CapturerealestateanalysisPart 2 of the Selling Your Home Series is about choosing an agent.  So, you read last week’s post Part 1 and decided that now is the right time for you to sell your Orlando home.  Great news!  Now what?

Well your first step is to hire the right agent for the job.   If you are selling a home in Downtown Orlando, College Park, or Winter Park scroll to the bottom and fill out our form.  You found the right agent!

If you’re unsure of who might be the right agent for the job, look for signs in your neighborhood.  Is there any one agent that seems to dominate the area?  If you look at recent sales online in your area, is there one agent that has a large number of them?  That could lead you to someone who is highly knowledgeable about the area.  Knowledge and sales history doesn’t necessarily make that agent the best agent for you personally.  Get to know them and their business a little better by asking the questions below.  If you’re still torn visit next week for deciding between two agents that tell you different prices for your home!

10 Questions to Ask Your Realtor about Selling a House

1.  Are you a full-time professional real estate agent? How long have you worked full time in real estate? What professional designations do you have?

    • As with any profession, the number of years a person has been in the business does not necessarily reflect the level of service you can expect, but it is a good starting point for your discussion. The same issue can apply to professional designations. 

2.  Do you have a personal assistant, team or staff to handle different parts of the purchase? How will we communicate with you/them?

    • It is not uncommon for agents who are successful to have assistants or other team members.  You may want to know who on the team will take part in your transaction, and what role each person will play. If you have a question about fees on your closing statement, who would handle that? Who will show up to your closing?

3.  Who responds to emails and how quickly?

    • Again this establishes how you will communicate with your agent and how quickly you should expect a response from them.  A good agent should be able to respond to you by the end of the business day. 

4.  How will you keep in contact with me during the selling process, and how often?

    • It is important to understand how exactly you will be notified of activities/marketing/showings/etc.  We have a communication commitment that outlines exactly how we will communicate with our sellers.

5.  What is your average market time versus other agents’ average market time?

    • The time it takes to sell homes can indicate how well an agent is marketing – however keep in mind – some sellers choose a list price higher than the agent recommended and that can add length to the sales process.

6.  Will you give me names of past clients?

7.  What is your average list to sales price ratio? 

    • This number tells you how close to asking price the agent obtained for their sellers.  Our list to sales price ratio was a little over 100% in 2012 and 2013.  The average in Orlando is about 96%.

8.  How will you get paid? What other costs might we incur?

    • In Florida the seller pays the entire sales commissions. Sometimes, brokerage offices will have other small fees, such as administrative or special service fees, that are charged to clients, regardless of whether they are buying or selling. Ask for an estimate of costs from any agent you contemplate employing.

9.  How would you develop pricing strategies for our home? 

    • Although location and condition affect the selling process, price is the primary factor in determining if a home sells quickly, or at all.  Ask your agent how they created the market analysis, and whether your agent included For Sale by Owner homes, foreclosed homes and bank-owned sales in that list.

10.  What will you do to sell my home? Who determines where and when my home is marketed/ promoted? Who pays for your advertising? 

    • Your agent should have a marketing plan.  If they do not – then they do not have a clear picture of how/who to market your home.  We have a Custom Marketing plan for each listing in which we target the most likely buyer for your property and gear the external marketing around this profile.

Get Started selling today with our team! Call 407-494-2820 or complete the form below.

front, postcard, McRae Spring 2014Don’t miss out on one of Winter Park’s hidden art gems. The McRae Studios house some of Orlando’s finest talent in the visual arts. Tucked away in a warehouse by the railroad tracks, the studio has 22 different artists working in a variety of medium.

McRae will be having an open studio tour on Saturday, March 29th from 6-9pm. This is a great chance to  check out the artists studios, and see new work as well works in progress. We went to the last open house in December and it’s truly a great time. The event is free and artists are available for questions and conversations (there’s also refreshments!)

We finally got to check out The Soda Fountain in beautiful College Park! The new shop with the old-timey feel has a lot of menu items including ice cream, milk shakes, sundaes, ice cream floats and craft sodas.  Stop in and make it a family affair by sharing “The Zoo” -  5 scoops of ice cream, whipped cream, hot fudge, caramel and peanut butter sauces, chopped peaunts, and lots of cherries.

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Spring and Summer are always very busy months for the real estate industry in Orlando and across the country.  It is the perfect time of year for people to make a move when they have time off for vacation or school.  As we head into the busy season, I want to give you some tips for selling a home in Orlando.  Even if you are not planning to sell this year, these tips always ring true.

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Part 1 of the Selling Your Home Series is learning when the time is right to sell.  There is no magic time to sell your home.  Some would argue that Spring and Summer are the best because there are lots of buyers in the market; while others would argue Fall or Winter are excellent times to sell because there is less competition from other sellers.  The most important thing to think about is Why do you Need or Want to Sell?

The market has improved quite a bit in 2013 (almost 19% in the Orlando area from Feb. 2013 to Feb. 2014) and certainly is on the way back up from the low point in 2009.  However, just because the market is turning doesn’t mean it is the right time for You.   There are many opportunities for sellers in this market, but be sure you really need to sell before you spin your wheels.  If you just want to test the market that is going to be a large waste of your time and energy.  Selling your home (when done properly and actually getting is sold) is not an easy task.  As your biggest investment, it should not be taken lightly when the time comes to sell.  Be serious and prepare for the sale or don’t list the home at all.

Good Reasons to Sell:

Relocating for Work

  • If you are relocating for work and do not have any ties to the area, then it probably is a good idea to just sell and move on to the next place.  You could possibly rent but that might not make sense if you have no intentions of being in the area again in the future.

Need a Larger Home or Prefer to Downsize

  • If you are considering selling to buy something larger – well that is a good plan at the moment!  The market has improved and is headed up, so if you’re buying a larger home that will be more expensive then it makes sense to sell and buy up now.  The larger homes will get pricier as the year goes on along with interest rates.  Get your current home sold now and buy a new place while the market and rates are still affordable.

Bad Reasons for Selling

You have heard the market has improved and want to get out while you can.

  • To this I say, consider what the alternatives are.  Rental prices are very high right now as well.  If you are considering selling in order to rent – that probably doesn’t make sense.  It is still cheaper to buy in a lot of cases, so as long as your mortgage payment is less than the rental price you would pay for a similar home – it might not make sense to sell.  Check out this buy versus rent calculator to see if it makes sense to buy after you sell.

Relocating and You are Under Water.

  • The rules for short sales have drastically changed.  There has to be a legitimate distress in your life to qualify for a short sale.  If you are under water and need to move for work, consider leasing your property until you have the proper equity.  If you can rent the property and cover your expenses or make some money then that is the obvious choice for now.  Revisit selling in another year or so.  If the market continues to increase, you could gain another 4-5% in equity which could put you into a selling position.

All in all it is a very personal decision and being that it is most likely your largest investment, consider all the facts and alternatives before you list.  Learn what the market value is (not through an online estimate!), discuss with your financial planner, and talk about tax implications with your CPA.  The first step is learning the true price you can expect to earn for your home, contact us today to find out and get started on your search for a new home!

imgresIt’s that time of year when we celebrate the Irish! Orlando has a lot going on all weekend, so put on some green and take your pick!  And if you’re in the market for a home stop by our open house near Downtown Orlando…before you head out for some fun!

Wall St. Plaza St. Patrick’s Day Block Parties – Starts Saturday March 15th at 5pm

Yes you read that correctly, Wall St. will have a party on Saturday, Sunday AND Monday. Everything kicks off Saturday at 5pm with the “St. Practice Day” block party, wake up and do it again with a Sunday Funday at 3pm, or wait until Monday where the party starts at noon! There will be live music and green drinks, so get your party pants ready!

Fiddler’s Green - Saturday, Sunday & Monday

This place doesn’t mess around! Celebrate in Winter Park all weekend from Saturday March 15th  -  Monday March 17th. Entertainment includes Irish Dancers, Bagpipers and all kinds of live music. You can also get your nom’ on with some of that delicious irish fare that Fiddler’s Green is known for.

Otown 6th Annual St. Patrick’s Sunday Funday Scoot – Sunday March 16 at 1pm

Kick of your Sunday with some food on Don Jefe’s then scoot on over to Finn Henry’s, Saddle Up and Lizzie McCormick’s. The scoot is $10 and includes a complimentery drink at each location. If you’re feeling extra festive, you can also purchase a green “Otown Happy Hour” shirt for $10.

HOPE’s Sham Rock n’ Run - Saturday March 15th at 7am

This family friendly event is a charitable fun run and race that will provide much-needed additional funds for HOPE’s programs and services. HOPE’s mission is to prevent and reduce homelessness in Central Florida and Orlando by equipping individuals and families to become self sufficient through Housing, Outreach, Prevention, and Education. Get fun with this one! Dress up and paint your face green.

What are your weekend plans?

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Like art? Like yoga?  Orlando Museum of Art will start holding three different classes in the art galleries throughout the museum. Admission will be $10 and will include the yoga class PLUS full museum access, pretty cool deal! The first classes will be held on March 20th at 7pm. For more info contact rross@omart.org or call 407.896.4231 ext. 239.

*Image from Orlando Museum of Art

The Great Orlando Mixer Party Tickets Giveaway Free 2014

Channel your inner Gatsby this weekend at The Great Orlando Mixer! Craft cocktails are all the rage and the best bartenders in town will be serving them up. You’ll also get your nom’ on with hors d’ oeuvres and jive along to live entertainment. The event will take place in the vintage-esqu Cheyenne Saloon at the historic Church Street Station.

Need some outfit inspiration? Check out the photos from last year’s event.
Tickets are $30 pre-sale (and going fast!)

*Image from The Orlandoan

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