28 Month Supply of M.L.S. Listings!

 Do sellers really know just how bad the market really is in Central Florida? I have to believe that they don’t, based on my recent phone conversations and listing interviews with potential home sellers. There is only a slight chance that their home will sell at an average price, yet most home sellers still are demanding higher prices still. If they go ahead and list at the higher price, they’ll most likely have to reduce and sell for a much lower price in the end. Buyers, afraid that prices may still fall, are proactively seeking out homes which are great deals.

 

   Reduced Real Estate Orlando Market Pulse

There is currently a 28 month supply of listings on the market in our M.L.S., (Orange, Lake, Seminole and Osceola counties), over 28,000 available listings which doesn’t include new home builder inventory or For Sale By Owners. If we added those together we’d have somewhere close to 40,000 available homes for buyers. Over the past few months in this same area, only 1,000 or so are selling each month. Sales in September were down 53.6 percent compared to September 2006. With roughly 4% of the M.L.S. inventory selling each month, what is happening to the rest of these listings? They are reducing their prices.

 

Are the real estates properly coaching the sellers on pricing? I’m not so sure. I mention the bleak statistics to potential sellers, yet I’m sure, what I’m saying is not quite sinking in because they always seem to want more than my recommended price. The fact is, if they really need to sell, they will have to price less than anyone in the area, be in the best possible condition and offer great terms. I’ve been through a down market before as a Realtor, I’m familiar with fierce competition and what it takes to get a home sold in this climate.

 

Are we at the bottom of the cycle? I can’t be quite sure, but for the first time in months, the Orlando Association of Realtors reports that the inventory did not raise this past September, however the decrease was small. Only 3 less homes listed.  In preceding months inventory was growing each month. More listings were taken and less were selling.

 

Also troubling, is the fact that the average price differential is 93 percent. That is. A home which is listed for $250,000 should expect an average discounted price to be about $232,000. We as agents need to coach our would-be sellers who are thinking about listing their homes to not do so, so that this unprecedented over-inventory will decrease. Certainly there are more sellers who have their home on the market currently, who really need to sell. I realize that there are currently a great deal of sellers who purchased during the peak of the sellers market, who now must sell.

 

Eek!

 

Many people of them cannot afford to list lower than what they’ve paid. Some have taken their homes off the market and placed them for rent, usually not covering their monthly expenses. I speak to many home owners that are now in this predicament. Still some of these people have their homes on the market. When I look at most of the larger subdivisions and their inventories in the M.L.S., I see a bunch of homes sitting on the market. A number of homes, which are approximately the same size as the higher priced listings, are offered for much less. Do the sellers not realize the competition? They must be complaining to their listing agents,

 

                    “My house wasn’t shown to any buyers in over 2 months!”

 

 

Some sellers who fail to sell with one agent will go ahead and re-list with a new agent. As a top selling agent in my area, I tend to list a lot of these previously listed properties. The sellers always seem to be very unhappy with their previous agent. Most times, the price was the reason that their home failed to sell. The agent wasn’t responsible, less you consider negligence on the pricing consultations. Many who list refuse to lower their price to keep up with the declining market around them. They will blame the inactivity received on their house on their agent. If the agent didn’t coach them regarding the pricing decreases around them while their home was listed, or if he failed to take the listing at the correct price in the first place, he is certainly to blame and should be yelled at.

 

If you don’t have to sell, don’t. If you must sell, sell at a competitive price. Don’t waste any precious time testing the market, you will surely fail. If you must sell, be sure to set a competitive price and be certain to insist that your agent consult with you on a weekly basis to check the pricing regularly. A lot of the listings priced too high are undoubtedly the outcome of listing agents and sellers not keeping tabs on the declining prices around them.

For Sale By Owner or Realtor?

For Sale By Owner Sign           For Sale By Owner or Realtor?

Sellers often find themselves asking the question,  “Why should I pay thousands in commissions when it seems so easy to sell myself?”  Are agents guilty of making the task of selling a home look too easy?, You bet! There are many self help books published for people who want to sell their homes themselves.  I would have to write my own book, or at least recommend a few good books myself, if a seller was adamant about trying it themselves. I think its a smart idea to read one or two, even if a seller had already at some point sold their home successfully without the help of a real estate agent. It might be harder then ever in a buyers market to save all this money, however.

In this crazy uncertain market I’m continually amazed when I see a home that was previously listed with a broker which failed to sell become a for sale by owner without a price drop. Certainly, a price drop equal to the amount of the commission is what most buyers expect. Is it advisable to try to sell your home yourself if you have a limited time frame?

As an agent myself, I certainly advocate a seller who would like to save the commission so long as they have patience and a knowledge of the real estate transaction process. In the absence of a good Realtor, I would advise that they also seek out a good real estate attorney.

An astounding percentage of privately sold homes end up in some kind of legal action, usually arising from some sort of failure to disclose certain latent defects or misrepresentations.  I read a report published by researchers from the National Association of Realtors which stated that in a certain year there were as many as 40%. Another staggering statistic, which most sellers are unaware of, is that nationally, for sale by owner sellers net 16- 20% less without an agent.  If your wondering why, read on… Continue reading

Century 21 Open House Extravaganza – Win Free Gas!

This weekend, Oct. 6th and 7th, Century 21 is sponsoring a national Open House Weekend where registered guests can be eligable to win free gasoline for a year*

316sterlinglakedr.jpg

I will be hosting an open house on a special home at 316 Sterling Lake Drive in Ocoee, located in the desirable Silver Glen Subdivion on Sun. Oct. 7th between 1-4 pm. The home is a 4 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath with formal living room and dining rooms, large kitchen  with breakfast bar and eat-in nook opens to a generously sized family room. There is a solar heated pool which is screened and a large covered lanai for hours of relaxation. This home is perfectly located on a large corner, tree shaded lot with a gorgeous manicured lawn. Silver Glen subdivision is easily accessable via the East West Expressway and Florida Turnpike. Located approx. 25 minutes north of Disney and 20 minutes to Universal Studios.  This home has been impeccably maintained and is better than new!, Whole house replumbed in 8/07! And the roof has been recently replaced with superior 50 year shingles! Hope to see you there!

Please vistit my real estate website at http:/www.MyOrlandoAgent.com foradditional information on this and other homes, more photos and a 360 degree virtual tour of this property. You may also schedule an advanced showing by calling me at the number below if you are unable to attend.

*Full details regarding gasoline giveaway will be available at the open house or you may call me at (407)877-7627, Scott Taylor, REALTOR,P.A., Century 21 Elite Properties

Orlando Agents Sleeping On The Job

Throughout the years I’ve wondered what makes a top producing agent a top producing agent. Is it the car they drive? Many people choose thier agent based on this, (not the best determining factor). Could it be that the top agents all have some common thread? Do they have a higher level of education than thier peers?

One top agent I know is a Soccer Mom, another a retired nurse.  When comparing these two it’s really hard to find any similarities in personality or lifestyle, hobbies. They are both very different.  What is the ingredient that these two and many other top agents share in the main dish?

After reflecting on this for quite some time, I decided to get to the bottom of it and interview and question some top agents that I’ve met throughout the years to find the common element that makes a top agent a top agent.

What I’ve found after all this time is one common thread that all agents of top producing caliber seem to share. They all seem to have focus, a plan, an actual business plan.  They set production goals, and treat thier real estate career like a business, a business where they are the CEO.  Most of the top agents I’ve spoken with work five days a week and take two days off, just like a real job. They set income goals and lay out detailed plans of how to get there, how many transactions they need to do.  As consumers we are programmed to think that all top agents work 7 days a week and sleep with thier cell phones on, yet none of the top agents that I’ve met do this. Picturing an agent with his or her cell phone next to their bed  seems kind of desparate, don’t you think? Do we really want someone so desparate for business that they sleep with their cell phone on thier night stand?

sleep_ddd2cd_l_1.jpg

With so many agents and companies to choose from does it make sense for me to hire an agent based on the typical questions that we’ve been taught to ask during an agent interview? Hmm???

Maybe we should be asking about their goals. How many homes are you planning to sell this year? What is your goal for this quarter?… Etc…

If we’re interviewing agents for the position of marketing/listing our homes, should we be concerned about the car they drive when they visit us at our home for the interview or should we be more concerned about what car they are planning to buy next time?  Perhaps the most loaded and important question of all should be, “Where do you put your cell phone when you’re sleeping?”

Buyer Beware!

Orlando, Florida: Buyer Beware! There is always something very special about buying a brand new, newly built home. The home smells so nice and everything is so clean and pretty. Buyers who buy from builders sometimes buy new homes like one would buy a new car, trading thier used homes in every few years for a newer models. Sometimes the good outweighs the bad which is good for the builder considering that builders have been pulling the wool over buyers eyes for so long now. Undoubtedly the hazy cloud from the frenzied new home buyers is smoothing over the rough spots that most buyers experience throughout the process of buying and building a new home with a builder. Certainly few buyers realize how one sided the builder’s sales contracts are, favoring the rights of the builder over the buyer in most clauses of the contract. Who could blame the builder, right? But does the average buyer know this? Should they have a lawyer or a real estate agent looking over the contract to point out and interpret for the buyer what they are signing?, you bet!

Did you know that most new home contracts include a clause which states that if the home does not appraise for the contract price, that the buyer is still reponsible for closing and if there is a mortgage the buyer won’t be allowed to finance the new increased balance in most cases with thier lender?  I will write more about this later in the article, you won’t believe what happened to this buyer. Sadly, this is not an isolated case. The majority of the builders have this clause in the contract. It gets worse… Continue reading

Winter Garden Music Fest – 3 days Free to Public!

Winter Garden Music Festival 2007    October 5, 6 & 7 Downtown Winter Garden, Florida. Mark your calenders for free concert open to the public. Experience downtown in a festive atmosphere with featured local entertainers. The featured musicians will represent several music genres including Jazz, Blues, Urban Jazz, Southern Rock, Big Band, Swing, Zydeco, Dixie Land, Country, Blue Grass, Classic Rock, Pop, Folk, Classical, Japanese Taiko Drums, Christian Pop, Gospel, R&B, Ragtime, African, Mariachi, Celtic and Thai. Local vendors, restaurants are sponsoring this celebrated 3 day event. Read more at: http://www.WinterGardenMusicFest.com . I hope to see you there!

Buyers Market Continues

monopoly-home.gifAccording to figures supplied by the Greater Orlando Association of Realtors Mulitple Listing Service for July, 2007, only 4 percent of all homes listed in the M.L.S. actually went into pending status for the month. What is happening to the other 96%? Wow, if you’re a motivated seller, you’d better price more competitively than most are.

One thing that most buyers have in common in this current market is that they all want the best deals. They don’t look at the houses that are priced higher. Sellers often make the mistake of not looking at thier direct competition. If their Realtor is not providing them with the comps, they should at least visit sites like www.Realtor.com, or a real estate agents web site that has all the MLS listings like my own site www.MyOrlandoAgent.com to view other homes that are similar to thiers. It’s not enough to price homes at the same as others for size, area, amenaties, etc.. You have to be the best deal to get the buyer to even look at the house let alone make an offer. As a full time agent here I’m amazed that the sellers don’t get this. It’s really just basic supply and demand, marketing 101.

I do feel that the general home seller public are not quite aware how bad the market really is right now. On the other hand, a buyer should be delighted, so many choices and favorable interest rates which are returning to the lowest we’ve seen in over 50 years again. The rates dipped as low as 5.5% 2 years ago when the market was hot. Feds are meeting again next week to discuss lowering the rates again, so we could see rates go below 6% on a 30 year fixed rate which would make the homes even more afordable to buyers. Most of the buyers that I’ve been working with and talking to lately are reluctant to move forward for fear that the market may dip further. I believe there are 1000’s of buyers out there right now just waiting to hear the word that the market has bottomed out. Well, I’m going to say it here and now…. The market has bottomed out. There, I said it. 

All the signs of a market bottoming out are present, an influx of investor buyers who are low balling listings. Honestly, there may be some more down turn before the upswing if the we start seeing more preforclosure and forclosure listings. Mike Pappas, owner of Keyes Real Estate in South Florida has seen many preforclosure listings hit the market in the Miami area. Miami has much more inventory and thier market dropped about a year or so before Orlando’s. Miami, like Orlando, has an over supply of listings because of over building over investing.

 “Flippers”, as they are called, fueled the past frenzied sellers market creating an oversupply of availabilities. Now that most of the contracted new constructions starts that investors bought to flip are now completed by the builders and the investors have or will close on them and place them on the market for the general public. The condo conversion developers were ramant with conversions in the past 4 years. When Miami started slowing down on thier condo sales, the same conversion develpers made their way to Orlando and created the same problem. I have seen way too many condos for sale here.

The unfortunate sellers who purchased at the peak and must now sell are sometimes forced to offer their condo for a lesser price than what they purchased for just a few short years ago.  If they don’t do that, their listing will sit on the market for months and months. Up until now, the M.L.S. inventory has risen every month forcing more and more sellers to be more competitive with thier pricing than the prior months, again, forcing prices even further down.  I believe that we’ll see a bunch of listings drop off the radar because there is a huge segment of sellers listings in the MLS that are refusing to lower thier price. Inevitably these sellers will not sell, thier listings will expire and they’ll wait until the market will bear a more favorable price for them to sell.  Sure, some of these sellers who are not merely trying to test the market and those distressed sellers who can not afford thier payments will fall into forclosure. Once their listing reappears into the MLS as a bank owned forclosure listing, the price can be higher becuase buyers seem to gravitate to anything that is marketed as “bank owned” or “forclosure”. I’ve seen this so many times, buyers will inadvertantly pay more for a home just becuase of those certain marketing catch phrases.

New England, where the housing market crash hit first, has seen a turn around already. Prices have risen as much as 4% in the last several months, signaling a tell tale sign that the market may turn here as well soon. Orlando’s job market is even better than it was 3 years ago, more jobs are being created and more baby boomers are moving down to buy a home near Disney.