If I had to use just one word to describe the 2013 Naples Florida real estate season, I might use the word, "heartbreak" or "challenging". 2013 marks the season where sellers recognized they were once again in the drivers seat and buyers had a difficult if not impossible time finding Naples properties suitable for their objective. Here's a compilation of some of my experiences this season and some points you'll want to know about if you are still considering selling or making a Naples real estate purchase.
Lack Of Inventory ~ This is something I've been talking about for quite some time but the hint there may be some big number of shadow inventory went by the wayside I'd say in January when we were running low or completely out of inventory in some locations and owners could not be encouraged to list. There are scenarios all up and down the coast where we have very little to no inventory at this time and if there were ever a shadow inventory now, I'd say it lies on the side of the buyer. As an example, I have more than a handful of people who are ready to do something provided a property of their type hits the market. I'm back to the days of looking for ingenious ways of finding a ready, willing and able seller and pulling up MLS several times per day to see if anything new has hit the market. Just this week I received a letter from another agent in my market that she had a ready, willing and able buyer looking for a home in my neighborhood and that I would not have to pay a fee to sell it. That's compelling.
The other point about the inventory not many people out of the industry are grasping is the new inventory hitting the market is not probably hitting at the same value as the last property. Evidence of increased pricing is abundant and confidence with both seller's agents and sellers is considerably stronger than even last Fall.
Negotiation Strategies ~ Strategies have changed dramatically this year compared to years past. It used to be extremely easy for me to put together a five point selling strategy to help buyers get their prices. This year I have had to become much more creative when putting together a compelling negotiating plan and some of my best work was completely ignored this year.
Responsive Buyers are Winning ~ I have seen responsive buyers do a great job getting really GREAT Naples properties this year. As an example I put together a Pelican Bay high-rise condo deal I closed on Friday. This gentleman called me on a Tuesday to ask questions about a property located in St. Pierre at Pelican Bay of which I was intimately familiar. After a short discussion I sent him some similar Pelican Bay high rise listings. He called me back to ask about a brand new listing that had just hit in Claridge at Pelican Bay. I wasn't familiar with the property so I made an appointment, went over and took video. After checking the property out, I knew it was priced well and would not be on the market for long. I loaded the video and called him with the direction that if he wanted a real shot, he needed to do something. He called me back a short time later and told me he would be down mid morning the next day. He wrote the offer and a few short weeks later, joyfully accepted the keys at closing.
Some buyers are really unhappy about not having the luxury of taking their time making decisions on whether or not they want to go forward with an offer. Others are missing out completely. I know one buyer (not mine) who has lost three properties so far this year because he just can't bring himself to compete. It's a real shame.
Some Naples buyers are agreeing to pay more than documented prices ~ When I say the market has been challenging, I mean I have found my share of sellers who want more than fair market value for their properties this year. As an example, I did a deal earlier this year where the buyer made concessions for what they really wanted due to lack of inventory but when they finally settled on a Naples bayfront condo to purchase, the owner wanted several thousands of dollars more than what the property was worth. All of this after sitting on the market for 18 months without one offer. We ended up getting it worked out but it wasn't easy.
I also assisted a seller in Pelican Marsh who questioned if we listed too low while he was signing a very good contract to sell his place on the 3rd day of being on the market. It was later determined that he got a terrific price on his property...yaaae!
Is there relief in site for the Naples buyer who doesn't want to overpay right now?
There may be. Keep in mind many believe the Naples real estate selling season is over when the Easter bunny makes his presence of for some of us, when He Has Risen.
The number of price reductions each day has inched up ever so slightly and some of those Naples sellers are starting to reconsider their hard fast position. As an example I wrote 5 offers for a buyer who was looking for a Pelican Bay condo under one million. While he had a defined list of features he wanted, he was in no way unreasonable with his offers but we had one hell of a time putting one together for him. Of the four offers we wrote (starting in October) all four are still on the market...another shame. It turned out the 5th offer we wrote ended up working out (so far) and in my personal opinion, this one is going to suit the family's needs better than anything else they had considered so while I am still holding my breath for them. I am cautiously excited for them.
Some sellers are "kooking out"! What is "kooking out"? They're going on the market only to decide they don't really want to sell. My experience has been that sellers are going on the market assuming they're going to get what they want to replace their property and then they're finding out that what's available doesn't match what they want. My first heartbreak on this one happened in Brighton at Bay Colony last holiday season. We went in with a FABULOUS offer. Honestly we weren't expecting anything other than a beautiful signature back and the buyers and I envisioned skipping happily to the closing table shortly after...only to find the owner had reconsidered and took their place off the market with a promise they would come back down after the holidays and find their place of which we could purchase then. They came down after the holidays, looked around and decided not to sell...at all. Boooooo! I had another Naples beachfront condo seller do the same to me last month. After finding not one but two people who were interested in writing an offer...such a downer.
This is a really long post and I haven't even had a chance to tell you about my experience in Mediterra, Aqualane Shores or Olde Naples or Port Royal...there are some FABULOUS homes listed in Port Royal right now! My favorite one is on Rum Row...WOW! Let's go take a look!
So the 64 million dollar question today is when will season end? I already have buyers scheduling trips down here in the middle of the summer so I am excited! While I don't think we will be alone as we may have been for the last several summers, I think we will have a bit of an easier time but let me caution you my Naples buyers. Many owners take their units off the market so if you can at all possible get down here before June, by all means, do it. Your selection will be bigger. If not, then don't worry about it but let's get a showing strategy before you get here so you aren't disappointed before you get down here.
For my Naples sellers. If you're thinking about selling, call me. I can market your property unlike any other agent in town and will do a fabulous job for you.
Please call me to schedule your appointment today!
Serving my purpose through content rich informaton about Naples, Florida real estate!
Shannon Lefevre, PA
Your Naples Smart Girl!
“The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of John R. Wood Realtors.”