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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Realities of Shopping For a Home in a Seller's Market

Shopping for a new home can be an exciting process.  It can also be a nerve wracking process when the market is one that favors sellers.  That is the current market in the Viera and Rockledge, Florida area.

Technically a seller's market is one in which the number of buyers is greater than the available properties from which to choose.   A common measure of a seller's market used by real estate professionals is a market where the available supply of homes for sale is less than a three month inventory.

The dynamics and processes are different in a seller's market.

First, sellers are less apt to negotiate on their list price.   In Brevard County, Florida a good general measure is the selling price is almost, about, somewhere near 95% of list price.

However, this can be much different. In some areas of the county as well as some neighborhoods and communities there may be little give or even a great deal of flexibility.  Remember the old adage about real estate .... location!

Second, good properties don't last long.  Notice I did not say good prices.  While the median days on market in Brevard County is around 30-35 days remember that means half are on the market less days.

Third, when you find the property act now.   If a buyer finds a house that meets their defined needs (budget, condition, age, location, size, school zone or whatever), it likely will meet somebody else's ideal as well.

Fourth, be prepared to buy on day one.  The time time get a mortgage pre-approval letter in hand is not after a house is located.  Not only does this cut down on competitiveness (cleanest offer with supporting documentation usually wins when there are multiple offers)  it also means a buyer is really not certain of their mortgage qualification status.

Five, don't ask for the moon!  This point is linked to the reference above about the cleanest offer.   Evaluate the issues and don't ask for trivial, less urgent things such as patching nail oles, painting rooms a different color, etc.  Depending on a buyer's circumstances there are certainly things that can be asked for such as closing cost assistance.  However, keep in mind that if there are other offers then this may be a negative.

The real estate agent in the model home or the listing agent with the sign out front work for the seller - not the buyer.  Get your own agent!   Remember you are not alone.  It is critical buyer's get their own real estate agent who understands the local market and the buyer's goals.

Here is a great little article on the Florida home buying process.... Contract to Close in Twenty Steps

Have a question about buying or selling a home in Florida?  Call or text me at 321-693-3850.

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