Selling Your Real Estate: 5 Tips to Pick a Powerful Listing Agent


Your Listing agent

Here are five tips to help you identify the best real estate agent to get your home sold as fast as possible and for the most money. 

1. Hire a full-time real estate agent.  Part-time agents typically have less experience and fewer sold properties under their belts than full-time agents.  Because part-time agents usually have another job, they don’t have as much time to take care of your needs and market and show your home to potential buyers.  Full-time agents have bigger networks they can enlist to help find a buyer for your home.

2. Find a skilled negotiator.  A seasoned real estate agent understands the psychological nature of selling a home.  They advise you during the contract negotiations to ensure you get the best deal while alleviating your stress.

3. Pick an aggressive marketer.  Without a well-implemented, far-reaching marketing program, your house will sit on the market these days.  You want an agent who promotes your home both online and offline, in order to reach the greatest number of potential buyers.  Simply having your home listed on Realtor.com is no longer enough of an online presence.  You want your home showcased on multiple websites with a lot of professional photos and, ideally, a video tour.

4. Choose an agent who knows your neighborhood.  Each neighborhood has different pros and cons which must be promoted or overcome by the agent.  An effective agent knows how to price your property because they know the local competition, which homes that have closed recently are similar to yours and how much they’ve sold for.

5. Ask for home staging services.  Home staging is no longer a “nice to have;” it’s now a “must have,” if you want to sell your home for the most money in the least amount of time.  Many agents are now professional stagers or have a home stager on their teams. 
Choosing a powerful listing agent is your first step toward a successful home sale. 

If you’d like to work with an agent who is a skilled negotiator, an aggressive marketer, provides home staging services and works full time, give me a call today at [239-699-0142 or email me at Liloc@att.net. Please also visit my Website at www.LiloRealtor.com

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Posted in Cape Coral, Cape Coral homes for sale, FL real estate, Foreclosures, Fort Myers Fl Homes, Investors, Real Estate, Short Sales, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Is a Small Home Right for You?


tiny house

With the struggling economy and the move toward living greener, small houses are becoming more popular.  You may have heard about the Small House Movement and wondered if living in a small Cape Coral/Fort Myers home is right for you. 

To help you decide, here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about small houses:

How tiny is a small house?
What is typically referred to as a small house varies widely in size from about 650 square feet down to the extremely miniscule house of about 120 square feet. However, any home with fewer square feet than you’re living in now can be considered a small house.  If you’re currently living in 3,000 square feet and you move to a Cape Coral/Fort Myers home with 1,500 square feet, you’ve downsized by half.  It all depends on your perspective.

Does smaller equate to less expensive?
Most smaller Cape Coral/Fort Myers homes are less expensive simply because of the reduced square footage.  For the same reason, smaller houses cost less to heat, cool and maintain.  Of course, if you add on luxury features like marble counters and hand-carved built-ins, a small home can quickly go from economical to expensive.

Do I have to have it built from scratch?
Although the Small House Movement is fairly new, there have been small houses around for centuries.  Depending on the area in which you live they may be called cottages, bungalows, row houses, town houses or even shotgun houses.

Whether you want a micromini house, a mcmansion or any size in between, I can help you find and negotiate a good price for it.  Give me a call today at 239-699-0142 or email me at Liloc@att.net to get started.

Please visit my website at www.LiloRealtor.com

Posted in Cape Coral, Cape Coral homes for sale, FL real estate, Foreclosures, Fort Myers Fl Homes, Investors, Real Estate, Short Sales, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Keep Your Cool This Summer as Real Estate Heats Up


How to buy a Cape Coral homeBuying a home is a business transaction, but it’s hard to keep emotions completely out of the process. Most sellers in today’s market already know that they need to avoid unnecessarily angering their buyers. And buyers shouldn’t make the mistake of thinking that just because the Cape Coral real estate market is down they can get away with annoying sellers. Keep your cool this summer and avoid upsetting sellers so that your home purchase goes smoothly and for a fair price.

• Don’t put down their home. By pointing out everything that is wrong with a house, you could force the sellers to take less money, but this strategy hardly ever works. You’re more likely to anger the seller to the point that they won’t continue negotiations. That doesn’t mean you can’t fight for the best deal possible, but be careful not to shoot yourself in the foot.
• Don’t present an absurdly low offer. In today’s market, there’s often room to negotiate on Cape Coral real estate, but offering something WAY to low will often insult the seller. You’re better off coming in with what you think is a fair or a slightly low offer — and negotiating from there.
• Don’t put off getting a pre-approved loan. There’s nothing that will frustrate a seller more than getting almost all the way through the purchasing process only to find out you can’t get financing. With your pre-approval, you’ll know exactly what you can afford so you won’t waste your or the seller’s time.
• Don’t renegotiate at the end. Never offer over what you want to pay and then attempt to ask for a massive price reduction to fix every minor repair. Of course, if a major repair needs to be completed, you can certainly expect that to be reflected in the price. Just don’t attempt to lure the seller in with a price you know you’re unwilling to pay.

If you’d like to work with a real estate agent who can help you stay cool while purchasing Cape Coral real estate this summer, call me at 239-699-0142 or email me at liloc@att.net for more information.

Posted in Cape Coral, Cape Coral homes for sale, FL real estate, Foreclosures, Fort Myers Fl Homes, Investors, Real Estate, Short Sales, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Real Estate Investing: Buying a Short Sale Steps 6 through 10


If you haven’t read “Cape Coral Real Estate Investing:  Buying a Short Sale Steps 1 through 5,” start there.  This blog post provides steps 5 through 9 of the short sale process.
6.  Visit the Cape Coral real estate on your short list.  You’ve already searched for short sales, researched them and narrowed your list to a few short sales that meet your criteria and have the best chance of making it to closing.  Now it’s time to personally visit the few on your short list.  Your primary purpose in visiting the property is to get an estimate as to how much it’s going to cost you to repair the home.  As a real estate investor, you want a property that needs some work so that the average home buyer won’t want it, and you can get it at a lower-than-average price.   But, you also want a property that is in good enough condition that the cost of the property plus repairs still gives you a good return on your investment.
7. Get a home inspection.  Since short sales are typically sold “as is,” it’s crucial that you have a licensed home inspector evaluate the condition of the short sale that you’ve decided is the one you want to buy.  An inspection will find problems you might not have been able to see in your initial visit to the home.  It will also give you a more precise idea of how much it’s going to cost you to repair and renovate the property.
8. Make an offer.  Now that you’ve found the short sale you want to buy, you’re ready to prepare an offer.  Have your Cape Coral real estate agent prepare all the documentation and submit the offer to the seller’s agent.  The seller’s agent will submit the documentation to the lender.  Hopefully, you’ve chosen a short sale with only one lender, but if there is more than one lender, remember that all lenders have to agree on the terms of the sale.
9. Make a counter offer or walk away.  After getting your offer, the lender has his real estate agent evaluate the offer.  More than likely the lender will make a counteroffer.  That’s the time for you to do a final evaluation.  Double check your numbers using the higher purchase price and ask yourself, “Is this property really going to give me the profit I want?”  If the answer to this question is no, or if you’ve already reached the maximum you’re willing to pay for the property, it’s time to walk away.
10. Finalize the deal.  After you, the seller and the lender have all reached an agreement, get everything in writing and officially record it.  Go to closing, and the property is now yours.  Congratulations!
If you’re a Cape Coral real estate investor looking for a well-priced property to invest in, I can help.  Give me a call today at 239-699-0142 or email me at Liloc@att.net for more information.

Posted in Cape Coral, Cape Coral homes for sale, FL real estate, Foreclosures, Fort Myers Fl Homes, Investors, Real Estate, Short Sales, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Get Fired Up with Quick Fixes that Will Pay Off selling your Home


Spruce up your Cape Coral homeWith people gathering for summer pool parties and barbecues, it’s time to spruce up your Cape Coral home. Almost every house could use some remodeling here and there, but if you’re thinking about putting your house on the market in the near future, you’ll also need to consider investing in updates that will provide a return.

So, before you fire up your grill, below are a few quick repairs to spark motivation, kindle a good investment and put fire behind a speedy sale of your Cape Coral home.

• Flooring.  Consider refinishing hardwood floors, if they haven’t been done in a while; it’s worth the investment. Carpet should be in great shape. If not, replace it with a new neutral color. Also, make sure there aren’t any noticeable cracks in tile floors.
• Kitchens. Consider updating your countertops. Granite is great, but most markets still appreciate nice laminate. You can refinish cabinets with paint or stain, if they’re looking old and tired. If nothing else, a few dollars worth of drawer pulls will go a long way to sprucing up the look of your kitchen. Finally, consider replacing a worn-out faucet — it’s easy, and most home owners can probably do it themselves.
• Paint and wallpaper. Remove your wallpaper. Even buyers that like wallpaper will hate yours — it’s just a fact of life. Also, make sure every room looks freshly painted. Most buyers want a finished house, not a bunch of projects.
• Roof. Consider replacing your roof, if it needs it. You’ll get most of your money back, and your house will sell a lot faster. Buyers will likely move on from properties needing large repairs.
• Exterior. Patch cracks in the cement, plant flowers and replace dated door hardware. These are all inexpensive fixes that will pay off with a quick sale for more money.
If you’d like a professional opinion on which updates you should make for the best return on your Cape Coral home this summer, call me at 239-699-0142 or email me at Liloc@att.net.

Posted in Cape Coral, Cape Coral homes for sale, FL real estate, Foreclosures, Fort Myers Fl Homes, Investors, Real Estate, Short Sales, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Real Estate Investing: How to Buy Short Sales


Steps 1 through 5

Are you a Cape Coral/Fort Myers real estate investor or home buyer who wants to buy a short sale in order to get a great deal?  Unless you’re a seasoned short sale buyer, it’s not as easy as you may have been told.  In fact, there are so many steps to the process; this blog post only covers the first five.

1. Hire an experienced Cape Coral/Fort Myers real estate agent.  The first thing you want to do is find a real estate agent who is knowledgeable about buying short sales in your local market.  Unless you’re already a short sales expert, you need an experienced agent to guide you through the process because most homes that are listed as short sales never even make it to closing due to problems encountered along the way.  In fact, some stats show that as few as 1 in 10 short sales make it all the way to closing.

2. Get your financing in order.  How are you going to pay for the property?  Before you do anything else, have your financing in order.  In a short sale, the lender often moves at a snail’s pace, but you have to be able to move quickly.  Once an agreement is worked out, the lender may require that you close in as few as 20 days.  That’s not enough time to shop for a mortgage.

3. Search for short sales.  Your agent will have access to all the homes up for sale as short sales.  Let him or her help you sort through the homes to identify those that fit your needs and are most likely to make it to closing. 

4. Research the short list of short sales.  Have your real estate agent (see how much work this agent is doing for you?) research the short list of short sales you’re interested in to find out how many mortgages each of them have and how much money is owed.  If you find that there are a lot of loans against a property, your best bet is to move on and find a short sale with only one loan.  Additionally, your experienced agent can steer you away from homes with lenders who are difficult to work with on short sales.

5. Be prepared to pay close to market value.  This may sound ridiculous to you because you’ve heard that short sales are an amazing bargain.  Yes, some short sales are priced very low, however, that does not mean the lender will accept that super-low price.  Typically, the short sales that actually make it to closing are going to be priced close to current market value.  Have your real estate agent research pending sale comparable to determine what the current market value is for the short sale you’re thinking of buying.
Part 6-10 following.
If you’re interested in investing in Cape Coral/Fort Myers real estate, I can help you find the true bargains, whether they’re short sales, foreclosures or just well-priced real estate.   Give me a call today at 239-699-0142 or email me at Liloc@att.net.

Posted in Cape Coral, Cape Coral homes for sale, FL real estate, Foreclosures, Fort Myers Fl Homes, Real Estate, Short Sales, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

The Fourth of July means more than just fireworks in Southwest Florida.


This weekend’s patriotic celebrations include everything from parades and pony rides to block parties and live music (including a bluegrass/folk concert at Naples Botanical Garden and country singer Heidi Newfield in downtown Cape Coral’s Red, White & Boom festival).

Here are some of the three-day weekend’s biggest events:

Monday, July 4

4th of July

4th of july

Bonita Springs

– Star Spangled Bonita: Bonita Springs celebrates the Fourth of July with live bands, contests and a laser-light/fireworks show. 6 p.m. Free admission. There will also be a parade at 9 a.m. traveling along Old 41 from Bonita Drive to Pennsylvania Avenue. Riverside Park, Old 41 Road, Bonita Springs. 949-6260 or cityofbonitasprings.org

Cape Coral

– Heidi Newfield headlines Red White & Boom: The country star performs at Cape Coral’s annual Fourth of July celebration. The former Trick Pony singer and lead guitarist recently released the single “Stay Up Late.” The celebration starts at 4 p.m. and ends with fireworks after Newfield’s 8 p.m. concert. Other activities include kids games and activities (including an obstacle course and rock wall), food, arts and crafts vendors and a 5K race at 6:30 p.m. Free admission. The foot of the Cape Coral Bridge at Cape Coral Parkway and Del Prado Boulevard, Cape Coral. 549-6900 or capecoralchamber.com

– Free Patriotic Concert: The Veterans Foundation of Cape Coral and The City of Cape Coral present “A Tribute to America in Honor of our Veterans.” The Cultural Park Theatre Players perform. 10 a.m. to noon. Free admission. There will also be a Vietnam veterans honor guard ceremony. Free bottled water. Takes place at the pavilion outside Four Mile Cove Ecological Preserve, located on the east end of Southeast 23rd Terrace, Cape Coral (near the Iwo Jima statue).

Fort Myers

– Freedom Fest: The annual block party features DJ Tommy Tunes and kids activities and play areas starting at 2 p.m.; live bands on six stages starting at 6 p.m. (Deb & The Dynamics, Strange Arrangement, High Tide, No Way Jose, Fakahatchee and Memphis 56); and fireworks at 9:30 p.m., choreographed to music broadcast by radio station 102.9 BOB FM. Free admission. For $5, you can sit in a preferred viewing area in the Harborside Event Center parking lot (children get in free). Live music resumes after the fireworks, and downtown bars, restaurants and stores will offer discounts with the purchase of a $10 wristband. Proceeds from wristband sales go to American Legion Post 38 and the River District Alliance. Downtown Fort Myers. 855-732-3836.

Fort Myers Beach

– Fort Myers Beach Parade and Fireworks: The annual Fourth of July parade starts at 10 a.m. at Beach Elementary School, 2751 Oak St., Fort Myers Beach. The Sky Bridge will close at 9:45 a.m. and reopen after the parade ends, about 90 minutes later. Fireworks start at 9 p.m. off the Times Square pier at Lynn Hall Memorial Park, 950 Estero Blvd., Fort Myers Beach. 454-7500

Pine Island

– Pine Island’s Fourth of July Parade & Fireworks: The parade starts at at 10 a.m. at Winn-Dixie Center, 9864 Stringfellow Road, Pine Island. It then travels north to the Elks Lodge, 5630 Pine Island Road. An all-day celebration follows at the American Legion, 4106 Stringfellow Road. That includes a barbecue and live bands. Free admission. The event concludes with fireworks at dusk, weather permitting. 283-5270

Sanibel Island

– Annual parade: The island’s annual Fourth of July parade starts at 9:30 a.m. on Periwinkle Way. It travels from Tarpon Bay Road to Casa Ybel Road. Various businesses along the parade route will have events and entertainment. No fireworks were scheduled at press time, although a private group was trying to raise money to pay for a fireworks show. 472-3700

San Carlos Park

– San Carlos Park Fourth of July Parade: The 21st annual parade starts at 8:30 a.m. at the corner of U.S. 41 and Sanibel Boulevard, and it continues to Three Oaks Community Park. There will be no festival following the parade this year. Three Oaks Community Park, 18251 Three Oaks Parkway, Fort Myers. 410-8747

Naples

– Fireworks Extravaganza, Parade and 5K Race: The Firecracker 5K Race starts at 9 a.m. at Fleischmann Park, 1600 Fleischmann Blvd., Naples. Entry fee is $10 ($15 the day before the race, $20 the day of the race, $10 for students at any time. Gulf Coast Runners members get a discount). To register, go to gcrunner.org.

The parade starts at 10 a.m. in downtown Naples and travels from Broad Avenue South to Third Street South, Fifth Avenue South and Eighth Street.

Fireworks start at 9 p.m. at the Naples Pier and feature a 25-minute display set to patriotic music (tune your radio to WAVV 101.1 FM). Downtown Naples. 213-7113 or naplesgov.com.

– Fourth of July Fireworks Cruise: Celebrate on the water with an unobstructed view of the fireworks. Includes free champagne, a sweet treat and patriotic music. 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $60 ($50 for ages 12 and younger). Reservations required. Cruise Naples, located at the corner of 12th Street South and Sixth Avenue South in Tin City, Naples. 263-4949

Charlotte County

– Charlotte Harbor Freedom Swim and Fourth Of July Celebration: The annual Freedom Swim features hundreds of swimmers and boaters. The 1.5-mile swim starts at 9 a.m. on the north end of the U.S. 41 bridge and ends at Fisherman’s Village, 1200 W. Retta Esplanade, Punta Gorda. Live bands play at the Village throughout the day. No signups or prizes for the swim. 941-639-8721
– Bayshore Fourth of July Celebration: Soft-rock duo Beans and Seeds perform at 7:30 p.m. and will be followed by fireworks. Free admission. Hot dogs and soft drinks will be sold, and people can also bring picnic meals. Bayshore Live Oak Park, 22959 Bayshore Road, Port Charlotte. 941-235-5013

Saturday, July 9
– Third annual Freedom Photo: Past and present military personnel are invited for this photo shoot honoring the sacrifices made by local veterans to safeguard our freedoms. The appreciation ceremony includes the singing of the national anthem, a reenactment of “The Last Patrol” Vietnam War mission, guest speaker John Sullivan (mayor of Cape Coral), refreshments, live music and the Freedom Photo shoot. Photo shoot participants are encouraged to wear their uniform, colors and patches. All participants will receive a copy of the photo. 11 a.m. Free. Fort Myers Harley-Davidson, 2160 Colonial Blvd., Fort Myers. 275-4647 or hdfortmyers.com

Posted in Cape Coral, FL real estate, Foreclosures, Fort Myers Fl Homes, Real Estate, Short Sales, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

And, just in time for Independence Day


And, just in time for Independence Day
Posted Under: General Area in Cape Coral, Financing in Cape Coral, In My Neighborhood in Cape Coral  |  July 3, 2011 4:20 AM  |  2 views  |  1 comment .The U.S. Small Business Administration has a business-loan program designed for people with ties to the armed forces.

And, just in time for Independence Day, it’s issued a progress report for its Patriot Express loan program.
Patriot Express marked its fourth birthday late last month. Altogether, it has provided more than $633 million in SBA-guaranteed loans to 7,650 veterans across the country, to start or expand their small businesses.
Of that total:
-Lee County veterans were approved for 15 loans totaling $666,800.
-Collier County veterans got four loans totaling $160,000.-What: Patriot Express loans

-Usable for: Most business purposes, including start-up, expansion, equipment purchases, working capital, inventory or business-occupied real-estate purchases. Maximum amount: $500,000  -Interest rates: Generally between 2.25 percent and 4.75 percent above the prime lending rate Usable for: Most business purposes, including start-up, expansion, equipment purchases, working capital, inventory or business-occupied real-estate purchases. 

Maximum amount: $500,000  

Interest rates: Generally between 2.25 percent and 4.75 percent above the prime lending rate  

– Who’s eligible: U.S. military veterans, service-disabled veterans, active-service members eligible for the Transition Assistance Program, reservists and National Guard members, spouses of the above – and widowed spouses of eligible veterans or service members.

At A Glance
• What: Patriot Express loans

• Usable for: Most business purposes, including start-up, expansion, equipment purchases, working capital, inventory or business-occupied real-estate purchases.

• Maximum amount: $500,000

• Interest rates: Generally between 2.25 percent and 4.75 percent above the prime lending rate

• Who’s eligible: U.S. military veterans, service-disabled veterans, active-service members eligible for the Transition Assistance Program, reservists and National Guard members, spouses of the above — and widowed spouses of eligible veterans or service members.

• Lenders:Get a list by calling the SBA district office, 305-536-5521, ext. 102.

Lilo Clacher
www.LiloRealtor.com

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Happy 4th of July


By Washington Irving

While danger was gathering round New York, and its inhabitants were in mute suspense and fearful anticipations, the General Congress at Philadelphia was discussing, with closed doors, what John Adams pronounced, “The greatest question ever debated in America, and as great as ever was or will be debated among men.” The result was, a resolution passed unanimously on the 2nd of July – “that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States.”

“The 2nd of July,” adds the same patriot statesman, “will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to Almighty God. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forth forevermore.”

The glorious event has, indeed, given rise to an annual jubilee – but not on the day designated by Adams. The FOURTH of July is the day of national rejoicing, for on that day the “Declaration of Independence,” that solemn and sublime document, was adopted.

Tradition gives a dramatic effect to its announcement. It was known to be under discussion, but the closed doors of Congress excluded the populace. They awaited, in throngs, an appointed signal. In the steeple of the State House was a bell, imported twenty-three years previously from London by the Provincial Assembly of Pennsylvania. It bore the portentous text from Scripture: “Proclaim Liberty throughout all the land, unto all the inhabitants thereof.” A joyous peal from that bell gave notice that the bill had been passed. It was the knell of British domination.

Posted in Cape Coral, Cape Coral homes for sale, FL real estate, Foreclosures, Fort Myers Fl Homes, Real Estate, Short Sales, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Real Estate Investing: Buying Cape Coral Foreclosures


Buy a Cape Coral foreclosure property

Cape Coral Fl foreclosure property

According to a nationwide survey from Move, Inc., real estate investors are likely to be three times more active than other types of homebuyers in their local markets within the next two years.  If you’re one of those soon-to-be real estate investors, you may want to consider buying Cape Coral foreclosures.
Here are a few tips to help you get the best buy:
• Don’t judge Cape Coral foreclosures by their appearance.  A million dollar mansion may have a beautiful façade but may be hiding extensive termite damage to its foundation.   On the other hand, a fixer-upper may look rundown but may have excellent structure and can be fixed up easily for a fairly small amount.  Always get a professional home inspection to determine exactly what you’re buying.
• Don’t focus on sales price alone.  You still need to take into consideration the location, school districts, crime rates, and price for repairs.
• Work with a real estate agent.  You knew this one was coming, didn’t you?  But it’s true.  Because real estate agents are knowledgeable about the market, they frequently know about local properties that are nearing foreclosure before the average buyer. They also know the Cape Coral foreclosures to stay away from and those that are true diamonds in the rough.
• Don’t buy in a neighborhood with a lot of foreclosures.  You’re looking for an investment that is going to increase in price sooner rather than later, so move on to another neighborhood where the real estate market is doing better.
• Think like a real estate investor.  There’s a lot of money at stake here, and you cannot allow emotions to get in the way.  Do the math and your research to figure out if this is a good financial choice for you, not whether or not you like the house. 
Whether you’re a real estate investor looking for a foreclosure or a traditional property to purchase, I can help you find it and get it at the best price and terms.  Give me a call today at 239-699-0142 or email me at Liloc@att.net for more information.

 

Posted in Cape Coral, Cape Coral homes for sale, FL real estate, Foreclosures, Fort Myers Fl Homes, Real Estate, Short Sales, Uncategorized | 1 Comment