Dear Friends,

Welcome to our Miami Beach Real Estate Blog. We are always looking for input so if you have any questions or comments we would welcome them.  We strive to get only to give the best to our community.  Look forward to hearing from you soon.   


Take Care,

Jan. 16, 2020

How Miami Cash Buyers are Competing with Other Cash Buyers

How Miami Cash Buyers are Competing with Other Cash Buyers in an All Cash Offer Environment.

It's a jungle out there! The Miami real estate market is booming with new condos and homes popping up practically every week, AND they're getting snatched up too - rapidly - by all-cash offers. how to compete when all offers are cash

It can be extremely difficult for first-time buyers or those financing to compete with these cash offers but it can happen, and then there's the cash offer that needs to compete with another cash offer.

I believe in both cases, the same type of tactics and strategies can work but it takes skill, knowledge of the market and a great agent and team to get the job done.

Here's How.

BE PERSONAL.

If you're not personal, sellers see you as a number or just a name on an offer. They attach no emotion to the offer and therefore it gets forgotten about and dropped to the bottom of the list. 

Being personal means your agent working closely with the listing agent, talking to them about the sellers needs and wants. Asking why the seller is moving; if there are any time frames they need and if there is anything specific the buyer can do to incentivize the offer. Simply asking and being honest can work wonders. 

I recently talked with a listing agent on a condo my buyers were eyeing. Before even placing an offer I called the agent and spoke to them about the seller. I informed the agent that my buyers were very impressed with the property and if the sellers had done any of the work themselves. (I also knew beforehand that many upgrades were competed before the listing so this was a prompting of more information from the listing agent). I mentioned that the sellers had great taste and that the place would be perfect for my buyers, who made mention that they wouldn't change a thing.

I also asked about the seller's personal life, kids, family, job - without sounding too intrusive. Their lifestyle closely matched my buyers which appealed to the seller and listing agent even more. 

This is not a brown-nosing technique but an honest approach to be personal in the offer and the approach. I stated we would send an offer through with very little contingencies and an escalation clause offering a few thousand over the highest offer to a certain cap. Just mentioning this gave even more incentive for the listing agent to promote our offer over others that may not have mentioned anything about their buyer. 

COMMUNICATION.

Staying in communication is also key. You can't submit an offer and then drop off the planet. I've had some buyers that make an offer then go on vacation. Needless to say, those offers either fell apart or were hard to keep together when buyers can't be reached to sign documents. My buyers stayed close to the deal and I stayed on top of the listing agent to ensure our offer was being considered and if there were other offers on the table. 

Once it was accepted, I didn't slack on the communication. I assured the seller throughout the process that this was the deal to take by keeping to projected timelines and being prompt in responses. 

Simply being honest, personal and having good communication can get you light years ahead of the competition, even with multiple solid offers. 

Ready to get the home of your dreams? Call me today! Let's do this!

 

Contact Me

 

More Great Tips for Buyers:

Posted in Real Estate
Jan. 8, 2020

The Importance of Cleaning Closets Before Listing Your Home

When you are getting ready to list your home for sale, your realtor will tell you the first and most important thing you need to do is clean, declutter, and clean again. When you go home to do this you may be tempted to put most things in the closet to be tucked away out of sight, but this is actually the last thing you want to do because your closets will be looked at by potential buyers.

Buyers look into closets because they are interested in the amount of storage space a home has. A cluttered and overflowing closet communicates that the home is lacking in storage and the closets are not big enough to store items. Even if your closets are organized with rows and rows of the same sized boxes stacked neatly, if the closet is full it still communicates a lack of storage and can be a turn off to buyers. Storage space is an important feature to today’s home buyers.

How to Declutter Your ClosetsThe Importance of Cleaning Closets Before Listing Your Home

Start your decluttering efforts by gathering up all of your empty spare boxes or totes, garbage bags, a permanent marker, and some tape. Label your boxes with: keep, mend/fix, donate, sell, and toss/garbage.

First: Pull everything out of the closet, everything

Second: Sort everything that was housed in the closet into the boxes

Third: Now that the closet is completely empty utilize this time to deeply clean your closets. Dust from top to bottom (don’t forget ceiling corners and light fixtures), scrub the walls, vacuum the floor, and spot clean if you have carpet and need to.

If the carpet at the bottom of your closet is looking tired and dingy or has unsightly stains that you can’t seem to remove you will want to call in the help of a professional carpet cleaner to get the floors looking like new again. However, you may want to wait to call in this help until after the next couple of steps are accomplished.

Fourth: Once the closet is nice and clean the next step is to assess if the closet looks really dark inside, if it does or even if the walls are looking a little dingy like they need a freshen up, paint the inside of your closets with a fresh white or pale neutral color. This will do wonders for the look of the closet and also help it to seem just a little bit bigger.

Fifth: Take a look at the lighting, is there enough? Any? Making sure there is plenty of lighting to easily see inside the closet, it will add appeal to buyers.

Deciding What to Place Back in the Closet

If you plan to continue to live in your home while it is listed for sale it is unrealistic to expect you to keep all of the closets completely empty. Take this opportunity to pack up: out of season clothes, clothes that are for fancy occasions, and other items you can live without wearing until your home sells. Only put back in what you absolutely need.

When your home is so clean that even your closets look fresh and brand new, it will go a long way to communicate to buyers that the home is well taken care of and there is plenty of storage for them to put all of their stuff.

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Posted in Selling
Jan. 1, 2020

10 of the Best Home Selling Tips of the Year

Home Renovations Not Worth the Money

Whether you're looking to improve your home and enjoy it for years to come or you're getting it ready to sell, you don't want to make costly mistakes with remodels and renovations. Here are the 10 most costly renovation mistakes to avoid.

What if I Can't Fix a Fixer-Upper Before Selling?

If your home is lacking in the curb appeal department it is still possible to sell it. It may not be possible at this time for you to present your home in its best light and sell the home you want to sell so you will have to sell the home you have. Maybe you do not have the funds to fix up your home or are rushed into moving to your next destination. Whatever the reason for being unable to fix up your home it is still possible to sell it.

How Clean Should You Leave a Home When You Move Out?

When you sell and close your home and it is finally time to pull all of your life’s belongings out and move on, there is an unspoken expectation of how clean the house should be left. Many a home seller asks the question: how clean should it be left/how clean is clean enough/how clean is socially/morally/etiquette-ly acceptable?

8 Unique Ways to Market Your Home

The market is fluctuating in a lot of places around the United States and some are doing better than others. If your home is been on the market for some time it may be time to get creative. There are a lot of different ways to market your home and some are pretty on Orthodox but if you're stuck, try these eight unique ways to market your home.

4 Most Common Questions from Home Sellers

Most homeowners have tons of questions when it comes to selling your home and that's great! We should be asking a lot of questions and making informed decisions but these are probably the four most common questions homeowners have or at least, should have when it comes to selling 

5 Ways to Prepare Your Brickell Condo for a Sale in the New Year.

I understand that a lot of people are just not considering selling their property over the next couple of weeks. With Hanukkah, Christmas, and the new year looming before us, the last thing you want to worry about is staging and listing a home.

Ready to list? Get your home evaluation here

 

Posted in Selling
Dec. 19, 2019

5 Signs a Home is a Good Buy

Nobody wants to have buyers remorse especially after spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a house. We all want to feel like we've received a good deal and a goodbye how do you do that when buying a property? Are there signs ahead of time that could signal a red flag or are there signs that indicate you are getting a good deal? I've seen a lot of real estate deals and facilitated transactions over several decades and I can tell you these are five signs that your home is a good buy.

#1. It's exactly where you want to be.5 Signs a Home is a Good Buy

If you find a house that fits your price range in the exact location you are looking for. I can guarantee it's probably a good purchase. However, we still expect you to have a home inspection and appraisal to make sure that you're not overpaying for a money pit. But, if you are in the school zone or the neighborhood that you really desire, let's definitely work on getting the terms and the price right.

#2. The interior exceeds curb appeal.

Curb appeal definitely creates the first impression and if that first impression is negative many buyers will overlook the inside altogether. But, savvy buyers will know that the inside might be different so don't neglect to check out the interior of a home. Sellers and homeowners may have put a lot of extra money, time, and upgrades into the inside of the house rather than the curb appeal so don't disregard it just yet.

Related: How to Buy a Home After a Bankruptcy

#3. The right size.

If you're looking for a three-bedroom home and you find a three-bedroom home that fits your budget and is exactly where you want to be, that's a great sign that this is the house for you. You want to make sure that the property has enough bedrooms to suit your family and your needs. Do you need extra rooms for an office or for family members? If the home seems like the right size, a lot of other things can fall into place.

More: 7 Reasons to Buy a House with Cash

#4. Move-in ready.

Unless you are a real estate investor, you're probably looking for a move-in ready home. You don't want to have to do a lot to make the property feel like a home. If the budget in the neighborhood is correct, it has the right size and design as well as being move-in ready, it's a win-win all around.

#5. You can picture yourself in the house.

Even if the home is not perfect on the interior but you can totally picture you and your family living here and being comfortable in the space, this may be a great buy. It's in Porton to be able to envision how your personal belongings will look in the space. According to a recent article by US News, things as small as a cabinet color in a photo can change the way a person thinks about a house. So, if you feel like this is the property for you and you can picture yourself in the home with your own items, it's probably a good purchase.

More: Major Buys Mistakes to Avoid

I'd love to help you find the perfect Miami home or property throughout the Miami-Dade County area. I work from Miami Beach to Brickell and everywhere in between. Feel free to give me a call at any time at 786-443-9649.

MORE: Things to Know When Buying Florida Waterfront Property

Posted in Miami Real Estate
Dec. 9, 2019

Home Renovations Not Worth the Money

Home Renovations Not Worth the Money

Whether you're looking to improve your home and enjoy it for years to come or you're getting it ready to sell, you don't want to make costly mistakes with remodels and renovations. Here are the 10 most costly renovation mistakes to avoid.

#1. Changing your mind after the work has begun.

Changes in the middle of a job can be one of the most costly mistakes homeowners can make. Make your mind up on the design elements ahead of time.

#2. Being Unprepared for changes.

Be prepared for unexpected changes. Larger renovation projects will have more issues than smaller, but be prepared for changes to delivery dates, budgets, and surprise issues that may pop up once you start the renovation project.

#3. Not using a professional.

There are some things that you probably can do yourself even if you're not quite so handy but don't do any DIY projects when a professional is clearly needed. You can find out how to do almost anything on YouTube but that doesn't mean you should.

#4. Interview your contractors.

Going cheap or with the cash-only contractor might save you a buck or two but it may not be worth it if they do shoddy work or cut corners.

#5. Replacing when repairing was adequate.

You may not need to replace everything if things just need to be repaired. Nonworking toilets, rain gutters, shower tiles and hardware can usually be repaired rather than completely replaced unless you're going with a completely different look.

#6. Getting overwhelmed with a fixer-upper.

Fixer-uppers can be more trouble than they are worth. You might have thought you got a good deal but if you have to put tens of thousands of dollars into the property to make it livable, it may not have been worth it. If you are thinking about purchasing an older home, bring a contractor or inspector to closely look over the homes major components such as electrical, plumbing, and the structure. Take their advice otherwise, you could be in a world of hurt.

#7. Not getting the proper permits.

When it comes to major additions and renovations you'll probably need permits so that you and your contractor adheres to building codes. You don't want to be fined later on or realize you can't sell the house because you did something without a permit.

#8. Trying to do everything at once.

It might be nice to live in a torn-up house once and then be all done, but it can be expensive and it might not be realistic. If you prefer not to move out of your house for an extended period of time, complete the renovations one by one.

#9. Going to high-tech.

Millennial's and a lot of home buyers these days like high-tech homes that incorporate programmable thermostats, security systems, and cameras but, going to crazy with app-enabled lights might not be the best idea. Technology gets outdated quickly and it might not be worth it putting in hundreds or even thousands of dollars into something that will be replaced within a couple of years.

#10. Not thinking long term.

You want to boost the resell value of your home but you don't want to completely think about resale and get items or materials that you don't love. Find a good balance between projects and materials that will be good for the resell value and ones that you'll love as long as you live in the home.

 

Get your free cost analysis on your home today

 

Posted in Selling
Dec. 4, 2019

Investments and Changes to the Miami Real Estate Market

Investments and Changes to the Miami Real Estate Market

According to the Miami Herald, the Miami Association of Realtors will host "Financing Programs to Close More Contracts this Year". A class on Tuesday from 10:00 AM until 12:00 PM at 20803 Biscayne Blvd. The class will go over financing programs, no income and no asset loans and down payment assistance programs, as well as strategies to close real estate deals faster. Loan advisor Eddie Fernandez will lead the discussion. Members of the National Association Of Realtors are required to pay $15 when they reserve their spot in advance or $20 on sites. Nonmembers are also welcome for a ticket price of $30-$50 on-site.

The New York-based real estate firm Carmo Companies will be hosting the Latin America US Real Estate meeting at 2201 Collins Ave. in South Beach from 10:00 AM until 8:00 PM on Wednesday. This conference is designed to bring together institutional and private wealth investors actively investing in Latin America and the United States. The discussion will surround investment opportunities, the performance of real estate-related asset classes across the region and certain allocations. Speakers will include the Virgin Hotels Chief Development Officer Alii Hope and the tickets will cost $2000. This is the same company that founded the Virgin Group.

The Miami real estate market has actually cooled off in the last six months. Where leaning more toward a buyers market, with a home value index of about $338,000 on average. Home prices have only increased .8% over the past year and several economists will predict that will actually fall to -0.3% over the next year. What is this mean for investors? It's a great time to consider jumping in because as the ebb and flow of real estate go, chances are within the next five years it will definitely increase.

For more information on the Miami real estate market feel free to browse my website, check out the blog for more information or start your search for all Miami real estate here

Posted in Miami Real Estate
Nov. 22, 2019

What if I Cant Fix a Fixer Upper Before Selling?

If your home is lacking in the curb appeal department it is still possible to sell it. It may not be possible at this time for you to present your home in its best light and sell the home you want to sell so you will have to sell the home you have. Maybe you do not have the funds to fix up your home or are rushed into moving to your next destination. Whatever the reason for being unable to fix up your home it is still possible to sell it.What if I Cant Fix a Fixer Upper Before Selling?

 

Sell the home on the traditional market.

You can list your home on the traditional market even if it isn’t in the best condition. What you will need to do is make sure that when you list the home it is clearly stated the home will be sold in as-is condition. In most cases selling a home without fixing it up on the traditional market will take longer to sell then if you were to fix the home and have it show-ready. You will need to appeal to just the right buyer that is looking for a project home or one they would not mind putting some work and extra money into. It is wise to price your home accordingly to reflect the need for extra care and work on the part of the new homeowner. Usually, this means discounting the price of your home from fair market value.

Sell to a cash buyer

This is a great option for those homeowners who cannot fix up their homes and need to sell their homes quickly. A reputable cash home buyer will be able to give you an all-cash offer within a few hours to a few days. With a cash offer, you will not have to wait for a buyer’s lender approval. The close of your home will go much more quickly and be completely finished in weeks instead of in months like with a traditional sale. Make sure that you are working with a true cash homebuyer and not a fraudulent cash homebuyer. A respectable cash home buying agency will ask what the financial situation is of the home, ask to see the home, make an offer with proof of funds and no contingencies for repair. When you except the no-obligation offer of a cash home buyer you will be able to sell your home without repair in less time than a traditional sale would take.

If you feel you have a Brickell home that may be difficult to sell there are options. Give me a call anytime to discuss. I help homeowners sell their property all over the Miami area and can help you make the best decision for your situation.

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Posted in Selling
Nov. 4, 2019

Haunted House Over a Home Next to a Freeway?

So which would you prefer: a haunted house or house next to a busy freeway? Surprisingly, most Americans when asked this question preferred a potentially haunted house rather than one next to a busy road. According to a recent survey by a prominent real estate company that surveyed over 1000 Americans, the majority would pay more for a haunted home than one next to a busy freeway. Even deciding factors like living near a cemetery didn't matter nearly as much as the peace and quiet. Of course, it's almost ironic as living next to a cemetery would be much quieter than next to a busy road, but what about the house is really haunted?Haunted House Over a Home Next to a Freeway?

"Respondents with paranormal experiences were 13 times more likely to pay more for a home if it's haunted than those without." Nearly half of those who said that they would pay more are willing to pay up to 50% more. That might lead to a lot of competition for a house that might be considered "haunted". Did you know that there are even online communities for those that are buying and selling homes that are supposedly haunted? One house Hunter even said that they wanted a home with three bedrooms but with ghosts that aren't horribly invasive.

Many real estate agents are finding people looking for these types of homes specifically as they add to the home's charm and tell a story. In some places across the country, Miami being one of them, our home prices are often scary enough but it still doesn't stop competition from those really looking for this type of property rather than one next to a busy freeway or under power lines.

The study also showed a difference in demographics. 24% of millennial's were willing to buy a haunted house where only 2% to baby boomers were willing to do so. This could be because haunted homes are typically less expensive, but with the competition, that may not be the case anymore. Interestingly enough, Missouri looks like it's going to be one of the biggest fights as one-third of Missourians were willing to buy a home where someone was murdered or died of natural causes, while half or more likely to buy a home near a cemetery. I'm thinking one would be a lot quieter than the other, for sure.

  • Florida law does require certain disclosures on their seller's disclosure form including a statement that says "seller knows of no fax materially affecting the value of real property which are not readily observable and which have not been disclosed to the buyer." This means that a seller should disclose any and all facts or conditions that may have a substantial impact on the value but, Florida has no such requirement. You are not obligated to reveal whether or not you think the home is haunted. After all, it could be a matter of opinion. Florida law also states that the seller has no obligation to disclose homicides, suicides, or deaths that occurred on the property.

So how is a buyer supposed to find one of these homes?

Honestly, one of the best ways is to throw it out there. A good buyers agent will track down the best home regardless of whether or not it's easily found online or if the information is readily disclosed.

Of course, not many of us like to live next to a busy freeway but, there are those that are specifically looking for a home with just a bit of paranormal activity.

 

Want a Paranormal Home?

 

Maybe a NON-Haunted One? 

Posted in Miami Real Estate
Oct. 30, 2019

What's the Difference Between Pre-Approval and Pre-Qualification?

The terms pre-approval and pre-qualification might be interchangeable but to a lender there quite different. You might think your pre-qualified to maintain a monthly housing payment when in fact you're not really pre-approved through a lender. Let me try to explain.What's the Difference Between Pre-Approval and Pre-Qualification?

Pre-qualification is simply some basic numbers either over the phone or on a pre-qualification calculator you have found online. You put it how much you make or you tell the person over the phone how much you make on an annual basis and approximately how much debt you have. Couple this with the interest rate and any property tax and insurance should give you a monthly mortgage payment that will fit your budget. However, this is quite different from an actual pre-approval. Pre-approval means a lender or mortgage advisor will run your credit, go through all your debts, income, assets, and liabilities to determine how big of a risk you are by taking on a mortgage payment. Lenders don't want to loan money on borrowers they feel are high risk. For instance, if you have over 50% of your income going towards debt, they are hesitant about you incurring any more debt. If you make $60,000 a year and half of your income is going towards two new loans, medical bills, and credit cards, taking on a mortgage may not be the best financial decision for you now. If you make $250,000 a year and you have less than 20% of your income going toward debts, you are a much lower risk applicant and therefore can afford a higher-priced home.

Before you buy a house, lenders and buyers need to know how you'll pay for it. Did you know that nearly 90% of homebuyers finance the purchase of a home loan? So, lenders need to know how you can afford to make your mortgage payment and this means getting information from your bank, credit union, employer, pay stubs, creditors and the like to find out exactly how much you owe every month and how much you can afford in a monthly mortgage payment.

Simple pre-qualification means that you are conditionally approved to buy a home up to a certain price based on basic information. Pre-approval means we've done the research and we know for sure that if nothing changes between the time you make an offer and the time the transaction closes we can 99% guarantee that you can afford this home. Of course, this is in a 100% guarantee. Things can change throughout the transaction so if you lose your job, make any large purchases, rack up extra-debt, or make major financial changes, it can really affect your chances of getting the home loan, pre-approval, and the home itself.

Pre-qualification typically doesn't require the documentation and proof of funds needed as pre-approval does. Pre-qualification is really the first step to find out how much home you think you can afford. Pre-approval proves this assumption. The differences between pre-approval and pre-qualification are really a matter of reporting financial information versus providing documentation for it. And in this case, once you are pre-approved, your lender will issue a letter of pre-approval. This comes in very handy when making an offer on a home. You can show sellers that you are serious about buying because you've done your financial homework, not just filled out a few boxes on an online calculator.

 

Is it okay to shop around for a home loan?

Of course! Just like your shopping for the right home, shopping for the right mortgage can mean the difference of several thousands of dollars. You want to make sure you get the right loan, terms, and service that you need whether it's a conventional loan with a 20% down payment or a USDA loan with zero down and very low closing costs. You have to find what works for you and tell lenders that you are shopping around because they're more likely to offer competitive rates.

 

Have more questions? Get pre-approved today with one of our trusted lenders throughout the Miami area

 

Contact Me Today

 

MORE FINANCIAL TIPS TO HELP GET YOU STARTED:

Posted in Miami Real Estate
Oct. 14, 2019

How Clean Should You Leave a Home When You Move Out?

How Clean Should You Leave a Home When You Move Out?

When you sell and close your home and it is finally time to pull all of your life’s belongings out and move on, there is an unspoken expectation of how clean the house should be left. Many a home seller asks the question: how clean should it be left/how clean is clean enough/how clean is socially/morally/etiquette-ly acceptable?

Most real estate home purchase contracts will include a clause that states the home must at least be what is called broom clean. Generally, this means that the seller needs to leave all walls and the ceilings bare along with sweeping up after everything is removed from the home. Even this terminology is vague and leaves very much room for interpretation. Some states, California for example, leave out the expected condition of the home at turnover except to say it needs to be in the same physical condition as when the offer was made and accepted and all belongings and debris should be removed at move out.

The best way to determine what is best for the particular sell of your home, is to consult the actual purchase contract. Look for anything that would state the extent of expected cleanliness the home should be left in. If you are unsure if your purchase contract says anything about cleaning at move out it is a good idea to ask your real estate agent.

What do you do if there is nothing stated about expected cleaning?

If the wording is very vague or there just doesn’t seem to be anything at all in the purchase contract about expected cleaning of the home it is a great time to ask yourself, “What would I expect or hope for if I was the buyer?”

The best rule of thumb is to simply leave the home in the condition you would hope to receive it in yourself. How would you like to be greeted when you walked in the door to your brand new home? What would you expect to walk into when you first open the front door? Just because the deal on the home purchase has already gone through does not mean you won’t burn a bridge that could have been useful In the future if you leave the home in poor condition.

Tip: Moving is long and tiring work, especially if you have a large home full of belongings or a large family to move. You will want to start right away on the packing process as soon as the purchase is made so that you can then move on to the cleaning process and ultimately the enjoying your next home process. After packing and moving all of your things out of the home you will be pretty tired so hiring a professional to come in and clean after all of your things are out is a great way to take care of the cleaning if you can afford to.

 

More Tips and Tricks

5 Security Tips to Protect Your Home and Family

Amazing Cleaning Routines for Night Owls and Early Birds

Selling a House During a Divorce

Benefits of Selling a Home in the Fall

4 Most Common Questions for Home Sellers

Posted in Selling