Monday, March 16, 2009

Is Your Property Listed or For Sale?


To successfully market and sell a property in today's market we need to follow new rules; the techniques of years past no longer work, so we must adapt to the "new normal" which we find ourselves in. A key factor in selling a property in today's Buyer's market is proper pricing. We can no longer assume that just because a property is listed that it is truly for sale. In fact, in my estimation, many of the properties actively listed on the Multiple Listing Service are not really for sale, given the fact that their pricing is out of today's market range.

Let's look at the Longboat Key market over the past 30 days. Of the 16 properties which went under contract, 11 of them had had a price reduction before selling; that's 70%! The average difference between listing and selling price was 10%, with a high of 18% and a low of 2%.

We know that potential Buyers are out there, given the high number of showings and open house visits. When Buyers visit our listings, they want to see well-priced listings offering good values. That said, Buyers need to heed the numbers to…properly priced listings are selling at an average of 10% from their listing price, not the 20-30% which some media are reporting.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The New Normal

Our real estate market has been searching for a new normal for years. Let me explain. When I began selling real estate on Longboat Key in 1988, the normal market had properties fluctuating in price 3-5%, largely trending upwards. Occasional recessions or slowdowns brought flat to slightly negative turns. In the early 2000s we began to see much higher price increases, two years (04/05) with price increases in excess of 30%! This new market brought an extreme Seller's market with multiple offers and over list price sales. In 2006 we began to see a leveling and then a reduction of prices due to the unsustainabiltiy of such appreciation. We now find ourselves "oversold" with prices reaching back to those of the early 2000's.

So what's the new normal for today? Normal is that we are living in recessionary times. Normal is that we have a higher unemployment level. Normal is record low interest rates, available to consumers who can afford the loans. Normal is good selection of available properties. Normal is a Buyer's market.

The inherent values of Sarasota and Longboat Key have not changed. The weather is still incredible, the waters are clean and beautiful, boating and beaches are unparalleled, and we have shopping and dining all within the cultural capital of Florida.

Today's normal will be unrecognizable in the future. As a Buyer, today's normal is the one I would want to be purchasing in…wouldn't you?