When is the Best Time to Sell in Florida? I get this question almost weekly from sellers that are considering selling. I will always say it depends on your specific goals which is why we have a consultation with all our sellers.
The great news is that there is NOT a bad time to sell in Florida. Unlike our Northern Neighbors in the United States where real estate can be very seasonal our real estate market is strong throughout the entire year. Warm weather year keeps Tampa Bay Florida desirable year round. I would say the most popular time to sell is during the summer months and more specifically between May and August which follows the general school year. Most families want to sell their home and be settled in their new home before school starts in August. After our 4th of July holiday some sellers may decide to lower their prices due to this reason alone.
Furthermore, the winter months bring the snow birds to Florida which keeps a nationally slow time for real estate elsewhere but very busy here in the winter months. Depending on the area will depend on the amount of snow birds that flock here in the winter months.
Generally, the slowest months in Tampa Bay, FL are January and February as many people that purchase would purchase in December if they want to homestead their property. Typically, the snow birds would travel here before January or February so there just are not as many sales in January and February.
Overall, Florida is becoming more and more popular with local & international investors, first time homebuyers, & 2nd home buyers. Rent prices are high, Overall prices are still very competitive, & interest rates are low which are perfect ingredients for BUYING NOW!
The hot topic right now is whether the Mortgage Forgiveness Act will be extended or not. As of now the deadline for the act is December 31, 2012 which allows homeowners to be excluded to pay taxes on forgiven debt in certain situations. We do not have an answer yet but here is an article that seems to enlighten us that many are encouraging for it to be signed. We will see what happens…
I’m sure you have heard that is a buyer’s market, right? Well, times are a changing right now and by statistically standards we have entered a seller’s market in the Tampa area. Traditionally, a balanced market means that you have the same amount of buyers as sellers which is 6 months of inventory. If you have more than 6 months of housing inventory then you would be considered a seller’s market and if below 6 months of inventory it would be a buyer’s market. Guess how many months of inventory we have currently. Well, if you answered 3.5 months of housing inventory then you are the big Winner. This is down from 5.9 months of inventory in August 2011. All statistics are from the Greater Tampa Association of Realtors.
Bottomline, if you are a buyer looking and you want to purchase a home then I would not sleep on it anymore because it is very likely to be SOLD. I have taken a survey from other Realtors as well and about 40% of the time we have multioffer situations now.
The awesome news is that interest rates are a historic record low and as of today 3.25%. Also, prices are trending up since January 2011 for average sales price in our area. Prices are still low. Therefore, if you are a buyer or investor and see this formula…LOW INTEREST RATES + LOW PRICES = TIME TO BUY NOW. We are living in the opportunity that people will be talking about for years to come. You are the decision maker between being the person that says I thought about buying at that time or you will be the person cashing your HUGE check 10 years down the road. You be the judge.
Opportunity is NOW! I truly believe many will look back at this real estate market some day and say “can you believe the prices and interest rates were that LOW in Florida.” LOW PRICES + LOW INTEREST RATES = TIME TO BUY NOW!!! Investors from all parts of the US and internationally are buying up everything they can right now. There are multi-offers situations regularly on all price ranges. Awhile back my clients went 26k over asking price and the sellers did not choose our offer. Times are a changing!
I believe almost everything is on sale because I think their are signs of a recovery in our real estate market now but most importantly I believe many others will want to retire here in the near future. MacDill Air Force Base is such a big part of our local economy and we will always have military folks moving in and out of Tampa Bay. At the end of the day, the quicker most buyers figure out or get educated by their Realtor on the current market the less heartache and time they will save when going to buy a home.
I believe there is a special opportunity with Water front Homes now because of the simple supply and demand rule. The water front market has very low prices still and I believe they will appreciate quicker than many other type of homes. So if you want to take a vacation in your own backyard then hurry before you will need to spend much more!!! Lock in a low interest rate and take your boat to island hopping on the weekends.
Let me ask you a question? If you needed surgery that is life threatening and needed to choose a doctor then how would you go about doing this. Would you do your research to find out the best doctor for your type of surgery? Would you make sure they are the best person for the job? Or would you hire a brand new doctor that is really a part time doctor that dabbles in the profession. I think I know the answer to this question already but what stumps me is why other industries would be any different.
Let’s face the facts. Everyone knows probably 5 Realtors and the majority probably have a Realtor related to them. Did you know that 19 out of 20 Realtors are part time? Last I checked Real Estate is not a part time profession. Did you know that at one point 1% of all Floridans had their real estate license. What puzzles me is if you are going to purchase a home or sell a home then why wouldn’t everyone want to do their due dilligence and hire the best person they possibly can. Why wouldn’t you want to hire someone that has a proven track record instead of your cousin that just got their real estate license? A home for many people is their top asset PERIOD and I think it is time for people to start realizing how important it is to hire the BEST person for their needs.
Here are some great questions to ask a Realtor before you hire them…
1) How many homes have you sold exactly in the past year? The best in the business will know their #’s
2) Are you a full time Realtor? In other words are you fully committed to helping me.
3) What is your marketing plan? It should be in writing and they should be able to show you exactly what they do to help sell your home
4) Do you sell in my area normally or what is your specific area that you deal with? If they are not an expert in that location then they should not handle it in my opinion
5) What are your business hours as a Realtor?
These are several questions that may help you decide if you have the right person for the job when interviewing them.
I do understand that the real estate community has a bad reputation. I talk to people almost daily that say they had a bad experience with prior Realtor and I understand where they are coming from because I have too. In fact, this is exactly how I got into real estate because when I bought my first home I had a horrible experience with my Realtor but found my true passion during the process.
All in all, before hiring a Realtor make sure you have done your homework and know you are hiring the BEST.