Easter Real Estate Peeps

Selling Real Estate Before Season Ends

It’s crunch time. There are about ten weeks before Easter and the beginning of the end to our busy tourist season. If you are a southwest Florida home owner whose goal is to sell your real estate by the end of “season” it’s time to reevaluate the market and organize a fresh plan to sell.

The truth of the real estate market is in the numbers. It’s only a matter of a few minutes of research to get down to the facts and figure out what’s going on in your community or on your street, for that matter.

So here’s where we’re at the first week of February 2011. In spite of what folks read in CNN Money about how we’re all doomed, the reality of our real estate market is that after researching a decade of closed sales occurring in the month of January, we closed about forty-three percent more real estate in January 2011 than January 2007. For point of referenced, January 2007 was the lowest point which followed the high in January 2005.

Our market, while the prices are down, has been quietly experiencing a remarkable number of units sold each month for quite some time.

If you’re trying to find out where your real estate falls in the scheme of what is really selling here are a few of the latest stats. About seventy-eight percent of the closed sales in January 2011 were priced four hundred thousand dollars and under. The closed sales stats have been hovering around the eighty percent number for months so it’s no big shock to find out that the Southwest Florida market is moving under $400,000.

There are some really important questions you need to ask about your market if your home is not selling regardless of which side of that seventy eight percentile your real estate is located.

First, what are the three most recent closed sales comparables? If your home has been on the market for months your original comparables are now stale and the market has changed around you. A lot has happened in the last few months so you need to keep pace with the latest sales. Those comps should be as fresh as possible; no more than three months if possible.

Second, what is the absorption rate for your neighborhood or like kind properties in your area? Finding out how much standing inventory you’re competing against is crucial, especially if you’re trying to sell within a specific timeframe.

It’s not what’s listed that matters as much as what is selling.

Recently, a golf course community manager boasted that only six percent of the properties in their community were listed. While it sounded like everything was hearts and flowers I still calculated the absorption rate for the community.

The reality of their market was fourteen months of inventory and potentially fourteen months HOA dues, taxes, mortgage payments, utilities and upkeep expenses to any home owner that could be mislead into thinking that listing inventory at “only six percent” of the total front doors in a neighborhood was good news.

That’s why fresh sales statistics, not listing statistics, are important.

Now go get a fresh set of market statistics for your neighborhood so you can make the most of marketing and selling your real estate before the Easter bunny gets here.

If you’re interested in seeing the pretty graphs of January stats, you can find them at http://budurl.com/SWFLMarket or call me to request a copy via snail mail if you’re not a fan of the internet.


Real Life in Bonita Springs is a project by Chris Griffith dedicated to writing useful blog posts for consumers about the Bonita Springs, Florida area.  Find out what it is really like to live in Bonita Springs, Florida by reading about our fair city. You’ll get the latest in local real estate information, Bonita Springs real estate market reports and a little bit of humor.  If you have topic ideas, feel free to request a story about the idea, after all, this site is just for you.

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