Here at Floor Coverings International Winter Garden, we like to stay in tune with our housing market to help you make the best decisions for your home. We reached out to local real estate broker Rob Rahter in order to give you a little bit of insight into the housing climate, current trends, and how to get prepared to buy or sell your Orlando home.
Please tell us a little about yourself.
Rob Rahter is a Broker Associate with Stockworth Realty Group based in Windermere, Florida. Stockworth was created to service one of the most demanding sectors of real estate in Orlando. Originally conceived by the Tavistock Group, a globally respected real estate developer, Stockworth was founded to service the real estate needs of luxury clients outside the gates of both the Isleworth and Lake Nona Golf and Country Clubs. Stockworth remains a leader in the market with its success rooted in its collegial approach, leveraging the talents of a highly-specialized group of only a dozen agents backed by a large team of assistants and real estate professionals. Before coming to Stockworth, Rob spent more than a decade at Keller Williams Realty, helping lead the explosive growth of the franchise in this area. Rob was instrumental in the luxury division’s presence in Southwest Orlando.
Rob is regarded as a market leader for his record-setting sales performance. In 2017, Rob was named Best Realtor in Southwest Orlando. He’s also among Orlando’s Hot 100 Realtors, a Gold Level member in Orlando Realtors’ Top Producer Club since its inception, and repeat recipient of the Five Star Real Estate Agent award – a highly prestigious award presented to agents by clients who rank their agent on overall excellence in professionalism, skills and market knowledge. In addition, Rob has led a group of professional Realtors – the West Orange Realtor Resource (WORR) – which was created in conjunction with the West Orange Chamber of Commerce, of which Rob is also a member. The WORR group meets monthly to discuss market conditions, specialized training, networking and share in each other’s success. The group is regarded as a model among the Orlando Regional Realtor Association membership for its unduplicated success.
Above all, Rob is a husband to wife Elizabeth and father to four active and awesome kids.
How would you describe the state of Orlando real estate in 2017?
We live in a very active real estate market. Southwest Orlando is a highly desirable place to live and is home to many restaurants, shops, golfing and boating destinations, and world-class theme parks. Our schools are top notch and our active and enviable lifestyle is sought-after by locals and newcomers from across the globe. That continues to drive a very diverse community that continues to grow, drawing residents from all over the world. We are seeing a lot of new growth in the farther west part of the area (Horizon’s West) and the Lake Nona neighborhoods on the east side of town.
What is one type of flooring desired by Orlando homeowners/homebuyers?
Engineered hardwood is extremely popular among buyers in all segments of the market and the most requested flooring product from buyers.
What’s one piece of advice you’d give to a homeowner looking to sell?
The best advice for anyone wanting to sell who is seeking top dollar for their house is simply “less is more.” Declutter as much as you can. You’re moving anyway, so go ahead and move out the bulk of your belongings to storage before you list your house. It will make your house feel bigger and fresher. And will actually make the move go much easier. New flooring and new paint is also my top recommendation. Buyers will often overlook other updating needs like bathrooms or even the kitchen if the flooring is new and the house is freshly painted. It will pay back in a higher sales price and quicker sale.
What’s one piece of advice you’d give to a potential homebuyer?
The best advice I can offer a buyer is to get with a lender FIRST before you step foot in a house. You need to know how much house you can afford in today’s market. It’s very depressing to start looking at houses and then find out you don’t qualify to buy what you are seeing. Avoid the frustration by being real about your finances and then only focus on homes you can actually qualify to buy.