Saturday, July 17, 2010

Lazy days of summer

I'm guessing that by now most of the stragglers have updated their listings. The number of Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral MLS-listed condos and townhomes closed in the month of June is at 44 units as of this morning. None of the late arrivals exceeded the high number for the month which was $430,000 for one of the bank sale Ocean Club units.

Sales are plugging along so far in July with several nice direct ocean units closing last week. These included an upgraded and fully furnished 3rd floor Ocean Pines 2 BR, 2 BA with garage that closed for $305,000. A top floor (7th) Windward East, Sand Dollar floor plan (wide living room with two sets of sliders) 2 BR, 2 BA with garage went for $299,000. A big 5th floor 2 BR, 2 BA unit with garage at Wavecrest in south Cocoa Beach sold fully furnished for a surprising $276,500. That qualifies for "smoking deal" status. In Cape Canaveral, a super nice, remodeled Canaveral Sands 2/2 with garage sold unfurnished for $260,000.

Off the ocean a short sale Portside Villas 3 BR, 2 BA has closed for $105,000. It sold new four years ago for $239,000.

As prices have retreated, I've been seeing first right of refusal being exercised more frequently. This process deserves to be misunderstood as it often is. What it usually means (in our area) is that a contract for sale of a unit is offered to all the current owners who have the right to match the contract and purchase the unit themselves under the exact same terms of the original contract. Some associations mail the contract to all owners and some simply post the contract in the lobby or common area. (Not optimal for out-of-town owners.) Time periods are typically in the 10 to 14 day period during which time an owner intending to exercise his right must declare his intentions and present a matching contract. Should more than one owner declare intention to exercise, the condo docs spell out the process for determining priority. Some associations use numerical proximity while others decide based on physical proximity of units. Others let the seller decide which contract to accept. The end result is that the original buyer is out. It's not fair but it is the way it is.

One unintended side effect of the process is that all owners are aware of a contract price even in the event of a failed sale. I can think of one unit in south Cocoa Beach that is on the market for $25,000 more than the posted contract that failed. All the owners in the building and clued-in agents who perused the bulletin board during the posting period are aware of what those sellers were willing to accept. They are understandably upset at the process.

We saw asking prices in another large complex domino down when a low-priced contract went out to the owners a couple of weeks ago. If you're offering on a unit in a first right complex be aware of the chance of losing your contract.

"You can have anything you want,
But you better not take it from me."

______Guns n Roses