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“Advice to children crossing the street: damn the lights. Watch the cars. The lights ain’t never killed nobody.”

Jackie “Moms” Mabley (born Loretta Mary Aiken), American standup comedian

“But I had the light,” is probably one of the most common phrases spoken after a car accident. Green means go for me, red means stop for them. Before you know it, you’re on the phone with your insurance company.

Who doesn’t remember an adult reminding them to “look both ways before you cross the street”? It seems like common sense so basic we wouldn’t even need to teach it. But it’s funny how that lesson, which seems so obvious, is often lost in other areas of our lives.

Take, for instance, the raft of real estate market data you hear every month. What’s new construction looking like? How did pre-existing sales do last month? What’s it look like in the greater metro area for condo prices? To a certain extent, these are just the traffic lights of real estate. Agents help you look both ways before you act on those “trusted” signals.

Knowing the local market doesn’t necessarily mean knowing the big numbers. It means knowing the specifics. It means knowing how to interpret market activity tailored to the needs of my clients. Metaphorically, it’s our job to be a good scout and protect client interests as they “cross the market” (and that includes not getting hit by a bus-sized bad move).

Reporting always lags behind reality, though the delay may be small or large. Local agents are the best real-time readers of neighborhoods and inventory. Don’t get too nervous about what you hear in the news. Talk to someone who’s out there making it!

Keep your eyes open our there, and best of luck this week! Get in touch if you’re thinking about making a move soon:

Kevin and Jennifer Hanley, REALTORS – http://www.HanleyHomeTeam.com – 904-422-7626 Keller Williams Realty Atlantic Partners

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