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In Florida, $25,000 of the assessed value of your home is exempt
from real estate taxes, but you have to meet certain criteria
to be eligible for the exemption. First you much have the title
or record to your property as of January 1, and reside on the
property. You have to be a legal and permanent resident of Florida
as of January 1. When applying for the exemption status, bring
along a copy of your deed or tax bill, and a Florida county voters
registration or Declaration of Domicile. If you drive, you must
also bring your Florida driver’s license and automobile registration.
New applications must be submitted in person at the appraiser’s
office, but renewals may be done by mail. For further information,
consult the County Property Appraiser’s Office.

Real Estate Taxes

All residents are subject to county taxes, but each city or
special district levies taxes within its boundaries. City, special-district,
and county taxes are combined in one tax bill. Real estate taxes
are assessed as of January 1 each year. They are due and payable
on November 1 and become delinquent if not paid before April
1 of the following year. Florida law holds the taxpayer responsible
for receiving and paying tax bills in full. For additional information
contact the County Property Appraiser’s Office.

Establishing Residency

To establish residency, you may register to vote or file a Declaration
of Domicile, which is an affidavit available at the CountyCourthouse.
Filing one copy with the Circuit Court provides a record of your
intention to make Florida your home. Simply moving to the State
does not guarantee legal residency. For more information contact
the County’s Clerk of Circuit Court.

What is Homestead Exemption?
Florida Law entitles every person, who has legal or equitable
title to real estate and maintains it as his/her permanent
residence, to apply for a $25,000 homestead property tax exemption.
A partial exemption may apply if the ownership of the applicant
is less than 100%.

Am I eligible to file?
You must meet the following requirements as of January 1st:

Have legal or beneficial title to the property, recorded in
the Official Records of County
Residency on the property
Be a permanent resident of the State of Florida
Be a United States citizen or possess a Permanent Residence Card
(green card)

When do I file?
The deadline to file an application for exemption is March 1st.
Under Florida law, failure to file for any exemption by March
1st constitutes a waiver of the exemption privilege for the
Regular filing is January 2nd – March 1st.
Pre-filing for the coming year is March 2nd – December 31st.

How do I file?
Take copies of the required documentation to your Exemption Department:Generally
at the County or City Court House

Showing tips

Each property has just one chance to make a great impression
with a potential buyer. Keep up with cleaning and tidiness every
day to ensure that the property is ready to be shown to potential
buyers, even on short notice. In other words, keep the property
in “Show Time” condition, so that it’s always
ready to make the great first impression that can make the sale!

During the Entire Marketing Period

* Keep the landscaping neatly trimmed, weeded and free
of debris and clutter.
Add a new front door mat; keep walkways, driveway and front door
entry area clean.
* Clean outside lighting fixtures; make sure the doorbell works.
* Repair anything that is not in proper
working order, including loose doorknobs, broken door locks,
leaking taps and toilets, squeaky doors, closets or screen doors
that go off their tracks.
* Repair any broken windows, fogged or leaking windows or windows
that don’t
open and close properly.
* Quiet squeaks or noisy appliance fans |
with a squirt of lubricant.
* Keep kitchen spotless and fresh smelling at all times — regularly
grind a quarter of a
* lemon in the garbage disposal and keep fresh boxes of
baking soda in refrigerator and freezer.
* Unclutter kitchen counter spaces, pantry and cabinets and under
sink area.
* Remove items hanging on the refrigerator.
* Make sure all kitchen appliances are spotless inside and out.
* Make sure all appliances and systems are in perfect working
* Keep bathrooms spotless and fresh smelling! Place all personal
care items out of sight. Tile, fixtures, shower doors, tubs must
be shining and immaculate. Remove all rust and mildew stains;
neatly recaulk around the top edges of the tub, countertops,
* Place dishes of potpourri in rooms throughout the house or
add a drop of vanilla or bath oil on light bulbs for scent.
* Keep windows, windowsills and all light fixtures clean.
* Don’t forget the storage and car parking areas – keep
organized, neat and tidy.
* Keep all pet areas clean and odor-free; change litter box frequently!
* Secure jewelry, cash and other valuable.
Before Each Showing:

Open all drapes, shades and blinds and turn on ALL lights.
Pick up clutter.
Make beds and put away clothes and shoes.
Give floors a quick vacuuming.
Add some strategically placed fresh flowers.
Place a dish of vanilla or cinnamon in a warm oven to create
the aroma of fresh baking.
Turn off the television and turn on music at low volume.
Secure pets in the garage, yard or other secured area. Even better,
take them out of the house with your or arrange for a friend
to keep them.
Make sure all pet areas are clean and odor-free, including litter
Make sure all trash is disposed of in neatly covered bins.
Make the temperature comfortably cool.
The Actual Showing:

The selling agent will call your listing agent to set an appointment
to show your home. Your agent will contact you to determine if
the time is convenient and to arrange the details.
The presence of the owner or family members makes the potential
buyer feel like an intruder. It’s best to leave the house
while the buyers are touring the home. If it is not possible
to leave, excuse yourself and stay in one part of the house or
If the prospective buyer or their agent asks you questions, respond
honestly but diplomatically refer additional questions to your
agent. It is best not to discuss price, terms, possession or
other factors with the buyer or their agent.
If a prospective buyer calls directly or comes by unexpectedly
without an agent, get their name and phone number. Explain that
it is not a convenient time and say you will have your listing
agent contact them. For your benefit and protection do not allow
them in your home.
After Each Showing

We follow up with the showing agent to obtain feedback concerning
the potential buyer’s feelings about how well the property
fits their needs.
We evaluate the feedback and comments received from other agents
that tour the property during our office and association caravans,
to share with you ideas that may make the property more marketable.
We discuss price reductions and other buyer incentives with you
if offers are not being received within the first three weeks
of listing the property.
Tips to Upgrade Your Home for
Potentially Increased Property Value

A home is arguably one of the largest financial investments
a person will make in their lifetime. While property values over
time are determined by national variables, the economy and local
market conditions, the care and upkeep of a property is also
a crucial element toward achieving a solid re-sell. Whether you
are planning on adding more rooms to create extra space, upgrading
your kitchen with new appliances or are thinking of putting your
home on the market, Coldwell Banker Real Estate Corporation offers
some essential home improvement tips that might increase the
value of your home.

Kitchen Makeover: Out of all the rooms in the house, the kitchen
is the most popular to remodel. According to Remodeling Magazine,
money spent to upgrade a kitchen produces the highest return
on investment. “Hot” kitchen makeover trends include
adding dual sinks, cooking stations, extra-long dishwashers,
under-cabinet lighting, warming ovens and wine coolers.

Bathroom Fixer-Upper: Upgrading a bathroom is also a sound choice
and will usually provide a significant return on investment.
Large bathrooms are typically on the top of the list of priorities
for those seeking to purchase a home. Adding skylights, glass
block windows, ceiling fans and sunken whirlpool baths are also
attractive selling features. If you don’t have the room to expand
or to accommodate larger appliances, or you don’t think you’ll
be living in your home long enough to enjoy the changes and/or
see a return on this kind of investment, stick with neutral,
mid-builder level updated cabinetry, refreshed flooring and shower/tub,
or a new sink and toilet.

Room to Grow: Adding a room or two, such as a spare bedroom
or a study, is a significant home improvement that you will be
able to take advantage of every day. In addition to the much-needed
extra space, it can also potentially provide you with a good
return on your investment when it comes to selling the property.

Landscaping the Lot: A professionally landscaped yard can certainly
increase the “curb appeal” or desirability of a home.
In fact, beautifying your lawn can be one of the most inexpensive
home improvements. Additional simple landscaping projects include
trimming and edging the grass, manicuring the trees and shrubs
to open up the view of the house, removing any dead plants and
planting flowers to brighten up the yard.

Repair Jobs: While many homeowners may want to update and remodel
their kitchen, if the roof needs fixing or the chimney has to
be reappointed, then they should prioritize these necessary repairs
over any cosmetic changes. This applies to both sellers and those
who plan to stay in the home for years to come, as these essential
repairs must be taken care of before they cause the house to
lose value. It is vital to look after the minor problems such
as a leaky faucet or a loose cabinet to ensure that your house
doesn’t undergo any long-term damage. As soon as you notice a
problem, fix it since this will help avoid a larger expense later

Cosmetic Touch-Ups: A paint job, new double-paned windows and
new carpeting will increase the price of a house virtually dollar-for-dollar.
Neutral colored paint and eliminating clutter can make a world
of difference. However, don’t go overboard with home improvement
projects that will push a house too much above the current average
value of homes in your neighborhood. It is important to make
sure that your home has standards that are in-line with the other
houses in the neighborhood, but you do not want to price yourself
out of the market

Single Agency

Single Agency and what it means to you
Florida law requires all Real Estate Agents to explain the “Agency
Relationship” options available to Sellers and Buyers of
residential real estate.

The law established three types of agency:

* Single Agency
* Transaction Brokerage
* No Brokerage Relationship

Single Agency: The policy of Coldwell Banker Schmitt is to provide
the greatest possible degree of service to our clients, which
only occurs in a Single Agency relationship.

For that reason, the company adopted Single Agency as the primary
and preferred relationship for working with our clients.

As a Single Agent, we provide you with the full spectrum of
services including the fiduciary duties of loyalty, confidentiality
and obedience. The benefit to you is that we place your interest
above all others, including our own!

While we believe this type of relationship is what
our clients expect and deserve, most Real Estate Companies have
opted not to adopt Single Agency as the primary and preferred
relationship for working with buyer and seller. They have chosen
Transaction Brokerage, which, by law, is the assumed relationship
between a buyer and agent or seller and agent unless they agree
to Single Agency or a No Brokerage Relationship.

Transaction Broker: As a Transaction Broker, agents are required
to facilitate the transaction by assisting both the buyer and
seller, and not represent one party to the detriment of the other.
They provide fair and honest dealing, skill, care and diligence,
accounting for all funds, and disclosure of all known facts that
materially affect the value of a property in which you have interest.
The reason most companies have adopted Transaction Brokerage
is for the reduced level of liability versus Single Agency.

No Brokerage Relationship

The agent owes you three duties:

* To deal with you honestly and fairly;
* To disclose all known facts that materially affect the value
of the property which are not readily observable to you;
* And, to account for all funds entrusted to the agent.

The key point for the No Brokerage Relationship (non-representation)
is to not disclose any information you want held in confidence
until entering into an agency relationship.

My VIP selling program

Welcome to the Florida Keys.
I am Fran Herbenick, your real estate agent for the special string
of islands called “The Fabulous Florida Keys”.

My services are unique. I know how to market online and get to
the buyers. I also offer an exclusive property website for your
home. Please contact me so we can discuss my competitive advantages
and exactly how they will benefit you.