Monday, April 28, 2014

Summer, Ahead of Schedule

The market for residential properties in the coastal communities of Brevard County is on fire. The traffic through Cocoa Beach may have slowed significantly since Easter but the demand for desirable properties has not. Low inventory is making the search for good properties frustrating for prospective buyers and Realtors alike. The percentage of distressed listings (short sales and foreclosures) in Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral has continued to shrink and stands today at 6% of the total. That's the lowest level since we saw our first short sale in 2007. There are but 277 existing condo and townhome units for sale this morning in Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral and just 66 single-family homes. Supply is tight.

There was a time in the recent past when a throwing an unsubstantiated lowball offer at a seller stood a reasonable chance of getting a response. That time has passed. Our market has evolved away from the Macy's model of high discounts off sticker price and more towards the Target model of pay the sticker, no discount at the register. Recent successful buyers have been those who knew the fair value of the property at the time and offered accordingly. Whether selling or buying, those participants who are realistic about market value and direction will eventually be rewarded. If a buyer or their agent can support a way-below-asking price offer with accurate recent comps, an unrealistic seller might be willing to accept a large discount to his asking number. Without supporting comps, a lowball is a snowball.

The number one tip for success in selling or buying real estate in the Cocoa Beach area today; Know The Fair Market Value...Right Now. Expect to buy or sell relatively close to that number. In a declining market that number tends to the downside of today's value. In the current rising market, the opposite. As always, knowledge is power and a necessary ingredient in a recipe for success. Good luck out there. Feel free to pick my brain if you have a question or to have me assist you in your search. I know this market like the battered deck of my old longboard and I'm willing to share.

Time to toot the horn. Walker Bagwell Properties closed yet another oceanfront Cocoa Beach home last week. We represented the buyers and this one set a new record for highest price ever paid for a Cocoa Beach single-family home. Of the 16 non-condo oceanfront properties closed for more than $500,000 in Cocoa Beach in the last two years our little office has been involved in five. Of the six oceanfront properties closed in Brevard County in the last six months over $1MM, Walker Bagwell has been at the table on half. We are not a large company (intentionally) but we know our stuff and are very active in our beachside market. We're here if you need us and don't mind the lack of matching blazers and sometimes open-toed footwear.

"I'm not getting into a bidding war" ranks right up there with "We don't have to sell," and "We aren't going to give it away" as symptomatic of self-defeating mindsets.  ___Mike Jaquish