An interview with Mirtha Barzaga and a more personal look at her approach to real estate
Being a real estate agent is a round-the-clock job. Mirtha Barzaga, however, doesn’t even consider being a real estate agent a job. For Mirtha, helping home buyers and sellers is truly a passion that continues to be fueled by the people she has helped. Her success is evident not only in the awards, recognitions, and accolades but by the emails, letters, testimonials and most importantly referrals from her clients. Mirtha answered a few questions to help us understand the secret behind her success as one of Northeast Florida’s top real estate agents.
What made you decide to become a realtor?
I actually have a background in construction. When I moved from New Jersey to St. Augustine sixteen years ago to help raise my young grandchildren, I realized I had the skillset to help people with their relocation either in or out of the area by taking care of everything involving the process. With the construction knowledge and my desire to help people, I knew real estate would be a fulfilling career. I just never knew how much I would actually fall in love with this job!
Do you believe passion fuels success or success fuels passion?
That’s easy! If you’re passionate about something, the success will naturally follow! Passion definitely fuels success. Every day when I wake up, I’m anxious to begin my routine which includes connecting with people I am helping to buy or sell their home. I have a job that allows me to connect with them on a personal level since they are entrusting me to help them one of the largest purchases they’ll likely ever make. Furthermore, I also learn about their families, their lifestyles and naturally through the process a friendship is formed. How can someone not find passion in helping others? I love what I do and give it my all! I want to make sure my customers have the most memorable experience when selling their family home which already is an emotional step to take. And when helping homebuyers, I always want to make sure no matter what the buyer’s budget is that they do not settle for anything less than they are looking for. In today’s market I see a lot of buyers settling for anything just because inventory is hard to come by. I would rather miss out on the sale than see a buyer pay more than the house is worth or buy a house that is not what they are looking for. These are all heartfelt situations and I’m always passionate about making sure when I turn the keys over, the buyers or sellers are thankful for their decision and that they chose me to represent them. That passion is what leads to success.
What is your favorite part of selling real estate in Northeast Florida?
My favorite part of selling real estate here in Northeast Florida is the lifestyle we have to offer. When people visit our area from other states and they ask me about the Jacksonville and St. Augustine areas, I could talk for hours. There aren’t many places in the country where you can enjoy year-round sunshine with mild winters that allow you to stay outdoors all year long. Most of my clients are from out of state and some are settling down here for a lifestyle change or change of pace. I always reiterate to them that Northeast Florida is an easy place to settle into. Once they move into their new home, soon they’ll meet neighbors, form friendships, enjoy dining out, outdoor concerts, football games, going to the beach, year-round golfing, local festivals and farmer’s markets and then before they know it they’ll be welcoming an out-of-state neighbor into the community. I enjoy keeping in touch with my clients and hearing how much they love Florida living. We are truly blessed to live in Paradise!
What is the most valuable piece of advice you could give a buyer and a seller?
Great question! The advice changes as the market changes. However, my advice to a buyer in the current market conditions (and maybe always) is to get pre-approved by a lender. This helps expedite an offer because it lets the sellers know you are serious about the purchase and you’re ready to go! After that, I encourage buyers to make a list of their “must-haves” and their “would-wants.” Share both of those lists with your agent and let that agent narrow down your search so that you do not waste time and are able to place an offer the minute you find the perfect house.
For sellers, my advice is always if you are able to follow most of my recommendations I can maximize your sales price and limit the days on the market for you. It’s that simple.