Best Strategies to Win a Bidding War

June 2, 2022


When buying a home in today’s real estate market, be prepared to pull out every weapon in your arsenal. Most agents are dusting off strategies and techniques they haven’t used since the early 2000s to compete in this competitive seller’s market. “Homes are selling fast and for thousands over list price. Homebuyers need to be ready to move quickly and aggressively when they find a home they love,” shares Davidson Realty President, Sherry Davidson. 


Putting together an offer to sellers? Make it strong! With only a month’s worth of inventory up for sale, more and more buyers are making all-cash offers. Cash sales are attractive because the seller has seemingly no risk of financing problems and they save time with the elimination of the underwriting process. 


Opt for a shorter inspection period or no inspection. Make an estimate of how much necessary improvements will cost and consider them in your offer. For newer homes, waiving the inspection could be a valid tactic, but the buyer must truly understand and be comfortable with it as it could be extremely risky. 


Allowing the seller to rent back the home for a short time is another way to appeal to the seller’s needs. If the seller needs time to find or move into their next home, the buyer can allow the seller to stay for a set period of time and pay rent, usually the mortgage payment, or stay rent-free as the buyer would begin paying the mortgage. Being flexible could be what helps you win a bidding war!


Waive the appraisal contingency. The appraisal contingency allows a buyer to get out of a pending sale if the appraised market value of the home is less than the agreed upon contract price. If the contingency is waived, the buyer agrees to pay the difference between what the bank is willing to lend on the appraised value and the contract price. Waiving the appraisal contingency is clearly an attractive strategy, however, the buyer needs to be aware of the risk. 


A tool many agents are recommending to buyers to win bidding wars is an escalation or escalator clause which states the buyer will pay a certain amount above the highest bid. This clause makes the offer more attractive because it guarantees it will beat the highest bid. Usually, a limit is set on the clause to avoid the buyer overspending.


Footing the bill for closing costs and paying the commission for both sides of the transaction is another way to sweeten the deal for the seller. Additionally, writing a “love” letter could appeal to the emotions of the seller. Trusting your agent to help you select the strategies that work best for your situation is key. 


In this real estate market, be ready and act fast! For expert advice on strategies to catch the seller’s attention and put your offer at the top of the list, contact Davidson Realty today at (904) 940-5000. 

Northeast Florida Real Estate Market Update

May 23, 2022


“You will never see the end, if you give up in the middle.” – Joyce Meyer


I can’t wait to see where our housing market is going next.


In a recent Business Journal article “Observers and economists are cautiously optimistic that more inventory will hit the market in the coming months, which, combined with potentially fewer buyers because of rising mortgage rates and home prices, should help moderate the market.” We will be watching metrics like active inventory and days on market to see if we see this moderation.


Right now, the Northeast Florida Association of Realtors market stats doesn’t show the moderation in our market. The median sales price of $350,000 is up 22.9% from last April and 2.7% from the previous month. There were 41.3% of the closings over list price up from 39.5% the previous month. Our buyer demand is still very strong.


The median days on the market is 13 days down from 14 days the previous two months. The properties are still selling very quickly.


The active inventory is 3,432 homes which is 24.3% less than last April. There was a slight increase (3.7%) from the previous month. The months supply of inventory is 1.2 months which is down 9.6% from last April but up from 1.0 months in March. We will have to see whether the slight increase in inventory is a change in the market or sellers just pricing their homes over market price causing them to sit on the market a little longer.


There are many issues that could affect the real estate market. The rapid rise in mortgage interest rates, inflation, and the continuing supply chain issues could be three of the biggest. Housing prices and wage increases due to the shortage of workers seem to be major factors causing inflation.


A recent USA Today article made an interesting point about older workers comprising the largest group of Americans that stopped working during COVID. Many retired early but with the runaway inflation, financial pressures, and an abating pandemic many of them are returning to the labor force. Pew Research believes 1.5 million of the 3.5 million baby boomers who retired during the pandemic did so sooner than intended. The Fed puts the figure at 2.4 million. These workers may help some with the worker shortages.


I will continue to watch for changes in our market but if you are considering selling, it is a very good time to get your home on the market.


Enjoy all the great spring activities and the sports going on this time of year. If we can assist you in any way with real estate advice, please let us know.

Northeast Florida Real Estate Market Update

April 25, 2022


“A true friend is someone who thinks you’re a good egg, even if you’re cracked.” — Unknown

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter! It is an amazing time of year.


The Northeast Florida Association of Realtors market stats for March 2022 show a continuing seller’s market with low available inventory and prices continuing to rise. The buyer demand remains strong.


The median sales price for March is $340,600 for all property types in all 6 counties of Northeast Florida. This is an increase of 3.2% from February and 24.8% from last March. The median price for a single-family home in St. Johns County jumped to $558,700. This compares with $330,000 in Duval, $345,000 in Clay, $222,000 in Putnam and $385,000 in Nassau.


The active available inventory for the entire market area is 2,888 properties which is down 8.0% from February and 32.7% from last March. We have 1.0 months supply of inventory which is down 24.3% from last year.


We continue to see new listings, but they are selling quickly with multiple offers if priced correctly. We will have to watch the market in April and through the summer to see the impact of rising home mortgage rates on demand.


A recent Harris Poll survey conducted for Coldwell Banker of more than 2,000 US adults shows 44% of Gen Z (18-25) and 35% of millennial (26-41) homeowners say they plan to sell their homes in the next 12 months. Many of these first-time homebuyers bought smaller starter homes that have gone up in value and they have enough equity to make a sizeable down payment on a larger home.


A housing report says the two primary motivations for selling are new familial needs (31%) and the desire for updated features (15%). The study indicates the majority of sellers planning to make a move are millennials ready to swap their starter homes for larger ones (49%). The study continues “compared to all survey respondents, higher shares of millennials want a more affordable home (34% vs. 21%) and need the sale money as soon as possible (14% vs. 11%) to help offset inflation, student loan debt, and other economic burdens.”


Given the projected increase in interest rates and increase in properties available for sale, it would appear to be wise to sell sooner rather than later. Additionally, the current market favors the seller with buyers agreeing in many instances to waive inspections, repairs, and pay cash.


If we can help you analyze your home’s value and discuss options, please let us know. We love to talk about real estate. Enjoy our beautiful weather and all the great activities outdoors this spring.

Northeast Florida Real Estate Market Update

March 21, 2022


“Life will always throw you curves, just keep fouling them off. The right pitch will come, and when it does, be prepared to run the bases.” – Rick Maksian

I love all sports, but baseball is my favorite. My heart is happy now that the owners and players have come to an agreement. Go Braves!


Even with all that is happening in the world right now, there is a huge demand for real estate in Northeast Florida, unfortunately, the supply is continuing to decline. As a result of the supply shortage and overall inflation, the prices keep going up.


The Northeast Florida Association of Realtors market review for all property types in all 6 counties shows a median sales price of $329,995 which is up 25.3% over last year and 3.6% over last month. In February, 32.5% of the closings were over list price. The median days a property was on the market is 16 days which is down from last year and last month.


There were 2,818 new listings; however, there were 2,987 pending sales. We sold more homes in February than came on the market. There is 1.2 months supply of inventory.


The Northeast Florida Builders Association reported 1,332 single-family home building permits were issued in February which is an increase of 150 over last year. St. Johns County issued 612, Duval 474, Clay 144 and Nassau 102. The builders continue trying to meet the buyer demand.


An interesting article from Florida Realtors says “Nationally, a homeowner who purchased a single-family existing home 10 years ago at the median sales price of $162,600 is likely to have accumulated $229,400 in housing wealth. Of this wealth gain, 86% can be attributed to price appreciation.” Lawrence Yun, the National Association of Realtors Chief Economist is quoted in another article talking about home prices being a great inflation hedge.


I hope you are adjusting to Daylight Savings time and get to enjoy some basketball and baseball this spring. Please let us know if we can help you with any real estate needs. We are always happy to share our knowledge and talk about options.

Northeast Florida Real Estate Market Update

February 25, 2022


“I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness because it shows me the stars.” Og Mandino


The Northeast Florida Association of Realtors market review shows some moderation in median sales price increases since November. The median sales price of $320,000 is still 25% higher than last January. Most economists are predicting 3% to 5% price increases nationally this year.


The percentage of closings over list price has also stabilized for a few months at around 30% of closings over list price. We are beginning to see more sellers pricing their homes substantially over market price. Those homes sit on the market longer than the homes priced correctly.


The 2,126 closed sales are down 8% from last year and the 2,857 pending sales are down 3%. You may recall that December 2020 and January 2021 had inflated post-COVID lockdown demand. I would like to add that we are seeing new construction closings getting pushed out due to supply constraints and labor shortages. Additionally, low inventory is still holding back many buyers.


There is active inventory of 3,105 counting all 9 property types which is down 35.1% from last year. There is active inventory for single-family homes of 2,389 for our entire market including 6 counties.


The builders are trying to keep pace with demand. January 2022 had 1,457 permits which set a record for the number of permits issued in a single month. The annual total of permits in 2021 was 16,138 compared to 12,555 in 2020.


A recent article from Lawrence Yun with the National Association of Realtors stated “Home sales are at their best in 15 years. Once all the data are tallied up, more than 6 million existing homes and about 800,000 newly constructed homes will have been sold in 2021 – the best performance since 2006.”


To sum up, demand is still very strong, supply is very low and prices haven’t been rising as quickly in the last few months.


Thank you for all the support and referrals! If you know anyone we can help to sell, buy or rent, please let me know.

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