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Our Guarantee for a Successful Open House

Category : Fun , Need to Know , Sales

Our Guarantee for a Successful Open House

Thinking of having an open house to get more prospective buyers to notice your property? Think you have it all figured out? Maybe, but just in case, read on.

It’s common knowledge that a house that smells like cookies is a sure fire way to attract interested buyers and set your house apart from the normal smelling house a few streets over having their own open house. Of course, people being able to locate and find your Open House is a given.

I’m here to tell you folks, the days of lighting a Yankee candle that smells like baked cookies and just waiting for the people to show up one after the other are over. It just doesn’t happen like that.

Top 10 ways to have a successful open house

There should be a considerable deal of planning and coordinating to your open house.

I realize that there are many real estate agents these days who don’t believe that open houses are an effective means to marketing and selling your home. I am not going to debate and engage that ideology for the simple fact that having an open house to market and sell your house is a proven and effective means to do just that. I have experienced this first hand on numerous occasions and I am telling you, it makes a big difference between your home and the numerous homes like yours that aren’t having an open house. Year after year, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows in their annual report, Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, that those who are looking to buy a home are finding theirs homes 10-15% of the time through open house events. While that 10-15% isn’t necessarily a staggering amount, it is a significant amount of buyers. Keep in mind, this is only one tool a good real estate professional will use to market and sell your home for you in as quick a time frame as possible.

Before you have an open house, be sure to discuss some of these ideas with your real estate agent.

Market the Open House Event

Yes, this is an event. This isn’t simply a day to unlock the doors to your house, have your real estate agent sit on the sofa with a book and wait for people to stroll by to see what it looks like on the inside.

People have to know about your open house event in order to get a substantial amount of traffic to walk through your front door. Everyone knows, real estate is based on numbers and marketing. If you get a piece of property in front of enough people, someone is going to be interested enough to pay a price you are happy with.

Other than the traditional method of putting out Open House signs in the area, balloons on the mailbox and front of the house there are a few other methods we use to make it more of an event to maximize your houses exposure.

Work with other agents

Talk with other listing agents who are helping owners sell their house in the neighborhood and make it a neighborhood event. It’s all about the traffic. If there are multiple houses in the neighborhood that will participate, make it even more fun and interesting by making a game of it with punch cards and door prizes.

Community Events

Coordinate your open house at the same time as a local community event. This could generate more foot traffic to your home. This works great during community or neighborhood garage sales, grand opening of businesses or local sporting events.

Old School Marketing

There is no shame in using some old school marketing techniques. Door hangers is still an effective method for getting people to hear and spread the word about your open house. People who love where they live, want other people to know about it. Especially people who want their friends to move to their neighborhood and live close by them.

Internet Marketing

Internet marketing is a potentially powerful tool. We have been experts in internet marketing for the past 25 years. If you have someone who knows their way around the internet and knows how to effectively market your property through the internet, there are no other methods more powerful.

Posting your property on Zillow, social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube are all free and effective methods for getting potentially thousands of eyes on your property and then those thousands of people could potentially “share” your listing with thousands of other people. You beginning to see the potential here?

Think Outside the Box!

Just because everyone has an open house on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, doesn’t mean you have to. In fact, I encourage you to switch it up a bit! Try having an open house in the evening hours, to showcase the sunsets, tiki lamps around the pool. Try having one on a Monday night during Monday Night Football and stage it as a tailgate party to get couples more involved. Thinking outside of the box is one way to separate you from the hundreds of other people all doing the same thing as one another.

Open House Themed Tailgating

Educate Your Sellers

Communication is the key to any relationship, whether it is a personal or a professional one. As a seller’s agent, we believe that setting the proper expectations up front creates the best experience for everyone involved. Be sure to explain clearly to your client that an open house is not a guaranty of a sell, especially on the day of the event. Make them aware of the possible dangers of inviting strangers into their home, by making sure any loose valuables are secured safely. Many times, during an open house event, a real estate agent may pick up a buyer for a different piece of property based on the needs and wants of that buyer. By setting realistic and clear expectations of an open house event, everyone should walk away feeling like winners.

Nosey Neighbors are the Best

Successful Open House for Real Estate

You’re sitting there at your open house, and the only foot traffic you are getting so far are all of the nosey neighbors coming by to look at the house and the updates they have been wondering about for months now. Some may see that as an annoyance and frustration, but you can use this to your advantage and turn it into a positive. All of those nosey neighbors can actually help you sell that house. When they go back home and run into their friends and talk on the phone, they will;l be talking about how great the “Johnson’s” old home looks that is now for sale. They will be telling their friends and possibly even family members how they could buy the home and live close enough to hang out during the day and walk the dogs in the evenings together.

You may even consider having a neighbors only preview and start the Open House an hour early by passing out a few flyers to the surrounding neighbors as an invitation only.

Keep the Valuables Safe and Away

Unfortunately, not everyone who comes to an open house is there to see the house for sale, but to actually “case” the house for a potential burglary mark. Educate your seller about the importance and need to tuck and secure any valuables away that could easily “walk off”. This of course would include, but not limited to jewelry, small family heirlooms, prescription drugs and of course, money.

Keep valuables safe during an Open House

Get Those Digits and Email!

Sign in sheets may be good in a pinch, but how many times has a Real Estate Professional looked over their sign in sheet to see that some very famous people and cartoon characters were there at the Open House. Sadly enough, some people just don’t want to share their information and of course some do it just to be silly.

Try being more creative with a door prize that will be giving away a day or two after the Open House or using an app to have the potential clients sign in and register with upon arrival.

Getting the visitors sign in information could turn them into a future client even if they do not feel a connection with the home you are currently showing.

Plan Ahead and Be Safe

Sitting at an Open House alone is not necessarily a bad thing nor is it unsafe. That being said, it may be a good idea to have someone join you for your Open House just to be there with you. Safety is always better in numbers. If you really want to be creative, bring along one of your favorite Lenders to join you in the event you so your potential customers can talk with and ask questions about their financing needs and situation.

This is your Open House and it could very well be the 2-3 hours you need to sale that house. Treat it as though it is going to happen and market it like it is the best house in the neighborhood.

Brevard County Realty

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Norris Real Estate Brevard County

Be Smart About Financing Your Mortgage

As the events of the last few years in the real estate industry show, people forget about the tremendous financial responsibility of purchasing a home at their peril. Here are a few tips for dealing with the dollar signs so that you can take down that “for sale” sign on your new home.

Get pre-approved. Sub-primes may be history, but you’ll probably still be shown homes you can’t actually afford. By getting pre-approved as a buyer, you can save yourself the grief of looking at houses you can’t afford. You can also put yourself in a better position to make a serious offer when you do find the right house. Unlike pre-qualification, which is based on a cursory review of your finances, pre-approval from a lender is based on your actual income, debt and credit history. By doing a thorough analysis of your actual spending power, you’ll be less likely to get in over your head.

Choose your mortgage carefully. Used to be the emphasis when it came to mortgages was on paying them off as soon as possible. Today, the debt the average person will accumulate due to credit cards, student loans, etc. means it’s better to opt for the 30-year mortgage instead of the 15-year. This way, you have a lower monthly payment, with the option of paying an additional principal when money is good. Additionally, when picking a mortgage, you usually have the option of paying additional points (a portion of the interest that you pay at closing) in exchange for a lower interest rate. If you plan to stay in the house for a long time—and given the current real estate market, you should—taking the points will save you money.

Do your homework before bidding. Before you make an offer on a home, do some research on the sales trends of similar homes in the neighborhood with sites like Zillow. Consider especially sales of similar homes in the last three months. For instance, if homes have recently sold for 5 percent less than the asking price, your opening bid should probably be about 8 to 10 percent lower than what the seller is asking.


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norris real estate brevard county

How To Negotiate Multiple Offers

Category : Need to Know , Sales

As a Realtor, working with both Buyers and Sellers in the rebounding Real Estate market can be challenging at times. Selling your home or buying a property can be one of the most important decisions and transactions in your life. As a licensed Real Estate Agent, I take my responsibilities very seriously by studying negotiation strategies that will put my Buyers or Sellers in the best possible situation to complete a transaction on a deal.

space coast real estate tips and strategies

I have outlined 12 Simple Tips for handling multiple offers at once.

1. Contingencies Should Be Your Last Option
Do not automatically go to or consider a contingency. Only consider a contingency offer for the sale or lease of your property unless it is absolutely necessary. A financing contingency may be a prudent idea when you have another piece of property to sell.

2. Go In Strong!
When you find a home or piece of property that you really want, you have to be assertive and go in strong sometimes. If a property is receiving multiple offers, go in strong with your best offer! It is your objective to get that house and close on that transaction! Going in strong and to the point with your best offer, lets the person on the other end of the transaction know you are serious and if it is a strong enough offer, they will accept it. They too want to get this transaction to the closing table as quickly as possible!

3. Understand, There Will Likely Be A Counter-Offer
Be aware, that even going in with a strong offer on a property, if the seller’s agent is doing their due diligence, almost all offers will include a counter-offer. Knowing this ahead of time should save you any surprises and frustrations with a strong first offer.

4. Find Out Where the Seller Is and What They Really Want
Knowing the situation of the seller and what they are genuinely after in regards to an offer can save you and the seller a lot of time and head aches with offers and counter-offers. Sometimes this information is easily obtained, even through the seller’s agent.

5. Show Your Buyer’s Funds Credentials
If you want to make a solid impression with your offer, send in a verification of funds letter with a cash offer. If financing, send in a strong pre-approval letter or an underwriting approval letter which carries a good bit more weight than just a pre-approval letter.

6. Make a Strong Impression with Earnest Money
Let the seller know how serious you are about purchasing the property by putting down a considerable amount of earnest money along with an underwriting or pre-approved financing letter. By putting up $10,000 or more for earnest money where others are putting up $5,000 or less will certainly set you apart from the rest of the multiple offers being considered. All of that earnest money goes towards your down payment, so if you have the cash to put up, always put your best foot forward and set yourself apart from the rest.

7. Don’t Ask For Part of Your Closing Costs To Be Paid By the Seller
In a hot market with multiple offers, the sweeter you make it for the seller, the better chances your offer is going to be the one accepted. The seller is going to be looking at his bottom line just like you are. The more money in the sellers pocket at the end of the transaction, the better your chances are of getting your dream home! Do not ever let closing costs be the reason you lost your perfect home to another buyer!

8. Don’t Ask For Everything!
One of the surest ways of losing out on a contract with that perfect home you have been looking for is by getting greedy when it comes to the contract. Unnecessary things like personal property requests (flat screen televisions, refrigerators, washer and dryers and furniture in general) termite bonds, home warranties, etc…, will kill a contract before it even gets started. The more simple and attractive to the seller, the more likely your offer will be the one accepted over the other complicated offers.

9. Give the Sellers a Chance to Move
By allowing the seller a few extra days after the closing to pack up and move is a good way to show the seller you are going to be someone easy to work through the closing process. As anxious as you are to get into your new house, give the previous owners a little breathing room to move out. Little things like this can go a long way in weighing whose offer to chose and whose to put at the bottom of the pile.

10. Communicate Clearly and Quickly
There is a reason I saved this tip as the last. Probably one of the single most important tips anyone who is going into a home purchase can have. Communication is key is not just a cliche. Good, clear and prompt communication can save a transaction from disaster most times than not. If there is a counter offer, be clear and expedient to your reply. Again, this could be lone factor on whether or not your offer is pushed through or not. If the seller is waiting around for you to respond, he is going to quickly start to think of the other multiple offers being presented to them on a daily basis. Be smart and prompt!

No single transaction is identical to another. Each person involved in any kind of real estate deal has their own personalities and working with different types of people require different types of approaches. Being able to be flexible and compliant to the needs of the seller is key to making any real estate purchase a smooth one!


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Norris Real Estate Brevard County

Homeowner Danger Zones

Category : Need to Know

Homeowner Danger Zones

Homeownership has many perks and may responsibilities. Owning your home means you are solely responsible. Keeping yourself, your family and your guests safe as well as protecting your investment is of the utmost importance.

There are potential dangers in and around your home. It is your responsibility to be diligent and eliminating and reducing those dangers. Some of the most common dangers for a homeowner has to do with common household appliances and items in and around your home.

How many of the following common items are a potential threat for your home?

Norris Real Estate Brevard County

Stoves, Ovens and Cooktops

40% of all home fires start in the kitchen according to a study completed by Red Cross. A high percentage of these kitchen fires are a direct result of the cooktop or stovetop being unattended or left on. This percentage of fires is exaggerated when dealing with gas stoves and cooktops. Be sure to turn off all burners completing before leaving the kitchen. Keeping any and all combustibles away from the cooking area is another great way to eliminate these dangers.

Clothes Dryer

Your clothes dryer is a sneaky appliance that has potential for disaster to your home. Your lint trap filter is a common item and everyone who has ever operated a dryer knows to swipe the lint form the filter screen between uses. However, many people are not aware that lint gets past the filter screen and into the exhaust tube and into the dryer where the heating element is located. This can ignite the lint like tinder and start a potential deadly fire.

Regular dryer maintenance and cleaning is essential to keep your family and property safe from an accidental fire.

Washing Machines

Your washing machine is a great and convenient asset to your life. Just like any appliance or machine, it requires routine maintenance and upkeep to ensure it operates efficiently and safely. It is common for the hoses to become dry and brittle. When this happens, the risk of water leaking and damaging your home increases.

Pipes

For those homes with indoor plumbing, your pipes can become a hazard under certain conditions. Homes that are subject to freezing weather conditions must take extra precaution during the winter months. Cracked water pipes have been wreaking havoc on homeowners since indoor plumbing was invented. A small 1/8 inch crack in a plumbing pipe can expel 250 gallons of water in a day.
Be sure to keep your pipes properly insulated both inside of our home and outside of your home as well. In some instances, it is advised to keep your pipes open allowing a trickle of water to continuously run to avoid the freezing of trapped water in the pipes, thus leading to swelling and breaking.

Electrical Wiring

Homes wired with aluminum wiring instead of copper wiring are more prone to electrical fires. Faulty connections, out dated outlets and overloading a circuit are potential disasters as well. If you notice flickering lights, frequent blown fuses or circuit breakers then you should consult with a licensed professional electrician. Also, if you experience a tingling sensation when turing on or off light switches or appliances, you should call a licensed professional.

Gutters

Here in Brevard County Florida, we get lots and lots of rain between the months of June and November. A clean and well maintained gutter system around the eaves of your home will route that rain water away from your homes foundation and properly disperse it into your yard and or garden. Keeping the gutters free and clear of debris will prevent water from backing up into the soffit of your home and creating water damage. If you have overhangin trees around your house, be sure your gutters are free and clear of debris.

Fireplaces

Even though we live here on Florida’s Space Coast, there are many homes with wood burning fireplaces. Keeping your fireplace and chimney clean and clear of debris and creosote will reduce the potential of a chimney fire or allowing sparks and embers to enter the living space and catch rugs or wood floors on fire. Keep the screen or glass doors closed when using your fireplace and remember to open the chimney flue before igniting a fire to prevent smoke damage to the inside of your home.

Smoke Detectors

The smoke detectors in your home can be the most annoying and aggravating device in your home. Especially when they decide to notify you of a “low battery” warning at 3:00am in the morning.
Do not eliminate this aggravation by removing the fire detector or removing the battery to stop the “chirping”. Simply, replace the battery and allow this life and property saving device to properly do it job.

Roofs

Your roof is often overlooked for it’s importance and functionality. While we do not need to worry too much about snow and ice build up on our roofs here in Central Florida, we do want to ensure that the sun does not damage your roof beyond it’s functionality.

Along that line, be sure to keep proper insulation in your attic space to keep the heat and power bills down.
Roofs are known for providing excellent space for snow and ice buildup. A roof that is too warm will cause snow to melt. When this happens, runoff freezes in gutters, which forms into ice, creating a dam that forces water below the shingles. To help prevent issues, make sure your roof is properly insulated by adding attic insulation and vents, which will help keep the roof cool and prevent snow melt.


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Brevard County Real Estate

Why You Need to Use a Real Estate Agent

Category : Need to Know

Why You Need to Use a Real Estate Agent

I’ve heard people say that purchasing a home is not only one of the most important and critical purchases of a life time, but it can be one of the most stressful process as well. For many people, thinking they can handle the process of selling their home or buying a home on their own, quickly realize, there is much more to purchasing or selling a home than going down to the local store to purchase a few items. There are those that are able to accomplish this on their own, but for most, it is a life saver to have a licensed Realtor working for them to ensure their best interests.

The process of selling or purchasing a home, or any kind of real estate, can be very daunting and intricate with all of the legalese, market trends, escrow, inspections, appraisals, property surveys and contracts.

Here are some solid and smart reasons why a licensed Realtor is good to have in your corner.

Licensed and Educated Experts

While it is true, that not all Realtor’s are created and made equally. Some are much better and responsive than others. That is the nature of any industry. When you find a good Realtor, you can be assured to know that this individual has passed a state and national background check, has taken the higher education classes required by your state department of Real Estate and has passed a state exam exhibiting competence in knowing the laws, ethics and procedures in the purchasing and selling of real estate.

Local Expert

I grew up in Brevard County. My wife and I have raised our children here. Many of my friends in various businesses I have known either all of my life or for many many years. In addition to knowing my community in a very personal way, I know the Real Estate market on Florida’s Space Coast as well. I have watched and studied real estate trends for many years. I know what areas are selling for a higher price and what areas have yet to hit their peak. Find a Realtor who is local and knows the areas you are interested in buying or selling in.

Access

A licensed Realtor has the access and ability to do things the average citizen does not. A Realtor has access to the MLS system that has relevant and critical information about properties. They have access to software to run comparable properties for accurate and current prices on homes that have recently sold and currently for sale. Most home owners are only willing to grant access to their homes to a licensed Realtor, which means that most buyers are only going to be able to access a home with a Realtor.

Best Interests

An agent working for you, will always have your best interest at hand. A Buyer’s agent is trying to get the Buyer the best price possible and as much included in the sale as possible. A Seller’s agent on the other hand, is trying to get the most amount possible for the Seller. A Seller’s agent is only going to provide the minimal amount of information about the home and property as possible. Not knowing the right questions could cost a buyer thousands of dollars at closing or down the road.

Experience

One of the things I learned while growing up playing sports and learning to play the trumpet was this. The more you did it, and the more you enjoy something, the better and better you become at it. That same life lesson can be applied to real estate. For those who are not used to selling and buying a lot of property, it can be a daunting and intimidating experience. It is a huge decision not only financially, but for your family as well. Schools, neighborhoods, neighbors, livability factors. There is so much more to consider when buying a home than the pool, square footage and upgrades. You want a Real Estate Agent who is very familiar with not just the process of buying a home, but the little things that may seem insignificant, but could end up costing you thousands of dollars and possibly even cost the Buyer from losing the house. Choose a Realtor who has a proven track record. Find out what their sales transaction history for the current year. A busy Realtor is likely going to be a competent Realtor.

Connections

Buying or Selling a home is not just as simple as buying a car or a new wardrobe. There are many facets and hands that get into the process. There is the lender, the home inspector, the appraiser, a contractor or handyman for repairs during the process, HVAC and pool specialists, WDO/Pest Control professionals. I could go on and on, but my point is there are a lot of people who are involved in the selling and purchase of a home. You want a Realtor who is well connected professionally within the area who knows top notch quality businesses to team up with in order to make your sale or purchase a smooth one.

For Buyers, It’s Free

For those who are looking to buy a home, this is some of the best news for you! Your Realtor doesn’t cost you anything! If your Buyer’s Agent is charging you a fee for their services, you should consider finding another Realtor.

The Buyer’s Agent is paid for by the Seller. That’s right! The Seller pays for the Buying Agent’s commission out of the sale of the house. Don’t sell yourself short, thinking you are going to save money by not using a Realtor. The commissions for the sale of a house is pre-negotiated before the sale of the house occurs. So, if you do not use a Realtor, the Selling agent gets all of the commission. Your Realtor not only doesn’t cost you anything, they could very well save you thousands of dollars when purchasing your next home!

There are lots of Real Estate Agents here in Florida and Brevard County. Not all Real Estate Agents are Realtors. Almost anyone can take the classes, pass the state exam and become a Real Estate Agent, but a Realtor is a professional designation to only those who qualify.

When looking to buy your next home, or sell your home, do yourself a favor and consider working with a licensed profession Realtor. `

Brevard County Realty

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Don and Natalie Norris are always available to assist you with your purchase or sale of property.


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Norris Real Estate Brevard County

Mortgage Do’s and Don’ts

Mortgage Do’s and Don’ts

Things You Must Do

You have made the decision to purchase a new property. You don’t have the capitol to pay cash, so you have decided to move forward with a mortgage loan. Before you go any further, here are a few tips for Mortgage Do’s and Don’ts.

Do Keep All Financial Records In Order:

Underwriting:
Understand that times have changed! Underwriting is a different game than it was 20 years ago. Underwriters are requiring more documentation than they did in the past. Just keep in mind, if it wasn’t important and they didn’t need it, they would not be asking for it!

Gifts:
If you are receiving any gift monies from relatives, they will need to document and sign a “gift letter” and an account statement evidencing the source of that gift which must be “seasoned funds”.

Current Residence:
If you are currently renting, be sure to continue paying your rent on time while saving your proof of payment. If you are already a homeowner and a selling your current home, be sure to save your HUD-1 or more recently, your Closing Disclosure. If you have decided to keep your current home, but intend on renting it out, you may need to show sufficient equity, a lease and first month’s rent along with a security deposit.

Your Financial Records:
Keep all of your financial records organized and close at hand in the event underwriting requests more information from you.

Income:
Underwriters typically verify your income and tax documents with your current employer, CPA or IRS tax transcripts. Be sure to have saved at least 6-12 months of your current jobs pay stubs.

Assets:
Save and organize any and all account statements from all of your accounts. Be sure they are numbered for each page saved. (i.e. page 7 of 7)

Your Credit:
Be sure to keep making all of your payments on time! DO NOT make any credit purchase with a new line of credit or on your current credit accounts while going through the underwriting process! The underwriters WILL pull your credit the day of or just prior to your closing. A new line of credit or significant purchase could cause underwriting to deny your mortgage at the last minute, thus causing you to lose the home.

Things You Must Not Do

Apply For New Credit:
I can not emphasize this enough. Therefore, it warrants being mentioned again! Changes in your credit can and most always causes a delay in the loan process, change the terms and interest of your financing and may even prevent you from closing and purchasing the home all together.
If there is a situation where you must open a new line of credit (or even borrow against your IRA, 401k or retirement funds) consult with your Loan Originator first

Wait to Liquidate Funds From Stock or Retirement:
If you must sell some investments, do it as soon as possible and document the transaction. Don’t take the risk that the market could move against you leaving you short of funds to close. As always, consult with your Loan Originator before making any financial transactions.

Change Job During the Process:
If, during the loan process, you believe your job could possibly change due to a promotion, probationary period, careers or even status changes ( such as salaried to commission, leave of absence, new salary or bonus structure) consult with your Loan Originator immediately.

Make Undocumented Deposits:
Typically large, but even small undocumented deposits must be sourced unless they are already identified. Make and keep copies of checks and deposit slips. Avoid depositing cash and keep all deposits as small as possible.

Ever Be Afraid To Ask Questions:
If you are unclear or uncertain about anything you need or should be doing to ensure the loan process runs smoothly, ask your Loan Originator. They are the best person equipped to guide you through the process with little or no hiccups along the way.

If you are thinking about purchasing a home and need to take a mortgage out, but do not know who to talk to. Let me or Natalie know. We work with several Mortgage Lenders that are local and would love to assist you by getting you into contact with a trusted professional Loan Originator.

 

Brevard County Realty

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Norris Real Estate Brevard County

Real Estate Agent, Realtor and Broker, What Is the Difference?

Category : Need to Know

What is the difference between a Real Estate Agent, a Realtor and a Broker? I get asked this question quite often. The average person, myself included before I became licensed, doesn’t realize there is a significant different between a Realtor and a Real Estate Agent.

There are several real estate titles floating around out there. It’s not all in just the name. There are some significant reasons for the different titles and the roles they play.

Each state is governed by it’s own rules and regulations when it comes to practicing real estate and the titles in which you can call yourself. I will go through the most common ones here.

norris real estate brevard county

REALTOR® – You should always see this title followed by the registered trademark symbol. A Realtor is a real estate agent who is a member of the National Association of Realtors®. A Realtor® is someone who is held to a higher standard of business practice and ethics. Everyone who is a Realtor® is a real estate agent, but not all real estate agents are Realtors®.

Real Estate Agent – A real estate agent is anyone who has taken and passed the required coursework regulated by their state and have passed a state real estate exam. This title covers anyone who practices real estate whether they are a sales associate, an associate broker or a broker.

Real Estate Sales Associate – This is simply another name for a real estate agent.

Real Estate Associate Broker – This title is for someone who is a real estate agent, but has also completed the state required coursework and passed a state exam to become a broker. While this person typically does not hold any of the brokerage responsibilities, they may take on a more active leadership role within the brokerage.
Real Estate Broker – This person has taken the required education classes to become a broker/owner as well as passed the state regulated exam. A broker typically owns their own real estate company and has Realtors®, real estate agents and possibly associate brokers working for them within that office.

Remember, not all Realtors® or Real Estate Agents were created equal. Choose someone whom you feel will act on your very best interests and has the knowledge and experience to make your real estate transaction a smooth and enjoyable experience.

norris real estate brevard county


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norris real estate brevard county

5 Reasons Home Sales Fall Through

Category : Sales

I’ve seen it time and time again, you get your home under contract and for one reason or another, the contract fails, and you are forced to put your home back on the market. It can happen right after you go into contract, and it can happen at the closing table. The reasons vary from underwriting not giving final approval, poor inspection, the buyers simply changing their minds to the survey coming back with surprises.

My best advice to anyone selling your home is to be prepared for anything and be willing and flexible to work around any issues that arise.

I have always believed that knowledge is power! If you are educated then you are better prepared for what may lie ahead. The easy part is finding someone interested enough in your home to make an offer on it. Then, negotiating a fair price everyone is happy with and the details of how the sale will play out with the details of the contract. Like I said, that is the easy part. The hard part is keeping the deal together and getting everyone to the finish line when the title and deed legally exchange hands.

There are so many little to big things that can kill a deal. I am going to go over 5 of the most common reasons a home sale falls apart.

1. Buyer Financing

If a buyer’s credit score and income to debt ratio numbers look good, they are in the ball game when it comes to obtaining financing for a mortgage on your home. Try to focus on Buyers who have been pre-qualified, or even better, pre-approved for a mortgage by a lender. There is always the chance that the underwriting will reject it during the process, but these Buyers have a higher chance of getting through the process and making it to closing.

Another good tip for Sellers, is to keep in touch with the buyers agent and make sure the process is moving along smoothly to avoid any last minute surprises.

2. Low Appraisal

If your home does not appraise for the selling price you and the Buyer have agreed on, then this could be a deal killer. For those buyers who are getting financing to purchase your home, their lender will only lend up to the maximum of the appraised value of your home. So, if the home appraises lower than what your have sold it for, the buyer would be forced to come up with cash to make up the difference at closing.

If the buyer can not afford to or be able to come up with the cash for closing then one of two things will happen. One, the deal will be killed and you will be forced to find another buyer and rethink your asking price for the home. The better alternative is to simply lower the selling and agreed upon price of the home so that the buyer will be able to get lending approval for the sales price of the home.

You can always request a second appraisal, but this typically will come out of your pocket and there is no gauranty that the second appraisal will come in at a higher price. In fact, the second appraisal could come in at a lower price.

3. Home Inspection Surprises

The main purpose of the home inspection is to protect the buyer from purchasing a property with major flaws that need replacement of repairs. The main areas of concern are the roof, electrical, plumbing and WDO (wood destroying organisms).

As a seller, it is a good idea to always know the condition of your home. Once you have decided to put your hoise on the market, it may not be a bad idea to invest in a home inspection. You can identify and issues before putting it on the market, and then use that as an added bonus to potential buyers as a courtesy.

4. Buyer’s Remorse

This is one situation where, as a seller, you really do not have much control over at all. For the buyer, purchasing a home can be a very stressful process. The deed of searching for the one perfect home alone is enough to stress out a buyer. Then factor in the process of getting approved for a mortgage, paying a large amount of money for a home and knowing they are tied down for up to 30 years. It is more common than most would think for people to simply, “back out” of a sale due to buyers remorse.

My bedt advice for a seller to avoid buyer’s remorse, is to as best as you can vet your buyers. Try to accept offers from those who seem confident and enthusiastic about purchasing your home. One way of doing this is by the amount of the escrow deposit they offer. If they are offering less than 1% of the sales price as escrow, request a higher amount to ensure they are “bought in” and more obligated to carry through to closing.

5. Buyer Must Sell Their Home First

It is very common for a buyer to make an offer to purchase your home, with the contingency that they must sell their home first. In these situations, the buyer needs the equity out of their own home sell in order to afford to purchase your home.

This is especially risky to the Seller, because, once you have accepted the buyer’s terms and gone into contract, your house essentially comes off the market to other potential buyers. If the buyer’s house sale falls through for any reason, this will delay the closing of your home for that much longer.

There are a couple of easy ways to avoid this. The first, and most simple is to not accept offers form buyers who require a contingency to sale their home first. Focus only on those buyers who are ready to purchase your home now.

The second way to avoid this situation is, if you have a buyer that does need to sale their home first, and you accept their terms, be sure to add a “kick out clause” addendum to the contract. The “kick out clause” gives you, the seller, the option of accepting a more qualified and ready buyer would one come along. You then tell the original buyer, they have “X” amount of time to either sale their home, release their original contingency for their home sale, or their contract is null and void. This allows you to go into contract with a buyer who is ready and willing to close on a specific date.

Talk to your licensed Realtor about these things before putting your home on the market to avoid those last minute surprises that could kill the deal and put you back at square one when selling.


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Norris Real Estate Brevard County

Stay Sane While House Shopping – Quotes to Live By

Category : Sales

It can be the most exciting of times and it can be the most frustrating of times. Keep these quotes in mind when the shopping gets tough.

Searching for that perfect property that is to become your next home. For some, it is the very first home purchase. This makes it a little extra special. For others, it may be their retirement home, the last home they will ever live in. Again, it is special. Even for those who may be purchasing a second vacation home, or their third or fourth property purchase. It’s always special.

It can however, come with it’s frustrations. Misleading listing from an un ethical listing agent. House prices getting too high. Going through the financing and mortgage process of being exposed for every bad financial decision you have ever made. Poor inspections and losing that dream home to a higher bidder.

While you are riding the emotional and sometimes exhaustive roller coaster of purchasing a new property, here are a few quotes that will help keep you in the right frame of mind and sane through the end.

“Home is the nicest word there is.” — Laura Ingalls Wilder

Home is where the heart is. This goes far beyond just words. You want to be happy, safe and secure where you lay your head at night.

“It is not the beauty of a building you should look at; it’s the construction of the foundation that will stand the test of time.” — David Allan Coe

Beauty truly lies in the eyes of the beholder. While updated floors, granite counter tops and upgraded fixtures and appliances are nice to look at, it is the “bones” and basics of the home that matter the most!

“Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.” — Jean-Jacques Rousseau

There is always that one couple or person who tells everyone about how he found his perfect dream house on the first weekend out with his Realtor. The very first house they looked at and it was like fate, the perfect home.

Let me tell you now, that would be a magical moment, because it never happens like that. Purchasing a home is as much an emotional decision as well as a fiscal one. It is a lot like falling in love. You have to “know” it when you see it and walk through it. You have to look at several homes before you “meet” the one that you know is meant for you.

“The root of suffering is attachment.” — The Buddha

When purchasing a new home, you must go into the process of knowing the home is not yours until the closing is complete. There are so many things that could go awry during the process. You have to remain somewhat detached until the ink is on the paper

“We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.”Winston Churchill

Your home is your castle and it should reflect your personality and style. The colors you choose, the layout and flow of your furniture will effect the mood and energy in your home. Is your home dark or does it have lots of natural light? Only you can answer what is best for you, but it will help shape you.

“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.” — Mark Twain

Remember, this will be your home, but right now it is someone else’s. Look past the white walls, the cluttered kitchen counters and the outdated mismatched furniture. Imagine your style, furniture and personality in the rooms. You’ll be surprised at how much better the home looks in your mind.

“Home is wherever I’m with you.” — Edwin Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

Remember what I said earlier? Home is where the heart is. The house, when it comes down to it, is really just a living structure. The HOME is what you put into it with those who matters most in your life. Even if you live alone, a home is made up of friends and family who spend time there.

Your new home is going to be so much more than just where you hang your hat, it will become a part of who you are and how others see you. Embrace your home and make it yours!


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Norris Real Estate Brevard County

6 Must Have Documents For A Mortgage

Category : Loan Mortgage , Sales

So, you’re in the market to purchase a home. Whether this will be your first home purchase or this is one of many you have purchased, you still have a list of requirements from your lender. Unless of course, you are purchasing with cash.

Lenders are like the cynical grandmother. They want proof for everything. If your credit score is as good as it gets and you have tons of money in the bank, you are still going to be required to provide a plethora of information to your lender.

To make the process much smoother and less stressful for you the buyer, here are a few of the “Must Have” documents you will need to get your financing processed for your new mortgage.

Getting a mortgage without documenting where your income comes from is a thing of the past. History shows that borrowers who do not or can not prove their income sources are those who are most likely to default on their mortgage.

So, if you plan on getting a mortgage for your dream home, then here are 6 documents that you must have and provide to your lender.

1. Last Two Years Tax Returns

Your lender is not going to simply take you at your word that you made a million dollars last year. They want hard, documented proof that you make what you claim you make. This is to ensure that you can afford to pay your mortgage amount every month and avoid going in default for your loan. The longer you can establish a stable and adequate salary history, the more confident your lender is to release funds on your behalf. Thus the reason for at least two years of your Federal Income Tax returns and W2 forms are required.

If your income has recently changed, your lender may require additional documentation to support and justify the change in salary.

2. Pay Check Stubs

In addition to your last two years of income tax returns and W2 forms, your lender is going to require that you provide a history of your pay check stubs to validate your current income. They want to know what your income has been for the last couple of years, but they also want to know what your current income is to show you can afford your mortgage.

3. Other Income

Not everyone works in a job that provides pay stubs. Some people are self employed or have another source of income, then you may be asked to provide documentation to support. Banks statements, letters from the source of income and 1099 forms usually suffice for that type of documentation.

4. Letter from Employers

You may be asked to provide a letter directly from your employer verifying income, hire date and position. This is a normal request form most lenders. The letter must come directly from your employer to the lender. You can not be the “middle man”. So, make sure up front that your company’s HR department is capable and willing to do this for you.

5. Proof of Funds

Once your lender has adequate information from you that not only can you afford to purchase the home and have enough income to maintain that home and the mortgage, they may require a “proof of funds” letter from your banking institution or investment firm to show that you are poised to pay closing costs and your down payment, while still having enough funds to handle a “life emergency”. If you received a “gift” from a family member for closing costs or the down payment, be prepared to ask that family member to write a letter stating that they have “gifted” you the money and do not require you to pay it back.

6. Photo ID

As silly as this may sound, if you are planning on getting a mortgage for a home, be prepared to have a government issued photo identification to provide to your lender.

I realize that not every one drives, and therefore does not own a drivers license. However, a state or government issued id card, passport or military identification will suffice.

You lender wants to verify that the person applying for the mortgage is the person they are lending funds to.

Each lender has their own set of requirements and policies regarding documentation and requirements. These documents and items we have discussed here is very typical of all lenders.

If you have any questions or concerns, contact your Buyer’s Agent to guide you through the process with your lender.  If you do not have an agent to assist you, we are always available to help!

Brevard County Realty

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