How long does it take to build a house?

The article below is true for Tallahassee only if you have plans and all your color selections done in advance. Its not common but you can find home in construction that may still be customized. Many builders order cabinets early inthe process so usually all you can change is paint, appliances and carpet.  new


Buyers want to build a home? It’ll take 7 months
CHICAGO – Aug. 17, 2016 – The average time it takes to complete a new single-family home is seven months in Florida and nationally, according to recent Census Bureau data. That completion time includes nearly a month for getting the permit to start the project – 27 days in Florida – and then another 6 months to complete the construction.

200K or 199K

An interesting article from Florida Realtors. An FAU study answers a longstanding pricing debate. But the real answer is listing for more than you think the homes true value is. Over the last several years I have found listing 5k – 10K over the value indicated by comps has netted my sellers much more at closing.

Here is the entire article.

BOCA RATON, Fla. – Aug. 10, 2016 – For real estate agents, it’s an age-old question: Is it more effective to list a home for a round number, such as $200,000, or is it more effective to make the first digit smaller and list a home for $199,000?

According to a study done by Florida Atlantic University (FAU), the $199,000 list price tends to be better for a seller. The results were published in the Journal of Housing Research – an official publication of the American Real Estate Society (ARES).

“These findings will help real estate brokers and sellers of homes develop more informed listing and marketing strategies to better suit sellers’ needs,” says Ken Johnson, Ph.D., ARES publication director, real estate economist at Florida Atlantic University’s College of Business and co-developer of the Beracha, Hardin and Johnson Buy vs. Rent Index.

The study looked at 1,000 buyers in Virginia and a pool of more than 370,000 listings. The researchers were able to determine the impact of “rounded pricing” listing strategies versus “just below pricing” listing strategies by looking at the results following a sale.

“Our study suggests that by using the just-below pricing strategy sellers can price their home slightly higher without driving away potential buyers,” says Eli Beracha, Ph.D., of Florida International University, who conducted the study with Michael J. Seiler, Ph.D., of The College of William & Mary.

Part of the key rests on how sellers price the home in the first place. They study found that just-below sellers tend to look at actual value and raise the asking price higher, but only to a point below a round number. Sellers who chose a round number in the first place tend to price their home closer to actual value.

“On average, buyers are more attracted to a house priced at $199,000 than to a house priced at $200,000, and it appears that just-below pricing works out favorably for sellers in terms of their bottom line,” Beracha says. “Based on our research, the just-below pricing strategy yields a selling price that is, on average, roughly 2.5 to 3 percent higher – $5,000 to $6,000 on a $200,000 house – compared with a rounded pricing listing strategy.”

While residential real estate agents widely disagree on the appropriate pricing strategy to use when listing residential real estate for sale, the researchers found that homebuyers more often prefer homes priced using a “just below” pricing strategy. This preference allows sellers to list their home for a higher initial listing price.

On the other hand, rounded priced homes typically spend less time on the market and their selling price is closer to the listing price that just-under priced homes. Overall, however, the just-below pricing strategy outweighs the lower discount and shorter time on the market associated with similar rounded-priced strategy homes, according to FAU.

“We tested the age-old debate concerning the best technique to price a home when listing it for sale,” Seiler said. “We find that using a price just below a round number works best, particularly in connection to the left-most digit in the price. So, $199,000 works better than $200,000.”

© 2016 Florida Realtors®

Another Scam…


Scammers are always working on new ways to separate you from your money.

Rule #1 – Never wire money without verbally confirming with your Realtor, Loan Officer and Title company.

Here is what happens… Just before closing the buyer gets this email –

“Good morning, Your final figure for closing is $40,941.70, I just received word from the title company and they want the closing funds wired to their trading account as soon as possible to avoid closing delays. This is due to technical issues with their trust account. I will send you the new wiring instructions once you acknowledge the receipt of this email by replying to it. You can send me an email if you need anything else as I will be in a meeting all day and won’t be able to take calls.  Due to the new cash policy, the title company cannot accept cashier’s checks for any amount over $10,000.00. Any amount in excess of $10,000.00 must be sent via wire transfer or funding may be delayed. Let me know if you need anything else..
[signature here was identical to her lender’s email signature]”

The buyer is trying to do everything they can to close on time. It looks real and they initiate a wire transfer… It goes to the scammers account and is quickly transferred out to a foreign bank.

Yes this is real and yes this happened in Tallahassee.

Call your agent, your loan officer or your title company before you send money to anyone!!

How is it out there?


Nationally sales are up from 2014 so most people will tell you the market is great.

Locally August’s stats looked almost the same as last year and Septembers preliminary numbers tell the same tale.

Auguat sales

The North East is one of the most popular areas on Tallahassee and things are more interesting there.

In the NE there are 627 single family homes for sale and 1731 homes sold in the last 12 months

That tells us we have 4.3 months of inventory active on the market. That is a little misleading because many seller take their homes off the market in the fall. But they plan to relist them in the spring. Still there are fewer homes on the market than usual.

We are experiencing the typical fall slow down. But, If you have your home on the market now you have an advantage. There may be fewer active buyers in the market but there are many less homes available.

As a Seller – Be patient through the fall and you may capture that perfect buyer!

As a Buyer – Be ready to move quickly when a great property is listed. There may be competition.



Is your listing really where it’s located?


If your selling make sure map links place your property  in the correct location.

I recently found two listings that were placed on maps miles from their actual location.  One map  put the listing in a much less desirable location. I am sure that has cost the seller showings. In the other instance it was showing up as a downtown property  when the listing was miles from the center of Tallahassee. The clients that were searching for a suburban location may never have found the listing!

If you have ever used google or apple maps for directions you know mapping by address is not perfect. As agents we have the ability to geocode every listing connecting the address to GPS coordinates. Map based real estate searches are becoming more and that makes the geocoding even more important. . Most apps allow you to draw a search area. If your property shows up in the wrong spot a buyer may never never know it is on the market.

This is especially important for undeveloped land or new construction where a physical address has not been assigned.

Barry Bevis, Broker/Realtor


Excellent article about home values from the LATimes…

Zillow is simply off on its home values. At its best its 7% off. Commonly it 12% off. At its worst 40%

Why?  Home are  Un-Zillowable.

Zillow has no idea if your house is Updated, needs a new roof, has termites, backs up to the interstate or a golf course. Those are all Un-Zillowable factors that can dramatically effect value.