Tampa Real Estate and Community News

March 1, 2019

Our New “Coming Soon” Website Offers a Wealth of Opportunities

Our coming-soon listing website, tampa.comingsoonhomes.com,
is an incredible resource for buyers and sellers alike

Want to Buy a Home? Search All Homes
Want to Sell a Home? Get a Home Value Report


We’ve got a special message for buyers and sellers alike to share today about tampa.comingsoonhomes.com. This exclusive website was developed to promote our listings that are about to hit the market. How does this benefit you? Well, if you’re a seller, it offers you a platform to pre-market your listing. If you’re a buyer, on the other hand, this great website will allow you to be among the first in the market to see these exclusive, coming-soon homes.

Posted in Miscellaneous
Jan. 25, 2019

The Return of the Normal Market

Now is the time for sellers to lock in gains.

John and I just returned from a national real estate conference that annually attracts 2,000 of the top and most innovative agents across North America. For those of you who love to talk real estate and are interested in being on the inside track, we’d love to talk real estate with you. We welcome your calls and look forward to putting this knowledge into action to benefit you and your family in 2019.

The hundreds of discussions that took place both on stage and behind closed doors could all fall under the category “The Return of the Normal Market.” Many markets, including the Tampa Bay market, have been in a steady ascent since 2011, and are now leveling off. In some cases, sellers are even finding sales and prices down.

While those are the national headlines, and national factors do impact local real estate values, real estate is highly local. So let’s look at the latest Greater Tampa Realtors market sales numbers:

Sales Volume
While overall sales for the year finished at a record 36,526 in the Greater Tampa MLS (up 5.7% over last year), December sales for the first time all year were down 12.6%.

Sales Prices
December closing prices were statistically even year over year. While one closed month does not make a market, the numbers clearly show that the growth that we’ve been experiencing has slowed down—which in reality is a good thing, as home price gains have outpaced income gains, leaving buyers feeling challenged and frustrated.

December 2015 - December 2016: Prices up 11.1%, volume up 10%

December 2016 - December 2017: Prices up 5.4%, volume flat

December 2017 - December 2018: Prices stable, volume down 12.6%

The good news is that buyers are starting to have more choices, and while inventory is still very low (currently a 3.5 month supply), mortgage payments in Tampa are below rent payments, making owning in Tampa still more attractive than renting.

Now is the time to lock in gains and act if you need to make a move in the short term. Motivated buyers are out in full force today, while many sellers are still recovering from the holidays and waiting on the sidelines to enter the market. When a market shifts, having a strategy and knowing what your competition is will make the difference between selling and not selling your home.

Veteran agents who have weathered many cycles know this, and when the balance is shifting from a seller’s to a buyer market, this is the time to consult an experienced professional that isn’t relying on the momentum of the market to sell your home.

If you have questions about your own situation, we’d love to hear from you. Please give us a call at (813) 907-2555, or send us an email at info@tampahomegroup.com.

Dec. 4, 2018

Beware When Listing with Flat Fee Seller Programs

What you might not realize is that their “discount rate” may be charged to you whether your home sells or not.

The upside to discount seller programs seems obvious: It’ll save you money when it’s time to sell your home, by charging a lower or flat fee listing side commission. However, it’s important to have the facts before you decide to go with one of these programs.

In today’s market, everyone wants to get more value for less cost in the selling program they choose to list with. Discount brokerages have been around for years, and they often multiply when a market is strong, and then disappear or go out of business when a market shifts - these days we are seeing a new crop of discount brokerages pop up, some backed by venture capital, with huge marketing budgets, and slick online marketing... and they bear an attractive message: We’ll sell your home. You’ll save money. Unfortunately, there is some “fine print” in this message.

One of these newer selling programs operate on a flat fee system — they’ll charge sellers $3,600 plus buyer’s commission (typically 2.5 to 3%)  so in other words, $3,600 plus the 2.5 to 3% buyers agent commission.

On the surface, this might seem like a deal that’s hard to pass up. Though it can be found on their websites, what some sellers are unaware of is that their discount rate will be collected from you no matter what. In other words, whether they sell your home or not, you’ll be on the hook for that $3,600.  You’ll pay it if you sell your home, or if your home fails to sell, or if you decide to cancel. So in other words, a seller will be paying the $3,600 whether the home sells or not. (unlike listing with a brokerage where sellers only pay when a home actually sells)

So please, before you enlist the help of a flat fee program to get your home sold, give proper consideration to the risk it poses to you financially.  Before making a decision, insist on seeing a copy of the company’s local track record - in other words, a list of the homes they have listed, and which ones have sold and for what percent of the list price. Numbers don’t lie. Doing so could save you a good sum of money and frustration. We’ve personally researched the track records of these companies, and their success rate is far below the market average, and even more dramatically below the results we’ve delivered to our clients over the past 18 years here in the Tampa Bay area.

If you have any additional questions about how you can net top dollar for the sale of your home or if you have any other real estate needs that I can assist with, we’d love to chat with you. We’ve been helping homeowners here in the Tampa Bay area for years net top dollar in the sale of their homes. Give us a call at 813-907-2555  or send us an email today at info@tampahomegroup.com.

Posted in Selling Your Home
Nov. 9, 2018

Come Join Us at the Wiregrass Wobble Turkey Trot

From our family to yours, wishing you a happy Thanksgiving!

We’re here today with a very special invitation from our family at Tampa Home Group to yours to join us at the Sixth Annual Wiregrass Wobble 5K Turkey Trot. Come walk, run, or wobble with us on Thanksgiving morning!

There’s a 5K run/walk as well as a one mile run/walk and we’d love to have you join us. All the money raised at this event will go toward supporting local charities. In the past, they have raised over $140,000 for over 27 local charities. 

One of the best things about living in Tampa this time of year is our wonderful weather -- and what a great way to enjoy some fresh air and exercise before your Thanksgiving festivities begin! The event starts at 7:30 a.m. for the 5K and at 8:30 a.m. for the one mile fun run/walk on Thanksgiving morning--and you’ll be done in plenty of time to get your family meals ready.  Strollers are welcome if you want to bring the little ones-- and COSTUMES are encouraged!  If you’d like to participate, you can sign up here.

If you'd like to run, walk the 5k or 1 Mile, or just hang out with us, we’ll be there with a big group and would love to have you join us! The first 50 people to join us will also get a Tampa Home Group baseball cap to go along with the Turkey Trot shirt you’ll get by signing up. Call Maria at (813) 907-2555 if you’d like to join us.  Remember-Strollers are welcome and costumes are encouraged!

Whether you’re staying in town or traveling somewhere else, we hope you have a safe and happy Thanksgiving. If you have any real estate needs that we can assist with in the meantime, don’t hesitate to give us a call or send us an email today. We look forward to hearing from you!


Oct. 23, 2018

The Truth About Companies that Offer to Buy Your Home

These businesses exist to make a profit.

Today I’m joined by our Director of Development here at RE/MAX Capital Realty Shadd Boucher to talk about the real facts concerning the flood of companies who offer to buy your home.

We’ve seen these sorts of advertisements all over—on the radio, TV, internet, and on signs around town. Shadd himself recently sold his home, and approached several of these companies to see firsthand what it was all about.

While these sorts of companies certainly have a place in the market, they’re mostly for people who are in a hurry to sell their homes and are willing to sacrifice their equity in order to speed up the process.

These businesses exist to make a profit, so they have to buy low and sell high. They advertise that they’ll offer a fair price, but is that really the case?

Shadd says that their offer was a bit less than what he’d expected, given his own 20 years of real estate experience. However, the price itself wasn’t unreasonable - what was unreasonable were all the fees that came from the back end of the transaction - starting with a 7.5 percent fee. Then there were potential additional fees charged following their inspection of his home. With all these fees added up, Shadd was going to make much less than if he had listed the property with a real estate broker and sold it on the open market.

The total charges could have been as high as 12%. Additionally, it was written into the contract that they had the right to cancel the transaction at any point up until the last minute; they had an open maintenance policy that was supplemental to the contract, allowing them to cancel the transaction 10 days after their representative was able to view the house, and that timeframe was not specified in the contract.

If you have been considering a sale and wondering about the tradeoffs of working with one of these companies, feel free to reach out to me. Lately, we’ve had to assist clients who have started off with companies like this, and discovered that unknown details ended up costing them time and money. We’re always here to help you and to look out for your best interests.

Posted in Selling Your Home
Oct. 9, 2018

Is Fall a Smart Time for Tampa Homeowners to Sell?

Low Inventory and Serious Buyers Make a Great Selling Opportunity.

Happy fall to you all! We’ve made it to October and the fourth quarter of the year here in Tampa Bay. Today I wanted to share just a few facts and figures about our market that you might not be aware of.

During this time of year, a lot of people who have their homes for sale consider taking their home off the market. However, the Tampa Bay real estate market is extremely active during this time of year. Would it surprise you to know that in 2017, 8,405 homes closed in the fourth quarter? That’s 24.3% of the total sales for the year.

As you can tell in the video above, it certainly doesn’t feel like fall here in Tampa, and our mild winter weather is part of why so many visitors flock to Tampa and decide to buy property here. This is part of the reason why our market doesn’t slow down much during this time of year. Many potential buyers are here starting new jobs, vacationing, visiting family over the holidays, and combining those trips with home shopping over the fall and winter. Tampa Bay is truly a year-round market.

If you’ve been thinking about putting your home on the market and are considering waiting until next year, it might be a good idea for us to have a conversation about whether or not a fourth-quarter sale might be a good idea for you. Our low inventory combined with 4th quarter’s serious buyers can create a perfect scenario to maximize your proceeds from a home sale.

No matter when you plan on selling your home, we’d love to help you out. If you have any questions in the meantime or want to discuss what’s going on in your neighborhood, don’t hesitate to give us a call or send us an email at any time. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Posted in Selling Your Home
Sept. 10, 2018

What Do the Latest Numbers Say About Our Market?

Whether you're buying or selling, there are still some great opportunities in this market.

Today I have your latest Tampa Bay area market update. The numbers are in from the month of July, and overall we saw a strong sales month compared to July 2017. The number of closed sales rose roughly 4.8% from 3,144 to 3,295. Prices also rose 4.4% year over year, but they dropped 3.6% compared to June 2018. Another interesting trend to note is that inventory climbed for the third straight month and now sits at 2.6 months. Despite this climb, that's still a low amount of inventory. We’re potentially seeing the beginning of a shift, but whether you’re buying or selling, there are still some great opportunities in this market. If you’d like to look at the statistics for yourself, click here.

Aug. 29, 2018

How Do Our “Coming Soon” Listings Help Both Buyers and Sellers?

If you are thinking about putting your home on the market, or if you are a buyer looking for a home in today's market, I have a quick message I want to share with you about our "Coming Soon" listings, which is another way that we work daily to connect buyers and sellers in today’s market.

What are "Coming Soon" listings? A "Coming Soon" listing is a way to spread the word about homes coming to market--this is perfect for sellers who still have a list of things to do to the home before they are ready to officially put it on the market, or are perhaps looking to time their sale with an upcoming life event like a graduation or wedding.

Our COMING SOON marketing is also a great tool for sellers who are building a new construction home that is not yet ready. We are often working with buyers who may be timing a purchase in the future- and it’s another way we can help find the perfect buyer for the perfect house.With a "Coming Soon" listing, we start looking for a buyer for your home before it is listed.

If you are a buyer who is unable to find the right home, give us a call today because we may have something soon that will fit your needs. After years and years of assisting buyers and sellers here in the Tampa Bay area, we have a great group of loyal past clients, many of whom call us months in advance when they are getting ready to sell. The home you’re looking for might be owned by one of our past clients.

We are always listing new homes, and working to connect buyers and sellers. For our latest list of COMING SOON & OFF MARKET HOMES, click here!

If you have any questions about our "Coming Soon" listings or anything else real-estate related, please feel free to contact me here at the office (813) 907-2555. I look forward to speaking with you soon.

Aug. 8, 2018

The Latest Tampa Bay Market Statistics

Tampa’s average sale price has exceeded the previous market peak reached back in 2006. Several years of double digit price gains are now giving way to a more normal rate of appreciation—and many parts of the nation are experiencing signs of a slowdown.  What does that mean for our local market?

National media including CNBC, Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal, and MSN are reporting lower sales and higher inventory in some of the nation’s hottest markets. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, the U.S. housing market -- particularly in high demand areas like Seattle, Silicon Valley and Austin, Texas -- appears to be headed for the broadest slowdown in years. Buyers are getting squeezed by rising mortgage rates and by prices climbing about twice as fast as incomes, and there’s only so far they can stretch. Southern California, long considered a predictor for the rest of the country, is experiencing this slowdown in a dramatic fashion.

So that’s the national news, yet we all know real estate markets are highly local—so what about the Tampa Bay area?

Tampa’s relatively young demographics, great weather, employment opportunities, housing affordability, low taxes, and vibrant urban and suburban lifestyles still make this market extremely attractive to buyers of all ages. That being said, when we study the numbers, even our market is starting to experience signs of a plateau, and we believe an eventual correction. After 8 consecutive years of an appreciating real estate market, both home sellers and builders are clearly experiencing that buyers’ budgets are not limitless. Optimistic list prices that seemed attainable just months ago simply aren’t materializing. Click here to see sales trend statistics between January and June of this year from the Greater Tampa Association of Realtors®.

Sellers who have been watching the FOR SALE signs go up and down quickly in months past, expecting to sell quickly for more than their neighbor’s home (just because the market is hot) are finding the market has not been able to keep pace with their expectations. Sellers competing with new construction are finding that the builders are lowering prices, and offering incentives to buyers and agents. So while the news keeps telling us about low inventory and high demand, it simply doesn’t feel that way if you are selling a home in an area where new construction is among the competition.

Recall that our Tampa market peaked back in 2006, then experienced the meltdown in 2008 (that really started back in 2006). Our market lost about 45% of its value by 2011. No one would have predicted or believed what was ahead of us back then. Back in 2005, while the prices and sales figures were still rising, John was studying the inventory, and counseling our sellers to get ahead of the market. Even as the prices of the closed sales continued to rise, it was clear that inventory was growing and new pending sales were decreasing. Many of the closed sales recorded each month back in 2006 were the result of new construction sales that had gone under contract 6 to 12 months prior.

While the media was still exuberant about the market continuing to climb in 2006, we were advising sellers to price their homes competitively rather than overpricing and hoping for the market to meet their expectations. Smart sellers in 2006 and 2007 priced their homes aggressively and sold in 2007 and 2008, while those unwilling to listen remained in denial at list prices that were simply unattainable—which in hindsight turned out to be a very expensive mistake. Many of those homes never sold, or sold years later for much less. In hindsight, we now know it would take as long as 10 years to see those same prices from 2006-2007 again.

A vast pool of our current real estate agents selling real estate today have been licensed for less than 10 years, and have never sold homes in a flat or down market, thus are simply not equipped to detect the signs of a market correction, nor strategically position their clients for success. As agents who have weathered multiple market cycles over the past 30 years, we’ve learned the telltale signs of market shifts, and the marketing strategies make our clients successful both selling and buying.

If you are a seller, be assured that the market is still strong, yet a home sale may take longer than you had originally hoped. Savvy sellers will pay close attention to the market conditions, and make sure their home is strategically positioned both in condition and price. While no one has a crystal ball, sellers who wait to sell today may not be able to count on a higher sale price simply by waiting. Depending on your home’s age, your neighborhood inventory, and overall buyer demand, your home may not sell for more in a year or two, so if you are looking to lock in a gain, waiting might not be a wise strategy.

If you have questions about your own real estate situation or the value of your home, give us a call here at the office (813) 907-2555 or email us at info@tampahomegroup.com. We’re always available to assist you in taking advantage of the real estate opportunities in every market.

July 27, 2018

We’re Always Striving to Serve You Better

We can connect you with top agents around the globe.

I’m excited to have spent a week at a national real estate conference attended by over 4,000 of the best real estate agents across the globe.  We spent the week improving our skills, discussing market trends across the nation, and meeting with other top agents, all with the goal of constantly improving the results we deliver to you, our great clients. We’re dedicated to staying ahead of the market, and keeping our clients and friends informed about emerging trends and market shifts. Stay tuned, as I’ll be sharing more on this in future messages.

If you or anyone you know has real estate needs anywhere across the globe, call us first, we know top agents across the US, Canada, and Europe, and can help connect you with them wherever you’re going.

If you have any questions for us in the meantime, don’t hesitate to give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you soon.