Tampa Real Estate and Community News

July 8, 2019

The Top 3 Ways to Add Value to Your Home on a Low Budget

What is the best way to add value to your home on a low budget? Find out today.

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Welcome back to “Tampa Home Group TV!” Today we’re here to answer the question: What are the top three ways to add value to your home right now, even if you have a low or minimal budget?

1. Declutter. Go through your home room by room and get rid of the things you don’t need. You’d be surprised at how simply decluttering can actually make your home look bigger and show off its best features. Plus, it’s free!

2. Painting. As far as home improvements go, painting brings one of the highest returns on your investment when you sell. If your home has dated, bright, or unnatural paint colors (think deep golds, bright yellows, deep reds, hunter green, or bright neons) it pays to repaint these areas. Today’s buyers are looking for light, neutral hues like agreeable gray, accessible beige, and creamy white.

3. Light fixtures. You’d also be surprised at how easily you can update your home and refresh a room by just updating the light fixtures. Remember: Big, Tuscan fixtures are out in today’s market. What’s in? Think new, clean, modern “drum” style fixtures, clean industrial fixtures, or even some sparkling bling depending on the room.

If you are in need of some ideas for how to update your home in order to maximize its value, or if you have any real estate questions at all, feel free to reach out to us. We love to help our friends and clients.

Posted in Home Owning
June 27, 2019

Ready for Some Great News About the Tampa Real Estate Market?

The latest numbers are in for the Tampa real estate market and they’re great.
Here’s what you need to know

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We’re back today with a quick market update for you all. The May 2019 numbers are in and they’re fantastic. We had 3,889 closed sales, which is a record number of closings here in Tampa and up 5.2% from last May. Home prices, meanwhile, are up 2.3% from last year and are just shy of the previous market high. We’re still in a seller’s market for homes under $500,000. Above that threshold, however, we’re in more of a buyer’s market.

Here you can take a look below at all the May stats regarding the number of sales, closed sales prices, and inventory:

Tampa 2019 Market Stats

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

Posted in Market Updates
May 21, 2019

What Exactly Is Going on in the Tampa Bay Real Estate Market?

We took a look at this April’s real estate numbers and compared them
to what we saw in April 2018. Here’s what we found

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We’re back once again with a quick update for you on the Tampa Bay real estate market.

The April numbers are in and the news is good. We saw our number of closed sales increase 8.6% year over year after having been down in March of this year.

As far as pricing is concerned, we’re up about 1.7% from April 2018. This is pointing us toward a nice, stable market.


Inventory has dropped, but homes
are still selling in a timely manner.


Inventory has gone down slightly from where it was last year, but homes are still selling at a healthy clip right now.

Here you can take a look below at all the April stats regarding the number of sales, closed sales prices, and inventory:

Tampa 2019 Market Stats

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

Posted in Market Updates
April 26, 2019

Your Spring 2019 Real Estate Market Update

On today’s episode of “Tampa Home Group TV,” we’ll share the latest
Tampa Bay real estate market statistics for Spring 2019

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The latest Tampa Bay stats for the month of March are in. Here’s what we’ve found:

  • Home prices are steady. From what we’ve seen, they’re just about even year over year.
  • Inventory has been climbing. As of the end of March 2019, inventory has gone up 7.3% over last year.
  • The number of sales is still very strong, sitting at 3,089 sales closed. However, that’s down about 4.7% from last year’s 3,243 sales.

Every day, people ask us if it’s too late to take advantage of the spring market. Looking at these numbers, our answer is unequivocally no.


You’ll want to have your home on
the market by April, May, and June.


The four biggest months for real estate closings in Tampa last year were May, June, July, and August, which means that in order to take advantage of the largest pool of buyers, you’ll want to have your home on the market by April, May, and June. At the very latest, you’ll want to have your home under contract by July.

You can take a look below at all the March stats regarding the number of sales, closed sales prices, and inventory:

Tampa 2019 Market Stats

If you have any questions about your own real estate situation or would like to talk more about what’s going on in the market, reach out to us. We love to talk real estate, and we’d love to hear from you.

Posted in Market Updates
April 9, 2019

Tips for Navigating a Double Real Estate Transaction

In today’s episode of “Tampa Home Group TV,” I discuss how to navigate a double
transaction—in other words, how to sell your current home and buy a new one at the same time

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Want to Sell a Home? Get a Home Value Report


What does it take to coordinate the sale of your current home and the purchase of a new one, while also ensuring a great experience for you and your family? Here at the Tampa Home Group, we’ve helped hundreds of families make these kinds of moves, and we’re committed to making your next transition as smooth and painless as possible. There are three steps that you should take to ensure a double transaction goes well:

1. Consult with a professional real estate agent (like myself!). Instead of relying on online valuation tools like Zillow’s Zestimate, speak with a local real estate professional about the market value of your current home. A true professional can help you figure out exactly how much you’ll walk away with when you sell.

2. Meet with an experienced lender to find out how much buying power you have, what costs to expect, and in what price range you’ll be approved to purchase.

3. Get your current home listed and under contract before you buy a new one. In order to make your offer on the home you’re looking to buy appear serious to the seller, you’ll need to make sure that your current home has been or will soon be sold. In fact, do this before you even go shopping for homes.


You’ll need to make sure that your current
home has been or will soon be sold.


But what should you do if, instead of purchasing another resale home, you want to build a home—a process that can take six, eight, or even 10 months? If this is your goal, you’ll still want to meet with a professional agent before going to the builder, as they’ll help you find out what your current home is worth. Builders these days will often allow the construction of your new home to be contingent on the sale of your current home, but these contingencies can be pretty complex; agents understand the ins and outs, and it’s our job to make sure you’re protected throughout the process.

If you have any questions about your own situation or would like help coming up with a game plan for your family, reach out to us. We’d love to hear from you.

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

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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