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Old 01-08-2010, 08:24 AM
 
1 posts, read 1,643 times
Reputation: 22

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Well, then, listen up! After spending a few months looking at real estate listings and houses in the Tampa Bay area, I thought I'd offer some unsolicited advice to sellers and Realtors. Why? I am sick and tired of reading in the newspaper about how the Tampa Bay housing market is in the "toilet" and everyone is stuck because they can't sell their house. Houses are in fact selling, but only when certain caveats are met. So if you want to sell your house to a pre-approved, serious, ready and able buyer with a big down payment like myself, read on:

1. BUYERS ARE NOT STUPID. We don't fall for lies, half-truths or stupid advertising (like on Craigslist). None of those stupid tricks like "deal of the century" or "priced under appraisal" work either. We know when a house has been pulled off the market and put back on the market with a new price and marketed as a "new listing." We know when a house is being flipped. We know how to spot a lie in a listing, or when we are looking at a house that has been staged to camouflage issues. It takes your average buyer about 45 seconds and a few clicks of the mouse to figure out everything they need to know about your house, your mortgage (if there is one), your finances, your court records, and so on. We know what your last gas, electric and water bill was. We know if you have already bought another home and have to sell. We can easily figure out why you are selling, as well as many other pieces of info. Also, don't bother lying about the neighborhood in your listing, or saying that the house has 2 baths instead of 1.5. WE ARE NOT STUPID. And lies only turn us off.

2. IF YOU OVERPRICE YOUR HOUSE, IT WON'T SELL. It doesn't matter if you are underwater, if you are getting a divorce, if you need to get a certain amount of money from your sale, if your house was worth XYZ number in 2005, etc. The only thing that matters is what the house down the street sold for last month. If you do not have your house priced similar to the last SOLD COMP per sq foot, you are wasting everyone's time. If you can't afford to sell based on the sold comps, then you'll just have to do a short sale or file for foreclosure, or DON'T SELL. But please don't waste everyone's time and sit your overpriced house on the MLS. It ain't going anywhere.

3. YOUR PRICE SHOULD REFLECT DEFECTS. If your next-door neighbors park 10 cars on the front lawn, you can start discounting from your price right now. Same goes for houses on busy streets or NEAR busy streets (if I can hear traffic noise from the front lawn, you've got problems). Same goes for houses on narrow or car-clogged streets, wood frame houses, houses with frame additions, flat roofs, fixer uppers, water or mold problems, shared driveways, small lots, etc. It would take me way too much time to list all of the problems found in a typical Tampa Bay area house. You need to price to reflect these kinds of defects.

4. If you are going the FSBO route, putting a sign in your front lawn is not going to get the house sold. You need to also have fliers on the sign, and you need to be reachable for showings/questions 24/7, EVEN ON HOLIDAYS. Memo to Realtors: Make sure you keep the fliers flowing on those signs. There is nothing more annoying than driving by a house and finding no flier. I do not understand people who CLAIM to be interested in selling their home and then do not answer the phone or email immediately when people inquire.

5. Did I mention that it's all about price?
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Old 01-09-2010, 04:55 AM
 
21,197 posts, read 30,388,339 times
Reputation: 19627
Quote:
Originally Posted by wendyandlucy View Post
IF YOU OVERPRICE YOUR HOUSE, IT WON'T SELL....if your house was worth XYZ number in 2005, etc. The only thing that matters is what the house down the street sold for last month.
Exactly! This is a national epidemic. Homes aren't selling as quickly because of the bloated perception of value many owners have for their homes. They're still living in 5 years ago. That bubble has burst and it's time to move on. The reality is homes would be selling at much more of a clip if they were priced to comps, not fiction.
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Old 01-09-2010, 09:54 AM
 
Location: Sun City Center, FL
177 posts, read 612,194 times
Reputation: 142
"1. BUYERS ARE NOT STUPID"

Well, actually sometime they are. We are considering moving to Sun City Center in the future. I have been looking at myfloridahomesmls.com, ziprealty.com, and the Hillsborough County Tax Appraiser website. Most of the time houses don't sell if they are overpriced but a very few sell at the old bubble price. Just this morning I noticed a December 2009 sale of a 1965 home to a couple from Connecticut. It sold for $185,000 in 2006 and this couple just bought it for $180,000. Comparables of that size and age are selling for less than $120,000.

Also, sometimes there are other reasons why a given home may sell high. I noticed another home (built in the 1980's) that sold for $205,000 and the comparables for that home are selling for about $150,000. However, the seller was a quite old widow and the purchaser was a company that sold assisted living residences and services so I am guessing that the high price would be made up in all the assisted living charges (they sell complete assisted living packages with large up front fees).
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Old 01-09-2010, 12:35 PM
 
1,500 posts, read 2,793,611 times
Reputation: 1228
Also you have no idea what someone put into a house. New windows, new roof, new appliances, new kitchen, new bath. Tens of thousands of dollars difference between a foreclosure that's been gutted and a renovated house which will require less money over the next 15 years.

I recently paid 23% under current local comps at $71/sq ft for the house(s) (about 52% off peak price according to sillyzillow--though really more like 60plus% off peak based upon rents as there's a guest house here too). On this land which can be sudivided three ways (selling all in the future if I want as vacant lots for more than what I paid for the entire parcel with the houses) it came to $3.70/sq ft of land, 73% under the current local comps. The house needs some fixing up and the cottage was a mess but when I'm done I'll still be below comps based on square footage of house and still off the charts based upon land value.

Still, I think pricing a home is very difficult what with all the foreclosures and selling anything now is luck of the draw. I'm sure the seller of this property had mixed emotions, certain they got ripped off yet lucky to have sold at all. I think I paid about $5k too much but I was pretty sure someone else would have ponied that up if I didn't and I was looking long term which I believe will be well worth what I thought to be an extra expense now.

I've also sold one home and will be selling another in south Florida where foreclosures are also a big problem. The buyer of my first property thought he got quite the deal and I thought I got ripped off, but it took two years to sell. And now, a year later, the market there is even worse with a better area selling now at the level that I had sold before. These losses have been stunning and I think we are going to be in shock for a long time to come.
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Old 01-10-2010, 04:31 AM
 
25,882 posts, read 39,172,212 times
Reputation: 13870
Quote:
Originally Posted by wendyandlucy View Post
Well, then, listen up! After spending a few months looking at real estate listings and houses in the Tampa Bay area, I thought I'd offer some unsolicited advice to sellers and Realtors. Why? I am sick and tired of reading in the newspaper about how the Tampa Bay housing market is in the "toilet" and everyone is stuck because they can't sell their house. Houses are in fact selling, but only when certain caveats are met. So if you want to sell your house to a pre-approved, serious, ready and able buyer with a big down payment like myself, read on:

1. BUYERS ARE NOT STUPID. We don't fall for lies, half-truths or stupid advertising (like on Craigslist). None of those stupid tricks like "deal of the century" or "priced under appraisal" work either. We know when a house has been pulled off the market and put back on the market with a new price and marketed as a "new listing." We know when a house is being flipped. We know how to spot a lie in a listing, or when we are looking at a house that has been staged to camouflage issues. It takes your average buyer about 45 seconds and a few clicks of the mouse to figure out everything they need to know about your house, your mortgage (if there is one), your finances, your court records, and so on. We know what your last gas, electric and water bill was. We know if you have already bought another home and have to sell. We can easily figure out why you are selling, as well as many other pieces of info. Also, don't bother lying about the neighborhood in your listing, or saying that the house has 2 baths instead of 1.5. WE ARE NOT STUPID. And lies only turn us off.

2. IF YOU OVERPRICE YOUR HOUSE, IT WON'T SELL. It doesn't matter if you are underwater, if you are getting a divorce, if you need to get a certain amount of money from your sale, if your house was worth XYZ number in 2005, etc. The only thing that matters is what the house down the street sold for last month. If you do not have your house priced similar to the last SOLD COMP per sq foot, you are wasting everyone's time. If you can't afford to sell based on the sold comps, then you'll just have to do a short sale or file for foreclosure, or DON'T SELL. But please don't waste everyone's time and sit your overpriced house on the MLS. It ain't going anywhere.

3. YOUR PRICE SHOULD REFLECT DEFECTS. If your next-door neighbors park 10 cars on the front lawn, you can start discounting from your price right now. Same goes for houses on busy streets or NEAR busy streets (if I can hear traffic noise from the front lawn, you've got problems). Same goes for houses on narrow or car-clogged streets, wood frame houses, houses with frame additions, flat roofs, fixer uppers, water or mold problems, shared driveways, small lots, etc. It would take me way too much time to list all of the problems found in a typical Tampa Bay area house. You need to price to reflect these kinds of defects.

4. If you are going the FSBO route, putting a sign in your front lawn is not going to get the house sold. You need to also have fliers on the sign, and you need to be reachable for showings/questions 24/7, EVEN ON HOLIDAYS. Memo to Realtors: Make sure you keep the fliers flowing on those signs. There is nothing more annoying than driving by a house and finding no flier. I do not understand people who CLAIM to be interested in selling their home and then do not answer the phone or email immediately when people inquire.

5. Did I mention that it's all about price?
Well written!

I was annoyed with the arrogance of the local realtor's in 2005 who always said "oh the house just came on the market while it was taken off 3 times so the clock would start all over. I had a realtor stating that I wouldn't be abl to rent out my home without his help and the MLS, I was so motivated due to all his remarks and had and have it rented out so fast. It will become available at the end of the month and after advertising on Craigslist I find a tenant with good credentials, so it is rented out and just emty for like a few days for cleaning

Many of the professionals I run into in 2005 are now not working in the field anymore and shouldn't come back an day soon. They never belonged there and were just there for the quick money without doing much work and trying to talk an innocent buyer into a deal that wasn't so good and way over priced.

I do know that the appraisers website doesn't completely shows the price that in total has been paid in todays market. We bought a short sale and the website shows what we paid, but the seller had to take a judgment and together the price is way higher.

If you see a home that has been sold for higher than the surrounding homes, it could be that more additonal things will affect the price, it doesn't mean the new HO has been scammed, you need to know the house from the inside out. You can't see if the house recently has been Hurricane proof, had a new A/C, new roof, etc...

Also some of these homes could have been sold pretty low since the (to me criminal last HO) house could be stripped of almost anything and not having a kitchen and bathroom anymore.

Btw. the short sale I bought I had it rented out so fast while in the same community realtor's were renting out some units, even next door and the HO who was by that time in financial trouble told me it was impossible to rent a unit out, and his was for rent for 1 year!!!! Mine was rented out within a week!

As the Op stated, I had a sign, fliers filled everyday...and most important I answered my phone and scheduled showings and maybe the most important, it showed really well + top location (but that was also for the neighbor....). Since I start renting out all my rent amount's have been raised and the new tenant is going to pay a little bit more. Well for me almost everything has gone up in price

If professional real estate people stll think buyers and in many times sellers, are still naive and stupid, the are in for a wake up. People hopefully have learned their lesson.
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Old 01-11-2010, 10:51 AM
 
2 posts, read 3,005 times
Reputation: 11
check out this guy: aaron jacobs who was wary of buying but took the plunge anyway. something tells me he'll be regretting his decision. anyone who buys out in the suburbs now is making a mistake. you gotta buy in the inner city/desirable/walkable areas to have the best chance of having any equity.

[url=http://www2.tbo.com/content/2010/jan/10/na-home-sales-uphill-climb/news-money/]Home sales' uphill climb[/url]

[url=http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/10/business/10every.html]Everybody’s Business - Factoring ‘Walkability’ Into Home Values - NYTimes.com[/url]
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Old 01-11-2010, 01:15 PM
 
1,500 posts, read 2,793,611 times
Reputation: 1228
Quote:
Originally Posted by countyofone View Post
check out this guy: aaron jacobs who was wary of buying but took the plunge anyway. something tells me he'll be regretting his decision. anyone who buys out in the suburbs now is making a mistake. you gotta buy in the inner city/desirable/walkable areas to have the best chance of having any equity.

Home sales' uphill climb

Everybody’s Business - Factoring ‘Walkability’ Into Home Values - NYTimes.com
The equity of a home is simply how much you can sell for minus how much you owe, so I'm not sure what you mean by "chance of having any equity" as if he pays off his mortgage early and hold long enough he'll likely have at least that much equity. Equity growth (or, as we all now better understand, loss) depends on what you get on a sale minus what you paid but I've issues with your contentions on what you see determining that, nonetheless.

Even unadjusted for inflation, I paid a 1994 price for the property I recently purchased here, so the $237k Jacobs paid looks high to me. The house he just bought had sold for $178k in 2002 so he should only have paid $214k to match, inflation-wise, that bubble price. In today's reality, he should have paid even less. Since the house sold for $130k in 1986, I'd have paid maybe $175k for it today; depending on its condition, certainly no more than $200k. It does have a pool if you like that and the area is well thought of; still, I think he paid a bubble price and why not, it's not as if he put any of his own money on the line. Even sillyzillow thinks it topped at $330k so at that he's paid only 29% off the high in an area which is officially 41% down which mean realistically 50% down, at least.

This is actually an interesting sale in that it exemplifies in a disgusting way what is wrong with this society. The house which Jacobs bought has zero and more likely negative equity, currently. I would be surprised to see this sale not in foreclosure soon enough, as Jacobs has a mortgage on the property in the amount of $232,707, having taken advantage of the $8k tax credit. I doubt he'd find another buyer to pay the price he paid, so the property is probably already underwater.

I have no doubt that the realtor knew this, that the appraisers knew this, that the seller certainly knew this, that the bank knew this and I would not be terribly surprised to find that even the buyer knew this when he allowed all those other creeps to "earn" their fees & profits, all happily provided for by the American tax payer. Shame on us all.

As to building equity based upon where the property is located, though I'm fairly new here (this time around), I don't think there's much difference between being in a more urban area and Carrolwood. The house is just off Bearss (am I the only person who always reads that highway sign as Bare Ass?) directly between 275 & 589 so he's probably got good access around town. Though I was recently stuck on Dale Mabry during rush hour heading north towards Fletcher and yikes, what a mess that is. Still, it is not quite the far burbs which requires hours of commuting to work everyday, so even if fuel prices skyrocket, costs should remain manageable.

Buying in an urban area today can be risky, considering that we are not out of this financial disaster yet and won't be for years and things could get worse still. I do love the old heights areas nearer to downtown but decided against them. Having lived downtown for very many years in south Florida, it's nothing I haven't already experienced. It was fun in my youth but I like having some distance now. My area, similar to the Jacobs' home, is fairly walkable, not entirely car dependent and there's a very strong employment & rental base immediately nearby.

Also urban living depends on the city. Tampa is not Fort Lauderdale and likely never will be. Simply if not, pardon me, crassly put, there's too many wonderful old houses for enough gay people to move in and rehab them all. And monied straights will not be headed were even gays fear to tread. And if you love urban living now, just wait until the economy crashes for real. Because if that little crash the other year was just the test run, well, some distance from downtown might be just the equity these times require.

Last edited by housingcrashsurvivor; 01-11-2010 at 02:32 PM.. Reason: correction
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Old 01-11-2010, 02:54 PM
 
Location: SARASOTA, FLORIDA
11,501 posts, read 13,432,292 times
Reputation: 4876
Quote:
Originally Posted by bentlebee View Post
Well written!

I was annoyed with the arrogance of the local realtor's in 2005 who always said "oh the house just came on the market while it was taken off 3 times so the clock would start all over. I had a realtor stating that I wouldn't be abl to rent out my home without his help and the MLS, I was so motivated due to all his remarks and had and have it rented out so fast. It will become available at the end of the month and after advertising on Craigslist I find a tenant with good credentials, so it is rented out and just emty for like a few days for cleaning

Many of the professionals I run into in 2005 are now not working in the field anymore and shouldn't come back an day soon. They never belonged there and were just there for the quick money without doing much work and trying to talk an innocent buyer into a deal that wasn't so good and way over priced.

I do know that the appraisers website doesn't completely shows the price that in total has been paid in todays market. We bought a short sale and the website shows what we paid, but the seller had to take a judgment and together the price is way higher.

If you see a home that has been sold for higher than the surrounding homes, it could be that more additonal things will affect the price, it doesn't mean the new HO has been scammed, you need to know the house from the inside out. You can't see if the house recently has been Hurricane proof, had a new A/C, new roof, etc...

Also some of these homes could have been sold pretty low since the (to me criminal last HO) house could be stripped of almost anything and not having a kitchen and bathroom anymore.

Btw. the short sale I bought I had it rented out so fast while in the same community realtor's were renting out some units, even next door and the HO who was by that time in financial trouble told me it was impossible to rent a unit out, and his was for rent for 1 year!!!! Mine was rented out within a week!

As the Op stated, I had a sign, fliers filled everyday...and most important I answered my phone and scheduled showings and maybe the most important, it showed really well + top location (but that was also for the neighbor....). Since I start renting out all my rent amount's have been raised and the new tenant is going to pay a little bit more. Well for me almost everything has gone up in price

If professional real estate people stll think buyers and in many times sellers, are still naive and stupid, the are in for a wake up. People hopefully have learned their lesson.
I agree also.

The house beside my Mom and Dad went through some issues recently.

It was appraised at 425k three years ago, when they went to sell it last summer they hired a local agent who has a huge amount sales on her record and seemed to be the workaholic that everyone is looking for.

When the neighbors had it appraised the appraiser came in at 275k. When they questioned the appraisers comps he said that those are the best comps he could come up with.

Come to find out that the appraiser is the real estate agents hubby, and she goes by her maiden name and not her married name.

He was low balling properties on purpose and passing the info onto her so she could sell it below the real value. It was found that she sold tons of homes for far more then he appraised them for once the connection of the two was made.

So when you said many of them did not belong in the business this is a set that surely did not.

People need to do their homework and check everything you can about the home, prices, comps etc. If anything is suspicious then they need to ask questions.

And if it seems to good to be real then you really need to do your homework in detail.
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Old 01-11-2010, 02:58 PM
 
1,500 posts, read 2,793,611 times
Reputation: 1228
Quote:
Originally Posted by housingcrashsurvivor View Post
Even unadjusted for inflation, I paid a 1994 price for the property I recently purchased here
correction, relooked up my figures, i paid a 1994 price, inflation adjusted. read: given the bubble over-correction, there's been zero profit made on this property in the past 15 year period.
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Old 01-12-2010, 07:13 AM
 
25,882 posts, read 39,172,212 times
Reputation: 13870
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunny-Days90 View Post
I agree also.

The house beside my Mom and Dad went through some issues recently.

It was appraised at 425k three years ago, when they went to sell it last summer they hired a local agent who has a huge amount sales on her record and seemed to be the workaholic that everyone is looking for.

When the neighbors had it appraised the appraiser came in at 275k. When they questioned the appraisers comps he said that those are the best comps he could come up with.

Come to find out that the appraiser is the real estate agents hubby, and she goes by her maiden name and not her married name.

He was low balling properties on purpose and passing the info onto her so she could sell it below the real value. It was found that she sold tons of homes for far more then he appraised them for once the connection of the two was made.

So when you said many of them did not belong in the business this is a set that surely did not.

People need to do their homework and check everything you can about the home, prices, comps etc. If anything is suspicious then they need to ask questions.

And if it seems to good to be real then you really need to do your homework in detail.
From what I got to know about real estate in this area...almost everyday I meet people telling em they are a realtor , and though I know there are good ones out there, mostly I think twice and will take everything with a grain of salt...and before i ever hire a realtor again, I will check them out on the public records, criminal records and never sign a 6 months contract ever! the minute you sign, the work for 14 days and than it is over...on to the next person they can sign a contract with...and they shouldn't blame the customers, but realize that they mess we are in, was created partially by them as well...
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