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|Should you make a low
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I work with home buyers in all price ranges , from vacation condos to multi-million dollar gulf to bay
properties in the most exclusive Sarasota FL neighborhoods.
Prices in our area hit bottom early in 2012, and there's much less foreclosure inventory available. Short
sales are still difficult to close. You can read more about the short sale process here.
If you are relying on Zillow data, they misrepresent Sarasota real estate values and trends. Zillow is not a
licensed real estate broker, and is not in business to sell you a home. Click here for my analysis of Zillow's
inaccurate information for the Sarasota area.
When you are ready to buy, you absolutely, positively, must have your financing finalized with a lender
approval letter, ready to accompany any offer you make. Banks will not consider your offer to purchase a
short sale or foreclosure property without documentation of your funding source. For cash purchases, you
must have current proof of funds accompany your offer on a short sale, foreclosure, or traditional sale.
I am advising buyers to be prepared for multiple offer situations on property priced under $150,000. Sellers
are not required by FL real estate law to make a counter-offer to a potential buyer. In the case of multiple
offers, you should be prepared to make your highest and best offer. Many times, the successful offer in a
multiple-offer situation is just over the list price. It helps to remember that even if you have to pay above list
price to get the property, you can rest assured that price is likely 1/3 to 1/2 of what that same property sold for
at the height of our real estate market. Read more about making a winning offer here on my blog. Of course,
we will review recent comparable sales to ensure you are not overpaying for property in this competitive price
Frequently, bank-owned properties need some kind of repair, and banks do not make any disclosures to
buyers about the condition of the property. Repair issues may prevent you from getting a mortgage or home
owner's insurance. Read more about buying a foreclosure.
Please visit my Service Providers page. I work with a network of experienced professionals, including
mortgage, title, and property inspection, to assist you with all aspects of your home purchase.
You can also learn about the Florida Homestead Exemption.
NEW! Everyone wants to know how far a particular area is from the beach. Now you can view my exclusive
Beach Meter with walk/bike/drive distances or times to the nearest beach for every neighborhood.
I serve a geographic area that reaches south from the I-75/275 interchange in Manatee County, south to
Boca Grande, for a total area which includes Sarasota and Charlotte Counties.
I hear time and again that agents don't return emails or phone calls from potential buyers. I designed this
detailed site to give you as much local Sarasota real estate information as possible, to help you make an
informed decision. I always respond to email and phone calls in a timely manner.
My wide knowledge of our area's real estate options means I am highly qualified to help you weigh the pros
and cons of areas of interest to you, as well as perhaps suggesting alternative areas you may not be aware
of. My affiliation with an independent real estate brokerage means that my services to you as a buyer's agent
will help you avoid potential conflicts of interests you may encounter with a buyer's agent and a listing
agent from the same real estate brokerage, especially for luxury properties.
Other brokerages may charge buyers a fee, but there is never a fee when you hire me to be your buyer's
You may have heard about the Bank of America/Countrywide Mortgage title fiasco. In short, home owners
who lost their homes to B of A (who took over their mortgages from Countrywide), filed suit, claiming B of A
had no legal right to foreclose due to issues with title and robo-signing. If you are considering purchasing a
foreclosure property, read more about Marketable vs Insurable Title on my blog.
As a buyer, you do not have to pay a real estate agent to represent you when purchasing property. Some
other brokerages in the area charge buyers a fee. In my opinion, these are junk fees that go to the bottom
line profitability of the broker. You should NEVER pay a fee to a broker when you are buying property.
You are due the following duties from your real estate representative as a Transaction Broker.
- Dealing honestly and fairly;
- Accounting for all funds (such as escrow deposits);
- Using skill, care, and diligence in the transaction;
- Disclosing all known facts that materially affect the value of residential real property and are not readily observable to
- Presenting all offers and counter-offers in a timely manner, unless a party has previously directed the licensee
otherwise in writing;
- Limited confidentiality, unless waived in wirting 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 any other information requested by a party to remain
- Any additional duties that are entered into by this or by separate written agreement.
Having worked for a "big box" real estate franchise, I can tell you they take great pride in reporting the number
of "in-house" sales, where the company represented both the buyer and seller in a sale. While there's
nothing illegal about this, it should raise the question from a buyer perspective: "Am I seeing the best
properties for my needs first?" After all, your time is valuable, especially if you are visiting from out of town.
As an unbiased real estate professional working for an independent company, my motivation is to give you
the best customer service by listening carefully and showing you the best properties for your needs,
regardless of the company listing them for sale.
When you contact me, you get the direct benefit of my local expertise and years of experience, rather than
being passed on to another agent or assistant on a team. I have my finger the pulse of the Sarasota real
estate market because I am regularly viewing properties of all prices, in all parts of my service area, with
In my opinion, there is a definite art to showing homes during your visit. Experience tells me that showing
more than 7 or 8 properties at one time can be overwhelming. My extensive local knowledge enables me to
thoughtfully plan an efficient route to maximize your time viewing properties and minimize wasted time driving.
I have always said an educated customer is my best customer. My website is one of the few that has blank
copies of the most commonly used documents for buying or selling real estate in Florida.
Please go to the newly added Document Center and feel free to ask me any questions about contracts,
disclosures, addenda, and more. I highly recommend you read the Residential Purchase and Sale
contracts. Most common questions about reviewing documents, making escrow deposits, and home
inspection contingencies, are standard legal language in Florida real estate contracts.
Homeowners who owe more than their home is worth put their homes up for short sale. Sometimes the
listed short sale price is approved by the bank, and sometimes it is not. If the price is not approved by the
bank, you can accept their price or walk away from your offer. Waiting for an answer from the seller's lender
used to take weeks or months, but starting 6/15/2012, federal law now requires banks to respond to offers on
short sales within 30 days of receipt. Read more about buying a short sale.