The typical real estate agent can not make or control the products he or she sells. We, on the other hand, do. We are passionate about the buildings we design and the people who we design them for. Being in real estate allows us to stay involved with our products and our customers for a life time. For example, once a family grows out of a home (or like in many cases, downsizes out of a home), we can find that that family a new home; and we can find that home a new family. After all, we are architects because we want to built better communities. But a community is not only the built environment but the people that inhabit it.

We are passionate about real estate brokerage because it is about bringing together real estate product and users. The end result of combining our services is “building community”.

Formerly, brokers were the “gatekeepers” for information. They had access to listings, and Buyers needed them to find the listings. In turn, Sellers needed brokers to expose their listings to other brokers.

The Internet changed that, as it gives consumers direct access to property information.

The “gatekeeper” role of the broker has changed significantly. Today the value of the Broker is knowledge. Customers find the listings, but they seek assistance from Brokers because of their knowledge.

At FPA Enterprises, we combine our knowledge of the real estate market, the real estate transaction, the design, the construction, the planning and the community to serve our customers.

We embrace the transformation of the real estate industry to an information business, more than a brick-and-mortar one.

An appraisal is a supported, defended estimate of of value of property rights as of a given date. Appraisals must be performed under specific Federal Rules, and in most cases must be performed by a Florida Certified Appraisers. A formal appraisal uses 3 approaches to value: cost, market and income. Appraisers usually make detailed analysis of the dollar adjustments necessary to reflect the differences in property characteristics. Appraisal reports can be lengthy and very detailed, and they can cost from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars, depending on the amount of work and research that the appraiser has to perform.

CMA  or Comparative Marketing Analysis is an informal approach to price real estate property where real estate brokers show 3 categories of properties to arrive at an estimated price:

  • Properties Sold within the previous 6 months
  • Properties currently on the Market
  • Expired properties during the previous 6 months

A CMA provides a limited number of market data approach, and it often provides the parties to a transaction with a range of values.

Real Estate Brokers can prepare CMA’s based on their market knowledge to help sellers to establish a listing price, or to help buyers to establish an offering price. A CMA is an adequate method to estimate the values of small residential properties (4 units or less). CMA’s are not effective to price commercial properties or larger residential income properties.

Real estate Brokers and their agents split their commission. In a highly competitive market, agents will work under a brokerage firm that gives them the highest split. So, brokerage firms strive to give more of the commission to the agents. But real estate brokerage firms employ administrative personnel to handle certain duties, and they charge an additional fee, in addition to the commission, to help pay for that overhead. The fees often range from $250 to $500 per transaction. Charging such a transaction fee may be a valid business decision and does not conflict with Florida law. However, depending on the circumstances, the fees could violate federal law (click here to find more).

FPA Enterprises does NOT charge additional “transaction fees”.

When representing Buyers and Sellers, it is extremely important for Real Estate Brokers not only to know the zoning designation of a particular property, but to understand the community’s Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Code.

Comp Plan – A community Comprehensive Plan (or Comp Plan), is a document that determines the community goals and aspiration in terms of community development. The Comp Plan usually dictates public policy in terms of transportation, utilities, land use, recreation, and housing. A proper understanding of a community Comp Plan can give an indication of how the community is set to accept re-development and growth, and the direction that each community is aspiring to evolve into. This has an tremendous effect in the value of real estate.

Zoning Codes – Zoning is the municipality’s regulation of buildings and land uses in specifically designated areas. The zoning ordinances divide a municipality into districts (such as commercial, residential, historic, etc), and within each district, the municipality sets limits in size and height, density, permitted uses, minimum size of parcels, etc. Yet, within the regulatory documents lay hundred of exceptions and opportunities. Buyers and Sellers of Real Estate property must be made aware of these potential limitations, but also of the multiple opportunities embedded within the codes.

Highest and Best Use is always the use of a Real Estate Property that would produce the highest value for a property, regardless of its actual current use.

It is a real estate appraisal concept that shows how the highest possible value for a property is arrived at.

Any potential use must be:

Legally allowable – knowledge is zoning regulations is important

Physically possible – knowledge in construction materials and methods are necessary to understand

Financially feasible – experience in evaluating  construction costs is important

Maximally productive – experience in real estate financial analysis is important

When properties are located in complex zoning districts such as Central Business Districts (CBD) which may allow multiple uses, a full understanding and experience handling the four variables above is important to correctly set the price of a particular property.
Because of our community involvement for the past 18 years, we do not only understand but we have been deeply involved in drafting the blueprint of Downtown Delray Beach. In addition, or Land Planning experience and our architectural practice gives us the background to understand what the challenges involved in rehabilitating existing buildings, construct new structures, and evaluating construction costs.