Is the Real Estate Market crashing in 2023?
Is now a good time sell?
Is now a good time to buy?
Note to the reader: The Greater Sarasota market is unique in many ways. With all of our perspective being derived from this market, this information may seem contrary to what you may be experiencing in a different location. At your request, we would be happy to connect you with an agent in your area.
CHAOTIC is the word that comes to mind when I’m asked about the real
estate market activity for the past 3 years.
During the first half of 2020, many thought the market was doomed. To their surprise,
from the second half of 2020 through May of 2022, the majority of real estate sales
were happening in record time and at record prices. The bidding wars on poorly
prepared properties were absolutely mind blowing.
Although it took a couple months for some to catch on, that switch was flipped off in
May of 2022. That’s when buyers said, with one loud voice, “enough of this insanity”.
If any of you are feeling a bit of whiplash at this point, you are not alone.
Life before 2020… a brief history lesson
From 2015 through the end of 2019, you could run the reports at any given time and
find that the average days on the market in Sarasota County was somewhere between
70 and 80 days. Yes, even though the best houses that were priced correctly would
usually sell in less than 30 days, there have always been many unremarkable and
overpriced homes that would sit for many months. Eventually, those homes sell for
considerably less than their original list price. Now, after going almost 2 years where it
seemed like the average days on the market was more like 3 to 7 days, it feels to many
as if the market is crashing.
However, for those of us who have missed the normality of the 2015 through 2019 real
estate market, we are happy that the recent chaotic market has passed and are ready
to roll up our sleeves in 2023.
SELLERS: It’s back to the basics for you
In many ways it’s the perfect time to get back to the basics. If you are thinking about
selling your home in 2023, find an agency that will guide you in preparation. Look at
your home as a product that will be sitting on a store shelf. How many times do we not
buy the product with the crinkled packaging? There may be a perfectly good product
inside, but the packaging tells us to move on. Don’t let your listing photos and exterior
presentation become your crinkled packaging. Clutter and dirt can have the same
effect. The homes that sell the fastest are clean, lightly furnished, and as beautiful as
they can be, both inside and out. Compare your house to a used car on a car lot.
Dealerships detail their cars because they know that people are much more enthusiastic
about spending money on something that is sparkling clean. As you interview
REALTORS®, ask for examples and reviews from previous customers who have had
success with their listing preparation services. Clarify if there are additional charges for
those services and how payment is handled. As an example, Steve Martin Homes Group
will include some of these services at no additional cost. Other more elaborate services
are sometime only paid for upon a successful sale. That is part of our “Home Staging
Do not assume that you are in this by yourself. Some Real Estate Agents commit
themselves to partnering with their customers to help all parties succeed.
BUYERS: How committed to your success is your agent?
Buyers will once again need patient and knowledgeable agents to help them sort
through their housing options. Buyers do not know what they do not know. Therefore,
they need an experienced agent to educate them on details like current negotiation
strategies, inspections, insurances, flood zones, HOA’s, CDDs, taxes, contract options,
and more. Also, as a buyer, do you want to be personally represented, or just have a
transaction brokerage relationship with your agent? Florida REALTORs are transaction
agencies by default. If you desire representation, some agents are authorized to
represent you through a buyer brokerage agreement. You’ll need to ask your agent
about this or call Steve Martin Homes Group for more information.
What about those interest rates…
Mortgage lenders are offering creative financing programs to enable buyers to see the
value in purchasing a home in 2023. Both buyer’s agents and listing agents should be
considering ways to reduce the interest rate of prospective buyers to reach the desired
goals of their customers.
The Wrap Up...
There are many more pieces to the puzzle of real estate. No one-size-fits-all solution
However, it’s always good to be buying when few are buying, and/or selling when few
are selling. The less competition you have, the better you are positioned in the market.
On behalf of Steve Martin Homes Group,
Steve Martin Smith is a Platinum Award Winning RE/MAX REALTOR® who has sold more Sarasota County homes than 98% of the area’s REALTORS from January 2015 through 2022. Selling $3,000,000+ estates from Panther Ridge in Manatee County to condos in Punta Gorda, he is truly a tri-county REALTOR. Originally from the Detroit area, Steve discovered Sarasota County in 1983 and then moved his young family here in 1998. In his life before real estate, Steve worked corporate business management positions for 25 years while simultaneously volunteering in youth and family ministry roles with his wife Katrina. Today, along with their adult children, they enjoy helping families to realize their goals and dreams. Steve also fancies himself a song writer and plays guitar whenever he gets the chance.
*as recorded by Stellar MLS for the period of 1/1/2015 through 12/15/2022