Win by buying and selling in the market today

Jacksonville, Fla. – News4Jax wanted to delve into the topic of real estate to help guide and guide you – whether you’re looking to buy or sell a home.

News4JAX’s Morning Show Anchor Staci Spanos has a real estate license, and is learning a lot about the housing market in Jacksonville.

Licensed Real Estate Agent Staci Spanos joins us to discuss what 2022 holds for the local real estate market.

What does 2022 hold for the local real estate market?

The real estate market is so hot, you may have even noticed it from Rocket Homes to Super Bowl Sunday commercials – using the comical and popular “Barbie” looking for a “dream house” and getting into a bidding war.

Mark Rosner, president of the Northeast Florida Association of Realtors, agreed that outside of the business, the seller’s market we’ve been in has been a boon for sellers — but a bummer for some buyers.

“Many buyers have had to make offers on property after property and in many cases are losing cash,” Rosner said. “Homes sell for more than list price, and that’s a whole mindset shift buyers have to be able to make — psychologically.”


No one knows what will happen to the housing market when the pandemic hits. But, after being closed for two months, the market was like racing. And with it, prices!

According to NEFAR, in January 2022, the median home price in Northeast Florida was $345,000 – up 24 percent from January 2021.

“No one has a crystal ball, but do you have any predictions about what 2022 will bring for buyers and sellers?” Stasi Spanos asked.

“I think 2022 will be a more regulated market,” Rosener replied.

He and other analysts use multiple data points to determine where the market is headed. One indicator they look at is how long a house will be on the market. And last year, some homes sold as quickly as they were listed.

“During the peak of spring frustration, days on the market were measured in hours, not days,” says Rosner. “We’re starting to see 25- to 30-day slip days in the market, which stabilizes, normalizes the market a little bit more.”


But indicators show a mixed message as housing supply is still very low.

“In other words, it’s still a seller’s market,” Stacey said.

“Absolutely,” Rosner said. “And I guess it’s going to be a seller’s market. A balanced market is usually a five to six month supply. We are 1.1 months into the supply until December. Serious seller’s market.

If you’re looking to buy a home, there are some things you can do to sweeten the deal when making an offer on a home—if you get creative:

  • Offer to pay the seller’s closing costs

  • Agree to pay more than the estimated price

  • Consider a large binder

  • Shorten the inspection time

Many who use home staging say that every penny counts in selling your home for top dollar.

Home preparation

When it comes time to sell your home, you want to make sure you get top dollar for it. Experts say there’s one thing you can do that can reduce the time your home sits on the market and increase the price you get by 1 percent to 5 percent. It’s called home preparation.

They hired a company to bring in furniture, wall hangings, armoires, and “dress” them up like a model home. But there is a price. But people like Jacksonville resident Steve Cobb say it’s worth every penny.


Cobb prepared to sell his mother’s 1964 Arlington home last year, but it was empty inside. When he was advised to stage the house – to take the empty spaces and make them feel like home – he did it.

“The house actually looked better after we set it up than it did with my mother’s furniture there. It’s a really cool modern look,” Cobb said.

The house had good bones but needed some updating. By the time the event was completed, the house had a more modern look – appealing to more people.

  • The living room looks cozy and attractive.

  • Although the dining room has green wallpaper on one wall, it looks more modern.

  • Stagers converted an extra bedroom into a home office, something many buyers want.

Cobb said he received several offers.

“Well, gosh, within 24 hours of listing it, we had eight offers. “The good part of that was the overall strength of the market then — as it is today — but the arrangement allowed him to have a vision of how the house could be used,” he said.

Leah Hudson works with the event organization and says home selling is all about appealing to people’s emotions.

*You want to pull at the heartstrings,” Hudson said. “Selling homes is more emotional than people think, and if you’re moving and there’s nothing personal, it’s a little easier to imagine yourself there. People get more excited about it, and we like to say it helps sell more and faster. So That’s the goal.


The National Association of Realtors surveyed buyer agents about home staging:

  • 82% said home staging made it easier for a buyer to imagine living there

  • 31% said home staging has significantly reduced the time a home stays on the market

  • 23% said home staging increased the dollar value offered between 1%-5%

Housekeeping works for Cobb. In the end, he says, the house sold for more than the asking price.

“So, to you, did you feel it was worth it?” Stacy asked.

“It was very helpful to stage the house,” Cobb replied. The value was there, and I believe preparation helped it sell quickly.

It’s important to note, the seller usually pays for the event – not the agent. And different home improvement companies have different prices. Some charge 1% of the list price while others charge a one-time setup fee – in addition to the monthly fee. For example, Leah Hudson’s company charges $375 per month.

If a home isn’t empty, you can consult with an interior designer and add what you already have — or they can suggest things that need to be done to make it more desirable to buyers. Hudson suggests:

  • Tricky

  • Remove family photos

  • Make the spaces feel open

  • Use LED daytime running lights

  • Clean the front door and front entrance

  • Painting

When it comes to real estate, it all comes down to pictures. Bad photos can make a buyer skip your perfectly good home.

nice pic

One of the most important things you can do when trying to sell your home is to take good photos of your home. In fact, Stacy Spanos compares great photos of your home to online dating because everything comes down to the pictures. Bad pictures can make a potential buyer jump right over your perfectly good home.


Professional real estate photographer Tina Casto says good photography is meant to highlight your home and can be the spark that piques buyers’ interest as they scroll through home-to-home searches online.

“What kind of bad photograph did you see?” asked Stacy Caston.

“Anytime you use cell phones, that can be a little sketchy. Not all phones are created equal,” she replied.

After five years of photographing homes, Casto says yes, sometimes the do-it-yourself photos are okay, but not often.

“When you don’t have professional photography, you’re probably losing some buyers because that first impression is what they see – the features of that house,” she said.

So how much are those beautiful pictures worth? Professional photos cost $100-$300 plus per session. Drone photography, floor plans and videos cost more.


And who pays? If you are listing with a real estate agent, the agent usually does. If you’re selling your own home, you’ll pick up the tab.

When Steve Cobb helped sell his mother’s house in Arlington’s University Park neighborhood last year, he not only paid to stage the house, but hired a professional photographer to take pictures to post online.

The buyer never saw the house in person before closing on it.

“The buyer was overseas when he bought the house,” Cobb said. “All he had was the pictures of the house with the stage and the word of the real estate agent.”

Before taking any photos of your home, you must remove the following:

  • A commotion around the house

  • Personal photos

  • Children’s names and photos on the walls

  • Anything that can be interpreted as controversial

Copyright 2022 by WJXT News4Jax – All rights reserved.

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