Dear Neighbor,   There are currently 80 homes listed for sale in our Royal Palm Yacht & Country Club subdivision today - 80!! That's 11.6% of the neighborhood... this is an unprecedented number of active listings.  Fortunately, the sales activity is likewise up and on the rise, indicating buyer confidence in the strength of the Royal Palm market long term.  For the most recent three month period, there has been an increase in the number of sales in each of the three home site categories: water, golf, and interior. There were 5 waterfront sales compared to 3 in the previous three month period; 3 golf front sales compared to 1; and 10 interior lot sales compared to 6 in the previous three months.  The year-over-year comparison also shows an increase in sales activity. Overall, there were 15 sales in the three month period March 2017 to May 2017 and there were 18 in the three months period March 2018 to May 2018.  During the last architectural committee meeting of the Royal Palm Improvement Association (RPIA), there were 7 new applications for construction of new homes. Adding that to the already 30 projects in process, that brings Royal Palm to a total of 37 new builds in the pipeline. These new starts indicate continued confidence in the Royal Palm market by speculative investors, developers, and future residents.  All in all, real estate activity in Royal Palm - sales of homes and land and real estate development - is on the rise and we (those of us who serve the Royal Palm real estate market in a professional capacity) are all happily very busy serving the needs of the community!   Question of the month:     What exactly is "earnest money" - isn't it just a refundable deposit?    The process of purchasing property in Florida begins with the buyer making an offer and the seller accepting. Unless otherwise negotiated, upon acceptance, an earnest money deposit is placed in trust with an escrow agent, the buyer's attorney, or broker (never to the seller directly). The executed contract is sent to a closing attorney or title company to begin preparation of all work related to transferring the title to the new owners.  During the first days of the contract having been executed, the buyer reviews and signs off on any disclosures and has the opportunity to perform inspections and complete due diligence as provided for in the contract. Inspections must be completed by a certain date, the inspection contingency date as indicated in the "Inspection Periods" section of Florida real estate contracts. Disclosures and inspections vary based on property type, but generally include disclosing and discovering flaws with the property, prior improvements and repairs, and potential environmental hazards. A form called a "Seller’s Real Property Disclosure Statement" is one disclosure form generally provided by the seller.  Based on the outcome of inspections, buyers may elect to ask the seller for repair work, a credit, or a reduction in the sale price due to flaws discovered. Sellers have three options: agree to all of the buyers's requests, offer a modified solution back to the buyer, or decline to make any amends. In response, the buyer can continue to negotiate, accept the seller's position, or as long as they're within the due diligence period, end the transaction and recoup their earnest money without penalty. It is during this timeframe that the earnest money is fully refundable without penalty.  Once the initial period has expired (unless there are other contingencies in the contract), the contract is said at this point to "go hard" and the earnest money is non-refundable with few exceptions.  Disclaimer: We are not offering legal advice. This information is provided for general information purposes only and we make no guarantee about the applicability to any specific situation. Should you have specific questions about any contract, we recommend you consult an attorney.

Dear Neighbor,

There are currently 80 homes listed for sale in our Royal Palm Yacht & Country Club subdivision today - 80!! That's 11.6% of the neighborhood... this is an unprecedented number of active listings.

Fortunately, the sales activity is likewise up and on the rise, indicating buyer confidence in the strength of the Royal Palm market long term.

For the most recent three month period, there has been an increase in the number of sales in each of the three home site categories: water, golf, and interior. There were 5 waterfront sales compared to 3 in the previous three month period; 3 golf front sales compared to 1; and 10 interior lot sales compared to 6 in the previous three months.

The year-over-year comparison also shows an increase in sales activity. Overall, there were 15 sales in the three month period March 2017 to May 2017 and there were 18 in the three months period March 2018 to May 2018.

During the last architectural committee meeting of the Royal Palm Improvement Association (RPIA), there were 7 new applications for construction of new homes. Adding that to the already 30 projects in process, that brings Royal Palm to a total of 37 new builds in the pipeline. These new starts indicate continued confidence in the Royal Palm market by speculative investors, developers, and future residents.

All in all, real estate activity in Royal Palm - sales of homes and land and real estate development - is on the rise and we (those of us who serve the Royal Palm real estate market in a professional capacity) are all happily very busy serving the needs of the community!

Question of the month:

What exactly is "earnest money" - isn't it just a refundable deposit?

The process of purchasing property in Florida begins with the buyer making an offer and the seller accepting. Unless otherwise negotiated, upon acceptance, an earnest money deposit is placed in trust with an escrow agent, the buyer's attorney, or broker (never to the seller directly). The executed contract is sent to a closing attorney or title company to begin preparation of all work related to transferring the title to the new owners.

During the first days of the contract having been executed, the buyer reviews and signs off on any disclosures and has the opportunity to perform inspections and complete due diligence as provided for in the contract. Inspections must be completed by a certain date, the inspection contingency date as indicated in the "Inspection Periods" section of Florida real estate contracts. Disclosures and inspections vary based on property type, but generally include disclosing and discovering flaws with the property, prior improvements and repairs, and potential environmental hazards. A form called a "Seller’s Real Property Disclosure Statement" is one disclosure form generally provided by the seller.

Based on the outcome of inspections, buyers may elect to ask the seller for repair work, a credit, or a reduction in the sale price due to flaws discovered. Sellers have three options: agree to all of the buyers's requests, offer a modified solution back to the buyer, or decline to make any amends. In response, the buyer can continue to negotiate, accept the seller's position, or as long as they're within the due diligence period, end the transaction and recoup their earnest money without penalty. It is during this timeframe that the earnest money is fully refundable without penalty.

Once the initial period has expired (unless there are other contingencies in the contract), the contract is said at this point to "go hard" and the earnest money is non-refundable with few exceptions.

Disclaimer: We are not offering legal advice. This information is provided for general information purposes only and we make no guarantee about the applicability to any specific situation. Should you have specific questions about any contract, we recommend you consult an attorney.

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