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Price Your Home in Today's Market

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

The question of how to price your home in today's market is very important in today's Tampa Bay real estate market.  Unlike just a few years ago when a home might be priced a little higher than market value and the market would catch up to it.  In today's real estate market, especially in the Tampa Bay real estate market, pricing is critical.  If a home is priced above market value today, it is already on life support because prices are still falling and the market train has already left the station. 

The role of the realtor is perhaps more important than in the past many years since sellers may not be aware of the true market conditions, or may be in total denial of the actual market conditions and a professional realtor will provide the dose of honesty needed to get a home priced right and sold.

In the Tampa Bay real estate market, the median sale price of a home in April of 2006 was $220,000.  Today, in the same Tampa Bay real estate area, the median sale price of a home in April of 2011 is $125,000.  Even only one year ago, the median sale price of a house in the Tampa Bay real estate market in April of 2010 was $134,000 and in April of 2011 the mediam sale price of a house is $125,000.  This is a 6.4% decrease in market value in only one year.  In almost every instance, it is foolish for a seller to insist on setting a list price above market value, or above what the house may have sold for only three years ago.  To do so is setting up the seller for failure and will almost surely cost the listing agent time, money and reputation.

Another way to look at price and how competitive it has become is to look at what is on the market today in the Tampa Bay real estate market.  For instance, in the $200,000 to $249,999 price range, there were 1,758 single family homes for sale in April 2010.  Out of those 1,758 houses for sale in that price range, 38 sold in April.  That means that 1,740 did NOT sell.  For most folks, that is a big number and indicates how competitive the market is, and how vitally important it is to price a house correctly.  Failure to do so is almost sure banishment to the lingering death of an expired listing that over six months can cost the seller another 5-10% in value. 

In no price range was the rate of sales compared to listings as high as 8%.  This means in every price category in the Tampa Bay real estate market, more than 90% of the homes for sale DID NOT SELL.

The moral of the story is you can price your home correctly today and get it sold, or you can price it where you "need" it to be, and watch the market pass you by and find better value somewhere else.  This is a harsh lesson.  The current market is harsh.

Act now, be wise and be ahead of the market so when the buyer comes along, you are there and not outside hoping to get a straggler.  PRICE IT RIGHT!!

If you would like pricing information on a neighborhood, visit Sun Bay Associates Market Snapshot for a free and very comprehensive report.

Monday Morning Coffee, 5/16/2011

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

Happy Monday Morning!!  Did you know that in the Pinellas County, FL real estate market, the absorption rate for houses in the month of April was 15.4%.  This means the for every 100 houses on the market in Pinellas County, FL in April, 15 of them sold.  This is the fourth consecutive month that the number of houses sold, or absoprtion rate, in Pinellas County, FL has increased.  Of course, if a house is in the unsold 85%, this is still not a good market.  The good news is that the number of houses being sold is increasing.  The average price of a house sold in April of 2011 was 1.7% less than for a house sold in April 2010, and that is a sign the market has not quite yet stopped declining.  Now, let's see what we have for our Monday Morning Coffee.

If you enjoy our Monday Morning Coffee, please share it and pass it along to a friend.

Now for your Morning Coffee!

Crescent Oaks, Tarpon Springs - a 30 Day Real Estate Update

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

Today's 30 day real estate update is for the golf course community of Crescent Oaks, Tarpon Springs.  This golf course was closed recently, however, it has ben reported in the St. Petersburg Times that the course will be re-opening soon as a semi-private golf course.

For the last 30 day reporting period, there are 26 homes listed for sale in Crescent Oaks.  None are reported as distressed property.  Nine of these homes are villas, the rest are single family homes.  The prices range from $210,000 to $989,950 and the days on market range from 4 to 615.  The average list price is $395,502 and the average days on market is 154.

In the last 30 days, there have been 3 new listings come on the market.  All three are single family homes, with the list prices being $289,000, $450,000 and $699,900.

There are three houses under contract for this past month.  Of these, two are distressed property, short sales.  One is a 3,341 square foot home listed for $399,900 and had only 2 days on market.  The other is a 2,839 square foot home listed for $265,000 with only 43 days on market.

Two homes sold in the last 30 days in Crescent Oaks.  One was not a distressed property.  It is a villa, listed for $225,000 and sold for $215,000 after 573 days on market.  The other was a distessed property, bank owned.  It listed for $339,000 and sold for $320,000 after only 9 days on market.  This is a 3,571 square foot single family home, with 5 bedrooms and a 2 car garage.

For information on specific neighborhoods, visit Sun Bay Associates' Market Snapshot for real time data on the neighborhood you want to research.  If you would like to perform a search for real estate in the greater Tampa Bay area, visit Sun Bay Associates' FREE home search and design your unique real estate search.

For information on distressed property, whether short sales or bank owned, or for information on how to approach resolution of issues from falling behind on your mortgage, visit Sun Bay Associates' distressed property site for free reports.

Happy House Hunting!!

Country Woods, Palm Harbor - a 30 Day Real Estate Update

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

Country Woods, Palm Harbor is a wonderful community that abuts the Dunedin line and is almost part of Dunedin yet has access to the Palm Harbor University High School and other Palm Harbor schools.  Country Woods is also very close to the Pinellas Trail and the Dunedin Causeway which leads to Honeymoon Island and the ferry to Caladesi Island.

In the last 30 days, there has not been a sale, however there are 5 houses that are active listings and one house is now under contract.

The five houses listed for sale range in price from $349,900 to $439,000 and the days on market range from 3 to 717.  The average list price in Country Woods, Palm Harbor is $388,560.  The house with the most competitive list price is:

2713 Beagle Path Lane, Palm Harbor is listed for $349,900 and only 17 days on market.  This home has 3,246 square feet, a large fenced backyard and a 3 car garage.  It has no carpeting, and does have hardwood and travertine tile floors.  This is the lowest list price in Country Woods.

The one home under contract had been listed above $400,000 and when it was reduced to $399,000 it went under contract after only 69 days on market.  The details for this home are:

2744 Country Woods Lane, listed for $399,000 has 3,486 square feet, a pool and 2 car garage.

If you would like details on the real estate market in your neighborhood, visit Sun Bay Associates' Market Snapshot.  This will give you real time information on the real estate market in the specific neighborhood you are researching.

For real estate market information on the greater Tampa Bay area, visit Sun Bay Associates' FREE home search and design your own unique real estate market search.

Happy House Hunting!!

Highland Lakes, Palm Harbor - a 30 Day Real Estate Update

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

Today is the final 30 day update for 2010 and we will do the real estate update for Highland Lakes, Palm Harbor, a very desirable 55+ community.  Highland Lakes has access to Lake Tarpon, has three par 3 golf courses, a clubhouse, fitness center and lots of activities.  Highland Lakes is the largest 55+ community in Palm Harbor.

The real estate activity in the last 30 days, for single family homes and villas shows there are 70 properties for sale, ranging in price from $44,900 up to $450,000 - which is a lakefront home on Lake Tarpon.  The average days on market for the homes for sale is 172.  The lakefront home, listed for $450,000 has 1,037 days on market.

In the last 30 days, six homes have come on the market in Highland Lakes, Palm Harbor: 2 villas and 4 single family homes.

There are 15 homes under contract in Highland Lakes with list prices ranging from $59,900 to $185,000.  The average days on market is a little over 100 days.

In the last 30 days, 10 homes have sold in Highland Lakes.  The listed prices ranged from $72,000 to $799,000 and the average days on market was 114.  The home listed for $799,000 was a bank owned property and sold in 0 days for only $85,000 so this is one that is a statistical outlier.

The average sales price for these 10 homes in Highland Lakes was $97,940, average days on market was 114.  The sold prices ranged from $69,000 to $162,500 and the days on market ranged from 28 to 479.

The lower the number of days on market, the closer the price is to the market value.  When a house comes on the market at a price higher than the market is willing to pay, it sits on the market getting little showing activity, as a rule, until the price is dropped to a value the real estate market (buyers) is willing to accept.  In the current market, the longer the house sits on the market, the lower the final sale price is likely to be because the values are continuing to decline.  Thus, it is better to price your house correctly as the outset in order to get the best possible price instead of hoping to get more than the market is willing to pay.  Time is not a seller's friend in today's real estate market.

If you would like more information about a specific neighborhood, whether in Palm Harbor or elsewhere, visit Sun Bay Associates' Market Snapshot for a real time look at the real estate market in that neighborhood.

If you would like to see a broader picture of real estate in the Tampa Bay area, visit Sun Bay Associates' FREE home search and design your own real estate search.

Happy New Year!!

Why Not Price My Home with Room to Negotiate??

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

A very common question we get from sellers is "Why not price my home high enough to leave room to negotiate?"  This is just about the most common question we get when talking with sellers and potential customers.  It would be really peachy to just say that it is a good idea, go ahead and price your home above the market, someone will buy it.  But we can't.  The following is meant mostly for our market, Tampa Bay.

In truth, we do not take the easy way out, and by giving the customer the hard facts of today's real estate market, they may decide to list with an agent who is willing to put their home on the market at a too high price, let it sit for six months and cost them money and time.  The most successful way we have found to address this question is to make a visual so they can "see" our point about the current market.  After showing the customer all the data from our research into prices in their neighborhood, surrounding area and the greater area also, including less than positive data from NAR and the local and national media, there are many who still immediately ask why not build in negotiating room.  One response we have had success with is to let them know the reality of pricing and the way the market searches for real estate.

If the house has a market value of $175,000 and they want to price their home at $200,000, for the "wiggle room", we let them know the market that is looking in their real price range doesn't even see their house because it is too high and is in a different search bracket.  Buyers, and agents, often search in $25,000 brackets and if someone is looking for a home in the $175,000 range, because that is what they are approved for, they are not going to even look at anything priced for $200,000.  They won't often even look for anything priced at $180,000 since they are not approved.  Today's buyer is very savvy and is aware that if houses are priced too high, there are many, many others that are correctly priced and there is no point in getting into a haggle over a few thousand dollars for an over-priced house when there are many others that will accept a price that is fair on the first offer.

For example, one visual that has been successful is to compare the price of a house to catching a train.  I know the train is scheduled to leave the station at noon.  So I show up at ten after and wait, and wait, and wait.  Why?  Because the train has already left the station.  In this market, the prices are not going up, so why price a house above the market?  All that does is cost the seller time and money, because in this down real estate market, the longer a house is on the market the more value it loses.  Thus, being priced for "negotiating room" is being too high in the marketplace and buyers are not even going to find the house to consider making an offer that the seller might accept.  In other words, that train has left the station and your house is going to sit on the market, become a stale listing, lose value and after six months of being ignored by the market because the seller wanted more, and the agent allowed it, the customer is going to feel that the real estate agent did not do his job.

So, the customer must realize that realtor consultants are working to sell your home.  Otherwise, the customer does not sell her home, loses time and money and by the way, the realtor not only does not get paid, but also loses money.  An overpriced listing is almost worse than no listing at all.  It is the responsibility of realtor consultants to price a home correctly in this market to best serve their customers.  As long as prices continue to fall, there is no point to price your home higher than where the level has already been.

Has Real Estate Stabilized?? Maybe.

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

A very commonly asked question is "Has the real estate market stabilized?"  The answer, according to a brief article from the National Association of Realtors magazine, is a resounding maybe.  In a Reuters news release, the following opinion was offered.

The Worst Is Over, Some Experts Conclude
With housing recovering slowly, most economists predicted in a recent survey that it will take at least five years for average home prices to climb back to the levels they commanded in 2006.

This year, some hard-hit areas may see another dip, but properties values will most likely rise.

"Softness in the summer months will be followed by firming conditions and momentum as the year unfolds and the economy strengthens," says Robert Denk, an economist for the National Association of Home Builders.

Source: Reuters News (08/12/2010)

This may be the first good news the consumer has heard about the real estate market in a long time.  In the Tampa Bay area, the general expectation is for additional price drops, although not nearly as severe as the last two years.  It is even possible that there is a light at the end of the tunnel that is NOT an oncoming train.

Real Estate Sales in Oldsmar, FL

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

Oldsmar, FL is a wonderful community in the Tampa Bay area.  The following data can help you determine the current situation of the real estate market, especially in Oldsmar, FL.  Here are some pertinent statistics for real estate activity in Oldsmar for the first two months of 2010.

Price range $300,000 - $500,000:  Active listings 40; Under contract 5; Pending sale 3; Sold 2;  Expired listings 7; Average days on market 238

Price range $175,000 - $300,000:  Active listings 44; Under contract 4; Pending sale 8; Sold 4; Expired listings 12; Average days on market 69

Price range up to $175,000:  Active listings 33; Under contract 10; Pending sale 11; Sold 12; Expired listings 5; Average days on market 67

In most cases, houses that expire are priced too high, although there can be other causes, such as poor condition.  However, if priced correctly, just about anything will sell.  Higher priced houses simply take longer to sell since there are fewer buyers as price increases.  The numbers show that there are fewer listings in Oldsmar for $175,000 or less and more houses sold in that same price range, so the most activity is in the under $175,000 price range.  Also, these houses sold quicker than the higher ranges.  The Oldsmar real estate market is very active under $175,000, and this is typical for the greater Tampa Bay area.  Higher priced houses have fewer qualified buyers available so the sales numbers for the higher priced houses are a bit less encouraging. 

With interest rates at historic lows, and home prices at ten year lows, this is a terrific time for qualified buyers to find outstanding value when looking for their new home.

Real Estate Market Stabilized? Or not.

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

Some people are saying the real estate market has stabilized.  Maybe or maybe not.  Foreclosures are still going up.  In fact, according to RealtyTrac.com, foreclosure filings - default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions - were reported on 937,840 properties in the third quarter, a 5 percent increase from the previous quarter and a 23% increase from the same quarter in 2008!

In September alone there were more than 340,000 foreclosure filings, an increase of 29 percent from September 2008.  James Saccacio, CEO of RealtyTrac, stated that "Bank repossessions, or REOs, jumped 21 percent from the second quarter to the third quarter, corresponding to jumps in defaults and scheduled auctions in the previous two quarters."

The bad news for Florida homeowners is that Florida is still in the top five states for foreclosures.  California, Florida, Arizona, Nevada, Illinois and Michigan accounted for 62% of the entire nation's foreclosure activity in the third quarter.  Florida posted more than 156,000 property foreclosure filings in the third quarter, a jump of 23% from the same quarter in 2008.

Maybe the real estate market is stabilizing in parts of the country, but not all states are created equal.  However, Floridians may consider themselves lucky, because in Detroit, the average home price is around $8,000.  That is not a typo, it is $8,000.  Sales are rebounding, and prices are still declining.  You decide if this is a stabilized reall estate market.

Displaying blog entries 1-9 of 9

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Photo of Gwen and  Doug Campbell - Sun Bay Realty Group Real Estate
Gwen and Doug Campbell - Sun Bay Realty Group
at Keller Williams Realty
30522 US Hwy 19N, Suite 107 S
Palm Harbor FL 34684
Doug's Cell 727-741-4189
Gwen's Cell 727-741-7260
Fax: 888-447-7908