Today’s Georgetown real estate market is an alien landscape compared with what it was ten years ago, when it seemed as if a seller could just plant a sign in the front yard and wait for competing offers to roll in. This summer’s real estate scene is equally unlike that of five years ago, when many properties could languish for long months with few showings and fewer legitimate offers.
It’s been a welcome return to a more stable, predictable area real estate climate. With sale prices rising at a sustainable rate and the average days on market making a return to levels approaching historical norms, Georgetown real estate participants—both buyers and sellers—gain confidence on what to expect on both sides of home selling transactions. Particularly for Georgetown homeowners who are planning to list, that means that their properly prepared property is much more likely to garner a reasonable offer within a reasonable timeframe.
This outcome is only likely when sellers prepare their properties in a deliberate manner. Fix up, de-clutter, renovate, clean—all the common tips that are touchstones for making a strong positive first impression apply. Doing it all before listing is a best practice, just as waiting for buyer feedback to tell you what’s awry is not. Be your own Devil’s Advocate when it comes to repair and maintenance issues as you assess whether you should sell the property as-is, or order repairs. Careful, open-eyed preparation has real value. It makes it much less likely that a pre-closing home inspection will catch everyone by surprise. You put yourself in a solid negotiating position when your home hits the Georgetown real estate scene as ready as you can make it.
Preparing the property is Job One, but Job One-and-a-Half is preparing yourself for what you are hoping to achieve. Make sure you have penciled out what the bottom line financial outcome is going to be, which includes what you owe, what price your home is likely to bring, and how the ensuing costs will work out as you move to your next destination.
The biggest unknown is, of course, your property’s ultimate sale price. While online valuation models like Zillow’s are easy to use, they can yield results that are so wide of the mark as to be seriously misleading. Have your real estate agent create the up-to-the-minute comparative market analysis (CMA) which will set out how homes similar in location and amenities have performed in recent months. Those listing and sales prices are the strongest indicators of how your home is likely to fare in this summer’s market—and provide a realistic pointer to what your asking price should be.
Today’s consumers are inundated with information online. With 92% percent of real estate buyers searching via their iPhones, notepads, computers, and all the rest of our electronic paraphernalia, increasingly the tendency is to make quick decisions, often based on price and photos. In a world where consumers swipe or click through hundreds of pieces of information a day, it’s much more easy to be overlooked if your price seems out of line. That puts a premium on right-pricing the first time out. It’s also not a bad idea to have a firm idea in your own mind of your absolute rock-bottom number should be—one that makes sense when your long term goals are taken into account.
This summer promises to be a fine time to enter our Georgetown real estate market. I’ll be standing by to assist in all the ways that have proved to be most effective—so why not give me a Call/Text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., visit more listings at www.beachrealestatemarket.com.

You pronounce it “FIZZ-bow.”
That’s FSBO: For Sale by Owner, and it’s the Road Less Travelled by area homeowners bent on selling a home in Georgetown as economically as possible. It does seem to make common sense, after all. It’s the homeowner who knows the ins and outs of their own home best—so who could be more qualified to show it off to the buyers who’ll be lined up, waiting to take a look?
And even more to the point, why lose any part of the sale proceeds to some Georgetown real estate agent? It can’t be rocket science to fill out the paperwork and complete the sale. Isn’t that just common sense?
For those considering selling a home themselves, even cursory research is likely to result in one nagging question. The latest sampling from the NAR shows that the vast majority—88%, in fact—of today’s successful sellers are assisted by a real estate agent. That proportion has been growing, lately, too: it’s up 19 percentage points since 2001. This has to give rise to the nagging question: “If it’s common sense, how come the vast majority eventually wind up going with a real estate agent?”
What actually happens in a sale plays a large part, starting with an examination of the bottom line of actual sales. It reflects the fact that the customary commission percentage that goes to real estate professionals is split in two, with half going to the seller’s and half to the buyer’s agent. So the net “savings” a FSBO seller stands to realize is half of the usual initial assumption when the buyer is professionally introduced by the buyer’s representative.
Unless the buyer just appears on his or her own.
Which brings up a couple of other potential problems. If the buyer shows up on the seller’s doorstep, who has qualified him or her? (Short answer: nobody). It’s awkward and practically impossible for a homeowner to interview every prospective buyer in depth before showing the home, but having strangers in your Georgetown house with no outside record of the event is at best an iffy prospect. The fact is, most qualified home buyers see the advantage of teaming with a licensed Georgetown real estate agent, whose market knowledge is up to the minute, and who will assist them every step of the way at no cost to themselves. Those qualified buyers stand to be a FSBO’s likeliest prospects, in which case the potential ‘savings’ from a do-it-yourself strategy are halved.
But as a working reality, FSBO sellers run a substantial risk that those hoped-for calls from active agents may be slow to materialize. It is often the case that local agents, noting that the home is a FSBO, place it low on the list of properties their clients have time to tour. Among other indicators, a FSBO listing on the MLS signals to the Georgetown real estate community that the owner is not truly serious about selling the home—else why is it not part of a professional office’s marketing package? Too, buyers’ agents work to protect their clients from difficult situations, and many FSBO sellers are not well-versed and experienced in negotiating and selling houses. Problems can erupt. All things being equal, it means that FSBOs get few showing requests.
Plus, any advertising costs will be paid for out of the owner’s own pocket—an expensive strategy.
It’s pretty clear why almost 9 out of 10 homeowners selling a home go with a qualified real estate agent. I hope you agree—and decide to give me a call/text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., visit more listings at www.beachrealestatemarket.com.

Last week, The Wall Street Journal ran an article about personal finances that Georgetown mortgage payers who are at or near retirement age should find thought-provoking. It centered on the idea that today’s retirees are often making a decision that differs from what past generations have chosen.
The basis is twofold. First, it’s undeniable that the 60- or 65-year-olds of today rightly expect a future that’s likely to stretch one or more decades longer than was the case for their grandparents. Improved health care and health awareness have combined to extend life expectancies considerably. The WSJ didn’t mention it, but some quick research reveals that while a baby boomer’s parents (assuming they were born in the 1920s) had a longevity expectation at birth of only about 55 years, the CDC says that today’s average 65-year-old male can expect to live another 18 years—with ladies even out-surviving them by another 2½ years.
Such a radical advance combines with a second development—today’s low mortgage interest rates—to create a shift in thinking by many as they hit retirement age. Experts believe that previous generations tended to feel “they were in the last inning” of life, and thus needed to pick a safe path regarding their residences. Paying off their home’s mortgage was given very high priority—one that was almost universally unquestioned. Home ownership unencumbered by a mortgage was taken to be a sound part of a worry-free old age.
But today’s Georgetown retirees are significantly less defensive in their thinking. According to The Journal, “Maybe their parents paid off the house before retiring, but many baby boomers say it makes more sense to carry a mortgage.” Instead of surrendering their cash or investments, the 21st Century trend is for mature Americans to take advantage of today’s low interest rates. The long time run-up in the stock market has also made the choice that much more appealing.
Georgetown seniors may also be departing from the way previous generations behaved. A Merrill Lynch/Age Wave study in August found that 30% of relocating retirees were moving to larger homes! And let’s face it: the whole notion of retiring is undergoing a transformation as more and more of the 60+ set realize they don’t want (or can’t afford) to quit working altogether. With so many good years before them, many are embarking on new careers—often elatedly following pursuits they’d “never had time for.”
With mortgage rates in Georgetown continuing to roost down in the bargain basement, today’s seniors aren’t alone in recognizing that this summer represents a rare home buying opportunity. If you are coming to the same conclusion, I hope you will give me a call to chat about today’s many Georgetown offerings! Call/Text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., visit more listings at www.beachrealestate.com.

It does seem that whenever a story about some faraway homeowners association finds its way into Georgetown newspapers, nearly always it’s because something has gone awry. Either there’s an ongoing dispute about a flag display (“Indiana Couple Violate Rules for Flying U.S. Flag”), a fencing disagreement (“Border Feud is Childish and Dangerous”), or something else to catch readers’ eyes. The pettier, the better (“North Carolina Man in Dispute over Pansies Planted in Common Area”). Why does this hit the local news? Let’s face it: it is sort of fun to read about!
The downside is that when those instances are all we hear about, it can lead Georgetown buyers to believe they should stay away properties with HOAs when they are buying a home. But the fact is, town homeowners associations exist to protect the common interests of owners and residents. Homeowners associations can and do offer many benefits. The key is understanding what they are, what the costs are—then choosing the right association.
Know the Rules
The first step in evaluating any Georgetown homeowner's association is to thoroughly examine a current copy of its rules. When you realize that it’s natural to focus on the individual property instead of the community, it’s more understandable why many prospective buyers pay too little attention to this step. Later, they may find themselves in violation of rules they should have noted before. Those stories about flags are typical: usually the problem was not with the flag, but with rules about flagpoles. Small details can become big problems when the homeowners association ‘covenants, conditions and restrictions’ remain unread in a kitchen drawer.
Comparing Costs and Amenities
In addition to the rules of a contending Georgetown homeowners association, there is the matter of its fee structure. Older homeowners associations are often (not always) less expensive than newer HOAs. Yet price is not the whole picture. Especially when evaluating two or more associations, it’s time to sharpen a pencil and compare what the fees cover. One association may include lawn maintenance, while another leaves that as your responsibility…and there may be value for the community (and your property’s resale value) in guaranteeing proper maintenance by everyone. One HOA may have a pool, tennis courts and other amenities, while another may only offer a community room. Newer Georgetown homeowner associations are tending to offer more features, but not always.
Homeowner's associations offer a sense of community along with amenities and other benefits…but for some, the cost in individuality weighs against it. When I’m invited to be your real estate representative, I help you ask the right questions—the ones that will guide you to a new home that’s the right fit for your family. I hope you’ll give me a call! Call/Text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., visit more listings at www.beachrealestate.com