Monday, November 14, 2016

A Couple of Shades of Grey

With my older and more frequently faulty memory I feel the need to write things down lest they become lost. Allow me to ramble about whatever is passing between my ears this beautiful November morning in Cocoa Beach. Last Saturday morning's sunrise from 1st St. South above.

Directions to a Cape Canaveral condo listing; east on 528, exit Terminal B Cruise, bear left on George King Blvd., right on North Atlantic and ... Apparently this listing agent from Merritt Island is expecting all showings to be coming from non-beachside agents along the Beachline corridor inland. Any beachside agent not familiar with the complex will have to rely on Google maps or their GPS to find and show it.

I called a listing agent last Thursday for showing instructions to her Cocoa Beach listing. No answer so I left a voice message and followed up with an email and then called her office. Voicemail answered with "If you are a seller dial 101", "If you are a buyer dial 102", "If you are a renter dial 103",  "If you'd like to speak to John Adams dial 104",  "If you'd like to speak to Barbara Anderson dial 105" and on and on. [names changed] I waded through about ten agents' names before conceding defeat and hanging up. This type of voice mail is not uncommon among area brokerages. It is an unnecessary barrier between a property for sale and those trying to show it. Buyer's agents juggling multiple appointments may have to exclude listings with this much friction to showing. The listing agent did respond to my email about six hours later saying if we could wait until Tuesday, we could see it. We couldn't. It's been on the market for 78 days and has one MLS photo. It's of the outside of the building. The listing description is 21 words long. Her office is in another city. I hope the seller is getting a substantial listing discount for this sub-par performance.

Longtime readers can skip this next paragraph. It's been repeated ad nauseam apparently to no avail. I continue to have listing agents request that the escrow deposit be held at the seller's title company. I understand why your broker doesn't maintain an escrow account. It's a royal pain and comes with a lot of liability and oversight. Life is much easier when that responsibility is handed off to the title companies. Guess what? The only person to benefit from that policy is the broker. It's in both the buyer's and seller's best interest that the escrow deposit be held in a real estate broker's escrow account and NEVER the title company's. Stop endangering your clients with this unnecessary risk. You should be happy that my company maintains an escrow account and is willing to do everyone a favor by holding the buyer's deposit there. Go back to real estate school if you don't understand why.

How about the practice of withdrawing and relisting a property to reset the "Days on Market" clock? Legal? Yes. Ethical? Maybe. Knowingly deceptive? Absolutely. It actually does get a stale listing back on everyone's hotsheet and on auto-emails from the MLS so it can be an effective tactic. It's sort of like telling a little lie for the greater good. Shades of grey.

There are 21 "waterfront" condos for sale today in Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral. A person is able to actually see the water from eight of them. Four of them are over a half mile from the water. A darker shade of grey.

Just how tight is the inventory? There are 211 existing condos and townhomes for sale in Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral today. More than that have closed since July 15 this year. There are 42 single family homes for sale, the same number that have closed since August 1.

The rate on 30 year US Treasury bonds Monday morning one week ago was 2.60%. One week and a presidential election since and the rate this morning looks to open at 3.04%. Freddie Mac publishes it's weekly mortgage rate survey on Thursdays so most of us won't see the actual impact on mortgage rates until next Thursday. It's probably safe to expect a decent bump upwards. Before anyone panics, for perspective, it is right where it was exactly one year ago.

It was 68 degrees and dead calm this morning at sunrise as the super moon slipped over the western shore of the Banana River. The high today, November 14, in Cocoa Beach is forecast to be 78 with a light NW breeze. The surf is tiny but there is one optimistic guy out at the Pier right now (pictured above). The water temp in the mid-70s is higher than the air temp.

The Cocoa Beach Art Festival is less than two weeks away. Get the dogs groomed and the kids washed. It will be a good time as always. I hope to see many of you there.

“The last refuge of the insomniac is a sense of superiority to the sleeping world.” __________Leonard Cohen, may he rest in peace.


  1. Hi Larry,
    Just wanted to say that I enjoy reading your blog and frequently check back for your posts. Love that you keep it honest and direct and include a bunch of surf and nature topics for those who love Cocoa Beach as a place to live along with the real estate brass tacks. It's a lot of work and research you do. Keep it up; we readers appreciate! Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. I appreciate the kind words. The blog would be worth writing even if I didn't make it available to the public. The market knowledge I gain from the research I have to do makes it worthwhile. Getting the occasional attaboy like yours is icing on the cake. Thanks.

  3. Have another slice of Attaboy! I've been reading you for years now since I own a couple of Cape Canaveral condos, and it's always an informative, no nonsense and often entertaining read. Kudos!