'Meet the Agent' - Lisa Smith Outerbridge from Keller Williams BermudaThis month for 'Meet the Agent' we interview Lisa Smith Outerbridge from the newly formed Keller Williams Bermuda (formally Moura and Associates). Lisa has been in the Real Estate business for 10 years and discusses why she enjoys working for Keller Williams Bermuda, where Lisa is seeing activity in the current market as well as top tips for Buyers & Sellers in todays market.
How long have you been in the business? Thank you so much for featuring me! I have been in the business for 10 years but have only just recently emerged fulltime in the local real estate market. I had been working with a Bermuda resort property, in the capacity of fractional real estate sales. This is really a unique part of our real estate market, selling primarily to overseas purchasers who are mostly repeat visitors taking a big step from being a vacationer to an owner. I loved working with the Resort Developer, knowing that sales are a large part in the equation on the success of the property.
Now full time in real estate, the local market is a big part of my focus but the International Buyer market is something I would like to grow. I have recently become a member of the Institute of Luxury Home Marketing to be able to work more closely with the larger properties through Keller Williams Luxury division. As we know in Bermuda, “the world” would consider all of our properties to be Luxury!Why do you like working for Keller Williams Bermuda and what’s the favourite part of your job? I absolutely love working with the newly formed Keller Williams Bermuda (formerly Moura and Associates) - KWBermuda is part of Keller Williams Worldwide. I can’t say enough about our team of professionals and our very competent leaders and company owner. We have all the tools available to us plus training and education is a big component in helping us grow as agents. We have years of experience between us, in sales, rentals and property management and we work so well together. The technology and referral connections available to us of our affiliation with KW Worldwide is an important part of why we are best suited to list your property. Our teamwork enables us to connect with buyers to sell or rent your property as quickly as possible.
Where are you seeing activity in the market at the moment? I am seeing activity in a few areas. In sales, in the under $1,000,000 bracket, properties have moved quickly. These could be starter homes, fixer uppers, downsize and vacant lots. I see interest from overseas buyers as well. In rentals, the large luxury homes remain in high demand as much as the one-bedroom apartments, however the inventory for both ends of the spectrum is low.What is your favorite property on the market right now? There are so many Bermuda homes that I find stunningly beautiful, from the very large estate homes to small cottages. As Bermuda living means outdoor living, I am partial to landscapes and land use. Entertaining in our gardens, patios or pools is a big part of our lifestyle. So, a home that has beautiful landscaping, beautiful views and outdoor space is my favourite. “Far Above” is a good example of that. It is a sole listing with us at KW Bermuda. Firstly, I love the name! Secondly, it is situated on nearly 2 acres of a beautifully landscaped hilltop in Paget, with sweeping views of the Harbour and beyond. Sunset photographers would be in heaven! The large and modern home is bright and airy and finished to a high standard. On our website you can tour the home using our latest technology – 3D Matterport.
What property on the market right now, in your opinion, do you think is really good value? Well valued homes are plentiful in our current buyer’s market. For homes we have several great listings. I really like “Spring Bank” in Warwick on 1.3 acres, pool, apartment and move in ready.
“Alareeba” on Hinsons Island, two thirds acre and waterfront is a unique island within an island property.
For townhouses and condos, I like the “Vistas” in Southampton. They are beautifully finished and within walking distance to the railway trail and public transportation. Also, Warwick Villas and the Wharf are well priced and a great investment. Azura Resort is first class and well-priced, available to Bermudians and International buyers.
How do you see the Bermuda property market in 2018? I see the uptick continuing. Certainly, events that put us on the world stage such as the Americas Cup and World Triathlon (both of which provided us with tremendous media coverage) produced a record number of visitors. Bermuda has really upped their game in all things important to visitors (and us) such as communications, food and beverage, hospitality and business practices. This is important when trying to attract investors, whether they are buying a small fraction, a home or large-scale resort or commercial development. Bermudians will continue to strive to own a piece of our island home. There will always be real estate changing hands at all levels of the market. This of course depends on the economy and job security. I think in the second half of the year we will see a continuance of this trend.
What are your top 3 tips for purchasers when looking for a potential new home? Tips for Buyers: Firstly, get pre-approved by the bank of choice. This is super important before you start looking at properties. The process is much simpler now than ever before, giving you the magic number on what you will be allowed to borrow. (I can help with contacts at all banks.) Secondly, use Property Skipper to begin your search, plugging in your price and any other criteria you would like. It is a great tool that we all rely on. Think about what’s important to you now and try to plan for the future. Then connect with a knowledgeable real estate professional (such as myself!) with your wish list and we will give you open and honest advice not only on KW listed properties but all properties on the market. Thirdly, there are some really fine properties that you may overlook because they have been on the market for a while (assuming that something is wrong with it when actually it may simply have been overpriced). Revisit those properties, ask my advice. Look beyond the house and look to see if you can make additions to grow, look at the value in the land, its location, and its natural features. I can help you!
Finally – do you have any good tips for sellers when preparing their home for sale? Tips for Sellers:
1. Before you start preparing your home for sale start the process by having all the documents on hand that you will need to complete the sale to avoid delays. This will include: having a survey (staking) of the property, the location of deeds and, if renovations have been done, completion certificates from Planning. You can take it a step further with the deeds and have your lawyer review and certify your title so you can register your property with the Land Title Registry Office. Lastly, an appraisal by a bank approved professional appraiser is a valuable tool for selling which can be used alongside your agent’s opinion of value to determine price.
2. Work with your agent on establishing a realistic price for your home. You want to sell it and we want to be able to market it for you. I would like to see you price your home at a price that would get interest right away.
3. Be prepared to declutter your home so that people can envisage themselves living there. Ask our opinion on whether you should paint or do other works. If something that is glaringly broken, fix it as that speaks to how well the property has been maintained.
If your home or condo is empty think about staging it (I know a great furniture rental company www.turnkey.bm) Or ask me for advice. Lastly, my background is in Horticulture (with knowledge of Planning regulations and construction) I can’t stress enough the importance of first impression so give as much time and attention to your outside. Whether it’s a small patch of grass or acres of greenery, simply keep it neat and tidy.
Lisa Smith Outerbridge - Real Estate Professional
Keller Williams Bermuda