June 2022 - MVP - Blog Post Image

Higher Rates and Short Supply: The State of Real Estate in 2022

The last two years caught many of us off guard—and not just because of the pandemic. They also ushered in the hottest housing market on record, with home prices rising nationally by nearly 19% in 2021, driven primarily by low mortgage rates and a major supply shortage.1

But while some had hoped 2022 would bring a return to normalcy, the U.S. real estate market continues to boom, despite rising interest rates and decreasing affordability.

So what’s driving this persistent demand? And is there an end in sight?

Here are three factors impacting the real estate market right now. Find out how they could affect you if you’re a current homeowner or plan to buy or sell a home this year.

MORTGAGE RATES ARE RISING FASTER THAN EXPECTED

Over the past couple of years, homebuyers have faced intense competition for new homes—in part due to historically low mortgage rates that were a result of the Federal Reserve’s efforts to keep the economy afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, in response to a concerning level of inflation, the Fed is now reversing those efforts by raising the federal funds rate. And as a result, mortgage rates are rising, as well. Few experts predicted, though, that mortgage rates would go up as quickly as they have.

In January 2022, the Mortgage Bankers Association projected that rates would reach 4% by the end of this year.2 By mid-April, however, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate had already hit 5%, up from around 3% just one year prior.3 On a $400,000 mortgage, that 2% difference could translate into an additional $461 per monthly payment.

Since then, mortgage rates have continued on an upward trend. So what impact are these rising rates having on demand? While many buyers had hoped for a cooling effect, experts warn that may not be the case.

Ali Wolf, chief economist at housing market research firm Zanda, told Fortune magazine, “Rising mortgage rates are having a counterintuitive effect on the housing market. Home shoppers are actually sprung into action in an attempt to buy a home before mortgage rates rise any higher.”4

Since inventory remains low, the resulting “race” has kept the homebuying market highly competitive–at least for now.

What does it mean for you?

While current 30-year fixed mortgage rates represent an increase over previous months, they remain well below the historical average of 8%.5 As inflation across the economy continues, the Fed is likely to raise rates further this year. Buyers should act fast to secure a good mortgage rate. We’d be happy to refer you to a lender who can help.

For sellers, speed is also of the essence. The pool of potential buyers may shrink as mortgages become more expensive. And if you plan to finance your next home, you’ll want to act quickly to secure a favorable rate for yourself. Contact us today to discuss your options.

HOME PRICES KEEP CLIMBING

History shows that higher interest rates don’t necessarily translate to lower home prices. In fact, home prices rose 5% between 1980 and 1982, a period of significantly higher mortgage rates and inflation.5

Forecasters expect that home prices will continue to go up throughout 2022, though likely at a slower pace than the 18.8% increase of the last 12 months.4 Bank of America predicts that prices will be up approximately 10% by the end of this year, while Fannie Mae estimates 11.2%.6,7

In addition to limited supply and a race to beat rising mortgage rates, home values are also climbing because of positive economic indicators, like low unemployment.8 Plus, rents are soaring–up 17% from a year ago–which is prompting more first-time homebuyers to enter the market.9 Add to that the continued popularity of remote work, and it’s easy to see why property prices continue to surge.

However, it’s not all bad news for prospective homebuyers. Economists expect that as mortgage rates rise, the rate of appreciation will continue to taper, though the effect may be gradual.

“Eventually mortgage rates will slow down home prices,” according to Ken Johnson, an economist at Florida Atlantic University interviewed by Marketwatch.10 “We should not see rapid upticks in prices as mortgage rates rise.” Forecasters agree—Fannie Mae expects price increases to slow to 4.2% in 2023.7

What does it mean for you?

While the pace of appreciation is likely to decrease next year, home prices show no signs of going down. However, current labor shortages are leading to higher salaries and better job opportunities for many workers. You may find that your income growth outpaces home prices, making homeownership more affordable for you in the future.

For homeowners, the outlook’s even brighter. You could find yourself sitting on a nice pile of equity. Contact us for a free home value assessment to find out.

INVENTORY REMAINS EXTREMELY LOW

As noted, one of the largest hurdles to homeownership is a lack of inventory. According to a February 2022 report by Realtor.com, there’s an expanding gap between household formation and home construction, which has resulted in a nationwide shortage of 5.8 million housing units.11

The origins of this shortage date back to the 2008 housing crisis, during which crashing home values led contractors to stop building new properties—a trend that has not been fully reversed.12

That decline in home construction also resulted in a decrease in the number of home building professionals, a trend that was exacerbated by job losses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, many builders are limited by their ability to find qualified labor.

Another major challenge is a staggering increase in the cost of materials. Pandemic-related supply chain shortages have been a significant driver, with home building material costs rising on average 20% on a year-over-year basis. The price of framing lumber alone has tripled since August 2021.13

These trends add tens of thousands of dollars to the cost of a typical home. Factors like a lack of buildable land in many areas, restrictive zoning, and a shortage of developers are also contributing to the issue.14

Most homebuying experts agree that the lack of inventory is the primary factor driving rising housing prices and unprecedented competition for homes. With available housing units near four-decade lows, the end of the current housing boom is not yet in sight.15

What does it mean for you?

Prospective buyers should be prepared to compete for a home, since low inventory can lead to multiple offers. You may also need to expand your search parameters. If you’re ready to look, we’re ready to help.

For sellers, the picture is rosier. In this strong market, your home may be worth more than you realize. Contact us to find out how much your home could sell for in today’s market.

WE’RE HERE TO GUIDE YOU

While national real estate trends can provide a “big picture” outlook, real estate is local. And as local market experts, we can guide you through the ins and outs of our market and the local issues that are likely to drive home values in your particular neighborhood.

If you’re considering buying or selling a home, contact us now to schedule a free consultation. We can help you assess your options and make the most of this unique real estate landscape.
Sources:
1. Marketwatch – https://www.marketwatch.com/picks/home-price-appreciation-will-normalize-what-5-economists-and-real-estate-pros-predict-will-happen-to-home-prices-in-2022-01646940841
2. Bankrate –
https://www.bankrate.com/mortgages/mortgage-rate-forecast
3. CNBC –
https://www.cnbc.com/2022/04/16/heres-how-much-the-same-mortgage-costs-now-compared-to-last-year.html
4. Fortune –
https://fortune.com/2022/03/23/housing-market-interest-rate-economic-shock/
5. National Association of Realtors –
https://www.nar.realtor/blogs/economists-outlook/instant-reaction-mortgage-rates-april-07-2022
6. Fortune –
https://fortune.com/2022/03/16/home-prices-2022-2023-bank-of-america-forecast-mortgage-rates/
7. Fortune –
https://fortune.com/2022/03/07/what-home-prices-will-look-like-2023-fannie-mae/
8. Fortune –
https://fortune.com/2022/03/17/home-prices-drop-housing-markets-california-michigan-massachusetts-corelogic/
9. CNN –
https://www.cnn.com/2022/03/23/success/us-national-rent-february/index.html
10. MarketWatch –
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/home-prices-increase-at-one-of-the-fastest-rates-on-record-but-higher-mortgage-rates-should-slow-future-growth-11648559497
11. Realtor.com –

US Housing Supply Gap Expands in 2021


12. NPR –
https://www.npr.org/2022/03/29/1089174630/housing-shortage-new-home-construction-supply-chain
13. Investopedia –
https://www.investopedia.com/housing-market-dips-in-early-march-2022-5222449
14. NPR –
https://www.npr.org/2022/03/29/1089174630/housing-shortage-new-home-construction-supply-chain
15. Fortune –
https://fortune.com/2022/03/14/housing-market-key-metric-inventory-zillow-bad-for-buyers/

Sept 2021 Market Stats, Including A Local Luxury Market In-Depth Analysis

Sept 2021 Stats

It is indeed a Seller’s Market, with our local Multiple Listing Service, (MLS), reflecting only ONE MONTH’S INVENTORY of properties for sale in Sept of 2021! However, in an article from the Florida Realtors Association dated August 27th, 2021, according to data from Florida Atlantic University economist Ken H. Johnson and Florida International University professor Eli Beracha, Lakeland and the Tampa Bay area were the most overpriced in Florida, both at a little more than 31% above where they should be! Their data came from their analysis of over 100 metro areas, using 25 years of data from Zillow on single-family homes, townhomes, and condos, out of nine metros in Florida. Said Johnson:

“While we’re almost certainly nearing the peak of the current housing cycle, it’s nowhere near as serious as it was more than a decade ago, when Florida homes were overvalued by 60% or more,” Johnson said. “Prices eventually will level off or fall, and recent buyers who want to sell would be hard-pressed to earn their money back.”

Will that happen in our market in the near future? That seems unlikely, with the latest US News and World Report’s list of the top metros in the US for the “BEST PLACES TO RETIRE,” listing 11 Florida cities in the top 20!  Indeed, out of the top ten, eight are in Florida, including Tampa as #6! (FYI: Tampa means Tampa Bay, which is annoying for those of us on the Pinellas side of the bay!) In this new COVID-era, the ability to enjoy the great outdoors year-round is even more important than ever before. Being able to enjoy it in the sunshine, with the sand between your toes or out on the water….That is what puts us in the top 10! 

September’s local statistics support this supposition. Our market, like our weather, is Hot, Hot, HOT! New Listings in our MLS were almost the same as September of 2020, with a whopping total of 20 additional units for 2021! (Anything more is better, as inventory is perilously low!) The number of SOLD units for September of 2021 also rose very, very slightly. Indeed, it is a difference with no significance number-wise. But the fact that we are seeing a return to 2020 numbers is significant. Having said that, 2020, the year that will be remembered for bringing COVID into our lives, was already a time of grave inventory shortages and rising prices. But, if we look at 2021 numbers only, we see that 6% more homes sold in September than did in August. The most shocking number in the chart above is that the number of Active Listings in September of 2021 was 44% less than in September of 2020… but on an upward trend from August of 2021. The bottom line is that properties are moving quickly in 2021, with the average number of Days on the Market for SOLD properties in September of 2021 being 19. That is 60% less than September of 2020, when it was 48 Days! Here is another fun fact: September of 2021 had an AVERAGE SALES PRICE 17% higher than September of 2020! For a more ‘drilled-down’ view of what is happening in our luxury market, visit this link: https://bit.ly/Sept21LuxuryReport

What do all these numbers mean to you? If you are interested in selling your property, odds are that priced properly, it would sell very quickly, for a GREAT price. As the Florida Atlantic University Economist, Ken Johnson said we cannot count on these unprecedented increases continuing. Indeed, some market correction is bound to occur! For a precise estimate of your property’s value, please give us a call. My Team and I would love to see your home in person and provide you with a Custom Comparative Market Analysis. I am an experienced Broker/Owner with three offices and a robust team of professionals that perform consistently in the top ½ of 1 % of ALL Realtors in Pinellas County! Let us show you what we can do for you! Experience the NextHome Beach Time Realty Difference! Call our office at 727-363-3300.

June 2021 - MVP - Blog Post Image

Could Rising Home Prices Impact Your Net Worth?

Could Rising Home Prices Impact Your Net Worth?

Learn how to determine your current net worth and how an investment in real estate can help improve your bottom line.

Among its many impacts, COVID-19 has had a pronounced effect on the housing market. Low home inventory and high buyer demand have driven home prices to an all-time high.1 This has given an unexpected financial boost to many homeowners during a challenging time. However, for some renters, rising home prices are making dreams of homeownership feel further out of reach.

If you’re a homeowner, it’s important for you to understand how your home’s value contributes to your overall net worth. If you’re a renter, now is the time for you to figure out how homeownership fits into your short-term goals and your long-term financial future. An investment in real estate can help you grow your net worth, build wealth over time, and gain a foothold in the housing market to keep pace with rising prices.

What is net worth?

Net worth is the net balance of your total assets minus your total liabilities. Or, basically, it is what you own minus what you owe.2

Assets include the cash you have on hand in your checking and savings accounts, investment account balances, salable items like jewelry or a car and, of course, your home and any other real estate you own.

Liabilities include your total debt obligations like car loans, credit card debt, the amount you owe on your mortgage, and student loans. In addition, liabilities would include any other payment obligations you have, like outstanding bills and taxes.

How do I calculate my net worth?

To calculate your net worth, you’ll want to add up all of your assets and all of your liabilities. Then subtract your total liabilities from your total assets. The balance represents your current net worth.

Total Assets – Total Liabilities = Net Worth

Ready to calculate your net worth? Contact us to request an easy-to-use worksheet and a free assessment of your home’s current market value!

Keep in mind that your net worth is a snapshot of your financial position at a single point in time. Your assets and liabilities will fluctuate over both the short term and long term. For example, if you take out a loan to buy a car, you decrease your liability with each payment. Of course, the value of your asset (the car) will depreciate over time, as well. An asset that is invested in stocks or bonds can be even less predictable, as it’s subject to daily fluctuations in the market.

As a homeowner, you enjoy significant stability through your monthly real estate investment, also known as your home mortgage payment. While the actual value of your home can fluctuate depending on market conditions, your mortgage payment will decrease your liability each month. And unlike a vehicle purchase, the value of your home is likely to appreciate over time, which can help to grow your net worth. Right now, your asset may be worth significantly more than it was this time last year.3

If you’re a homeowner, contact us for an estimate of your home’s market value so that you can factor it into your net worth calculation. If you’re not a current homeowner, let’s talk about how homes in our area have appreciated over the last several years. That way, you can get an idea of how a home purchase could positively affect your net worth.

How can real estate increase my net worth?

When you put your real estate dollars to work, it’s possible to grow your net worth, generate cash flow, and even fund your retirement. We can help you realize the possibilities and maximize the return on your investment.

Property Appreciation

Generally, property appreciates in one of two ways: either through changes to the overall market or through value-added modifications to the property itself.

1. Rising prices

This type of property appreciation is the one that many homeowners are enjoying right now. Buyer demand is at an all-time high due to a combination of record-low interest rates and limited housing inventory.4 At other times, rising home prices have been attributed to different factors. Certain local conditions—like a new commercial development, influx of jobs, or infrastructure project—can encourage rapid growth in a community or region and a corresponding rise in home values. Historically, home prices have been shown to experience an upward trend punctuated by intermittent booms and corrections.5

2. Strategic home improvements

Well-planned and executed home improvements can also impact a home’s value and increase homeowner equity at the same time. The type of home improvement should be appropriate for the home and in tune with the desires of local buyers.

For example, a tasteful exterior remodel that is in keeping with the preferences of local home buyers is likely to add significant value to a home, while remodeling the home to look like the Taj Mahal or a favorite theme park attraction will not. A modern kitchen remodel tends to add value, while a kitchen remodel that is overly expensive or personalized may not provide an adequate return on investment.

Investment Property

You may be used to thinking of investments primarily in terms of stocks and bonds. However, the purchase of a real estate investment property offers the opportunity to increase your net worth both upon purchase and year after year through appreciation. In addition, rental payments can have a positive impact on your monthly income and cash flow. If you currently have significant equity in your home, let’s talk about how you could put that equity to work by funding the purchase of an investment property.

1. Long-term or traditional rental

A long-term rental property is one that is leased for an extended period and typically used as a primary residence by the renter. This type of real estate investment offers you the opportunity to generate consistent cash flow while building equity and appreciation.6

As an owner, you don’t usually have to worry about paying the utility bills or furnishing the property—both of which are typically covered by the tenant. Add to this the fact that traditional tenants translate into less time and effort spent on day-to-day property management, and long-term rentals are an attractive option for many investors.

2. Short-term or vacation rental

Short-term rentals are often referred to as vacation rentals because they are primarily geared towards recreational travelers. And as more people start to feel comfortable traveling again, the short-term rental market is poised to become a more popular option than ever. In 2020 alone, in the thick of widespread travel bans, the short-term rental platform Airbnb’s market share of the hospitality industry reached as high as 41 percent.6

Investing in a short-term rental offers many benefits. If you purchase an investment property in a top tourist destination, you can expect steady demand from travelers while taking advantage of any non-rented periods to enjoy the home yourself. You can also adjust your rental price around peak demand to maximize your cash flow while building equity and long-term appreciation.
To reap these benefits, however, you’ll need to understand the local laws and regulations on short-term rentals. We can help you identify suitable markets with investment potential.

WE’RE HERE TO HELP

Ready to calculate your personal net worth? Contact us for an easy-to-use worksheet and to find out your home’s current value. And if you want to learn more about growing your net worth through real estate, we can schedule a free consultation to answer your questions and explore your options. Whether you’re hoping to maximize the value of your current home or invest in a new property, we’re here to help you achieve your real estate goals.

The above references an opinion and is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be financial advice. Consult the appropriate professionals for advice regarding your individual needs.

Sources:

1. National Association of Realtors –
https://www.nar.realtor/newsroom/housing-market-reaches-record-high-home-price-and-gains-in-march
2. Forbes –
https://www.forbes.com/advisor/investing/what-is-net-worth/
3. The Washington Post –
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/on-small-business/your-net-worth-is-americas-secret-economic-weapon/2020/08/20/70df5b92-e2d4-11ea-82d8-5e55d47e90ca_story.html
4. Bloomberg –
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-04-09/home-prices-soar-in-frenzied-u-s-market-drained-of-supply
5. Federal Reserve Economic Data –
https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/MSPUS
6. Propmodo –

What the Growing Short-Term Rental Market Means for Multifamily Real Estate

May 2021 - MVP - Blog Image

Finding a New Home for Your Next Stage of Life

Finding a New Home for Your Next Stage of Life

Imagine the first place you lived as a young adult. Now imagine trying to fit your life today into that space. Not pretty, right?

For most of us, our housing needs are cyclical.1 A newly independent adult can find freedom and flexibility in even a tiny apartment. That same space, to a growing family, would feel stifling. For empty nesters, a large home with several unused bedrooms can become impractical to heat and clean. It’s no surprise that life transitions often trigger a home purchase.

While your home-buying journey may not look like your neighbor’s or friend’s, broad trends can help you understand what to keep in mind as you house hunt. No one wants to regret their home purchase, and taking the time now to think about exactly what you need can save a lot of heartache later.

The Newly Married or Partnered Couple

The financial and legal commitment of marriage has provided a springboard to homeownership for centuries, though these days more couples are buying homes without exchanging rings. In the last few decades, changing demographics have shifted the median age of first marriage and buying a first home into the late 20s and early 30s, planting most newly married or partnered buyers firmly in the millennial generation.2,3 But no matter your age, there are some key factors that you should consider as you enter into your first home purchase together.

Affordability is Key

There’s no doubt about it—with high student loan debt and two recessions in the rearview mirror, many millennials feel that the deck is stacked against them when it comes to homeownership. And it’s not just millennials—Americans of all ages are facing both financial challenges and a tough housing market. But stepping onto the property ladder can be more doable than many realize, especially in today’s low mortgage rate environment.

While many buyers are holding out for their dream home, embracing the concept of a starter home can open a lot of doors.4 In fact, that’s the route that most first-time homebuyers take—the average home purchase for a 20-something is about 1,600 square feet. While the average size increases to around 1,900 square feet for buyers in their 30s, it’s not until buyers reach their 40s that the average size passes 2,000 square feet.5

Chosen carefully, a starter home can be a great investment as well as a launchpad for your life together. If you focus on buying a home you can afford now with strong potential for appreciation, you can build equity alongside your savings, positioning you to trade up to a larger home in the future if your needs change.6

Taking Advantage of Low Mortgage Rates

Mortgage rates are historically low, making now the perfect time to purchase your first home together. A lower interest rate can save you tens of thousands of dollars over the life of your loan, which can significantly increase the quality of home you can get for your money.

 

But what if both halves of a couple don’t have good credit? You may still have options. First, boosting a credit score can be easier than you think—simply paying your credit cards down below 30% of your limit can go a long way. But if that’s not enough to boost your score, you might consider taking out the mortgage in only the better-scoring partner’s name. The downside is that applying for a mortgage with only one income will reduce your qualification amount. And if you take that route, make sure you understand the legal and financial implications for both parties should the relationship end.

Commute and Lifestyle Considerations

Whether you’ve lived in a rental together for years or are sharing a home for the first time, you know that living together involves some compromises. But there are certain home features that can make life easier in the future if you identify them now. The number of bathrooms, availability of closet space, and even things like kitchen layout can make a big difference in your day-to-day life and relationship.

Your home’s location will also have a significant impact on your quality of life, so consider it carefully. What will commuting look like for each of you? And if you have different interests or hobbies—say, museums vs. hiking—you’ll need to find a community that meets both your needs. Need some help identifying the ideal location that fits within your budget? We can match you with some great neighborhoods that offer the perfect mix of amenities and affordability.

The Growing Family

Having kids changes things—fast. With a couple of rowdy preteens and maybe some pets in the mix, that 1,600 square foot home that felt palatial to two adults suddenly becomes a lot more cramped. Whether you’ve just had your first child or are getting to the point where your kids can’t comfortably share a bedroom any longer, there’s plenty to consider when you’re ready to size up to a home that will fit your growing family.

The Importance of School Districts

For many parents, the desire to give their kids the best education—especially once they are in middle and high school— surpasses even their desire for more breathing room. In fact, 53% of buyers with children under 18 say that school districts are a major factor in their home buying decisions.7 Of course, better funded (and often higher ranking) schools correspond to higher home prices. However, when push comes to shove, many buyers with kids prefer to sacrifice a bit of space to find a home in their desired location.

But when you’re moving to a new community, it can be tough to figure out what the local schools are actually like—and online ratings don’t tell the whole story. That’s why talking to a local real estate agent can be a gamechanger. We don’t just work in this community; we know it inside and out.

Lifestyle Considerations

For many families, living space is a key priority. Once you have teenagers who want space to hang out with their friends, a finished basement or a rec room can be a huge bonus (and can help you protect some quieter living space for yourself).

A good layout can also make family life a lot easier. For example, an open plan is invaluable if you want to cook dinner while keeping an eye on your young kids playing in the living room. And if you think that you might expand your family further in the future, be sure that the home you purchase has enough bedrooms and bathrooms to accommodate that comfortably.

Functionality

Try to think about how each room will fit into your day-to-day. Are you anticipating keeping the house stocked to feed hungry teenagers? A pantry might rise to the top of the list. Dreading the loads of laundry that come with both infants and older kids (especially if they play sports)? The task can be much more bearable in a well-designed laundry room. Imagine a typical day or week of chores in the house to identify which features will have the biggest impact.

Chances are, you won’t find every nice-to-have in one home, which is why identifying the must-haves can be such a boon to the decision-making process. We can help you assess your options and give you a sense of what is realistic within your budget.

The Empty Nesters

When we talk about empty nesters, we usually think about downsizing. With kids out of the house, extra bedrooms and living space can quickly become more trouble than they’re worth. While the average buyer under 55 trades up to a larger home, buyers over 55 are more likely to purchase a smaller or similarly sized but less expensive home. Even in the highest age groups, the majority of home purchases fall in the single-family category. According to research by the National Association of Realtors, by the time buyers reach their 70s, the median home size drops to 1,750 square feet.5 But there’s plenty for empty nesters to think about besides square footage.

Maintenance and Livability

What factors are driving your decision to move? Identifying those early in the process can help you narrow down your search. For example, do you want to have space for a garden, or would you prefer to avoid dealing with lawn care altogether? What about home maintenance? In many cases, a newer home will require less maintenance than an older one and a smaller one will take less time to clean. You may also want to consider townhomes, condos, or other living situations that don’t require quite as much upkeep.

Lifestyle Considerations

Many empty nesters have retired or are nearing retirement age. This could be your chance to finally pursue hobbies and passions that were just too hard to squeeze into a 9-5. If you’re ready to move, consider how you’d like to spend your days and seek out a home that will help make that dream a reality. For some, that might mean living near a golf course or a beach. For others, being able to walk downtown for a nice dinner out is the priority. And with more time to spend as you wish, proximity to a supportive community of friends and family is priceless.

Ability to Age in Place

Let’s face it—we can’t escape aging. If you’re looking for a home to retire in, accessibility should be front-of-mind.8 This may mean a single-story home or simply having adequate spaces on the first floor to rearrange as needed. While buying a home that you plan to renovate from the start is a viable option, being forced into renovations (because of the realities of aging) a few years down the road could seriously dig into your nest egg. Location matters, too—if your family will be providing support, are they close by? Can you easily reach necessities like grocery stores and healthcare? While it’s tempting to put it out of our minds, a few careful considerations now can make staying in your home long-term much more feasible.

Finding the Right Home for Right Now

One thing is for sure—life never stands still. And your housing needs won’t, either. In the United States, the median duration of homeownership hovers around 13 years.9 That means many of us will cycle through a few very different homes as we move through different life stages. At each milestone, a careful assessment of your housing options will ensure that you are well-positioned to embrace all the changes to come.

Whatever stage you’re embarking on next, we’re here to help. Our insight into local neighborhoods, prices, and housing stock will help you hone in on exactly where you want to live and what kind of home is right for you. We’ve worked with home buyers in every stage of life, so we know exactly what questions you need to ask. Buying a home—whether it’s your first or your fifth—is a big decision, but we’re here to support you every step of the way.

We support the Fair Housing Act and equal opportunity housing.

 

Sources:

  1. Freddie Mac –
    http://www.freddiemac.com/blog/homeownership/20190104_homebuying_lifecycle.page
  2. PRB –
    https://www.prb.org/usdata/indicator/marriage-age-women/snapshot/
  3. Experian –
    https://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/research/average-age-to-buy-a-house/#:~:text=Buying%20a%20first%20home%20will,by%20real%20estate%20marketplace%20Zillow
  4. Nerdwallet –
    https://www.nerdwallet.com/article/mortgages/starter-home-forever-home
  5. NAR 2020 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report –
    https://cdn.nar.realtor/sites/default/files/documents/2020-generational-trends-report-03-05-2020.pdf
  6. Investopedia –
    https://www.investopedia.com/personal-finance/what-look-starter-home/
  7. NAR 2019 Moving With Kids
    https://www.nar.realtor/research-and-statistics/research-reports/moving-with-kids
  8. Kaiser Health News –
    https://khn.org/news/baby-boomers-aging-aging-in-place-retrofit-homes/
  9. National Association of Realtors –
    https://www.nar.realtor/blogs/economists-outlook/how-long-do-homeowners-stay-in-their-homes#:~:text=As%20of%202018%2C%20the%20median,varies%20from%20area%20to%20area

 

 

April 2021 - MVP - Blog Post Image

Can I Buy or Sell a Home Without a Real Estate Agent?

Can I Buy or Sell a Home Without a Real Estate Agent?

 

Today’s real estate market is one of the fastest-moving in recent memory. With record-low inventory in many market segments, we’re seeing multiple offers—and sometimes even bidding wars—for homes in the most sought-after neighborhoods. This has led some sellers to question the need for an agent. After all, why spend money on a listing agent when it seems that you can stick a For Sale sign in the yard then watch a line form around the block?

 

Some buyers may also believe they’d be better off purchasing a property without an agent. For those seeking a competitive edge, proceeding without a buyer’s agent may seem like a good way to stand out from the competition—and maybe even score a discount. Since the seller pays the buyer agent’s commission, wouldn’t a do-it-yourself purchase sweeten the offer?

 

We all like to save money. However, when it comes to your largest financial asset, forgoing professional representation may not always be in your best interest. Find out whether the benefits outweigh the risks (and considerable time and effort) of selling or buying a home on your own—so you can head to the closing table with confidence.

 

 

SELLING YOUR HOME WITHOUT AN AGENT

Most homeowners who choose to sell their home without any professional assistance opt for a traditional “For Sale By Owner” or a direct sale to an investor, such as an iBuyer. Here’s what you can expect from either of these options.

 

For Sale By Owner (FSBO)

For sale by owner or FSBO (pronounced fizz-bo) offers sellers the opportunity to price their own home and handle their own transaction, showing the home and negotiating directly with the buyer or his or her real estate agent. According to data compiled by the National Association of Realtors, approximately 8% of homes are sold by their owner.1

 

In an active, low inventory real estate market, it may seem like a no-brainer to sell your home yourself. After all, there are plenty of buyers out there and one of them is bound to be interested in your home. In addition, you’ll save money on the listing agent’s commission and have more control over the way the home is priced and marketed.

 

One of the biggest problems FSBOs run into, however, is pricing the home appropriately. Without access to information about the comparable properties in your area, you could end up overpricing your home (causing it to languish on the market) or underpricing your home (leaving thousands of dollars on the table).2

 

Even during last year’s strong seller’s market, the median sales price for FSBOs was 10% less than the median price of homes sold with the help of a real estate agent.1 And during a more balanced market, like the one we experienced in 2018, FSBO homes sold for 24% (or $60,000) less than agent-represented properties.3 This suggests that, while you may think that you’ll price and market your home more effectively yourself, in fact you may end up losing far more than the amount you would pay for an agent’s assistance.

 

Without the services of a real estate professional, it will be up to you to get people in the door. You’ll need to gather information for the online listing and put together the kind of marketing that today’s buyers expect to see. This includes bringing in a professional photographer, writing the listing description, and designing marketing collateral like flyers and mailers—or hiring a writer and graphic designer to do so.

 

Once someone is interested, you’ll need to offer virtual showings and develop a COVID safety protocol. You’ll then need to schedule an in-person showing (or in some cases, two or three) for each potential buyer. In addition, you’ll be on your own when evaluating offers and determining their financial viability. You’ll need to thoroughly understand all legal contracts and contingencies and discuss terms, including those regarding the home inspection and closing process.

 

While you’re doing all of this work, it’s likely that you’ll still need to pay the buyer agent’s commission. So be sure to weigh your potential savings against the significant risk and effort involved.

 

If you choose to work with a listing agent, you’ll save significant time and effort while minimizing your personal risk and liability. And the increased profits realized through a more effective marketing and negotiation strategy could more than make up for the cost of your agent’s commission.

 

iBuyer

iBuyers have been on the scene since around 2015, providing sellers the option of a direct purchase from a real estate investment company rather than a traditional direct-to-consumer sales process.4 iBuyer companies tout their convenience and speed, with a reliable, streamlined process that may be attractive to some sellers.

 

The idea is that instead of listing the home on the open market, the homeowner completes an online form with information about the property’s location and features, then waits for an offer from the company. The iBuyer is looking for a home in good condition that’s located in a good neighborhood—one that’s easy to flip and falls within the company’s algorithm.

 

For sellers who are more focused on speed and convenience, an iBuyer may offer an attractive alternative to a traditional real estate sale. That’s because iBuyers evaluate a property quickly and make an upfront offer without requesting repairs or other accommodations.

 

However, sellers will pay for that convenience with, generally, a far lower sale price than the market will provide as well as fees that can add up to as much or more than a traditional real estate agent’s commission. According to a study conducted by MarketWatch, iBuyers netted, on average, 11% less than a traditional sale when both the lower price and fees are considered.5 Other studies found some iBuyers charging as much as 15% in fees and associated costs, far more than you’ll pay for a real estate agent’s commission.6

 

In a hot market, this can mean leaving tens of thousands of dollars on the table since you won’t be able to negotiate and you’ll lose out on rising home prices caused by low inventory and increased demand. In addition, iBuyers are demonstrably less reliable during times of economic uncertainty, as evidenced by the halt of operations for most iBuyer platforms in early 2020.6 As a seller, the last thing you want is to start down the road of iBuying only to find out that a corporate mandate is stopping your transaction in its tracks.

 

If you choose to work with a real estate agent, you can still explore iBuyers as an option. That way you can take advantage of the added convenience of a fast sale while still enjoying the protection and security of having a professional negotiating on your behalf.

 

 

BUYING YOUR HOME WITHOUT AN AGENT

 

According to the most recent statistics, 88% of home buyers use a real estate agent when conducting their home search.1 A buyer’s agent is with you every step of the way through the home buying process. From finding the perfect home to submitting a winning offer to navigating the inspection and closing processes, most homebuyers find their expertise and guidance invaluable. And the best part is that, because they are compensated through a commission paid by the homeowner at closing, most agents provide these services at no cost to you!

 

Still, you may be considering negotiating your home purchase directly with the seller or listing agent, especially if you are accustomed to deal-making as part of your job. And if you are familiar with the neighborhood where you are searching, you may feel that there is no reason to get a buyer’s agent involved.

 

However, putting together a winning offer package can be challenging. This is especially true in a multiple-offer situation where you’ll be competing against buyers whose offers are carefully crafted to maximize their appeal. And the homebuying process can get emotional. A trusted agent can help you avoid overpaying for a property or glossing over “red flags” in your inspection. In addition, buyer agents offer a streamlined, professional process that listing agents may be more likely to recommend to their clients.
If you decide to forego an agent, you’ll have to write, submit, and negotiate a competitive offer all on your own. You’ll also need to schedule an inspection and negotiate repairs. You’ll be responsible for reviewing and preparing all necessary documents, and you will need to be in constant communication with the seller’s agent and your lender, inspector, appraiser, title company, and other related parties along the way.
Or, you could choose to work with a buyer’s agent whose commission is paid by the seller and costs you nothing out of pocket. In exchange, you’ll obtain fiduciary-level guidance on one of the most important financial transactions of your life. If you decide to go it alone, you’ll be playing fast and loose with what is, for most people, their most important and consequential financial decision.

 

 

SO, IS A REAL ESTATE AGENT RIGHT FOR YOU?

 

It is important for you to understand your options and think through your preferences when considering whether or not to work with a real estate professional. If you are experienced in real estate transactions and legal contracts, comfortable negotiating under high-stakes circumstances, and have plenty of extra time on your hands, you may find that an iBuyer or FSBO sale works for you.

 

However, if, like most people, you value expert guidance and would like an experienced professional to manage the process, you will probably experience far more peace of mind and security in working with a real estate agent or broker.

 

A real estate agent’s comprehensive suite of services and expert negotiation skills can benefit buyers and sellers financially, as well. On average, sellers who utilize an agent walk away with more money than those who choose the FSBO or iBuyer route.3,5 And buyers pay nothing out of pocket for expert representation that can help them avoid expensive mistakes all along the way from contract to closing.

 

According to NAR’s profile, the vast majority of buyers (91%) and sellers (89%) are thrilled with their real estate professional’s representation and would recommend them to others.1 That’s why, in terms of time, money, and expertise, most buyers and sellers find the assistance of a real estate agent essential and invaluable.

 

 

QUESTIONS ABOUT BUYING OR SELLING? WE HAVE ANSWERS

 

The best way to find out whether you need a real estate agent or broker is to speak with one. We’re here to help and to offer the insights you need to make better-informed decisions. Let’s talk about the value-added services we provide when we help you buy or sell in today’s competitive real estate landscape.

 

 

Sources:

  1. National Association of REALTORS –
    https://www.nar.realtor/research-and-statistics/research-reports/highlights-from-the-profile-of-home-buyers-and-sellers
  2. Washington Post –
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/12/09/factors-consider-when-determining-whether-use-an-agent-buy-or-sell-home/
  3. National Association of REALTORS –
    https://www.nar.realtor/blogs/economists-outlook/selling-your-home-solo-to-save-money-you-ll-actually-make-less-than-you-think
  4. Seattle Times –
    https://www.seattletimes.com/business/real-estate/redfin-is-first-major-ibuyer-to-sell-in-seattle
  5. MarketWatch –
    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/selling-your-home-to-an-ibuyer-could-cost-you-thousands-heres-why-2019-06-11
  6. Forbes –
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/nataliakarayaneva/2020/03/19/billion-dollar-real-estate-businesses-ibuyer-suspended/?sh=c7f59f921747

 

March 2021 - MVP - Social Media Image

Is the Real Estate Market Going to Crash?

 Is the Real Estate Market Going to Crash?


While many areas of the economy have contracted, the housing market has stayed remarkably strong. But can the good news last?

When COVID-related shutdowns began in March, real estate brokers and clients scrambled to respond to the shift. Record-low interest rates caused some lenders to call a halt to new underwriting, and homeowners debated whether or not to put their houses on the market. However, those first days of uncertainty ushered in a period of unprecedented demand in the U.S. real estate market, which ended the year with increasing average home prices (up 13.4% from the previous year) and shrinking days on market (13 fewer than in 2019).1

 

Now, as the spring market approaches, you may be wondering whether the good times can continue to roll on. If you’re a homeowner, should you take advantage of this opportunity? If you’re a buyer, should you jump in and risk paying too much? Below we answer some of your most pressing questions.

 

 

How is today’s market different from the one that caused the 2008 meltdown?

 

At the beginning of the pandemic, fears of an economic recession and an ensuing mortgage meltdown were top of mind for homeowners all across the country. For many buyers and sellers, the two seemed to go hand in hand, just as they did in the 2008 economic crisis.

 

In reality, however, the conditions that led to 2008’s recession were very different from those that triggered the current downturn—and this time, the housing market is the source of much of the good news.2 This is in line with historical patterns, as housing prices traditionally hold steady in the face of recession, with homeowners staying put and investors putting their money into bricks and mortar to ride out uncertainty in the stock market.

 

This time around, because of lessons learned in 2008, banks are better funded, homeowners are holding more accrued equity, and, crucially, much of the economic activity is focused on financial factors outside the housing market. As many industries quickly pivoted to work-from-home, early fears of widespread job loss-related foreclosures have failed to materialize. Federal stimulus payments and the Paycheck Protection Program also helped to offset some of the worst early effects of the shutdown.

 

 

Are we facing a real estate bubble?

 

A real estate bubble can occur when there is a rapid and unjustified increase in housing prices, often triggered by speculation from investors. Because the bubble is (in a sense) filled with “hot air,” it pops—and a swift drop in value occurs. This leads to reduced equity or, in some cases, negative equity conditions.

 

By contrast, the current rise in home prices is based on the predictable results of historically low interest rates and widespread low inventory. Basically, the principle of supply and demand is working just as it’s supposed to do. In addition, experts predict a strong seller’s market throughout 2021 along with increases in new construction.3 This should allow supply to gradually rise and fulfill demand, slowing the rate of inflation for home values and offering a gentle correction where needed.

Effects of low interest rates

According to Freddie Mac, rates are projected to continue at their current low levels throughout 2021.4 This contributes to home affordability even in markets where homes might otherwise be considered overpriced. These low interest rates should keep the market lively and moving forward for the foreseeable future.

Effects of low inventory

Continuing low inventory is another reason for higher-than-average home prices in many markets.5 This should gradually ease as an aggressive vaccination rollout and continuing buyer demand drive more homeowners to move forward with long-delayed sales plans and as new home construction increases to meet demand.6

 

 

Aren’t some markets and sectors looking particularly weak?

 

One of the big stories of 2020 was a mass exodus from attached home communities and high-priced urban areas as both young professionals and families fled to the larger square footage and wide-open spaces of suburban and rural markets. This trend was reinforced by work-from-home policies that became permanent at some of the country’s biggest companies.

 

Speculation then turned to the death of cities and the end of the condo market. However, it appears that rumors of the demise of these two residential sectors have been greatly exaggerated.

 

With the first vaccine rollouts, renters have begun returning to major urban centers, attracted by the sudden rise in available inventory and newly discounted rental rates.7 In addition, buyers who were previously laser-focused on a single-family home responded to tight inventory by taking a second look at condos.8 While nationwide condo prices continue to lag behind those of detached homes, they’ve still seen significant price increases and days on market reductions year over year.

 

In addition to these improvements, the 2020 migration has spread the economic wealth to distant suburban and rural enclaves that normally don’t benefit from increases in home values or an influx of new investment. As many of these new residents set up housekeeping in their rural retreats, they’ll revitalize the economies of their adopted communities for years to come.

 

 

How has COVID affected the “seasonal” real estate market?

 

Frequently, the real estate market is seen as a seasonal phenomenon. However, the widespread shutdowns in March 2020, coming right at the beginning of the market’s growth cycle in many areas, has led to a protracted, seemingly endless “hot spring market.”

 

While Fannie Mae’s chief economist Douglas Duncan predicts slower growth from 2020’s historic numbers, the outlook overall is positive as we embark on the 2021 spring selling cycle.9 Duncan anticipates an additional lift in the second half of 2021 as buyers return to business as usual and look to put some of their pandemic savings to work for a down payment. Thus we could be looking at another longer-than-usual, white-hot real estate market.

 

 

How will a Biden administration affect the real estate market?

 

Projected policy around housing promises to be a boost to the real estate market in many cases.10 While some real estate investors bemoan proposed changes to 1031 Exchanges, the Biden plan for a $15,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit aims to increase affordability and bring eager new home buyers into the market. In addition, Biden-proposed policy pinpoints low inventory as a primary driver of unsustainable home values and is geared toward more affordability through investments in construction and refurbishment.

 

Overall, according to most indicators, the real estate news looks overwhelmingly positive throughout the rest of 2021 and possibly beyond. Pent-up demand and consumer-driven policies, along with a continued low-interest-rate environment and rising inventory, should help homeowners hold on to their increased equity without throwing the market out of balance. In addition, the increase in long-term work-from-home policies promises to give a boost to a wide variety of markets, both now and in the years to come.

 

 

STILL HAVE QUESTIONS? WE HAVE ANSWERS

While economic indicators and trends are national, real estate is local. We’re here to answer your questions and help you understand what’s happening in your neighborhood. Reach out to learn how these larger movements affect our local market and your home’s value.

 

 

Sources:

  1. Realtor.com –
    https://www.realtor.com/research/december-2020-data/
  2. New York Magazine –
    https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/06/why-this-economic-crisis-wont-be-as-bad-as-2008.html
  3. Washington Post –
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2021/01/11/2021-housing-market-predictions/
  4. Freddie Mac –
    http://www.freddiemac.com/research/forecast/20210114_quarterly_economic_forecast.page?
  5. Wall Street Journal –
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/housing-market-stays-tight-as-homeowners-stay-put-11611226802?mod=re_lead_pos1
  6. Marketwatch –
    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/new-home-construction-activity-soars-to-highest-level-in-over-a-decade-as-builders-rush-to-produce-single-family-homes-2021-01-21
  7. Forbes –
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/noahkirsch/2021/01/14/signs-of-a-rebound-new-york-city-rent-prices-are-climbing-back
  8. Washington Post –
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2021/01/07/condo-sales-rebound-amid-dwindling-inventory-houses/
  9. Mortgage Professional America –
    https://www.mpamag.com/news/fannie-mae-chief-economists-forecast-for-us-economy-housing-market-in-2021-244045.aspx
  10. Inman –
    https://www.inman.com/2020/11/09/what-a-joe-biden-presidency-means-for-real-estate-and-housing/
Sept 2020 stats

DAY 214 of COVID-19 Battle Plan: Virtual Life & New Challenges

First of all, I cannot believe I did my first “COVID-19 Battle Plan” post 214 days ago on March 22nd! I guess time flies when you are having fun! LOL! Not!  But… we are adjusting. I hope this does not become our new normal. So many things have changed. Then again, many have just evolved.  Some, I think, will be a permanent new state of affairs. Take, for example, virtual showings. Virtual showings, while much more prevalent now, have been part of our Realtor toolbox for ages! Check out my video done in early 2018. We were using an iPhone and a gimble and had a lot of fun with it. (Fortunately, I was blessed to be ably assisted by Niki Maturi, my Assistant Extraordinaire; Photographer; Videographer; and Graphic Artist!) I thought about this fun video earlier this week, because it was a virtual showing. Prior to this, I had made many videos to send to a client while previewing and sometimes, using Facebook Messenger or Skype, we held live video tours. This particular virtual showing was videoed live and then later edited for a promo video. (Niki and I actually had a lot of fun doing this and subsequently have done several “I LOVE MY JOB!” videos.) But now, rather than an occasional occurrence, we are conducting virtual tours and Open Houses for our clients almost daily. Of course, there are differences. One big change is that we would all be wearing masks! Another less sobering one is that before it was Skype or Facetime we used. Now it is more often ZOOM or What’s App, especially for our International Buyers!

Here is a BIG CHANGE: With inventory today at a two-month supply, the beachfront house in this video would have sold very quickly, even at $1000/sf,  if only for the lot value! Instead it took almost 1.5 years to sell and finally did close at $1,561,000 versus original asking price of $1,795,000. With over 1000 people per day moving to Florida, we are STARVING for inventory. There were 36% fewer listings in our area in Sept 2020 versus Sept 2019! But our total Sales/Dollar Volume for September  2020 versus 2019 was up by $1.5 billion or 38%! The average sales price is also up by 18% for 2020 versus 2019! The ‘moral’ of the story is that it is a VERY GOOD TIME TO BE A SELLER! And with mortgage rates almost ludicrously low and rental rates exceedingly high, it is also a GOOD TIME TO BUY!

The challenges in today’s market are:  As a Buyer, how to you buy intelligently? (Forget about buying cheaply unless you are prepared to do extensive rehab.)  And as a Seller, how do you achieve the best price? I recently had a listing appointment with a client that intended to do a FSBO, i.e., a For Sale By Owner. I am going to talk about that transaction and the challenges in another post. Suffice it to say that in our market, at every Open House, there is both a live and virtual stream of people to reach and manage. Then there is the potential for bidding wars. (Personally, I do not like them – but that too will be covered in a future post.) There is also the issue of the appraisals. Cash is KING, as always. Today CASH is even more important, as escalating prices are not always acknowledged by the appraiser.  That means advocating for your non-cash Buyers is another important skill.  Safety, while always a concern, now has a whole new twist!

What’s the bottom line? Life and business go on. We evolve! 214 days later I still get out of bed one foot at a time. I lament that moment when I reluctantly, but religiously step on the scale. (More so 214 days later than I did, by the way! ;o) I work seven days per week, every week – not 5 or 6!  But, I  am not complaining! I am happy to have a job. And that job manages to help me keep my people employed. And my people help our property management clients to earn income, paying their bills. As so on and so forth. The truth is, like in the video, I am truly grateful and “I DO love my job!”

Day 69: My New “COVID-19 Battle Plan” The Vacation Rental Debacle

 

Does anyone else feel like they are living in the Twilight Zone?

Sometimes I wake up and forget about COVID-19, briefly. Other times, I see something from a movie and think, ‘We should do that!” Sadly, I have forgotten WE CAN’T DO THAT ANYMORE! Not yet anyway, and maybe not ever.  Social Distancing? I am trying! (Ask my husband! He will tell you I am very trying!) I am appalled by the need to do the tango with people that have no respect for the 6’ rule! I step back, they step forward. You would think that the mask would indicate I have a high degree of concern!  How about the grocery store? It is virtually impossible to social distance in our little, tiny, beach Publix store! Maybe only 15% of the patrons are wearing masks. Another 25%, at least, do not follow the directional flow signs. It is CRAZY!

You know what else is crazy? The Vacation Rental Debacle! At the end of March, the Governor of Florida signed an Executive Order (EO 20-87) that meant we could only accept reservations for 30 or more days moving forward. All existing reservations for shorter terms that had not or would not check in by 3/28/20 had to be cancelled. For my company that was more than $260,000 in reservations. But the hotels were allowed to stay open. The Governor said that was because he had to billet the National Guard. Yeah, right! Oddly enough I have not seen them at the Don CeSar or the Post Card Inn here on St. Pete Beach. Meanwhile, I furloughed all my people except for one to handle the phones and spread the message that we would still be here when the Governor lifted the ban. The Governor took heavy flack for what was widely regarded as the unfair discrimination against the vacation rental industry. Nonetheless, he persisted and when the original executive order was set to expire by extending it INDEFINITELY! (EO 20-122) There was again huge push-back from vacation rental management companies and and property owners. One of the owners I work for wrote to the Governor as a tax payer in the State of Florida. This was a fact that he clearly pointed out in his letter, stating that he owned several vacation rental properties here in Florida and paid not only property taxes; but also, sales and lodging tax. The Governor wrote back that he had no right to petition him, since he was a resident of California! Say what? The Governor, in his infinite wisdom, and feeling the force of the pressure, did what every great leader does NOT – HE PUNTED THE BALL. He then directed every County in Florida to put forward their plan for re-opening vacation rentals. To add insult to injury, this was just before Memorial Day weekend. I operate in Pinellas County. They submitted Monday, 5/18 and were approved Wednesday 5/20. We had 2 full days to prepare for Memorial Day weekend and accept reservations. Thankfully, we had been working diligently to prepare for whatever and anything! (That is a hard plan to make!)

Well, there was and is nothing else for it; but, to get to it! We are back working and in full force! I am blessed to have friends in the hotel industry that gave me advice and providers to help do what is right. Thanks to them, I was finally able to buy hand sanitizer and dispensers in time for Memorial Day. I am thrilled to say that the holiday came and went smoothly. I thank the people that work with me for their dedication to “Get ‘Er Done!” We all had our heads down and did what needed to be done. Thanks to to Gary Renfrow and Chuck Martin from The Alden Resort for sharing their expertise and resources. A shout out, as well, is due to John Marks, formerly the GM of the Don CeSar and now President of Pinnacle Hotels. I may be in the Twilight Zone…. But, as always: You Get By With A Little Help From My Friends!

#BeSafe #BeKind #BeSmart #HumansOverHouses

Day 37: Day One of My New “COVID-19 Battle Plan”

Moral of this story:  EVERYTIME you smugly think to yourself, “I got this!” THIS, GETS YOU!  

Before I begin, I want to say two HUGE THANK YOU’s:

  • To Pinellas County Sheriff Todd Brien, who was kind enough to drive my husband home, despite the blood – You Saved his life! Thank you. He never could have walked home. And as he had a heart attack shortly thereafter, I know he never would have made the 1/2 mile walk back home that morning. You are our hero!
  • To the Staff of St. Anthony’s Hospital in Downtown St. Petersburg, which is more than just a beautiful spot! Downtown St. Petersburg is also a hub of incredible medical facilities and practitioners, to whom we all owe a huge debt of gratitude.

fIRST reSPONDERS FRONTLINE WORKERSThank you! 

On April 13th, (which would have been Day 23 of my battle plan), I began the day full of vim and vigor and a concerted desire to get EVERYTHING back on track. I finished my morning Zoom “huddle” with my Team, during which time I presented my COVID-19 Battle Plan Challenge:

  • Continuously
  • Operating
  • Very
  • Intentionally
  • Daily for
  • 19 Days!

Feeling quite pleased with myself and my team’s reaction, I went through the thought process that turned this around for me. Because while this is FOR SURE, a dreadful time, it is also an opportunity to change, focus and plan. Things are going to be different. Some things will be negative, some will be positive. For example:

EXAMPLES OF BENEFITS OF THIS PROFESSIONAL AND PERSONAL INTROSPECTION:

  • I cut the fat from many unnecessary expenditures that have lightened my bank account and drained resources that I could very well use right now. (Frankly, I am ashamed at how uncontrolled some of my spending had been!)
  • I am focusing on core business growth activities and redefining my 2020 Business Plan.
  • I am spending quality time with my husband, once again working from home.

WHAT MY COVID-19 BATTLE PLAN LOOKED LIKE ON THE MORNING OF DAY 23, Monday 4/13:

  • I time blocked my day and had recorded in 30 minute intervals what I was doing.
  • I signed up for webinars that included education that I have been meaning to do.
  • I made a pledge to myself via the webinars to learn how to use FREE technology from my marvellous franchise, NextHome.
  • By 10am, I had a $300,000 closing on a listing. (Of course, it was in absentia. But the check was in the mail!)
  • With terms verbally agreed, I wrote a listing agreement.
  • I started going through emails and completing office work when….

My husband returned from his bike ride, bloodied and injured. An SUV pulling a trailer failed to heed the red light and hit him on the crosswalk. He was banged up and bloody. He was experiencing chest pain. He was reluctant to go to the hospital because of COVID-19.  We went. (I am a force of nature when required.) In addition to the multitude of other injuries, he had a ‘mild’ heart attack. I am so glad that we went to the hospital. Yes, COVID-19 is there; but, the staff are doing their level best to separate those poor individuals from the general population of patients hitting the ER for the normal things that happen.

I tell you this because  EVERYTIME you smugly think to yourself, “I got this!” THIS, seems to GET YOU!  

However, we live to fight another day. And today, twenty days from my last blog post, I have done my best to to get back on track; to be intentional. THIS is Day One of my Continuously Operating Very Intentionally Daily for 19 Days!

Thank you again to the First Responders, Medical Professionals and Frontline Workers, (lest we forget people such as our devoted Publix staff.) Thank you for all you do in the face of the adversity we are experiencing. My days are easy next to yours. My challenges are not life threatening. My sacrifices are inconsequential. Thanks and blessings to you all.

Sexy_Tour

Day 17 of COVID-19 Battle Plan

I have been researching and watching with admiration and amusement the different ways agents are working to get attention for their listings. Honestly, I really don’t know what the hell I have been doing with my life… These people are so cool, I can’t hardly stand it! I hope you enjoy this as much as I did!

# 3 Favorite: Because I love this song AND Wish I could dance like this!

 

#2: I don’t need to tell you why!

 

#1 – Who doesn’t love JT!!!! And this one, like the one before, really shows off…. the house as well as the moves!!!! And I give his cannonball a solid 8.5! Honestly, I feel certain I would love to meet and party with this guy! Chris Glapa, if you ever come to Florida, there is a home for you at NextHome Beach Time Realty!

 

 

My team and I are also showing and selling! We are armed with Lysol or Clorox wipes, booties, hand sanitizer and a mask. We drive separately and stay well back from one another.  In addition, we require that anyone we show complete a form attesting that they have not traveled in the last 14 days, are asymptomatic, etc. Here is a copy of the form: https://www.dropbox.com/s/3xdby898q2vql3y/COVID-19%20Screening.pdf?dl=0  Please feel free to adopt it for yourself. I was not the originator. Another dear Realtor friend sent it to me, suggesting we use it to protect ourselves and our clients. As the Realtor, we also sign the form and provide it to our Buyers FIRST, just to let them know that we are equally as concerned with their safety and health as we are for our own! So far, 100% of the people we have asked have signed and thanked us for our diligence.

I have been wracking my brain to come up with novel ideas to attract attention to my listings. We have several things in the works… Stay Tuned!  It does not involve me dancing. But… I do have some talented friends. And we all ‘Get By With a Little Help from Our Friends!’ I am glad to say, that HOPEFULLY today or tomorrow we will have one of our listings under contract and a new property coming to market this week! In the last week, we have had two accepted offers and written two others. Not exactly a BOOMING first week in April; but, not too shabby considering!

#BeSafe #BeSmart #BeKind #HUMANSOVERHOUSES