The average number of days that residential properties remain on the market has been trending lower for 3 consecutive months and is now less than 78 days for homes on the West End of 30A - see
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Shopping for a beach house?
Keep these rules in mind, and don't get too stressed out. The perfect property is out there, just waiting for you, and with time, patience, a little research, and a GREAT Realtor, you will make that offer at the right time.
Here are some tips I've learned from my customers:
1) Ask around for referrals for a reliable Realtor, one who is not too busy, who is familiar with the territory and trends, and who responds promptly to your request for assistance. Don't attempt to strike out on your own, hitting all the open houses and model homes you come across. Find a Realtor who works for YOU--it never costs a penny extra to do so.
2) As honestly as possible, share your needs, wish list, budget, and time frame, as well as your contact information. Let your Realtor know how and how often you'd like to be contacted, and then ask her to send you properties that meet your expectations regularly.
3) Look at the properties she sends, indicate the homes you like, and help her narrow the search. Keep in mind that your needs and plans might change--you may realize you want a condo instead of a house, you may have budget adjustments, or you may discover a new neighborhood you've never seen--keep her informed!
4) When the time is right, let your Realtor know you may be ready for a property tour. Keep in mind that it takes at least a day's notice to tour an occupied property, and in busy season sometimes the only access is during the cleaning interval between tenants--usually on a Saturday. She will plan this tour down to the minute, so please be accommodating, prompt, and observant. Take along a notepad, sunglasses, water, and wear comfy shoes--beach homes have many steps to get up to the fabulous views!
5) The best and finest properties that are a good value sell quickly--sometimes within hours. Have your lender prepare a pre-approval letter indicating that you have enough cash or credit to purchase the properties you are considering, and bring a checkbook to seal the deal with an earnest money deposit. These steps are vital for an attractive, accepted offer.
6) It takes time and patience to find the perfect property. Trust your heart, your family, AND your instincts. Don't overdo it with too many properties--tour for two days instead of one jam-packed day, and take photos (if OK with the seller). When you narrow your selections down to several homes, ask your Realtor to re-visit if possible.
7) Sometimes, even after an extensive tour of dozens of great homes, you may not be ready to commit to making an offer. Take the evening off, go out to dinner at a restaurant near the property, walk along the paths and through the neighborhood, and stop and talk to everybody you can. Look at the traffic, the other homes, the pedestrians, the amenities, and see if it feels like you'd like to spend time there. Walk down to the beach, listen to the music and conversations, and join the locals. Even better, if the property is a rental or is vacant, inquire if you could spend a night or two there; your Realtor may be able to arrange this with the sellers. Some of my customers did exactly that, and the view of the water that night off their deck with a million stars (after a spectacular sunset) sealed the deal for them.
8) Finally, please remember these Beach House Rules: Relax, Unwind, and Enjoy. This is required behavior for a real Emerald Coast Local--otherwise you might as well be living in Dallas or Atlanta. Have fun, and good luck--you will never regret owning a piece of Paradise along 30A, where we come HOME to go on vacation!
Joyce brings to her real estate practice her well-honed communication and analytical skills from three decades of professional health care and education. Her work ethic can be summarized as "going....