Going from renter to homeowner can be scary, if not slightly intimidating, but Savvy + Co.’s own Sarah Martin says the move can be life changing. “To some people, home ownership can be big boost to a person’s psyche and their long term financial stability. It’s empowering and creates a sense of pride, which can be potent for a person in all aspects of their life.”

Sarah with clients at a Client Appreciation Party at Dilworth Tasting Room.

Recently, our friends at CharlotteFive sat down with the Orlando native who has called Charlotte home for over 15 years to get her best advice for buyers and sellers and how to know when it’s time to “break up” with a home.

Get to know Sarah better. Follow her on Instagram.

C5: What’s special about working with buyers?
SM: Buyers are eager, excited, open and passionate. It’s such a thrill to watch buyers start with a vague idea of what they want in a home and where they want to live and help them narrow it down to “the one!” I love when they walk into a home and get “that feeling” about a place where so many memories will be made.

C5: How can sellers make their home stand out?
SM: In this market, most buyers want a home that is move-in ready. To make that happen, there is a good deal of work that needs to occur before potential buyers see it. I have a process that manages and streamlines what needs to be done and makes it super easy for sellers to get their homes looking great and ready to show. It usually looks so good a lot of sellers say, “Do I really want to sell?”

C5: How do you keep the process moving and positive during the negotiation phase of the transaction?
SM: Time and experience have taught me that negotiations and the entire process will work out and not to stress because the right home WILL come along. There is an intuitive sense to the process—if we are pushing to make a deal happen, having to do any hard-core convincing or trying too hard to put the pieces together, it’s time to let go of that house. It’s like breaking up with a toxic SO only to meet the person of your dreams the next week.

For sellers, I prepare their home to show well and market and price it right so I know it WILL sell. I am confident in my pricing approach and am ready to explain to any buyer what a particular home has to offer and why the home is worth the price.

C5: What challenges are ahead for buyers this season?
SM: I think buyers will continue to be challenged by low inventory and multiple offer situations on homes in popular areas that are priced well. I advise buyers to start looking at properties well in advance of when they actually need to close, to work with an agent who has been in the business for a while, and to not over-extend their price point.

C5: What is the market looking like for sellers?
SM:  We’ve already started to see some homes taking a little longer to sell, so sellers are having to adjust their expectations. Sometimes that means sellers are not going to get the price that they thought they were or what their neighbor got six months ago.

C5: Any advice for sellers?
SM: Yes! Make your home look its best, listen to your agent’s advice and have reasonable expectations about price.

Whether you have started looking for an abode of your own or are just testing the waters, Sarah Martin is ready to help in any way she can. “The leap may seem minor when you are in your 20s and 30s, but I have watched how powerful it can be 10 years later.”