Whether you’re buying or selling a home, it's essential to understand current market trends and the vital aspects of the transaction to ensure you’re putting your best foot forward.
To this end, we've put together our top tips for both buyers and sellers, as well as an inside look into what's going on currently in the Emerald Coast real estate market.
What's Happening in Real Estate on the Emerald Coast?
If you're a buyer, expect some competition for the homes you're looking at in this area. That's because prices are up and inventory is down. There's been a 35% decrease in inventory from this time last year. This percentage is even higher if you're looking at a property with a price point of one million or more.
What does this mean as a buyer? Obviously, that demand is outpacing supply. Expect to concede more during negotiations if you want to secure your dream home — this means putting together a more robust offer with fewer contingencies and having greater flexibility with deadlines.
While we do still see problems with inventory, the market has also seen a slowdown in year-over-year growth. While the average price increase on the east end of 30a in 2021 was up 19%, that’s still 60% less than the 39% growth we saw year-over-year in 2020.
What does this mean as a seller? If you're a seller, you can ask for strong prices in the current market but be aware that overpricing a property is still a risk, and thus, you should always shoot to price in accordance with current market standards.
With these insights in mind, the following are our top tips when buying or selling a home this spring.
Top Tips For Buyers
Write Strong Offers:
Your first offer might not be accepted when you're negotiating on a property. You may need to submit several offers as the seller tests the market to see what offers come through before deciding.
What makes an offer strong?
- Offering full asking price or more
- Having no contingencies on the sale
- Offering a high earnest deposit
Work with an Agent who knows the Market and is a Good Communicator:
Because the Emerald Coast real estate market is so competitive, it is important that you work with an agent who knows the local market and can advise the prospective buyer as to the reasonableness of their offer. The ideal agent offers guidance to their clients when it comes to submitting an offer, and then communicates regularly with the client and keeps them apprised as negotiations progress.
If you need financing, it is vital that you use an agent who is familiar with the lending process. An experienced agent will guide you through the complexities of the home-buying process and identify which lenders are most likely to offer you the most favorable rates.
Seek off Market Opportunities with your Agent:
Working with an agent who is plugged in to the market can help you identify off-market opportunities, giving you a head start on other buyers and ultimately increasing your chances of getting the home you want.
As mentioned, we are experiencing a highly competitive market at the moment, so getting ahead of your competitors with this type of information is critical.
Top Tips for Sellers
Price Your Home Well:
The market is hot right now. The result – some properties are receiving multiple offers, many of which will be at full asking price.
Sellers are in a prime position to benefit from the surge in home prices. With that said, it is still important for sellers to price their homes appropriately. Set the price too low, and the seller risks leaving money on the table. Set the price too high, and you run the risk of potential buyers being scared off and the house sitting on the market.
A great way to ensure your asking price is reasonable is to request a comparative market analysis from your agent. This will ensure you're making data-driven decisions and pricing accordingly.
When Selling your Home, Communication is Critical:
When buyers make an offer, the initial communication back from the seller's agent can help set expectations on both sides of what's expected next. If there are multiple offers, communication becomes even more important as negotiations move forward and deadlines approach.
Be Flexible on Terms, but not on your Pricing:
Buyers want to feel like they have 'won something' in their negotiations. One way to give them this impression is to be flexible with the terms of your sale. For example, you might be able to negotiate with your buyers on things like the closing date.
However, you want to avoid negotiating too much on pricing (if you can help it). If buyers’ sense that you're willing to lower the price, they will try to negotiate downward, which will eat into your overall profit.