Miami real estate news and information

Archive for the 'BUYER’S ADVICE' Category

Negotiating an Offer … Opening a Can of Worms?

By counter-offering, you temporarily relinquish ‘control’.  Power moves to the other party … who can accept, decline, counter back, or withdraw entirely (moving on to another property … or another buyer).

Unlikely scenario, although we just came across this:  Buyer put in a strong offer, right where the property will likely appraise, and the seller countered back …. hoping for a higher sales price. Instead of countering again, in the direction the sellers hoped the buyers would go, the buyers  REDUCED their initial offer instead!

Anytime you counter back, you risk the other party retracting their offer or changing their terms.

Most often the back and forth is worth the ‘breath holding” or the “tossing and turning” …  particularly if you have other options  … and this isn’t the one and only home for you.

Negotiations can be stressful for the buyer and the seller … and no they don’t always go the way you hope for .    We’re pleased at being able to negotiate offers creatively … and close them …. so that we get the best possible terms for our buyers and sellers.

When you’re ready to buy, sell or move we would love to chat with you!   You can reach us anytime on our cellulars 305 793-1365 Vicki  … and 305 632-0164  Alexandra … The Restivo Team at EWM Realtors.



To receive my blog posts directly to your inbox, click here to subscribe.

40 Year Recertification in Miami Dade

Condos and apartment buildings  in Miami-Dade are required to get a 40 year recertification once  they’re 40 years old.   Single-family homes and buildings with less than 10 occupants and less than 2,000 square feet are exempt from that requirement.

An inspection will determine what/ if any updates and/or repairs are needed (electrical/structural, etc.) to bring the building to code  …  and after the updates are complete,  the  property will be recertified. 

Typically elevators, electrical, roofs, and balconies are items that come under scrutiny at that 40 year mark – unless they’ve been updated prior to that. 

How updates are covered and assessed … and how they are paid… Read the rest of this entry »

To receive my blog posts directly to your inbox, click here to subscribe.

You CAN Get the House … If You Can Win the Bidding War

With our markedly diminished “inventory” of homes available for sale in Miami …   buyers find themselves (more often than they’d like!)   bidding against one another for real estate.

Unless your offer is trumped by another bidder, or you are the only offer on the table,  you may find yourself competitively bidding for a house, even when you’re  offering  full price.  And then it’s up to the seller to choose which offer to take.  So, how do you get the seller to pick YOU over another  similar offer from buyer #2 or #3?

It’s common now to get multiple offers on a property … very similar to one another  …  and often full price.  If one offer is stronger than another, that’s likely the winner, but when there are multiple nearly identical offers, the details may well determine the winner.

If you want to WIN the house ….  make sure you have a good agent.  A well prepared offer can weigh in considerably above a poorly prepared or haphazardly written one.  And the reputation of the agent and/or the real estate company can also influence a seller’s decision.

A seller with any doubts as to which offer to work with will look to  his/her listing agent and ask for their two cents worth.  And because that listing agent will have read through your offer (and opened the house for you … and met and talked with you… and likely knows your Realtor)  there’s alot that listing agent can share with the seller …. and that personal aspect can weigh the scales.    Selling a house is not just dollars and cents.  It’s personal and intricate…. and interconnected.

I’m writing this because we received more than one offer on a property we recently listed for sale.  Each offer was very similar  – and each was  solid.  I’d met each of the buyers…  knew their Realtors  … knew their stories Read the rest of this entry »

To receive my blog posts directly to your inbox, click here to subscribe.

Flood Insurance Deadline Extended Until July 30,2012

The National Flood Insurance Program Deadline (which was to be suspended as of today’s date)  was extended late last night …  The extension goes through July 30,2012 …  after having been approved by both the House and the Senate.   Homeowners and buyers will be able to get flood insurance…  Good news for everyone as we enter hurricane season.

To receive my blog posts directly to your inbox, click here to subscribe.

I Bought A House!

That’s right…I am now a homeowner! My fiance and I just closed on our first home and couldn’t be happier. From the beginning, we set out to find something in a great location, near our place of employment and families and something big enough to grow into (and a good school district-although we’re not at THAT point in our lives yet!).

On our hunt, we came across one we thought would be good. We went in, decided it was the one, drew up an offer, negotiated it out, and within 24 hours, we were under contract! The next step was applying for a loan, and getting inspections done, both of which we did immediately. The inspection turned up some big ticket items for repair, so we were skeptical at that point. We negotiated out the repairs and continued on the Home Buying journey with that house. We obtained a loan commitment, got our insurance and moved the process along. We did a walk thru (how different the house looked without the seller’s things in it!) and were ready to close. There was a delay to close, by a few days (frustrating!) but we finally closed and the house is ours! Now the work begins…renovations!

As a realtor, I have been helping clients from start to finish (and beyond), but now I know what it’s like to go through the motions. Had I not been in real estate, I would definitely have sought out professional assistance from an agent. It’s a daunting task, and to have someone who knows the process and is there every step of the way is a huge help!

Contact the Restivo Team…we will help you through the entire process, whether buying or selling! We were able to negotiate things on my behalf in my purchase, and will be on your side and do the same for you!

To receive my blog posts directly to your inbox, click here to subscribe.

6 Don’ts After You Apply For A Mortgage

I learned a long time ago that “common sense is NOT common practice“. This is especially the case during the emotional time that surrounds buying a home, when people tend to do some non-commonsensical things. Here are a few…

via 6 Don’ts After You Apply For A Mortgage.


If you would like to buy a home or sell yours, the Restivo Team can help. Give us a call today and let’s get started!

To receive my blog posts directly to your inbox, click here to subscribe.

Applying for a Home Mortgage … Documents You’ll Need

Applying for a mortgage (single family home/ or condo)?   This is what your lender will ask you for:

1- Last 2 years tax returns for individual tax returns  (all pages)

2- Last 3 years w-2  and 1099 (if applicable )

3- Last 4 pay stubs ( if applicable)

4- Last 2 months bank-statements (all pages)

5-  Last 2 years tax returns for a business

6- Copies of 2 forms of  identification

7- Copies of your green card if you are a resident and not a US citizen

8-  If you have investment properties in the US ,  provide mortgage statements insurance information and HOA information on those … if applicable.

For more information on buying and selling real estate, link to

To receive my blog posts directly to your inbox, click here to subscribe.

Reverse Mortgages Can Be Used to Buy a Home

You may be able to Use a Reverse Mortgage to Buy a Home

The benefit to you is that  (rather than you paying a monthly mortgage to your lender)  a Reverse Mortgage pays you to stay in your house … A reverse mortgage allows you to receive cash payments which from the equity in your home.

The requirements for a Reverse Mortgage are:

*    Homeowner must be 62 or older

*    No credit score requirement to qualify

The benefits of a Reverse Mortgage are: Read the rest of this entry »

To receive my blog posts directly to your inbox, click here to subscribe.

Choosing the Wrong Realtor Can Cost You

I received an offer on one of my listings … It’s literally a one page offer from another Realtor, accompanied by a text message to my iPhone, asking that I respond to the agent by phone or text the next day if the offer is accepted.

There’s no property address, no folio number, no terms, no closing date.

It’s written on a lender’s stationary,  specifying (not a whole lot more than) just the name of the buyer,  the approved mortgage amount,  the maximum purchase price permitted by the lender, and an allowable  percentage for seller contributions – if any.   It shows the seller as ‘owner of record’.   There’s a hefty escrow amount that’s ‘pending collection’ and an escrow agent  that is yet ‘to be decided’.

Seriously?  Could literally be for any house, anywhere…. and by no means is it even close to being an offer!

Those poor buyers!   I chatted with them and their Realtor, while they previewed the home I was selling….  Read the rest of this entry »

To receive my blog posts directly to your inbox, click here to subscribe.

Which Real Estate Markets are in Bad Shape?

According to Chase Bank,  home prices are predicted to drop 6-7% in the nation before hitting rock bottom in 2012.

Prices in New York and New Jersey will drop 13%.  Illinois and Indiana and Kentucky will have significant drops in their housing prices, because of the amount of shadow inventory in each of those states. 

Also in bad shape are North Dakota and New Mexico … South Carolina and North Carolina.

What about Miami?     Not only do we have beautiful weather year-round, but from all appearances the real estate market in Miami is one of the few that has actually stabilized, making our neck of the woods a good investment option.   If you are looking to relocate we would love to help you!  We specialize in South Florida, and we can also connect you with real estate experts nationally and internationally to help with the other side of your move .   The Restivo Team at EWM Realtors, International.   305 793-1365

To receive my blog posts directly to your inbox, click here to subscribe.