Q: What Happens If the Appraisal Comes in Low?

Here’s how things usually play out when the appraisal comes in low.

As you likely already know, we’re facilitating a lot of multiple-offer situations for our sellers right now. It’s important to remember, however, that price is an opinion—my price is an opinion, and so is the buyer’s price, the seller’s price, and even the appraiser’s price. Pricing is an art, not a science. So what happens when the appraisal comes in low? 

Typically, most consumers will have a built-in appraisal contingency, so there’s really just three things that buyers and sellers can do with a low appraisal: 

Option No. 1: Meet in the middle. The most common approach is to renegotiate to see if you can meet somewhere between the contract price and where the appraisal came in at. 

Option No. 2: Bring the difference in cash. The buyer’s lender will only loan on the appraised value, so if the appraisal comes in, say, $10,000 lower, the buyer can decide to fill the gap themselves. As a seller, you’re more likely to see this if there are multiple buyers competing for your property. 

Pricing is an art, not a science.

Option No. 3: Cancellation. You as the buyer always have the right to cancel the contract if you’re not willing to match the difference. 

So, what do we do as real estate professionals to make sure that the appraisal comes in at value? Well, here’s one of the biggest benefits of working with a solid listing agent: They’ll be able to have a conversation with the appraiser to convey why you, the seller, received the offer you did and justify it with recent sales data and other important info. They’ll make a case for any improvements you’ve made to the home and point out the number of showings you had, the lack of days your home spent on the market, etc. 

If you have questions about preparing for the appraisal, or have any other real estate-related needs, don’t hesitate to reach out via phone or email. We’re always here to help.

Three Tips to Insure A Stress-Free Real Estate Transaction

Buying or selling real estate is a significant milestone in life. Frequently, it means that a new phase is starting, whether it’s a new job, a new relationship, or moving to a new area. However, when the most basic steps are missed, this transition can be fraught with stress and disaster. To ensure a smooth deal, home buyers and sellers alike should be sure to mind the following tips.

#1: Always Be Honest
Honesty and clear communication need to be a two-way street. Home buyers and sellers expect their real estate agent to be honest with them, and likewise it is always necessary for a home buyer or seller to be honest with their real estate agent.

Hiding details or covering up potential problems will only cause more issues when everything comes to light. When important information is withheld, it’s possible for delays to occur, costs to rise, or even for the deal to be killed.

It’s much better to disclose all necessary information upfront so the situation can be handled appropriately. An expert real estate agent will be able to guide home buyers or sellers through the problems and to a workable solution.

#2: Hire A Professional Real Estate Agent
Buying and selling real estate is not an easy process, so it’s never a good idea to try to proceed without a professional who can be trusted.

Far too often, people let friends or family members represent them in real estate transactions. In these cases, it’s likely for feelings to be hurt, relationships to be damaged, and trust to be compromised.

Rather, it’s recommended for home buyers or sellers to use a real estate agent they do not have a close personal relationship with. That way, they can stand confident that their agent is looking out for their own best interests, and nothing else.

#3: Understand The Market
Far too often, home buyers or sellers fail to recognize their area. If they are the home seller, this means understanding what kind of buyers are looking in their market. If they are the home buyer, this means understanding what kind of neighborhood they would enjoy living in.

Failing to identify this crucial information will waste time for the seller and buyer alike. However, this is where a real estate agent comes in: he or she will know the market inside out and be able to offer valuable counsel.

Home buyers and sellers should call their agent if at any time they have questions; this professional is the key to a smooth real estate transaction. If you have a question or need to speak to someone about buying or selling a home, complete the form below or call us at 407-917-9022. 

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Q: Are Online Valuations Accurate?

How accurate are Zestimates and other online valuation platforms?

If you’re familiar with the real estate website Zillow, you’ve more than likely heard of their ‘Zestimate,’ which is their online home valuation tool. But how accurately do Zillow and other similar platforms gauge your property’s value?

Zestimates can be anywhere from 4% to 12% off the mark when it comes to estimating a home’s value, and there are a lot of factors behind why that is.

The best way to get an accurate valuation for your home in today’s fast-paced market is with a comparative market analysis.

These online valuations are produced by an algorithm that draws from the characteristics of your home that you, the user, enter into it, as well as public data. If you live in a large, new community with a couple hundred homes that aren’t very diverse in style, your chances of getting an accurate valuation are higher. As those homes get older and improvements are made to some and not others, the chances of getting an accurate valuation drop.

The best way to get an accurate valuation for your home in today’s fast-paced market is to get a comparative market analysis done by a local real estate professional.

 If you have any questions about the current value of your home and where you stack up against your current Zestimate or other online valuation, please feel free to give us a call. We’d love to help you.

What You Need to Know About Timing the Market

Here’s why there’s no black-and-white answer for timing the market.

What’s the best time to put your home on the market? Here in Central Florida, the threat of harsh snowstorms obviously never factors into home sellers’ considerations, so there’s really not a bad time to put a home on the market. Statistically, we always see a higher volume of home sales in the spring and summer months, but that has more to do with rising inventory and families seizing the break between school years than it does the warmer weather. 

 

Since the spring and summer months are, on average, busier times, you’ll naturally face more competition by listing then. So, if it makes more sense for you to list your home in the fall or over the winter holiday months, it doesn’t make a significant difference—you’re not doing yourself any sort of disservice. You may think that demand in the winter market is scarce, but remember that large corporations typically do job transfers during that time of year; there’s always demand in Central Florida. 

 

Timing also depends on what segment of the market you’re in. For example, the market cycle for short-term rental properties down by our theme parks is inverted—they’re busier in winter, and less so in the spring and summer. 

 

Selling in the fall or winter months won’t be detrimental to your goals.

 

Ultimately, there’s no blanket answer to when the best time to sell is, as numerous factors are always at play. The most important factor, of course, is what’s best for your personal situation. If you want to explore whether now is the right time for you to put your home on the market, please give us a call at 407-917-9022 or send an email. We’re always happy to help answer your questions and provide resources! 

Q: What’s the Latest From Our Market?

Prices are rising in our Central Florida market. Here’s why.

Q: What 3 Tips Will Make Multiple-Offer Situations Easier?

Here are three ways we’re helping buyers win against multiple offers.

I hope you’re all doing well and being safe. We’ve been talking about our local market and how many of our sellers are experiencing multiple-offer situations. Although that’s a great position to be in as a seller, it’s a scary situation for buyers.

We’ve had a few buyers reach out and ask us if it’s even possible to buy a home right now. The short answer is yes, but here are a few things that we do to differentiate our clients’ offers:

1. Our reputation. We are in a co-broker industry. There are typically two agents involved, one representing the seller and one representing the buyer. We have created strong relationships with other brokers over the past 15 years and have been able to close a lot of deals and get our clients’ offers accepted because of our good reputation.

2. We ask great questions. A lot of times, people think that sellers are only going to take top dollar. However, there are other factors in play. We ask sellers’ agents about what’s important to them in an offer besides price.

We’ve been able to close a lot of deals for our buyers.

3. We partner with great vendors. These vendors have great reputations as well. Our lenders, home inspectors, and other inspectors rarely have delays, and sellers and their agents appreciate that.

If you have questions for me about buying a home in this type of market or anything else related to real estate, don’t hesitate to reach out via phone or email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Q: How Do I Buy and Sell a Home Simultaneously?

If you need to buy and sell simultaneously, we have you covered.

As you may know, it’s an incredible seller’s market here in Central Florida; we’re seeing a lot of multiple-offer situations. But what if you need to buy and sell a home in the same market? This is a bit more complicated than doing one transaction, but we’re here to help guide you through the process. 

Every situation is unique, but usually, we’ll fully market your house, make any needed improvements, take photos, get you pre-approved, then you’ll go out and look for a new property. Then we’ll make an offer contingent on the sale of your current home. 

We’re here to help guide you through the process.

Hopefully, that offer is accepted, then we’ll put your current house on the market, do our best to get you the highest price possible, probably get you multiple offers, then attempt to negotiate what’s called a post-occupancy agreement. This means you can sell your home, then occupy it after closing for about 10 to 14 days so you have time to move, make a few changes to your new house before you move in, etc. This helps you have time to do these things and not be as constrained. 

You can absolutely sell a home and buy a new one at the same time; it simply takes a bit more finesse. 

If you have any questions or this applies to your situation, please give us a call or send an email. We would love to speak with you. 

Q: What Are the Pros & Cons of Condo Ownership?

 Here are some quick pros and cons to condo ownership.

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If you’re considering buying a condo, here are the pros and cons of condo ownership you should weigh first.

Pros:

  • Affordability. A lot of condos are cheaper than single-family homes, especially in downtown metro areas. 
  • Amenities. You’ll have access to things like fitness centers and pools, and you’ll be protected by a security gate and security officer. 
  • Less maintenance. Exterior chores like lawn care, painting, etc., are done for you.

Before you make the leap and purchase a condo, our best piece of advice is to read its HOA documents.

Cons:

  • High price points of HOA fees. In fairness, they’re typically high because they offer a lot of incentives, but there’s always the possibility that they’ll rise due to inflation. 
  • Lack of privacy. In a lot of ways, living in a condo is like living in an apartment. Some people prefer this arrangement, others don’t—it all depends on your preference. 

Before you make the leap and purchase a condo, our best piece of advice is to read its HOA documents. See what they cover and what the regulations are.

If you have questions about this or any real estate topic, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’d love to help you.

Your Central Florida May Market Update

 I’m sharing how our current market is doing as we head into June.

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I hope you’re all doing well and staying safe; there are a lot of things happening in our country right now. 

We listed a home on the Thursday before Memorial Day, had a ton of showings on Monday, and received seven offers in writing. We were able to negotiate $12,000 over asking price, waive the contingency fee, and our sellers chose their closing date.

For sellers in multiple-offer situations, they get leverage on price, closing date, and sometimes get the appraisal waived.

We put another house on the market this past weekend, and (as of the recording of this video) we received eight offers in writing so far and more showings are happening today. With both of these listings, we priced them well, the marketing was excellent, and we got a lot of leverage for our sellers in these multiple-offer situations. 

For sellers in multiple-offer situations, they get leverage on price, closing date, and sometimes get the appraisal waived. So if you know anyone considering selling a property, now is a fantastic time. Here in Central Florida in April, we had about 50% fewer listings come onto the market compared to 2018 and 2019. There’s a ton of demand, interest rates are great, and it’s an outstanding time to be a buyer, seller, or both! 

If you have questions about our current market or anything concerning real estate, please give us a call or send an email. We would love to help you.

Q: How Is Our Real Estate Market Doing?

 Our real estate market is picking up steam as we head into the summer.

Want to sell your home? Get a home value report

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I got my first haircut in three months last week, and I hope the rest of you are taking advantage of some of the businesses that have been able to open back up here in Florida. If you need assistance with your A/C, contact Cool Zone A/C for a 10% discount on any service, maintenance, or installation completed by the end of June. Orange Avenue Enterprises is also offering a 10% discount to our clients who need a general contractor. As for our real estate market, we’ve seen 2,388 properties go under contract in the first 12 days of May and 1,061 closed sales. We still have an inventory shortage, and savvy home sellers are taking advantage of that. To learn more, watch the short video above.