A Holiday Greeting and Some Helpful Real Estate Tips

With the holiday season finally here, I wanted to wish you and your family the best. I also wanted to give you a few tips about our market.

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As we head toward the end of the year, I first wanted to say thanks. We are so close to hitting our yearly goal of 120 transactions, and it’s all thanks to you. Even if we don't quite get to 120, we are going to be pretty darn close. We are honored that you have trusted us with your business, whether you have closed transactions with us this year or sent a referral our way.

Before the year is over, however, I want to quickly share three things with you to keep an eye on as we head into the new year:

1. Interest rates are on the rise. Historically, they are still low. Early in my career, I saw rates in the 13% to 15% range. To have rates right now in the 4% range is still fantastic news for home buyers. However, rates are only expected to go up from here. If you’ve been thinking about buying, now may be the time to get off the fence and lock in a low rate. The more rates increase, the more your affordability goes down.

2. The shortage of inventory in Vero Beach is staggering. If a home is priced well when it’s listed, it will sell quickly in our market. As we approach the spring, we will start seeing more competition for homes. By selling now, you can avoid that competition and still get top dollar for your home.

3. The weather. We are enjoying some fabulous weather here right now. Today’s temperature was 73, and it was sunny and beautiful. If you’re somewhere cold and snowy, come down to Vero Beach and see what living here in the winter is like. We would love to share with you why we love this place and everything it has to offer you.

I hope you and your family have a merry Christmas.

That being said, I also want to wish you and your family a merry Christmas and a very happy New Year. May you be blessed with good tidings in 2017. If you have any questions for me in the meantime, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I would love to hear from you!

Expert Lending Advice from Shannon Pohl

Today I’m here with Shannon Pohl from Caliber Home Loans to discuss interest rates, homestead exemptions, and pre-approvals. 

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Today I’m here with Shannon Pohl from Caliber Home Loans. Shannon has been a lender in Vero Beach for 15 years, and she has some advice to share with all of you buyers out there today.

First of all, let’s talk about interest rates. Rates are still phenomenal right now and continue to hover in the 4% range. This July, we had the lowest interest rates ever. The T-Bill in July was down to 1.37, and now it’s at 2.3, which might not mean much to the average consumer. Rates back in July were at 3.75%, and now they are in the 4% range.

Even factoring in these historically low interest rates, the 45-year average for interest rates was 8.25%, which means today's rates are still incredible!

That said, experts expect that interest rates will continue to rise. As interest rates go up, purchasing power goes down. For instance, you may be able to afford a $400,000 house right now with a 4% interest rate. If rates go up to 4.5%, you would only be able to afford a $350,000 house.

Interest rates are still phenomenally low.

If you want to qualify for a homestead exemption, you still have time to close before the end of the year. When you get the homestead exemption, the value of your primary residence cannot increase by more than 3% each year. Now you have a great chance to fix in a low interest rate and cap your taxes.

Shannon and Caliber Home Loans can also help you get pre-approved. Shannon cannot stress the importance of using a local lender enough. For instance, when you get pre-approved at Caliber Home Loans, you will be thoroughly vetted by an underwriter. That makes your pre-approved offer as good as cash pending the appraisal, which we can get to you within 48 hours. That gives you a lot of buying power, especially in a market like this with a lot of cash buyers.

If you just get pre-qualified, keep in mind that even the best client can run into disputes with their credit down the road. A pre-approval is the best way to go.

If you have any questions for Shannon, you can call her on her cell at 772-360-6030. You can also call Caliber Home Loans at 772-226-6300 or visit their website. As always, if you have any real estate questions for me, just give me a call or send me an email. We would be happy to help you!

Why I’m Grateful for All of You

2016 has been our best year ever, and it’s all thanks to you. Happy Thanksgiving!

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With Thanksgiving nearly here, I just wanted to say thank you to all of our wonderful clients for a fantastic year.

2016 has been our best year ever; we’re up nearly 30% over last year! For that, I have to say a big thank you to all of our clients who made this possible. Thank you to our clients, our vendors, our title company, our photographers, our stagers, and our brokers, Mike and Kim. We are so grateful for your support and for the business you blessed us with this past year.

I also have to thank everyone on the Kelly Fischer Team from the bottom of my heart. I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to work with people like Angie, Karen, Paula, and Beth, and I know that I could never do what I do without their hard work and support.

Gratitude is a gift that you can give yourself daily.

I actually keep a gratitude journal in my bathroom and add to it every morning. A lot of people get caught up in the things they don’t have, but I think it’s important to give thanks for everything you have, from the breath in our lungs to our spouses and friends.

If you’re not grateful every day for everything in your life, I think you miss out on a daily gift. Every person, every interaction, and every opportunity that comes your way is a gift.

So once again, I just wanted to say that I’m thankful to everyone that has given myself and my team the opportunity to serve our community in the way that we do. We are appreciative of every single one of you, and I hope that we have the opportunity to serve you in the year ahead.

Whether you are thinking about buying or selling a home on the Treasure Coast or you just need some friendly real estate advice, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. From our family to yours, I’d like to wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving!

3 Indicators That Your Home Is Priced Right

How do you know if your home is priced right in our market? Here are my top three indicators.

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When putting their homes on the market, most sellers want to know two things: how long it will take to sell and the price that they are going to get for it.

It’s fairly easy to determine what a home will sell for when we look at recent comparable home sales in the area. At the same time, as a seller it’s very easy for you to tell whether your home will sell within a reasonable amount of time because how you price it affects the length of time it will take to sell. For this reason, I’d like to share three indicators with you to help you determine the answer to those two burning questions.

Pricing has a major impact on how quickly you’ll sell your home.

Your home is priced right if:
  1. You receive a contract within the first seven days of listing your home. In our market right now, most homes have been on the market for more than 130 days. When we crunch the numbers on this, we see that only about 20% of homes are selling. Pricing is the most important issue here, so an early offer is a really good sign.
  2. You’ve had a lot of interest on your home from agents and buyers. If buyers and agents have asked you for information about the home or have scheduled showings, you’re probably in a good price range.
  3. You’re getting second showings and receiving good feedback from buyers. If buyers are coming back and telling you that they’re considering your home among others, you are probably reaching your target buyers.
Keep an eye out for these three indicators to let you know if your home is priced where it needs to be and you’ll sell it much quicker. If you have any other questions about pricing your home or anything else related to Vero Beach real estate, give me a call or send me an email. I’d be happy to help you!

How a ‘Kestimate’ Can Help You Find Your Home Value

There are a few reasons why Zillow’s Zestimates are often incorrect. The best way to find your true home value is to order a ‘Kestimate!’ 

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What’s up with the Zillow Zestimate? Many people come up to me and say, “I looked at my home on Zillow and it said that the price was such-and-such amount. Is that right?”

The other day, I was on Anna Valencia’s radio show and we actually talked about a few reasons why the Zestimate is usually not on point.

One reason is that Zillow’s numbers come from the county tax records. If your tax record is incorrect, then Zillow won’t come up with your actual home value. What if your tax record doesn’t include the right number of rooms in your house? What if you added a detached garage? What if you put a brand new $50,000 roof on your house last month or did an $80,000 kitchen remodel? Zillow won’t take any of this into account.

Ultimately, Zillow is a computer algorithm that doesn’t know what you’ve done to improve your home. The Zestimate basically looks at your square footage, the number of rooms in your home (as recorded back when your house was first built), and any comparable sales that might have taken place in your area. If there were any distressed sales or hardship sales in your area, these comparable sales could drag your Zestimate down.

The best way to find your true home value is to get a ‘Kestimate!’

We had a good time joking around in the studio the other day about the Zestimate. In the end, we decided that the best way to find your true home value is to get a “Kestimate!” That is a Kelly estimate!

Basically, you need your local real estate professional to come up with your home value. Work with someone who is familiar with the market and is in tune with what’s going on. As real estate professionals, we will come over and give you a personal evaluation of your home. Don’t leave it up to a computer algorithm that knows nothing about your local area or even your specific home.

If you would like a “Kestimate,” give us a call or send us an email. If you have any other real estate questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We would be happy to help you!

Why Passion Is Important in Life & Real Estate

We all want to work with people who are motivated, excited, and passionate about what they do. Our passion for real estate is just one reason why our clients enjoy working with us.

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This morning while I was in the boxing gym, which is my new passion, it occurred to me that we all deal with different people all the time every day, whether it be in the gym, supermarket, or real estate industry. When we’re interacting with other people, what makes us want to continue to interact with them, even if it’s just on a personal level?

Let’s face it—we all want to work with people who are motivated, excited, and passionate about what they do. We were talking about this in the office the other day because one of the girls in our office is working to get her real estate license. She was talking about some of the other people taking the course and she actually said to me, “You know, I just don’t think they have the same passion for real estate that we do.”

This morning in the boxing gym, I noticed that my trainer is very passionate about his job. That passion is contagious; it affects everyone around him. That passion and enthusiasm make me want to go to the gym. I believe that our passion and enthusiasm for real estate is one of the reasons why our clients choose to do business with us and take the time to write such wonderful reviews. That passion and the sheer love and enjoyment that we have for real estate is why people love to do business with us.

Our passion for real estate is just one reason why people enjoy working with us.

We would love to help bring some passion into your life or real estate transaction. Whether you are buying, selling, or investing in real estate, we are excited to help you. We want to give you a wonderful real estate experience.

We are heading into the cooler seasons, but the Vero Beach market is doing great. Call or email me with any real estate questions you might have. We would be thrilled to have your business and earn your reviews!

Practicing Patience and Kindness Toward Others

Last week, we talked about patience and how we all seek instant gratification all the time. The thing about patience that really strikes me is how, in this hurried world, we’re not only losing sight of each other, we’re also losing sight of the kindness we need to show our fellow man.

I recently saw a Time magazine with the headline: “Why we're losing the Internet to the culture of hate.” I thought, this is so true. People seem like they’re mad and hateful all the time these days. It would be nice if everyone could take on the spirit of cooperation, helpfulness, and appreciation for the people who work to teach us, help us, and be our partners in our daily lives.

We need to be patient with each other.

That spirit of cooperation and helpfulness is very important to our team. We really do work to build that kind of relationship with our clients to make sure there is a spirit of love and mindfulness. I think that’s one of the reasons why so many clients leave wonderful reviews about working with our team. That spirit of love is important to me and my entire team as we work with buyers and sellers.

I just wanted to stop by with that little reminder today; be patient with others and treat them with kindness. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!

The Importance of Patience in the Real Estate World

A topic that’s been coming up a lot lately in my world, both personally and professionally, is patience.

I’ve been hearing a lot about people living their life in a state of impatience. I tend to be one of these people too. Impatience can cause us unhappiness and discontent. The thing about impatience, though, is that it’s usually a stimulus for progress.

The way this has been showing up for me lately is in the form of fitness and weight loss. In those areas, any small step you can take to change your previous behaviors and state of health is a wonderful thing.

There are some things that just don’t happen overnight.

We’re used to instant gratification. We can go on the Internet and find out any information we want. We can sign onto Amazon, order something, and have it show up the next day. There are some things that don’t happen overnight, though. In the real estate world, people have grown accustomed to a super-fast moving market. Well, guess what? Markets change.

Here in Florida, I’d say we’re in a stable market. This means that homes aren’t selling in three days anymore. They can stay listed as long as six months, depending on their price, location, and condition.

As a result of this, I have clients asking me why their home isn’t selling as fast—as if there’s something wrong. The truth of the matter is that there’s nothing “wrong.” The market is in a completely normal state right now. There are always things you can do to your property to improve your odds of getting sold quickly, but sometimes, it’s just a matter of patience.

If you have any questions about our market, don't hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I'd be glad to help.

Taking in Life’s Unexpected Gifts

I’m very happy to be joining you live from this hammock, rather than the office. That’s where I should be, but our vacation plans got, well, "extended."

Thanks to some flight delays, we got stuck here in the Bahamas. It’s really not a bad place to get stuck. Where I’m at today, people are feeding stingrays, making fresh conch salad, boating, and just hanging out.

I was mad yesterday because I was supposed to be back at work! But when I woke up today (in the Bahamas) I realized that sometimes, God gives you an extra gift.

Sometimes you just have to embrace the unexpected things in life.

I think today was that extra gift. I got another day to hang out with my family. I guess sometimes you just have to embrace the unexpected things in life.

I just wanted to share that thought, and also thank you for your patience if you’re involved in a transaction with us! My team is in the office, and they have things well under control.

I hope you’re having a wonderful day. If you have any questions, you can always give us a call at the office, or give me a call soon!

We’re on Top of the Vero Beach Market and Want to Share the View

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This morning I had an inspiration in the form of a giant pile of chocolate chip cookies that my son made last night for a volunteer project we’re doing. Rather than getting into those cookies, I decided to get out to one of Vero Beach’s finest features - the Barber Bridge. It’s a really cool bridge spanning the Indian River.

I wanted to shoot my video from here, because one of the things I’ve learned over the years mentoring and coaching and training with some really amazing people, is that people who achieve a lot in life are the people who are willing to do the things that others are not willing to do.

Getting up at 4:30 a.m. and doing affirmations, reading, and studying; they are all things that have enabled my team and I to continue to grow and thrive. It’s great because multi-tasking with these things has allowed our business to grow and thrive over the past 22 years, because we’re always in learning mode. Walking four miles and listening to audio books about sales is just one example of this.

People who achieve a lot are willing to do things others aren’t.

Like today, being out on the Barber Bridge this early before it gets congested with the late morning exercise crowd lets you get a really great view of lots of things around Vero that other people don’t see. It’s the view at the top, and not everybody gets to see it. It’s the same thing with our business. People constantly ask why we’re successful and how we’re able to sell so many homes. Like getting up at 4:30 a.m. for the best walking view on the bridge, we’re doing the things that other people in the business aren’t willing to do.

In turn, it gives us the view from the top. And the view is great.

Hopefully, this provides you with a bit of inspiration today. If you have any questions for me or the team, give us a call today. Don’t wait!

We’d Love to Serve You on the Treasure Coast

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The old saying goes, “If you want to get something done, give it to someone busy,” and busy we are. We are so busy that we just recently added a few new team members. Paula is a great agent who just joined us from California. We also have a great new executive assistant named Angie, who’s really rocking our world with how efficient she is. In addition, we've hired a marketing coordinator, Karen, to handle listings and social media. We also have two buyer’s agents who are working really hard as well.

We’ll handle the details for you.

Right now, our team is growing and growing quickly. The reason for that is the market is very busy here in Vero Beach and we have a lot of transactions going on at once. The good news is that we have systems, checklists, and procedures in place to make sure we never drop the ball on your transaction. When you look to buy or sell a home with us, we’ll handle the details for you and ensure you have a happy and smooth transaction.

If you have any questions for us or if you’re looking to buy or sell in The Treasure Coast, give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you!

The Vero Beach Real Estate Market Is on Fire!

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The Vero Beach real estate market is on fire! In fact, we are in the middle of April and my team and I already have 57 transactions under our belts for 2016.

2016 is a great year to sell!

We’re really excited about this because it means we’re helping so many families move. We’re also thrilled that so many people want to live here!

Now, 57 transactions in about four months is a lot of business, especially if you consider that the average real estate agent in our area only sells four homes a year. We’re incredibly excited about these 57 transactions!

Right now, we are still looking for quality homes for our buyers. If you’re a seller who is looking to maximize profits from the sale of your home, 2016 is the year to get top dollar.  

If you have any questions, just give us a call or send us an email. We would be happy to help you!

How to Sift Through Multiple Offers in Vero Beach

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Today we are going to discuss a very exciting topic, multiple offers. This week alone, we had one of our listings get four different offers. This was a home that we recently reduced the price on, after it had been sitting on the market for about a week. That price reduction really increase demand, and we’ve gotten four recent offers because of that. 

What should you do if you get multiple offers on your home? Today we are going to talk about the three most important steps to sift through the offers and get the best ones.

1. Look at all the offers collectively.
Figure out which buyer is best. The best buyer is the one that can get you in the position you want to be in through either their price or their terms. 

2. Try to get the best offer from the best buyer.

3. Make sure you have back-up offers.
Unfortunately, buyers change their minds a lot. It’s important when you have multiple offers to keep the offers you don’t accept initially as back-up offers. It's a great safety net to have. 

If you’re buying or selling here in Vero Beach, give us a call or send us an email. We want to do everything we can to get you the best closing possible. We look forward to hearing from you!

Don't Miss Out on the Home of Your Dreams in Vero Beach

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I want you to find your dream home in Vero Beach, and today I'll give you a few tips on how you can do that. I see home buyers fall in love with a property, and then they are heartbroken when another buyer comes in and swoops it out from under their feet.

So, how can you prevent this from happening to you?

We're seeing a lot of buyers in Vero Beach that aren't local to our area. If you know our market and see a home that's a good deal, don't hesitate to put an offer in. The best thing to do would be to speak to myself and my team before doing so, but getting your offer in is just as important. This market is moving quickly, so you need to act fast.

If you need help crafting a winning offer, please don't hesitate to contact me!

How Do We Operate Differently from Most Agents out There?

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Today I wanted to share some great information with you that I learned at a recent conference in Las Vegas. The convention was held by the real estate coaching company I’ve been working with for the past 13 years, and we learned a lot from other top agents and professionals from around the country.

One very interesting thing I learned at this meeting was the fact that due to the improvement of the real estate market in the last few years, many more agents are back in the market selling homes with real estate licenses. 

Right now in this country, there are 1.2 million people with real estate licenses. 600,000 of them did not list or sell a single property last year. 500,000 of them did 1 or 2 transactions last year. Another 100,000 did 10-12 transactions, which in most circles is an acceptable level of business, but isn’t very much in our opinion.

What this leaves us with is only 25,000 full-time professional agents who are serving buyers and sellers at the highest level. These are professional agents who are improving their skills, elevating their marketing, and growing their business. These are all things you would hope your agent is doing as a buyer or seller.

As technology and the market change, the percentage of professional agents continues to shrink. Here at the Kelly Fischer Team, our job is to constantly improve our services and skills to help make your transaction as smooth and profitable as possible. 

Our team was ranked #1 in sales production for the 3rd consecutive year for Treasure Coast Sotheby’s International Realty. Thanks to all our clients for making this possible, and for your continued referrals.

If you or someone you know is looking to buy or sell a home in Vero Beach, give us a call or send us an email. We would love to help in any way we can.