Archive for the ‘Orlando real estate news’ Category

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The Art of Real Estate (or any type of) Negotiation

March 19, 2013

In my mind, a successful negotiation is not where one side has pulverized the other. You don’t “win” a negotiation; you get the best possible outcome for your clients while doing the least harm. No one should leave a negotiation angry. After all, you never know when you might have to negotiate with the same people again.  When it comes to negotiating on behalf of my clients, I keep the following in mind:

 

Set the stage: I like a location that’s quiet, neutral, pleasant, and away from distractions and confusion.  It’s best if everyone turns off their devices, and refrains from calls or texts during negotiations.

 

Be prepared: I never enter without my homework. I verify any outstanding facts before the negotiation begins. (Later fact-finding can cause a negotiation to bog down!)

 

Present a united front: I represent clients and have been hired to act on their wishes. At times I may not agree with their position, but I never share that with the other side. If I feel a client’s position is less than optimal, I only discuss it with them in private

 

Leave attitudes at the door: It’s very simple… treat everyone in the negotiation with respect, regardless of personal opinions. If anyone disagrees, disagree with the idea, not the person.

 

Watch non-verbal cues and body language: (Sorry, but I can’t reveal all of my secrets here… suffice it to say I take it all in!)

 

Hold something in reserve: I discuss concessions with my clients beforehand and only offer these concessions when we absolutely need to concede something.

 

I don’t harp about points that don’t matter to my clients: Negotiations should never choke over a minor point.  I like to get agreement on major points such as price and terms and put lesser items aside to return to later.

 

Never volunteer too much information: Knowledge is power in a negotiation. Telling the other side any information, however insignificant seeming, could weaken my clients’ position. On the other hand, I learn as much about the other side as I can.

 

If you ever need someone on your side in a real estate negotiation, feel free to contact me directly: 407-925-7721 (Cell or Text) or lindahutchinson@msn.com.

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Holy cow – there are no homes to sell…

January 30, 2013

house sideways

Things have gotten a wee bit strange in real estate recently. There are simply too few homes for sale. I have buyers…lots of buyers actually but there is an absolutely nothing to show them. If you want a home in the $200,000 to $350,000 price range in a good area of Orlando then you had better be prepared to look a long time and jump on something the minute it becomes available. I’m seeing multiple offers on homes listed and anxious agents who want contracts signed before it is too late. There is definitely a sense of urgency in the Orlando real estate marketplace.

What does this mean? The economy is affecting homes listed for sale as potential sellers fear they won’t obtain fair market value for their home. The majority of homes for sale in Orlando remain short sales or foreclosures. We need to see the inventory of distress sales dwindle and more normal market conditions return.

What is normal? Who knows? But this certainly isn’t it.

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The Devil is in the Details – Ignoring Negative News

October 11, 2011

I had made a pact with myself that I would not read all the negative real estate news this year and I broke my own agreement. The result – I think too negatively about this business that I love. 

Numbers, declines, foreclosures, and loss of jobs…these are all real and troubling issues in challenging economic times. But to dwell on them creates a mindset of defeat. It can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. 

I have to remember to think of the bright spot. Homes ARE still selling and people ARE still buying. It may not be as easy as it once was but after 20+ years in the business – you just have to stick one foot in front of the other and hunt down some deals. 

The numbers are mind boggling but there is always hope and always a chance to make a difference in someone’s life with the purchase of real estate. Details be darned – I’m moving full steam ahead.

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Safety First – why your agent should use an Electronic Lockbox

June 22, 2011

I recently had the pleasure of taking an out of state buyer to look at properties in Central Florida. I was ALARMED (sorry for the pun) at the number of homes without electronic lockboxes.

The alternative that is used is often a “locker-style” lockbox where the agent enters an alphanumeric code such as A-B-C  to open the box and obtain a homeowner’s house key. The problem with that system is that any prospective and attentive buyer can watch you use the code and gain access to your home in the future. While I don’t think break-ins are increasing – it is still a security risk. These lockboxes are cheaper but not safer for the homeowner.

I highly recommend the electronic lockbox (no cost to the seller – just to the agent) because they LOCK at night and no one can gain access to your house unless they use a Board of REALTOR’s issued lockbox key which records via an electronic keypad the showing agent who is going in and out of your home. All this information is downloaded daily to the listing agent via the internet. These lockboxes are safe and effective.

In my business the customer comes first and the customer’s safety is of the utmost importance to me. Be smart.

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Show me the money…

May 15, 2011

If you have been reading my blogs then you would know this headline may be a bit misleading. It’s NOT really all about the money.

But when it does comes to money – people need to be smart. When I refer to people…I mean Sellers.

There used to be a thought process in selling real estate that the three things that mattered were PRICE, LOCATION and CONDITION. While it still remains true to some degree. I would argue that in our current market the ONLY thing that matters is PRICE.

The homes selling in the Central Florida area are priced right and priced to sell. That means short sales as well as non-distressed properties. In this market, your home has to be priced to compete. Sellers should understand why their home isn’t sold – it is most certainly going to come down to price. I have seen homes in the worst of condition that sell because they are priced to attract buyers. It is our job, as real estate sales educators to advise our clients accordingly. PRICE = SOLD.

Show them the money.

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Looks matter…

May 7, 2011

I am preparing to sell my parent’s villa-style retirement home and I am getting ready to set the “stage” with color, light and stunning furniture & accessories. All this for a home that will sell under $200K. But I know in doing so – I’ll sell it faster than my competitors.

Why do I do this? Because in today’s real estate world – looks matter. They matter more than ever. I have noticed that you can show buyers great values but if the homes are ugly, dirty, smelly or just not exciting, then they won’t sell. Buyers want something pretty and they don’t want to do anything to make it pretty. They are looking for inherited pretty.

I recently had someone submit a contract on one of my listings where they asked for ALL the furniture and accessories in the home to be included in the purchase price. While this may be extreme, it further validates my belief that a visually stunning home will sell faster than a home without decorating. Buyers want it all.

There will always be investors looking for great buys. But investors are now buying dumps and turning them into show homes with staged furniture. It’s more common than ever and a smart move for savvy sellers. Have you noticed that even foreclosed homes are now getting a facelift and banks are reaping the benefit with higher sales prices?

So for anyone who wants to improve their chances of getting a home sold? Call in a decorator and get that home in show shape. It makes a difference.

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Luxury home sales – oh, my…

May 4, 2011

Somebody once told me to give them “just the facts” and so here you go – the facts:

We had another interesting month in the Central Florida region for luxury homes. I know this blog is titled a luxury real estate blog but honestly, there is precious little to talk about.

According to the Mid-Florida MLS, we currently have 404 luxury homes (over $1 Million in value) active and for sale in the Orlando area. However, in April there were only thirteen (13) homes sold over $1 Million with the vast majority of the sold homes located in the SW area of Orlando also known as Dr. Phillips or Windermere. Winter Park had four sales with Lake Nona having one sale. There is simply not much to brag about with these ugly statistics.

What is selling? Eighty (80%) percent of the homes sold in the month of April were under $200,000. Most were cash meaning that we still have a strong presence of investors in the market. The bulk of sales representing 46% of the homes sold were under $100,000.

Having sold homes for over 20 years, I can honestly say that these figures are indicative of the fact that Central Florida remains in a housing slump, prices have bottomed out but are not appreciating at this time and loans are still hard to obtain. In short, not much change from the past few months. Investors currently control the market.

The facts may not be what we had hoped for but it is a reflection of challenging economic times in the United States. Here’s hoping for a stronger month of May for all of us!