Happy July! Hope you and your family have enjoyed the first half of the summer so far.
The Orlando real estate market is extremely fast paced right now. If you are not participating in this market but plan to sell a home later this year, I will offer a few tips on how to get your home prepared before your right time comes. If you are looking to buy a home, these same tips can also prepare you for what to expect.
Repairs – One of the questions sellers frequently ask me is “should I repair or replace this before listing my home? I can offer the buyer a credit.” The answer depends on the item. But the general principle is, a potential buyer will estimate the cost of repair at 2-3 times the cost a seller sees, and offer a lower price for the home accordingly. Some items are much better repaired or replaced ahead, instead of offering a credit to buyer.
Roof – Florida sales contract requires the roof to be watertight and functional, but excludes limited remaining life as an issue. However, the insurance industry requirements have changed. Currently, if a roof is 20 years old, the home virtually cannot be insured in the traditional market. Many transactions hit a snag when buyers try to obtain homeowner insurance on homes with older roofs that are perfectly functional. Anticipate this potential pitfall and make plans accordingly.
Plumbing – Again, insurance industry decisions are causing issues with contractual definitions. Recently it has become virtually impossible to insure a home with polybutylene plumbing without limited coverage or a high premium. Anticipate this potential pitfall and make plans accordingly.
Air Conditioning – Everyone is feeling the heat this summer. Air conditioning system is particularly important in Florida. Be sure your AC is serviced and cooling properly.
Wood Rot – Contract jargon is “WDO” (Wood Destroying Organisms) damage. This is common in wood trims around the outside of the house. For example, any door that opens to the outside (front, garage, side, back). Certain types of financing require that the home does not have WDO damage. Sellers are often advised to look for and repair WDO damages before listing.
Permits – Many improvements to a home require a permit from the city/county. The Florida sales contract included a provision for permit examination a few years ago but generally people did not know what to do with this provision. The permit history of a home can be messy. The current contract (FR/BAR-2) includes a provision for municipal lien search. So now permit history search is run for most transactions and cans of worms are often opened. It’s a good idea for you to take a look at your own home’s permit history by going to the public appraiser’s website for your county and search for your address.
I will stop here. I hope the above information is helpful to you. For more details or a full evaluation of your home, you can always call or email me.