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This Month in Real Estate | January 2016


National Numbers

Here are just a few national Real Estate numbers we’re tracking for you right now.

According to the National Association of Realtors, the number of projected home sales dipped to 4.8M as compared to 5.4M last month.

And the national median home price for existing homes increased to $220,300. That’s up 0.5% ($219K) last month and up 6.3% ($207K) from this same time last year.

Finally, according to Freddie Mac, the national average for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage is down from last month (3.97%) to 3.96%.

Orlando Numbers

According to the Orlando Regional Realtor Association, the total number of units sold was 2,273.

Average List Price: $226,187
Average Sale Price: $218,800
Average Days on Market: 78

Lake and Sumter Numbers

According to the Realtors Association of Lake & Sumter, the total number of units sold was 437.

Average List Price: $197,612
Average Sale Price: $187,192
Average Days on Market: 86

If you’re looking to sell, now might be a good time to enter the market.

Want to learn more about how these numbers affect you, contact us.

We’re not your typical Orlando Realtor. We’re a real estate team consisting of different talents, strengths, and backgrounds. Coming together to achieve a common goal. Helping you.

Tania Matthews Team
1200 Oakley Seaver Rd. Suite 109
Clermont, FL 34711

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Real Estate Rehab Listings | Orlando, FL 32808

Real estate team, Tania Matthews Team with Keller Williams Classic Realty III lists two beautifully renovated and rehabbed single family homes in Orlando, FL 32808.

3509 Greenfield Dr Orlando, FL 32808

3509 Greenfield Ave, Orlando, FL 32808 is a three bedroom, two bath single family home with a total of 1,375 square feet of living space.

Upon entering the home, you will notice the dark hand scraped laminate flooring, an open living and kitchen concept boasting granite countertops, upgraded lighting and stainless steel appliances. No attention was lost to quality upgrades in the bathrooms with travertine flooring and subway tile.

Home Rehab List:

  • Fresh Paint
  • Windows
  • Flooring
  • A/C Unit
  • Hot Water Heater
  • Electrical
  • Plumbing
  • Kitchen Appliances
  • Lighting fixtures
  • Granite Countertops

Total Lot Size: 8,351 square feet.

With plenty of room in the fenced in backyard, 3509 Greenfield Ave, Orlando, FL 32808 is currently listed at $125,000.

Next up.

4100 Robbins Ave Orlando, FL 32808

4100 Robbins Ave, Orlando, FL 32808 is another three bedroom, two bath single family home with 1,276 square feet of living space.

This single family home rests on a corner lot in the Meadowbrook Acres subdivision. It has a huge fenced in backyard and is conveniently located near schools, parks, and has easy access to major roads. This boasts granite countertops, upgraded lighting, stainless steel appliances, and the elegant touch of subway tiles in the kitchen and bathroom.

Home Rehab List:

  • Fresh Paint
  • Windows
  • Flooring
  • A/C Unit
  • Hot Water Heater
  • Lighting Fixtures
  • Kitchen Appliances
  • Granite Countertops

Total Lot Size: 12,149 square feet.

4100 Robbins Ave, Orlando, FL 32808 is currently listed at $125,000.

Both homes are move in ready with you in mind, beautifully renovated and rehabbed.

Interested in seeing either of these newly renovated homes? if you’re interested in buying a home or selling a property of your own, please feel free to reach out.

Orlando, FL Real Estate

We’re not your typical Orlando Realtor. We’re a real estate team consisting of different talents, strengths, and backgrounds. Coming together to achieve a common goal. Helping you.

Tania Matthews Team
1200 Oakley Seaver Rd. Suite 109
Clermont, FL 34711


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Crash Course To Selling Your Home

Getting ready to sell your home can be a daunting task. Hopefully, we can break it down for you so you can feel a bit more comfortable with the entire process.

Define your needs & Write it down.

You’ll want to ask yourself and write down all the reasons why you’re selling your home and what you need/expect to accomplish with the sale of your home. For instance, a growing family may require the need for a larger home, or you’ve been given a job opportunity in another city that requires you to move.

As for goals, you’ll want to write if you want to sell your house within a certain time frame or if you’re looking to make a particular profit margin. Working with a knowledgeable real estate agent is crucial to setting accurate expectations and a realistic time frame for the sale of your home.

Now, let’s talk pricing.

Money talks. Name your price.

The next objective of selling your home is determining the best possible asking price. Setting a fair and accurate sale price for your home from the get-go is vital to generating the most activity from other real estate agents and their home buyers. If you want to have a truly objective opinion about the price of your home, you could have an appraisal done. This does, however, cost a few hundred dollars. You’ll always be better off setting a fair market value price than setting the asking price of your home too high.

Fun fact, studies show that homes priced higher the 3 percent of their market value take significantly longer to sell. In some cases, if your home sits on the market for too long, potential buyers may think something’s wrong with the property and will ultimately force you to drop the price below market value to compete with the newer and more reasonably priced homes for sale.

Things to consider:

  • Take into account the condition of your home.
  • What are some comparable homes in your neighborhood selling for?
  • What’s the current state of the overall real estate market?
  • Is it a buyers market? Or a seller’s market?

Ultimately, when it comes to pricing your home, it’s definitely best and highly recommended to consult with your realtor. A real estate agent will understand the current state of the market, will know what comparable homes are selling for in your area, and the average time those homes were on the market before they sold.

Prepare your home.

If you’re like the rest of us, odds are your home isn’t in superb “showroom” condition. As homeowners, we all tend to overlook piles of boxes in the garage, a broken porch light, and doors or windows that stick. It’s imperative to get your house in tip-top shape and make the necessary repairs and replacements. Leaky faucets, a torn screen, or even a worn out doormat can ruin a home buyer’s first impression. And as well all know, first impressions are everything. The condition of your home can affect how quickly your home sells and the price that a potential home buyer is willing to offer.

Also, make sure to remove any knickknacks from shelves and ensure all bathroom and kitchen counters are cleared, making every area seem as spacious as possible.

Something to note, a home with too much  “personality” is harder to sell. Consider temporarily removing family photos, mementos, and personalized decor during showings and open houses. This helps potential home buyers visualize themselves living in the home.

Getting the word out.

Now that you’re ready to sell, your real estate agent will set up a marketing strategy specifically for your home.
There are many ways to get the word out, including:

  • Online
  • Yard Signs
  • Open Houses
  • Media Advertising
  • Agent Referrals
  • Direct Mail
  • MLS Listing

Using a combination of these tactics, real estate agents will usually structure your home’s marketing plan so that the first three to six weeks are the busiest. Bringing the most qualified buyers to your home and creating buzz.

Receiving an offer.

When you receive a written offer from a potential buyer, your real estate agent will first find out whether or not the individual is prequalified or preapproved to buy your home. If so, then you and your agent will review the proposed contract, taking care to understand what is required of both parties to execute the transaction.

A contract, although not limited to this list, should include:

  • Legal description of the property
  • Offer price
  • Down payment
  • Financing arrangements
  • List of fees and who will pay them
  • Deposit amount
  • Inspection rights
  • Possible repair allowances
  • Method of conveying the title
  • Who handles the closing
  • Appliances and furnishings that stay with the home
  • Settlement date
  • Any contingencies

At this point, you essentially have three options:

  • Accept the contract as is
  • Accept it with changes (a counteroffer)
  • Reject it.

Keep in mind, once the written offer is signed by both parties, the contract becomes a legally binding contract. Make sure you address any questions or concerns with your real estate agent as soon as possible.

Some negotiating required.

Most offers on your home that come in will require some negotiating to come to a win-win agreement that works for all parties involved. It’s important to partner with a seasoned real estate agent that understands the intricacies of the contracts and contract clauses used in your area and, understands the areas that are easiest to negotiate, and will protect your best interest throughout the entire negotiating process.

Some negotiable items:

  • Price
  • Financing
  • Closing costs
  • Repairs
  • Appliances
  • Fixtures
  • Landscaping
  • Painting
  • Move-in date

Once both parties have agreed to the terms of the sale, your real estate agent will prepare a contract. If all goes according to plan, the closing table isn’t far off.

Preparing to close.

Once an offer has been accepted, there are a couple of things that need to be done before closing per the contract. Your home may need to be formally appraised, surveyed, inspected, or repaired. And, depending on the terms of the contract that was written, as the seller, you may pay for all, some, or none of them. For the most part, your real estate agent can spearhead all of this and advocate on your behalf when dealing with the service providers and buyer’s agent. 

If the results of every procedure come back as acceptable terms defined by the contract, then the sale can move forward. However, if there are any issues with the home, the terms set by the contract will ultimately dictate the next step. It’s entirely plausible, depending on the outcome of the results, that the buyer or you may decide to walk away from the deal, open a new round of negotiations, or proceed to the closing table.

A few days before the closing, you’ll want to make sure that the entity that is responsible for closing the transaction has all of the necessary documents that will need to be signed on the closing date.

And finally, you’ll want to make any necessary arrangements for your upcoming move.

Finally. The closing table.

“Closing” refers to the meeting where ownership of the property is legally transferred to the buyer.  For the most part, your real estate agent or a member of the team will be present during the closing to guide you through the process and make sure everything goes as planned. 

After closing, it’s a good idea to make a “to do” list for turning over your home to the new owners.

Here’s a quick checklist to get you started:

  • Cancel utilities (e.g., electricity, water, gas)
  • Cancel any routine services (e.g., lawn care, pool maintenance)
  • Cancel any other recurring bills associated with your property.
  • If the new owners are retaining any of the services, change the name and billing info on the account.

This about sums up the entire process. If you’re looking to sell your home or know someone who is, we would love to help make this an easy and seamless transition.

We’re not your typical Orlando Realtor. We’re a real estate team consisting of different talents, strengths, and backgrounds. Coming together to achieve a common goal. Helping you.

Tania Matthews Team
1200 Oakley Seaver RD Suite 109
Clermont, FL 34711

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Crash Course To Buying Your First Home


Home ownership has often been called the greatest “accidental investment” you’ll ever make. However, we believe that if done right and with the proper guidance, home ownership becomes an “intentional investment” that can lay the foundation for financial freedom, security, and stability. There are several reasons to support your decision to buy a home. Building equity, value appreciation, and tax benefits rank pretty high among them.

Base your decision on facts. Not myths.

  • If you’re paying rent, you more than likely can afford to buy.
  • The lack of a substantial down payment won’t prevent you from buying your first home.
  • Having a less-than-perfect credit score won’t actually stop you from buying your home.
  • The best way to buy your dream home is to buy your first home now.
  • Buying a home doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s what we’re here for.


The typical real estate transaction involves over a dozen of separate individuals. Including buyer’s agents, seller’s agents, bankers, insurance accessors, mortgage brokers, various underwriters, inspectors, appraisers, escrow officers, title researchers, and a number of other individuals who need to be harmoniously orchestrated together to close a home. The responsibility to coordinate this orchestra rests on the shoulders of your real estate agent, advocating for you and your interests throughout the entire transaction. It’s no easy feat.

Roles of your real estate agent include:

  • Educating you about your market.
  • Analyzing your needs and wants.
  • Guiding you to homes that fit your criteria.
  • Synchronize the work of other required professionals.
  • Negotiating on your behalf.
  • Triple-checks documents and deadlines.
  • Solving any problems that arise.

Qualifications are important. And thus, finding a solid real estate agent means going beyond the basic resume, and into what makes them a fit for you. Some questions worth asking:

  • Why should you work with them?
  • How did they get into the business of real estate?
  • How are they different from other real estate agents?
  • Can you provide me with testimonials and references from past clients?
  • How will you help me find the right home for me?
  • What can go wrong? How will you handle it?
  • What are some mistakes people make when buying their first home?
  • Who do you suggest we work with?


While the thought of home ownership can be thrilling, the thought of taking on a mortgage can be downright chilling. For many first-time home buyers, the purchasing process can be confusing and at times, stressful. For most, this can be their first time making a financial commitment this large. From start to finish, there are about six basic steps to financing a home.

  • You’ll need to choose a mortgage broker. We can recommend a few.
  • Submit a loan application and for preapproval.
  • Determine what you’ll want to pay, what you can afford, and select a loan option.
  • Submit an accepted purchase offer contract to the lender.
  • Get an appraisal and title commitment.
  • Obtain the funding you’ll need at closing.


Often times, we think that shopping for a home starts with jumping in a car and driving around town looking at houses. And although this part of the home buying process is quite possibly the most exciting part, it’s only fun for so long. The excitement can fade fairly quickly if weeks go by without finding what you’re looking for. For that reason, we say that looking for your home begins first with carefully assessing your values, needs, and wants, both for the short term and long term.

Some questions to ask yourself:

  • What do I want my new home to be close to?
  • How much space do I need/want and why?
  • Which is more important, location or size?
  • Would I be willing to fix a fixer-upper?
  • How important is home value appreciation to me?
  • Is neighborhood stability a priority?
  • Would I be interested in a condominium?
  • Is new home construction an option?
  • Do I want any particular features or amenities? Which one’s do I actually need?


Approaching this part of the process with a cool head and a realistic perspective of your market is key. There are three basic components of an offer: price, terms, and contingencies. The right price to offer should fairly reflect the true market value of the home you want to buy. The other financial and timing factors that are included in the offer are your terms and contingencies, falling under six basic categories.

  • Schedule: events that need to happen before closing.
  • Conveyances: when the sellers leave, these are the items that are left behind.
  • Commission: real estate commission or fee for the agents who work on the deal.
  • Closing cost: fees paid at the end of the real estate transaction.
  • Home warranty: coverage for replacement or repairs of appliances and major systems.
  • Earnest money: this protects the seller from the possibility of the buy unexpectedly leaving the deal and makes a serious statement of your offer.


Unlike most purchases in life, once you’ve purchased a home, you can’t return it if something breaks or isn’t quite working the way it’s supposed to. This is why homeowners insurance and property inspections are so important. Home owner’s insurance policies protect you in two ways:

  • Against loss or damage to the property itself.
  • Liability in case someone sustains an injury while on your property.

Property inspections of a home should shed light on any issues that a home might have, that way you’ll know exactly what you’re getting into before you sign at closing. Structural damage is going to be your main concern. Don’t sweat the small stuff, they’re likely easily fixed and can be overlooked. If an issue should arise during an inspection, it’s recommended to bring in a specialist. Worst case scenario you can walk away. CLOSING. The final stage of the home buying process is confirmation of the home’s value, legal statute, and your continued creditworthiness from your lender. This final process includes a survey, appraisal, title search, and a final check on your credit and finances. You’ll have a few pre-closing responsibilities:

  • Stay on top of your finances. No impulse buying.
  • Returning all paperwork and phone calls as soon as you can.
  • Keep open communication with your agent. And don’t fall off the face of the earth.
  • Before closing, make sure all your needed documentation is in order.
  • Obtain the funds required for closing. Legally.
  • You’ll want to do a final walk-through as well. Just in case.

On closing day, with guidance of a settlement agent and your real estate agent, you’ll sign documents that do the following:

  • Finalize your mortgage.
  • Pay the seller.
  • Pay closing costs.
  • Transfer the title.
  • Make arrangements to record the transaction as a public record.
  • As long as you have the right expectations and follow directions, closing should go smoothly without a hitch. Marking a new chapter in your home-owning experience.


Paying attention to the maintenance needs of your home is essential to protecting the value of your investment. And fixing small problems early on will definitely help save you money and time.

Home maintenance essentially falls into two categories:

  • Keeping it clean: Performing the required routine maintenance needed.
  • Keeping an eye on it: Watching for signs of leaks, damage, and wear and tear.

Odds are that throughout your first home buying experience, you’ve probably created a relationship with your real estate agent. There’s no reason to throw this new-found relationship out the door now that your deal has closed. Believe it or not, your agent more than likely wants to keep in touch with you. Even after you close on your house, your agent can still help you with quite a bit.

  • Help handle your first tax return as a home owner.
  • Finding the right contractors to help with remodeling or maintenance.
  • Help your friends and family find a new home as well.
  • Keep track of your home’s current market value.

As promised, a crash course to buying your first home. If this was helpful to you, we would love to hear about it – leave us a comment bellow. And if you’ve decided to purchase your first home, get in touch and we’ll go through the process together.

We’re not your typical Orlando Realtor. We’re a real estate team consisting of different talents, strengths, and backgrounds. Coming together to achieve a common goal. Helping you.

Tania Matthews Team
1200 Oakley Seaver Dr. Ste. 109
Clermont, FL 34711