Thursday, March 31, 2016


1) Get pre-qualified and then;                                                                 
2) Get pre-approved for a mortgage from a lender. 

I’ll explain the difference in a moment.

Serious buyers who are aware of the importance of these steps, put themselves in a powerful home buying position. Once you’ve done this, you’re now a strong buyer ready for action! House hunting can be fun, but before you get deeply involved in your search for the perfect home, KNOW YOUR BUYING POWER! 

People who skip this step will often be wasting their time, their agent’s time and the seller’s time. That’s a lot of wasted time because you have an assumption of how much buying power you have, which is frequently incorrect. Without running ratios against your financial picture, many people are way off on how much home they can afford. Get these steps done!!! 

STEP 1: PRE-QUALIFICAITON (your unofficial initial snapshot): 
You’re going to provide a snapshot of your financial situation either verbally or in writing. The lender will apply ratios to the numbers you provide (an agent can do this portion of as well.) The point of a pre-qualification is to confirm the amount of a mortgage you can expect to be approved. 

Once you have been pre-qualified, your agent can start to set appointments for you to see houses. At the same time, you’re going to begin step 2 (pre-approval). 

STEP 2: PRE-APPROVAL (official, but not committed): 
If the pre-qualification phase is within an acceptable range for you (the amount that you are likely to qualify for in a mortgage), then do the pre-approval phase. 

This is where you’re going to provide the lender with proof/documentation of your financial situation. The lender will officially verify all of your information including a thorough credit check. If you pass their requirements, the lender will give you an official approval showing how much money they will lend you. This doesn’t bind them to lending you the money. If anything changes in your financial situation, the whole approval process may have to be restarted (see After you get pre-approved below). 

1) First of all, you will know your TRUE buying power. You won’t be wasting your time, your agent’s time or the seller’s time! This is really important for everyone. 

2) If you find the house of your dreams and you make an offer to buy, you’re offer will be considered stronger than someone who hasn’t been pre-approved. In fact, if another party puts in an offer for more money than your offer, but they haven’t gone through the approval process, a seller will often choose to sell to the buyer who already has the approval. 

3) If you’re up against a cash buyer, your offer will have similar strength. If you offer more than the cash buyer, the seller will probably accept your offer. 

4) You won’t have to go through the whole mortgage documentation process since most of it is already done. The lender will take another look at your situation to see if anything has changed, but assuming it hasn’t, the process is mostly done. Of course the bank has to make sure that the house you’re buying has proper value rations etc., but the hard part of the mortgage process for you is already done. 

1) Don’t buy or lease a new car
2) Don’t buy a new boat (I work in North Port Florida)
3) Don’t open or close any credit lines.
4) Don’t accept $20k from Aunt Lucy without notifying the bank first and getting their         feedback.
5) Don’t do anything that changes your credit situation positive or negative! 

Any changes that you make after you’re pre-approved can cause you to have to re-do the approval process. 

LOAN COMMITMENT: Once you find your property, make an offer and receive an acceptance of your offer, your lender will look to see if you have any changes from the pre-approval process. If no changes, the final step from the bank will be to give you a loan commitment. The commitment is issued by your lender when they have approved you and the house you are borrowing against. The loan commitment is only given when the bank commits to lending you the money. 

I can’t stress enough how important your real estate agent can be in helping you move from buyer to owner. Call around for an agent in the area you are interested in buying within so that you will have someone on your team who is looking out for your interests. Make sure you’re selecting an agent in the area, not 10 miles away. By using a local agent, you have the best opportunity to find off market properties that meets your criteria, and more attentive service from the agent. 

If you’re buying in North Port, call me or any of the other local North Port agents. If you’ve read this article from top to bottom, I’m going to assume you’re a buyer. Good luck house hunting. If you have unanswered questions, send me an e-mail or call me directly. 

Scott's phone number: 941-882-5494 Ext 701 
To send a message, click here: Message to Scott

Saturday, March 26, 2016


 941-882-5494 Ext 701

Buyer A
thinks he has a bargain. He just bought a house located on a side street at a 20% discount. He’s opening his professional office there, and is smartly eliminating his rent payments. He’s now going to reap the benefits of owning his own office and paying himself rent.

Buyer B has a similar situation. However, Buyer B thinks differently than Buyer A. He sought out a location with a high volume of traffic so that he could capture the attention of thousands of people passing by each day. He understands how the right signage could attract numerous new customers to his professional practice. He knows he needs a high traffic location to benefit from the use of signage.

If Buyer A wanted the same exposure, he would have to purchase advertising space on a billboard in a high traffic area, which will often cost as much as a mortgage payment each month, and the billboard might not be available in the area.

Buyer B benefits from free advertising to thousands of people. The right message on Buyer B’s sign will drive significant business to his office. He has the potential to pay his mortgage and fuel further growth solely from the new business.

Buyer B is essentially getting his office for free.

Fast forward 20 years and you’re likely going to see Buyer B with a large business and land appreciation worth significantly more than Buyer A's gains.

Don't be Buyer A!

UPDATE: As of 03-11-16 property is leased with an option to buy. On the heals of the lease, two additional buyers expressed an interest in the property, but the lease with option to buy commitment was already in place. If 10760 Bloomingdale becomes available again in the future, we will update all locations that mention this property. GREAT JOB CREW!

If you have any questions, call Scott: 941-882-5494 Ext 701 I wrote this article to highlight a property that we’re selling located at 10760 Bloomingdale Ave., Riverview, FL 33578.  Other business people pay thousands a month for signs to generate new business. As the owner of this property, your sign is Free! Thousands of potential new customers will see your sign daily!

Location, Location, Location! Come see how great this opportunity can be for you!

Compare this opportunity to buying an office on a side street. There is no comparison.The side street office has to pay significant money for advertising just to match the exposure you’re getting for free.

The exposure you can achieve with this location can attract enough new business to pay your mortgage and fuel your additional growth.

10760 Bloomingdale Ave., is the exact type of location you should put on your buy list to help fuel your growth. Call Scott and come see this property for yourself.
Phone: 813-324-1005 Ext 701

Property Price: $299,000.
10% Down - @ 4% Approx Mortgage: $1,242
With Taxes and Insurance: Approx $1,592.

If you're looking for a professional office, don't miss this opportunity. Schedule an appointment NOW!
Interested parties without agents are also welcome:

CALL SCOTT FOR SHOWING: 813-324-1005 Ext 701
Hunt Realty Group
Al Carapella - Broker / Scott P – Associate
10760 Bloomingdale Ave.
Riverview, FL 33569

The bottom line, location on a major road has tremendous value to any business owner!

Friday, March 25, 2016


 941-882-5494 Ext 701

1. Entrance: A bedroom needs at least two methods of egress. It should be accessible from within the house (door or an entrance where a door could be reasonably installed), and then have one other exit (window or door).

2. Escape: A bedroom must have one other method of egress beyond the entrance point. A door to the exterior or a window is required.

3. Ceiling Height: 50% of a bedroom ceiling needs to be at least 7 ft tall. If a portion of the area is say 5 feet tall, that portion isn’t considered livable area and should not be counted toward the room's square footage.

4. Size: The room should be at least 70 square feet, (cannot be smaller than 7 feet in any horizontal direction.) Manufactured homes that are constructed according to the standards of HUD can have a minimum of 50 square feet of floor area (50 sq. ft. not fact checked).

5. Bedroom is to be located along and exterior wall.

6. Closet: Is a closet required to be considered a bedroom? As it turns out, it is not required in certain circumstances and locations. As an example, an old house may have been built without bedroom closets, as was common a long time ago. Depending on local rules, a closet may or may not be required in your area. In Sarasota and Hillsborough Counties, it is required:

A room may not be considered a bedroom if it is used to access another room except a bathroom or closet. As an example, a room with a Study. You may choose to use the Study as a bedroom for your personal purposes, but it is not a bedroom if you have to go through one bedroom to get to it. 

Some old houses were built without closets in the bedroom. However, most people today would expect to have a closet in the bedroom. Stating a room is a bedroom when a closet doesn’t exist in the room, in a neighborhood where a closet is either required or generally accepted as a requirement, the room should not be presented as a bedroom.

Disclaimer:  This information is not guaranteed for your particular circumstance and nothing written here should be considered advise. If you want to obtain information on your own, research residential codes and other terms. You can also contact an appraiser, “local” real estate agent or broker, or other service providers.

Here are two county codes worded differently for the definition of a bedroom:

Hillsborough County Building code:
Bedroom means a private room with a closet and window, designed in a manner appropriate for sleeping, separated from other rooms by a door, and accessible to a bathroom without crossing another bedroom or living room.

Sarasota County:
Bedroom: Any residential room which has an area of 70 Sq. Ft. or more and a storage closet and is not part of the common living area.

Building codes will vary from state to state. In most cities, bedrooms must have an escape or rescue point (usually a window). Building codes will dictate the maximum and minimum height, minimum square footage and width of the window.

In some codes, a closet may not be required to classify a room as a bedroom.

If you have any questions about this post or marketing strategies, go to our website and submit your question through our contact link.

Friday, March 4, 2016

6 Simple Steps to remove distractions to help you sell your North Port Florida house for top dollar.

 941-882-5494 Ext 701

A buyer has to be able to picture their life in your home. Buyers who are distracted by our everyday normal existence might decide to put in a low offer or buy another house that doesn’t have distraction noise. If you have a buyer coming to view your house, do your part to help the buyer see your house instead of seeing your life in your house.

Step 1 - Tackle your closets: Empty your closets by 1/2. Buyers need to see the space they’re getting in the closets. When your closet is stuffed, most buyers can’t picture the space. Buyers need to see that there’s room for their stuff!

Step 2 - Arrange Closets: Remaining clothes should be arranged neatly on hangers (i.e. shirts with shirts, jackets with jackets.) If you want to go one step further, you can also arrange by color. Neatly arranged clothes gives the appearance of more room even if the closet is small.

We all get entrenched in our homes. You take “your home” out of your house by removing most of your personal items. Maybe ask a friend or relative to hold some of your personal items until your house sells, or consider renting a storage unit. If you have a lot of extra personal stuff, including clutter or whatever, this is a get serious step toward selling your house! If you don't take this step, it doesn't mean that you won't sell, but this step can go a long way toward a faster sale and for more money.

A limited number of personal pictures are fine as long as they’re laid out neatly. If you have too many pictures, the “showing” becomes about you and not about the house you’re trying to sell. If the house is a good fit for the buyer, a professional salesperson will help the buyer start to envision their life in your house! Don't let your pictures hinder the process.

If you're not sure if you should remove items from your house, I can offer you my opinion. Call me. Scott – 941-882-5494 Ext 701

Step 4: Light sells so let it in: More people are positive about a bright sunny day than a rainy day. Now and then you hear people say it’s beautiful out, but you rarely hear that when it’s raining (even if you personally like a good thunderstorm!) Open the shades and replace burnt out bulbs.

Step 5: Fix the minor stuff! Fix it yourself or hire someone to do it. People will notice when your faucet leaks. To a buyer, that goes on their mental work-to-be-done-list. It’s a small investment to remove a minor distraction.

Step 6: Are you feeling ambitious? How’s about a fresh coat of new paint (notice the emphasis – Fresh and New.) Your house is great, but if another equal house (can even be slightly more $) looks like less work and has a fresh feel to it, guess which house will get the offer?

Before:  Before picture of an unpainted room in North Port FL - See after picture        


Do you want to sell your house on the high end of your price range? Let me show you how to attract buyers at the top. Call me to discuss what I do that goes beyond a simple MLS listing. Scott – 941-882-5494 Ext 701.

We have agents working from North Port through Tampa and we can oversee marketing anywhere within Florida.

Phone: 941-882-5494 Ext 701

1121 W PRICE BLVD #131
Phone: 941-882-5494 Ext 701

North Port, FL Zip Codes:
34288, 34287, 34289,
34290, 34286, 34291

Copyright © Hunt Realty Group North Port through Tampa, Florida

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Pricing your North Port house to sell for the highest amount:

 941-882-5494 Ext 701

This article will show you how to determine the accurate price range of your North Port Fl house.

When you're done, you'll know the high and low price range that you can expect to sell within. Determining your correct price gets a little complicated and involves a lot of work. Contact us if you want us to do the work for you.

STEP 1: Determine your neighborhood's Square Foot price range:
All properties have a range within which they will sell. It's important to determine the high and low Square Foot prices of houses in your area that recently sold so that you'll have an real feel for what your house is worth. Buyers see a huge number of houses online and then see properties in person. They'll often know better than a seller if a house is overpriced, and if they don't, their agent will. So you want to get this right!

Excluding foreclosures and other special situation properties, make a list of about 8-to-10 recently sold houses in your area. Go back 3-to-6 months. Don't just pick a house similar to yours and assume that it's a price match. That house may have had a special situation causing it to sell high or low. Comparing houses similar to yours comes later. For now, you're just looking for the price range of your area.

STEP 2: Divide the sale price by the square footage of each sold house:

Example 1: Price: $200,000 ÷ 2,000 Sq. Ft. = $100 a Square Foot.
Example 2: Price: $300,000 ÷ 2,000 Sq. Ft. = $150 a Sq. Ft.
Do not rely on internet estimates to decide on your selling price. They are usually greatly inaccurate. In fact, almost all online sites have hidden print stating that their estimates are off by large percentages.

Now the fun begins.
It's time to compare your finishes to the finishes of the sold houses you listed. 

STEP 3: Evaluating your finishes (counter tops, flooring, ceiling styles etc.):
With the easy access to online inside pictures and descriptions of the recently sold houses, you can usually compare your finishes to the houses you listed, right from your computer. This can help you judge your finishes for pricing purposes.

If your house has high end finishes, and if there are no other issues with your house, you’re on track to potentially list your house on the high end of your area’s price per square foot range. Just remember that when you’re selling your property on the high end of the pricing pyramid, marketing methods will make a difference in selling at your price or going through price adjustments (lowering your price).
STEP 4: House Matching:
If possible, you want to match houses that are within 300 -to 500 Sq. Ft. of the square footage of your house. You’re looking for 3 -to-5 recently sold houses that are similar in size, and preferably style to your house.

If you want to skip the work involved, call Scott. He’ll run the numbers for you and let you know your home’s selling price range. Scott – 941-882-5494 Ext 701

STEP 5: Adjusting Value for differences:
By using this method, you will come up with the correct price for your house. If no buyer is willing to pay your price, and the marketing has been stellar, you will need to go through the steps again to see if you judged differences in value accurately. 

Active Listings: A high price on an active listing may get you excited about the potential price of your house. It looks great for your sale price, but how long has it been sitting on the market? Just because a house can be listed for your dream price doesn’t mean it will sell. Even in this up market, many houses don’t sell. There are basically two main reasons this occurs. Either the house is priced wrong or you need to improve your marketing. Listing your house in the MLS is important, but it’s only part of an effective marketing program.

Phone: 941-882-5494 Ext 701

If possible, you want to match houses that are within 300 -to 500 Sq. Ft. of the square footage of your house. You’re looking for 3 -to-5 recently sold houses that are similar in size, and preferably style to your house.

If you want to skip the work involved, call Scott. He’ll run the numbers for you and let you know your home’s selling price range.

In North Port Florida: Scott – 941-882-5494 Ext 701
In Tampa: 813-324-1005 Ext 701
This article is better than the video, but if you prefer video, here's the article in living color:

With the easy access to online inside pictures and descriptions of recently sold houses, you can usually see if you have similar finishes right from your computer. This can help you judge if your finishes match the finishes of the houses you have selected to compare.

If you have additional features that the comparison house doesn’t have, you will ADD the estimated value of the additional features to the other house and then recalculate the Sq. Ft. price to arrive at a new Sq. Ft. price. (How much more would the other house have sold for if it had the features you have added?)

On the other side of that equation, if the other house has a feature that you don’t have, you will MINUS the value of that feature from the other house and recalculate the Sq. Ft. price to arrive at its new Sq. Ft. price. (How much less would the other house have sold for if it didn’t have the features you’re subtracting?)

It's getting interesting, isn't it? Many agents use automated CMA software to arrive at price recommendations, but just like online estimates, these automated programs don't factor in certain differences which would increase or decrease your price. If you're overpriced, it can cause a significant delay in selling. If you're underpriced, you may be giving equity to the buyer unnecessarily.

STEP 6: Adjust your Sq. Ft. price up or down to arrive at your selling price range:
Use the final Sq. Ft. prices of the comparison houses, taking into account the differences between your house and the comps, including the differences in finishes, and then presto (actually, presto is quick, this takes work!), you have an accurate range to price your house. Multiply the Sq. Ft. price by the square footage of your house and you’ll have your listing price range.

CMA (Comparative Market Analysis):
CMA lists several pieces of information including sold houses in North Port, active listings, how long on the market, and houses that failed to sell. Sold listings are the most valid part of a CMA. Active listings can show you what other similar houses in your area of North Port are being offered at, but actives can also be misleading. Withdrawn listings are usually due to a failed attempt to sell at the price offered or due to poor marketing which failed to generate buyers.

Active listings with a new high price tag for your area can be an indicator of a new future price point. After your house is listed for sale and the marketing program for your house has started, we'll pay attention to the sales activities in your area to see if a new trend up or down forms. Pricing is often referred to as an art because it’s not exact. Using Scott's method of pricing, you will put yourself in the correct range to sell your property in the current market.

Once you're priced right, your next key question is where do buyers come from. It's not as straight forward as you may think. Call me to discuss this important question. You'll end out hearing interesting and useful information so that you can decide the best approach to pricing your North Port or Tampa house for sale as well as marketing your house the right way.

Selling your house for its top $ is my objective. The only exception to that rule is if you need a quick sale, in which case, you will want to price your house or property on the low or mid range price point. The trick with a quick sale need is to price within your range while still keeping as much of a return as possible. Call me! Scott – 941-882-5494 Ext 701.

Hunt Realty Group has agents working from North Port through Tampa and we can oversee marketing anywhere within Florida. Call or e-mail Scott. You don't have to be in North Port to communicate with Scott.

Sunday, January 24, 2016


 941-882-5494 Ext 701

Not priced right:

If you’re creating a lot of foot traffic for your house,
and no offers come in, it’s probably a price issue

Priced Right:

If the home is priced right (other houses in the immediate area with similar finishes and amenities are selling in the same price range), then you probably need to improve your marketing.

The Agent’s Marketing Background and why it Matters:

Generally, the cost to market a house is paid by the agent. Many agents don’t know more than the traditional marketing approach they were shown when they started in real estate.  The majority of real estate agents don’t have a marketing background. That could be a problem when a listing is getting stale and needs a change in marketing methods. That’s also why so many sellers switch agents as soon as the contract expires on an unsold house.

There are different levels of marketing that could be utilized for any property. Some agents list in the MLS and hope for the best. If priced right, appearing in the MLS may be all that’s needed. But as with most properties, marketing through multiple channels BEYOND the MLS and portals (Zillow, Trulia, etc.) could make the difference of your house being sold, or your house sitting on the market and becoming a stale listing.

Will you have to lower the price?      

Hopefully, price isn’t being used as the primary marketing tool. I don't want to confuse those who think their $200K house is worth $700K; pricing your property correctly is the most important starting factor to get right. If the price is correct, then you must look to high level marketing methods and the marketing channels being used to sell for the high end of your price range.

The market dictates what your house is worth. However, with a priced right listing that has become stale, or a special situation property, marketing beyond the basics should be attempted first, before lowering the price again.

An EXTREME example that can happen to anyone:

I recently met with a man who cut his asking price in half since his initial listing. He’s been through four or five agents during that time. He’s now trying to sell his property on his own.


Landlocked with a lot of acres for the area. Value is primarily in the land. Home is older, and under 1,000 Sq. Ft.

Builders would be interested in his property, but for now, this property has an issue that prevents builder development (not a permanent blockage).

Traditional Marketing won’t be enough to get this property sold. You need to find a match for this property that’s almost certainly going to come from marketing beyond a simple MLS listing and traditional advertising.

Is your house going to sell?
When the property is priced right, you need to ask whether you think that continuing to do what has already been done will produce a qualified buyer for your property? If the answer is no or unlikely, then a change in the marketing program needs to be made now. Further waiting (beyond normal absorption rate) just makes buyers think that something may be wrong with the house.

If you have any questions about marketing strategies, send me an

If you need assistance selling your property, feel free to contact me. I have been involved in behind the scenes marketing on behalf of specific brokers of properties that failed to sell using traditional marketing methods. In each instance, my marketing methods (beyond the MLS) attracted buyers. As of March 2016, I'm now a resident of North Port, FL, love living here, and have decided to work with sellers out front vs behind the scenes on behalf of other brokers/agents. I'm the guy that some brokers call when their marketing efforts fail to sell. Great advantage for you. Call me to discuss your property objectives. Phone: 941-882-5494 Ext 701

P.S. If you have a priced right property that isn’t selling, don’t wait, call me now to discuss your options so that you can move from seller to sold!