Saturday, March 09, 2013

When Words Just Aren't Enough

I'm a fan of well-written real estate listings. I'm also a fan of poorly-written real estate listings. The latter are more fun to read. Listing agents have a limited amount of space available to best describe their listings and must make good use of the four lines of text shown in the MLS. Looking at a few listings I see one that has been on the market for 2344 days. That's more than six years. Some of the words that appear in this property narrative are; "alluring, well-appointed, luxurious, functional, welcoming, expansive, modern, elegant, spacious and state-of-the-art". Unfortunately for the seller, the agent's bucketful of superlatives has not been enough to overcome the optimistic price.

Another over four year old condo listing includes the wording, "THE BEST BUY IN COCOA BEACH". It's been at the same asking price since January 2010 with no takers. How about another condo listing whose description begins with the word "FANTASTIC". It's been at the same price since June 2009 and on the market a total of 2362 days. Reason? It's the price, silly. Another multi-year listing is described as "stunning" and "gorgeous". These powerful and pretty words are having a hard time overcoming the fact that the unit is priced $400,000 above what the identical unit next door closed for recently.

In the last four weeks 14 condo units have closed that were on the market less than one month. Some of these listings used similar superlatives but the descriptions were not the reason they sold so quickly. It was price. The real estate market in 2013 is almost completely transparent. The data are there for everyone. Determining fair market value for a property is within everyone's grasp. The days of polishing a turd with a glowing description and getting way above market value are gone. The price of turds, polished or not, is public knowledge. Sellers, if you price your property within striking distance of what the data tell you is current value, you won't need to employ overkill in your description. In this market priced-right listings are selling and are selling quickly.

The winter storm that dumped so much snow on the northeast this week has also delivered a powerful swell to Florida. As soon as the storm was off the coast of New England it began generating a swell that first arrived in Cocoa Beach yesterday and is expected to be with us through late next week. The 20 mile buoy is reading 8.5 feet with a 13.8 second period this morning. That's a big powerful ground swell and the beaches are all firing this morning with well over head high sets in south Cocoa Beach, smaller the further north. It's expected to build through tomorrow. The surf contest at Shepard Park this weekend will enjoy powerful conditions. Keep an eye on the kids if you go to the beach. Conditions are treacherous for swimmers. Surfers check your leashes and expect to see some broken boards like the one pictured above. Stay safe and enjoy the ocean's bounty.

"Half the work that is done in the world is to make things appear what they are not." __E.R. Beadle