Showing posts from June, 2012

Sarasota Short Sale 2012 Statistics

It goes without saying that short sales are a subject of frustration for home buyers, sellers, and the real estate agents that serve them. One of the most frequent issues I see with buyers is the question of what kind of offer should they make; specifically, can or should a buyer make a low offer on a short sale, hoping to negotiate a better price? Recently, an article came out about lowball offers and their consequences, which you can read here: . I decided to take this article a step further and research what is actually happening in my real estate service area of Sarasota, Manatee, and Charlotte Counties.  Using MLS sold data, I examined the list price to sales price ratio for short sales.  I took this even further by examining this data by price range.  The data includes all short sales (single family homes, condos, etc.) from January 1 to June 30, 2012. The local data supported the article referenced above.  The sales price was uniformly in a narrow

Focus On: Bird Key

Bird Key real estate has been quite active in 2012. Year to date, 22 single family homes (all properties on Bird Key are single family) have sold. Median sales price is $1,145,000, selling at 93% list price to sales price ratio, and closing within 144 days.  So far this year, only one property was a distressed sale. Bird Key and Bird Key Yacht Club What's contributing to the activity on Bird Key?  First of all, there's the unmatched value of the location between downtown and St. Armand's Circle, as well as Lido Key beaches.  If you could have a waterfront luxury home with easy access to these areas, would you buy a condo downtown at a similar price point? Secondly, Bird Key prices are recovering.  In 2009, the median Bird Key sales price was $689,000 with 35 properties sold, 7 of those distressed properties.  In 2010, it was $899,999 with 29 properties sold, 4 of those distressed. Something interesting to note, which I have mentioned in other Focus On blog Outperforms Major Sarasota Broker Sites

Google Analytics is a fascinating and highly useful tool for evaluating a website's  performance in the online advertising universe. I started using Google Adwords over 10 years ago for my real estate website, , and experienced excellent results.  My goal then, as it remains now, is to create a website and online presence that could take on the largest competitors in our area.  A new feature I've been examining on Analytics gives me some extremely positive results to share in this regard. Google's Auction Insights provides a revealing snapshot of how keywords are performing versus other online advertisers.  I was pleased to find out that my keywords targeting some of the most popular neighborhoods and areas in Sarasota and Manatee Counties garnered a higher share of impressions (people who saw my advertisement) than major brokers. To me, this proves that a lone real estate agent can successfully take on even the largest competitors online when it c

Focus On: Casey Key

Casey Key is arguably the preeminent real estate destination in the Sarasota area.  What makes Casey Key so desirable are the gulf to bay estate-sized lots, private beachfront, and it's off-the-beaten-trail location between Sarasota and Venice.  If you are looking for privacy and exclusivity, Casey Key fits the bill. Casey Key FL To date in 2012, just 9 single family homes have sold on Casey Key.  Sold properties were on the market an average of 271 days with a median sales price of exactly $1.7 million. What jumps out at me from the data, as I outlined in a previous Focus On blog about another luxury neighborhood, Harbor Acres, is the list price to sales price ratio.  This is a very good indicator not only of the strength of the real estate market for a neighborhood, but also a good indicator of the ability of the listing broker to correctly price for the market. As with Harbor Acres, listings on Casey Key are dominated by our area's "luxury" broker.  Thi

New content on

I've been making some additions to my real estate website, , that buyers interested in purchasing Sarasota real estate will find useful. It's frustrating enough finding homeowner's property insurance information on insurance websites, so I created a new page addressing the most common concerns in the Sarasota area, which you can read here: .  I cover a lot of topics from wind mitigation to flood insurance. Sarasota FL home buyers will also find my content on the buying process very informative.  My exclusive Beach Meter , included for the 39 neighborhoods and major areas I profile on, have been enhanced with links to Bing Maps, showing not only the driving time and distance to the nearest beach, but the actual route as well. Many home buyers may not be aware of what CDD fees are or how they impact your purchase and ownership of a home or condo.  You can read more about them on the CDD Fees

Herald Tribune: Early Stage Foreclosures

This morning I read an article from the Sarasota Herald Tribune about early state foreclosures. Has anyone held an issue of the H/T in their hands lately?  Things must be getting really bad for them.  I think this article is an example why. To summarize the article , early stage foreclosures (technical term: lis pendens) are up for the second month in Sarasota County.  The source?  RealtyTrac. RealtyTrac is part of what I call the unholy trinity of real estate websites (including Trulia and Zillow) who mislead the real estate buying public by posting lis pendens properties they scrape from public tax data websites as available for sale.  None of these companies are licensed real estate brokers, and none of these properties exist to sell real estate.  They exist to draw a large audience through deceptive marketing, and sell that audience to advertisers. I'm not sure why the Herald Tribune bothered publishing this article.  They pounded the drum about the strength of our ove

Zillow's "Make Me Move" Feature

As much as I hate to admit, I am a member of Zillow.  No, I don't pay them, as readers here and of my website know all too well.  I use my membership to help the confused consumers asking questions on their website. Today, someone asked what the "Make Me Move" feature was on Zillow.  Neil, a helpful Zillow employee, replied:  "It's the price that a seller might consider selling the house for". Really? You can read the thread and my responses here: Then I was pounced on in the thread by another Zillow Koolaid drinker who said when the seller "claims" their property on Zillow (why does Zillow have it on their site in the first place then if it's not for sale or a seller didn't place it there?), they offer a price they "might" sell it for.  In this particular case, the property had an inaccurate Zestimate and a ridiculously high Make Me Move price. I'll move out of my house for $750,000.  It's

Focus On: Harbor Acres

Harbor Acres is an upscale neighborhood, west of the Trail , close to downtown Sarasota , Lido Beach, and Siesta Key beaches.  Harbor Acres features a mix of new construction, waterfront homes and original ramblers and split level homes without water frontage. Harbor Acres, Sarasota FL map courtesy of Bing Maps The wide range of architecture and waterfront property versus non-waterfront property creates a wide range of prices in Harbor Acres.  As of this writing there are 3 homes in Harbor Acres actively listed for over $5 million.  However, since December 8, 2012, only 4 homes have sold in Harbor Acres, the most expensive being $1.1 million.  This property was at one time originally listed for sale for $1,885,000, a dramatic price reduction of 29%. See the report here by clicking here . Some interesting information comes out of this data.   One fact that jumps out is that a couple of brokerages control most of the listings.  The second is that the median list price to sal