The DANGER of Pricing Your Home too High – “Just to See What Happens”

arrow-decline-largeIt’s been a soft market, today’s buyers are super savvy and there is loads of data available to the public. Everyone knows what the house down the street sold for and it’s no secret that your house is overpriced in comparison. 

There’s a term that realtors use called “trailing the market down” which means that if a person prices a home too high in the beginning, they miss the “prime window” that a new listing has to attract buyers. In a declining market, as we’ve had in the last few years, by the time the seller has agreed to reduce the price, the market has fallen more and, once again, the seller’s (reduced price) is too high.  Thus the term, trailing the market down.

If you really want to sell, you must price your house to be competitive with (or below) the other homes listed for sale. Let’s face it, there are a lot to choose from and you’ve got to find a way to make yours stand out. In addition to having a great price, everything has to be in tip top shape. Clean, organized, de-cluttered and nice landscaping are essential. You cannot sell a place that appears to have deferred maintenance ( a realtor’s term for peeling paint, burned out light bulbs, air conditioning grills caked with dust, unsightly clutter and grass that hasn’t been mowed).

If the house is priced too high, buyers know it immediately! They’ve been out there looking and they can sniff out a good deal like a bloodhound! They’re equally good at spotting an overpriced house and will avoid it like the plague. So, do yourself a favor and listen to what we’re telling you. If you overprice your home, you’ll only get in your own way and your house WILL NOT SELL!  Trust us….we know.

Thanks for reading. If you like what you see, we’d love for you to subscribe so you’ll get our posts directly to your inbox.  If you or anyone you know is thinking of buying or selling in the Jacksonville area, we’d love to have the referrral. Our email address is or you can give us a call at 904-252-5181. Thanks!

Some GREAT reasons NOT to shop for real estate on FSBO websites!

FSBO sign with bullet holesI recently attended a class where they told real estate agents (like me) that a great place to find potential listings is on For Sale By Owner websites. Afterall, the people who have posted their homes on these sites have publicly declared that they intend to sell their homes, they’ve gone to the time and trouble to “list” the house for sale, established a price, etc…. and (more likely than not) have figured out that people aren’t flocking to their homes for appointments and might be ready to talk with a realtor.

The idea seemed to make sense so this morning, I googled “for sale by owner” websites, pulled up the top three on the search, opened their sites and searched for homes in the zip code 32210.  Guess what — there were only 6  homes listed for sale, the majority of them have only one photo and very limited descriptions of the property. Guess what else? By contrast, there are 99 homes listed for sale on the MLS in zip code 32210. So, would you rather choose from 6 or from 99? The answer seems pretty clear.

Another important point — I quickly noticed several properties that I’m familiar with that have not only sold — they were sold months ago! For example, 2847 Doric Avenue is listed on one site for $315K — this home sold on July 31, 2009 for $275K and yet it’s still listed as actively for sale.

Another example is a home located at 4751 Apache Avenue that’s listed for $452K. This home is not only not for sale by owner, it was listed for a while by ReMax and is now listed with the Fred Miller Group for $375K.

I even saw a home in Murray Hill (1309 Lamboll) that we listed and have now sold. It closed on August 27, 2009 for $162,250. That listing stated the last time the listing was updated was 548 days ago — don’t you know that a lot has changed in the last 548 days!!!

So, it seems pretty clear. If you want the most current information about what’s for sale, how much it costs, where it’s located and other important details, work with a realtor who specializes in the neighborhood where you want to live. Don’t waste your time looking at a very limited selection of properties and chasing down ones have already been sold! And remember….working with a realtor to find a house is FREE!!!

If you register on our website, you can create your OWN search — price, bedrooms, baths, lot size, waterfront or not, etc… and it will not only give you a CURRENT list of properties available but will also send you updates when there are new listings or price changes.

PS – If you’re a seller and reading this, you may want to reconsider listing your home on a FSBO website and call me for a FREE analysis of what your home is worth in today’s market! I can be reached at 904-252-5181 or by email at

Thanks for reading – have a great day!

New Listing in Avondale with Guest House!

side view exteriorI’m proud to report that we have a wonderful new listing in Avondale with a fantastic guest house. The main house has 3Br/2Ba in about 2,910 Square feet and has been very nicely updated. Upgrades include a 5 burner gas cooktop in the kitchen, a fantastic vaulted ceiling family room with custom built cabinetry and fireplace,family room with fireplacegarage plantation shutters throughout and a lovely light filled breakfast room.

In addition to the great main house, you’ll be thrilled to discover that there is a new (2004) brick guest house PLUS large two car garage with extra storage. Because it’s new, the garage will easily accomodate large SUV’s. In Avondale, parking is at a premium and “guest houses” are often coverted garages. Come see this amazing space that has a living room with kitchen, bedroom, large walk-in closet and full bath. You won’t find a musty “coverted” garage here — it’s really fantastic!

The asking price is $719K which breaks out to about $211 per square foot if you take into consideration the 484 Square foot guest house. Call us today for more information about this fantastic property at 904-252-5181 or shoot us an email at Thanks for looking!

Monday Morning Market Report – Week Ending 10/4/09

Week ending Oct 4th sales data
Click to see graph

As I study this past week’s activity in the Avondale, Ortega and Riverside real estate  market, the thing that “jumps” out at me is the large number of price reductions. There were 19 price reductions in the past week.

 One of them was incredible. I wrote a post last week about an amazing price reduction on a piece of waterfront property on Woodmere drive. Last week it had been reduced to $675K which I thought was incredible!  It was reduced AGAIN this week to an even more amazing $599K! If anyone is out there reading my blog, PLEASE call me at 904-252-5181 about this property — it’s an amazing value!

There were 12 New Listings this week, one of which stands out as a great value. shirley avenue houseThe property is located in a very desirable little pocket called Fairfax Manor and is priced at only $178,000. The house has 4Br/2Ba’s in just over 1,300 sf and is on a 60 x 125 lot. The asking price is only $132 per square foot and it’s on Shirley Street between Herschel and Woodmere.
A 1,643 SF brick home on Shirley just sold for $190K at the end of September so there’s a “fresh” sale nearby to compare this to!

The next category we have is Closed Sales. We had 4 this week ranging from a 2,105 SF 3BR/2BA house at 1369 Hollywood Ave. that sold for $175K to a 2,064 SF 3Br/2Ba on Post Street that sold for $283K.

Finally, we had 3 Pending sales this week ranging from a 1,424 SF duplex in Riverside at 2577 Haldumar that was listed at $89,900K to an 1,897 SF 3Br/2Ba brick home at 5015 Ortega Blvd. The list price on this house was $339,900. Stay tuned to see what these houses sell for in the weeks to come!

Just Exactly What Is Property Tax Portability?

suitcase_of_moneyWe all love saving money — right? If you have lived in your home for a long time and it has been declared as your primary residence (homestead),  you will love hearing about how much money you can save if you sell that home and move to another one with the property tax portability feature! The savings can be HUGE!

Take a look at your property tax statement that you just received and you’ll see a Market Value figure and an Assessed Value figure. To determine what you would “port” or carry with you, subtract the assessed value from the market value.

For example, if your market value is $500K and your assessed value is $300K, then you can “port” or carry the difference of $200K with you. In order to port the entire $200K the next home you purchase must be of greater value than the home you sell. 

An Example:
                        New Home You Are Buying:  $550K
                     – Accumulated Property Tax Savings: $200K
Property taxes on new home will be calculated based on $350K

In addition, the property taxes on your new homestead will also be capped with the Save Our Homes feature and you will also be eligible to take deductions for homestead.

If you are downsizing to a home that costs less than the one you’ve just sold, you are still eligible to port your accumulated property tax savings but the calculation is done differently and is a bit more complicated. Call me at 904-252-5181 or send me an email at  for an explanation of how this works.

Edgewood Bakery – Great Coffee and Doughnuts!

Glazed Donuts November 22nd, 2006Now that you’ve bought your fantastic house in Avondale, where in the world will you get your morning java? You could go to Starbucks (been there done that) or  try  find a few local spots where you can get down home service AND really good coffee! In Jacksonville, one such place near the neighborhood of Avondale, is Edgewood Bakery. It’s located at 1012 S. Edgewood Avenue in Jacksonville, FL just on the other side of Roosevelt Blvd.  While waiting for your super delicious homemade glazed doughnuts and piping hot coffee you might bump into a few neighbors and have a chance to catch up with what’s going on in the neighborhood.

If coffee isn’t your thing, stop by for lunch and try their incredibly delicious steaming hot ruben sandwich dripping with melted swiss cheese and piles of sauerkraut. On the lighter side, they have great salads too. Whatever your choices, you won’t be disappointed with the menu, the service or the convenience

 Have a favorite local spot that you’d like people to know about? Send me a note at and I’ll try to write a blog about it!

August 2009 Home Sales!

20090225141512587043000000There were 17 closed sales in the month of August ranging from $28,500 to $2,900,000. Please see the list below of the addresses, square footage and sale price.  Please note: PPSF= price per square foot!

  • 802 Acosta Street , 1,185 SF, 3BR/1BA, Sales Price $28,500(ppsf $24.05)
  • 2581 Haldumar St., 1381 SF, 3BR/1BA, Sales Price $35,000(ppsf $25.34)
  • 4676 Blount Avenue, 1121 SF, 3BR/2BA,Sale Price $94,500(ppsf  $84.00)
  • 1240 Dancy St., 882SF, 3BR,1BA, Sale Price $112,000 (ppsf $126.98)
  • 746 Ralph St.,1,475SF,3br,2ba,sale price $129,500 (ppsf $87.00)
  • 1239 Wolfe St.,1,300SF,2br,2ba,sale price $137,000 (ppsf $105.38)
  • 4368 Genoa Av.,1321SF,2br,2ba,sale price $162,000 (ppsf $122.63)
  • 1433 Talbot St.,1,300SF,3br,1ba,sale price $159,000 (ppsf $122.31)
  • 1266 Cherry St.,1,160SF,3br,2ba,sale price $205,000 (ppsf $176.72)
  • 1220 Cherry St.,1,556 SF, 3br,1ba,sale price $194,000 (ppsf $124.68)
  • 2237 Myra St .,2,218SF,3br,1.5,sale price $190,000 ( ppsf $85.66)
  • 4637 Princess Anne Ln,2,150SF,3br,2.5ba,sale price $272,500 (ppsf $126.74)
  • 2823 Forbes St.,1992 SF,4br,2ba,sale price $260,000 ( ppsf $130.52)
  • 1686 Woodmere Dr.,1615SF,3br,2ba,sale price $265,000 (ppsf $164.09)
  • 2103 Ernest St.,2,640SF,3br,2.5ba,sale price $299,900 (ppsf $109.81)
  • 5058 Ortega Forest Drive,4br,5ba,sale price $865,000 (Waterfront-ppsf $194.73)
  • 4593 Ortega Blvd .,6,900 SF, 5br,6ba,$2,900,000 (Waterfront – ppsf $420.29))

As you can see, the prices and price per square foot vary widely. In my opinion, the house on Myra Street that sold for $190,000 was an amazing deal! It had tall ceilings, beautiful detail in the woodwork, a large backyard, a decent kitchen and a renovated bathroom. It also offered walking distance to the great Five Points area.  Stay tuned for more stats next month!