Sarasota Real Estate Blog

Platinum Service Award is based on the Real Estate Industry's Only independent Survey of Customer Service


Andree Huffine of RE/MAX Alliance Group in Sarasota, FL was awarded the highest level of service achievement in the real estate industry, Quality Service Certified® Platinum.  The award is in recognition of earning 100% client service satisfaction in 2011, as measured by Leading Research Corporation (LRC). 

Quality Service Certified (QSC) status is the only award in the real estate industry based on independently validated, measurable service results.  Clients of QSC agents receive a customer satisfaction survey at the end of each transaction.  The surveys are administered and the results are compiled by LRC.

Client feedback from the surveys

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As we enter the New Year, I’m hopeful your memories of the past year are happy ones and the upcoming year will be a happy, healthy and successful one for you.

We’re seeing the end of another full year of all the indicators of a changing tide in our Real Estate market.  Once again, the market has demonstrated that the Sarasota area is a destination of choice for many primary and second homebuyers. For 2011, the resurgence in sales was dramatic, and represents a 44 percent increase over the low point of the downturn in 2008.

In a recent Today Show real estate report, Barbara Corcoran noted that Sarasota was one of the top recovering markets in the nation. Corcoran said Sarasota is a “beautiful beachfront community” that offers residents and visitors “a

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sarasota-bay_400In a recent article, Forbes Magazine reviewed a report issued by, an Internet search site frequently used by those searching for a new home. Nearly 90% of people who buy homes begin their searches on the Internet. As a result, Jed Kolko, chief economist and head of analytics at Trulia stated that, “where people are searching for properties is an indicator of which real estate markets are "picking up strength," and where home demand is growing.”

Of roughly 100 million home searches, the top 10 cities “picking up strength” are in the Sun Belt, and Florida dominates the list with 5 metropolitan areas in the top 10. The # 1 spot where real estate "is picking up strength" was the Sarasota - Bradenton - North Port area.  The Sarasota – Bradenton –

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siesta_key_400The Sarasota Association of Realtors just released their October results. In it, they reported total home and condo sales for October of 577, essentially unchanged from the September volume of 570. This October total consisted of 412 single-family homes and 165 condos.  Last year at this point, there were only 487 home and condo sales. This is more evidence that the slump in Sarasota and Manatee County home sales is coming to an end after 5 long years. 

The median single-family home price also rose from $147,500 in October, 2010 to $149.838 this October.  Still working off the supply of condos on the market, the median condominium sale price, as expected, dropped slightly from $158,500 last October to $143,000 this month.

There were two other positive

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This week’s Sarasota Herald Tribune had yet another interesting article about Sarasota’s active real estate market-"Luxury Home Sales up 42% in Manatee, Sarasota and Charlotte Counties" specifically focused on the Sarasota and surrounding area Luxury Homes.

Here are a few highlights from the article:

  • In Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte counties, September sales in the $1 million-plus market increased 42.1% in September over August, and they were up a stunning 170% from a year ago.
  • Pending sales (contracts that have been signed but not yet closed) in the luxury market were up 8% in September over August, and 77% from a year ago
  • Sarasota County saw the biggest spike in $1 million + sales, up 26.7% in September over August, and 280% from a year
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40_year_appreciation_chart_with_arrow_400I know – just like so many people were convinced during the boom that housing prices would continue to appreciate at 30 – 40% a year forever, many are convinced that the downward trend will continue too. But take a look at the 40 years of history in these 2 graphs and I think logic will tell you otherwise. We can always look in the rear view mirror and say “that’s when I should have bought or sold an asset”. Savvy investors know the best way to time an asset sale or purchase is to look at trends.

Take a close look at this graph. This is a picture of US housing prices over the past 40 years, put together by author and real estate radio talk show host Greg Rand. You’ll notice that over time, housing has increased at a steady pace. As with all investment

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sarasota-lifestyle-4_400Here's an interesting statistic, I found recently. There are 78 million baby boomers in the U.S., and demographic professionals predict that one-sixth of them will spend part of their lives in Florida. That's almost 13 million new residents in Florida by 2023.  Those future residents will be looking for the most attractive places in Florida to live. The Sarasota - Manatee County area will be high on their list of "most attractive places".

So, you may ask, "why should I be considering the Sarasota - Bradenton - Lakewood Ranch area in my plans?" Here's why:

For starters, Money Magazine listed Sarasota among "the nation's 15 most livable communities" calling it a city with the charm of a smaller southern town with the conveniences of a big city.  CNBC

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sold-sign_120I've heard it time and again this year from buyers I've worked with. “…we’ve been watching the market for a couple of years, afraid to jump in. This year, we saw that there was less available to choose from. We realized if we wanted to get a Sarasota area home we should do it now, before we can’t find one”…. Here's the most recent update from the Sarasota Association of Realtors, published July 12.

Sarasota real estate market remains strong in June 2011 (from Sarasota Association of Realtors release)

Members of the Sarasota Association of Realtors® continued to sell properties at a brisk pace in June 2011 with 728 total transactions recorded last month. This marks the fourth month in the last 12 with sales exceeding the 700 level - all occurring in

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sarasota-lifestyles_400Not since 2005 have we seen the level of home buying activity in the Sarasota – Bradenton real estate market that we have today.  A total of 759 properties were sold in April and 796 in May, the highest level in 6 years. Home and condo prices, while still at bargain levels, are also now at their highest level.

Prospective buyers are recognizing that the bottom has been reached.  The Sarasota -  Bradenton real estate market is currently presenting buyers with an opportunity to buy a home or condominium in one of America’s “Favorite Small Cities” at prices not seen in almost a decade. I’ve had several sales this year with customers I’ve been working with for several years – they’ve been getting property alerts from my website, and they’ve been waiting

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sarasot_dancers_400Once again, Sarasota draws top kudos. For the second year in a row, AmericanStyle Magazine ranked Sarasota 5th on it's list of the Top 25 Small Cities for Art. Bradenton ranked 10th. It's no wonder - Sarasota’s rich arts scene rivals some of the biggest urban centers in the country. Home to dozens of performing arts venues, opera, theater, and ballet companies, there is never a shortage of visual and performing arts entertainment. Check out the Sarasota Arts Scene on my website to learn more about Sarasota's Arts.

Just last year, in a survey conducted by Sarasota/Bradenton earned the top spot as America’s most popular retirement destination. This is not the first time Sarasota was named one of the best places retire. Money magazine once

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