Monday, January 24, 2011

Real Estate Half Time Report – Just the Facts!

The papers and the television are filled with stories about the real estate market here in Tampa, Florida and elsewhere around the country, leaving most people confused and perplexed.

Well, how about an up close and personal look at what is really happening from an insider’s view…that of our Real Estate Broker who works in this marketplace every day. With so much press and talk about how questionable the real estate market is, you may be surprised to hear what is going on out on the streets of Tampa’s real estate market.

The drop in real prices has caused an interesting shift in the marketplace. Properties are selling like hot cakes. Local, national and international investors are buying properties like there is no tomorrow. They realize with the prices where they are now that they just can’t lose by putting their investment dollars into the real estate market. Investors with cash are gobbling up homes, townhouses and condominiums just about as fast as they come on the market. Buyers are presented with a new and interesting problem these days. How to get to the property and get an offer in before someone else does. Here is a real life example of that. Our Broker found a property that a client wanted to make an offer on recently. The property was in the Westchase area of Tampa. Upon calling the listing agent to see if any offers had been made, our Broker was told that 32 offers had already been submitted. Yes, you read that right. 32 offers. Unbelievable! This is only one illustration of the multiple offer scenarios that occur day by day – every day.

This situation is causing a new and unusual dilemma for first-time home buyers trying to buy their first home. First-time home buyers are in fierce competition with investors. Often times, investors are able to purchase a property with a lower offer than that of the first-time homebuyer as banks and even individual homeowners are willing to take less money for the property knowing they won’t have to work with a first-time homebuyer and risk not selling the property due to problems that may arise with the purchaser obtaining financing. Obtaining financing has become extremely tough and sellers know that.

First-time homebuyers need to work with a real estate professional who is watching the market constantly in order to find properties that have just come available on the market. Bank owned properties do have a short grace period where buyers who are actually going to live in the property get a chance to get an offer in prior to the property being available to everyone else. Everyone else meaning investors.

So, if you are looking to buy a home for yourself, don’t sit on the fence thinking that you will wait to make an offer on a place that you saw and liked. If you find something that you like, get an offer in and do it quickly. Otherwise, an investor is likely to buy that house right out from under you. It is happening every day. We see it.

For more information about what is happening in the Tampa Bay area real estate market, please give us a call at SI Real Estate at (813) 631-5144. We will be happy to discuss your options in what we call the “new normal” in the real estate market.

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