Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Call Me If You Get An Offer

"My clients like the property. Call me if you get an offer." At first it seems like a reasonable request but upon further reflection it seems ridiculous. Maybe the agent's clients have been looking a long time and can't seem to bring themselves to actually make an offer. In that case maybe knowing that someone else wants the condo unit they liked might spur them to make an offer. The reality is that this ensures that they will only participate in multiple offer situations and will have to pay top dollar to win the contest. Chances of the listing agent calling the reluctant clients' agent are not 100%. Should they receive an attractive offer from another buyer, the seller and the agent may not want to spook them by enticing another offer into the mix. In this low inventory market, my best advice to prospective buyers is to make an offer if you find what you're looking for. Don't force yourself into a multiple offer scenario by waiting to see if someone else offers.

Activity feels like it's picking up. It's the 20th of the month and 28 condos and townhomes and eight single family homes have closed so far in the month in Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral. Half the houses sold for over a half million and two brought over a million, one direct ocean and one on a short canal in the Cocoa Beach Country Club area. Three of the direct ocean condo units brought over $300 per square foot. Inventory remains static with new supply appearing at virtually the same rate as the ongoing sales.

Those of you looking to purchase should keep in mind that you have competition out there. With our ongoing low supply, desirable, fairly-priced listings are selling quickly. Waiting for another offer on a property you like will assure that you pay more than you could have as the only buyer. I would advise for the same reason, low supply and strong demand, that you resist your natural inclination to offer too low. A low offer makes negotiations adversarial from the beginning and rarely yields a lower final price. An offer close to what your research tells you is fair value will be seen as constructive to a seller and might allow you to seal a deal somewhere below current value. Make a lowball initial offer and chances are you will be forced to bid against yourself without a counter from a seller you just convinced that you aren't serious. Good hunting.

The annual Art Show downtown Cocoa Beach begins the day after Thanksgiving. It's always fun with lots of cool art, good food and live music all day and night. Come on out and enjoy.

The rumor that The Fat Snook moved isn't true. The confusion may have started when Crush XI, the Snook's sister eatery moved to downtown Melbourne from Cocoa Village. Cocoa Beach folks, rest easy. We've still got the the kind of dining experience and food artistry one typically associates with much larger cities. Yours truly is not complaining.

"I'd like to ask your help. The people in the cheaper seats, clap your hands.  And the rest of you, if you'd just rattle your jewelry." John Lennon at the Beatles Royal Command Performance at the Prince of Wales Theatre, London. Nov 4, 1963

Friday, November 02, 2018

Backup Contract For The Win

I don't understand the reluctance to write a backup contract. It seems many agents and prospective buyers see them as not worth the time. In my experience, a backup contract is a good thing for everyone involved except the original buyer. In most residential  real estate contracts the buyer has the right to cancel the contract without penalty within his inspection period. That right is often abused by buyers trying to renegotiate price based on insignificant issues discovered during inspection. It's not uncommon nor unreasonable to ask a seller for repairs or a price concession for serious issues found during inspections as long as the request is within reason. "Within reason" doesn't include that giant stain on the bedroom carpet that was plainly obvious the day they first visited the property nor does it include a perfectly functioning 3 year old AC unit showing rust. It's the beach, OK? Rust happens. A seller holding a good backup contract has the power and incentive to refuse all requests including reasonable ones. A seller rejecting a perfectly reasonable repair request might just provoke the original buyer into canceling his contract allowing the backup to slide into primary position. A quick search of this blog for "backup" will find several posts. Backup, What Is It Good For? from 2014 covers the subject well for those who are interested.

The first of November 2018 and inventory of residential properties is virtually unchanged from the first of the year; 223 existing condo and townhome units and  65 single-family homes for sale in Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral. In the month of October a healthy 66 condos and townhomes were closed. Not bad for a traditionally slow time of year especially considering the pervasive overpricing of the inventory. The upper price ranges were active with 11 condos selling between $400,000 and $970,000. Eighteen of the sold condos sold in the first week on the market.

In the same month ten homes were reported as sold, six of them for $500,000 or more. Only two were on the market more than 75 days and seven of the ten sold in the first month on the market. A combo of low inventory and fair pricing made this possible. I wish most of the condo sellers had the same mindset. I suppose since the majority of condos are second home or investment properties, sellers are more likely to initially price optimistically than a home seller who usually needs to close in order to purchase a replacement home. Just a thought. Could be entirely wrong.

Red tide in the ocean in Cocoa Beach has come and gone depending on wind direction the last two weeks. Day before yesterday after strong onshore winds all night, stepping outside in the morning in some areas of Cocoa Beach was like being hit with tear gas, instant coughing. Yesterday the wind switched offshore and the air was clean and pure again. It's fine again this morning as I write this.

It's time to be making plans for the Thanksgiving Art Show in downtown Cocoa Beach. Should be a typical good time with an excellent lineup of live music planned for the main stage and the usual mix of excellent art. I hope to see many of you there.

If anyone is still looking for a snowbird rental, my office just had a beautiful direct ocean unit on an upper floor hit yesterday. Contact me or my office for details.

The exodus is here.
The happy ones are near.
Let's get together,
before we get much older.” __
The Who