Real Estate is Hard

By saying “real estate is hard” do I mean that marketing and selling real estate is so difficult only a genius can do it?  Um, no, not really!

What I mean is that it can be difficult for the parties involved in a real estate transaction on so many levels.

For sellers, it can be difficult to decide which possessions to keep when trying to declutter and downsize. It can also be difficult to see your home the way buyers will see it, and understand that it may need some tender loving care before marketing it for sale. It can be difficult to get feedback from realtors or buyers that may not be favorable. It can be difficult when you get that first offer and it isn’t quite as much as you had hoped. Lastly, it can be difficult when you are packing everything up and leaving that home that meant so much to you.

For buyers, it can be difficult to understand that maybe the type of home you would love to buy and the type of home you can afford to buy are two different homes. It can be difficult to understand that the market where you are buying may be totally different than the market where you have been living. It can be difficult to find the right home to fit all of your large furniture that you are hoping to keep. It can be difficult to know if the home, neighborhood or area that you are choosing is really the best fit for you and your family.

So, yes, the decisions and transactions in real estate can be difficult and stressful. It is important to do your research, ask questions and ask for help in making those decisions. That process can and should include the right lender and the right realtor to help guide you through the process. Once you have made that decision to downsize and declutter, or that decision that you need to move to a larger home, or you definitely decide on a specific neighborhood, then, all of a sudden, the stress tends to melt away because you know you have made the right choice!  Give me a call and let me know how I can help!

Learn more about neighborhoods in St. Augustine at Single Family Homes and Condominium Communities.


To Buy or Not to Buy – That is the Question

So, you have decided that it is time to move. Your current home no longer meets your needs, for whatever reason, and you want to market your current home for sale and find a new one.

What is the process? Well, that kind of depends on you and how you want the process to go.

Buy your future home, then sell your current home. Market your current home for sale, while shopping for your future home. Sell your current home and rent for some amount of time while you shop for and purchase your new home.

Your financial situation may dictate much of how this works. If you simply cannot afford to buy your future home before selling your current one, then that decision is made for you. Also, if you will need to sell your current home and close that loan prior to qualifying for a new home loan, again, that may be decided for you.

It is possible to have a somewhat simultaneous closing. I say “somewhat” because you will still need a few days to a week where you can store all of your personal belongings while you move out, clean and close on your current home and get closed on your new home.

Lastly, if you are just moving across town, that can be a much easier situation than moving across the country. I know, because I have done both. Each time we made it work, but each came with different decisions and challenges.

If you are thinking through the process and want to talk it out, just give me a call and let me know how I can help!


Should I be on the Market During the Holidays?

I know, the holidays are coming – Thanksgiving, then Christmas – or maybe for you it is Hanukkah or Kwanzaa.  Heck, I have even celebrated Boxing Day with friends from England!  There are the parties and get-togethers, there is shopping and gift wrapping, there is decorating, there are guests and family coming and going.  You want to sell your home, but it can be a difficult decision to make.

First, holidays and memories with your family and friends are important.  Don’t stop having those memories and visits just because your home is on the market.  Most buyers looking during the holidays will understand that there are special considerations at this time of the year.  They can look past the extra decorations, but the decorations may add some warmth to the home as well.

Try your best to accommodate showing requests. Think of it this way – a buyer who is looking during the holidays may be a very serious buyer to interrupt their holiday with the additional stress of house hunting.  This does not mean that if a request is made for Christmas Eve at 7:30 you have to show your home.  Just be reasonable and try and work around your holiday schedule.  If you cannot make a specific showing time request, maybe suggest an alternative time – see what you can make work.

Every location can be different, but in the St. Augustine area, we can get a number of visitors to our area during the holiday time frame.  People will come to visit family and friends for the holidays and want to take time for their own home search.  We also get a number of visitors to see our beautiful Nights of Lights celebration and they may decide to view homes while here.  We also get some early snowbirds, who come down from the cold north and may be starting to look for their new home.  So, I do feel it is important that you do not pull your home off of the market during the holidays because you may be missing some potential buyers.

If you need help with the marketing of sale of your home during the holidays, or you are one of those buyers that may need to be completing your home search just let me know how I can be of help!


Your Story Matters!

I was recently driving past a local bank and on the sign outside it said, “Your Story Matters!”  That is so true in life,
and in the world of Real Estate.  Your story does matter!  As a Realtor, I am here to help you write just a part of your story.  I want to find you that home or second home that you can make memories in and will always be part of your story.  If part of that story is that the second home has to make some income to support it, that can be possible.  Maybe you are at the beginning of your story, looking for your first home – that’s great!  Maybe you are more in the middle of your story, and the home you are in was great for raising your children, but they are all in stories of their own now and you need to downsize – I can help you figure all of that out.  Maybe your story took a turn you didn’t expect – not so much a surprise ending as a turning point that took you by surprise – that, too, can be figured out. Or maybe you are even farther along in your story, and even your small home or condo is not working any longer and it is time to move to assisted living – I can help with that too.  Our stories are our lives being played out with all of our friends, family, neighbors – all being part of that story.  If you, or anyone in your story, needs the help of a Realtor – just let me know!  I would love to be a part of your story – and I will never forget that it is YOUR story.

Related: Why I do What I do


Toughest Spring in Years

I get an email newsletter update every day from the Florida Realtors.  Great information about all things real estate and other news as well.  Yesterday, it mentioned a Wall Street Journal article that this may be the toughest Spring in years – and they didn’t mean all those nasty Spring storms that have been brewing all across the country, although that makes for a very tough Spring!  It was referring to a tough Spring market for buyers in the real estate market nationwide.  It can be felt here, in St. Augustine, as well.  While prices and mortgage rates will increase, inventory of homes for sale can be tight or decreasing – especially for first time home buyers. That will be tough for buyers, but equally tough for sellers, who may have a difficult time finding the replacement home as they want to downsize or upsize and place their current home on the market.

What can you do?  As a buyer, make sure you have your mortgage pre-approval.  That way, when you do find the right home, at the right price, you can show the seller that you are ready to buy and there shouldn’t be any hiccups in the process.  Make sure you are communicating everything you are looking for, but don’t be afraid to look in areas you may not have thought of or for home styles you may not have considered – that may help increase the number of homes available to you.  And, remember, you may not find the perfect home – it may not have all the bells and whistles that you thought you wanted.  Can you make some small adjustments after closing to make it the perfect home?  In a tight inventory market, you may have to be a little more flexible. You can start your search for a home here: MyStAugustineHome.com.

As a seller, you may think that low inventory means you don’t have to do your due diligence.  You still need to get your home ready for the market by decluttering, repairing, and making sure you have great curb appeal.  Just because the inventory is tight, does not ensure that your home will be one to sell in two days or get multiple offers.  It still needs to be appealing to the buyers in the market and be listed for the right price.  Also, depending on the price point of your home, there could be more or less inventory, demand, etc., so keep that in mind.  You will want to have your plan in place for where you are going after the sale.  Be looking for your next home prior to listing so that you have an idea of neighborhoods and home styles you like.  You may not be in the financial position to purchase your next home prior to selling your current one, but have a plan for either the next purchase, or for a short term rental until you can find that next home.

Let me know how I can be of help finding your first home, your next home or in getting your home ready for the Spring selling season!  I am just a call, text, or email away!