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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.

PALM BEACH COUNTY REAL ESTATE MARKET REPORTS – January 2019

January 2019 figures have been released, and WOW!… What a difference in the real estate market stats, as we start out 2019.    

We saw a tremendous jump in inventory, which has significantly increased our supply of homes – and changed the dynamics of the market. It’s official, we are predominately a buyer’s market.    

There is a good trend here.  Sellers, you may not love the shift, but in the long run it is the best thing for our economy – and for all of us in South Florida.    

With inventory rising and closed sales down for the second month in a row, there are many more choices for buyers. The over-abundance of over-priced homes may be impacting the sales growth that our stats show.

Prices are starting to level out – and many agents are finally coming to the realization (we have been telling everyone for months! 😉) that they need to adjust their prices to more realistic numbers – so that we can start moving properties again in Palm Beach County.

Several of our clients have asked why closed sales in January are down, in terms of the year-over-year figures. (We have the savviest clients!) Our thoughts, which are also supported by economists reports from Florida Realtors, are that this is due to mortgage interest rates, stock market volatility and the temporary government shut down. All of these occurrences may have impacted our January closed sales. Quite frankly, consumers were focused elsewhere – and with many homes over-priced – they decided to wait!     

All of that said, we guarantee that if you price right, and your listing agent markets your home the right way (versus simply putting it in MLS and praying), then your home will sell. The All About Florida Homes Team put six homes under contract in January – it can be done!

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.

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!

PALM BEACH COUNTY REAL ESTATE MARKET REPORTS – December 2018

Analyzing a year-end market report always provides particularly useful information.  Plus, it gets us excited as we move into the next year.

I cannot speak for other agents, but I can share that Noreen and I are excited for all that is in store for 2019 for real estate in Palm Beach County. We attended the Florida Realtors convention in Orlando and were able to hear first hand the legislative and community initiatives that we are Realtors are involved with.  Many will have a direct and positive impact in South Florida.

Regardless of the trends and what we foresee, we are always committed to providing you with unbiased information. In these market reports, we present the facts, and tell you the truth about how we interpret them! We see it as imperative that you be properly equipped with information to make decisions about your real estate goals and plans. Now, onto the December 2018 and the year-end figures!

Inventories in 2018 were low as, we have discussed. But we are now seeing inventories rise and rise quickly – which is great news for Palm Beach county buyers and sellers.

While December figures were up from November by a small percentage, year over year December was down.  This same year-over-year results can be seen across the nation. One of the reasons for this may, of course, be that inventories were down. But, additionally, interest rates have been going up – forcing some buyers to rethink their timing for purchasing.    

So why are inventories rising with all of the above going on? Many are hypothesizing that the low interest loans are coming due for many existing homeowners. So, before they have to obtain a new mortgage (at a higher interest rate), many are getting out and finding their next home.  The logic: If they have to pay a slightly higher rate, they may as well move on to the next home of their choice.

Not much has changed as to the balance of the markets at the various price points.  

– The $300-$399K range is still a sellers’ market.
– The 400K – 599K range is still balanced.
– The $600K – $1 mill+ range remains a buyers’ market.  

Interesting to note: The “over $1 million+” category in Palm Beach County now has over 25 months of inventory. Additionally, time on market to contract in this category is now over 8 months.  

The takeaway for sellers:  It’s critical that you price properly. There are too many high-end homes sitting, overpriced, on the market. If you want to sell, please allow a Realtor (wonderful if it is us!😊) to show you the true comps  – look at SOLD versus ACTIVE. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t sell your high-end home – You absolutely can with the correct strategy.

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 REAL ESTATE MARKET REPORTS – October 2018

We love this time of year! … Assisting buyers to get into new homes before December 31st for homestead…  Working with sellers to find new homes so the buyers can get in by December 31st… 😊 and of course, enjoying our beautiful Florida winters!

October 2018 provided our market with the second largest year over year growth! Our Palm Beach County marketplace continues to show robust price growth.  There is a however, a BUT…(isn’t there always?)

 

How this growth impacts you really depends on your price point.

 

Here’s what the numbers are telling us right now:

$300-400K market: This is a sellers’ market and does show a strong growth of prices. It will be interesting to see how this segment is impacted as mortgage rates rise in 2019.
(Sellers: important point here – NOW is the time to sell before a rate increase – and while it is still a sellers’ market!)

$400,000-999,999 market: This is now a balanced market.  

$1,000,000 and above:  This remains a buyers’ market – and then some! – with 17 months of inventory (this is a lot).  
So what does this mean? We still have many over-priced homes in the high- end market.  In October, “percent of list price” and “time to contract” were both longer than they were the same time last year!   

We are seeing sales at the high end (especially those listed by the All About Florida Homes team). But, sellers,  you need to be realistic on your price and compare to what has sold – not what is currently listed.  Homes can and are being sold – we are simply dealing with a shift in our market and reality is once again prevailing!

 

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!

 

PALM BEACH COUNTY REAL ESTATE MARKET REPORTS – September 2018

It’s hard to believe that it has been one year since hurricane Irma battered Florida. As you will recall, many areas were out of commission for several weeks after Irma. For this reason, when we look at September 2018 real estate stats and see what we can learn from them, the year over year results are somewhat skewed.   

So, rather than focusing on year over year, let’s simply talk about the inventory and our current market.  As you will recall from past months’ posts, we use inventory as one indicator of the market. 6-9 months of inventory means a balanced market Less than 6 months of inventory is considered a “seller’s market,” and more than 9 months indicates a “buyer’s market”.  

While, based on these benchmarks, most of our September 2018 results did not shift out of the defined market description since last month (for example, the 400-599K range is still a balanced market), each of the markets analyzed by us did go up by at least one month of additional inventory. So there is some evidence of a shift. Details:

  • The $300,000-399,000 range saw an increase from 4 to 5 months of inventory.  
  • The $400,000-599,000 range saw an increase from 6 to 8 months of inventory.
  • The $600,000-999,999 range saw and increase from 9 to 10 months on inventory.
  • AND, check this out: The $1,000,000+ market jumped from 16 months to 24 months of inventory – WOW!!!

What does this mean for the market? It means we are in a shift.  

Sellers: it IS going to take longer to sell your home. So, staging, curb appeal and price are critical components even just to get buyers through the door.   Choosing the right Realtor to sell your home is even more critical than in the past. The following skills and activities are all imperative to a successful strategy for selling your home:    

  • Ongoing marketing
  • Analysis and tweaking of that marketing strategy
  • Expert review and consideration of showing feedback

Luckily, these are our strengths. The All About Florida Homes team focuses on strategy. We are not afraid to look at the real numbers, and the real feedback. We know that it’s critical to continually analyze and be willing to pivot or double-down when needed.   

For this reason, we are also quite well-known for listing – and selling – homes that were previously on the market but didn’t sell. This is where our skills and experience shine, and we can help you, too!

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.

 

 

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!