Moving to Florida 🏡 How Buyers Stand a Chance in a Crazy Real Estate Market
By now you've probably heard about the low inventory real estate situation here in the Tampa Bay area, and I'm sharing my advice for how to best navigate this housing market.
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As of March 2021, Hillsborough County only has three weeks of single family home inventory, when a balanced housing market would have about six months worth of homes available.
Be sure to work with an experienced Realtor and a solid lender partner.
Take a close look at your finances, because you might have to get creative. It is very normal for a buyer right now to guarantee to pay a certain amount over appraised value. In order to win that contract, you may have to put down a larger down payment or the seller might want you to put more of an escrow deposit down.
It's going to be difficult to get sellers who will accept a contract contingent on the sale of your home, so you may need to tap into other money sources such as investment accounts.
For those lucky enough to be a cash buyer, you are likely to win the contract in a multiple-offer situation if it's the same price as finance offers.
Be flexible, but don't settle! There will probably never be the perfect house, but cosmetic items can be changed. Be flexible on the "wants," not as flexible on the "must-haves."
Why even jump into this housing market right now? My buyers are choosing to proceed for several reasons including historically low interest rates, the ability to work from home, and out-of-towners looking to leave more expensive states.
If you're the type of person who likes the negotiation process, then I typically recommend you don't go see a house until it's been on the market for a week or two. A house that lingers even for a short period of time on the market is usually indicative of it being too high of a price, not being in a location that everybody likes, or something needing to be fixed.
Many of you are worried about a housing bubble that's going to burst, and I do not want buyers to be sitting in a house they can't sell down the road.
One factor I do want to highlight is the Tampa Bay area home supply. Looking at the big picture, Millennials are now the prime age for buying homes and Baby Boomers aren't moving out of their houses - some even buying second homes.
During the recession era 2008-2011, there was hardly any new construction builds in the Tampa Bay area. After four years of not creating inventory, builders now are scrambling to keep up with the demand.
That's not to say there won't be any sort of market correction in a few years, but I'm not seeing demand going down at the moment.
Here are five pieces of advice for dealing with the current seller's market: (explained further in the video)
- Escalation Clause
- Be a "Cash Buyer"
- New Construction
- Sellers don't get lazy / greedy
We're now heading into the spring and summer market, and I'm expecting it to be just as crazy! Please remember to make the best decisions for your situation and work with people you trust to represent you.
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Melanie is a Tampa Bay area Realtor with Smith & Associates. She loves Tampa Bay area area, houses, and helping clients buy and sell real estate. She can be reached at 813-368-6084 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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