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NFIP-February-2018

WASHINGTON – Feb. 9, 2018 – As part of the just-passed continuing resolution to keep the government open, the National Flood Insurance Program now won’t expire until March 23, 2018.

While the legislation only extends government operations for six weeks – including NFIP – Congress agreed to some long-term changes, including $90 billion in assistance for post-hurricane cleanup in Florida, Texas and Puerto Rico.

While the national flood insurance program isn’t a direct part of federal funding, its future has been tied to it recently because the flood insurance extension has been voted on alongside the larger spending packages.

For at least the next six weeks, however, homebuyers and sellers in flood zones can stop worrying about the loss of flood insurance derailing their transaction.

© 2018 Florida Realtors®

 

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  Here is an overview of how our area is performing.
The single family homes real estate markets in Pinellas, Hillsborough and Pasco Counties are still looking very strong after the third quarter of 2016. Higher median sales prices, more closed sales, and faster time to contract are all good news for sellers.
Inventory has shrunk year-over-year for the second quarter. Median Days to Contract is down in the Pinellas, Hillsborough and Pasco markets, reflecting the short amount of time a home is on the market between being listed and being sold. All of this means fewer homes to choose from and a likelihood of more competition between buyers.
As your local Realtor® and Neighborhood Advocate, I am your resource for data that affects our communities and your property value. Homeownership affordability and accessibility is a cornerstone of the Realtor® advocacy efforts at every level – local, state and national.
Here are some highlights from the Florida Realtors® Quarter 3 2016 Statistics Release for the Single Family Home Market Segment:

  • Closed Sales: Slightly down for Pinellas County; up for Hillsborough County and Pasco County for Quarter 3 2016 from Quarter 3 2015. This statistic is a good indicator of the overall health of the market, and successful closed sales mean a win-win for both buyers and sellers.

o    Pinellas County: 3,709 Closed Sales Q3 2016 vs. 3,759 Closed Sales Q3 2015, a 1.3% decrease
o    Hillsborough County: 5,257 Closed Sales Q3 2016 vs. 4,928 Closed Sales Q3 2015, a 6.7% increase
o    Pasco County: 2,719 Closed Sales Q3 2016 vs. 2,648 Closed Sales Q3 2015, a 2.7% increase

  • Median Sale Price: Up for Pinellas County, Hillsborough County and Pasco County for Quarter 3 2016 from Quarter 3 2015. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half the homes sold for less.

o    Pinellas County: $219,900 Median Sale Price Q3 2016 vs. $186,000 Median Sale Price Q3 2015, an 18.2% increase
o    Hillsborough County: $224,045 Median Sale Price Q3 2016 vs. $202,000 Median Sale Price Q3 2015, a 10.9% increase
o    Pasco County: $185,000 Median Sale Price Q3 2016 vs. $157,500 Median Sale Price Q3 2015, a 17.5% increase

  • Inventory (Active Listings): Down for Pinellas County, Hillsborough County and Pasco County for Quarter 3 2016 from Quarter 3 2015. When inventory is low, there are fewer houses on the market and buyers are often competing for homes or have a tougher time finding a home that suits their exact needs. Flexibility, planning and preparation are key to being able to make an offer on a home when you do find what you’re looking for.

o    Pinellas County: 3,857 Active Listings Q3 2016 vs. 3,952 Active Listings Q3 2015, down 2.4%
o    Hillsborough County: 5,113 Active Listings Q3 2016 vs. 5,251 Active Listings Q3 2015, down 2.6%
o    Pasco County: 2,518 Active Listings Q3 2016 vs. 2,905 Active Listings Q3 2015, down 13.3%

  • Median Days to Contract: Down for Pinellas County, Hillsborough County and Pasco County for Quarter 3 2016 from Quarter 3 2015. The midpoint of the number of days it took for a property to receive a sales contract during that time. The faster a home goes to contract, the less time it is on the market for sale. Another good indicator for sellers and a tool for buyers to understand how to reach their goals in a hot market.

o    Pinellas County: 27 Days Q3 2016 vs. 32 Days Q3 2015, a 15.6% decrease
o    Hillsborough County: 29 Days Q3 2016 vs. 39 Days Q3 2015, a 25.6% decrease
o    Pasco County: 29 Days Q3 2016 vs. 43 Days Q3 2015, a 32.6% decrease

If you would like to discuss the market statistics further, or would like me to keep you informed, I would welcome the opportunity to provide monthly stats for you. Please don’t hesitate to email me at AnnalisaWeller1@gmail.com or call me at 727-804-6566 if I can be of service.

© 2016 Pinellas Realtor Organization

539 Baywood Dr S

Selling a home is a very complicated process-more complicated and costly than homeowners realize resulting lower sales prices, hidden fees and taking more time to sell. Sometimes homeowners can not fully understand reports that they have found on the Internet or the information that homeowners receive from well meaning friends & family may not be completely accurate, which can result in under pricing or over pricing their home. Sometimes homeowners are not aware of the latest changes in the law, which forms are now required or the time constraints required. Here are a few good reasons, For Sale By Owners should consider using a Realtor to represent them in the sale of their home.

1. For Sale By Owner (FSBO) homes generally sell for less

In 2015, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) report, FSBOs lost about 16% of the sales price with a median selling price of $210,000 (Realtor-assisted homes sold for $249,000). If the seller sold to someone that they knew, the median dropped to $151,900. 

  • Eighty-seven percent of buyers recently purchased their home through a real estate agent or broker.
  • Eighty-eight percent of buyers would use their agent again or recommend their agent to others.
  • Only eight percent (down from nine percent) of recent home sales were FSBO sales. This is the lowest share recorded since this report started in 1981.

Homeowners don’t realize how much time & effort it takes throughout the complicated process, may not understand market reports and don’t have the resources & connections to market the property properly-on the Internet & to other Realtors who may bring the buyer.

2. For Sale By Owners spend more time on the market

Unless the homeowner knows someone who wants to buy their home, FSBOs take longer to sell than homes listed with a Realtor. On average, 18% of For Sale By Owner homes were unable to sell within their expected time and took a year to sale.

3. Paperwork can be overwhelming

According to 2015 National Association of Realtors’ Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers finding & understanding all of the paperwork was one of the most difficult tasks for the sellers, especially without the guidance of a Realtor. Depending on the state, there are a many legal forms that are required, including but not limited to a sales contract, property disclosures, occupancy agreements and lead paint records. Also how the escrow must be held in their state.

4. Marketing is limited when owners sell their own home

For sale by owners have limited resources to market their homes. The 2015 NAR Profile of Buyers and Sellers showed 42 percent use only a yard sign, 32 percent rely on friends and family, and about 15 percent use social media. Even paying to just be on the MLS listing isn’t enough because it doesn’t go on real estate companies’ websites & their various Internet connections. It also is not sent out to other Realtors, offices or discussed at Realtor Networking events or at “pitch” sessions. These are just a few of the many resources that professionals have at their fingertips. 

5. Hidden costs can add up

Most For Sale By Owners’ first thought is about saving money. But they usually don’t realize they will be paying for a lot of extras: signs, flyers, photography, MLS listing, attorney (required in multiple states for FSBOs), home warranty (optional but hard to sell FSBO without one), home inspection, a wood destroying pest inspection, credit report for buyers (if applicable), contracts and the list goes on. The marketing costs are generally included in the Realtor’s commission.

6. Inspections can be problematic

Homeowners may not know which inspection companies are fully licensed & which inspections are required. Some states require a general home inspection, wind mitigation, 4 point and/or a wood destroying pest report. Homeowners who don’t know the rules may have unnecessary and costly repairs as well. A Realtor can advise & negotiate on the necessary repairs.

7. Liability is all on the seller

Everyone makes mistakes. A seller (or buyer) who doesn’t have the representation of a licensed agent pays for those mistakes. So if homeowner lists something as a feature and the buyer notices that this is incorrect, chances are the seller is going to pay for that mistake. A Listing Agent would have corrected the mistake before the home was listed. A Buyer’s Agent would have pointed out the mistake to the buyer, which could result in a lower price on the home.

8. Horrible as it sounds, scams can happen

Common scams include fraudulent papers (appraisals, loan documentation), fraudulent escrow deposit information, foreign buyer deposits (scammer sends too much in a bad check and then requests a refund), purchases through a third-party (a fake attorney, etc.) and asking for personal information to be used for identity theft.

9. Time costs the seller money

How much time does the homeowner plan to take to fully market the home? How much time does the homeowner plan to take off from work? Is the homeowner willing & able to answer calls from buyers at all times of the day & night? What will it cost & how much time will it take for an attorney to review the contract, if they choose one. How will the homeowner show the home, screen the buyers for safety, screen for qualified buyers, set up an escrow account, and maintain a marketing campaign? A For Sale By Owner home will take a homeowner a whole lot longer to sell. Homeowners don’t have the expertise or the access to the resources agents have.

 These are just some of the issues that For Sale By Owner must address but there may be more.Realtors can save sellers time, money, liability and hassle while guiding them through this ever-changing complicated process.

 

According to the 2016 Remodeling magazine Cost vs Value survey, the average return on home improvement projects was 6.7% higher than the previous year. This may vary a bit,  of course, depending on where you live. Where home prices are higher and  job growth is strong, the payback  is much higher.

Curb appeal is number one. Buyers generally make up their minds about a place within the first 30 seconds. They may not even go into the house if it looks drab, in need of repairs or paint and has overgrown landscaping. So it makes sense that the number 1 return on improvement is to spruce up or replace the front door and entry. I have received several emails in this last month regarding which are the “in” colors for painting the front door this year. All, of course, have different ideas but generally bright, clean & inviting. By replacing or upgrading the front door you should see about 91% return. Not bad. Also make sure that your address numbers are visible from the street. Then add a colorful planter too.

The rest of the improvements  & their returns are:

Get new siding, which yields about 75%, replace the roof at 72%, build a deck about 75%, refresh the kitchen gives you 83%, renovate bathrooms will give you about 66% (new bathroom will add even more), family room-68%, remodel the basement for 70% if you live where basements are present-not too many here in Florida.

But surprisingly, the REAL number one upgrade is something that you can’t even see-insulating the attic.

 

Some homeowners opt to sell their residence without a real estate agent to get around paying a commission and make more of the profit. Forty-eight percent of people who sell without a real estate agent think that if they sell themselves, they’ll end up doing a little extra work in exchange for not paying a commission or closing fee. According to the research, however, what they actually get is a lot of time spent hustling to make the sale and a final selling price that is less than what the market can bear.

Do you have a lot of extra time to market your home and do all the work to meet and greet properly? Are you versed in local trends on the housing market and know the latest regulations for closing a sale? Do you have a list of potential buyers ready to view your home? Eighty-nine percent of all homes sold in 2015 were sold with the assistance of an experienced real estate professional, according to the 2015 Home Buyers and Sellers Profile. Most leave it to the professionals, yet there is still a small group of people who prefer to do it themselves. Eight percent of home sellers chose to list themselves, known as For-Sale-By-Owners (FSBO) home sales. That number has steadily declined since 2004 where only 82 percent of all home sales were agent-assisted and 14 percent of homes were listed FSBO. FSBO sales are currently at an all-time low since data collection began in 1981.

Let’s break it down further. Thirty-eight percent of all FSBOs—that’s only three percent of the total home sales in 2015—were homes sold to people where the buyer knew the seller selling to a friend, neighbor, or family member. However, 62 percent of FSBO home sales—five percent of total homes sold—were sold by the owner to someone they didn’t know. According to the 2015 Home Buyers and Sellers Profile report, sellers cited creating yard sings, listing their homes online on multiple websites, spreading the news through word of mouth, putting out classified ads, displaying on social media, hosting an open house, and registering with the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) database. That’s a lot of work just on marketing and finding potential buyers.

agent vs fsbo

The time it takes to sell a home on the market was roughly the same for FSBOs and for agent-assisted homes, the median time listed was four weeks for both groups. A third of all homes were sold in less than two weeks last year. Most FSBO homes sales were located in a resort area (16 percent), rural area (15 percent), or a small town (13 percent). Seventy-five percent of FSBO sales were detached single-family homes. Ten percent were mobile or manufactured homes. FSBOs typically had lower incomes than those who worked with an agent. The median income of FSBOs was $84,000 and for those who sold through an agent was $105,600. Those who sell themselves have the perception that they have less money to pay for assistance when selling their home and opt to go it alone.

As it turns out, FSBO make less money on their home sales than buyers who work with a real estate agent. According to the report, the median selling price for all FSBO homes was $210,000 last year. When the buyer knew the seller in FSBO sales, the number plunges to the median selling price of $151,900. For homes sold with the assistance of an agent, the median selling price was $249,000 ̶ almost $40,000 more for the typical home sale. According to NAR’s 2015 Member Profile, sixty-nine percent of all real estate agents get paid by a percentage commission split between two agents representing the buyer and seller.

Talk to an agent and find out what they suggest for the commission and then do the math yourself. The closing price for the agent-assisted seller is likely going to be way above an FSBO. In reality, homes sold by the owner make less money overall. Based on these closing numbers, why not save yourself time and make more money by working with a real estate agent that is excited to sell your home?

compensation

Annalisa Weller, Realtor®, Certified International Property Specialist

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