How much is your home worth?

If you are thinking of selling your home, you'll need to know exactly what it is worth before putting it on the market. As a Kissimmee area real estate professional, I analyze home values and determine market prices every day. By comparing your home to recent sales and other, similar homes on the market I can quickly tell you what your home is worth. This analysis is known as "Comparative Market Analysis", or CMA. Just fill out the form to give me the information I need and I'll be glad to perform a CMA for your home and provide you the results for free.




If you've decided to sell your home, chances are you're caught up in a host of emotions. You may be looking forward to moving up to a new dream house or facing the uncertainly of a major move across the country. You may be parting with your dream vacation home or getting rid of a head ache. You may be reluctant to leave your memories behind or eager to start new adventures. Whatever turbulent feelings you're experience right now, there are plenty of practical matters that need your attention.

I have up-to-date information on what is happening in the marketplace, and I will produce a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) to help you better understand how to get to the "right price" to market your property. This will compare your property to others that have sold in your sub-division, and current homes that are for sale. These are the key factors in getting your property sold at the best price, quickly, and with a minimum of hassle. Please contact me and let me know that you'd like a CMA done for you.

Should you choose to list with me, I am proud to announce that I am one of the few REALTORS® who is able to market your home utilizing the most powerful on-line real estate marketing program in America - the Featured Homesä Marketing System. I have secured one of the very limited Featured Homes' position on the Internet's #1 Real Estate web site, REALTOR.Com, the official web site of the National Association of REALTORS. Through REALTOR.Com's Marketing System's Featured Homesä program, when potential home buyers search for homes for sale on REALTOR.Com®, they will see your property prominently displayed with full color photo at the top of the page, virtually before they see any other homes in your area. On average, homes in the Featured Homes position can receive twenty times more exposure.


You can now benefit from this enhanced presence on REALTOR.com®, where your home will stand out to more than 5.7 million individuals each month. Couple this with the fact that home buyers and sellers spent 86% of the time they spent searching for a home online on REALTOR.com®2, and it is easy to see the impact a Featured Homes™ spot can have on this very targeted audience of home buyers.

These are just a few of the ways I leverage every opportunity to get your home the maximum attention and exposure it deserves when you are ready to sell.

In making the investment in the Featured Homes Marketing System, “I want to ensure that both the properties I market and the communities I represent enjoy optimum shelf positioning online, because what makes me different from other agents is how I help my properties and communities differentiate themselves from the other homes and communities they compete against.”

How Do I Choose a Realtor ?

In Florida all Realtors ® are licensed by the State of Florida and it is a 3rd degree felony to practice real estate without a license. To obtain a Realtor’s license it is necessary to attend Real Estate School and pass the schools exam followed by a very rigorous State exam. This license has to be renewed every 2 years – this ensures your Realtor is up to date with current laws and practices.

Once you have joined the Board of Realtors® you are able to access the Multiple Listing System (MLS). This is a web-based system that lists nearly ALL properties currently for sale in Florida. All Realtors have access to the same properties therefore unlike in the UK you only have to deal with one Realtor (me of course !!). You should find a Realtor that you feel you trust and can work with to sell your home.

I'll organize an “Open House” for your property, as we are in a vacation home area there are many tourists whose curiosity will be piqued and I can explain to them the benefits of owning a home in Florida.

Buyers from everywhere in the world comes to us. We have formed strategic alliances with key real estate related organizations around the world in order to give your property maximum exposure.

Be your eyes and ears if you do not live in this area to help oversee every detail in the sale of your home. Arrange to meet any of the inspectors that your buyer may require.

I will guide you through the closing process; I can help you close the deal. Between the initial sales agreement and closing (or settlement) questions may arise. For example unexpected repairs, a cloud on the title is discovered, the paperwork alone can be very overwhelming for most sellers. I can help you resolve these issues and make sure everything flows smoothly.

I can arrange for a virtual tour of your property. Virtual tours enable potential buyers to view the entire home from a 360 degree point of view from anywhere in the world, thus making it even easier for buyers to shop online 24 hours a day.

● What Do All These Terms Mean ?

Hopefully this will help to explain some of the terms used in a Real Estate transaction, if you would like further information please ask

The Contract When a contract is presented, I will discuss the merits of it with you. I can help you objectively evaluate every buyer’s proposal without compromising your marketing position. On acceptance we ask the purchaser to place a good faith binder deposit of $3,000.00. This will be held in Escrow.

Title Company The Title company will pull together all the paperwork for the transaction. They will research the title and issue Title insurance (See below). In the State of Florida, we do not generally use lawyers for Real Estate transactions. All the necessary documentation is typically taken care of by the Title Company; they are used to doing thousands of transactions, most of which are standard. If you feel you would like a lawyer to represent you please ask for a list of names.

Title Insurance The Title Company will also be issuing your Title Insurance policy. Most people will be unfamiliar with the concept of Title Insurance, but it is a system that has been in use in the States for years. Title insurance is a type of insurance that helps protect against losses that could occur if you discover after closing that someone else can claim ownership of your property.

Title Search Is a close examination of all public records that involve title (deed) to a piece of real estate. The person conducting the search looks at past deeds, wills, and trusts to make sure the title has passed correctly to each new owner. The examiner tries to verify that all prior mortgages, judgments, and other liens have been paid in full. A title search should uncover potential problems, such as rights others may hold (right of ways, view easements, power line easements, mineral rights), claims by prior undisclosed heirs, and pending legal actions. If you would like a more complete description please ask.

Escrow Also known as settlement or closing, is the process in which an escrow company, Title Company, or other third party overseas the transfer of ownership from the seller to the buyer. The third party agent holds and organizes any funds and documents until all the details of the transaction have been fulfilled. Escrow opens when good faith money (deposit) has been deposited into an escrow account along with the contract for sale and purchase signed by both seller and buyer. I will take care of this for you.

Solicitors/Lawyers In the State of Florida, we do not generally use lawyers for Real Estate transactions. All the necessary documentation is typically taken care of by the Title Company; they are used to doing thousands of transactions, most of which are standard. However here at Century 21 we believe in going one step further and use The Law Office of L. Bruce Swiren, Bruce will handle your closing personally and he will be our agent that holds Escrow.

Inspections The buyer will probably be advised by their Realtor to have a home inspection. The Home Inspection is an unbiased, professional assessment of the condition of the house. It provides the buyer with an expert opinion and professional report on the condition of the physical structure and various systems within a house.

● How Much Will It Cost To Sell My Home ?

The fees below will be deducted from the proceeds of your sale after your mortgage has been satisfied. This will be done on your behalf by our Title Company. If you need any of these figures explained in depth, please ask.

Document Stamp

The State will charge you 70 cents per $100.00

The price of the house $_______ divided by 100 x 70 cents = $_________ Documents Stamp

Title Insurance

For the first $100,00.00 you will pay a flat fee of $575.00

The price of the house$_____________ X .00525 = Title Insurance

These prices are set by the State

Realtors Commission

Understanding How Realtors Get Paid

In all Real Estate transactions there is a listing Real Estate Company and a selling Real Estate Company. All commission money at closing of a Real Estate transaction is paid to the Title company disbursed by them. The amount or percentage of commission for the sale of the property is set by the listing broker (with the approval of the home owner or seller) and published in the MLS along with the listing. The commission split between the selling broker and listing broker is also determined by the listing broker but generally the listing broker keeps 50% of the commission and pays the selling broker 50% of the commission.

After the commission money is received by the Listing and Selling Brokers, they in turn pay the sales agents involved in the transaction. The amount that the sales agent receives is determined by the employment contract the sales agent has with the Real Estate Company. Real Estate Agents are independent contractors and receive no other financial benefit other than the sales commission. The agents payment may vary from 40% share of what the broker received (20% of the total commission) to 100% of what the broker received (50% of the total commission). When the broker/company shares the commission generally the company pays for advertising, telephone, and other office

business expenses. When the agent receives 50% of the total commission the agent pays for all the expenses, including advertising, telephone, and office expense to the broker of as much or more than $2,000 a month depending on what office services the agent receives.

Setting the Commission Rate To List Your Home For

When a buyer comes to a Realtors Office and they want to purchase property in your sub division the agent we will look it up on the MLS. If for example in your sub division there are 30 houses for sale all offering different commission splits to the agent who brings a buyer, the buyers agent is going to show the houses that have the most commission split. Hopefully they would also show homes that fit your criteria that have a lower commission split (or they are not very honest !) but if they have say 10 out of the 30 homes that fit your criteria and 5 of them have a better split they obviously will show those first.

Cut-Rate Listing Commissions With the advent of the web, a lot of agents are offering "cut-rate" commissions. Most of the time, lower commissions are tied to a lower level of service. If all you want is to be listed with the Multiple Listing Service and a sign in the front yard, then a cut-rate commission may be right for you. If you want an agent who will actively promote your property to other agents and spend money on advertising, then you probably are not going to get that level of service with a reduced commission.

As a result, when you see an offer for a lower commission, you should analyze what you are giving up by accepting such an offer. It probably will not be readily apparent in the advertisement. Be sure to ask lots of questions. Bottom line you get what you pay for.

Other Fees Settlement Fees, Abstract and/or Title search, Courier Fees, Title Examination, Wire Transfer and Recording Fees will come out between $300 and $500 depending on the Title Company that is used.

● Should I Sell My Own Home ?

When the time comes to sell your home, you may be tempted to sell it yourself. There is primarily only one reason for doing so, and that is saving on a real estate commission. The only other motivation could be a personal challenge or learning experience, but basically the desire to save money is the main motivator. You may indeed save money. On the other hand, the saving could be an expensive illusion.

Based on my personal and professional experience and observation, there are some general disadvantages of selling a home yourself, as opposed to using a carefully selected and experienced REALTOR.

The following remarks are not intended to dissuade you from attempting to sell your own home, but to place the process in realistic perspective. The comments apply whether you are selling your own home or an investment property. In the end, you will have to balance the benefits and disadvantages of course, and decide what is best for you.


If you don’t know all the steps involved, from the pre-sale procedures and strategies to completing the deal and receiving the money,you could and probably would make mistakes that could be costly to you.

Emotional Roller Coaster

Many people, especially with their own home, tend to get emotionally involved in the sale process because of the direct interaction with the prospective purchasers. For example, frustration can be experienced due to rejection of the house, negative comments or fault-finding, people whose personality you don’t like, or people who negotiate toughly on the price. These one-on-one direct dynamics or comments can sometimes be taken personally, and therefore be a cause of stress.

Time Commitment

You have to haveopen houses as well as show your property at times that may not necessarily be convenient to you. In addition, you are going to be spending time preparing the ad copy and staying at home to respond to telephone calls or people knocking on the door.


Costs include all the daily or weekly newspaper classified and/or box ads, as well as a lawn sign. You would pay for these yourself. In addition, you may not know what specific types of advertising would be appropriate for your type of property; how to write ad copy that would grab the attention of a reader and prospective purchaser; nor how to identify and emphasize the key selling features of your property.

Limited Exposure

There are considerable differences in market exposure in terms of advertising by yourself and the types of advertising and promotion a REALTOR could do for you. There is obviously a direct correlation between the nature and degree of market exposure and the end price. Clearly, limited market exposure means limited prospective buyers.

Legal problems

The prospective purchaser may supply you with his own agreement of purchase and sale. This contract may have clauses and other terms in it that could be legally risky, unenforceable, unfair, or otherwise not beneficial to you. You may not recognize these potential problems or risks. In addition, you could end up agreeing to take back a mortgage (vendor-back mortgage) when it would not be necessary or wise, or to accept a long-term option or other legal arrangement that could be risky.

Lack of familiarity

You may not have a clear or objective idea of exactly what a similar property in your market is selling for, or the state of the real estate market at that point in time. This can place you at a distinct disadvantage. For example, if you are being unrealistic in your pricing, along with limited advertising exposure, you could literally price yourself out of the market. Prospective purchasers may not even look, let alone make an offer.

You may eventually sell your property, but only after several price reductions and after a long period of time. Naturally, of course, this depends on the market and the nature of your property. Conversely, you could have a property with unique features or potential that could justify a higher sale price than you might realize.

No Pre-Screening

You would not generally know the art of pre-screening prospects in the terms of questions to ask them over the phone. The end result is that you could waste your time talking to people over the phone or showing them through the house, who are not and never will be serious prospects. You could also end up accepting an offer from someone who does not realistically have a chance of financing the house, or who asks for unrealistic time periods for removing purchaser conditions, which effectively would tie up your property during that time.

Offer Price

You may think the offer is the best offer from that prospective purchaser, or any purchaser, and therefore may accept it. That price may not be the best price at all. You may have started too low or too high for your initial asking price, based on emotion or needs, not reality; you may have received a “low-ball” offer from a prospective purchaser that was never intended to be accepted but was designed to reduce your expectations; you may be inexperienced in applying real estate negotiating skills; or you may be subjected to effective closing skills on the part of the prospective purchaser.

Lack of Skills

This problem was referred to in the previous point. You may lack any negotiating or sales skills and feel very uncomfortable or anxious in a negotiating context. As a consequence, the price and terms you eventually settle for may not be as attractive as they otherwise could be.


It is not uncommon for the prospective purchaser to determine what the fair market value is and then ask to have an additional discount equal to the real estate commission you are saving. The primary reason why prospective purchasers are attracted to a “For Sale by Owner” is the prospect of getting a better deal than a property listed with a REALTOR, due to the commission otherwise built into the sale price.

The primary reason why you are selling the property yourself is to save the full amount of any commission otherwise payable. Hence the problem. A compromise may be possible whereby the price is further reduced by a percentage of the commission saved. Again, in practical terms, it is normally an illusion to think that you will save the full or even a substantial amount of the commission. Would you not have a lingering doubt that you could have netted more if it was listed with a REALTOR?

Buyer’s Market

Buyer’s in this type of market are very price sensitive, negotiate toughly because they want the best deal, and have the time to be selective after comparing what is available in the market. You are at a disadvantage if you don’t receive all the exposure possible and use all the negotiating and selling skills available. You could go

down further by that time in a declining sale market, due to oversupply of homes, limited demand and reduced exposure.

Quote from Realtor.com

“The median home price for sellers who use an agent is 16.0 percent higher than a home sold directly by an owner; $230,000 vs. $198,200; there were no significant differences between the types of homes sold. “While many unrepresented sellers are motivated to save on paying a commission, we think the price difference speaks for itself,” Stevens said. “Owners without professional assistance also have problems in understanding and completing paperwork, prepping the home for sale, getting the right price and selling within the time planned.”

Survey data don’t explain the price difference, but Stevens offered some context. “Agents know best how to prepare a home and maximize value, agents provide broader exposure to the market and are more likely to generate multiple bids, and the portion of sales that are between private parties are likely to be at a lower price than those on the open market.”

● What Are The Tax Implications Of Selling A Home?

Selling a home can have a major impact on your federal and state tax returns.

Check with your tax consultant on the factors that may affect taxes resulting from the sale of your home

Whether you purchased the home or acquired it by gift or inheritance

Whether you used your home partly for business or rental

Costs associated with selling your home

Home improvements or additions, which may help to offset capital gains

Gain from the sale of a prior home on which tax was postponed prior to the enactment of the federal Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997

The federal Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 says when you sell your home you can keep, tax free, capital gains of up to $500,000 if you are married filing jointly or $250,000 for single taxpayers, or married taxpayers who file separately. To qualify for the exclusion, you must have used the home as your principle residence for at least two of the prior five years. It is not a one time tax exclusion. You can use the exclusion as often as you meet the qualifications.

The federal Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 further clarified the law and says you can prorate the $500,000/$250,000 exclusion (not your specific gain) if unforeseen events, such as a job change, illness, or some other hardship forced you to sell before you meet the two-year residency requirement.

Many, but not all federal tax benefits are also available from state tax departments. Be sure to discuss your move with a tax professional familiar with state tax rules, especially if you are moving from one state to another.


Why Choose a REALTOR® With a GRI Designation?

Buying property is a complex and stressful task. In fact, it's often the biggest single investment you will make in your lifetime. At the same time, real estate transactions have become increasingly complicated.

New technology, laws, procedures and the increasing sophistication of buyers and sellers require real estate practitioners to perform at an ever-increasing level of professionalism.

So it's more important than ever that you work with an agent who has a keen understanding of the real estate business. The GRI program has helped the best and the brightest in the industry achieve that level of understanding.

GRIs are:

· Nationally recognized as top performers in the real estate industry

· Professionally trained

· Knowledgeable

· Dedicated to bringing you quality service

A GRI can make a difference

When you see the letters "GRI" after an agent's name, you can count on receiving the knowledge and guidance you need to make your transaction go smoothly. In short, you can count on getting the best service available from a real estate professional.

Don't you deserve the best?

If you have any questions at all I would be delighted to answer them for you.


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