Monday, August 27, 2012

New Palmer Ranch Content on davidbarrhomes.com!

I just added a new feature to my Palmer Ranch page on davidbarrhomes.com.

There's a new map identifying single family home neighborhoods within Palmer Ranch.  You can click the map markers and go directly to currently available property listings from the MLS.

The map feature is in addition to all single family home listings in Palmer Ranch, a slideshow tour of homes, and my exclusive Palmer Ranch Beach Meter showing distance to the closest beach, and the shortest route.

I look forward to helping you with all your Palmer Ranch real estate needs.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Multiple Offer? What's a Good Offer?

We're fast approaching our high season, when real estate activity in the Sarasota area traditionally increases from the summer months.

The increasing buyer demand for property, combined with shrinking inventory, means many buyers will likely be faced with a multiple offer situation, especially on aggressively-priced short sales and foreclosures.

When this occurs, the owner's agent (private owner or a bank) will advise me as your buyer representative to present your highest and best offer.  Some banks, such as Bank of America, will require that you sign an acknowledgement that multiple offers have been received, and give you a deadline date for making your best offer.

But what's a good offer when competing with other interested buyers?

A good offer (highest and best) in the eyes of a bank or a property owner consists of these items:
  1. Highest offer price:  Think of the list price as a guide and try to dismiss your initial reaction to paying at or above list price.  In my opinion, your highest and best offer price is the price you would kick yourself for not making, if your offer is not selected.
  2. Largest escrow deposit:  Low escrow signals a flighty buyer not fully committed to make the purchase.  The escrow deposit is applied to your purchase, so why not offer a substantial escrow deposit to make your offer stand out?
  3. Quickest closing date:  This benefits the seller of the property two ways.  They know they have a motivated buyer who wants the property, and it gets the property off their hands and off their books.  A quick closing with a cash offer really helps you stand above competing offers.  You can close a cash purchase on a foreclosure in as little as 2 weeks, but I recommend 3 weeks minimum.
  4. Cash: Cash is king.  A cash offer is almost always considered a better offer than one that requires financing.
  5. Complete offer package with all required addenda and proof of funds.
I look forward to helping you navigate the Sarasota area's active and competitive real estate market.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Market Knowledge: Lessons from the Field

I was working with some buyers over the past weekend who illustrated that expert real estate representation means more than just showing properties.

These buyers initially had very specific criteria which significantly narrowed their choices.  One of these criteria included finding a home in a community that had a lap pool.

Rather than simply showing these buyers only the types of homes they thought they wanted to see, I asked them questions and got to know what other options might satisfy their goals.  Because of my local market knowledge, I pointed out the benefits of a local YMCA, as well as a fitness facility operated by Sarasota Memorial Hospital, both of which the buyers discovered more than met their needs. 

This significantly increased the buyer's potential housing options, and maximized the use of their time during their visit.

Home buyers: If you are looking for an agent who can present you with a range of opportunities that will fit your goals, please contact me to arrange property viewings during your next visit.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Focus On: Palmer Ranch

Palmer Ranch always ranks high on buyer's wish lists because of it's proximity to Siesta Key, manicured landscape, and attractive gated communities.

Here's a quick snapshot of what is happening in the Palmer Ranch real estate market from January 1 to August 7th, 2011 versus the same period in 2012.  These figures are for single family homes only:

Units sold:  134 in 2012         96 in 2011

Median sold price:  $337,500  2012        $339,500  2011

Median sold price per sq ft:  $149.53  2012        $148.47  2011

List price to sold price ratio:  95% in 2012 and 2011

Days to close:  111 in 2012        134 in 2011

It appears that the real estate market in Palmer Ranch has stabilized nicely and activity has picked up significantly in 2012.

You can view Palmer Ranch single family home listings and condo listings on www.davidbarrhomes.com with no sign up required.



Real Estate Online Marketing

I recently had a conversation about marketing a listing with a potential home seller.  The pertinent questions:  How do I distinguish myself from the large brokerages and how do I match their exposure?

There's a common misconception that large brokerages get more exposure for their listings.  This is highly debatable.  Every member of our local MLS has equal access to what is known as real estate syndication.  Syndication puts the information we enter in the MLS on over 60 real estate websites.

How do I distinguish myself from the large brokers or other agents?  The first example I point to is my real estate website, www.davidbarrhomes.com.  Without boring you with a lot of statistics, my website gets as high if not higher percentage of audience searching for specific popular keywords for real estate in our area as the biggest brokerage websites.

If you are selling real estate in Lakewood Ranch, does it matter that a large brokerage is getting hundreds of thousands of views for real estate listings from Parrish to Punta Gorda?  I can point to Google Analytics data that shows that my Lakewood Ranch page on davidbarrhomes.com gets as many if not more views than any of my competitors, of any size.

The second and perhaps biggest difference is my hands-on approach to listing your home for sale.  Unlike most agents, I personally photograph and video your property for inclusion in the MLS and other websites.  I know how buyers walk through and view homes when creating a true video walkthrough of your property.  I know what features are important to emphasize to attract buyers viewing your property online.