Miami real estate news and information

Archive for the 'SELLER’S ADVICE' Category

Why It’s Not Unusual to Buy a House for More than the Bank Appraiser Values It

Several recent appraisal catastrophies almost derailed a handful of home sales for our buyers and sellers. Keeping those transactions on track took effort and creativity.

Appraisal issues are way too common!  Wondering why?

Phil Spool, an appraiser who writes for appraisal magazines, has contributed a series of articles about the current appraisal climate for our website … … that we will post this week.

1st in a 4 part series on Appraisal Woes …. By Contributing Author,  Philip G. Spool, ASA

“For many years appraisers were complaining that mortgage brokers were interfering with their conclusion of value, pushing the appraiser to come up with a higher value.

On May 1, 2009, appraisers got their wish with the creation of the Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC) requiring all lending institutions to go through an intermediary in ordering appraisals.

This meant that mortgage brokers were no longer allowed to order the appraisal and banks had to either have someone within the bank not associated with the lending department to order the appraisals or to go through the intermediary.

Most banks decided it was easier to go through an intermediary and thus appraisal management companies, commonly referred to as an AMC, to order the appraisal and submit it to the lender.  Ironically, what the appraiser believed would be total appraisal independence turned into a nightmare for them.”  Read the rest of this entry »

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Miami Real Estate Market – Foreclosures, Short Sales, Non-distressed Property

In the past decade inventory of single-family homes hit it’s lowest point back in April 2005 – with only 2,778 properties listed for sale in Miami-Dade.

That number  skyrocketed to 17,070 three years later – in July 2008.  And then the numbers began to decline  ….  In May 2012 Miami had only 4,399 homes listed for sale  (giving us only a 4 month supply of inventory to work with).

Median prices declined  59% … after hitting their  peak in May 2007 … Read the rest of this entry »

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I showed two rather similar homes to a client a few months back …  same vicinity/neighborhood, similar in size, age, amenities, lay-out, price, and curb appeal and design.

One house,  she loved.  The other she didn’t.  She couldn’t put her finger on why. I’m pretty sure I know why … 

The house she didn’t like… in reality… offered a lot more  bang for the buck  … more value … more in the way of upgrades and quality finishes  and workmanship.   So, what was it?

So here’s my two cents worth… Read the rest of this entry »

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Avoid the pitfalls … and get your house sold

Sidestep the biggest pitfalls :  Get your house ready to sell  before listing  it.

Repair anything that really needs to be taken care of…

Take care of the cosmetic aspects:  paint  … declutterorganize… 

Stage it  (if staging is needed  – and especially if the house is empty)…  Staging even just a corner of the living room and creating an emotive feel …  adding a dining area or a focal point… you can create a feel that entices buyers into wanting to buy.  “Dress”  even just one or two rooms.   Try to avoid trying selling  it completely empty … because empty houses tend to sell for less money.   If you need to relocate and move out, it’s worth  cosmetically staging even just a corner.

Price it right.  (Not too high.  There’s a magic number, and that’s what you’re aiming for.) Read the rest of this entry »

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What’s the RIGHT Price to list and sell your House?

Whether you are buying or selling property,  knowing what’s it’s worth, helps.

Value is determined …

1) From an entirely emotional standpoint … (That would be the buyer who “falls in love and can’t live without”).

2) From an analytical standpoint …  (That comes from comparing it with recent relevant sales).

Properties that sold (and closed)  during the past 3-6 months… properties that are similar in size, year-built , with similar amenities and comparable lot sizes … properties within your (relatively!)  immediate neighborhood … those are the sales you’ll want to pull and compare.

You’ll want to price it (and market it!) with  3 objectives in mind:   Read the rest of this entry »

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Staging Your Home To Sell








Staging is a great way to present your house to potential buyers. I’m not talking a big ordeal, but even a few simple changes make a huge impact.Here are some easy ways to stage your home:

  • Add a coat of paint to the inside and/or outside of the house to freshen it up. Use some neutral colors if you’re starting fresh, a color that will appeal to the masses.
  • Clean up the yard. Trim plants to make them look whole, add flowers to the garden. Add some potted plants with some pretty flowers. You can also add two adderondak chairs to the back or front patio to add some charm.
  • Move some furniture around to make rooms look bigger. Center furniure off of windows and place it so the room flows.
  • De-clutter. Put away family photos (it’s a head start on packing things for your move). Don’t leave a lot of applicances on kitchen counters. Put away things in the bathroom (like toothbrushes) while it’s on the market.
  • Add little touches like a vase of fresh flowers to the dining room table or a bowl of lemons on a table or kitchen counter.

These are just some fast and easy ways to get your house ready to sell. Contact the Restivo Team to help give you more ideas and to sell your home. We are always learning new ways to stage and we know how to sell your home.

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Ten Tips for Selling Your Home

Ten Tips …   How To Sell Your House:

1) Make your home accessible and visible  … with address numbers that are  easy to see …

2) Leave the front gates open 

3) Place that FOR SALE sign out front

4) Clear the driveway of cars …  Trim plants that  in any way block access to the house – or visually keep buyers from seeing the house from the street or driveway.

5) Create a warm ‘curb appeal’:  Some fresh paint,  landscaping ,  mulching, a doorbell that works,  and attractive door hardware all cost relatively little, but make a huge difference. Read the rest of this entry »

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Pivital Role of Color Selection in Home Staging

We’ve been told that neutral colors appeal to the widest base of potential buyers.  And for the most part, that’s true  (especially when the neutral colors are combined with warm accent pieces) …   The idea isn’t just to have a blank canvas , but to have some warmth and intrigue as well.

Splashes of color in accent pieces (piece of art, a vase, flowers, table decoration)  provide a focal point.

In Miami,  earthy tones  (and use of stone, pebble, and rock), are often used to  create a spa-like feel.   The use of  texture, natural stone and wood  seem to be rather universally appealing, and in vogue.

By far the  most widespread appeal comes from using  orange, yellow, green and red hues.  A single accent wall can create contrast and compliment the rest of the room, or  serve as a backdrop to showcase a piece of art.

Staging a house for sale is something we do to make a statement, and create impact.   Setting the stage (‘staging’) seems to bring heftier sales prices on the homes we list and sell.   If you’re looking to sell your home, and need a knowledgeable real estate professional to list and sell it, we would love to talk with you.  Call us anytime you’re ready –  Restivo Team at EWM Realtors  –  Vicki Restivo 305 793-1365   –  Alexandra  Restivo 306 632-0164.

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Average Price Per Square Foot in Pinecrest

From October 2011 to March 2012, the average price per square foot in the 33156 zip code has risen.

If you would like to sell your house, call the Restivo Team to get a FREE Home Valuation. Our noteworthy sales record shows that we can sell fast and for the right price!

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Tips For Sellers

If you’re interested in selling your house, there are a few things to keep in mind in order to make the process run smoothly.

  • Hire a realtor to help you sell. The Restivo Team will help you with everything from preparing the house before it goes on the market, listing and showing it, negotiating offers and taking you to closing and beyond. We will even help you find a new home…in Miami or elsewhere.


  • Make sure the house is decluttered and smells good. When a buyer comes in to view the house, they  want to be able to imagine themselves in the house. That’s hard to do when there are things all over-family photos, lots of clutter on counters and tables. You can go ahead and pack those things away. After all, you are going to sell your house and move elsewhere, so why not get a head start on packing! Pet odors and cigarette smells tend to turn buyers off as well. Be sure to clean the house, use air fresheners and candles to keep it smelling fresh and inviting, but try to use fresheners that are not too strong (in case some buyers are sensitive to smells).


  • We have to market the house for what it is. Saying the house is waterfront, when in fact it only has a view of the water, is a waste of time. It won’t bring the right buyers in to see the house. We need to market it for what it it- a cozy charmer, a handyman special or in a great school district. Whatever your house has to offer, we hone in on those things and market it as such.


  • Be realistic with pricing the house. We can list your house for whatever you think it’s worth, but the truth is, the market is what indicates what it’s worth. We understand that you may have put a lot of money in the house, and done a ton of work to it to make it absolutely stunning, but if the market doesn’t support it, it’s going to be hard to get a higher than market price (unless we’re dealing with a cash buyer). The best thing to do is let us run the numbers, let us run comparable sales in the area near you, and we can tell you what it’s going to sell at. For our sellers who have been made aware of what the market is, and where their house will sell, we can tell you that our sellers have gotten close-to, if not full asking price!!! The closer it is priced to where the market indicates it will sell, the better chance that it will sell near to that price.


  • During showings and open house, we ask that you are not in the house. It makes it easier for a buyer to envision themselves in the home if the people who currently live there are not present. This way, they feel free to ask questions and explore…which is what you, as the seller, want!

There are many things that we can help with if you are interested in selling your home. These were just some of the things to keep in mind when you are looking to sell. Give us a call today. It would be our pleasure to sit down with you and discuss selling your house.



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