Tampa Real Estate and Community News

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.

July 19, 2018

Tampa International Airport Ranked As One of the Top 10 Domestic Airports

Tampa International Airport Ranked As One of the Top 10 Domestic Airports

Travel and Leisure Magazine has ranked Tampa International Airport 4th in its top 10 domestic airports.

The airport's public art program and cultural and entertainment offerings received special praise. 

Listed airports are also assessed for accessibility, dining options, shopping and design. The magazine gave Tampa International an overall score of 76.32. 

The Top 10 Airports were:

1. Portland International Airport - 80.70

2. Indianapolis International Airport - 79.35

3. Minneapolis-St.Paul International Airport - 77.12

4. Tampa International Airport - 76.32

5. Pittsburgh International Airport - 75.91

6. Austin-Bergstrom International Airport - 74.88

7. Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport - 74.33

8. John Wayne Airport, Orange County, California - 74.32

9. Palm Beach International Airport - 73.62

10. Dallas Love Field - 73.51

Posted in Community News
July 12, 2018

What Do the Latest Numbers Say About Tampa Bay Real Estate?

The pace of our market’s growth is slowing down.

July is here and the summer is well underway, so we wanted to share the latest Tampa Bay area real estate numbers with you in a market update.

Overall, things are going well. Home sales were up year over year from May 2017 to May 2018 by 4%. The 3,670 closed home sales we saw this May were actually a record-setting number for the Tampa Bay area.

Home prices are up 2% from May 2017, but how does that compare to the pricing gains we’ve seen in years past? From May 2016 to May 2017, we saw a 12% increase in pricing. As you can see, the pace of our growth is slowing down.

If you’re a seller thinking about listing your home on the market, now is the time to do so to get the maximum price for your home. With interest rates on the rise, we may see price gains slow as we move into the future.

One other thing we’re seeing is that new construction is making up a significant portion of the sales here in Hillsborough and Pasco counties. In Hillsborough County, new construction accounted for 16% of all sales in 2018, which is up from 13% in 2017. In Pasco County, we’re seeing similar numbers.

If you have any questions for us about your own home or about the Tampa Bay real estate market in general, don’t hesitate to reach out and give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

June 26, 2018

What Answers Should You Insist on Before Hiring a Listing Agent

Buying or selling a home is a significant business decision. Having a trustworthy, experienced agent to guide you through that process can be an invaluable asset. How should you interview potential real estate agents to see who would be a good fit for you?

Here are the three best questions to ask a listing agent before choosing one to hire to help you sell your home:

1. How many homes have YOU sold in the last 12 months?  Insist on experience.
Many real estate agents may have an impressive presentation, or share statistics on the number of homes their company sells. That's useful information, yet it is the INDIVIDUAL AGENT’S TRACK RECORD that is the best indication of the type of service and results you will receive. Many agents today have limited experience, and when it comes to pricing and marketing your home, strategically positioning your home vs. the competition, negotiating offers, handling appraisal, inspection, and repair issues, you may find yourself at a severe disadvantage because an agent with less than 10 years of experience has never been through a complete market cycle, or represented enough sellers to bring you the desired result. An experienced agent who has been selling 100+ homes a year  over the last decade has a treasure chest of knowledge that cannot be duplicated. Selling real estate for over 20 years means an agent has guided clients in both up and down markets. Avoid the common trap of simply hiring a “friend in the business”,  the agent that sold the home down the street, or the brand new agent who has just few years (or less) of experience - all agents are not the same, just like all surgeons are not the same. Many sellers we meet whose homes didn’t sell with a prior agent regret failing to do the research upfront the first time.

2. How many of your listings have sold vs. how many of your listings have failed to sell?
Many agents can advertise impressive numbers of homes sold, but what they don’t share is how many of their listings never sell. Here at Tampa Home Group, over the past 10 years, we successfully sell more than 95% of the homes that we list. The agent you choose to hire should have a great track record of successful home sales as opposed to a great track record of getting homes listed.  

3. What is your list-to-sale price ratio?
This is a very important statistic that serves almost like an agent’s report card. The average home here in Tampa Bay sells for 97% of its list price, and many agents in the market have a track record far below that. Year in and year out, Tampa Home Group has sold our listings at an average of over 99% of  list price. The 2% difference in our net proceeds really adds up to more money for our sellers. Our proven marketing plan, years of experience, and personalized service allows us to deliver these extraordinary results to our sellers.

If you have any additional questions for us about your specific situation or about the real estate market in general, don’t hesitate to give us a call or send us an email any time. We look forward to hearing from you soon.