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!

How We Can Help with Real Estate Transactions that Involve Probate

How does the All About Florida Homes team tailor our approach when your transaction involves probate?

– We are highly experienced agents and can create a strategy to get the property sold in the shortest time for the highest price using our proven system.

(Note: Amy has 15+ years experience as a title agent – this sets her up with unique skills in handling these types of transactions for our clients.)

– We perform a market analysis and work with the Personal Representative and the Heirs to determine the appropriate list price and strategy: Do you need to dispose of the property quickly? Do you need to maximize the selling price to provide the greatest cash benefit to the heirs?

– We have a database of clients/buyers who are always looking for new properties in Palm Beach County. We also market our listings online for maximum exposure to potential buyers worldwide.

– We personally show the property to potential buyers and/or their agents

– We present the offers and work with the Personal Representative and heirs to negotiate the contract and ensure the process adheres to the court-determined timeline.

Let us know if we can help you – or someone you know.

You can request a no-obligation home value assessment here.

And, to learn more about how probate affects property, check out our Probate Resource page here! 

Why we ALWAYS invest in Pro Photos for Our Listings

Why does the All About Florida Homes Team invest in professional real estate photography?  The answer is simple. We are professional real estate marketers, and we understand how buyers search for homes.

Also, we know that:

90% of buyers start their home searches online. (National Association of Realtors)

Buyers spend 60% of their time looking at listing photos, 20% on the listing description and 20% on the agent description. (The Wall Street Journal)

Homes with professional photos get 61% more views online. (Redfin)

Listings with professional photographs sell 32% faster, spending only 89 days on the market compared to 123 for other homes. (PR Newswire)

According to MLS statistics, properties photographed by drones (aerial images) sold 68% faster. (RIS Media)

 

Now you understand a little about the buyer’s online home shopping experience, and about how pro photos help us sell homes faster and for higher prices. So, would you want a Realtor to use amateur photos to market your home? (Nope!) 

Call us today at (561) 571-2289 if you’d like to learn more about how we will market your home if you list with us!

Or you’re just curious about what your home is worth today – you can request a no-obligation home value assessment here.