It seems as though the whole Real Estate industry is at a stand still. At least in Tampa, FL where for the past 4 years we have seen a big boom.So what happens when sellers want to sell their home and the buyers aren’t BUYING? The answer is NOTHING until something changes.
With interest rates higher than the past few years and insurance rates doubling and tripling in some areas my guess is the prices will have to come down. We are seeing insurance at 3,500 per year for an average 1,500 sf home in Seminole Heights. Add that on to your monthly payment and what you can afford will come down by nearly $300 per month. Stephanie D’attoma, with SunTrust Bank, figured that on a regular 30 year fixed loan, that the extra $300 per month would equate to approximately $46,300 less that a buyer can spend. Likewise, an interest only loan would be equal to approximately $52,500, which is what most home buyers are doing.
Many sellers many not want to hear that they may not be able to get the highest price as their neighbor who sold last year at this same time. Looking back on the past few years one could say it was a feeding frenzy to get a buyer’s offer accepted. Once you submitted an offer there was always that intense waiting period when the buyer would want to know if another offer came in behind theirs and beat them out. I would always say to my clients, “if you really want this home your offer has to be very aggressive”. I had one client last year offer 10K above the asking price because he really wanted the home.Fast forward 1 year, and I cannot say those same words to my clients looking to buy. In fact, buyers have become a hot commodity in this section of the State.
When my Real Estate partner, Michelle Jordan and myself attending the Greater Tampa Realtor Association Meeting a couple weeks ago, we heard that GTAR was expecting a 25% decrease in membership in the next year! Our guess is because of the lack of buyers in the market. Sellers are being told to expect for their home to be on the market 6-8 months, instead of the abnormally quick 2-3 month listing period last year.
What to do if you are a Buyer?If you are a buyer and are considering purchasing a property have a Realtor search properties that have been on the market at least 90 days. There’s a pretty good chance that the seller is getting tired of waiting for a buyer and may be more motivated to sell.
If you are searching on-line, you don’t have a way of knowing how long that particular home or condo has been on the market. A Real Estate Salesperson can give you that information. We can also tell you if the home had been previously listed and taken off the market. Why would someone want to know that? A property that has been listed since October of last year, had 3 price changes before listing with a new Realtor. Chances are that the sellers are very motivated and a lower offer with no Contingencies may get accepted.
Make sure you are pre-qualified with a lender and get a “good-faith estimate” This will detail your closing costs, estimated taxes, insurance and your monthly payment. This should be a free service that lenders provide. Ask your Realtor to look at the estimate to make sure it is a realistic amount for Home Owner’s Insurance and Taxes. We are seeing buyers become unqualified because their lender didn’t estimate the correct amount and the whole deal falls apart, sometimes at the last minute.
Sellers, hire an experienced Real Estate Agent.If you are selling your home make sure the Realtor you choose is doing the appropriate marketing for your property.
Do they have a website?How many websites will your property be submitted to? There’s always Realtor.com that once a property is listed in the MLS it also goes on Realtor.com.
Does your Realtor pay for extra pictures on Realtor.com, or is there just one picture?
What do the pictures look like? With so many homes on the market your home should stand out with professional looking high quality images.Has your Realtor suggested de-cluttering your home? This will make a big difference on how the home presents itself.
Ask for feedback on showings at least one time a week. This will help you determine why your house isn’t selling.Price the home competitively.Take a preview of other homes for sale in your neighborhood. How does yours compare?Is there new construction in your area? If so, what are they selling for? Expect to be priced less than a brand new home.
Rae Anna Conforti, a Realtor who specializes in the Tampa Bay Area, can be reached at Prudential Tropical Realty- South Tampa at 813-784-7744or on-line at: http://www.tampabaydwellings.com/