Home, Home Buying, Home Selling, Local Events, Real Estate, Uncategorized

Topic Tuesday: Choosing a Real Estate Agent…


Happy Tuesday Friends and welcome to the first Topic Tuesday! Topic Tuesday blogs will be reserved for commonly asked questions I receive and/or helpful information I have found beneficial to the consumer’s buying or selling experience. Today’s topic is choosing a Real Estate Agent and sticking with them!

“Do I need a Real Estate Agent?” There are so many positives to working with a Realtor, but I will just list a few. Sure, some aspects of real estate can be figured out on your own, however, you don’t need to know everything about buying and selling real estate if you hire a professional who does. You have enough in your daily life to handle, why add more to the list? Today’s purchase agreements run 12 pages or more, not to mention the federal and state required disclosures dictated by your local market and type of sale. Do you want the responsibility of filling those out alone and being liable in the event of a mistake? One mishap can land you in court and cost you thousands! There are volumes of forms, reports and technical documents that come with a real estate transaction. A knowledgeable expert will guide you through the process to make sure you have an enjoyable experience and help avoid costly mistakes. While you may be able to see a home online, its specs and photos, an agent can see any disclosures attached to the home, how many days on market and what it should sell for based on recent comparable sales. This ability helps make sure you list your home correctly or make a reasonable offer on your future home. A Real Estate Agent can also recommend inspections beneficial to your transaction and be present on your behalf in the event of scheduling conflicts.

“How do I choose the Right Real Estate Agent for me?” I recommend interviewing several agents, check online profiles and reviews, and ask friends and family members for recommendations. Don’t be afraid to let each agent know you are in the interview process as well. In fact, we prefer you do. This process is guaranteed to take 30, 60, 90+ days so it is important to feel comfortable with and trust the agent you will be working with. If you are still in the looking phase and decide your agent is not the one for you, politely let them know it’s not a good fit and find someone who is.

Once you have chosen an agent you like, stick with them! This bit is more for buyers. Many people do not know that one agent can show you any home and answer questions about any home on the market, even if it is not their listing. Wouldn’t it be easier to call one person for all your questions and needs as opposed to looking up and calling every single listing agent on each home you are interested in ? If you do the latter, you are guaranteed to have lots of follow-up calls from those agents vying for your business! Also, Real Estate Agents work for free until you close on the home. All the emails, phone calls, and leg work done by the agent requires time and effort. I speak from experience when I say how frustrating it can be to find out someone I thought was my customer is now under contract to buy a home with a random agent they called from a yard sign. Real Estate is my full-time career and how I provide for my family and chances are that is the case for most agents. Most of the time this happens because the consumer is not aware, so that is why I am talking about it here. This does not happen when an agent lists a home for sale because a Listing Agreement is signed. There is such thing as a Buyer/Broker Agreement that most agents do not use, but could be good practice to prevent any misunderstandings going forward.

“I cannot afford a Realtor.”  As a buyer, you do not pay your Realtor (unless there is a special circumstance discussed and agreed upon up front). The seller of each home agrees to a set commission that will cover the Realtor fees in a transaction. So WHY WOULDN’T you utilize a Realtor? Now, most sellers who feel they cannot afford a Realtor tend to list their homes “For Sale By Owner”, but that is a whole other blog!

There is more to be said, but I will leave you with these thoughts. Buying and selling real estate is, in most cases, an emotional experience. A home is more than four walls. You Home is your safe place, your refuge, where you fall in love, raise a family and make unforgettable memories. Having someone in your corner that is concerned, yet objective, can help you stay focused on what is important to you.

Until next time…



Local Events, Uncategorized

Local Events This Holiday Season


I am BACK! I was never far, however, I failed to get a post up for 2 weeks. Let’s blame it on being 9 months pregnant and move on, shall we? Great! I would normally be posting a #FreshListingFriday today, but I am switching it up this week to bring you a list of all the Local Events going on for the Holiday Season! (Events in no particular order.)


Cookies with Santa

Sat, Dec 9, 2017 10:00am – 12:00pm Come get pictures with Santa and enjoy cookies. This free event is hosted by Eustis Historical Museum Location: The Clifford House 536 N. Bay Street Eustis,  FL 32726.

‘Night of Lights’ at Waterman Village

Thu, Dec 14, 2017 6:00pm – 8:00pm Waterman Village Retirement Community is holding its first annual ‘Night of Lights’, where the general public can drive through the community to see their Christmas lights. Location: Waterman Village 445 Waterman Avenue, Mount Dora, FL 32757

Holiday Concert

Thu, Dec 14, 2017 7:00pm – 9:00pm This is an annual city-sponsored concert to benefit Lake Cares Food Pantry. This is a free event. Location: Mount Dora Community Building 520 North Baker Street, Mount Dora, FL 32757

The Great Songs of Christmas

Sat, Dec 16, 2017 7:00pm – 9:00pm Tenor Edward Bryant will sing wonderful songs of Christmas in this historic Eustis setting. Limited seating  so early ticket purchase is recommended (only a $10.00 donation to Eustis Historical Museum). Location:The Clifford House 536 N. Bay Street, Eustis FL 32726


Children can enjoy free sledding and ice skating in downtown Mount Dora’s Donnelly Park.  There will be a ‘fast pass’ line for the snow slopes available to children with the donation of a canned good or a new unwrapped toy.  The event is free and the fun starts at 5 p.m. and goes until 9 p.m.


Holiday themed trains rides depart from Tavares and go on an hour-long train ride to the North Pole. Tickets can be purchased at the Tavares train station located at 305 Ruby Street in downtown or by calling 352-742-7200. Tickets range from $48 to $182 depending on the class of ticket.

Historical Sydonie Mansion Evening of Lights

Sat,  December 9th 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM 5538 Sydonie Drive, Mount Dora, FL 32757 $30.00 Per Person 90 minute Special Guided Tour with Holiday Music and Treats. RESERVATIONS REQUIRED! Call guest services at 321-236-1534 for more information.

Florida Lakes Symphony Orchestra – O’ Holy Night 

Date: Dec 14, 2017 7:30 pm-09:30 pm Duration:2 Hours Epiphany Celebration Anglican Church 1724 South Bay St. (rte 19 N.) Eustis, FL 32726 For tickets and more information: http://www.floridalakessymphonyorchestra.com/

22nd Annual Leesburg Christmas House 

Start: November 24 @ 8:00 am End:December 9 @ 5:00 pm ViaPort Florida 10401 US Hwy 441 Leesburg, FL 34788 United States Phone:352-365-0053 Website: http://ww.leesburgpartnership.com/christmashouse

A Christmas Carol

December 8th-17th, 2017 Melon Patch Theater 311 N. 13th Street, Leesburg, FL 34788. Visit Leesburg Partnership for Event Times.

Nutcracker Christmas Show Spectacular 

December 9 @ 6:30 pm – 11:00 pm Anastassia Ballroom & Dance 32624 Blossom Lane, Leesburg, FL 34788.

2017 Festival of the Trees Presented by Apopka Historical Society

Enjoy the beauty of the season with trees, wreaths and lanterns decorated by local businesses on display in the City Hall Lobby for two weeks from Sunday, December 3 to Sunday, December 17. The trees and wreaths are up for silent auction. City Hall Lobby hours are 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday with extended viewing hours as follows: Thursday, December 7 – 8:00 am to 8:00 pm Saturday, December 9 – 10:00 am to 3:00 pm Sunday, December 10 – 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm Thursday, December 14 – 8:00 am to 8:00 pm Saturday, December 16 – 10:00 am to 3:00 pm Top Tree bidders will be announced at the closing ceremony starting at 5:30 pm on December 17 at City Hall.

41st Annual Foliage Sertoma Club of Apopka Christmas Parade 

Date: December 9, 2017 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM Location: Parade Route runs northbound on Park Avenue from First United Methodist Church of Apopka to Votaw Road, Apopka, FL 32703.

Holiday Movies in the Park

December 8, 2017 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM Location: Kit Land Nelson Park 10 S Forest Avenue, Apopka, FL 32703. Free event. Parking at Edwards Field.

Downtown Mount Dora becomes a free street party at Sunset Park.  Food, music and fireworks.

I hope you find this list of Local Events helpful as you enjoy this Holiday Season!

See you next time…

Blogging, DIY, Home, Home Buying, Home Selling, Home Staging, Local Events, Real Estate

Welcome Readers


Hello and Welcome! I am so glad you are here. My blogging skills are a little rusty, so be patient with me as I get back in the groove. I have been wanting to get back into blogging for some time now, but was over thinking the process because I want it to be perfect for you, the reader! The above Albert Einstein quote was my push to just sit down and get down to business.

Blogging is another way for me to be a resource for my friends, family and YOU! I intend for this blog to be your go to source for all things “Home”. We will talk about frequently asked questions regarding Real Estate, home buying and selling, home staging and decor, DIY projects for the home, local events and more. As the blog evolves, I hope to introduce guest voices to share their knowledge and expertise as it relates to “Home”.

I want to hear from you and encourage you to click the Contact tab to submit your questions, let me know what you would like to see on the blog or to just say Hi! Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE so you don’t miss out on all the exciting thing to come here at Official Audrey James. You can do so by entering your email at the top right of this page. Until next time…