Thursday, February 18, 2010

4 Great Reasons to Buy FL Real Estate NOW!

Buyers, this is YOUR market! Take advantage of it by considering some of the reasons why it is a great time to by real estate
1. Property Values are VERY Reasonable!
In Manatee and Sarasota Counties, home prices are more than 20% lower than 12 months ago! There are no guarantees when values will rise again so act now to find an amazing deal.
2. YOU have Bargaining Power.
With so much inventory on the market, many sellers are making additional concessions in order to close the deal, like paying closing costs, sometimes offering owner financing or lowering the price for updates or repairs.
3. Mortgage Rates are LOW!
Historically low rates, Need I say more?
4. TAX Credit
You may be eligible for a tax credit whether you are a first time home-buyer or a repeat buyer, but you must act fast! Eligibility ends April 30th, 2010

To search listings, please visit

Friday, January 15, 2010

10 Tips on Selling Your Home

After hiring a real estate agent and deciding to put your home on the market, here is how to turn your house into an irresistible and marketable home. With so many properties on the market today, you want yours to stand out! Preparation is the key to selling your home fast and for top dollar.

1. Disassociate yourself with your home.
  • Make the mental decision to "let go" of your emotions and focus on the fact that soon this house will no longer be yours.
  • Don't look backwards -- look toward the future!
2. Depersonalize
  • Pack up those personal photographs and family heirlooms. You don't want buyers to be distracted. You don't want to make any buyer ask, "I wonder what kind of people live in this home?" You want buyers to say, "I can see myself living here.
3. Get Rid of the Clutter!
  • People collect an amazing quantity of junk. General Rule: if you haven't used it in over a year, you most likely do not need it. If you don't need it, why not donate it or throw it away?
  • Pack up knickknacks.
  • Clean off everything on kitchen counters.
  • Put essential items used daily in a small box that can be stored in a closet when not in use.
  • Think of this process as a head-start on the packing you will eventually need to do anyway.
4. Organize Closets and Cabinets
  • Buyers will open closet and cabinet doors. Imagine what a buyer believes about you if she sees everything organized. It says you probably take good care of the rest of the house as well.
5. Rent a Storage Unit
  • Almost every home shows better with less furniture. Remove pieces of furniture that block or hamper paths and walkways and put them in storage. Remove extra leaves from your dining room table to make the room appear larger. Leave just enough furniture in each room to showcase the room's purpose and plenty of room to move around.
6. Remove and/or Replace Favorite Items that you Intend to Keep
  • If you want to take window coverings, built-in appliances or fixtures with you, remove them now. If the chandelier in the dining room once belonged to your great grandmother, take it down. If a buyer never sees it, she won't want it. Once you tell a buyer she can't have an item, she will covet it, and it could blow your deal. Pack those items and replace them, if necessary.
7. Make Minor Repairs
  • Replace cracked floor or counter tiles.
  • Patch holes in walls. Fix leaky faucets.
  • Fix doors that don't close properly and kitchen drawers that jam.
  • Consider painting your walls neutral colors, especially if you have grown accustomed to bright colored walls.
  • Replace burned-out light bulbs.
8. Clean!
  • Wash windows inside and out.
  • Rent a pressure washer and spray down sidewalks and exterior.
  • Clean out cobwebs.
  • Re-caulk tubs, showers and sinks.
  • Polish chrome faucets and mirrors.
  • Clean out the refrigerator.
  • Vacuum daily.
  • Wax floors.
  • Dust furniture, ceiling fan blades and light fixtures.
  • Bleach dingy grout.
  • Replace worn rugs.
  • Hang up fresh towels. Bathroom towels look great fastened with ribbon and bows!
  • Clean and air out any musty smelling areas. Odors are a no-no.
9. Scrutinize your Home as if you were a Buyer
  • Go outside and open your front door. Stand there. Do you want to go inside? Does the house welcome you?
  • Linger in the doorway of every single room and imagine how your house will look to a buyer.
  • Examine carefully how furniture is arranged and move pieces around until it makes sense.
  • Make sure window coverings hang level.
  • Tune in to the room's statement and its emotional pull. Does it have impact?
  • If it looks like nobody lives in the house, you are almost finished.
10. Look at your Curb Appeal
  • Keep the sidewalks clear.
  • Mow the lawn.
  • Paint faded window trim.
  • Plant yellow flowers or group flower pots together. Yellow evokes a buying emotion. Marigolds are inexpensive.
  • Trim your bushes.
  • Make sure visitors can clearly read your house number.
To search listings, visit

Friday, January 1, 2010

Tips on Buying a Foreclosed Property

Buying a foreclosed home could be a good idea for someone looking for a bargain, here are a few things to think about before making the decision.

Hire an Agent

Consider hiring a real estate agent with experience in foreclosed properties so that they will be able to better assist you in the process. If you work with an agent, make sure they know your priorities. Make sure to ask any potential agents if they have experience with foreclosure sales.


Make a checklist of what is important to you in a home and then prioritize them so that you are able to stay focused while searching for your new home or investment.

Keep Focused

Once you begin looking at properties, make detailed notes and compare them to your checklist to determine if each home is the right fit for you. This will help you to make your final decision by weeding out properties that do not have the qualities that you are looking for.

Do Your Research

Once you have made a decision and found the property that you would like to buy, you need to find out as much as you can about it and the circumstances that contributed to its' foreclosed status. The primary sources for this information are county assessors and recorders offices, title companies, your real estate agent and the owner.

To determine whether a foreclosed house is a good buy or investment, your agent should research sales comparables, property history, and title status that may affect the value of the property. Before you close the deal on any property, it is recommended that you do a complete title search through a title company.

Factor in the Cost of Repair

Depending how long a property has been vacant and whether the last owner maintained it well or not, a foreclosed home may have a lot of fixing up to be done. In addition to inspecting the property yourself, it is important to have the property professionally inspected. Banks generally require a home inspection when lending money for a mortgage anyway. Estimate the cost of repair to determine whether the property is still the right one for you.

To search foreclosed properties in any area, please visit