Does Moving Up To A Larger Home Make Sense?

Posted by admin April - 7 - 2013 - Sunday ADD COMMENTS

Does Moving Up To A Larger Home Make Sense?

These questions will help you decide whether you’re ready for a home that’s larger or in a more desirable location. If you answer yes to most of the questions, it’s a sign that you may be ready to move.

1. Have you built substantial equity in your current Orlando home? Look at your annual mortgage statement or call your lender to find out. Usually, you don’t build up much equity in the first few years of your mortgage, as monthly payments are mostly interest, but if you’ve owned your home for five or more years, you may have significant, unrealized gains.

2. Has your income or financial situation improved? If you’re making more money, you may be able to afford higher mortgage payments and cover the costs of moving.

3. Have you outgrown your neighborhood? The neighborhood you pick for your first home might not be the same neighborhood you want to settle down in for good. For example, you may have realized that you’d like to be closer to your job or live in a better school district.

4. Are there reasons why you can’t remodel or add on? Sometimes you can create a bigger home by adding a new room or building up. But if your property isn’t large enough, your municipality doesn’t allow it, or you’re simply not interested in remodeling, then moving to a bigger home may be your best option.

5. Are you comfortable moving in the current housing market? If your market is hot, your home may sell quickly and for top dollar, but the home you buy also will be more expensive. If your market is slow, finding a buyer may take longer, but you’ll have more selection and better pricing as you seek your new home.

6. Are interest rates attractive? A low rate not only helps you buy a larger home, but also makes it easier to find a buyer.

Checklist: 17 Service Providers You’ll Need When You Sell Your Orlando Area Home

□    Real estate attorney
□    Appraiser
□    Home inspector
□    Mortgage loan officer
□    Environmental specialist
□    Lead paint inspector
□    Radon inspector
□    Tax adviser
□    Sanitary systems expert
□    Occupancy permit inspector
□    Zoning inspector
□    Survey company
□    Flood plain inspector
□    Termite inspector
□    Title company
□    Insurance consultant
□    Moving company

Used with permission from Kim Daugherty, Real Estate Checklists and Systems,

12 Questions to Ask When Choosing Your Orlando Florida REALTOR®

Make sure you choose an Orlando Florida  REALTOR® who will provide top-notch service and meet your unique needs.

1. How long have you been in residential real estate sales in Orlando Florida? Is it your full-time job? While experience is no guarantee of skill, real estate — like many other professions — is mostly learned on the job.

2. What designations do you hold? Designations such as GRI and CRS®, which require that agents take additional, specialized real estate training, are held only by about one-quarter of real estate practitioners.

3. How many Orlando area homes did you and your real estate brokerage sell last year? By asking this question, you’ll get a good idea of how much experience the practitioner has.

4. How many days did it take you to sell the average Orlando Florida home? How did that compare to the overall market?  The Orlando Florida REALTOR® you interview should have these facts on hand, and be able to present market statistics from the local MLS to provide a comparison.

5. How close to the initial asking prices of the Orlando homes you sold were the final sale prices? This is one indication of how skilled the REALTOR® is at pricing homes and marketing to suitable buyers. Of course, other factors also may be at play, including an exceptionally hot or cool real estate market.

6. What types of specific marketing systems and approaches will you use to sell my Orlando home? You don’t want someone who’s going to put a For Sale sign in the yard and hope for the best. Look for someone who has aggressive and innovative approaches, and knows how to market your property competitively on the Internet. Buyers today want information fast, so it’s important that your REALTOR® is responsive.

7. Will you represent me exclusively, or will you represent both the buyer and the seller in the transaction? While it’s usually legal to represent both parties in a transaction, it’s important to understand where the practitioner’s obligations lie. Your REALTOR® should explain his or her agency relationship to you and describe the rights of each party.

8. Can you recommend service providers who can help me obtain a mortgage, make home repairs, and help with other things I need done? Because REALTORS® are immersed in the industry, they’re wonderful resources as you seek lenders, home improvement companies, and other home service providers. Practitioners should generally recommend more than one provider and let you know if they have any special relationship with or receive compensation from any of the providers.

9. What type of support and supervision does your brokerage office provide to you? Having resources such as in-house support staff, access to a real estate attorney, and assistance with technology can help an agent sell your home.

10. What’s your business philosophy? While there’s no right answer to this question, the response will help you assess what’s important to the agent and determine how closely the agent’s goals and business emphasis mesh with your own.

11. How will you keep me informed about the progress of my transaction? How frequently? Again, this is not a question with a correct answer, but how you judge the response will reflect your own desires. Do you want updates twice a week or do you prefer not to be bothered unless there’s a hot prospect? Do you prefer phone, e-mail, or a personal visit?

12. Could you please give me the names and phone numbers of your three most recent clients? Ask recent clients if they would work with this Orlando Florida REALTOR® again. Find out whether they were pleased with the communication style, follow-up, and work ethic of the Orlando Florida REALTOR®.

Why You Should Hire An Orlando Florida REALTOR®

Posted by admin March - 8 - 2013 - Friday ADD COMMENTS

Why You Should Work With an Orlando Florida REALTOR®

Not all real estate practitioners are REALTORS®. The term REALTOR® is a registered trademark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION of REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics. Here are five reasons why it pays to work with a REALTOR®.

1. You’ll have an expert Orlando Florida REALTOR® to guide you through the process. Buying or selling a home usually requires disclosure forms, inspection reports, mortgage documents, insurance policies, deeds, and multi-page settlement statements. A knowledgeable expert will help you prepare the best deal, and avoid delays or costly mistakes.

2. Get objective information and opinions. Orlando Florida REALTOR® can provide local community information on utilities, zoning, schools, and more. They’ll also be able to provide objective information about each property. A professional will be able to help you answer these two important questions: Will the property provide the environment I want for a home or investment? Second, will the property have resale value when I am ready to sell?

3. Find the best property out there. Sometimes the property you are seeking is available but not actively advertised in the market, and it will take some investigation by your Orlando Florida REALTOR® to find all available properties.

4. Benefit from their negotiating experience. There are many negotiating factors, including but not limited to price, financing, terms, date of possession, and inclusion or exclusion of repairs, furnishings, or equipment. In addition, the purchase agreement should provide a period of time for you to complete appropriate inspections and investigations of the property before you are bound to complete the purchase. Your agent can advise you as to which investigations and inspections are recommended or required.

5.  Property marketing power. Real estate doesn’t sell due to advertising alone. In fact, a large share of real estate sales comes as the result of a practitioner’s contacts through previous clients, referrals, friends, and family. When a property is marketed with the help of a Orlando Florida REALTOR®, you do not have to allow strangers into your home. Your Orlando Florida REALTOR® will generally prescreen and accompany qualified prospects through your property.

6. Real estate has its own language. If you don’t know a CMA from a PUD, you can understand why it’s important to work with a professional who is immersed in the industry and knows the real estate language.

7. Orlando Florida REALTOR® have done it before. Most people buy and sell only a few homes in a lifetime, usually with quite a few years in between each purchase. And even if you’ve done it before, laws and regulations change. REALTORS®, on the other hand, handle hundreds of real estate transactions over the course of their career. Having an expert on your side is critical.

8. Buying and selling is emotional. A home often symbolizes family, rest, and security — it’s not just four walls and a roof. Because of this, home buying and selling can be an emotional undertaking. And for most people, a home is the biggest purchase they’ll ever make. Having a concerned, but objective, third party helps you stay focused on both the emotional and financial issues most important to you.

9. Ethical treatment. Every member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION of REALTORS® makes a commitment to adhere to a strict Code of Ethics, which is based on professionalism and protection of the public. As a customer of a Orlando Florida REALTOR®, you can expect honest and ethical treatment in all transaction-related matters. It is mandatory for Orlando Florida REALTOR® to take the Code of Ethics orientation and they are also required to complete a refresher course every four years.

5 Things to do Before Putting Your Orlando Home on the Market

Posted by admin February - 28 - 2013 - Thursday ADD COMMENTS

5 Things to do Before Putting Your Orlando Home on the Market

1. Have a pre-sale home inspection. Be proactive by arranging for a pre-sale home inspection. An inspector will be able to give you a good indication of the trouble areas that will stand out to potential buyers, and you’ll be able to make repairs before open houses begin.

2. Organize and clean. Pare down clutter and pack up your least-used items, such as large blenders and other kitchen tools, out-of-season clothes, toys, and exercise equipment. Store items off-site or in boxes neatly arranged in the garage or basement. Clean the windows, carpets, walls, lighting fixtures, and baseboards to make the house shine.

3. Get replacement estimates. Do you have big-ticket items that are worn our or will need to be replaced soon, such your roof or carpeting? Get estimates on how much it would cost to replace them, even if you don’t plan to do it yourself. The figures will help buyers determine if they can afford the home, and will be handy when negotiations begin.

4. Find your warranties. Gather up the warranties, guarantees, and user manuals for the furnace, washer and dryer, dishwasher, and any other items that will remain with the house.

5. Spruce up the curb appeal. Pretend you’re a buyer and stand outside of your home. As you approach the front door, what is your impression of the property? Do the lawn and bushes look neatly manicured? Is the address clearly visible? Are pretty flowers or plants framing the entrance? Is the walkway free from cracks and impediments?

How to Get an Offer on Your SoliVita Home

Posted by admin February - 23 - 2013 - Saturday ADD COMMENTS

How to Get an Offer on Your SoliVita Home

1. Price it right. Set a price at the lower end of your property’s realistic price range.

2. Prepare for visitors. Get your SoliVita house market ready at least two weeks before you begin showing it.

3. Be flexible about showings. It’s often disruptive to have a

SoliVita house ready to show at the spur of the moment. But the more amenable you can be about letting people see your home, the sooner you’ll find a buyer.

4. Anticipate the offers. Decide in advance what price and terms you’ll find acceptable.

5. Don’t refuse to drop the price. If your SoliVita home has been on the market for more than 30 days without an offer, you should be prepared to at least consider lowering your asking price.

5 Feng Shui Concepts to Help Sell Your SoliVita Home

Posted by admin February - 23 - 2013 - Saturday ADD COMMENTS

5 Feng Shui Concepts to Help Sell Your SoliVita Home

To put the best face on a SoliVita home listing and appeal to buyers who follow feng shui principles, keep these tips in mind.

1. Pay special attention to the front door of your SoliVita home, which is considered the “mouth of chi” (chi is the “life force” of all things) and one of the most powerful aspects of the entire property. Abundance, blessings, opportunities, and good fortune enter through the front door. It’s also the first impression buyers have of how well the sellers have taken care of the rest of the property. Make sure the area around the front door is swept clean, free of cobwebs and clutter. Make sure all lighting is straight and properly hung. Better yet, light the path leading up to the front door to create an inviting atmosphere.

2. Chi energy can be flushed away wherever there are drains in the SoliVita home. To keep the good forces of a home in, always keep the toilet seats down and close the doors to bathrooms.

3. The master bed should be in a place of honor, power, and protection, which is farthest from and facing toward the entryway of the room. It’s even better if you can place the bed diagonally in the farthest corner. Paint the room in colors that promote serenity, relaxation, and romance, such as soft tones of green, blue, and lavender.

4. The dining room symbolizes the energy and power of family togetherness. Make sure the table is clear and uncluttered during showings. Use an attractive tablecloth to enhance the look of the table while also softening sharp corners.

5. The windows are considered to be the eyes of the home. Getting the windows professionally cleaned will make the home sparkle and ensure that the view will be optimally displayed.

Source: Sell Your Home Faster With Feng Shui by Holly Ziegler (Dragon Chi Publications, 2001)

Has your “flip flopped?”

Posted by admin December - 31 - 1969 - Wednesday ADD COMMENTS

Had one of my Investor customers call me last week wanting advice. He has a $30,000 deposit on a house that will be completed next month. At that time he must come up with another $50,000 to close. He bought this house with the sole intention of “Flipping it for a profit. Thankfully I wasn’t the one who sold him this house. He made the mistake of getting in on this subdivision to late in the game. He also bought the largest model in the community. Never a good thing.

I pulled up the community of about 600 homes and found almost 100 active listings 1 pending and only 7 sales since January 1st. Needless to say he has a problem. He can afford to close but he can’t afford the payments and the rentals in this area will leave him with almost a $1,500 per month negative cash flow. So what are his options? The way I see it if he closes he is going to be throwing good money after bad. If he doesn’t close he will lose his $30,000. A very difficult position to be in. In my area I am expecting to get a lot of these calls over the next few months. The Realtor that sold him the houses loses, the builder loses, the mortgage company loses, the Investor loses and the subdivision loses. The only “winner” in this case is the infomercial guy who sold the “Can’t lose get rich quick in real estate or die trying six weeks to becoming a millionaire information pack available on cd or cassette tape guaranteed to work or your money back we promise” scheme.

Just another example of how investing in real estate is a serious business. The experienced Investors that I work with rarely sell anything. They make their money going in, cover the mortgage by the rent and wait. Flipping is great when it works and can wipe you out when it doesn’t. So, has your “flip flopped?”

Get your sign out of the tree!

Posted by admin December - 31 - 1969 - Wednesday ADD COMMENTS

$65.00. That can be the difference, from your listing selling or just sitting on the market for month after month. $65.00. That's the amount of money that could be standing between you and your next pay check. $65.00. This is how much it costs to buy a couple of worthless leads from a "lead mill". $65.00. This would pay for a mailer of 35 post cards that will get thrown in the garbage, or a hundred flyers for your listing that will end up getting wet and ruined in the brochure tube. $65.00. This is how much your bar tab could be while you are sitting there moaning because you haven't sold a house in 3 months.

$65.00. This is the amount my lawn service charges for one month of service on my listings. And the Seller will pay me back at closing. If they don't, who cares. I will take it out of my $8,000.00 paycheck.

Now here are some examples of what NOT spending that $65.00 will do for your listing. These homes are my competition. I took a listing this morning and snapped these photos while I was in the neighborhood. All of these were within 1 block of my listing. There were many more but I think you the point!










Now this is what one of my listings look like. All for $65.00.

So, folks if you want to get paid, provide some service for your sellers. Don't ask them. Tell them you are doing it. And while you are at it, pay a cleaning crew.

And most importantly……….Get your sign out of the tree!

If it ain’t on the HUD, it ain’t happening.

Posted by admin December - 31 - 1969 - Wednesday ADD COMMENTS

Let’s talk about Mortgage Fraud. Now I’m not an expert on this but I do see it quite often in my market. Or at least, what would be fraud, if my Seller and I didn’t just say no. These are a few of my favorite lines:

1. “Don’t worry I have a good appraiser, he’ll make it work”.

2.”If the Seller can give the Buyer a personal check for $5,000 at closing, we’ll get this closed”.

3.”No, it can’t be on the HUD”.

4.”Don’t worry this Mortgage Broker does this all the time”.

5.”The Lender said the Seller can hold a 10% second, after closing they can just tear it up”.

6.”Can we raise the price $20,000 and give the Buyer money back at closing?

7. “I have a buyer willing to pay $20,000 more for that property, will you give me an assignable contract”.

8. “What size prison uniform do you wear?”

9. “Can we be cell mates at Sing Sing?”

10. “You look cute, do you need a friend?”

Ok, maybe not all of those. I am surprised though how many times I get asked by Realtors to do things that are just plain fraudulent. Now sometimes, I like to think it is just out of ignorance. They figure if the Mortgage Broker said it is Ok then it must be legal. Don’t fall for it. The best rule of thumb is, “If it ain’t on the HUD, it ain’t happening.” Remember this line and use it often. As Realtors there are no excuses for not being able to recognize Mortgage Fraud when you see it. You need to be able to protect your customers and clients from these practices. Not to mention, your license and life as a free member of society. No commission is worth committing fraud for. Below are links to a few web sites that may help.

So remember……….“If it ain’t on the HUD, it ain’t happening.”

About us

I am a licensed real estate Broker in the state of Florida. My opinions on real estate have been formed from my experiences and 15 years of working in the business. My opinions are in line with Florida Real Estate laws and the REALTOR(R) Code of Ethics. Your State’s laws may differ. So do your own homework before implementing any of my business practices into your business.