much more you can spend. Include any extra costs a larger home might require such as upkeep, utilities or new furniture. Go through the pre-qualifying process for more accurate information on the kind of mortgage you will need.
    Trading down has it’s own set of considerations. Reliable professional tax and financial assistance will help you to not end up paying more than necessary in this area. Your real estate agent is someone who is neutral and may be able to offer you the best advice.
  • Take care of the small repairs you may have overlooked such as a sticking door or broken windowpane. Fresh paint inside and out will go a long way in adding to your home’s appeal, as will a newly trimmed lawn, a few seasonal flowers and the elimination of all clutter. And most important of all, clean, scrub and polish till your home sparkles!
  • Home Staging is something you may want to consider to present your home in its best light. Builders have been doing this with their model homes for years and it provides the finishing touches that will give your house emotional appeal. This will consist of such things as creating fragrant aromas in the kitchen, making sure fresh towels and soap are in the bath, placing fresh flowers in a vase, rearranging furniture to create a welcome feeling and brightening up rooms with proper lighting.
  • If your kitchen or bath need updating, it may be better financially to offer an incentive to a prospective purchaser rather than tackle the expense and trouble of doing the work ahead of a sale. Save your resources for your new home and place your efforts into the cosmetic improvements that will create a cheery and comfortable appearance.
  • Consider having a yard sale to clear your space of any possessions you do not plan to take with you or the things that have been hiding in the basement, attic or garage. Or, call your favorite charity and get a tax credit for the donation.
  • Take time to think about the emotional detachment that will be necessary. After all, this house has provided you shelter and comfort and there are a lot of memories tied up there. You must now look at your home as simply a piece of property – an investment that has served you well.

All About Selling

Selling your home on your own is not a bad idea if you have time in your hands and as long as you know all the things that needs to be done. You need to know how to prepare your home and price it correctly. You should have a marketing plan and work it. You should know the legal issues, as well as security and safety issues. It’s likely that there are other homes in your neighborhood that’s in the market and you should have a plan on how to compete. These are just a few things that a seller must know.

As your real estate agent, I will work on selling your home for the best possible price, in the least amount of time with less hassles as possible. I will make sure that interested buyers are pre-qualified so you don’t lose privacy and your time will not be wasted. I will communicate back to you any concerns or feedback from buyers as well as inform you on the status of your home based on it’s market position on a regular basis. I will be with you from start to finish always looking at your best interest and no one else.

Buyer Tips

It’s amazing that during these times where home inventories have soared and prices have gone down considerably, and not to mention cash incentives that builders and sellers are throwing out to the buyers, not many people have taken advantage. 2007 is totally a buyers market! There is no better time to buy than now.

Buying a home in 2005 has never been tougher. Buyers from different parts of the country were eager to jump into real estate investing. Most homes here in the Tampa area were bought by real estate investors and resold with a decent profit. Because of various trends that started in 2003, home prices rose to ridiculous prices. In 2003, the average home price in the the Tampa area was at $150,000. In 2005, it went up to about $250,000. New construction homes used to go up in price every quarter and then it started going up about $5,000.00 a month. This seems unexplainable. But what do you expect when suddenly a surge of home buyers are coming out of nowhere?

So, the big question in 2006 was: “Is it still the right time to buy?” Comparing prices of homes in California, Las Vegas or even Sarasota, FL, homes in the Tampa area were still considerably lower. Builder inventory homes were down and not easy to find. Lotteries and waiting lists were very common.

In late 2006 and early 2007, inventories of new construction homes were back up and sits in communities with little to no buyers to come and see. To sell all this homes, Tampa Bay area builders brought their prices down to between $15,000 and $60,000 off the original selling price and were giving so much incentives which brought the new construction home ‘sold’ statistic up by end of April 2007.

It’s also no secret that home foreclosures have risen in the past few months. New investors who basically jumped too late in the real estate market in the last 3 years had gotten bitten. This does not mean that buying a property in today’s market will give the same result. Home prices has certainly leveled down here in the Tampa area. I recently saw a 2,100 sq/ft home built in 2005 with 3 bedroom, 2 bath and 3 car garage, den and a 1 year old pool with fence listed for at least $30,000 less than it’s appraised value. This is a steal!

There are plenty of homes out there right now to choose from. So, if you’re a first time buyer or an experienced one – and still debating, its always an advantage to know as much information as you can in today’s market. Don’t wait, the time is now. Before shopping, go through the list below to get prepared.

  • Know your budget. A pre-qualification process will give you an informed opinion on what you can afford.
  • Gather information on the true cost of home ownership – taxes, insurance, closing costs, and upkeep.
  • Pre-approval is based on the documentation and verified information you supply concerning your income, employment and cash flow. This process is a sign of your intent to the seller and proves you are credit worthy.
  • Know your neighborhoods and decide where you want to live. Is it important to be close to your job or services such as restaurants and entertainment? Or would you rather live in a more secluded area? Talk to your potential neighbors and visit the area during different times of the day.
  • Decide what kind of house would work best for you. Will you be more comfortable in a colonial 2 story or a condominium? What are the important elements in a home – a big back yard, a large kitchen and dining area for entertaining, a garage? Keep a list and make sure your Real Estate professional knows what you want!
  • If your search includes new homes, choose a reputable builder and make sure you have in writing the cost of the ‘bare bones’ plus an itemized list of any upgrades. And know that a new house may cost a bit more than one that is pre-existing. (Tip: Check on any hidden operating costs such as homeowners’ association fees and CDD’s.)

 

All About Buying

It’s amazing that during these times where home inventories have soared and prices have gone down considerably, and not to mention cash incentives that builders and sellers are throwing out to the buyers, not many people have taken advantage. 2007 is totally a buyers market! There is no better time to buy than now.

Buying a home in 2005 has never been tougher. Buyers from different parts of the country were eager to jump into real estate investing. Most homes here in the Tampa area were bought by real estate investors and resold with a decent profit. Because of various trends that started in 2003, home prices rose to ridiculous prices. In 2003, the average home price in the the Tampa area was at $150,000. In 2005, it went up to about $250,000. New construction homes used to go up in price every quarter and then it started going up about $5,000.00 a month. This seems unexplainable. But what do you expect when suddenly a surge of home buyers are coming out of nowhere?

So, the big question in 2006 was: “Is it still the right time to buy?” Comparing prices of homes in California, Las Vegas or even Sarasota, FL, homes in the Tampa area were still considerably lower. Builder inventory homes were down and not easy to find. Lotteries and waiting lists were very common.

In late 2006 and early 2007, inventories of new construction homes were back up and sits in communities with little to no buyers to come and see. To sell all this homes, Tampa Bay area builders brought their prices down to between $15,000 and $60,000 off the original selling price and were giving so much incentives which brought the new construction home ‘sold’ statistic up by end of April 2007.

It’s also no secret that home foreclosures have risen in the past few months. New investors who basically jumped too late in the real estate market in the last 3 years had gotten bitten. This does not mean that buying a property in today’s market will give the same result. Home prices has certainly leveled down here in the Tampa area. I recently saw a 2,100 sq/ft home built in 2005 with 3 bedroom, 2 bath and 3 car garage, den and a 1 year old pool with fence listed for at least $30,000 less than it’s appraised value. This is a steal!

There are plenty of homes out there right now to choose from. So, if you’re a first time buyer or an experienced one – and still debating, its always an advantage to know as much information as you can in today’s market. Don’t wait, the time is now.

Seller Services

Selling a home is not as easy as it sounds. I can understand how sellers try to avoid paying that high commission. It is the only reason I know why most homeowners try to sell their home on their own. Unless you have time in your hands, know the process, legal and safety issues it is actually not a bad idea. But the success rate is low because the target market is too limited. Using “Discount Brokerages” is also one option. But we all know the saying “You Get What You Pay For”, believe it or not, also applies in the selling of real estate. Zero commission for cooperating brokers is the main reason why showings are few and therefore, listings within discount brokerages extend up to six months or a full year of your contract and expire.

As someone who is affiliated with Charles Rutenberg Realty, a full-service brokerage, I won’t hold back in selling your home. Below is my personalized services to you:

  • Advise and assist you in improving property’s appeal
  • Assistance in locating local vendors to prepare your property if needed
  • Educating you to current market conditions
  • Customized marketing plan which includes a Virtual Tour of your home
  • Network entire REALTOR community
  • Broker open house (Follow-up to brokers/companies with no one in attendance)
  • Public open house
  • Networking to affiliated professionals
  • Interior and exterior photography (Virtual Tour and Slideshow)
  • Aerial photography when appropriate
  • Follow up on all showings and provide feedback (via phone calls, feedback faxes or feedback sheet left at property)
  • Town, school and area information available to potential buyers
  • Seasonal promotions
  • Promotion to general public
  • Internet promotion through several well exposed websites (Yahoo, Google, & more)
  • Targeted direct mail campaign
  • Target market to area’s top producing real estate agents
  • Post property flyer on corporate/community bulletin boards
  • Promotion to personal friends, neighbors, past clients and sphere of influence
  • Promotion to local corporations
  • Target specific buyers by home features (i.e. single family home to condo owners)
  • Target marketing by property style (i.e. historic home advertised in antique journal)
  • Regularly scheduled consultations¬† to review property status and marketing program throughout listing period
  • An active, professional office team to help serve you
  • Property access (Electronic Lock Box)
  • Be in attendance for all contract offers
  • Contract negotiation
  • Assistance in new home purchase
  • Follow through on all contract contingencies
  • Providing you with suggestion for affiliated professionals and service companies that you might need during the move process
  • Moving tips and assistance
  • Attend all inspections, closing and final walk through of property