4 Ways to Sweeten the Deal When Buying a Home

May 5, 2021

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The real estate market is unlike anything we’ve seen before. Inventory is low, demand is high, and homes are flying off the market! “With the current market conditions, listings are receiving multiple offers and buyers need to be ready to act fast with their best offer when they see a listing they love,” shares Davidson Realty President, Sherry Davidson. In such an intensely competitive market, trust the real estate experts at Davidson Realty to help you put your best foot forward with these strategies. 

 

Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

The first thing you should do when you decide to purchase a home is obtain a pre-approval letter. A pre-approval letter not only states what a lender is willing to lend to you but shows the seller you are serious and prepared to purchase a home. A pre-approval letter shows legitimacy and a sign of good faith that they can afford to buy the home. Sellers are more likely to select an offer that is pre-approved than one that is not. 

 

Eliminate Contingencies

A clean offer is extremely attractive to sellers. “Any contingencies you have in your offer could be a negative to the seller. Sellers want a low risk and speedy closing,” shares Sherry. Appraisals are often a major cause of home sales falling through. Eliminating this step allows for a smooth sale process with minimal chance of things going wrong. As the buyer, you are effectively taking the risk off the home seller and putting it on to yourself. 

 

Make an All-Cash Offer

All-Cash offers provide the unique opportunity of keeping the sale primarily between the buyer and the seller. Cash offers tend to be stronger than offers utilizing traditional financing because they are less risky for the seller. With a cash sale, no appraisal is necessary since there is no mortgage lender involved. The absence of a mortgage lender also allows for a quicker closing. A fast timeline is advantageous for sellers because the sooner they close, the sooner they get paid.  

 

Be Flexible

Including a flexible timeline in your offer can go a long way with sellers. Depending on the sellers’ situation they may need more or less time in the home than the traditional 30-day closing period. If you are not in a hurry to move, being as adaptable as possible will be to your advantage as the sellers will then be able to decide what works best for them. This can go a long way, especially if competing offers come with strict deadlines. 

 

If you are ready to begin the search for your next home, call Davidson Realty today to help you get started. 

REAL ESTATE MARKET UPDATE

April 23, 2021

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“God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers.” Rudyard Kipling

 

I wish every mother a Happy Mother’s Day!

 

The Northeast Florida Association of Realtors market stats for March shows 3,782 homes available for sale compared to 9,484 last March, a 60% reduction. It appears the low supply of homes for sale, high buyer demand and rising prices will be with us for several years.

 

The single-family home for sale inventory peaked in 2007 with about 3.7 million homes available nationally and has been dropping since then to 1.07 million homes currently.

 

A great article from The Mecklenburg Times cites the reason for continued buyer demand as low household formation rates following the Great Recession. If the historical household formation rate had continued after the recession, there would have been 5.7 million more households formed.

 

“The mid-2000s financial collapse began a domino effect. Roughly $6 trillion in real estate equity vanished during the housing crash, impacting the ability of many families to pass down wealth to their children. Young people who finished school around the late 2000s faced a soft job market, which can have long-lasting effects on a person’s finances and their ability to start a new household. Previous Zillow research has shown it takes about six years for homeownership rates of those who graduated college during a recession to catch up with those who graduated during better economic times.”

 

The last two years had shown that when the economy is good and most Americans have access to decent jobs, more of them are able to find a home of their own. More Millennials are turning 33 which has been the age most are marrying and starting families. This trend should continue rising for the next three to four years. Add to this the retiring Baby Boomers who are downsizing and the COVID-related moves where people can work from anywhere. The demand should continue for several more years at least.

 

The supply is tight and the demand is strong, so prices are rising. The median sales price is $274,900 up 12.7% over last March. The average sales price is $344,643, up 20.4%. Many buyers are offering to pay more than list price to get the offer accepted among multiple offers. The percent of properties sold over list price spiked 102.1%. In March 2020 14.2% of properties sold over list price and in March 2021 28.7% paid over list price.

 

It is a seller’s market, so if you are considering selling, we are happy to assist you. If you are interested in buying, we are finding ways to get offers accepted. Thank you for your continued trust and please let us know if we can help in any way. Happy Mother’s Day!

Real Estate Market Update

March 19, 2021

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“Four things for success: work and pray, think and believe.” Norman Vincent Peale

 

As we roll into the spring real estate market, there is more demand and less supply of homes than I have ever seen including the 2004 to 2006 timeframe. The Northeast Florida Association of Realtors market stats tell the story.

 

The pending sales of 3,063 are 11.4% higher than last February. The closed sales of 2,542 are up 5.9%. The new listings for February of 2,955 are down 13.5%.

 

There are 3,931 homes available for sale in February, down 56.1% from the 8,945 homes last February. The months supply of inventory is 1.3 months, down 60.6% from 3.3 months last February.

 

With the increased demand and diminishing supply, the prices continue to rise. The average sales price is up 14.1% in February compared to last February and the median price is up 11.8%. A recent article in the Jacksonville Business Journal says Redfin reports that Jacksonville leads the nation in rising housing market value. “The study from Seattle-based online real estate brokerage Redfin Corp. pointed to a 21.1% increase in the total value of homes in the Jacksonville metro between February 2020 and February 2021 – the largest increase in the nation.” They also pointed out that houses in our area remain below the national median price. “The median price here of $270,477 compared to $342,326 for the entire country.”

 

Florida Realtors Chief Economist, Dr. Brad O’Connor is predicting all of 2021 to be a great real estate market in Florida. He quoted economist from Realtors, Builders, Mortgage Bankers, Core Logic and more all predicting interest rates at year end between 3% and 3.6%. He says if rates rise too quickly the demand would be strong but we might be closer to historical norms than the market we are seeing now.

 

We are seeing fewer new listings as mentioned above. This may be related to COVID fears or concerns of where you can buy if you sell your home at a great price. The builders are adding homes as quickly as possible. The building permits issued for the Jacksonville MSA for January and February 2021 were 2,393 compared to 1,723 for the same period in 2020 for a 39% increase.

 

If you are buying or selling, you need advice from a trusted agent. The professional agents are finding ways to get offers accepted for buyers and know the best way to handle multiple offers for sellers. Please let us know if we can be of service.

 

Enjoy our beautiful spring weather, March Madness, Baseball Spring Training, our beaches and river. I wish you a Happy Easter!

First-Time Homebuyer? Call Davidson Realty. 

March 12, 2021

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Life is full of firsts. First car. First job. First child. First home. They are all memorable milestones that come with time and planning at various stages in life. Each first is unique and special in its own way. If buying your first home is a goal for you this year, Davidson Realty will be there. 

 

Like any first, you rely on the support and experience of friends, family, and industry experts. The same is true when buying a new home, especially with the current state of the real estate market, it is essential that a trusted real estate expert is by your side to help you navigate the process of buying a home. Davidson Realty has a team of real estate experts ready to educate and prepare you for what is to come. Davidson Realty Agents have the support and network that will give you a leg up when searching for your first home and sealing the deal. “With Davidson Realty, you have an ally in your corner and a real estate advisor for life to help and offer suggestions, repair vendors, community resources, and anything you need along your homeowners journey,” shares Davidson Realty President, Sherry Davidson. 

 

Preparation is key in the real estate market. “Buyers have to be ready to make an offer quickly in this market. Establishing a budget, type of loan you will use, how much of a down payment you are prepared for, and how much escrow deposit you have available is critical when you begin looking for a home,” continues Sherry. The state of the real estate market may present some advantages to home buyers as interest rates are some of the lowest seen in years which means lower monthly mortgage payments and bigger home-buying budgets. However, low interest rates have created a fiercely competitive market. “Buyers must be prepared to make aggressive offers within days of the home hitting the market. Sellers are receiving multiple offers often at list price or above. It’s a seller’s market, buyers need to be ready to bring their best offer to the table,” shares Sherry. 

 

With the market this competitive, it’s important to not only know what you can afford but what features and areas you are looking for. Whether you are looking for a starter home or your forever home, spending time deciding what is on your wishlist is critical so when a home that fits your criteria comes on the market you can act quickly. “Davidson Realty’s knowledge of the Northeast Florida communities, builders, schools, and entertainment options are invaluable.  Your Davidson Realtor ®  will take the time to understand the needs of your family and what you need in a home,” continues Sherry.  

 

Whether your first home is your one and only or the first of many, Davidson Realty will be your real estate partner for life. If you are ready to purchase your first home, call the real estate experts at Davidson Realty at (904) 940-5000.

Real Estate Market Update

February 16, 2021

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“Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.” John Wooden

 

The Northeast Florida Association of Realtors market stats for January 2021 confirms what we are seeing in the market every day. The Inventory of Homes for Sale is 4,296 homes, down 51.6% from last January when there were 8,876. We have 1.4 months supply of inventory which is down 57.6% from 3.3 months last January. These numbers are staggering. The available inventory is lower than in the crazy period of 2004 and 2005.

 

It is the perfect storm if you are considering selling your home. When a new listing comes available buyers are offering list price with escalation clauses to pay more. Some buyers are removing appraisal and inspection contingencies to get their offer accepted. It is a very competitive market and you need expert advice to manage the process.

 

Buyer demand is strong as evidenced by 2,970 pending sales in January up 17.9% from last January. Closed sales of 2,210 is up 11.2%. With strong buyer demand and lower than normal inventory, prices continue to increase. The median sales price in January is $256,995 up 10.8% over last January. The average price is $319,811 up 16.0%.

 

National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) Chief Economist, Dr. Robert Dietz and Florida Realtors Chief Economist, Dr. Brad O’Connor spoke at a recent Florida Realtors event and shared some interesting insights. Dr. Dietz said Florida had strong growth in new construction with 2020 building permits up “an incredible 30% year-over-year.”

 

The NAHB chief economist said he tracked data to look at the often-cited “shift to the suburbs” for housing in the latter part of 2020 due to COVID-19. He found that large metro areas with high density in the urban core still experienced a year-over-year growth rate of about 5.7% in 3Q 2020, but the lower-density, lower-cost suburbs out from the cities reported a growth rate of about 15%. Dietz also looked further out from Florida’s urban cores at communities known for second homes, investment homes or retirement. He said those areas reported a year-over-year growth rate of about 23.2% in 3Q 2020.

 

Dr. O’Connor explained that buyer wealth and available inventory matter more than density. “So, I would hypothesize that’s why you’re seeing a suburban shift in new home sales. And, why you’re seeing an overall greater surge in sales of upper-priced and luxury homes in Florida is that these kinds of homes are more freely available, and because many of the folks who are able to afford these kinds of properties also tend to be those who will be most able to work from home going forward.”

 

The northeast Florida housing market remains strong. It will be interesting to see what happens in the spring which is typically our strongest season. Enjoy the great spring weather and all the sports that are resuming. Thank you for your continued support and please let us know if we can help you with any real estate needs

 

 

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