Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

Feb. 12, 2020

Selling myths most sellers believe to be true.

If I sell ‘as is’ the buyer won’t offer a lower price after the inspections.

The seller can stipulate that they wish to sell “as is” upfront and a buyer will still want to conduct their own due diligence and inspections. There is a possibility that they’ll get cold feet after inspections and might feel that they’re overpaying at the agreed upon contract sales price. There is always a fear with “as is” purchases that a buyer is taking on far more than what meets the eye. What you can’t see can possibly hurt you the most and you won’t find out about it until you are into the project. Putting an “as is” on the listing does not protect a seller’s asking or agreed upon price, no matter how low or under market value it may appear to be.

The higher a home is priced, the better chance a seller has of getting close to their asking price.

This is one of the single largest myths in the real estate market and one that sellers love to latch onto. Usually, the opposite is true. It can also be one of the biggest myths for a real estate professional to overcome. Sellers are often disappointed when initial activity is soft and showings seem far and few. Overpricing results in a loss of valuable marketing time that the seller cannot get back. If a seller agrees to lower the price to what it should have been in the first place, showings do start to happen and by this time, the property is starting get stale. Agents and buyers are taking notice of the days on market.

If I give a buyer the closing date they want, I will get my price.

Not necessarily true. Figuring out an agreeable closing date can often be a dicey issue in a negotiation. Although it would seem rather straightforward, in today’s busy world, everyone seems to have a lot going on. Giving in on a closing date does not guarantee a seller will get their price, but on the positive side, it might make the transaction go a bit faster if this concession has been made to a buyer.

If I include extras with the sale, that will help me negotiate a higher sale price.

A seller who assumes that a buyer is going to see a lot of value in including furniture, televisions, the barbecue or the patio furniture might be in for a rude awakening. If it is really nice and in exceptional condition, then maybe. Furnishings from 10 years ago or outdoor furniture that is starting to look worn, corroded or rusted out have no value to a buyer. A seller who attempts to push their belongings onto a buyer with a counter offer risks being highly disappointed on a number of levels. What the seller thinks furniture items are worth and how a buyer sees it can be totally different. Leave furniture and other items out of the sale until after you’ve reached agreement on price. If a buyer really wants something, they will ask for it as part of the offer.

The word custom only means more to the current owner than another person. After all, one person’s tastes are not another. 

No one said real estate was fair. A seller may come down $25,000 in a negotiation and the buyer only comes up $10,000 and won’t budge any more than that. Should the buyer come up more? Perhaps, but the proverbial question is: What is the property worth in the eyes of the buyer or seller? This is where the disconnect comes in, and agreement cannot be reached. The reality about selling a home is that the market rarely thinks as highly of it as a seller does, no matter how nice or well-maintained it is.

Is the glass half-full versus half-empty. Even when a home appears to be well-priced, it is rare that any agent will actually state that in showing feedback in case their customer wants to make an offer. Understanding the data, pricing a property properly requires finesse, innate market knowledge that a comparable market analysis and the internet cannot provide sheer gut instinct like a seasoned agent can.

Posted in Selling Your Home
Dec. 23, 2019

Are bad photos costing you money?

Are bad photos costing you money?

Before the average buyer even considers visiting your property, they will look at your photos online. With so much competition in the real estate market, you cannot afford to lose money by just taking a few pictures with your iPhone. The gap in photo quality between the average smartphone and professional photographs is substantial. Below, you'll find what bad or even average real estate photos cost you.

Are You Settling for a Lower Selling Price?

Homes listed with professional looking photography sell faster and for thousands of dollars more, according to a studies. Real estate photos are tools, so your property will make the perfect first impression. The iPhone has a good camera on the market right now, but it is still very far from replacing a DSLR camera which offers a higher quality image with higher pixelation. This increased quality allows your property to look more vibrant. For example, walls often look grainy or discolored when photographed with a smartphone. Better equipment, combined with advanced techniques allow photos to capture the brightness of every wall and room.

Don’t Jeopardizing Your Homes Online Exposure!

Buyers will most likely find homes for sale online. This includes millennials, baby boomers, and buyers from all generations. The vast majority of people see your property online alongside dozens of other local options. Making a great first impression is more important than ever before. We use professional real estate photos and industry skills to ensure your online listing gets the most clicks possible. For example, a bad exterior photo, can cause many potential buyers to scroll past an otherwise quality listing. We will capture the perfect angle of your property's entrance. Also consider what time of day gives your property the best lighting.

Online listings are no longer an afterthought in real estate.

Traditional forms of advertising, such as open houses and yard signs, are not nearly as important as how your property looks online. A National Association of Realtors study found that only 46% of home buyers looked at yard signs. Only 53% attended an open house. No one can afford to have a website listing with below-average property photographs in today's real estate market.

Your Home Will Sit on the Market for Longer period of time.

A property with professional photography has a higher perceived value minimizing prolonged negotiation and accelerating the sales process. Professional pictures give buyers a greater appreciation for your property and help them come to that conclusion quicker. A website listing has to make each buyer's shortlist before you even have a chance to pitch the home to them in-person. Professional real estate photography gets you on that shortlist more frequently. It also increases the value each potential buyer sees in your property and helps them choose it with more confidence. Finding the right buyer and quickly closing the sale is too important to cut corners. In today's market, professional photos of your house is an essential part of any real estate marketing campaign.

Contact me for more ideas to sell your house faster.

Posted in Selling Your Home
Nov. 6, 2019

What should you Ask your Home Inspector?


Ask your Home Inspector?

Here are just a few things to get you started.

1. How old is the roof? How many years do I have left on it?

Your inspector can give you a good estimate of how old your roof is and how many years before it needs to be replaced. There may be some minor things you can do to it the prolong its life.

2. What kind of HVAC system do I have and What is the age of the system?

There are many different heating systems (Gas heat, Heat Pump, and Electric heat are just a few). If the AC system was changed out, did they change both the inside and outside? Many times older HVAC systems have had the outside system replaced, but not the inside coils and this can make the AC less efficient.

3. How old is the water heater?

Many water heaters can last for about 15 years. Don't take a chance and have a leak. Your inspector can tell by the manufacturer's label how old it is.

4. Where is the Main water shut off for the house. Where is the gas shut off (if you have gas)?

This is very important to know, because when there is a leak you need to act fast.

5. Are there any Structural concerns or problems?

Foundation, Supports, beams and so on. If there are any structural problems it could be very expensive. Always ask your inspector if there is an issue how bad is it? Sometimes it is minor and sometimes it can be major, so always ask.

6. Are there hurricane tie downs for the roof and or the walls?

If you have an older home in the south it may not have the proper protection for hurricanes. If you have questions ask aks the inspector.

Most insurance companies in the south will require at least a 4 point inspection to get a policy.

These are just a few of a long list of things you can ask the home inspector. If at all possible, go to your home inspection for at least the last hour to ask these question and any other questions you may have. This is one of the bigger investments you make in your lifetime so you will want to see how it is going and avoid any major expenses once you purchase your new home.

Posted in Buying a Home
Oct. 28, 2019

Why did my home not sell

While you shouldn't panic if your house did not sell the moment you list it, you should begin to worry if the months went by without any real offers. If this is the case, here are some reasons why homes don't sell.

1) You chose the wrong real estate agent. Choosing the right Real Estate agent is simply the most important decision you make in selling your home. A good REALTOR® makes all the difference in selling your home within a reasonable time. Choose one who will work with you and guide you as a partner in your sale.

2) Curb appeal can stop a buyer in their tracks. Make sure your yard is well kept during your sale. Yard cut, shrubs trimmed, fresh mulch, leaves raked and sidewalks clean. Keep kids toys put away and trash cans out of sight.

3) If your house was overpriced, it's simply not going to sell. Compare your property to similar properties that recently sold within your area in the last 6 months to get a better idea of its true value. Your real estate agent should have given you an accurate value of your home using comparable sales. Don't make the mistake of tacking on the cost of any renovations or special items you wanted. You can't just assume that the cost of a renovation translates to added value.

4) If your property listing included a poorly written description without any images, a lot of buyers are going to skip over it. Make sure you and your REALTOR® put an effort into creating a listing that attracts buyers. Make sure to add Professional looking photographs of both the interior and exterior of your home. Don't let your agent use his cell phone to take pictures, if they are a professional they will have a professional camera or have a photographer take them.

5) Let your agent handle your showings. Buyers don't want to have the seller lurking over their shoulder during showings. This puts pressure on the buyer, which will make them uncomfortable.

6) Don't leave a bad impression on buyers with a dirty house. Make sure you have it professional cleaned including your carpeting and windows before you begin showing your house.

7) Be willing to negotiate a little. If you refuse to negotiate even a penny off your price, then there's a good chance that you've become too attached to your home. Part of you doesn't want to sell it, or you think your house is the best house in the neighborhood, odds are you're going to have a lot of difficulties coming to an agreement with a buyer.

8) Stage your house whenever possible. If you've already moved out, then don't show an empty house. This makes it difficult for buyers to imagine living in it. Stage your house with furniture and decor to give buyers a better idea of how big every room looks and how it can be used. Make the buyer to feel at home when they are taking the tour.

9) Remove your personal décor. Buyers are going to feel uncomfortable touring your house if you keep all of your family photos up. Take down your personal items so that buyers can have an easier time imagining themselves living in the home.

10) You may think your home improvements are perfect, but buyers may not like the jungle look in your kids bedroom. If your home improvements are to personalized, it can scare off buyers.

11) Even if your home is clean, clutter can still be an issue. For example, maybe you simply have too much furniture in one of your rooms. This can make the house feel smaller than it is. Buyers are turned off by cluttered homes and will turn around as soon as they walk in the door or will offer you less for your home.

12) The more repairs that are needed, the less likely a buyer will want your house. Many buyers simply don't want to deal with the cost of doing repair work, even if it's just a small repair, such as replacing a wall cover. Ask about our Certified Home Program.

All these things can be fixed once you realize any mistake; however, the longer your property stays on the market, the less likely it will sell at listing price. One of the best ways to avoid making these common mistakes is by working with a professional real estate agent. Contact us for a free consultation.

Posted in Selling Your Home
Oct. 4, 2019

Where do you start when buying or selling a home?

In this age of technology there is so much information out there on the internet. Where do you start? Many people think they can just bypass an important step to a property purchase. Information from the internet is an important step in educating yourself, but it will not help you get the transaction smoothly closed.

Purchasing real-estate is one of the most important purchases you can make in your lifetime. Going at it alone is like diagnosing yourself instead of going to the expert like a doctor with many years of education. You would not perform surgery on yourself, so why would you purchase one of your most expensive financial assets of your life, a home, by yourself. Buying a home from an agent doesn’t cost you a thing and yet many people try to do it themselves.

They start by using sites like Z----w that will send you to the listing agent most of the time and they don’t have your best interest in mind. The listing agent is not going to give you a better deal because you go directly to them. They are just going to make more money off the transaction. They work for the seller and have the seller’s interest as their priority. You need your own agent to look out for your best interest. They are there for you, not the seller. When there are 2 agents, seller and buyer agents, everyone gets a fair deal.

When purchasing, a buyer’s agent will be loyal to you. They will help you through the transaction by making sure all the proper steps will be taken to get you to a closed transaction. When you sell your home, a selling agent will be loyal to you. They will help you through a sellers list of steps to get you to the closing table. When one agent is helping both sides, buy and sell, all they are doing is helping the transaction go through with both the buyer and the seller agreeing to the terms and getting the transaction closed.

When you are ready to buy or sell a property, we will help you through this important financial decision in your life. Contact us for a consultation with no obligation.

By Paul Pagano 

HomeGate Real Estate - Central Florida

July 31, 2017

Curious About Local Real Estate?

Receive the Latest Local Market Stats

Curious about local real estate? So are we! Every month we review trends in our real estate market and consider the number of homes on the market in each price tier, the amount of time particular homes have been listed for sale, specific neighborhood trends, the median price and square footage of each home sold and so much more. We’d love to invite you to do the same!

Get Local Market Reports Sent Directly to You

You can sign up here to receive your own market report, delivered as often as you like! It contains current information on pending, active and just sold properties so you can see actual homes in your neighborhood. You can review your area on a larger scale, as well, by refining your search to include properties across the city or county. As you notice price and size trends, please contact us for clarification or to have any questions answered.

We can definitely fill you in on details that are not listed on the report and help you determine the best home for you. If you are wondering if now is the time to sell, please CONTACT US. You’ll get an estimate on the value of your property in today’s market. Either way, we hope to hear from you soon as you get to know our neighborhoods and local real estate market better.