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PCB Real Estate Market Outlook: Unprecedented Strength This Year

PCB Real Estate Market Outlook

The PCB real estate market outlook has surpassed all expectations and continues to drive the local economic recovery.  In addition, the 2020 national housing market has surpassed all expectations.

PCB Real Estate Market Outlook Continues to Show Unprecedented Strength This Year.

The biggest challenge for buyers in the Panama City Beach real estate market is the lack of inventory.  That challenge is good news for sellers.

It is not just the Panama City Beach real estate market that is booming; the 2020 housing market has surpassed all expectations and continues to drive the nation’s economic recovery. The question is, will this positive trend continue throughout the rest of the year?  Especially given the uncertainty around the current health crisis, the upcoming election, and more?

Here’s a look at what several industry-leading experts have to say.

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist, National Association of Realtors

“Home sales continue to amaze, and there are plenty of buyers in the pipeline ready to enter the market…Further gains in sales are likely for the remainder of the year, with mortgage rates hovering around 3% and with continued job recovery.”

Frank Martell, President, and CEOCoreLogic

“Homeowners’ balance sheets continue to be bolstered by home price appreciation, which in turn mitigated foreclosure pressures…Although the exact contours of the economic recovery remain uncertain, we expect current equity gains, fueled by strong demand for available homes, will continue to support homeowners in the near term.”

Zillow

Zillow’s predictions for seasonally adjusted home prices and pending sales are more optimistic than previous forecasts because sales and prices have stayed strong through the summer months amid increasingly short inventory and high demand.

Back to the PCB real estate market outlook, in the past twenty-four months, the Panama City Beach Real Estate market has dealt with Hurricane Michael and COVID 19. While both were obstacles that caused a brief slowdown in the selling market, the market took off and not looked back. Hurricane Michael caused a lot of displacement that continues to be resolved, especially with the Hurricane Michael Recovery Loan Program. Panama City Beach continues to grow with more people moving to the area, partly due to how COVID 19 has changed the work-home life balance. Also, Panama City Beach rated one of the top five vacation destinations. With that, we can expect investors seeking investment property along the Emerald Coast to again on the rise.

Bottom Line

Many economists agree, indicating the housing market will continue to fuel the economy through the end of the year. Local Panama City Beach real estate market trends underscore that assessment.  If you would like to learn more about the state of the PCB real estate market oulook, reach out to the Life’s A Beach real estate team, we would be happy to help!

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PCB Real Estate Market: The #1 Reason Not To Wait To List Your House

Many industries have been devastated by the economic shutdown caused by the COVID-19 virus.  Panama City Beach real estate is NOT one of them.  Let’s review the PCB Real Estate selling market.

The #1 Reason Not to Wait to List Your House for Sale

The #1 Reason Not to Wait to List Your House for Sale | MyKCM

Many industries have been devastated by the economic shutdown caused by the COVID-19 virus. Panama City Beach Real Estate is not one of them.

Mark Fleming, Chief Economist for First American, just reported:

“Since hitting a low point during the initial stages of the pandemic, the only major industry to display immunity to the economic impacts of the coronavirus is the housing market. Housing has experienced a strong V-shaped recovery and is now exceeding pre-pandemic levels.”

Buyer demand in Panama City Beach is still strong heading into the fallShowingTime, which tracks the average number of buyer showings on residential properties, just announced that buyer showings are up 61.9% compared to the same time last year. They went on to say:

“Normally, real estate activity begins to slow down in the late summer, but this year it peaked in July, August and into September.”

There Is One Big Challenge

Purchaser demand is so high that the Panama City Beach Real Estate selling market is running out of available homes and condos for sale. Just last week, realtor.com reported:

“Since the beginning of the COVID pandemic in March, nearly 400,000 fewer homes have been listed compared to last year, leaving a gaping hole in the U.S. housing inventory.”

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) revealed that, while home sales are skyrocketing, the inventory of existing homes for sale is dropping dramatically. Below is a graph of existing inventory (September numbers are not yet available):The #1 Reason Not to Wait to List Your House for Sale | MyKCMHomebuilders are increasing construction, but they cannot keep up with the high demand. Bill McBride, founder of the Calculated Risk blog, in discussing inventory of newly constructed houses, notes:

“The months of supply decreased to 3.3 months…This is the all-time record low months of supply.”

What does this mean for sellers?

Anyone thinking of putting their home on the market should not wait. A seller will always negotiate the best deal when demand is high, and supply is limited. That’s exactly the situation in the Panama City Beach real estate market today.

Next year, when the pandemic is hopefully behind us, many more properties will be coming to the market. Don’t wait for that increase in competition in your neighborhood. Now is the time to sell.

Bottom Line

Reach out to the Life’s A Beach Real Estate team today to get your house or condo on the market at this optimal time to sell.

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Should You Buy Your PCB Beach Retirement Home Sooner Rather Than Later?

Many of today’s workers who are nearing the end of their professional careers, but maybe aren’t quite ready to retire, have a new choice to makeshould I move to the PCB beach before I retire? 

Should You Buy a Retirement Home In PCB Beach Sooner Rather than Later?

 

Every day in the U.S., roughly 10,000 people turn 65. Before the health crisis that swept the nation in 2020, most people had to wait until they retired to make a move to PCB Beach.  This year, however, the game changed.

Many of today’s workers who are nearing the end of their professional careers, but maybe aren’t quite ready to retire, have a new choice to make: should I move to the beach before I retire? If the sand and sun are calling your name and you have the opportunity to work remotely for the foreseeable future, now may be a great time to purchase that beach condo you’ve always dreamed of or the single-story home.  Whether it’s a second home or a future retirement home, spending the next few years on the beach looking out at the emerald waters of the Gulf Coast that truly makes you smile every day might be the best way to round out a long and meaningful career.

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), explains:

“The pandemic was unexpected, working from home was unexpected, but nonetheless many companies realized that workers can be just as productive working from home…We may begin to see a boost in people buying retirement homes before their retirement.”

According to the 20th Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey, 3 out of 4 retirees (75%) own their homes, and only 23% have mortgage debt (including any equity loans or lines of credit). Since entering retirement, almost 4 in 10 retirees (38%) have moved into a new home. They’re making a profit by selling their current homes in today’s low inventory market and using their equity to purchase their future retirement homes. It’s a win-win.

Why These Homeowners Are Making Moves Now

The health crisis made us all more aware of the importance of our family and friends, and many of us have not seen our extended families since the pandemic started. It’s no surprise, therefore, to see in the same report that 32% of those surveyed cited the top reason they’re making a move is that they want to be closer to family and friends (See graph below):Should You Buy a Retirement Home Sooner Rather than Later? | MyKCM The survey also revealed that 73% percent of retirees currently live in single-family homes. With the overall number of homes for sale in Panama City Beach, today hitting a historic low, and with the buyer demand for single-family homes and condo’s, skyrocketing, there’s never been a more ideal time to sell a single-family home and make a move toward retirement. Today’s market has the perfect combination of driving forces to make selling optimal, especially while buyers are looking to take advantage of low-interest rates.

If you’re one of the 73% of retirees with a single-family home and want to move closer to the beach, now is the time to put your house on the market. With the pace homes are selling today, you could essentially wrap up your move – start to finish – before the holidays.

Bottom Line 

Whether you’re looking to retire fully or to buy a second home with the intent to use it as your retirement home in the future, the 2020 fall housing market may very well work in your favor.  If you are ready to start working towards your dream of moving to Panama City Beach, reach out to the Life’s A Beach Real Estate team, we are more than ready to help you fulfill your dream!

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Emerald Coast Real Estate – Buyers Are Finding More Space In The Luxury Home Market

A year ago, additional space and extra amenities had a very different feel for homebuyers. Today, the health crisis has brought to light how valuable more square footage and carefully designed floorplans can be. Home offices, multi-purpose rooms, gyms, and theaters are becoming more popular, and some families are finding the space they need for these upgrades in the luxury market.

Buyers Are Finding More Space in the Luxury Home Market

Buyers Are Finding More Space in the Luxury Home Market | MyKCM

 

The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing (ILHM) explains:

“With quarantine concerns still top of mind for many luxury buyers, we see large, sprawling estates making their comeback.

For instance, the last six months have seen a resurgence in the buying of mega mansions and estate-size homes – specifically properties that offer space (both inside and outside), separate home offices, gyms, and private amenities such as swimming pools, yoga studios, and recreation rooms.”

This was not the case at this time last year, as the most recent Luxury Market Report from ILHM emphasizes:

“Exactly one year ago, we reported that demand for large properties, mega mansions, private estates, and luxury ranches had reduced significantly over the previous few years; especially from the younger generation of luxury property buyers.”

For today’s buyers looking for larger homes, steady increases in equity might be what makes a move possible. Leveraging home equity makes it easier to afford the down payment on a luxury home, and current low-interest rates are making mortgage payments more affordable than they have been in years. The report from ILHM also notes:

“Luxury real estate prices may continue to strengthen further into the third quarter, as the affluent continue to see large investment returns from the currently strong stock market.

Coupled with the low interest rates, the policies granting (and insisting) on working from home implemented by many employers, and the concerns of the pandemic, all translate to the affluent increasingly trading in their city lifestyle for a home that has it all.”

Clearly, today’s strong gains in home equity paired with record-low interest rates make fall a great time to move up into the Emerald Coast luxury market to meet those changing needs.

Bottom Line

If you’re ready to gain some breathing room in a larger home, reach out to the Life’s A Beach Real Estate Team so you have the guidance you need to find more space in the luxury home market.

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PCB Investment Properties: Renovating The Diamond in The Rough

PCB investment properties - renovating your condo
Last week I shared with you that we have purchased our first foray into PCB investment properties – our first vacation investment property in Panama City Beach

Now, let’s talk more about another side of PCB investment properties—the renovation…

As soon as the seller accepted our offer on our PCB investment condo purchase, we were on the phone with our “reno guys”…(you remember, from the “I got a guy” list) to schedule our beach condo renovationWe timed the start of our PCB condo renovation with the closing of the sale, hiring them to come in and start (in the words of Chip Gaines) “demo day.” 
We planned to rip up the flooring and rip out the showers and install new flooring and showers.  When that is complete (as I write this, the flooring and shower project is not quite finished…but getting there), the painting begins, along with the addition of some new appliances. 

When that is all finished, that will be the completion of phase one of the renovation…. and we will put our condo on the PCB vacation rental market. 

Going through a home renovation is exciting….and of course, in our excitement, we wanted it all done sooner rather than later… Okay, okay… I wanted it all done right away.  Reality check. Much as with the blown budget… the reno timeline always extends farther than the first projected date.  
 
Now, in all fairness, it is not our reno guys fault that little miss Hurricane Sally decided to come to visit the Panhandle.  And unfortunately, her presence caused some minor flooding issues in and around Panama City Beach.  Sally made her presence known with lots of rain and flash floods on the roads in the area, which caused problems with travel along the beach roads. Thus, Sally’s stay along the Gulf Coast pushed our project back a day or two.  Oh, and on the subject of Hurricane Sally…if you plan on having a vacation home along PCB beach, you always want to be “tracking the tropics” and have a hurricane plan.
 
So anyway… the project is still underway and only pushed back a few days. And I have gotten over my disappointment.  I am now focused on simply looking forward to the big reveal of phase one. 

And of course, I am excited to get my condo on the PCB vacation rental market with other PCB investment properties.

After all, the longer the property is not on the market, the less money it makes… right!? 

Speaking of the PCB rental market, as an investment property real estate agent in Panama City Beach, many investors ask, “What is the best option to manage the rentals of the investment property?” 

There are options, of course. Specifically, you can hire a PCB property management company or manage the rentals of the vacation property personally. Understanding the market and the needs of our investors, we can offer advice and direction that can make hiring our team a little less time and energy-intensive than doing the management yourself.

Which brings us to another must-have list for a Panama City Beach real estate agent and that is a list of property management companies, of which there are many OR other resources that will enable an investor to manage PCB vacation properties themselves. 

As I mentioned last week with the “I got a guy…” list, we use the same approach with any other referral type; we will never recommend unless we have or are willing to use them.

Next week as we continue the adventure, we will discuss PCB investment property management options. 

In next week’s post, I will share with you more detail about your options for PCB investment property management, as well as the pros and cons. 

In the interim, if you are interested to learn more about purchasing your Panama City Beach home or purchasing a PCB vacation investment property, reach out to Life’s A Beach Real Estate

We have a team of PCB real estate agents – true real estate professionals – who can walk you through your transaction, whether it is your first home, first vacation home, or first PCB investment property.
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PCB Real Estate – Home Equity Gives Sellers Options

Homeownership is one of the best ways to invest in your financial future, especially as your home equity grows.

PCB Real Estate-Home Equity Give Sellers Options in Today’s Market

Home Equity Give Sellers Options in Today’s Market | MyKCM

Home equity is a form of forced savings that can work to your advantage as the value of your home appreciates. Across the country, especially in Panam City Beach, home equity was increasing before the health crisis swept our nation, and it continues to grow throughout the year, giving sellers powerful options in this market.

According to the just-released Q2 Homeowner Equity Insights Report by CoreLogic:

“U.S. homeowners with mortgages (roughly 63% of all properties) have seen their equity increase by a total of nearly $620 billion since the second quarter of 2019, an increase of 6.6%, year over year.” 

Dr. Frank Nothaft, Chief Economist for CoreLogic, attributes much of the equity growth to rising home prices:

“The CoreLogic Home Price Index registered a 4.3% annual rise in prices through June, which supported an increase in home equity.”

As the map below shows, CoreLogic also indicates that home equity is increasing in every state:

“In the second quarter of 2020, the average homeowner gained approximately $9,800 in equity during the past year.”

Home Equity Give Sellers Options in Today’s Market | MyKCM

What Does This Mean for Sellers? 

When equity is rising, as it is today, you may have more invested in your home than you realize. Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American, notes:

“As homeowners gain equity in their homes, they are more likely to consider using that equity to purchase a larger or more attractive home – the wealth effect of rising equity. In today’s housing market, fast rising demand against the limited supply of homes for sale has resulted in continued house price appreciation.”

If you’ve been considering making a move – whether that’s to get into a bigger home or to downsize to a smaller one – reach out to a member of the Life’s A Beach Real Estate Team to learn how to put your equity to work for you. You may be in a position to pay that equity forward toward your next home purchase and afford it sooner rather than later.

Bottom Line

If you’re thinking of selling, let’s connect so you can take advantage of what the current market has to offer today.

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Investing in PCB Real Estate: The Start of Vacation Adventures in Paradise!

Investing in PCB real estate

My husband and I have been PCB real estate along the Emerald Coast for six years now, and we have helped many vacation property investors purchase their vacation beach home.


Our philosophy is simple: As Panama City Beach real estate agents, it is our job to be that trusted advisor and help with the process and purchase of the right home.

In many of our conversations with our real estate clients, the question has come up: do we own a vacation investment home in Panama City Beach… and well, the answer has been no.

My husband was always willing to go down that path, but I wasn’t quite ready for it. Well…with the words of Zac Brown’s Castaway song in my head, “Pour me another one, make it a strong one, we’re gonna have some fun tonight,” the discussion ensued about taking the plunge into the Panama City Beach vacation rental market.

Just kidding… there was no rum or any alcohol involved in the decision. The serious conversation began a month or so ago, walking my corgis. I really can’t explain why I turned the corner in my mind and decided it was time for us to invest in the Panama City Beach vacation rental market, but turn the corner I did! And decided we should go for it! (I think you could have knocked my husband over with a feather when I told him I was on board!!)

Now, what you may or may not know, is that right now, Panama City Beach Real Estate is hot…hot…hot…(leaving another little tune in your head, shout out to Arrow)!

We have LOW inventory and a HIGH demand when it comes to Panama City Beach real estate for sale.

Even knowing the market as well as we do – and knowing we needed to execute quickly on PCB beach property – we had some disappointments trying to close on our first vacation investment home. Lesson learned… in the current real estate market, you do not want to wait! If you have decided to invest in real estate in PCB, you better pull up your anchor and head out in the water, or you are going to miss out!

As PCB real estate agents and knowing the market, we had an idea of some of the places that would suit our needs.

Finally, on our third try, we found and closed on our diamond in the rough…and I mean a diamond in the rough. So, not only are we taking on the vacation investment market, but we are taking on a little fixer-upper action as well. You see, the PCB condo for sale that we purchased was technically rental ready. We could have put it on the vacation rental market after we closed on the property.

However, in our experience, we know that the more updated the PCB vacation rental property is, the better your investment return will be. So we decided to take on a renovation…and with any renovation, there is always a budget… I mean, blown budget (wink, wink).

So here we are, we just closed on our condo, and it’s time for the renovations to begin. And this is where the, “I got a guy…” list comes in handy. Again, working with so many investors in the past and helping counsel through design and renovation, we have our list of go-to professionals… a must-have list for real estate agents. We never recommend someone unless we have used them or are willing to use them. As the condo renovation gets underway, I will keep you updated on our beach paradise adventures… the good… the bad… and the ugly. But, oh wait! There is no ugly on the sugar-white sandy beaches and the emerald waters!

As you follow our adventure, if you are interested to learn more about purchasing your Panama City Beach home or purchasing a PCB vacation investment property, reach out to Life’s A Beach Real Estate.

We have a team of real estate professionals who can walk you through your transaction, whether it is your first home or vacation home.

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Horribly Horrific Things To Avoid When Buying A Beach Home

Things to Avoid When Purchasing Your Panama City Beach Home

So you are considering buying a beach house or condo in Panama City Beach?

What could possibly be horrible or horrific about that? Well absolutely nothing, almost.

This is a list of red flags to avoid that is really relevant to buying a new home anywhere but would be particularly obnoxious when you have finally arrived at your beach home and are expecting to exhale with a pina colada in hand (or margarita, depending on your personal preference).

  • Don’t buy a piece of real estate before taking a glance (and listen) around at the neighbors. Unfortunately, they come with any new property and last time we checked, you can’t renovate them if they irritate you. Are they loud, unfriendly? Do they have a dog that they let bark constantly or an unkept yard or balcony? It’s pretty awesome to have a condo on the 28th floor looking out at the ocean but not if you can hear your neighbor’s Rottweiler barking to go on a walk every three hours. That is not a recipe for a relaxing and happy vacation spot.
  • Have your realtor help you check to see if there are any outstanding liens on the property. This can be done at the county clerk, recorder or assessor’s office (and in some cases, online). If there are liens, then they need to be remedied before you purchase the property. This should be taken care of with the title, but it never hurts to check at the outset in hopes of preventing hurdles and time delays further into the purchasing process.
  • Also consider looking to see if any suits have been filed against the property builder or condo association. Even if a case has been settled or closed, it will still apprise you of potential issues such as chronic leaky windows. It’s easy for a seller to repair and paint over damaged areas for the purpose of selling a property so it’s good to have a heads up if there is something specific you want your inspector to look for.
  • Last but not least, it’s easy to be swept away but granite countertops and updated bathrooms, but it’s important to also take notice of community areas in a condominium building. Community areas are also part of what you are purchasing and will be associated with your property (and your enjoyment of it) for as long as you own it. Is trash being disposed of in a timely and appropriate manner? Is the outside of the building in good repair (no peeling paint, rust or signs of water damage)? These are important issues that can drive down your property’s resell value down the line if not attended to. Take the time to investigate them now as well as the steps that are typically taken to remedy any issues. Also, your realtor should help you review the rules of your condo association as well as the HOA fees you are obligated to pay to address such upkeep requirements.

Using a knowledgeable and experienced real estate group such as Life’s a Beach Real Estate can help you navigate through some of these red flags when purchasing a house or condo in Panama City Beach. We know the Panama City Beach real estate market well and are looking forward to helping you find your dream home successfully!

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Why Panama City Beach Should Be Your #1 Retirement Destination

Why You Should Retire to Panama City Beach

Ahhh, retirement is here at last (or at least on the horizon) and you can finally start living your dream life at the beach.

There are numerous reasons why buying a condo at Panama City Beach should be a major contender in your retirement plans.

Here is a list of what we at Life’s a Beach Real Estate think are the major ways in which Panama City Beach is an attractive retirement spot. Feel free to reach out us for additional information about this great city and all that it has to offer!

  • Smart Investment. It’s always a good idea to choose an opportunity where your financial investment has a high probability of growing. You never know what might come up in life and there’s just no reason to look away from an opportunity to invest in real estate that has chances of bringing you a positive return. Zillow, Realtor.com and Trulia all report growth in the Panama City real estate market with Trulia showing median home prices with an increase of 7% in the last twelve months and the average price per square foot rising from $139 to $153. Similarly, Zillow reports a 6.4% growth in median home values in 2017 and predicts an additional 3.9% value growth in 2018. We don’t need to explain to you the value such trends could bring homeowners if they continue long term. We think it would be pretty sweet to be making money off your beach house in retirement just by sitting at the beach – don’t you agree?
  • Active Senior / Retirement community. Almost half of Panama City Beach’s population is made up of people over the age of 45 (https://www.floridaforboomers.com/retirement-spotlight-panama-city-beach/). This statistic is important because it shows the value that seniors have to the community and economy in this city. As a result there are countless clubs, communities, activities and resources dedicated to senior wants and needs. Not to mention the numerous golf courses and golf clubs in the area . . that is, if the idea of golfing during your retirement is appealing to you!
  • Beaches. This goes without saying but there’s no reason not to throw it in here as well since it’s our favorite part of this area. Did you know Panama City Beach boasts 27 miles of beautiful beaches? Depending on what other beaches you have visited in the world, your appreciation for Panama City Beach’s sugary soft white sand will be substantial. It is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world in part due to the luxurious softness your feet are treated to simply by taking a daily walk by the water. Not. Too. Shabby.
  • Restaurants and Shopping. For those of us not as into playing 18 holes five times a week (that’s a total of 90 holes, FYI), Panama City Beach is also known for its countless restaurants and shopping. Restaurants range from beachside dives to anniversary worthy five star restaurants, bring on the culinary romance!

Shopping has an equivalent spread of options with the most popular spot probably being Pier Park, an open air mall with almost a MILLION square feet of stores that is located across the street from the beach. Retirement is looking better and better!

If this sounds like a great way to dive into retirement, Life’s a Beach Real Estate can help you locate the perfect house or condo in Panama City Beach to call your new home. We are on standby, waiting to show you what this city has to offer!

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Prepping Your Beach Home for the Panama City Beach Real Estate Market

Panama City Beach Real Estate Marketing - Prep Home Image

The first and most important step to putting your home on the market is to find and enlist a real estate agent to be your guide and resource throughout the process.

On average, real estate agents are able to get sales prices 15% higher than when a realtor is not involved.

Here at Life is a Beach, our familiarity and experience with the Panama City Beach real estate market can go a long way in helping you find the right buyer for the best price and as efficiently as possible.

However, there are a few things you can do to get started on prepping your home even before we get involved!

  • Clean out closets and get rid of clutter and then clean out more closets and get rid of more clutter! It is very difficult for buyers to imagine lazy days at the beach with your property as their home if their immediate vision is obstructed by too much of your stuff. We cannot stress the importance of this enough. Clear off all tabletops and counter tops and take down all photos of you and your family and friends. Again, it’s tricky for buyers to envision themselves in your home if they are constantly looking of pictures of you in your home!

Don’t get us wrong, your belongings and family photos are treasures in your life as they should be, but for the purposes of marketing your home, you should store them in a safe place until the process is over.

  • Keep an eye on other properties in your complex or neighborhood and see how they compare to yours. Make a list of what those properties have to offer that yours does not and vice versa and make note of how long those properties are on the market and what their final sales prices are (especially compared to their original asking prices). This is all information that your realtor will help compile for you as well, but it never hurts to start becoming aware of the market conditions that will be relevant to selling your home.
  • Sit down and think about what your own timeline and plan is for selling your home. Where do you plan on moving to next? Do you need to sell your home before you can buy your next home? Most people do and realizing this and planning accordingly ahead of time can save you a huge headache. Otherwise you may be faced with the choice of laying out a lot of money for an interim rental or watching a buyer fall through because your timing requirements were realized too late. There are various ways your realtor can accommodate your needs when made aware of them from the beginning.
  • Plan on making a few repairs to your property but hold off on making them until you sit down and discuss them with your real estate agent. Often times, certain repairs should be prioritized over others and getting advice from your agent before diving in can save you time and money. You may think that your bathroom needs to be re-tiled but your realtor may advise you on prioritizing a broken step at your back door instead. You just never know, so hold off and ask a professional!

Most importantly, get excited because the real estate agents at Life is a Beach are ready to work with you. The Panama City Beach real estate market is a great place for a seller and we are here to guide you towards the best results!