Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Mango Season

It's that time of year in Brevard County again. We typically have alternating good and bad mango seasons and 2021 is turning out to be one of the really good ones. Everyone's trees are producing in such quantity that those with trees in their yards are sharing bags of fruit with friends, neighbors and strangers much to everyone's delight. I am forced this time of year to eat an unadvisable amount of sweet fruit that I rationalize with the thought of the waste should I not do my part. Consuming several ripe mangoes every day may not be the healthiest dietary decision but it does make me a happy person during the weeks that the fruit are ripening.

In lieu of any interesting agent interactions I'm posting a previously shared account of a weird transaction from 2017. These strange interactions happen more frequently than one would imagine. I am the listing agent in this story.


This is the true account of an interesting and perplexing transaction last month with a mysterious buyer and his communication-impaired buyer's agent from another city.

November 3, 2017: A buyer's agent calls the listing agent of a condo in Cocoa Beach asking to show. The unit is vacant and available to show anytime, but, being from Orlando, the buyer's agent doesn't have access to the local electronic lockbox system so he asks if listing agent can unlock the unit for him. No problem.

November 8: After no contact for five days after showing, the buyer's agent delivers a very low offer contingent upon a mortgage. The listing agent presents the offer to the seller who doesn't want to counter as the unit is in a condotel complex where a mortgage is impossible to acquire unless it is from an unconventional source. The listing agent suggests countering without a financing contingency. Done.

November 9: Buyer counters at a lower number, cash, close in 30 days.

November 10: Negotiations ensue and buyer and seller verbally agree upon a higher number, cash purchase with a 30 day close and buyer's agent asks listing agent to write it up and he'll get buyer to sign. Written, signed by seller and delivered to buyer's agent same day.

November 11: Buyer's agent sends a lender's condo questionnaire but no signed contract. What? This was a cash offer. Buyer's agent says don't worry, buyer is just exploring his options. OK, management company completes the questionnaire three days later and listing agent forwards it to buyer's agent. Buyer's agent goes radio silent. 

December 7: The buyer's agent hasn't responded to any emails, texts or phone calls from listing agent for three weeks. Suddenly,  26 days after last contact, he emails listing agent to say that buyer is moving forward if the property is still available and is sending the signed contract shortly. Listing agent informs seller that the dead have arisen but neither holds their breath.

December 8: Signed contract is received from the buyer's agent with escrow deposit due in three days and a ten day inspection period with a close date of Dec. 30. Buyer's agent returns to his Faraday cage and relights the "Do Not Disturb" sign. Listing agent marks the MLS listing as "Backups" rather than "Contingent" and notes in the narrative that the contract is "shaky" and encourages backup offers. Fingers are crossed but seller's and listing agent's expectations remain minimal.

December 14: Escrow deposit is received, three days late. Buyer's agent surfaces briefly to acknowledge receipt and reenters suspension chamber blithely letting the inspection period expire four days later with zero contact..

December 26: After a two week disappearance buyer's agent notifies listing agent that inspections will be done Dec. 27 three days before closing. Inspection period expired on Dec. 18.

December 27: late night: Buyer's agent emails inspection report with a demand for all items to be repaired prior to closing on the 30th.

December 28: Seller refuses to do repairs but offers $300 credit at closing for the small items found. and buyer responds that he is willing to delay closing to give seller time to repair. Seller says, no dice, and closing will still happen on Dec. 30 or he will keep the deposit which became non-refundable ten days earlier at the expiration of the inspection period.

December 29: Buyer wisely agrees to the $300 repair credit, signs closing documents and initiates wire of funds late in the day which does not arrive until Jan. 3 for unknown reasons.

January 3: Buyer's agent who has been absent since demanding repairs the previous week sends his last text to the listing agent "Did you receive commission yet?"

While frustrating, this all-too-common level of incompetence from some of my fellow practitioners does provide entertainment and makes for lively discussions when the used house salesmen gather round the table for refreshments. I'd like to thank this buyer's agent and his peers for making the rest of us look better than we would sans the contrast. A hearty toast merry fellows.

Ask a child to draw a car, and certainly he will draw it red.” - Enzo Ferrari

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Summer Doldrums

Back to my regular posting after an enjoyable summer break to my favorite islands. Nothing works quite like fresh conch to retune my taste apparatus.

Inventory in Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral has reversed it's slide and is slowly increasing with a total of 66 existing units for sale this morning. We dipped as low as 34 total units for sale a couple of months ago. It appears that the increase is due in part to slowed sales. Thirty condo and townhome units have gone under contract in the first two weeks of July after closing a remarkable 84 units in the month of June. Sixteen of those sold for at least a half million dollars. There are only 12 existing units for sale in that price range at the moment. That is good news for the developer of The Surf oceanfront condos downtown Cocoa Beach. Buyers looking for a new luxury oceanfront unit can choose from the three remaining units left there at prices between $1.45 MM and $1.625 MM.

Single family home inventory has recovered somewhat with 27 homes for sale today in our two cities. There are another eight offered as pre-construction in the mysterious riverfront development in south Cocoa Beach. Several new houses there have already recorded as closed in the MLS yet none have been built nor has construction begun. Anyone?

Eighteen single family homes closed in June, all but two of them in Cocoa Beach. Highest price was for a massive, new non-waterfront home on the Cocoa Beach Country Club golf course that closed for $1,300,000. Lowest price paid was $390,000 for a little 1957 vintage 3/2 in south Cocoa Beach with 1213 square feet.

I am being asked almost daily about my thoughts on the condo market after the tragic condo collapse in Surfside. I have more questions than opinions. Will insurance companies continue to renew policies for older buildings and if so, at the same prices? Will condo associations become more forceful in timely assessing for and initiating needed concrete repairs? Will buyers avoid older buildings? Will this affect demand and thus prices for units in older buildings? Will prices for units in newer buildings go up? I welcome readers' thoughts on this. You can email me anonymously with your thoughts.

“Thanks to everyone who came into my life and made it better. And thanks to the ones who walked out and made it amazing.” __Kate