Video Blogs to help you get "Real Estate Smart"

Here at The Miller Realty Group we like to provide current and future homeowner's the information they need to help them make the right decisions when they are buying, selling or investing in real estate.  This is why we continue to share our expertise via Video Blogs on our website for everyone to see.  We firmly believe that in the real estate market that "Knowledge is Power"!  Let our expertise empower you with your real estate needs.

Always feel free to Contact Us if you need our help!

March 5, 2018

What is Opendoor?

There is a new real estate venture coming to town called Opendoor.  Much like Zillow's Instant Offer and OfferPad this service promotes the ease of moving.  This service is a bit like the others out there. The potential seller enters the home information on the site and within 24 hours the seller will get a cash offer on the property.  The benefits of using Opendoor is the the seller does not have to list their home and get it ready to sell, there will not be potential buyers come through the home, and the seller can choose a closing date between 14 and 60 days.  

When the offer is provided, Opendoor will come back with the cash offer and a list of their fees.  In David's test of Opendoor, the offer that was given did come in a market value, unlike the offer David was given by Offerpad.   The list of fees will show right away why Opendoor does not claim to save the seller money.  One of the fees listed on the offer is the customer experience and risk fee.  This is a fee that can range from 6%-8% of the purchase price.  Another fee they give is 2% seller concession which they say is about average on a typical real estate transaction. To compare, the typical commission the seller pays to the real estate agents is 6% and an agent knowledgable on the market can negotiate the seller concession. 

Opendoor states by using their service there will not be a mortgage overlap when selling and then buying a property.  This means that if the seller cannot sell their home and they buy another they will have 2 mortgages.  Often times people  get nervous about the chance they will either have to pay 2 mortgages or they could be homeless if their home sells quickly and they cannot find another one.   By working with an experienced real estate agent the seller can avoid these situations. 

Opendoor only provides one offer.  An experience real estate agent can provide the proper exposure for the property and create urgency for the chance of receiving multiple offers on the property.  The seller then has the leverage to choose the offer that will be the best option for them.

While Opendoor, Offerpad and Zillow's Instant offer all sound hassle free in the commercials, they do have their downsides.  A seller looking for a convenient way to sell their property that is quick and easy this may be the way to go.  However, by going the "quick and easy" route and not choosing to use an experienced real estate agent the seller will most likely not net the money they could have if used a real estate agent to sell their home.

As always, we are here to help you! Please feel free to Contact Us and I hope that I have helped you get real estate smart.

Posted in Seller Video Blogs
Feb. 19, 2018

Is a seller required to provide a copy of a home inspection to a buyer?

If a seller has an inspection report are they required to give the report to the buyer?  The quick answer is no, they are not required to give the inspection report to the buyer. A seller can decide to do an inspection before hand and they are not required to give the report to the buyer.  However, if there are items on the inspection report that are not visible to the buyer and those items affect the value of the property then the seller is required to disclose those items.

For example, if the seller found there was a leak in the roof or there was termite damage, those items would need to be disclosed to the buyer.  The Florida State Law reads: "Seller must disclose all facts which materially affect the value of the property that are not readily observable and not known to the buyer".  Anything the buyer cannot see and affects the value of the property needs to be disclosed but the seller does not have to provide a copy of the report.  A buyer may ask for a copy of an inspection report if a buyer knows one has already been done.  The seller may or may not provide it, but it does not hurt to ask.

For more information on this or if you need trusted realtors to represent you, feel free to Contact Us  and we would be more than happy to assist you. "Get Real Estate Smart" with The Millers!

Jan. 28, 2018

2017 Florida Real Estate Stats

Every year in November, the National Association of Realtors survey buyers and sellers about their real estate experience.  These stats are complied and then passed out to the states.  Here are some stats about Florida buyers and sellers that David and Anne-Marie Miller thought were important and would like to share.

In Florida, 22% of all buyers are first time homebuyers compared to 34% nationally.  When you consider the average age of a Florida homebuyer to be 54, with a median income of $82,000 that makes sense.  Florida is known for having a high population of retirees.  Many people move to Florida to retire and have already owned homes in the past.  They are now looking to downsize and enjoy their retirement.

An interesting statistic about Florida homebuyers is that 15% of homebuyers purchase a multi-generational home.  This means a home with a in-law suite.  This is a type of home where senior parents can move in with their adult children and be taken care of. Along the same lines,  21% of homebuyers bought a senior related homes.  Florida has a lot of great senior communities that are geared for senior living. 

Buyers and sellers were surveyed about whether or not they used a Realtor. 83% of homebuyers used a realtor to purchase their home.  This number seems a bit low considering using a Realtor when buying a home is customarily a seller charge and does not cost the buyer anything.  For this reason, it is recommended that a buyer consult a buyer specialist when purchasing a home to make sure they are getting the most for their money.  90% of sellers selling their home used a Realtor.  This is not surprising since stats show that when a seller uses a Realtor to sell their home they typically net more money then if they were to sell their home on their own. 

For more information on this or if you need trusted realtors to represent you, feel free to Contact Us  and we would be more than happy to assist you. "Get Real Estate Smart" with The Millers!

Jan. 24, 2018

Top 3 Reasons to use a Buyer Specialist in a Sellers Market

At this time, Central Florida is in a "Sellers Market".  A sellers market is when home inventory is low and there is not as many options for the buyers that are in the market to buy a home.  It is a lot more difficult to find a nice home for a good price in this market, so now more then ever it is important to use a buyer specialist when purchasing a home.  Here are the top 3 reasons to use a Buyer Specialist.

1. A Buyer Specialist only works with buyers.  Agents who work with listings and with buyers end up spending a lot of their time focusing on the listing activities, such as entering the listing on all of the websites, scheduling photos and printing the marketing material.  That does not leave much time to research homes that match their buyers needs.

2. A Buyer Specialist dedicates all of their time to their buyers.  They are able to concentrate solely on finding their buyer a great home at a great price.   Buyer Specialists use their time to preview properties and go to broker opens.  This allows them to get to know the market and become local market experts.

3. They have the time to become Market Experts.  Once the Buyer Specialist learns the wants and needs of their buyer they are able to very quickly take a buyer to exactly what they are looking for.  The buyer's time is not wasted searching and looking at properties that are not right for them.

Buyers Specialists also use their time to develop relationships with other agents and are able to develop a good rapport with them.  This is helpful to learn about listings before they even hit the market.  That is very important in a sellers market because once a property hits the MLS it is now available all of the 14,000 agents out there. Another way a Buyer Specialist can learn about properties before they it the market, is by being part of a team.  A Buyer Specialist that is on a team where they have a lot of listings will learn about upcoming listings before anyone else.

If you are in the process of looking to buy a new home, our team specializes in both buyer and listings and we can help you find the home of your dreams within your budget.  Please feel free to Contact Us, we would be happy to help you. We hope that we have helped you get real estate smart. 

Posted in Buyer Video Blogs
Jan. 11, 2018

Real Estate Myth #2 - I can net more money on my house if I don’t use a REALTOR.


Some sellers believe that they will save money by selling their home on their own.  Typically that is not the case.  Stats just came out that say sellers who do not use a real estate agent typically sell their home for 10% less then what it would have sold for if they would have used a real estate agent.  One of the main benefits to using a real estate agent to sell your home, is all of the exposure that a real estate agent can give to your property.  By exposing a property to 100% of the buyers, a demand will be created and the home will have a better chance to sell at top dollar.  It is always best for a seller to first talk to a real estate agent. The real estate agent will provide information on their property and advise on why using a real estate agent will allow them to net the most money for their home.

For more information feel free to Contact Us  and we would be more than happy to assist you. 

Posted in Seller Video Blogs
Jan. 11, 2018

Real Estate Myth #1 - Should you get your house ready to sell PRIOR to bringing in a Realtor?


For the seller that has decided they are ready to sell their house, it is recommended to first call a real estate agent before making any repairs to the property.  A seller might think they need a new roof and after having a real estate agent go through their property they might really only need to paint some walls and change out carpet.  A real estate agent will be able to help the seller save money by advising them on the best ways to improve their property to get their home in top showing condition.  Studies have shown that properties that are in top showing condition will sell quickly and for top dollar.   

For more information feel free to Contact Us  and we would be more than happy to assist you. 

Posted in Seller Video Blogs
Nov. 16, 2017

What is OfferPad?


OfferPad is a tool a seller can use to sell their property without having to get their property in showing condition and without having to actually have showings.  There are benefits and disadvantages to using this program. Some of the benefits are the seller does not have to prepare their house to sell and they will be provided with a cash offer.  OfferPad allows the seller to determine when the closing will take place, they are willing to let them move out after the closing date, pay moving expenses (within certain perimeters) and also pay some of the closing fees.

Those are some pretty good benefits and could save a few thousand dollars.  Now lets take a look at disadvantages. The biggest disadvantage of this service is it will actually end up costing the seller money. David used his property as an example to point out how even though it seems OfferPad is a good deal, in reality it is not good for all sellers.   He recently refinanced and his property appraised at $475,000.  He entered all of his property information into OfferPad and the offer that came back was $437,000 with real estate commission of 6% and another 2.5% fee for an OfferPad Experience fee.  David was  offered $38,000 less then what his house appraised for and still has to pay the full commission.  

If a seller is trying to net the most money possible for their property, OfferPad might not be the best option.  It is always good to talk to a real estate agent before doing anything to find out a more accurate value of a property and to find out what things need to be done to the property for it to sell at top dollar. 

 As always, we are here to help you! Please feel free to Contact Us and I hope that I have helped you get real estate smart.


Posted in Seller Video Blogs
Aug. 17, 2017

What are Zillow Instant Offers


Zillow released a new program to the Orlando market called Instant Offers.  An Instant Offer is for the seller who feels like they can save money by not using a Realtor or does not want to spend time getting their home in showing condition. A seller can upload pictures of their property and in 48 -72 hours will be provided with cash offers.   If the seller decides to go with one of the offers,  an inspection would be done and a property analysis from a realtor will be provided at no cost to them.  This sounds like a quick and easy process, especially if you do not want to get your home ready or deal with showings.  The downside is that the offers that the seller receives will often times be 20-35% less then the market value of the house. Since the offers are so much less then the market value, the seller is not really saving the money they thought they would save by not using real estate agent.  Using a professional real estate agent will help anyone looking to sell their home get top dollar for it and will put more money in the seller's pocket.

Zillow is not the most accurate website for determining the value of a property.  Zillow is not able to give accurate evaluations because they are not able to see in the home to take a look at the updates and other factors that are taken into consideration when calculating the value of a property. It would be like someone who is sick checking out WebMD to find out what is wrong with them.  They would then go to a doctor to get professional help for their illness.   Same thing goes for real estate.  Zillow is a great website for information and to get an idea of what is out there and but a professional real estate agent will be able to provide the most accurate evaluation of a property.

As always, we are more than happy to answer questions. Please feel free to Contact Us for additional information. 

Posted in Seller Video Blogs
Aug. 16, 2017

Do you need a real estate attorney to close in the state of Florida?

In the state of Florida, it is not required to have a real estate attorney present at the sale of a residential property.  The Florida Supreme Court has made a contract that all realtors can use and a licensed Realtor can fill in the blanks. You can choose to have a real estate attorney assist in the transaction if you would like but it is not required. 

There are some instances where a real estate attorney might be a good idea.  If language is added to the contract that is not approved by the Florida Supreme Court it might be a good idea to hire a real estate attorney to review the contract to make sure you are protected. A Realtor is licensed to practice real estate and not licensed to practice law, so they are not able to give legal advise.  Another instance is if you are purchasing new construction.  Builders do not use the same contract as the state does.  They have their own contract with their own language so you would want to have it reviewed to make sure you are protected.  Lastly, you might want to consider hiring a real estate attorney if you are working with an inexperienced agent or an agent who is doe not have the expertise to work through the transaction.  Always make sure you are protected.

I hope that this helped and as always we are here to help, so feel free to Contact Us. We would be happy to help you to Get Real Estate Smart.

May 31, 2017

Find out the 3 recurring costs before purchasing a home!

Before you purchase a home in Orlando Florida, it is important to understand three recurring cost that you will be responsible for after closing.  By understand these cost it will give you a better idea on if you can really afford a property in Orlando, FL or not.

  1. Property Taxes.  Your realtor should be able to provide you what the property taxes would be on an Orlando home you are thinking about purchasing. In looking the property taxes it's important to understand if those would be your final taxes after you purchase your Orlando home or not.  For example, if you purchase a piece of land to build a house on the property tax of the land will be a lot lower rate then after the house is built. Once the Orlando house is built, property will be re-assessed and the property tax can increase anywhere from $700 to $5,000 a year.
  2. Home Owners Association and Assessments: Most neighborhoods in Central Florida have a homeowners associations. As part of the process of buying a property, your Orlando REALTOR should provide you with a homeowners association disclosure which will disclosure how much the HOA fees would be in that community.   You also need to look at what is included in those fees. For example, does it include the maintenance of the lawn, the water bill, electricity, etc. If it does not, you will need to factor the items which are not into your monthly costs. You also need to find out if the homeowners association has any special assessments. Special assessments are fees that are assessed to an entire community for a particular project which may be taking place within the neighborhood.   An example of this would be if a beach front condo needed to build a new way against the beach. 
  3. Home and Flood Insurance:  If you are getting a loan to purchase your home, you are more than likely going to be required to get homeowners insurance. This cost is usually put into an escrow account with the property taxes so you can pay them monthly rather than having to pay them in one lump sum.  You will also need to find out if you the Orlando home you are purchasing is in a flood zone.  If it is then you will need flood insurance as well. Flood insurance is not cheap and if you are required to purchase it, then you should find out immediately how much that cost will be and factor it into your overall expenses.

Those are the three things that you need to be aware before purchasing a home.

I hope that this helped and as always we are here to help, so feel free to Contact Us. We would be happy to help you to Get Real Estate Smart.

Posted in Buyer Video Blogs