With all the doom and gloom in the press about how bad the economy is, buyers seem to think that if they wait to buy a house that the sellers will have to come down in price to meet the, sometimes, outrageous offers the buyers make. And 18 months ago, that might have been true. In the Tampa Bay real estate market, that no longer seems to be true. There are micro-markets that are currently moving very well and the buyers who are waiting for the bottom of the market don't seem to understand that the train has already left the station.

The last few houses we sold went under contract in less than a month, and a couple in less than 2 weeks. That does not say it is a buyers' market. In the Palm Harbor, or Dunedin, or Oldsmar real estate markets, houses that are priced at market value are selling. Even those houses that are not exactly model homes and need a bit of maintenance are selling fast. That is not to say prices are skyrocketing. They aren't. However, prices are no longer going down and for that matter, they are no longer flat in Dunedin, or Palm Harbor, or Oldsmar or several other Pinellas County real estate markets.

A little over a year ago, we had a 15-18 month inventory of homes to sell, so a buyer had a lot of choices and could get away with a low offer. Today, we have roughly a 3 month inventory of houses. This means that savvy buyers who have been watching the market know that there is a lot of competition to buy any given house and that a low ball offer is almost for sure going to get rejected. The less savvy buyers who still think this is a dead market lose out on house, after house, after house because they think the houses are priced too high and have a hard time dealing with the fact the Palm Harbor, or Dunedin, or Oldsmar real estate markets have shifted and that Realtors are telling them the truth about the competitive nature of this market.

This house, below, sold in only 20 days, for several thousand more than the appraised price. That is not a buyer's market.

401 Driftwood waterfront home sold in 20 days.

If you are a buyer, or know a buyer, who is waiting for real estate prices to continue to decline, don't. If you do wait, you have a very, very good chance of losing the once in a lifetime house you would have liked to live in.