Treasure Coast Insider

Helping you understand the real estate market, as well as how to best navigate it are our top priority. We'll share tips on every aspect of successful buying, selling, and investing. Learn what's happening on the Treasure Coast. You'll find everything from local real estate market statistics and home values, to community events, restaurants, beaches, golf, and much more. That’s because we care about our communities and want to help you find your place in it. As your Treasure Coast Insider blogger, and local resident for over 30 years, you'll find an abundance of information for all age groups and interests. 

If you want to know where the best local dog-friendly parks are found, or the only-known-to-locals beaches hide, you'll find them here. The best golf courses, marinas, festivals, rodeos, playhouses, senior living activities and dancing are all shared here. If state and local parks interest you, learn what each offers in amenities and uniqueness to our beautiful area. Even restaurant discounts can be found on Treasure Coast Insider.

If you're thinking of selling your home, your first step should be obtaining the current market value of your property. For an instant valuation, complete your address below...

Instant Home Valuation


For a free, customized, in-depth, Comparative Market Analysis, call us at 772-530-6131.

Mona Leonard is your Treasure Coast Insider Blogger. 

Sept. 13, 2021

Prepping For A Virtual Showing

Prepping For A Virtual Tour

Prepping For A Virtual Showing

Prepping for a virtual showing takes a few minutes and can mean a higher selling price for you. The Post-Covid-19 real estate market is a mix of in-person and virtual showings. With people moving here from other states, it's often difficult for those buyers to physically look at houses here. The solution is a virtual showing scheduled by the buyer's Realtor. If you're selling, here are some tips on prepping for a virtual tour.

1. Make sure your front entrance is clean, tidy and eye-catching. This is the very first impression buyers will have. Pressure wash the driveway, walls and walkways, if it's needed. In the Florida humidity, this is a must. Be sure your windows are clean inside and out. This alone can increase your sale price by 10%. Well worth the effort. Touch up the paint where needed.

2. Clutter can prevent a buyer from actually viewing the property as a potential purchase. Some people are unable to see beyond clutter so remove it. Emphasize the great features in the house, not piles of paperwork, knickknacks or toys. Having a spotless house will allow buyers to view it as their own. 

3. To help buyers view the home as theirs (a prerequisite to making an offer), remove your favorite family photos, and memorabilia. It's difficult for buyers to picture living in the house if they see you everywhere. 

4. Make the atmosphere light and bright by turning on lights and opening doors. By doing this, the Realtor can video or livestream the showing without touching many surfaces. It also makes a much better virtual showing because the agent can slowly move through the rooms without video interruptions looking for light switches and unlocking doors.

5. Let the sunshine in! Open blinds, draperies, awnings and shades. Letting as much light into the house as possible gives the camera the ability to focus on all the beautiful details of each room. Let it shine!

6. Remove all signs of your pet. In the same way that you depersonalize the house, remove pet bowls, beds and toys. Not all people are pet people. You want to appeal to the largest audience possible.

7. Keep your yard mowed and your trees and bushes trimmed. 

8. If a buyer's Realtor is going to show the house virtually, tell them any unique details and personal stories they can relay that information to the buyer in the video or livestream. 

9. Safety and flow are important so plan a clear route around your home for the video. Show off each room and make sure the route is clear of any trip hazards.

Here's an example of a recent video I took for a client in New York. Real estate isn't just about the house, condo or town house. It's about the neighborhood and what makes it a great place to live. By sharing the neighborhood and other amenities, buyers get a complete feel and understanding for the area. We made three videos in this case, one of the house, one of the neighborhood and one of the day dock the community enjoys. By taking three separate videos, our customers were able to see the entire area and amenities and make a decision. Virtual showings are uploaded to YouTube, Facebook, and other social media venues so it's easy for potential buyers to see your property.

Prepping for a virtual showing may take a little time and are worth the effort when selling. Get the best possible value for your property by prepping for virtual showings. For more information, contact Treasure Coast Insider Blogger, Mona Leonard at 772-530-6131


Posted in Selling Tips
Sept. 11, 2021

Stuart FL Area Schools

Jensen Beach High School Stuart FL Area Schools

Stuart FL Area Schools

For the 2021 school year, Stuart Fl area schools include 38 public schools serving 18,971 students in Martin County, FL. Martin County has one of the highest concentrations of top ranked public schools in Florida. Stuart Fl area schools  proudly hold a high rating academically.

The top ranked public schools in Martin County, FL are Bessey Creek Elementary, Clark Advanced Learning Center, Hidden Oaks Middle School and Palm City Elementary School. Overall testing rank is based on a school's combined math and reading proficiency test score ranking.

Martin County, FL schools have an average math proficiency score of 66% (versus the Florida public school average of 59%), and reading proficiency score of 58% (versus the 56% statewide average). Schools in Martin County have an average ranking of 8/10, which is in the top 20% of Florida public schools.

With A ratings, Stuart FL area schools are some of the best on the Treasure Coast. There are great private and public schools to choose from. For several years, overall, the Martin County School District has proudly held , in 2018-2019, it was ranked 12th of 67 counties, according to a school district news release. Eleven of the 21 public schools are A-rated as of school year ending 2019. 

For many years, the Martin County School District has had a reputation of being in the top 10 school districts in the state.  In fact, in most categories, the district ranks among the top 7 districts in the state in all categories. Here's a breakdown of the educational rankings of Stuart FL area schools. Here are the Martin County School ratings. 

Bessey Creek Elementary 

Top 5%  #1 in math and reading for the district. With a student/teacher ratio of 14, attention and detail makes this school a top pick. 

Clark Advanced Learning Center 

Top 10%

Hidden Oaks Middle School

Top 10% 

Citrus Grove Elementary

Top 20%

Seawind Elementary

Top 30%

Jensen Beach High School

Top 30%

Stuart Middle School 

Top 30%

Crystal Lake Elementary

Top 30%

Felix A. Williams Elementary

Top 30%

Jensen Beach Elementary

Top 30%

Seawind Elementary

Top 50%

Martin County High School

Top 50%

Murray Middle School 

Top 50%

Dr. David L. Anderson Middle School 

Top 50%

Southfork High School

Top 50%


Private Schools 

In the 2021 school year, there are 10 private schools operating in Martin County. 80% of private schools are religiously affiliated. Community Christian Academy, Hobe Sound Christian Academy, and Redeemer Lutheran School are among the state's top 20% of private schools. 

Other private schools include First Baptist Christian School, The Pine School, St. Joseph Catholic School, Bridges Montessori and St. Michael's Independent School. 

Schools in the Stuart FL area have excellent reputations and the curriculum keeps them ranked highly among all Florida schools. For more information on Stuart FL area schools, contact the Treasure Coast Insider Blogger Mona Leonard at 772-530-6131 or email her at 



Aug. 30, 2021

Home Safety Tips

Home Safety Tips

Home Safety Tips

These home safety tips can make a big difference. Sometimes it's the little things that matter, especially when it comes to safety. With many Americans spending more time at home, these home safety tips may save a life. At minimum, they'll save you time and money. 

Kitchen - Increase the life of your dishwasher by cleaning its filter. Make sure the smoke detector works and change batteries when needed. Check for leaks under the sink. These are more common than you think. Replace old pipes or tubing when needed, 

Bathroom - Manually check for leaks or add a smart sensor to monitor them in real time. Receive alerts on a smart phone app. If anyone in the home is elderly or disabled, grab bars in the bath are a must. 

Bedroom/Home Office - With more time being spent in home offices, consider replacing hot, energy-sucking bulbs with LED. Did you know they use 80% less energy? Plus, they're much cooler than incandescent bulbs, saving you on monthly cooling costs.

Laundry Room - Free your laundry sink of any clogging. Inspect the washer and dryer for cracked or brittle hoses and be sure to clean the dryer vent and keep the filter free of lint. If you have very small children, placing cleaning supplies overhead keeps them safe from harm. 

Yard/Exterior - Drainage away from your home prevents all sorts of issues. Clear and repair any drains removing water from your home. Flush them out with a hose. Keep the gutters clean and properly draining. Make sure the yard is free of poisonous plants like poison oak and poison ivy. Remove any dangerous debris, broken equipment, dilapidated sheds and other unsafe items. Ben Franklin said "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. 

A/C - Change or clean A/C filters once a month during the summer. Routine maintenance for A/C units is a must. Without proper care, an A/C can cause water damage and destroy walls, floors and ceilings. Maintain pans and drains to prevent water damage and expensive repairs. Water damage also invites mold and in Florida, this can be difficult to eradicate without proper maintenance and remediation. Proper maintenance also increases the life expectancy of these expensive necessities. 

Home Safety Tips Air Conditioning

Windows - Maintaining windows can extend their life for many years. Neglect them and this expensive necessity can mean thousands of dollars in replacement costs. Keeping windows caulked and repaired also increases energy efficiency saving you money. 

Pool - Keep the filter clean, and chemicals and salt at proper levels. Brush the surface of the pool to loosen algae and debris. Keep the deck area clean and algae/mold free to prevent falls. Algae is slippery!

For more home safety tips, call Mona Leonard, Treasure Coast Insider Blogger at 772-530-6131


Posted in Selling Tips
Aug. 25, 2021

Choosing The Best Lender

Choosing The Best Lender

Choosing The Best Lender When Buying A Home

Spending a little time up front will payoff when choosing the best lender. Loan terms, rates and products can vary significantly from one lender to another. Doing your homework ahead of shopping for a property is a wise decision. Here's a list of important questions to ask that will help you when choosing the best lender. 

Important Questions To Screen Potential Lenders

1. What are the most popular mortgages you offer? Why are they so popular?

2. Are your rates, terms, fees and closing costs negotiable?

3. Do you offer discounts for automatic payments, home ownership classes or inspections. 

4. Do I have to buy private mortgage insurance? If so, how much will it cost and how long will it be required?

5. What escrow requirements do you have?

6. What kind of bill-pay options do you offer?

7. Are remote closings available?

Choosing The Best Lender 2

Loan-Specific Questions To Ask Before You Sign

1. What would be included in my mortgage payment (homeowner's insurance, property taxes, etc.)?

2. Which type of mortgage plan would you recommend for my situation?

3. Who will service this loan, your bank or another company?

4. How long will the rate on this loan be locked-in? Will I be able to obtain a lower rate if the market rate drops during the lock-in period?

5. How long will the loan approval process take?

6. How long will it take to close the loan?

7. Are there any charges or penalties for prepaying this loan?

8. What's the total payout from me over the life of the loan?


Be sure to ask your Realtor who they recommend when choosing the best lender. They'll often know which lenders have the best loan programs, experience and customer service. There can be many hidden fees that you may not be aware of until closing. Your Realtor has attended many closings and will know which lenders deliver on their promises. 

Some Realtors have in-house lenders they work with that offer discounts to buyers when you apply for a mortgage through their affiliate mortgage representatives. Most Realtors will give you the names of three lenders that customers have recommended to them. Be sure to ask your Realtor for advice on lenders. 


For more info, on choosing the best lender, contact Treasure Coast Insider Blogger, Mona Leonard at 772-530-6131


Posted in Buying Tools
Aug. 12, 2021

Remodeling Projects That Hold Value

Deck Stuart Houses For Sale

Remodeling projects that hold value have the greatest return yield through improved living for you now, and when you sell, you'll get cash back for you trouble. Below are the estimated returns on investment (ROI) for home improvements. As the numbers decrease, so does the resale pay-off. Remember, there are many different reasons for remodeling. Your sheer enjoyment is valuable. If you'll be happier by remodeling, that's priceless! Steer clear of expensive improvements showing no promise of a decent return and take on the remodeling projects that hold value. 

If you're thinking of selling soon, these remodeling projects with the greatest return can guide you in deciding whether or not you want to invest the time and money, or sell without making changes. Selling a home for more may mean some updating. Here is the return you'll get on your investment if you decide on home improvement before selling.

Manufactured Stone Veneer 94%

Garage Door Replacement 93.8%

Siding Replacement (fiber-cement) 80.5%

Deck Addition (wood) 77%

Kitchen Remodel (minor) 76.3%

Siding Replacement (vinyl) 76%

Window Replacement (vinyl) 73.2%

Window Replacement (wood) 68.2%

Entry Door Replacement (steel) 67%

Deck Addition (composite) 66.6%

Roofing Replacement (asphalt shingle) 60.7%

Bath Remodel (midrange)60.1%

Kitchen Remodel (midrange) 58.7%

Roofing Replacement (metal) 56.1%

Bath Remodel (upscale) 54.8%

Master Suite Addition (midrange) 54.7%

Major Kitchen Remodel (upscale) 53.9%

Bathroom Addition (midrange) 53.1%

Bathroom Addition (upscale) 52.8%

Master Suite Addition (upscale) 47.7%

Once you're clear on whether or not your dream kitchen (or other remodel) is worth the investment, you'll be free to make an intelligent decision. Remember, home improvement is emotionally expensive too. When factoring expenses, design, materials and more, be sure to include how much it will cost if you don't make the improvements. Your happiness and peace of mind are also valuable commodities, and in many cases, it's difficult to put a price on that. 

Holding to remodeling projects that hold value make you a more savvy real estate investor. and a smarter seller. That will pay off in dollars and cents down the road when it's time to put the property on the market.

For additional information on remodeling projects that hold value, Contact Us or visit our website at

Posted in Selling Tips
Aug. 12, 2021

Buying Your First Home

Mona Leonard Stuart Houses For Sale

Buying Your First Home

Buying your first home is an exciting, daunting, emotional time. Home ownership has always made more sense and when interest rates are low, it's a smart time to buy. Over the long haul, real estate investments provide the greatest return on your money, even if it's your primary residence. Buying your first home means owning your own real estate and land ownership is the American dream. No matter what socioeconomic level you may currently find yourself. 

That's why the rich and famous focus so much of their attention on the own personal residences, Owning real estate is almost engrained in our psyche as humans at this point. 

Buying your first home provides many tax benefits, and equity over time, can make a huge difference in your overall wealth. Just a note... Those benefits alone shouldn't necessarily be the reason you buy. Starting a family, succeeding in your career, pets, an inheritance, outgrowing a space, downsizing, or a variety of other reasons will likely be a primary motivator for buying.

Being clear on your motive, is essential to understanding you true needs and wants. It helps to keep the essentials in check during the journey. Ones health, rest, diet, exercise and spiritual well-being are so important to staying in the best possible condition you can be.

This may easily be the biggest investment of your life, so treat it accordingly and give yourself permission to let the emotions go through you, because you're likely to feel many if you're a first time home buyer. So get pumped up because a few key points to know can mean the difference between a high negative stress situation, to a smooth transition with happiness through most of the journey. 

The key is preparation and expectation. Purchasing a home can be daunting. If you want the best chance of getting a home at a great price, you need to prepare in advance. Check out these 5 tips to prepare for buying your first home.

1. Know Your "Spend" - Buying your first home when your income is stable, and you have a high credit score can mean success vs. failure if you're borrowing money from a bank or private lender to purchase. The debt-to-income ration should be less than 45% and having enough cash in the bank to cover closing costs, the down payment, moving expenses, and other expenses the purchase may create (i.e. paint, repairs, inspections, surveys, appraisals). Having a great lender is critical to your success and knowing your numbers is the first thing on your list. 

2. Don't Rush - Create a timeline for your purchase to reduce the pressure this life change brings. If you're renting a home now, and you're nearing the end of your lease, see if you can rent month-to-month until you've been able to close on your new home. Firm deadlines often have to be shifted for a variety of reasons. If the appraisal comes in late, the sellers have to stay a bit longer, or repairs to the house need to be made, most likely your closing date will be extended. Be prepared for that possibility by planning ahead. This often occurs when buying a home.

3. Location and Lifestyle - Important considerations might be commute time, schools, golf, beaches, churches, healthcare, nightlife, proximity to family and friends, and more. Different counties have different tax rates. HOAs can mean less maintenance and if you're considering an HOA, factor the fees into your monthly expenses. 

4. What Are Your "Must-Haves" - Analyze neighborhoods and home types in advance. Your Realtor will help you determine what's a great buy through a Comparative Market Analysis. up front and be flexible. Remember, the value for your new home is determined by the most recent closed sales in the area, not active listings. An expert in valuation can save you thousands at closing. Be flexible on what is a "must have" when buying your first home. The less inventory on the market, the harder it will be to have an offer accepted. 

5. When you've chosen your Realtor and have been pre-approved for a loan, you're as ready as you'll ever be. Be diligent and look for good deals. Be ready to act quickly when that deal appears. It may be gone before you know it! Buying your first home can be fun and very rewarding. Prepare ahead and you're more likely to succeed. 

For more information about buying your first home, call Mona Leonard Realtor, your Treasure Coast Living Blogger at 772-530-6131 or


Posted in Buying Tools
Aug. 9, 2021

Reasons To Work With A Realtor

Stuart Houses For Sale Luxury Home

Reasons To Work With A Realtor

There are many reasons to work with a Realtor when selling your home. Although it might be tempting to try and sell it yourself, consider the negative consequences because they may be numerous. The falsehood that you'll make more by selling a property yourself because you'll save commission expenses is a misconception many home sellers fall into. The reasons to work with a Realtor far outweigh the benefits you might think you'll gain by buying or selling yourself.

According to the National Association of Realtors, sellers actually sell for less when they try selling on their own. That's because of their lack of knowledge in negotiation, law, property valuation and lots more. These are legitimate reasons to work with a Realtor.

The same is true when buying. You need someone in your court to protect you from fraud, unscrupulous sellers, inspection issues, repair problems and costs. A very important part of a buyer's agent's job is property valuation. This is critical and prevents you from overpaying for a property, something every buyer wants to avoid. 

Here are many reasons to work with a Realtor you'll want to consider. 

Your agent...

 1. Negotiates terms of sale or purchase, including concessions or repairs 

 2. Pre-qualifies prospects for safety and to protect customers' time and personal property

 3. Assists, coordinates and delivers the contract to seller/buyer

 4. Completes a Comparative Market Analysis to accurately price the home

 5. Lists your property in multiple MLS boards for maximum exposure

 6. Conducts virtual and in-person open houses to get your home sold

 7. Accompanies buyer to the final walk-through

 8. Gives property preparation suggestions for the highest sale price

 9. Lists your home in numerous listing portals and online publications

10. Markets your property through social media, video, networking, and pitch sessions with other Realtors

11. Offers information on local amenities, local market research and HOA/Condo Association governance guidance

12. Provides and coordinates all access to homes with your favorite features 

12. Analyzes comparable home sales and assists you in making an offer on your new home

13. Provides support throughout the process and after closing. 

14. Creates a list of available homes and schedules viewing appointments (virtual and physical)

15. Coordinates all requested inspections and provides access to others as needed

16. Coordinates closing with lender, title company, customer and all parties in a transaction

17. Adheres to a strict code of ethics


For many more reasons to work with a Realtor, call your Treasure Coast Living Blogger, Mona Leonard, at 772-530-6131, or email her at

Posted in Selling Tips
July 13, 2021

It's A Sellers Market

It's A Seller's Market

It's A Sellers Market 

It's a sellers market when the amount of homes on the market is low and days on market (DOM) is low. This can mean bidding wars and homes selling for well over the asking price... a seller's dream. It's a sellers market when the DOM is less than 6 months. The less the DOM, the stronger the seller's market.

The benefit for sellers can be extremely advantageous. If interest rates are low and banks are lending, demand goes up even more creating a buying frenzy, a situation that's fun for sellers and frustrating for buyers. This occurs due to low real estate inventory,  

With historically low DOM in 2021 in the Stuart, FL area, sellers are able to name their price so to speak. With a median time to contract being 9 days, seller's barely have time to get photos completed before qualified buyers begin making offers. The key is in pricing your house to sell with a market value listing price. 

It's a great time to sell when the lack of supply of homes gets extreme. The more the supply diminishes, the higher the sale price. This is a basic supply and demand scenario.

Luxury Oceanfront Stuart Houses For Sale

Surviving a Sellers Market If You're Buying

If you're hunting for a home in a market where inventory is low, there can often be a bidding war for properties in your price range. Follow these tips to maximize the chance you'll close.

1. Treat your hunt seriously

House hunting must be your priority, not your weekend hobby. Check new listings regularly, be prepared to drop everything to view a home when it hits the market and be ready to make a quick decision.

2. Bring paperwork, not promises

Want to be taken seriously by the seller? When you visit homes, bring a mortgage pre-approval letter and a proof of funds form from your bank showing you have enough to cover the down payment. 

3. Consider waiving what-ifs

Home buyers often include contingencies when making an offer so they won't lose their deposit if, for example, the home doesn't pass inspection. Waiving contingencies could help you close a deal, but this definitely is not a move for the faint-hearted. To gauge your risks, consult your Realtor.

4. Don't play hardball

This isn't the time to try to low-ball on price. Bid aggressively while keeping within the parameters you've set for purchasing. 

5. Broaden your search

You'll increase your chances of finding a property if you're willing to consider homes outside your ideal neighborhood and houses that may need some remodeling or renovations.

Now you know it's a sellers market when DOM is less than 6 months. Know the market you're in before listing or buying. Knowing the market helps you achieve your real estate goals to obtain the best value for you!


For more information on this and other topics, contact Treasure Coast Insider Blogger, Mona Leonard at




Posted in Selling Tips
June 15, 2021

For Sale By Owner

For Sale By Owner Stuart Houses For Sale

For Sale By Owner

If you're considering going the For Sale By Owner route, consider these real estate facts. According to the National Association of Realtors, the assistance of a professional Realtor provides not only a higher selling price.  In the Stuart, FL area, it also may mean tens of thousands of dollars more for you. Although on it's surface, For Sale By Owner may seem the smart way to save on the commissions, but in reality, it can be a poor decision full of heartache if you're not versed in all aspects of real estate.

Let's see what it means to try to sell your home yourself. When selling a house, consider these factors. 

1. Negotiating is tough

The most difficult part, as a for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) seller, is having to negotiate your own sale price, especially if your not skilled in real estate valuation and negotiation. Relying on your own skill to finalize a contract, opens the door to potential legal problems and a smaller profit on closing day.

2. Online marketing looks easy... when professionals do it 

Without extensive knowledge in online marketing, your efforts as a FSBO may yield little in the way of results. Over 90% of buyers start their search online. To get the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and proper audiences, a skilled Realtor can blast your property to hundreds of sites exposing your home to the largest possible group of buyers. 

A yard sign, for example, will only draw the people who see it or are told about it. A DIY approach conveys an unprofessional, unknowledgeable seller... a buyer automatically thinks they're going to get a deal. In other words, buyers discount FSBOs.  

An agent will give you a wide exposure through marketing, multiple listing services, professional photography, and advertising to name a few. A good Realtor may have a database of thousands of buyers, directly showcasing your home. An agent also has the means to share with other agents, so they can share with their clients.

When you list your property with an agent in the Stuart, FL area, your getting over 40,000 agents helping you sell your house. FSBO sellers would have to shell out big bucks for these benefits and still might not reach the most important audience.

3. Determining the best asking price

Those who put their homes on the market as a FSBO typically set a price from online assessment tools or the opinion of a friend or neighbor making claims to high offers (boasting). These methods will likely put the listing price way off.

There’s no substitute for actual market knowledge and assessment. Your Realtor brings all that knowledge and experience to the process. Pricing strategies from a seasoned agent can earn you much more money upon sale.

Overpricing can cause a listing to go stale on the market, and buyers wonder why, even if you lower the price later. Buyers are likely to pay a lower price for a stigmatized property... a home that has been on the market a long time. 

A real estate agent provides an accurate home value, based on a comprehensive market analysis, to help you arrive at the right listing price. The goal is to make sure you’re pricing your home in the sweet spot—not too high so that you are turning off potential buyers, and not too low so you are leaving money on the table. 

The most bang your home will get is when it first comes on the market. Blasting it out everywhere through all means possible can get you multiple offers and a bidding war …  garnering a well-above-asking sale price!

4. Estimating how much money to spend prepping

Overestimate, and you waste money. Underestimate and you end up selling for less. Objective assessment by sellers can be difficult.  

Sometimes, it's the small things that count the most. An amateur paint job, broken light switch or an overgrown yard might be the one thing that causes buyers to walk away. Then again, spending money on items that don't improve the value of the property can mean tens of thousands of dollars or more wasted by over-improving.  

A professional Realtor has an eye for detail to advise on simple, budget-conscious improvements or repairs. Agents know how to spend the least amount of money to get the best outcome by creating the best home presentation possible. Properly staging the property to appeal to the largest audience is a big plus too.


Home Staging Stuart Houses For Sale

5. Showings are a drag

FSBO sellers don’t realize how draining it can be to set up showings. In addition to potential buyers, you have to deal with both "looky-loos" (gawkers with no intention of buying the house) and “sharks” (investors looking to flip your house for a profit). These buyers may not be capable of buying and have not even spoken yet with a lender. 

Sellers who advertise their FSBO will quickly be inundated with calls from real estate investors who are looking to save the same commission the seller hopes to save. Unfortunately, these offers are typically very low and could likely lead to no sale.

How an agent can help: Your agent will handle all the scheduling and staff the tours for you, so all you have to do is quickly tidy up and vacate. Buyers can get uncomfortable with a seller hanging around during the showing. If you're selling a second home, investment, or inherited property, showings can become very difficult to achieve long distance.

Agents also weed out unsuitable offers and collect feedback that potential buyers might be unwilling to share directly with the seller. This feedback can be invaluable to the transaction.

6. Preparing your own paperwork 

Leave the paperwork to the pros. The closing process can entail more than 20 pages of complicated paperwork, including the contract and addendums designed to cover all of the situations that could go wrong.

For example, houses built before 1978 require an addendum regarding lead-based paint. Having a background in law or contracts may be the only exception. A do-it-yourself approach may cost much more than money should the outcome result in litigation.

House selling has nuances that, if overlooked, can cost you at closing. Did you know some properties have difficulty getting flood insurance? When selling a house, be sure to know the age of appliances, A/C and hot water heater before you list. 

Your agent will take care of all property disclosures and corresponding documentation to avoid future liability. Realtors follow a strict Code of Ethics and compliance for federal, state, and local laws. All aspects of transaction coordination are handled by your agent.  

7. Knowledge of service providers

Realtors can refer you to their network of top-quality lenders, lawyers, inspectors, appraisers and repair people to make sure you get the best result in every stage of the selling process. 

8. Understanding commissions

Realize, if you go the FSBO route, most Realtors won't show your property to potential buyers because they think they won't get paid.  Decide up front if you're willing to cooperate with agents assisting buyers, and expect to pay a percentage of the sale in commission fees. If you're not willing to cooperate with buyer's agents, you'll lose the leverage of over 40,000 agents in south Florida assisting buyers. 

Additionally, buyers mentally shave off whatever commission they think you'd have paid to a Realtor. Is all of the hassle of selling you home yourself worth it? Will you negotiate a better sale price than a professional? Statistically speaking, no. According to the National Association of Realtors, you'll likely end up with less money for all your trouble.

House selling can be fun if you're informed, and a nightmare if you only think you know what you're doing. Don't risk thousands of dollars in a higher selling price because you think the commission is too high. It's well worth hiring an agent according to the National Association of Realtors. Statistically, you'll get more money at closing when you work with an agent. 

For more information about For Sale By Owner, contact our Treasure Coast Insider Blogger Mona Leonard at 772-530-6131 or email




Posted in Selling Tips
May 17, 2021

Stuart FL City By The St. Lucie

City By The St. Lucie


Stuart FL City By The St. Lucie

Among other endearing nicknames, Stuart FL City By The St. Lucie happened to be the chosen one for this adorable 1964 travelogue from the chamber of commerce. Much of Stuart was still a small town in Florida when I moved here from Palm Beach County in 1978. The Palm City Bridge was still a wooden swivel bridge and Martin Downs was only a dream. Cow pastures everywhere and horse trails throughout the town. Click on the photo above for a 1964 Stuart FL City By The St. Lucie video. 

You're going to love this video of our beloved town. This 1964 clip is worth the time taken to dance down memory lane for those of us that have been fortunate to live here for decades. Many of these clips show much has changed and many things have stayed the same. Our Loggerhead turtles still nest right here on our beautiful, pristine beaches. The fishing is still wonderful, and the House of Refuge still stands awaiting visitors to share her past. The Martin County Fair still draws large crowds and livestock competitions.

Boating is still a favorite pastime for many residents, and we still have spectacular sunrises and sunsets. Witham Field Airport is still small even though we have a major air show here every November.  In this adorable Chamber of Commerce travelogue video from 1964, the 1st National Bank had over $1,000,000 in capital. They were proud of that fact. Today, that would barely be considered a bank.

The former Outrigger Restaurant, now the Dolphin Bar and Shrimp House was owned by Francis Langford, an actress during the 1940's and her husband Ralph Evinrude, the original owner of Evinrude boat motors. They docked their yacht, the Chanticleer, right next to the waterfront restaurant. They were both local celebrities for many years.

Their huge estate was sold after they passed away and the area is now known as Langford's Landing, a waterfront development in Jensen Beach, FL. They always had peacocks on the property and Francis loved them. Now, peacocks can be seen throughout some of the quiet areas of Jensen Beach.

Rookeries provided the most amazing aquatic life and Stuart got its moniker, the Sailfish Capital of the World. To this day, residents and visitors alike enjoy deep sea fishing, water sports, great restaurants, theaters, pristine beaches and lots more. Stuart FL City By The St. Lucie is still a spectacular place to live. 

Stuart FL City by the St. Lucie


For more information about Stuart FL City by the St. Lucie and living in Stuart FL, contact Treasure Coast Insider Blogger, Mona Leonard at 772-530-6131 or