How We Can Work with Clients During this Challenging Time!

  It is hard to say what our future will look like in real estate or for that matter anything in our world, post this pandemic. While there is a lot of “bad” to focus on, I am really trying to focus on any positives that may come out of this time.   I am certain for many of us, the time at home with our children, has provided us with opportunities that we most definitely did not prioritize in the past. Realtors are constantly “on” – responding to clients, conducting searches, showing property, coordinating towards closings, educating ourselves, sharing information with our clients and prospects and so on.    So, to “have” to slow down has been actually wonderful.

I am spending time doing things with my son that I just hadn’t found the time – we played checkers, twister and even taught him how to cook (even though it is most definitely not my forte).

As for business – when I slow my mind down and really pay attention to the calls we are receiving – I realize that our clients, friends, prospects DO rely on us for real estate guidance.   I think this has always been there, but I just didn’t slow down to realize it.

Today a prospect called and asked us to list one of his homes for rent.  He had been listed as for sale by owner and hadn’t received calls – the truth is for this one, I analyzed how he was marketing the home and his price point and gave him guidance rather than taking the listing.  Why? Because his margins are very tight and I felt that I could help him without his having to pay an agent for this rental – so he reduced to the number I suggested based upon comps and I had him reorder his photos, remove some photos, alter his write up and voila – the phone started ringing. 

We are here to help – give guidance, be supportive, educate and be a resource for all.  As a thank you for helping him with his rental listing…. And unbeknownst to me…he has another property that he wants us to put up for sale.

For my fellow Realtors, be a trusted resource, offer guidance, continue your education so you can continue to be an expert.  Now is the time when you can create some blogs, record videos, etc. and work to share your knowledge.

By: Amy Snook

Has the Single-Family Rental Market Peaked?- Florida Realtors

“ATTOM: The business of buying single-family homes to rent lost some steam after rents stopped increasing as fast as the purchase cost for those rental properties.

“The business of buying single-family homes for rent has lost a little steam this year across the United States as rents aren’t rising quite as fast as prices for investment rental properties in the majority of the country,” says Todd Teta, chief product officer at ATTOM Data Solutions.

“But from the national perspective, things are generally holding steady for landlords in the single-family home rental market,” he adds. “Also, profit trends are moving in favor of investors in higher-rent counties and against those in lower-rent regions.”

Click Here to Read More: https://www.floridarealtors.org/news-media/news-articles/2020/03/has-single-family-rental-market-peaked

 

 

January 2020 Market Report

      As I write this market report, I realize there are two very important aspects of how we are all evaluating the real estate market today.  Certainly the numbers from the most recent market report of January 2020 tell a story but also the recent stock market tumble in light of the corona virus concerns is top of everyone’s minds.

      Let’s start by talking about January results because they are important to decisions we all will be making today to sell or buy in Florida.  First – January was a great month in Florida Real Estate – especially in Palm Beach County. When comparing to January 2019, January 2020 showed an increase in the number of sales, both average and median prices and total dollar volume.  However, new listings were down from January last year as well as December 2019 – for a myriad of reasons.  What does this mean to our Palm Beach County market? – Well, we now have less inventory and as a result for the market from $300,000 to $599,999 – we have a balanced market – so, therefore, buyer’s make realistic offers and seller’s realize that there is no longer an advantage in a balanced market so before you choose not to respond to an offer – maybe consider a counter!  With inventory trending down this balanced market condition may change – stay tuned. The higher end market, however, is a different story – over $600,000 and upwards of the $1,000,000 mark it is still a buyer’s market – a great amount of homes are sitting – over $1 million shows 19 months of inventory  – reminder that 6-9 months is considered a balanced market. If you are holding out for a cash buyer, we would suggest reconsidering – cash sales as a percent of all sales is around 37% – but with the interest rates so low, the cost of borrowing money is even more desirable. What do we recommend? That we as agents, dig deep into the pre-approvals – talk to the lenders who pre-approved the buyer – have they run credit, have they reviewed tax returns or w2s? IN other words how far into the process did they go and do they have any concerns?    Homes are being sold – the process, as always, needs to be properly managed and homes need to be properly marketed!

 As for our recent turn in the financial markets – and how this will impact real estate in Florida – Personally, I believe homes will continue to move in Florida – we may simply have to adjust how we show and how we all work together to get homes sold.  There is even more value in videos and remote showings – photography is critical.   Also – how we interact at face to face showings – for now we simply don’t shake hands – we just need to be smart about how we do business – in any field right now.

PALM BEACH COUNTY REAL ESTATE MARKET REPORTS – May 2019

The All About Florida Homes Team of Keller Williams Realty has been busy all around from our Sellers and Buyers!

We could have told you the market had picked up before we even analyzed the market report from Florida Realtors.   While the market is behind last year to date – we are finally starting to see traction and the market starting to play catch up.

If you have been reading our market reports monthly,  you will have read (tirelessly I know) my rants about sellers’ and agents’ pricing on active versus sold comps.  Homes can be listed for any amount but what they sell for, and how long it takes, and how many reductions do make a difference.   We are seeing the market price where home sell  – hence the movement in the market.

If you have a good marketing strategy, take pictures strategically to show the attributes of the home, land and community, market to the consumer as well as fellow agents – and analyze the showings, feedback and competition – homes will sell!

The market from $300,000 to $600,000 seems to bounce monthly from a balanced market to a slight buyer or seller market depending upon inventory.  As we always say:

In a balanced market – where you come out of the gate (price, marketing et al) really, really matters.   It is not a race to market – it has to be done right!   

Homes in the $600,000 to $999,999 range remain in a balanced market this month so same rules apply as above.

The $1,000,000+ remains a buyers’ market – there is so much inventory and many are still overpriced.  If you are a seller, it is worth a real analysis of where homes have sold and how you are being marketed – BUT you also need to be patient.  There is a lot of competition, so ensure your home stands out and that you are priced right!

Contact us at (561) 571-2289 – or via amyandnoreen@allaboutfloridahomes.com – if we can provide you with any additional market data that will help inform your decisions! We are here to help – with no obligation.

Palm Beach County Local Market Update for May 2019 Monthly Market Detail May 2019 Townhouses and Condos Monthly Market Detail May 2019 Single Family Homes

From Florida Realtors: HUD Plans a “Verification Plan for Service Animals”

All stakeholders should be pleased to learn that HUD has a “verification plan for service animals” in the works.

(Note: The following is not legal advice, as we are not lawyers. If you have specific questions about disability accommodations of any kind as it relates to housing, we can introduce you to a lawyer in our network who can advise you.) 

According to this report from Florida Realtors, “Landlords and property managers are entitled to “reliable verification” of a tenant’s need for a service animal and can require proof beyond an online certification, a Department of Housing and Urban Development official said Tuesday at the Realtors® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington, D.C.”

Florida landlords, tenants, Realtors, and all involved may be interested to hear that HUD also reports to be considering how “exotic” animals (like alligators!) fit into this equation.

We are glad to hear that HUD has this issue on the radar screen, and we look forward to guidance and clarification around service animals in housing. There is significant confusion around this issue on all fronts, and clarification will surely help everyone.

Most importantly, we’d love to see people with disabilities who need service animals be treated fairly and without discrimination. As an extension, we’d like to see the “cottage industry” referenced in this article (that has sprung up to take advantage of the confusion and sell certificates) dealt with.

We’d also like to have investors who own rental properties be more clear on the issues around this, and have more structure and guidance from HUD and its state and county-level counterparts.

Also from the Florida Realtors article:

“It’s important not to trivialize the issue of service animals because of abuses of the law, Grosso said. “Very often, there is some nefarious attribution to people who request assistance animals. But many times, there are people with significant disabilities who legitimately need the assistance of a service animal. They bear the burden of the effects of service animal abuses.”

Selling a home in Delray – Should we accept a buyer’s contingent offer?

We received this excellent question recently:

 

Our house has been on the market for awhile and now we have an offer.

But, it’s contingent upon the sale of the buyer’s home. What does this mean? Should we accept it? It’s the first offer we’ve had in a few months, so I’m thinking yes. Help!

 

Our advice would certainly depend on a lot of factors, but it’s a maybe!

If your home has been on the market for awhile and it’s not a seller’s market in your home’s price bracket, you don’t want to unilaterally just pass on this – it could be a great opportunity.

We’d want to ask some more questions… Can we work with that buyereir offer to a place that works for both parties? Also, is their home on the market? Is their home under contract? If so, we’d want to look at that contract. We would need to understand how strong their offer is.

There are times that we’ve represented buyers that came forth with an offer like this. It wasn’t our listing, and guess what? We got to the closing table – because we know how to get our buyers to the closing table. In this case, the agent on the other side needs to be helpful, too. So, we also look at who that agent is… because that does make a difference, and we are often familiar with that agent.

There’s a particular clause in the contracts here in Florida called a “kick-out clause.” If it’s a buyer’s market, you as a seller may or may not want to consider that. Basically this clause says,

“I’ll take your offer and it’s contingent upon the sale of the home, but I’m leaving it active. I’m taking backup offers, and when I get an offer you’re going to get first right of refusal. If you still want this house, then okay, the contingency’s gone, this house is yours.”

This can be helpful, as it gives the buyer some protection. If she or he is not in a position to own both homes, this offer can be accepted, subject to the above –  a win-win for a buyer and a seller.

The most important thing to know is that every scenario is different, so you want to be sure you are working with the right Realtor… a team that can give you guidance and help you make the right decision for your specific situation.  There are a lot of factors to come together to create the right deal! (That’s the part that we love! It’s the the fun part!)

We’d love the opportunity to help you through scenarios such as this, and to get you to the closing table. Contact us at (561) 571-2289 for a no-obligation consultation!

Selling Boynton home: Do we need a pre-listing inspection?

A social media friend sent us a question recently. He wrote: 




We’re going to sell our Boynton Beach home soon. I’ve been hearing recently that sometimes home owners who plan to sell pay for a pre-listing home inspection. What is the benefit? If we sell our home, do I need one?

I will answer this question the way we answer a lot of our questions lately – with “It depends.” Here’s why:

In a perfect world, we’d always like to see a pre-listing inspection so we know what issues may exist. It can be incredibly helpful.

The benefits:

If you, the seller, are the first to know of any items that may show up in inspection, you can work with us to develop a strategy around how to handle those issues. We can decide what we want to fix in advance. We can learn the costs needed to repair some of the bigger, more complicated items. Being informed helps us to better negotiate.

Ideally, the issues do not end up impacting the listing price or the selling price. But it’s good to be prepared and pre-think whether we are open to offering a credit, and/or if we plan to make repairs.

In a scenario in which you have an older home that maybe needs a lot of work – or when we know we’re going to have inspection issues – it’s actually imperative so we know what we are actually dealing with.

But, it’s not realistic to have a pre-listing inspection in every scenario. We look at our clients’ needs on an individual case-by-case basis. To help you make a decision about this, we look at factors like the home’s age and condition (as mentioned), the price point, the hyper-local market conditions, and your personal timeline and goals.

 

We often begin to discuss this in a pre-listing consultation appointment. We’d love the opportunity to work with you and help guide you through the process of listing and selling your home. Please call us anytime – Amy and Noreen, All About Florida Homes, Keller Williams Realty –  at (561) 571-2289.

And, if you’d like us to provide you with a free, on-obligation home value estimate, head here to request it:
https://allaboutfloridahomes.com/home-value/

After a Home Inspection, Does the Seller Have to Make Repairs Before Closing?

After inspection, if items come back that need to be repaired – is the seller required to do the repairs?

To answer this question, I’m going to take you back to when we were making an offer on a property.  Like with many things we negotiate in real estate transaction, it depends on the strategy. This will have been a conversation that we would have had together before we made an offer.

Are we offering with “as is with right to inspect?”

In that case, the seller is not obligated to make any repairs. When deciding how to handle this as a buyer (and as your agent), it’s truly a matter of whether you want the property as is, or if it would be better for you if we cancel the contract. 

Or, are we working with one of the other types of contracts – where there is a repair limit?

In this case, there’s a dollar amount in there. The seller is obligated, in this case, to repair items up to that dollar amount.

But the truth of the matter is this: If the seller wants to sell and the buyer wants to buy, we work together with the other agent to come to an agreement that’s a win-win for both sides. Which contract we use does make a difference, of course, and that’s a decision we’ll make together when we’re going down the path of making an offer.

 

If you’re interested in buying – now or in the future – you can search listings here – and start to familiarize yourself with the buying process and the market.

If selling may be in your future – or you’re just curious about what your home is worth today – you can request a no-obligation home value assessment here. 

Or, contact us at (561) 571-2289 – or via amyandnoreen@allaboutfloridahomes.com – if we can provide you with any guidance to help inform your decisions! We are here to help. 

Selling My Home in Delray – How do I know if a buyer is qualified?

A fan of our Facebook page recently submitted this question:

When a buyer makes an offer on my home, what should we be looking at to make sure they’re qualified and will be able to close on their offer?

When we are your listing agents, we are always keeping this issue in mind, at every step in the process!

 

  1. Before the showing.

When an agent contacts us to arrange a showing, we start by screening the buyer on on a few things. We ask: What is the buyer looking for? Is the agent familiar with the community, and the home? Is the buyer pre-qualified? We ask these types of questions to begin to understand the buyer, their qualifications, and their motivation.

 

  1. At the showing.

One of the reasons that we accompany all of our showings is because it’s another important opportunity to get a sense of the potential buyer. When onsite, we can get a feel for the buyer first-hand. We look for cues and clues to indicate their mindset. Are they asking the right questions? (Like, how old is the roof, the air conditioning? What does the community have to offer?)

One of the fun things to watch as we are touring through the house is whether they’re envisioning where the furniture’s going to go. That’s an example of a great buying sign. So, we are getting an idea if they are qualified to purchase this home, and if they are actually envisioning themselves being in this home.

 

  1. When we get an offer.

Of course, this is a thrilling part, but where do we go from there? It’s really important that if we take your property off-market, because he have an offer, that it’s actually going to close. If it’s a cash offer, we make sure that they have clear funds. How? We ask for statements that show that they have the funds. And probably most importantly, we look to see that that statement is in the name of the buyer on the contract.

(If it’s in an LLC, if it’s a company buying it, then guess what? Those funds need to be in the name of the LLC or the corporation. That’s crucial!)  

If there will be a mortgage, we look at the pre-qualification letter. One pre-qualification letter is not the same as another… What did that mortgage broker or lender do to pre-qualify the client? Did they pull credit? Did they look at their assets, liabilities, and so forth? We analyze this carefully at this stage. We often pick up the phone and have a conversation with the mortgage broker to make sure that we have a sense that they can buy this home.

(It helps that we’ve been in business so long and we know so many people in the market! So when I see a mortgage broker or lender whose name I know, it’s an easy conversation to have.)

 

Our goal, besides just to get offers on your home, is to get an offer to the closing table and make it a positive experience for all the parties. Making sure that the buyer is qualified to buy your home is important at every step. We do NOT want surprises!

So whether it’s on the front-end or after you get an offer, we work together to make sure we get you to the closing table.



If selling may be in your future – or you’re just curious about what your home is worth today – you can request a no-obligation home value assessment here. 

Questions? Call us – Amy and Noreen, All About Florida Homes, Keller Williams Realty –  at (561) 571-2289. We’d love an opportunity to discuss your home selling goals.

Buying a home in Boca. When do we need a real estate appraisal?

We got this great question from someone we met recently at a networking function.

We’re going to buy a condo in Boca. When do we need a real estate appraisal? 

Here’s the low-down!

If you are a buyer getting a mortgage, your lender is going to require an appraisal. The lender will order the appraisal.

Either the listing agent, or the buyer’s agent (or both, but at the very least one) needs to meet the appraiser at the property for the appraisal appointment. It’s important that someone knowledgeable be there to answer questions and point out the features.

If the appraiser is open to it, the Realtor can also talk about comps (comparable sales) and help the appraiser understand the current market area. Some appraisers come from out of area, so that last item is rather important.

Based upon the appraisal results, we will help you to know if your offer or your price needs to be changed or adjusted.

If you’re a buyer paying cash, you are not required to have an appraisal, but you can choose to get an appraisal. Why would you want to do that? To protect yourself on the value of the home. Realtors of the All About Florida Homes Team pride ourselves on the fact that we do in-depth competitive market analyses. So you can feel confident that you are getting a good value, and you don’t necessarily need an appraisal – but you’re still welcome to get one. Some of our clients do, and we support that decision.

We work with our cash buyers to help you determine if getting an appraisal is right for you. When the answer is yes, we walk you through each step of the process.

For our sellers, there are times when we recommend doing an appraisal for a listing. Perhaps the homes’s area or market may indicate a lot of variance between recent sold properties. Or, it might be new construction in an area where there isn’t a lot of new construction. In cases such as those, we may recommend an appraisal to avoid surprises. But whether you’re selling or buying, this is a strategic decision, and we would sit down and work together to come up with our plan based on your individual needs and situation.

Questions? Call us – Amy and Noreen, All About Florida Homes, Keller Williams Realty –  at (561) 571-2289. We’d love an opportunity to discuss your home selling or home buying goals.

And, we have some great resources here for you, too! If you’re interested in buying – now or in the future – you can search listings here – and start to familiarize yourself with the buying process and the market.

If selling may be in your future – or you’re just curious about what your home is worth today – you can request a no-obligation home value assessment here. 

Or, contact us at (561) 571-2289 – or via amyandnoreen@allaboutfloridahomes.com – if we can provide you with any additional market data that will help inform your decisions! We are here to help!