Hello Naples Friends!
It’s been a hellaciously busy end of the season. Today’s post is all about the stuff I’m running into that might explain some of the stuff you’ve been hearing about or what you might run into if you’re planning on buying or selling Naples real estate in the near future. Here are the 5 things you want to know about Naples real estate today!
- Permitting Issues
- Who’s Buying Naples Real Estate
Ancient permitting issues are becoming a ridiculous regular occurrence. Since Hurricane Irma, somebody or a group of people thought it would be a great idea to make an issue of the mountain of permits that were not closed out properly through Collier County. Apparently, we were not big on paperwork or follow-up for many decades. Fast forward. Now, they’re all a problem which means if you’re planning to sell your home or condo and you have some old, ancient permit lurking in the dark corners of the Collier County permitting department, you could see it rear its ugly head when you go under contract.
Here are examples of permitting issues I’ve had to deal with this season:
A permit was opened years and years ago to install a bedroom and a bathroom in a garage in a villa in Pelican Bay. Another was opened to take it out. This all took place long before the current owner owned the property. Fast forward. The current owner never knew those permits were there. We got the notice from the Buyer’s side the permitting issues needed to be resolved before closing. The contractor on the permit could not be found. There was zero evidence any work had been done in the garage. Fortunately for us, the President of the association has lived across the street and stated that sort of change would’ve never been approved through the association so the County was pretty good about closing it out. Hooray for our Seller. We closed. We got REALLY lucky on this one.
A permit was opened to install Hurricane shutters on a condo in the Dunes but the permit was never properly closed out. Fortunately, the unit was owned by the original owner who knew the contractor and knew he was still in business. He agreed to participate in closing out the permit. Unfortunately, this could not be done beforehand so some additional negotiating was required to close the property before the permit could be properly closed out. The permitting issue was completed after closing. Yaaay! Everything was handled again.
I have 4 more permitting issues I’m dealing with right now. Not yay.
Permitting issues are a downer for several reasons!
- A large majority of the homeowners I’m working with were not involved in pulling permits nor do they know anything about it until they find themselves neck deep in a deal.
- Not ALL of the permitting issues can be found online. This means an attorney or title company can do a formal request and find something unpublished.
- Some of these permits are ancient. Countless owners could’ve owned the property since the original permit was pulled.
- Maybe the original contractor is still in business or maybe they aren’t which means the owner is now tasked with re-opening the permit and now the liability is on them.
- Most of the time you’re working with crazy time constraints which begs the question…
Is This A Bullshit Money Grab By The County?
Perhaps…but ultimately, I imagine this may be a long short-lived painstaking situation that we may eventually overcome and let’s face it, most buyers would probably like to know their windows were installed properly, the electrical components checked out, the plumbing was done correctly and the list goes on…sigh. Property condition good times for sure.
Thinking about selling? Mosey down to Collier Count permitting or the City of Naples and find out if you have any mysterious permits that were not closed out correctly and get them handled before you hit the market. Doing it in advance is going to take away the heart attacks while you’re in escrow. FYI ~ It’s not enough to just check online.
Close your sale with a reputable attorney or title office that will make a formal request for you to identify any potential permitting headaches that could occur while you’re under contract. Your failure to do so means you could adopt those problems and those issues could arise when you go to sell the property you’re buying today.
Need more insight? Call me directly or head down to the County or City for more information.
Who’s Buying Naples Real Estate?
Do you want to know who’s buying Naples real estate? Information hounds. They’re asking more questions and bringing up situations, scenarios and things people haven’t asked in years or maybe ever. It’s all good. Ask away. I have an enormous amount of resources, insight and experience that will help you sort out all of the questions you have and if that doesn’t handle everything you need to know, my team is tight. If I don’t know it, somebody else will.
Just this weekend I had questions on an association I couldn’t answer and the listing agent didn’t have HOA docs on hand. No problem! Because I am John R. Wood strong, not one but two different agents were by my side delivering more information than was requested. THANK YOU FAM! I even had a resident in my pocket who was an absolute master at answering everything I could ask in explicit detail in record-breaking response time. Everything was handled during the weekend while some people could’ve been waiting a week or longer to find the answers. It’s my mantra, you want it, I got it, you need it, I’ll get it.
The First Offer Isn’t Always The Best Offer
I’ve seen this a few times this year both as a Buyer’s agent and as a Seller’s agent. Some buyers are going to do very well but not every buyer will. Some sellers are doing well waiting for the Buyer who understands what the Seller is selling. It’s a risky proposition but I’ve been involved in 4 deals so far this year where it has been advantageous for the Seller to not accept the first offer.
Don’t get too excited Sellers. Not everybody has been equally lucky and some Sellers will wish they had taken offers they shunned.
It’s great to have talking points (finally) but if your offer is crap, you could easily get rejected and that’s just going to hurt your feelings or make you mad enough to walk from a property you probably like better than anything else. It takes a REALLY big person to step back up to the table after they’ve gotten a reject and I can count on one hand the number of clients who have bellied back to the bar after that happened. By the way, I’ve been in business for 23 years so that’s saying a lot.
If your offer makes sense and you have an agent who understands the game, you are way better off.
You’re not exempt either. I’ve seen a deal or 2 this year that died because the Buyer made the Seller mad but I’ve also seen Buyers walk because the Seller rejected or countered poorly too. Again, it takes a REALLY big person to say, “yikes, I made a mistake” and go back to the Buyer to try to re-negotiate. The odds of that Buyer being amicable aren’t great either but I saw one of those deals come together too. Yaaasss! It’s always a pleasure to work with people who are intelligent and fair-minded. THANK YOU!
Record Breakers Aren’t Necessarily Record Breakers
Now that many of our locations are off the top of the market, people are looking back in time to see who the record breakers were to gauge the price distance between the current original condition of a home or condo and the highest price a Buyer was willing to bring to that particular neighborhood or subdivision. Many are going to have to color outside the lines here. What I mean by that is perhaps the record breaker wasn’t in the best location within the community or perhaps their remodel wasn’t as good as it could’ve been. If you need help determining if the real record has been hit or if there may still be room, call me.
I just closed a record breaker waterfront home in Park Shore this week. WHAT? No seriously! There hasn’t been another home of that magnitude to sell…well until now. If you don’t pay attention to the details, you could miss and missing sucks.
Be Backs Are Alive And Well
We had a good group of Buyers look but not strike this year which tells me they’ll either be back at the end of the season or even post-season and try when they think they might be better accommodated. (Signs of a depreciating market) Welcome back, friends. Some of these folks might find a great deal. Some will still be disappointed with Seller responses. How long will it last? Nobody knows for sure but I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw “be back” traffic well into June (kinda like we saw last year) but maybe shorter lived.
Have You Heard About The County Wide 6 Month Rental Policy?
- a Collier County resident who rents a property for less than 6 months anytime during the year?
- an investor thinking about purchasing rental property in Collier County?
- a renter who rents less than 6 months in Collier County?
Now is the time to write a love letter to your Collier County Commissioner to tell them what you think. The recent vote was a hasty decision without any sort of notice and wasn’t even on their agenda. A discussion last week suggests they may reverse it or change it to a 30-day minimum but that could still seriously hurt the few people who have the luxury of renting on a weekly basis or even the fewer who have a more lenient rental policy.
Let your commissioner hear your voice because a couple of commissioners made it abundantly clear, they’re not interested in hearing what the Collier County Realtors had to say about it. One group who specifically isn’t being heard are the renters. You don’t have a commissioner but if you like the ability to come to Naples for a week or two, it might be wise to make a call or shoot an email stating why you come here and how important it is to you.
Ok! That’s all I have for you today. If you have questions, comments or want to know something I didn’t cover in my post, shoot me a text, send me an email, give me a jingle!
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Shannon Lefevre, PA
Your Naples Smart Girl!