You get what you pay for

There was a steady stream of cars on US1 all day long today; many of the snowbirds seem to have arrived along with quite a few 'weekenders' to ring in the New Year.I have been busy over the past few days and I have heard from other realtors that they were busy as well.Again there are quiet a few new listings:

Three properties have been sold in the last three days:

and six properties have gone under contract:

Today I attempted to acquire information about two different properties; both properties priced well above a Million; so far I have not received a return call after I left voice mails with both listing agents for these properties. Both properties are with Real Estate companies I have never heard off; neither one of them located in the Keys.
I am sure you have heard of the new Internet based Real Estate companies. They are companies that are members of the Board of Realtors and can therefore enter a listing in the MLS (Multiple listing service). Many times these companies offer to list a home for a lower commission rate than the local Real Estate offices do.
Money is a driving factor in every business but it does not matter how much you theoretically save if your home does not sell or sells for less than you might have been able to sell your home for if there would have been better marketing.
You can guess how likely it is that a house will sell if it impossible to get in touch with the listing agent.Please make sure to check how your property will be marketed and how available your agent is to show the house or provide other agents with information. These should be the factors in your decision with whom to list your home and not which company charges you the least.

I wish you all a great last day of 2006 and cross your fingers for me that I get a call back tomorrow

Season is around the corner

I hope you all had a merry Christmas and are ready to ring in 2007 in just a few days.
January 1st marks the beginning of the season and as every year there are many new listings coming on the market right now.
These are the listings that have come on the market since my last post:

Only one listing has sold since then but keep in mind that nothing closes on a Holiday. The listing that closed is a house in Venetian Shores:

Tomorrow I have a showing on one of my listing and I continue to see increased activity in the Real Estate market.

I hear from quite a few buyers lately that they want to wait and see 'what the market is doing'. There have been so many areas in the US where Real Estate prices have dropped in the past year. Not in the Keys! Yes, there have been less sales but actual sales prices have not dropped. It is really impossible to compare the Keys to any other Real Estate market in the US even in Florida. We all know the favorite three words of a Realtor 'Location, location, location' but it's true! This is the single most aspect to consider if you are making an investment and are concerned about the value in the future. This will always be a desirable vacation area with the only Coral Reef in the US.
We have a buyers market for the first time in years in the Keys; that means that the market is favorable for buyers!

Don't forget: If you have investment property in another state and want to purchase something in the Keys with a 1031 Tax exchange you don't have to sell the other property first! You can do a reverse 1031 exchange. If you want to find out more about that option please give me a call.

As usual: Thank you for reading my blog!

Properties are selling

It's been a few days, I promise I will write on a daily basis again soon. You all know that this is a busy season.

I'd like to put a notice out that I have a buyer who is looking to find another buyer who wants to purchase a condo with him. This buyer is interested in a condo for 340K; that means that each partner would have to pay about 170K. This is a great investment opportunity for less than 200.

A few properties have closed since my past post:

There is a little bit of everything among these closed properties: Vacant land, condo and homes.

More properties have gone under contract as well:

and of course more properties have come on the market:

Manatee sighting

While I was showing property at the Landings of Largo today we saw a huge Manatee in the Marina. Even though I have lived in Florida for 15 years now I am still amazed that I live somewhere where I can see Pelicans, Hawks and Manatees on an almost daily basis. How cool!

New properties came on the market today:

Three properties closed today:

and two properties went under contract:

Please keep me in mind if you are considering a purchase in the Keys; this is such a good time to get your foot into the Real Estate market here. It's a buyers market and that's when you want to buy!
Please don't hesitate to call me to look at property even if you are not ready to buy right now and just would like to see what's out there. I am always glad to help you get educated about the Real Estate market here, so you will feel confident once you are ready to buy.

Overcoming a cold (Yes, even we in the Keys get colds once in a while)

Please excuse that I have not written for a few days; I was sick with a cold. Fortunately I got better just in time to go to a Christmas party by my friends Marcelle and Jean Michael tonight.

There are a few new listings since my last post; these are properties that have come on the market since the 8th (My last post):

These properties have gone under contract:

Again, one of the properties is a waterfront property under one Million; the other three are dry lot homes under 400K. I have noticed that dry lot homes under 400K are selling lately. I believe the reason for that is that it was hard to find anything other than a mobile home under for 400K up until last year. Residents with a lower budget might see their opportunity to afford property and are probably the buyers of these properties.

These properties have sold:

I am going to keep this post short; I am not a 100% yet, but please if you have any questions or need any info, don't hesitate to call me anytime!

The weekend is here

Today I showed a listing I have in Tamarind Bay. Every time I go to Tamarind Bay I realize what a nice complex it is. Every unit in TBC is 1400 SF and has a bay view. The grounds are immaculately kept and a lot of people like it for its location at MM 103, less than an hour drive from the Miami airport. All units are on one floor, which makes the view more panoramic than in a townhouse. There are two pools on the property, one heated and one not, two tennis courts, space to park your boat trailer, a boat ramp, a sunset pier with a Gazebo at the end and a beautiful outdoor barbecuing area.
The boat dockage situation is rather unique: Boat slips are assigned for the length of ownership; once a unit with an assigned boat slip is sold, the boat slips reverts back to the association which will then assign it to the next person on the waiting list for a boat slip.
However even if you don’t have a boat slip, the association manager will try to accommodate you and find you a space not currently used by the owner to accommodate your boat.

This is the listing I currently have in TBC:

Nothing remains to be done in this unit. Everything has been remodeled!

Only two listings came on the market today:">Click

One condo closed today:">Click

and two properties went under contract today:

While showing my listing today I was envious of the beautiful Christmas decoration and how ‘christmassy’ the place felt. Tomorrow I am getting my tree and I hope you all are getting in the Christmas spirit as well if that is the holiday you are celebrating.

New listing in Seagulls

Today I listed a new condo in Seagulls. Seagulls is a complex located right on the Ocean at MM90. Weekly rentals are permitted at Seagulls, which makes this unit a good investment property. There is a Pool, a tennis court, clubhouse, on site manager and the most spectacular feature at Seagulls is the beautiful beach. (A rarity in the Keys). The unit I listed is a one bedroom, one bath condo and the lowest priced listing in Seagulls at 365K.
This is a link to the property:

Three other properties came on the market today:

Two properties went under contract today:
There are now almost every day properties going under contract.

Should you be in the Keys this weekend; there is a wonderful Christmas play at the High School Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening at 7pm. It is free and is put on by the Baptist Church.Even if you are not a churchgoer; I can only urge you to go and see the play. I saw it last year and it was incredible! Bring the kids; they'll like it as well.

Please take a moment to check out my new listing and if you know of anybody or are interested yourself; I'd love to give you a tour of Seagulls.

Bunco Wednesday

I had a busy day today showing property. It was perfect weather to be outside and I was lucky again and am working with a very pleasant buyer. We looked at commercial property (shopping centers) of which there aren't many. As I mentioned in a previous post commercial property is continuing to appreciate well in the Keys.

Quite a few properties went under contract in the past couple of days:
This goes to show that there is a definite increase in activity in the Real Estate market.

These are the properties that have come on the market over the past couple of days:

and three properties closed:Click'>Click'>">Click

Please excuse that this is a shorter post. Every first Wednesday of the month I host a 'Bunco Party' at my house. Tonight was the night but I am aware that I have some faithful readers who read my blog and I wanted to keep you up to date.Today was Nikolaus in Germany and even though you might not be familiar with the Holiday; I wish you a 'happy Nikolaus'.

Pricing is (almost) everything

I have told you before that prices are becoming more realistic; nevertheless when I check the new listings; I still come across some overpriced new listings. If you are a seller and consider to put your property on the market you must make sure to price it correctly; otherwise it will not sell; as a matter of fact it won't even be shown and it just floods the market further.

When I have a buyer calling me on a property for sale one of their usual questions is "How many condos are for sale in that complex, or how many houses are for sale in that neighborhood?" You can imagine that the larger the number of listings the more likely the buyer thinks that 'something must be wrong' with the neighborhood or the condo complex if so many properties are for sale. True, the market is slower right now than it was a year ago but you can see in my other postings on this blog, properties ARE selling.

The only time it is justified to 'overprice' a listing is if the listing is so unique in nature that a potential buyer might simply fall in love with the property and is willing to pay more for lets say an incredible view in a very private location and there are no other properties on the market like it. Usually these are properties that are in the Millions price range where the buyer is not as concerned with the value but with having found his or her dream home.

I have been advising potential sellers to not put their property on the market if they are not willing to price competitively. Reason: If the property is overpriced: It won't sell. It's as easy as that! It is easy to determine the market value of a property by looking up other like wise properties that have sold in the past few months. Your realtor will do a Comparative Market Analysis for you. Try to not pay too much attention to what else is for sale because those prices do not represent the true value of a property.

It is sometimes difficult for a Realtor to suggest a lower listing price than what the seller has in mind. Realtors like listings of course and a seller does not like to hear that the price they had in mind is unrealistic, but a good realtor should give you a professional opinion based on facts. If you are interviewing several realtors you will probably get different suggestions for the asking price of your property. It is not wise to pick your Realtor by 'who gives you the highest listing price'. That won't sell your property!What will sell your property: right pricing, advertising, and a realtor who is available to show your property anytime.

These are the properties that came on the market today:

These properties closed today:

I hope you had a nice beginning of the week and thanks again for reading my blog.

A tip when it comes to listing your property

I am not a fan of finding faults with others; I prefer to spend my time on improving my skills and services. However I'd like to give you a tip in case you are considering listing your property in another State where I can't help you:
Other than the obvious such as-does the realtor market in several publications?
-Does the realtor include a visual tour of the property and does he/she provide many pictures in the MLS
-how experienced is the agent?
- Is the agent knowledgeable?
Along with other things that might be important to you, make sure to call your agent several times at different hours of the day over a few days’ period and note if he or she is picking up the phone or how often you get voice mail.This is important regarding the sale of your property because you'd want a potential buyer to be able to get in touch with your agent. I cannot tell you how frustrating it is when I'd like to show a property that is listed by another agent on a short notice; I call and am not able to get in touch with the agent. Picking up the phone seems like the simplest part there is of a Realtors job.You can really very easily check this just by placing 5-10 quick phone calls.

There are several properties that came on the market over the weekend:

Three properties closed:Click'>Click'>">Click
Again two of these three listings are waterfront homes.

One property went under contract; a vacant lot:

I hope you had a pleasant weekend. In Germany we celebrate each Sunday in December before Christmas, today was the 1st Advent. I wish you all a happy first Advent!