As 2013 winds down (with only 34 days till 2014, believe
it or not!), I am pleased to report that there appears to be some real estate
activity in Grand Bahama.
Many may think I am an eternal optimist but the
fact is that there are single family homes, canal property, condos, commercial
buildings, and duplexes selling. The market is not dead as many people want to
believe. In spite of Freeport’s unique problems, the trend is in the right
direction again as we are seeing offers accepted on homes and actual closings
The world economy is recovering and our neighbors
in the US have already experienced this rebound, so its no surprise that things
will get better. My personal opinion is that we have hit bottom and the market
I did not say that that
property values are going up. I said that the there is real estate activity
which is a great sign of recovery.
The majority of real estate deals we are seeing are
from motivated sellers who want or must sell, and savvy buyers are realizing
that this is the time to buy. So IF you want to sell, you have to be realistic
and sell at current market value. This current market value is not what you
think the property is worth, but rather what a buyer will pay for the property.
If you are selling you have to price against all the other competitive
property—not what you paid for the property, not what you want, not want your
cousin thinks it’s worth, not what your neighbors are selling for, and not what
is costs to rebuild. If you really want to sell, price it well and you can sell
even in our difficult market. If you don't want to sell at current low market
value then take it off the market.
We have had a few years of very little real estate
activity but we are receiving inquiries on our web site from buyers. Our sales
agents are showing property and buyers are making offers again. It is by no means
a robust real estate market, but there are positive signs that we are on the
road to recovery. It is still a buyers market and there are not that many real
deals around, so if you are a seller or a buyer and you are involved in a deal
and getting ready to close the transaction, remember what the Baseball Great
Yogi Berra said “It ain’t over till its over.” He wasn’t talking about the real
estate closing table but he could have been. The closing table is the ideal place
to sign papers, trade keys, and drink a toast to the new
homeowners. Sometimes that setting is filled with tension and pressure as
each side tries to work out important details of the transaction at the last
minute. How can you help make your closing a relaxed and happy one? First,
try to get the details worked out ahead of time with your realtor.
There may be a few unresolved issues, such as
repairs that were not completed, a disappearing dining room chandelier or an
occupancy agreement. The atmosphere doesn’t need to become adversarial, and a minor upset
should not threaten the inspection. If you anticipate a problem no matter how
minor it may seem you should be able to communicate the situation to your
realtor in advance, so that it can be handled before it goes to settlement.
Some buyers and sellers arrive to the closing
feeling terrific about the transactions- they like each other, they like their
new home, their realtor, and even the lender. Others feel stressed out and
you are the buyer or the seller, you will play an important part in determining
which of these scenarios characterizes your settlement.
The professionals who are involved in real estate
transactions work hard to make things go as smoothly as possible, but quality
of the transaction often depends not so much on what happens, but how you react
to what happens.
If you communicate confidence in the professionals
who are helping you, the atmosphere will remain positive even if there are
Real estate transactions are inherently complex.
One of a Realtor’s most important responsibilities is to complete the sale even
if there are obstacles to overcome.
Both buyers and sellers should be aware of the
deadlines in their purchase agreement. Remember that closing dates are not set in
stone. Lenders appraisers, attorneys, and anyone else who is involved in the
transactions can cause a delay in the closing. If you keep this in mind while
you are making your arrangements you can minimize the possible cost and
inconveniences due to a delay.
As the closing approaches a good realtor will stay
on top of the situation and keep in touch with everyone involved in the
transaction to prevent any unnecessary delays. If there are any problems speak
to your realtor and let them try to work out the problems before they turn into
deal breakers because no matter how close a deal may be “It ain’t over till … “
Until next week...
Contact the author,
James Sarles at
Coldwell Banker - James Sarles Realty