Choosing a REALTOR®!

Are you aware that over two million people in the United States have real estate licenses? With that many practitioners, the seed quickly separates from the chaff, with a small percentage rising to the top in quality service to buyers and sellers.

As you consider the mountains of documentation, financing, negotiating, marketing, inspections and the like, where would you begin to locate the agent best suited to your needs? It makes sense to start at home, with those individuals who participate in neighborhood organizations, local government, charities, etc.

It makes sense to work with someone who is active within and knowledgeable about the local community. More information for your choice of representative can be found through open houses, advertising, and referrals and recommendations from other agents, neighbors, and local business leaders.

Once you’ve interviewed and selected a real estate agent, make sure your relationship is clearly defined and documented. Some agents represent sellers, while others exclusively represent buyers. Make sure your representative explains how he or she works with all parties to the transaction, and provides a complete “agency disclosure” to document your relationship.

Then your agent will begin discussion of local market conditions and how they come to bear upon your listing or your purchase. A carefully selected representative from your community will provide all the information you need to move forward with confidence.

If you need information to help you solve a real estate puzzle, call us at (772) 323-6996, or visit us on the web at or We’ll be happy to share our knowledge with you at no cost or obligation, and if we aren’t sure of our answer we’ll direct you to the best Martin or Saint Lucie County resource. Our office is located at 1121 SE Ocean Blvd. in Stuart, (Sewall’s Point) Florida; please ask for Gabe Sanders or .

Home buying not always the best investment

Buying a home is often called the American dream. But for those who buy with a 3 percent down payment (or no down payment at all), it can be a poor proposition.

A Harvard University study of home sales in Philadelphia, Boston, Denver, and Chicago found that sellers of low-priced homes lost money up to 40 percent of the time once transaction costs were included.

Economists at Wellesley College say whether home ownership is a good or bad investment often depends on the time of purchase. The odds of taking a loss are higher if the seller bought after home prices had already risen and if the buyer stayed in the home for only a few years.

Regular investing in stocks and bonds could be a better alternative. Returns on housing tend to be lower than returns on stocks. The risk of losing money is high when most of a family’s wealth is tied up in a single asset. Factors to consider:

* When satisfactory rentals are not available, buying a family home could be the best option in any case.
* Owning a home can cost more than renting when house payments, taxes, insurance, and maintenance are considered.
* For those who don’t plan to stay in a home for seven years or more, the risk of losing money on a home sale is higher.
* Buyers may not benefit from the tax deduction for interest because their standard deduction is a better deal.
* Easy home-equity loans could mean little forced saving or equity building.
* Those who make a small down payment may pay higher mortgage interest rates and the cost of mortgage insurance.

Over time, buying a home can be a good wealth-building strategy. When housing prices rise, the owner benefits. But housing prices, like the stock market can be cyclical and often don’t rise very much in some areas, and many people don’t stay in a home long enough to build equity. Knowledge of local conditions is the key to making a successful real estate decision.

In the Stuart and Martin County areas, we are nearing or at the bottom of a correction and there are some very good opportunities for home buyers that plan to stay in their home for a number of years. For other areas on the Treasure Coast, please contact me and I can go through a list of options and probabilities for different action scenarios tailored individually for you.

The Real Worth of a Professional Real Estate Agent

Many people think a real estate agent’s job is solely to market a property that he/she has listed or to take buyers out and find them a new home or investment. Most of the public and a few agents themselves feel that is their function in the real estate marketplace.

In the real world, most often the real worth of your Realtor® is what is done during and after the contract for sale is negotiated and signed. A good Realtor® will have a wealth of negotiating tactics to try to get a contract that will be a win-win situation for both the buyer and seller.

After the contract is signed, there come a lot of potential pitfalls to a successful closing, such as inspections, appraisals, financing, surveys, and more. Your professional Realtor® will do his/her best to recommend the best vendors and help hold the transaction together as an intermediary for further negotiations and any possible problems that invariably arise.

For many unrepresented sellers this lesson is very often learned the hard way. Even most real estate lawyers won’t or can’t give the type of support a Realtor® can give. After all, they are paid by the hour and their main concern is legal. The Realtor® is only paid if there is a successful conclusion to the transaction.

To see what one buyer went through recently, check out his postings here: .

If you’re looking for a good Realtor in the Treasure Coast of Florida, please contact Gabe Sanders and or visit our web site at .

We also belong to an exclusive referral network, Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, if you would like to be introduced to superior Realtors® in other areas.