Hello Naples Friends,
Here are a few funny and a few serious things many Naples buyers and sellers are surprised to experience while buying or selling Naples luxury real estate.
1. OPEN HOUSES SELL NAPLES, FLORIDA LUXURY REAL ESTATE. The common experience around the rest of the world is open houses don’t really do much in the form of actually selling real estate. It’s largely considered a ploy for the open house sitter to get buyer leads most of who have no interest in the actual house being held open.
People stumble into and buy tons of Naples real estate some without even knowing they were actually in the market to buy. This occurs most in areas that hug the coastline: Port Royal, Aqualane Shores, Old Naples, Coquina Sands, Moorings, Park Shore and Pelican Bay. This kind of traffic isn’t limited to those areas so be careful if you find yourself peeking in open houses…you might just find yourself signing your name to one and boarding a flight wondering what just happened.
2. WE ARE SERIOUS ABOUT EARNEST MONEY AND IT MEANS SOMETHING. In some markets across the country, earnest money is a pointless formality where the amount of earnest money is really small and the odds of losing it if the buyer backs out are almost nil.
Naples takes earnest money seriously. Don’t be surprised if a seller is looking for 10% or more down and don’t be surprised if they’re looking for it if you decide you’re not going to do what you said you were going to do on paper.
Lifehack: We'll explain the specifics on how we can protect you through the entire deal so there aren’t any surprises and we can accomplish what you really want to happen.
3. SOMETIMES YOU GET EVERYTHING BESIDES THE KITCHEN SINK. In some markets it’s customary to take your washer, dryer, refrigerator and just about everything not actually nailed down.
Naples likes it a little less labor intensive and while you may find a property you love where appliances haven’t been installed and builders aren’t including an appliance package in the deal, by and large sellers fully intend on leaving all appliances, sometimes all their furniture and on some occasion everything you see including accessories. Here’s the terms you want to know:
Turnkey- Seller is leaving everything you see (sometimes there is a list of exceptions) This is all included in the price.
Furnished- Seller is leaving all of their furniture. Typically it doesn’t cover any of the accessories like dishes and decorative items.
Negotiable- You may get all or part of the furniture and sometimes accessories but the Seller hasn’t included them in the price and they may want to see an additional value for those items. Sometimes it’s a negotiating ploy, they’ll throw that stuff in and pretend you’re getting something extra so they can keep the price closer to full list.
Unfurnished- The seller wants to take their stuff. Sometimes they’ll negotiate but mostly they want to take their stuff and mostly they want to take it all.
There’s something really attractive to being able to buy a Naples house or condo and roll in it for a period of time before you find yourself replacing furniture and accessory pieces you don’t really like in efforts to make your new place feel like your own.
Naples also has tons of charity and consignment stores you can call and have stuff hauled away. Sellers, if you find yourself amidst a bunch of furniture from the ‘70s…it’s better to make that call before you list.
On occasion, there are amazing pieces of furniture or accessories the buyer wants the seller will not leave for any price.
Lifehack: Don't get completely attached as you walk through. We'll alert you upon entering what you get to keep or what goes so you know while you’re looking.
4. IF THE SELLER AGREES TO FIX IT, YOU BOUGHT IT. While there are some exceptions, our contract reads like this: Buyers are welcome to have inspections performed at their expense (they can get expensive, we can walk you through this). Aside from cosmetic issues like torn screens or cracked tiles, systems not working in its intended capacity could be considered an inspection item. The buyer can ask for it to be fixed, if the seller won’t fix it, the buyer can walk. If the seller agrees to fix it, the buyer could be on the hook to buy the property.
Property condition is the number one reason why deals fall apart.
Lifehack: We spend time explaining the process before you sign your paperwork so you know how the play is made. We protect you all the way through so you know what to expect and how to react before it actually happens. We like happy buyers and sellers, this is one of the biggest ways we accomplish this.
5. HOW YOU DO IT MAY NOT BE HOW NAPLES DOES IT OR HOW THEY DO IT. Real estate negotiation is performed on a location custom. How they do it in the mid atlantic area is really different than how they do it in the midwest. Naples has a “somewhat" uniform way of doing it here. We’ve adopted customs from some of our favorite fans from other parts of the country but because we are a secondary market, some buyers and sellers find themselves questioning our processes. I’ve often heard wow, that’s not how we do it in (insert city here). Most of our customers conform to how we do it here so we have a pretty educated guess on how things are going to go down but on occasion we get that one buyer or seller who insists on doing it their way. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t. A large majority of our deals get done in an amicable way. The good news is, we’ve seen it all so we’ll know exactly what kind of animal we’re dealing with as situations arise.
Lifehack: We have the best professionals to assist you when you find yourself face to face with a lion or a cheetah so you’re protected regardless.
6. TIME IS OF THE Essence. If you’re planning on looking at Naples luxury real estate, you can bet the listing agent is going to want to accompany your showing. This is a triple bonus because they can usually answer the most obscure question about the property giving you all the content you need to make a decision. That means if your appointment to start the showing is at 10:00a.m. I or a member from my team has scheduled those showings with all of those agents and all of those agents know to be at the property at that time too. Sellers know to be out of the property so you can check stuff out. Being late throws off not only our team but it also throws off their team and the sellers plans to have access to the house too.
In normal markets it’s whatever the buyers does goes. In Naples, it’s not unusual for the listing agent to not have the ability to adjust their schedule or the seller to say, sorry, we have plans later and cancel the showing. When we have jillions of awesome properties to show, it’s their loss. When we have limited inventory like now, it could be yours. The good news is we are masters of the universe at setting showing schedules and we have great relationships with the other agents around town so if you give us at least 24 hours notice, we’re pretty sure we can get you in everything you want to see provided we stick to the schedule. Plus, you’ll know when you will have all your showings accomplished so you can go do something fun around town. Hey all work and no play makes your Naples experience work and most Naples buyers don’t want to work the entire time they’re here. You’ll want to go check out some of our great restaurants, catch up with friends and take in one of our magnificent sunsets!
7. WE NAME THINGS SIMILARLY TO THROW OFF NEW PEOPLE. If you’re new to Naples real estate then don’t feel alone if you have a hard time figuring out the neighborhoods and streets around here. We have more things named pelican around here than you count. There’s Pelican Bay, the neighborhood on the beach, Pelican Marsh the one that isn’t. Bay Colony which is located in both of those neighborhoods (have fun figuring that out) Gulf Shore Blvd., the western most street from Aqualane Shores to Park Shore not to be confused with Gulf Shore Drive, the western most street in Vanderbilt Beach…yeah, we do it to throw you off and all those new agents who think selling Naples luxury real estate is easy.
Lifehack: See property with a smart agent, like me.
8. WE KEEP SOME OF OUR INVENTORY ON FOR YEARS. The longest running property on the market today in Port Royal has been on the market for over 7 years. LOL. It kind of illustrates how motivated they are doesn’t it? Why does it matter? For many people this is a second, third, fourth, fifth home. They’re not here that often so the burden of lifestyle interruptions may not be a problem for them. That’s great if you’re a seller I suppose but it’s not so great if you’re a buyer looking at real options.
Lifehack: We can help you weed through the ones that are on the market but not really worth what they’re asking or who won’t be reasonable in negotiations.
9. SOMETIMES WE MAKE YOU TAKE YOUR SHOES OFF OR WEAR TACKY PAPER BOOTIES. I'm not just talking about this practice taking place in brand new sparkling homes where the threat of compromising the integrity of the sheen on the marble is at risk. I'm talking some owners and/or agents require them while viewing worn out raggedy properties where the life expectancy of the flooring peaked 15 years ago. It's reminiscent of the experience one has at the airport.
Lifehack: Wear two pairs of socks or just one pair depending on your persnickety preferences.
10. WE PLAY GAMES TO GET YOU TO SIGN A CONTRACT…OR DO WE? While statements like, “I’m getting an offer”, “we just got an offer”, “we have a second showing today” may sound like total BS, it could be real. My first million dollar plus deal in Naples sat on the market for nearly 4 years before I got the listing. My seller wanted all of the money out of the house and was convinced it was the past 3 real estate agents not doing their job not the price that prevented it from selling. I took the listing at a lower price, and then encouraged him to reduce it again because we weren’t getting the traffic needed to get an offer. Believe it or not, I got notice I was getting an offer while another buyer teetered on the edge of writing as well. I called the buyer I was working with to say,” hey, you need to do this or you’re going to lose it”. It took nearly all day to convince him to write. The offer came in, he submitted his offer the same time the other one came in. He won only because his contract netted the seller more money. This sort of stuff happens all the time. It’s irritating because it makes everybody uncomfortable. Don’t get me wrong, we do have a limited number of agents who play those games. That is a short game play though because history will blow that cover and then their strategies are exposed.
Lifehack: Choose a tenured agent like one from my team who know the players and tactics in the market.
Ok, that is all for now. If you have questions regarding Naples luxury real estate or want to take a peek at some of the terrific properties for sale, give me a shout.
Shannon Lefevre, PA
Your Naples Smart Girl!