What a difference a few listings can make!! In early 2015 we were worried about the looming lack of inventory. Well, we made it through 2015 with plenty of properties for buyers but our fears may be coming to fruition in 2016. Inventory for the first quarter of 2016 is down 25% from the same period last year while the number of sales is up 8%. This is bolstering the average sales price which is up 11% over this time in 2015 and it is driving down the average Days on Market.
This summer will be a competitive market for buyers. It will be important that buyers are ready to make an offer quickly when they find the right property. Buyers should not hesitate to look at properties that are under contract (particularly condo buyers). This will help you feel comfortable with the market when the right property is staring you in the face and you need to make a strong, fast offer.
Sellers – your time has finally come after suffering through the recession. However, it is also a time to price your property right. Buyers are accepting of slight price increases as our market has been improving but properties that seem overpriced are continuing to sit on the market.
You should also be prepared for financing headaches. Appraisals are taking far longer than they should and while these are imperative to the financing process, we have experienced frustration from Buyers, Sellers, Lenders and Brokers who manage these transactions. If you have the ability to refinance a property and pull money out rather than do a traditional loan, you can potentially save yourself time and money. As inventory tightens, cash will reign as king and back up offers will be considered when there are delays due to third parties, such as appraisers. The new Truth In Lending Disclosures Act (TRID) are also causing problems when documents aren’t timely issued and signed, which can delay closings by 3 days each time a change is made to any part of the loan. This includes credits in inspections, appraisal errors or quality control issues, etc.
In an effort to continue to help our buyers and sellers, Real Estate of Winter Park has implemented 3D virtual tours for marketing all of our residential listings (see our article in this newsletter for more information). Since most of our buyers come from out of the area, this will help them be able to make decisions from their living room. We are excited about this program, as it is presently, the most innovative way to showcase a home on the internet.