How to Pick the Right Real Estate Agent

Scott and Sue decided to move to the tropical warmth of the Florida coast after years of living in Massachusetts. They decided to purchase a home before making the move, so they knew they had to find just the right real estate agent to help them with the process. After a few failed meetings with different agents, Scott and Sue contacted Sarah and Tim Caudill, a husband and wife real estate team in New Smyrna Beach, FL. Sarah and Tim helped them secure their dream home and today Scott and Sue are happily settled and living the Florida life in their dream home. Here are some of Scott and Sue’s top tips for picking a real estate agent!

  • Finding the right agent doesn’t just happen.

There are hundreds of real estate agents vying for your business, so how do you pick one? Scott and Sue thoroughly researched agents and read dozens of reviews on Zillow to find the agent that best fit them. While reading reviews, don’t just skim the page and tally up how many stars they have- really read through each review to get a good idea of what that agent is like to work with. Do they have multiple reviews highlighting how responsive and available they were? Finding an agent who is readily available and responds quickly is imperative in a home search.

“We called some agents and they wouldn’t even return our call,” Scott explained. One of the things that made Tim and Sarah stand out was their responsiveness, said Scott.

While looking at an agent’s Zillow reviews and profile, don’t be mesmerized by dozens of listings. Do you want to hire an agent who has 30 listings and multiple buyers all vying for their time and attention? Pick an agent with listings, but not so many listings that you will get lost in the crowd.

Finish your research by calling them up try to get to know them. Don’t be afraid to ask them questions, especially about their knowledge of the area or if they have sold many homes like the one you are looking for.

Finally, after talking with an agent but before declaring that you have found the one, check their license. Real estate agents must participate in continuing education in order to keep their license current and active. Check out your local Department of Business and Professional Regulation website and search under real estate licensees. Make sure their license says current and active. If their license is current and inactive or null and void, slowly step away!

Pro tip: Residents of Florida can download the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s app to look up licensees. Search DBPR Florida in the app store and download it to keep it at your fingertips!

  •  You don’t get what you don’t ask for.

Negotiating one of the largest investments you probably ever make isn’t for the faint of heart and shouldn’t be left to an amateur. A good agent has hundreds of negotiations under their belt and understands the best approach to take. Talk to your potential agent and ask them how they handle negotiations. Getting an agent skilled in negotiations can often mean the difference between purchasing the home of your dreams or watching the deal fall apart.

In addition to negotiation, a good agent will be your ally and help you navigate through the sea of paperwork that will be waiting for you once your offer is accepted. Questions will undoubtedly arise, so make sure you find a agent who is skilled in follow-up and thorough communication.

“Tim and Sarah always had the answers or got back to us right away about the paperwork,” said Scott. They really knew how to handle the paperwork and that just made the process easy, said Sue.

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  • It’s not just about the money.

Are you a client or a commission? An agent who loves their job will stand out- their energy, enthusiasm, dedication and integrity will make it crystal clear that it is not just about a commission for them. Additionally, a good agent will be honest with you and tell you the truth- even when you don’t want to hear it or when it could cost them a sale. The right agent will never push you to make an offer on a home you aren’t sure about or push you too far out of your budget.

“Tim and Sarah never pressured us to buy. You could tell that a sale didn’t matter to them- they just wanted to make sure we were happy. We even went to a few houses and they would say no, this isn’t a good deal for you and we wouldn’t even go in.,” said Scott, who appreciated their honesty.

There is a lot to consider when picking an agent. Follow these tips and don’t let the process intimidate you- the right agent will be with you every step of the way!

Happy house hunting!

 

 

5 Reasons Why Minorca Is Your Next Dream Beach Condo

The condo community of Minorca, located on the north end of the New Smyrna Beach, is a private oasis that instantly transports guests to their own private Mediterranean island the second they step foot on the property. While Minorca is just one of the hundreds of condo communities New Smyrna Beach has to offer, we think Minorca offers amenities that help make New Smyrna Beach one of the best beach communities in the world. Let’s dive in and explore why Minorca might be your next dream condo.

Minorca balcony view edited

1) Location, location, location

Minorca is perfectly located between three major waterways; the Atlantic Ocean, Ponce Inlet and the intercostal waterway. This location gives residents the unique opportunity to enjoy all three without ever leaving the north end of the island. Residents can dock and enjoy their boat on the intercostal waterway across the street from Minorca, fish in the inlet next to Minorca or ride the waves on the beach directly in front of Minorca.

Minorca from the sky

The inlet side of Minorca resides next to Smyrna Dunes Park. The park boasts 73 acres of land on the New Smyrna Beach peninsula and holds a treasure trove of wildlife, pristine beach, and two miles of elevated walkways. Dolphins, manatees and fish of all kind can be seen in the water, and fishing is allowed throughout the park. Smyrna Dunes Park is also one of the only dog-friendly beaches in New Smyrna, so Fido can enjoy the beach alongside you (just be sure to keep Fido leashed).

When it’s time to recharge with a good meal, a peaceful 2-mile stroll down the road will take you to the charming area of New Smyrna Beach known as Flagler Avenue. Flagler Ave is filled with quaint shopping, a foodie’s dream of restaurants and several art galleries. Indulge in some of the best pizza in New Smyrna at Third Wave Café and Wine bar and then stop by for a sweet treat at Beachside Candy Co. After that, follow your ears and you will be sure to find a local artists playing at one of the many local Flagler Ave restaurants.

2) Did you say amenities?

At Minorca, there is no shortage of amenities. The property offers several heated pools, a spa and sauna, fitness center, tennis courts, a clubhouse with a pool table and library, under-building parking, a beachside pavilion and 2 gated beach walk-overs, to name a few. Each unit also provides residents with breath taking views from a private balcony. There are seven buildings on the property, with the newest building completed in 2006 and offering the comfort of modern and updated units (310 units on the property to be exact).

3) Views for days

The views at Minorca are one-of-a-kind. Each private balcony provides an oasis to enjoy the unobstructed view of the sunrise or the sunset, as well as the calming sight of the Atlantic Ocean. Views of the famous Ponce Inlet Lighthouse can also be seen, enriching the history and charm of the area. The sprawling 65-acre community means that your view is of the landscape and scenery- not a parking lot.

Minorca from the balcony edited

4) Peace of mind

There is nothing like the secure feeling of a gated community. Minorca takes security seriously, and every visitor must be approved by a resident of Minorca to enter. The gatehouse entry is staffed 24/7 with a security guard and the property is regularly patrolled throughout the day and night. In addition, management is on-site, providing residents stress-free ownership.

5) Family-friendly

Located only one hour from Orlando, Minorca offers the luxury of beachside living while only a short drive to the mecca of amusement parks. Whether entertaining your own kids, grandkids, or looking for adventure yourself, Orlando offers a full range of entertainment for all ages. With Disney World, Universal Studios, and  Sea World all just a quick drive away, its hard not to see Minorca as the ultimate combination of beachside relaxation and family fun.

 

2015 Sales $6.537 Million

I am very honored to have helped so many families buy and sell property in Volusia County during 2015! Thank you for putting your trust in me!  I am looking forward to a great 2016!!

About Sarah Caudill, MBA

 www.SarahCaudill.com – Sarah Caudill epitomizes professionalism, commitment, and integrity in every detail of your real estate transaction.  Sarah is a Florida native who understands our unique market.  When selecting a real estate agent in New Smyrna Beach, Daytona Beach, Edgewater, Ponce Inlet, and Port Orange, strong knowledge of the community, strong negotiation skills, and a commitment to providing excellent service are all crucial elements.  Sarah helps both buyers and sellers meet their real estate objectives. Sarah will work tirelessly on your behalf to make your next home buying or home selling experience a pleasant and successful one.

Staging Your Home – Tips

Here are some of my best must-have tips when staging your home to sell.  What appeals to you may not appeal to buyers and I promise these tips will bring more money into your pocket as a seller.

Brand new appliances historically offer high returns to sellers.  Old appliances that make a kitchen look dated is a turn off to buyers.  Adding new appliances creates a “new kitchen” vibe that will bring in more money to sellers.  Stainless steel appliances are what most buyers look for.  “Slate” finishes are an up and coming trend that eliminates smudging on your appliances while still giving the stainless steel look.

Unpleasant household smells are a major turn off to buyers.  If you have pets make sure you shampoo the carpets or get rid of old carpet that has trapped bad odors.  Cinnamon and fresh smelling fragrances will help buyers feel more at home in your house.  Make sure you keep rugs clean, pets bathed, and linens fresh to avoid lingering odors.

Lots of light is important to buyers.  Buyers do not like dark spaces.  Open the blinds and curtains to let natural light in and be sure you have plenty of lamps.  Light-colored paint and light colored furniture will help improve your chances of a sale.

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Curb appeal is very important to bring in buyers.  Trim your bushes and make sure your yard has been mowed and edged.  Fresh paint on the exterior of your home will attract buyers.  Plant colorful flowers that are in bloom.  All these suggestions will improve your chances of a sale and eliminate phone calls canceling showings of your home.   Buyers have a tendency to drive by homes they like before they view the interior with their agent.  If the home lacks curb appeal, you will loose a buyer before they even step foot inside your home.

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Clear out clutter and items that may distract buyers when walking through your home.  Staging your home to show its potential is important to selling it.  Neutral paint tones are important and furnishings that highlight the functionality of your rooms is appealing.  You want buyers to picture their furniture in the room and be able to see themselves living here.

Where to Live in New Smyrna Beach, FL

Where to Live in New Smyrna Beach

As you consider a move to New Smyrna Beach, you will find that the number of neighborhoods in the community can quickly become overwhelming. How do you find the right one for your needs? If you are considering New Smyrna Beach FL homes for sale, here are some of the top places to live, and reasons why you should be discussing them with your New Smyrna Beach realtor.

New Smyrna Beach | www.sarahcaudill.com

New Smyrna Beach | http://www.sarahcaudill.com

Minorca Beachfront and Riverfront Condos

Minorca is a popular condo community for those who are looking for New Smyrna Beach real estate. The Minorca Condos offer so many perks and amenities, it’s easy to think of it as its own community, but it’s actually a carefully designed and planned condo development on the North end of the island. At Minorca, homeowners enjoy exclusive access to the community’s boat docks, tennis courts, clubhouse, and gym. The gated community offers peace of mind to those who purchase the stunning Minorca Condos for sale within its boarders.

New Smyrna Beach | Minorca Condos | www.sarahcaudill.com

New Smyrna Beach | Minorca Condos | http://www.sarahcaudill.com

Venetian Bay

Another popular community in New Smyrna Beach, Venetian Bay is great for families, because the community features a community pool, playground, golf, and bike trails. Families also love the convenience of being located just minutes from the sandy beaches of New Smyrna and minutes from Port Orange and Daytona, providing shopping and dining options. Homes here are modestly priced, yet still luxurious and spacious, to appeal to families of all ages. If you are searching for your first home in New Smyrna Beach, talk to your New Smyrna Beach FL realtor about Venetian Bay.

Venetian Bay Portofino | Johnson Group Built | www.sarahcaudill.com

Venetian Bay Portofino | Johnson Group Built | http://www.sarahcaudill.com

Venezia Riverfront Homes

If you are looking for stunning New Smyrna Beach FL homes for sale, you will want to see the opportunities in Venezia, a mature riverfront community along the North Causeway. There are no fixed bridges and boaters are only 10-15 minutes from the New Smyrna/Ponce Inlet. The upscale community is 5 minutes from Flagler Ave, Canal Street, Publix, and our beautiful beaches.

New Smyrna Beach | www.sarahcaudill.com

New Smyrna Beach | http://www.sarahcaudill.com

New Smyrna Beach real estate provides many opportunities to those shopping for a new home in the area. As you consider your options, you will want the right real estate agent on your side. I am Sarah Caudill, and I am ready to help you find your new New Smyrna Beach home.

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New Smyrna Beach Realtor

New Smyrna Beach Acreage Homes

Have you been looking for acreage in Florida?  New Smyrna Beach has some outstanding opportunities for buyers looking to purchase acreage and live close to the beach.

Here are 50 homes with at least 2.5 acres in New Smyrna Beach and the surrounding areas:  CLICK HERE

Here is vacant land with at least 2.5 acres in New Smyrna Beach and the surrounding areas:  CLICK HERE

We are seeing a common thread in buyers that are recognizing the highest and best quality properties as irreplaceable and those that are priced at fair market value are receiving the majority of the activity.  However, the homes and land with substantial challenges or properties that are perceived as being overpriced are not garnering much attention.

How long will it take to sell my home in New Smyrna Beach FL?

Views from Ebb Tide - www.sarahcaudill.com

Views from Ebb Tide – http://www.sarahcaudill.com

New Smyrna Beach Realtor

One of the first questions that sellers typically ask me is “How long will it take for my home to sell?”  This is not a simple question to answer.  There are many factors that go into selling your property.  Homes can sell the week they are listed and others take longer for that right buyer to come along.  Consider the following elements below when estimating how long it will take to sell your New Smyrna Beach home.

1. The Market –  

The most significant factor impacting the length of time it will take for your home to sell is the current condition of the housing market.  If the housing market is strong, your home will sell more quickly than when the housing market is performing poorly.  The good news is, the housing market in New Smyrna Beach is performing well as our inventory is low and demand is high in our city.

2. Interest Rates – 

Interest rates fluctuate daily.  When interest rates are high, buyers will be more hesitant to apply for a new loan.  When they are low, buyers are more likely to shop for a new house and apply for a mortgage.  Buyers can spend more on a home when interest rates are low.  This may bring additional buyers into the price range of your home.

3. Competition – 

Your home may take longer to sell if there is lots of competition in your neighborhood.  For example, if a buyer has made up their mind to buy a home under $275,000 in Venetian Bay and your home is one of three listed in that price range in Venetian Bay, buyers will more than likely consider your home.  However, if there are many homes in the same price range with similar features and amenities, buyers may not be as interested in your home.

4. Marketing – 

If buyers are not aware that your home is on the market, they will not come look at your home.  To sell your home quickly, it must be marketed effectively.  To be sure that your home has the best exposure, you need to find a New Smyrna Beach Realtor that is an expert on this area and who will invest their own money to advertise your property to the right buyers.

Visit my website at http://www.sarahcaudill.com to learn more about me and read my testimonials from buyers and sellers who have worked with me.  Contact me today to learn more about listing your home for sale.