You Just Bought a House – Change the Locks

I recently sold a house in Destin Florida. The buyer’s agent asked repeatedly for the seller to turn over all the keys – they only had a couple of them. Where were the rest? Who knows? They had two teenage sons and there was an ex-spouse. Perhaps they had extra keys. Maybe a neighbor, or two, had a key to the house. Perchance, the pet sitter had a key.  When the seller bought the house, he may not have received all the keys from the previous owner. What does this mean? Stop worrying about all the keys. As a matter of course, when you buy a new house, condo, townhouse or commercial property, change the locks, yes, even for a brand new house! There is such a thing as a master key that builders use. What does it cost to re-key a house? Not much. I just called A to Z Lock and Safe, who cover the Emerald Coast of Florida. Their service call charges are between $50-$75, it’s $12.50 per lock change and keys are $2.25 each. So, you could change locks on your new property easily for under $150.00!

Why risk it?

It’s Wendy… It’s Sold!

Wendy Rulnick, Broker, Rulnick Realty, Inc.
Call 850-650-7883 ext 204
Email Wendy: itswendy@rulnickrealty.com

Wendy Rulnick, Broker, sells real estate in Destin, Santa Rosa Beach, 30A, Miramar Beach, Seagrove Beach, Watercolor, Sandestin, Seaside, Rosemary Beach, Fort Walton Beach, Niceville, Bluewater Bay, Navarre, Florida.

Walton County Florida Single Family Home Market – Santa Rosa Beach, 30A, Miramar Beach FL

Everything you want to know about the Walton County, Florida single family housing market is here, up through August 2017. Walton County includes Santa Rosa Beach, 30A, Rosemary Beach, Miramar Beach, Freeport, etc. Notice that in the past year, the number of sales has gone up almost 9% over the previous year.  The average sale price is up a tremendous 32.5%, median sale price is up 4.5%! Active inventory is down over the past year by 4% and months supply is 6.4 months, almost one month faster than the previous year. What does this mean in general for single family home owners in Santa Rosa Beach, 30A, Freeport, Miramar Beach and vicinity, in Walton County, Florida? It’s a seller’s market!

Walton County Single Family Homes Real Estate Market September 2017 by Wendy Rulnick on Scribd

It’s Wendy… It’s Sold!

Wendy Rulnick, Broker, Rulnick Realty, Inc.
Call 850-650-7883 ext 204
Email Wendy: itswendy@rulnickrealty.com

Wendy Rulnick, Broker, sells real estate in Destin, Santa Rosa Beach, 30A, Miramar Beach, Seagrove Beach, Watercolor, Sandestin, Seaside, Rosemary Beach, Fort Walton Beach, Niceville, Bluewater Bay, Navarre, Florida.

Okaloosa County Single Family Home Market – Destin, Fort Walton Beach, Niceville, Crestview Florida

Everything you want to know about the Okaloosa County, Florida single family housing market is here, up through August 2017. Okaloosa County includes Destin, Fort Walton Beach, Niceville, Crestview, Mary Esther, Shalimar, Valparaiso, etc. Notice that in the past year, the number of sales has gone up almost 10% over the previous year.  The average sale price is up about 2%, active inventory is down over the past year by almost 14% and months supply is just 3.4 months, one month faster than the previous year. What does this mean in general for single family home owners in the Destin, Fort Walton Beach, Crestview and Niceville, Florida? It’s a seller’s market!

Okaloosa County Single Family Homes Market September 2017 by Wendy Rulnick on Scribd

Do you have more questions about the Okaloosa County, Florida real estate market?  Give me a call, email or text!

It’s Wendy… It’s Sold!

Wendy Rulnick, Broker, Rulnick Realty, Inc.
Call 850-650-7883 ext 204
Email Wendy: itswendy@rulnickrealty.com

Wendy Rulnick, Broker, sells real estate in Destin, Santa Rosa Beach, 30A, Miramar Beach, Seagrove Beach, Watercolor, Sandestin, Seaside, Rosemary Beach, Fort Walton Beach, Niceville, Bluewater Bay, Navarre, Florida.

Okaloosa County Real Estate Market Report Second Quarter 2017

Okaloosa County Single Family Homes 2017-Q2 Local Residential Market Metrics by Wendy Rulnick on Scribd

 

 

It’s Wendy… It’s Sold!

Wendy Rulnick, Broker, Rulnick Realty, Inc.
Call 850-650-7883 ext 204
Email Wendy: itswendy@rulnickrealty.com

Wendy Rulnick, Broker, sells real estate in Destin, Santa Rosa Beach, 30A, Miramar Beach, Seagrove Beach, Watercolor, Sandestin, Seaside, Rosemary Beach, Fort Walton Beach, Niceville, Bluewater Bay, Navarre, Florida.

Free Instant Home Value

Welcome Ben Ward to Rulnick Realty

I am pleased to introduce Ben Ward, who has joined my team at Rulnick Realty. Ben has over 25 years real estate sales experience, has managed real estate companies in the Memphis TN area and is now licensed with us as Broker Associate! Welcome, Ben!

Email ben.ward@rulnickrealty.com Cell Phone 901-848-7245

Mortgage Tool Kit if You Want to Buy a Home on the Emerald Coast of Florida

 

Are you thinking about buying a home on the Emerald Coast? Here is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Home Loan Toolkit.  This will help you understand the mortgage process, and required documentation from your lender and title company, called the Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure.

For more information, also check out “Owning a Home: Tools and Resources for homebuyers“.

We can help explain these forms and the process to you. It’s best to get pre-qualified before you start your home search, so you will look at the right properties to meet your budget. The seller will also require you to provide a pre-qualification letter from a lender along with your offer.

Call me for a list of lenders to start shopping a mortgage.  When you are ready to begin your home search on the Emerald Coast, start here.

It’s Wendy… It’s Sold!

Wendy Rulnick, Broker, Rulnick Realty, Inc.
Call 850-650-7883 ext 204
Email Wendy: itswendy@rulnickrealty.com

Wendy Rulnick, Broker, sells real estate in Destin, Santa Rosa Beach, 30A, Miramar Beach, Seagrove Beach, Watercolor, Sandestin, Seaside, Rosemary Beach, Fort Walton Beach, Niceville, Bluewater Bay, Navarre, Florida.

Free Instant Home Value

Sale Pending – Sunsail Subdivision, Destin FL

Sunsail Destin Florida

In less than a week, this lovely home in Sunsail in Destin Florida is now under contract. The pending home for sale at 4680 Windstarr Dr. will close in April.  At over 2100 square feet and built in 1997, this attractive house is within walking distance to the beach on the Gulf of Mexico.  What actions cause a home to sell so quickly? Here is a quick list:

  1. Price it right.
  2. Make the condition as clean and fresh as possible. In this case, the seller painted the home in neutral colors.
  3. Hire a professional photographer.
  4. Advertise the property for maximum exposure. We promoted this Destin home to a targeted market on Facebook, as well as Linkedin, Google+, Pinterest, Youtube, Tumblr, WordPress, craigslist, Trulia, Zillow, Twitter and hundreds more websites.
  5. Pay careful attention to presentation, follow up and  feedback.
  6. Understand the seller’s needs and negotiate in his best interest.

This Sunsail home in Destin Florida sold as a result of all of the above. What do you need to sell?

Instant Destin home valuation.

It’s Wendy… It’s Sold!

Wendy Rulnick, Broker, Rulnick Realty, Inc.
Call 850-650-7883 ext 204
Email Wendy: itswendy@rulnickrealty.com

Wendy Rulnick, Broker, sells real estate in Destin, Santa Rosa Beach, 30A, Miramar Beach, Seagrove Beach, Watercolor, Sandestin, Seaside, Rosemary Beach, Fort Walton Beach, Niceville, Bluewater Bay, Navarre, Florida.

How Feedback Sold a House in 3 Days in Destin Florida

When I list a home in Destin Florida or anywhere on the Emerald Coast, one thing I do as a listing agent is follow up on any showings. What does that mean? Whenever an agent shows one of my listings, I send them an email asking for “feedback” and if they have any questions. There are a few reasons I do that for my listings.  The first is that I can find out for my seller the public response to their real estate offering, so that if there is anything we can fix, we do. Sometimes you can fix an issue by a repair, other times by price. For example, “the home was dark”. This could be as simple as making sure the blinds are open before showings. “The home felt cramped.”  If that’s a repeated comment, we can remove furniture.  Feedback can also be about something that cannot be fixed, such as a location challenge, like a home backing up to commercial property, having a poor lot, cost-prohibitive structural repairs, etc.  We also may hear that the price is too high compared to other homes. What we get is a feel for is the market perception of the property and the price. I always send the feedback to my sellers so they understand, and we are working as a team to get their property sold.  Any objection can be overcome by proper pricing. If there is any confusion about the offering, I can also change my presentation to better explain nuances to buyer’s agents. For example, I add information for further clarity to MLS descriptions if there are repeated similar questions from buyer’s agents.  I wouldn’t learn these things unless I asked for “feedback”.  That’s what helps me sell real estate.

My most recent example of successful follow up leading to a sale was a few days ago. The buyer’s agent responded to my feedback inquiry by saying her buyer mentioned making an offer that was fairly low, so he didn’t think it was worth writing it up.  I said, “Hold on, let me relay this to my seller!”  I asked and the Destin seller was actually open to receiving an offer in the price range mentioned, although it seemed low and the property was recently put on the market.  I encouraged the agent to write the offer – and guess what? We are now under contract! If I hadn’t solicited feedback from that buyer’s agent, she would have moved on, the buyer would have lost a great home purchase in Destin, Florida and my seller would have lost, as well.

There are some real estate agents who never ask for feedback. They think it’s a waste of time and that no unsolicited comments from the buyer’s agent just means the house wasn’t right for those particular buyers. I’ve also heard that some listing brokers feel it sounds “desperate” to ask for feedback, or so I’ve been told by previous sellers.  I could not disagree more.  Reaching out for feedback is the first step in finding a meeting of the minds, improving a property’s presentation, proper pricing and getting a handle on the market. What is the result? SOLD in three days!

It’s Wendy… It’s Sold!

Free Instant Home Value

Wendy Rulnick, Broker, Rulnick Realty, Inc.
Call 850-650-7883 ext 204
Email Wendy: itswendy@rulnickrealty.com

Wendy Rulnick, Broker, sells real estate in Destin, Santa Rosa Beach, 30A, Miramar Beach, Seagrove Beach, Watercolor, Sandestin, Seaside, Rosemary Beach, Fort Walton Beach, Niceville, Bluewater Bay, Navarre, Florida.

Are you ready to sell your Destin area real estate?

South Walton Art Festivals in Spring 2017

Guest Post: This post was written by Destin resident Lori Saczynski. She and her husband Andy own an art gallery in Grayton Beach. Andy was the 2013 South Walton Artist of the Year, and was voted Best Local Artist multiple times.

If you love art, you’re in luck the next couple months! Here’s your list of three amazing South Walton art festivals in Spring 2017…

art in the park South Walton Art Festivals in Spring 2017
Art in the Park | March 18, 2017 | WaterColor, FL | free + open to the public
The 12th annual Art in the Park festival is a one-day event (9 AM – 5 PM), held in WaterColor’s Cerulean Park and Town Center! This event features talented artists from all over the southeast, including some of your favorite local artists. Bring the family and enjoy beautiful weather, original art, and live music. | more info |

ArtsQuest South Walton Art Festivals in Spring 2017
ArtsQuest | May 13-14, 2017 | Sandestin, FL | free + open to the public
The ArtsQuest Fine Arts & Music Festival takes place in Sandestin’s Grand Boulevard. What a fun way to celebrate Mother’s Day weekend! In its 29th year, this event now showcases 200 artists from around the country. You’ll have an opportunity to meet them and purchase their original art. ArtsQuest also offers live musical entertainment, activities for kids, and great food. | more info |

digital graffiti South Walton Art Festivals in Spring 2017
Digital Graffiti | May 19-21, 2017 | Alys Beach, FL | tickets must be purchased
Launched in 2008, Digital Graffiti is a one-of-a-kind projection art festival. International artists use the latest digital technologies to project their original works onto the iconic white walls of Alys Beach. This festival explores how design, technology, and architecture can intertwine to create entirely new art forms. Digital Graffiti transforms Alys Beach into a living work of art. If you’ve never attended, you’ll definitely want to get tickets as they celebrate their 10th year. | more info |

Selling Real Estate is More Than “Filling Out a Contract” – Destin Florida

types of Florida broker representation

A few days ago a buyer contacted me to write an offer on a Destin area “For Sale By Owner” property. He asked how much I would charge to “fill out the contract”. I responded with my fee, which I thought was fair.  Here is what I wrote the buyer:

“Most ‘For Sale By Owners’ (FSBOs) gladly pay a buyer’s agent, but I understand if this particular party won’t do it and am grateful you asked me to help. However, if I get involved writing contracts I am immediately taking on responsibility, liability, care, diligence, etc., and thus there is a fee.” I suggested he contact an attorney to write his offer if that were more suitable in terms of fee for representation. The minimum form of representation a real estate broker in Florida can provide to the public is called “No Brokerage Representation”.  Those duties to the buyer or seller include:

1. Dealing honestly and fairly;

2. Disclosing all known facts that materially affect the value of the residential real property which are not readily observable to the buyer; and

3. Accounting for all funds entrusted to the licensee.

The minimum form of representation I provide, however, is at a higher level,  called “Transaction Brokerage”, which in Florida means:

(a) Dealing honestly and fairly;

(b) Accounting for all funds;

(c) Using skill, care, and diligence in the transaction******

(d) Disclosing all known facts that materially affect the value of residential real property and are not readily observable to the buyer;

(e) Presenting all offers and counteroffers in a timely manner, unless a party has previously directed the licensee otherwise in writing;

(f) Limited confidentiality, unless waived in writing by a party. This limited confidentiality will prevent disclosure that the seller will accept a price less than the asking or listed price, that the buyer will pay a price greater than the price submitted in a written offer, of the motivation of any party for selling or buying property, that a seller or buyer will agree to financing terms other than those offered, or of any other information requested by a party to remain confidential; and

(g) Any additional duties that are mutually agreed to with a party.

Florida broker representation

Notice, importantly, that omitted by the “No Brokerage Representation” designation is that of using “skill, care and diligence”.  I could not, in good conscience, write a contract for a buyer nor represent a seller not using skill, care and diligence. What are the opposites of these attributes?

Skill is something that has been “acquired by training”. The opposite is “inability”.

Care is “judiciousness in avoiding harm”. If I weren’t careful in writing your offer, what harm could be caused to you?

Diligence is “conscientiousness in paying attention to a task”. Who would accept the opposite– sloppiness and inattention?

Writing a real estate contract in Florida, or presenting one to a seller, to me, requires, at a minimum, skill, care and diligence. A real estate transaction is commonly one of the most substantial financial transactions a person makes in his lifetime.  Who would you want representing you?

Here is the complete copy of Florida Statues Chapter 475.278.  For more information, please contact your attorney.
Florida Real Estate Representation by Wendy Rulnick on Scribd

It’s Wendy… It’s Sold!

Wendy Rulnick, Broker, Rulnick Realty, Inc.
Call 850-650-7883 ext 204
Email Wendy: itswendy@rulnickrealty.com

Wendy Rulnick, Broker, sells real estate in Destin, Santa Rosa Beach, 30A, Miramar Beach, Seagrove Beach, Watercolor, Sandestin, Seaside, Rosemary Beach, Fort Walton Beach, Niceville, Bluewater Bay, Navarre, Florida.