Buying and selling a home can be a very stressful process and the team here at Floor Coverings International West County, MO wants to help in any way possible to make it smoother. In order to help you understand the local housing market better, we reached out to local real estate agent, Sandra Meranda. Please enjoy the interview we conducted and learn about local trends, insider pieces of advice, and more.
Please tell us a little about yourself.
I am a Missouri girl since birth, growing up and living in 3 different counties all around the St. Louis metropolitan area, settling in St. Charles County in 1987, as the growth was really happening in that county I graduated from the University of MO in Columbia, MO (Go Mizzou!) and came back after graduation to the metro area to start my career in the travel industry. I loved that industry but when it was time to start my own business 20 years ago, I chose the real estate industry and haven’t looked back since. I am a top agent with Coldwell Banker Gundaker, ranking 16 out of 1400 agents in 2017, and am currently ranked in the top 1% of Coldwell Banker agents nationally.
I have a wonderful husband of 21 years, Gino, and we spend our leisure time traveling the world or ballroom & swing dancing with our friends. I am currently on the Executive Board of Habitat for Humanity of St. Charles and enjoy helping them with their mission of building homes for deserving families. I am also very involved with the Greater St. Charles County Chamber and BNI – Business Network International.
How would you describe the state of local estate in 2018?
Real estate in our local market is still very robust & healthy. There is still a shortage of good listings available in the market, with an abundance of buyers still trying to buy that perfect home. The shortage of available homes has made it a very strong seller’s market, with an increase in prices in St. Charles County of over 5% since the beginning of the year.
What is one piece of advice you have for homeowners looking to sell?
The one piece of advice that I have for sellers is to make their home look at perfect as possible and to price it right from the start. Listen to your real estate agent when they suggest things that need to be fixed, replaced or updated before they put their home on the market, in order to get the most money possible for your home. Also, don’t overprice it! Sitting on the market too long will only mean you will end up dropping the price and getting less for the home in the long run.
What is one piece of advice you have for those looking to buy in the greater West County area?
For buyers, my advice is to be realistic with the money you want to spend, and what that amount of money will buy you in today’s market. Homes are much more expensive than they were 5 years ago. It is a seller’s market and if the home looks amazing and is well-priced, you probably won’t get the home for a bargain price. I will always try to get the best “deal” that we can for a buyer, but a realistic buyer will get a great home for a good price in the end, and not be heart-broken by the one that got away.
Are there any home designing trends you’ve seen on the rise? Which flooring style is desired by homeowners/homebuyers in the area?
For current trends, it is still all about the kitchen & the bathrooms in a home, and buyers also love upgraded flooring in their new homes. Spending the money on updating the kitchen, baths & flooring, will always pay off. It will make the marketing pictures look amazing, and please the buyers when they come in. I am still seeing a lot of hardwood, and much less carpeting in homes on the market. The newer types of flooring like vinyl planks & ceramic tile that looks like hardwood is very popular also.