When is the Best “Selling Season” in Florida?

Sell in Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall? Pros and Cons to One and All!

Skeptical Seller: Fall is the quietest season. Families aren’t travelling because the kids are in school. Snowbirds are still home; no good reason to be on the market in the fall, right?

Jim Sweat: You are correct that fall is the quietest tourist season. That means there are not as many showings for people who are just in town and bored. It is a great time to be available for serious buyers who want to have time to find, negotiate and close on their new home soon enough to be ready to occupy it during the snowbird tourist season. I currently have several buyers who are planning on finding their new home this fall.

Skeptical Seller: That’s nice, but I know that winter is our peak tourist season. It only makes sense for me to be on the market during the winter and then take it off if it doesn’t sell. 90 days or nothing.

Jim Sweat: Yes, winter is peak Season. You will have the most showings during the winter months because of it. Sometimes showings will be scheduled just because it isn’t a perfect beach day and tourists are curious about the town. A Realtor can be a great tour guide. You also have the most competition during peak Season. There may be more potential buyers, but there are definitely more homes for them to choose from. How are you going to make yours stand out in the most crowded field of the year?

Skeptical Seller: The snowbirds go back north in the spring, and spring breakers aren’t buying houses, so what’s the point of being on the market in the spring?

Jim Sweat: There are a number of sophisticated buyers who purposely wait until Season is over before they make offers on homes. They look while they are here during vacation, then go home and wait until sellers feel desperate. The sellers who think “90 or nothing” may be more flexible when the peak 90 days have passed. You also have some sellers taking homes off the market “after Season” so those buyers have fewer homes to choose from. It may be wise to have yours available.

Skeptical Seller: Okay, I can understand that. However, there can’t be any good reason to be on the market during the dog days of summer when it is hot out and rains almost every afternoon. Who is looking at homes during the worst months of the year?

Jim Sweat: Only the serious buyers look during the off season. It’s not the most pleasant time. They aren’t just here on vacation with nothing else to do. Many of the buyers who are looking during the summer have scheduled trips specifically to find a home. This gives them time to find, buy, and renovate before peak vacation season hits. You also have the least competition. Many sellers take their home off the market during the off season because they feel it is a lost cause. If the serious buyers are looking then, don’t you want them to find yours?

We had similar situations – but reversed seasons – when I was in Michigan. Some sellers didn’t want their home on the market during the winter months. “Just wait until summer when all of the tourists are in town.” My response: Only serious buyers are trudging through three feet of snow to look at houses. Do you want to clean your house for someone who is that serious, or for a never-ending parade of bored looky-loos who are on vacation and may or may not be that serious about actually buying a home?

Remember this: the majority of homes do not sell during their first listing period. The season you list may not be the season you sell. My personal track record is strong, but it defies the averages.

There are more important factors than the time of year. 35 Home Selling Mistakes to Avoid is an excerpt from the book I am currently writing. Wrong time of year is not one of the 35 reasons.

Bottom line: there are pros and cons to every time of year. You should work with an experienced, full-time, licensed real estate professional that can help you make the most of whatever season fits the timing in your life.

http://www.SweatSellsFlorida.com

All the Best!

Jim Sweat, ABR, CLHMS, CRS, CDPE, GRI, e-PRO, ILHM

Featured in Scene Magazine’s Men on the Scene 2016 issue

Author of REAL ESTATE CSI: CONTROVERSY, SECRETS, INSIGHT (coming soon)

Jim Sweat – Helping Buyers & Sellers Choose Wisely Since 1995 ™

Re/Max  Alliance Group

Mobile: 941-306-7384

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The Bonus Is Back! Why That May Not Be Good News.

Every day my email contains subject lines offering “Bonus to Selling Agent!” I actually found 46 messages in my inbox right now by searching the word “bonus”.  

These bonuses span the spectrum. $1,000. $2,000. $5,000. $10,000. $12,500. $20,000. $25,000. Even one for $50,000.

Obviously, the big bonuses are on multi-million dollar homes. Mom and Pop Smith at 123 Main St are not offering a $20,000 bonus on their $198,000 home.

I am also noticing the bonus is often accompanied by a price reduction.

One example: “$10,000 Selling Bonus to Agent plus $100,000 Price Reduction” offers a nice incentive to the buyer, too.

 Why are there so many bonuses being offered right now, and what does it mean for the market?

Some of the listings were taken with a discounted commission and the bonus is just getting the compensation back up where it is competitive. Sellers want to turn up the excitement, not turn off their prospects. Cutting corners is not a great strategy if you are serious about selling.

Even some of the bank owned homes are offering bonuses. That may also fit into the compensation-adjusting group. When the investors started gobbling up anything that said foreclosure, many banks cut commissions at a time when multiple offers were piling in overnight.

It is easy to imagine agents getting pretty excited at the prospect of earning a bonus on a sale. However I am cognizant of the bonus frenzy we had during the market crash.

The incentives were getting extreme back then. There were even offers of a Mercedes as a bonus, on numerous properties. Anything to stand out and get attention for one property over the others.

Please, don’t misunderstand me. I am not implying we are in a crashing market scenario. We are not, at least not in our area. Sales are brisk and demand is strong in most segments of the market.

There are a couple of areas with softening: The high end luxury home market is temperamental, as it is wont to be from time to time. Some of the buyers just seem willing to take a step back from the rising prices and hold out for a better deal. Others, of course, are participating in sales that are setting new records!

The resale homes that are in price ranges that compete with new construction are suffering the most right now. New home sales are smoking hot. The “used homes”  are having to price very attractively to garner attention from buyers. Some of our historically popular neighborhoods are seeing price reductions and bonuses to compete with new construction.   

Many folks wonder, “Are we in a real estate bubble again?”

No.

Not yet. Here is the warning sign to look out for:

During the bubble that burst in 2006, everyone was buying real estate, but no one wanted to own it. People were just getting into the chain of title, or getting a contract on a home, so they could resell it for a big profit, sometimes literally overnight, without having to do anything at all to improve the property.

It was plain goofy and made no sense. A home isn’t worth $20,000 more just because it is a week older. Or even a month.

There are always some investors and flippers in the market. But during the heyday, everyone wanted to act like a big-time, sophisticated investor.

Today, most of the sales are to people who actually want to own the property, and that is a healthy sign for real estate.

All real estate is local. Talk to your favorite full-time licensed professional so you make the best decisions for your personal situation.

Get Serious. Get Sweat.

All the Best!

Jim Sweat, ABR, CLHMS, CRS, CDPE, GRI, e-PRO

Realtor

Re/Max Alliance Group

Mobile: 941-306-7384

Are You Serious? Then Get A Serious Agent.

Welcome to the blog of a serious agent.

You can learn about me and how I can help you accomplish your goals.

Here is the link to my Author Page. Currently 14 real estate books covering numerous home-buying or home-selling scenarios.  www.JamesSweatAuthor.com  

To find out what your home is worth for free, go to http://values.jamessweatauthor.com/

Featured in Scene Magazine’s Men on the Scene 2016 issue

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All the Best!

Jim Sweat, ABR, CLHMS, CRS, CDPE, GRI, e-PRO

Realtor

Re/Max Alliance Group

Mobile: 941-306-7384