Miami real estate news and information

Archive for the 'SELLER’S ADVICE' Category

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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Moving Day … What to Schedule … What NOT to Pack … What NOT to Forget

Moving?    Mini checklist: 


Anything that is  irreplaceable,  just carry it with you.   You won’t want to pack or send with the moving truck:   Wills, stocks, bonds, securities, jewelry, cash, collector items…   And make sure you have (in hand): cash, credit cards, a cell phone, car keys, airline tickets, and your new address … all readily available.


Schedule any utility disconnections for the day after your move out … and arrange for utility hook ups in your new home for the day before move in.   That includes electric, gas, water, sewer, telephone, cable.   

Submit a change of address form – for mail forwarding.  The post office will have those – or you can get them online. 

Cancel newspaper deliveries. 

Advise your insurance companies (auto/home/liability/life insurance), credit card companies, doctors, dentists  of your address change. 


Some moving companies can handle the assembly beds and arrange furniture if you arrange in for that in advance.   If you want that,  have a sketch of the ‘floorplan’ laid out for them .    Label all your boxes with the name of room they are to go into (Kitchen/ Master Bath/Office/Upstairs Bedroom/Library…).


There are  local companies in many cities that you can hire to actually unpack and organize your belongings, once the mover delivers and unloads the truck.   Some of them will hang clothes in the closets, and organize  your kitchen so you can wake up the next morning and make coffee and have toast.  If you missed our previous blog on UNPACKING SERVICES  you can link to it here.


We have recommended movers, painters, unpackers, furniture resources, cleaning services, landscapers, pool companies, storage companies for our buyers and sellers…   For anything you might need … just ask.

Moving can be stressful and hectic …  but we help simplify things for you,  so they run smoothly.  

Thank you for counting on us,  following our real estate blog, and recommending us to friends and family whenever you hear they are looking for an experienced real estate agent.   We look forward to your continued referrals, and to working with you … the next time you’re ready to move.  Vicki & Alexandra Restivo  305 793-1365


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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

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What’s My House WORTH? Here’s Where It Gets Sticky…

When you see a house, and like it, and are ready to put in an offer, you may know what it’s worth to you …. what you’re willing to pay. (Same holds true if you are buying a piece of art, or a dress.)  Price and value are subjective.  And they (at least in part) hinge  on your budget.

If you’re getting a mortgage though, the lender will want an estimate of value from an appraiser.  They will loan based on the appraised value and that has a LOT to do with square footage .  And here’s where it gets sticky. Read the rest of this entry »

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Who Says You Can’t Sell Now? …Because you bought at the height of the market? 6845 SW 98 St Pinecrest is Selling Now

6845 SW 98th Street in Pinecrest sold in ’06  for $1,551,840.00 …  It’s  listed again now at $1,995,000.00.   If you like, you can link to the property details on 6845 SW 98 Street here.  It’s been beautifully re-done.  6845 SW 98th St was upgraded exquisitely in 2006 … Everything was updated …  It has a warmth and a flow to it that makes it inviting, in a grandiose way.    No one told them that they couldn’t sell now!  And they are.

This is an impressive listing …  Hampton Style with a Key West Flair …   in the heart of North Pinecrest …  6 bedrooms … 4 full baths … 2 guest baths …  three stories… 8 foot doors …  magnificent hardwood floors throughout  … chefs kitchen … oversized  lap pool … guest house … BEAUTIFUL NEW LISTING !  

I hope you don’t think that because you bought at the top of the market you’ll have to wait to sell.  If you are thinking of selling, we would LOVE to talk with you.  There’s a shortage of homes right now for the buyers who are looking.  There are homes for sale now in Pinecrest that are priced above where they sold  last year.   

Buyers appreciate and will pay for homes with updates … and  move-in ready …  and buyers are buying.  Whether you are buying or selling, we would love to chat with you.

Read the rest of this entry »

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If you are SELLING within next 6 months … WHY you should SELL NOW!

Prices for Miami real estate are expected to remain stable.  We are currently in a so called ‘normal market’ with 5-6 months of inventory a the close of February 2012.

That said, IF you are planning to sell within the next 6 months, every indication suggests that you sell now.

The reason behind that is just last week the banks and the federal government came to an agreement as to how to move forward with the current inventory of foreclosed properties (‘shadow inventory’).   They came to an agreement as to how that bottleneck would be released (by the lenders) onto the market .

And not only that, but now there will be a new onslought of properties  that are Read the rest of this entry »

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Tag Sale Experts … in South Florida

Clients periodically ask us to recommend service providers … anything  moving related … roofers, plumbers, contractors, movers, cleaning services, lawn care, interior decorators, staging, title and closing companies, real estate attorneys, schools, dry cleaners, caterers….  And we are happy to make recommendations.  We have a long list of reliable people…

Recently two of our sellers asked us to recommend someone who might help do a tag sale and clear out a house:     

Bobby & Betty …  They don’t advertise their services …  They handle  liquidations … the sale of personal items in estates and private homes.

They’ll go in, empty drawers and cabinets,  go through papers, categorize, organize,  tag,  price & arrange everything for sale.   They normally advertise their weekend tag sale only in the  Miami Herald (but occassionally on Craigslist too, depending on the area), and then hold a two day weekend tag sale. 

They keep 30% of what they collect from the tag sale … The two women work in Miami-Dade (primarily in the Gables, Pinecrest, and Palmetto Bay) and can be reached at 305 / 665–1949 (Coral Gables) and 305 / 667-3384 (Pinecrest)

Anything unsold, at the end of the two-day sale, they’ll have removed.

This weekend,  March 10 and 11 they are holding a tag sale at 16 Phoenetia in Coral Gables…

We appreciate you reading our blog,  buying and selling  property through us, and referring us to your friends and family.  We love selling real estate, and look forward to helping you with your next move!  Alexandra and Vicki Restivo  EWM Realtors  305 793-1365  [email protected]

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Misleading Information and Appraisal Woes over a Kitchen…

From the MLS description, this townhouse sounds fabulous …  but it’s the information that’s missing that concerns me.  


Looks and sounds fabulous.  And from the MLS photos, it appears to be lived in. 

What’s missing is the fact that there is no kitchen  …   Nowhere is that mentioned.  

When I made the appointment to show the listing, nothing was mentioned.   The only way it even came up was when I called back to reconfirm our appointment, asking about immediate move-in / and a possible lease-purchase option or pre-occupancy prior to closing.  The listing agent said it might be tough to move in right away, because there was no kitchen … but … there were plans to add a kitchen and laundry room.  

The listing agent confided that there had been two solid offers (contracts)  on the property,  both of which fell through before closing.  Wonder why.

 There are several problems with listings like this:    

1)  Not only does this kind of lack of information spin the wheels of the buyer  (and Realtors!)  who might like it online… but the buyer won’t get financing without there being a kitchen.   (And maybe this explains why the listing agent has had two offers that mysteriously fell through … and couldn’t figure out why.)

2)  Listing something without showing it for what it is (or isn’t!) attracts the wrong buyers.

3) Nowhere will a future appraiser grasp that there is no kitchen…  NOWHERE!   And that means that  (if and when) it sells,  the written information in the MLS will cause it to become yet another of the many  misleading ‘comparable sales’  used to calculate property values on other properties under contract.

Information is key.  Our reputation has been well-earned, by consistently providing information that enables our clients to make informed decisions …

If you’d like to schedule a buyer or seller consultation  (without obligation to list or sell through us) we would like to meet and chat with you.   Call us any time at 305 793-1365  –  our direct line.   Or you can connect with us here  by clicking this link …  or email us at [email protected] .  We look forward to chatting with you.  Alexandra and Vicki Restivo … The Restivo Team at EWM Realtors, International.

We appreciate your reading and following our real estate blog,  and invite you to subscribe if you’d like to receive market updates directly to your email.

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