Wednesday, April 16, 2014

What is Your Realtor's Negotiation Strategy?

Sarasota's real estate market is facing low inventory and high demand.  There very well may be multiple buyers interested in the same property.  How your Realtor handles offers and negotiates on your behalf is key to your success.

I advise my clients that I negotiate on their behalf from a position of confidentiality.  Information is power, and information in the hands of the other party can be used against you.  Things like the reason for selling, personal financial issues, deadline dates such as the sale of another property, and family issues such as divorce, can hurt you in a price negotiation.

I also negotiate from a position of leverage.  Leverage is gained by being prepared and learning the motivations of the other party.  While I advise my customers not to divulge information to the other party, I have no trouble asking a lot of questions to get the other party or their agent to talk too much.  Buyers often have an emotional reaction that can help give power to the seller during a negotiation.  This is usually a reason listing agents (the good ones, anyway) are present at showings.

Preparedness is crucial.  For buyers this means having proof of funds or a financing approval included with an offer.  Buyers should also offer as large an escrow deposit as possible.  For sellers, copies of condo docs, association rules and regulations, association financial statements, association management contact information, and association fees, should be at hand on day one of your listing.  Copies of receipts and invoices for recent work performed also help a buyer feel good about their decision to make an offer on your property.

When you are ready to buy or sell, make sure your Realtor has a strategy to win.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Sarasota Best Real Estate Deals

I just updated my website with Sarasota are best real estate deals:  http://www.davidbarrhomes.com/#!best-deals-sarasota/c142p

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Sarasota best deal on Hillview St. for sale

The updated best deals list includes waterfront homes in Bradenton and Englewood, a large newer 2 story home in Venice under $200K, and a couple of affordable homes in Sarasota just east of the Trail, a hot area for both investors and full time residents.

Please contact me if you're interested in touring any of these homes.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Follow Up: Why A Good Sarasota Buyer's Agent is a Must

This week I was contacted by home buyers to show a property they had found online.

It turned out the buyers had put an put in an offer on the house they wanted me to show them, with another agent. The buyers did not have a representation agreement with the other agent, and an offer is only an offer if it is not accepted by both the seller and buyer.

 They felt their first agent did not represent their interests, and they were correct.

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Key West style home for sale in Englewood $254,900

The buyers and the seller came within $900 of making a deal.  Then, according to the buyers, nothing happened, which is why they contacted me.

I went over the comparable sales and told the buyers that the price the seller counter-offered was actually a pretty good deal.  $900 represents a difference of about $5 per month in mortgage payment.  The buyers agreed it would not be worth losing the home over $5 per month.

Unfortunately, their previous agent did not provide comparable sales, so the buyers were making decisions on virtually no information.  The buyers did end up losing the home to someone else.

An experienced buyer's agent is invaluable in a competitive real estate market, like Sarasota.


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Follow Up: Why You Need a Good Buyer's Agent

This is a follow up to my previous blog about buyer's agents:  http://blog.davidbarrhomes.com/2014/03/case-study-why-experienced-buyers-agent.html

The real estate world is always changing, but sometimes the changes can be confusing for prospective home buyers.

There are three competing business models nationally which are shaping how consumers buy and sell real estate:

1) Zillow and Trulia:  Non-licensed: what we in the industry call "portals".  They exist to generate visits to their websites and sell advertising. Participating agents pay to be featured in certain geographical areas;
2) Traditional brokerages, such as Re/Max and Keller Williams with their national real estate sites, where buyers can search for homes and get funneled to one of the company's featured agents;
3) Redfin and Movoto:  Licensed brokers, but without physical brick and mortar presence in local markets.  These companies partner with established local agents when a home buyer or seller expresses interest in a property.  These two companies have sales volume and customer feedback standards when partnering with an agent.  Full disclosure:  I am a partner agent with both Redfin and Movoto.

Research shows home buyers search these major national websites first, to get a general feel for a local real estate market.  Sometimes, a home buyer registers on these sites to get listing updates or to create an account to save favorite properties.

This is where the confusion begins.  When you register on one of these sites, you are not bound to have a particular agent on that website represent you in the purchase of sale of property.

Home buyers should not feel locked into a particular agent or website.  I recommend buyers research local agents with full service websites (such as my website, www.davidbarrhomes.com) before signing any representation agreement.  

Monday, April 7, 2014

Another Reason to Invest in Sarasota Real Estate

From today's Tampa Bay Times:  Another Apartment Complex Headed to West Shore

Read the article here:  http://www.tampabay.com/news/business/realestate/another-new-apartment-complex-headed-to-westshore/2173589

Why is this a reason to invest in Sarasota real estate, as opposed to the Tampa area?

1) Building apartments indicates a weak demand from home buyers.  In the Sarasota area, builders are focusing entirely on single family homes and villas;
2) Apartment complex rentals are usually at a lower rental rate than single family home rentals;
3) Individual investors trying to rent existing condos or single family homes have to compete against resort-style amenities in new apartment complexes;
4) Bringing new apartments into existing rental inventory increases rental property supply and drives down demand and rental rates;
5) New apartments are usually lower-quality stick built above the first floor, while new condo construction is usually concrete block with increased sound deadening and fireproofing measures.

The Sarasota area is affluent and attracts affluent seasonal renters.  These renters want a seasonal condo near the beach, or a single family home or villa in an upscale neighborhood or community.  They are less likely to want to rent an apartment.

For more information for Sarasota investors, please visit my website:  http://www.davidbarrhomes.com/#!investors-sarasota/c166n

Friday, April 4, 2014

Canadians Buying Florida Real Estate

I have a visible Sarasota FL real estate website and I get a lot of calls from Canadian media asking me to advertise to Canadian investors.

Sarasota is arguably one of the best places, if not the best place, to invest in Florida real estate.  Best doesn't mean the least expensive.

Downtown Sarasota and Sarasota Bay

Unfortunately, a lot of Canadian real estate investors focus on the less expensive properties and gravitate toward less expensive markets like Orlando, Tampa, or Ft. Myers.  In my opinion, that's not the best approach to investing in Florida real estate.

Sarasota County is one of the top three affluent counties in Florida, with the top school district in the state.  Sarasota benefits from a world class reputation for arts, amenities such as fine dining, and lifestyle, including the consistently #1 rated Siesta Key Beach.  The affluent visitors to Sarasota could go to Ft Myers or Tampa, but they don't.  They come to Sarasota year after year.

These visitors are very often seasonal renters, and rent the same property year after year.  These affluent seasonal visitors pay higher rents to be in Sarasota, because Sarasota seasonal rentals, in good economies and bad, are booked far in advance and are in limited supply.  Low supply and high demand equals high occupancy and high rental rates.

The supply/demand equation means your Sarasota real estate investment is more likely to appreciate in value, at a higher rate than Tampa, Ft. Myers, or Orlando.

More evidence that Sarasota is in high demand:  local builders.  Sarasota County is experiencing a boom in new communities with single family homes and villas.  They are building apartment complexes in Tampa and Ft Myers.

My advice to Canadian real estate investors is to buy a single family home in the $250-$450,000 range, with a pool, as close to the beaches as possible.  The home does not have to be in a gated community.  Expect seasonal rental rates in the $3000 per month range.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Bradenton Ranks 6th Nationally in Open Houses. And?

Real estate journalism is really a sorry state of affairs.  

As the title of this post says, an article in the Bradenton Herald says Bradenton ranks 6th nationally in Open Houses.  So what?

Do homes sold that used open houses sell faster?  For more money?  Get multiple offers?  Sorry, no such relevant conclusion about Bradenton Open Houses, or any Open Houses, for that matter, in this article.

woo hoo, an open house!
Hey honey, there's some balloons! Let's go in that Open House!

Agent Open Houses are for the agents.  They hope to get new prospective buyers or impress the neighbors who might be thinking of selling their home.  They rarely if ever sell the actual home, the owners of which were forced to vacate on a weekend afternoon so strangers could dirty their floor and peer in their medicine cabinet.