Tampa Real Estate and Community News

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.

June 11, 2018

How a Pre-Approval Letter Can Boost Your Home-Buying Success

As we know, our current market is extremely competitive. This means there is a strong likelihood that buyers in our Tampa area market will encounter multiple offer situations while engaged in their home search.

To combat these potentially difficult conditions, it’s critical for buyers to approach the market with a strong pre-approval letter in hand. Also, the distinction between a pre-approval and a pre-qualification letter is key—so be careful not to confuse these terms as you proceed.

Allow me to clarify how these two items differ. A pre-qualification letter indicates that you may qualify for a loan up to a certain amount based on information you have provided to your lender.

A pre-approval letter, on the other hand, is much more powerful. A strong pre-approval letter states that your income, assets, and credit have all been verified by the lender. The concrete nature of this document will help reassure sellers of your credentials, and of the fact that making a deal with you would be a secure decision.

Presenting a pre-approval letter alongside your offer is a great step to take as a buyer, but it is equally important to work alongside a strong local lender in generating this document and in navigating the deal, overall.

If a seller has multiple offers from between which they must choose, they will tend to gravitate toward offers that are backed by recognizable local professionals. Working with a lender who understands, and has a positive reputation in, the Tampa area will be of great benefit to you. Many out-of-state banks or online lending services are out there, but working with them will not provide the same results or the same level of service as seeking the guidance of someone from our area.

Ultimately, entering our market as a prepared, professionally backed buyer will be essential to your success.

If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.


Posted in Buying a Home
May 21, 2018

3 Reasons to Consider Listing Now

Selling your Tampa home? Get a free home value report

Buying a home? Search all Tampa homes for sale

If you are a Tampa Bay homeowner and you have been thinking about listing your home for sale, now is a fantastic time to do so. There are three reasons why May 2018 is the perfect time for you to sell your home and maximize your profits. The first reason is that the window of peak buyer activity is here. Many buyers time their move with the school year, so they want to buy now, close in June or July, and get all settled in before school starts in August. To learn the other two reasons why now is such a fantastic time to list your home, watch our latest video.

Posted in Selling Your Home
May 15, 2018

Never Buy New Construction Without an Experienced Agent by Your Side

Selling your Tampa home? Get a free home value report

Buying a home? Search all Tampa homes for sale

When buying new construction, having a great agent by your side will be critical to your success. Today I will share five key reasons why this is the case.

1. We are going to help you spend your money on the right things. Having a professional working by your side will ensure that you invest your hard-earned money wisely. An agent will help you make choices that will bring you the biggest return on investment, including the right lot, the right upgrades, and more.

2. Your Realtor has your back. The builder’s representative may be pleasant and friendly, but they represent the builder—not you. If you meet with a builder without an agent on your side, you have essentially given up your right to representation.

3. We can negotiate for you. Agents are aware of the kinds of promotions and incentives that builders offer. Having a great agent negotiating on your behalf will make sure you don’t miss out on any benefits or opportunities.

4. Working without a Realtor will not save you money. Despite the common misconception that forgoing representation is a cost-effective way to navigate new construction purchases, this is simply not true. The builder’s price already has the cost of an agent’s commission figured in. So you will pay the same price whether you work with an agent or not. In the end, going into a transaction alone can be a costly mistake.

5. We can be your personal shoppers. If you’re engaged in a new construction purchase from a far-away location, whether you’re out of town or overseas, we at the Tampa Home Group would be happy to attend to details of the transaction on your behalf. We have many clients who purchase remotely. We can even show you the property directly via FaceTime or another similar system. Beyond that, we will do everything from attending appointments to overseeing the final walkthrough.

Our team is made up of real experts, and we are passionate about making your transaction a great experience.

So, if you have any other questions, would like more information, or would simply like to speak to one of our passionate team members, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I would be happy to answer any questions you may have about building or buying. I look forward to speaking with you soon.

Posted in Buying a Home
May 1, 2018

The Importance of Working With a Buyer’s Agent on a Strong Listing Team

Selling your Tampa home? Get a free home value report

Buying a home? Search all Tampa homes for sale

Why is it so important to work with a buyer’s agent who is part of a strong listing team? In today’s market, inventory is at a 10-year low. If you’re currently looking for a home, you may have already experienced the difficulty in finding the perfect house.

When you hire a strong buyer’s agent who is part of a strong listing team like the one we have at Tampa Home Group, you’ll see the benefits right away. For example, you will have advanced knowledge of many of the homes we list every week. We also prospect every week for new listings in the neighborhoods where our buyers are looking. 

If you’re having a hard time finding the home of your dreams, don’t bother with search websites. Reach out to us. If it’s out there, we’ll find it for you.

If you have any questions at all about your home search or any specific neighborhoods you’re interested in, please don’t hesitate to give us a call or send us an email today. We’re here to save you time, stress, and money. We look forward to hearing from you.

Posted in Buying a Home