Finding the Right Property Takes Detective Work – Destin, Florida

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Rulnick Realty, Inc.

I always said that in another life I would be a detective. Well, sometimes being a real estate agent is like being a detective.  To help different types of buyers in Destin, Florida requires varying degrees of investigative work.  Here are some examples of recent “cases”.

Cold Case – Buyer #1   He lives out of state, doesn’t know the Emerald Coast, and sends me an email: “Are homes going over or under list price?  I am starting to look at the area.”  I ask, “What area?”  There are dozens of markets around Destin, Florida. “What type of property? House or condo? What price range?”  This general buyer just starting to look doesn’t know what he wants.  He’s a harder puzzle to solve. He’s not ready to buy. I ask questions, but this file goes into the cold case folder until I get answers.

Hot on the Trail – Buyer #2  He knows exactly what he wants. It is a specific Destin condo complex, and it must be a two-bedroom unit facing west with sunset views.  I have an investigative method to help this buyer.  I set up an online search, notify my real estate colleagues, make phone calls, post needs on private Realtor websites, and keep an eye on that complex. I might even send letters to the condo owners or check expired listings to see if any unit meets the requirements for Buyer #2. I stay hot on the trail.

Mystery Case – Buyer #3  I am given clues.  This buyer wants a second home that can be rented out occasionally. It will eventually be a retirement home.  It must be no more than four bedrooms in a less congested area of Destin, Miramar Beach or Santa Rosa Beach. The house must be remodeled or newer. It would be nice if the home were in a gated subdivision, and even better if it had a little land. If the home had a stylish quirkiness to it, that would be a plus. The price range is $1.5 to $2 million.

I must use honed detective skills to help this buyer.  I have to scout out subdivisions that allow rentals, but have a primary residence “feel”. Many of the second home or primary residence gated subdivisions around Destin do not allow short term rentals, so I will eliminate those. I have to find a house that has a bigger lot (over a quarter-acre to a half-acre is considered a bigger lot).  And finally, I must analyze all the photos of the potential listings to know what condition the home is in, and even check it out in person, to see if it has a suitable quirkiness to excite my buyer.

The detective work in finding the right property is actually fun. Each case is different. Some are more challenging than others. Sometimes clues point me in the right direction fast, or it may be a false trail.  I often use my intuition, but my ears are always attuned to gathering more information.

As for tomorrow, I don’t know what will come across my desk, but with street smarts, experience, and creativity – the case should be closed.



It’s Wendy… It’s Sold!

Wendy Rulnick, Broker, Rulnick Realty, Inc.
Call 850-259-0422
Email Wendy:

Wendy Rulnick, Broker, lists and sells real estate in Destin, Santa Rosa Beach, 30A, Miramar Beach, Crestview, Sandestin, Seaside, Rosemary Beach, Okaloosa Island, Fort Walton Beach, Niceville, Freeport, Bluewater Bay, Navarre, Florida.

Parlo italiano.


Posted by

"It's Wendy... It's Sold!"

Wendy Rulnick, Broker/Owner Rulnick Realty, Inc.

Call Wendy Rulnick 1-850-259-0422

email property searches and community info

Wendy Rulnick helps real estate buyers and sellers on the Emerald Coast of Florida.

Rulnick Realty


Comments (10)

Shayne Stone
Champion Real Estate Group - Missouri City, TX
"Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor"

Great information!  Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful day!

Aug 25, 2021 02:31 PM
Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

I learn so much here on ActiveRain


We are a little of everything and then some: Hercule, Sherlock, etc

Aug 25, 2021 06:04 PM
Wendy Rulnick

Ed Silva haahaa!! Love the references

Aug 25, 2021 06:13 PM
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi Wendy- being a good agent does involve some detective work! You have to "interrogate" the buyers to learn what it is they really want. And you have to use your leg work going through the MLS. 

Aug 25, 2021 07:35 PM
Wendy Rulnick

Kathy Streib Re: interrogation - I almost used a photo of an interrogation room for one of my illustrations!

Aug 26, 2021 05:24 AM
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Morning Wendy.

When you consider all the different people wanting their own style of their dream home or retirement home.  We are all detectives in one way or another.  

Aug 26, 2021 12:35 AM
Wendy Rulnick

James Dray If they don't know how to express what they want, we have to figure it out!

Aug 26, 2021 05:25 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Wendy - to be effective as a real estate professional one must utilize many skills as both Ed Silva and Kathy Streib described.  There is definitely deciphering of clues involved in the process.  Careful listening remains important.  

Aug 26, 2021 04:21 AM
Wendy Rulnick

Michael Jacobs Listening is key. Some are better at it than others.

Aug 26, 2021 05:25 AM
Brian England
Vacasa - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

With buyer #1 he should really spend some time in the area to get a feel for where he actually wants to buy.

Aug 26, 2021 05:20 AM
Wendy Rulnick

Brian England I bet you get those out-of-state types doing the same thing all the time!

Aug 26, 2021 05:26 AM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much, Wendy, for sharing some of your personal experience.

Take care, be safe and have a great day.

Aug 26, 2021 07:21 AM
Wendy Rulnick

Roy Kelley thank you for the shout out

Aug 26, 2021 07:23 AM
Rocky Dickerson
Realty One Group - Las Vegas, NV
Superior Service!

Good morning Wendy! You are hot on the trail and going to solve the case as the interrogation gets intense.

Aug 26, 2021 08:30 AM
Wendy Rulnick

HaHa!!! Love it Rocky Dickerson !!

Aug 26, 2021 08:33 AM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Wendy and love your blog that you are sharing with us here in the Rain.   OH   BY   THE WAY!

Aug 26, 2021 09:32 AM
Wendy Rulnick

Will Hamm Thank you for giving me a smile!!😃

Aug 26, 2021 10:09 AM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate - St. George, UT
So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR

This is a FUN post and can relate to figuring out buyers who are just starting to look to the very serious, gotta do it now Wendy...uh, I mean Detective Rulnick...Carry on!

Aug 26, 2021 11:01 AM
Wendy Rulnick

Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can! Your humor is also a delight!

Aug 26, 2021 11:06 AM