Surprising effects of COVID on our local market

Real Estate

The surprising effects of COVID on our local market 

2019 was a great year for people moving to Sarasota County and our family helped more buyers and sellers than 99% of the licensed Realtors in our area. Builders competing with each other were keeping housing prices at bay and the many resales on the market made for a strong buyer’s market.

The start of 2020 was as strong as 2019 had been. In 2019, Steve Martin Homes Group’s average days on the market was an impressive 18 for our staged homes. Our first prepped and staged listing of 2020 sold in exactly 18 days. We were on a roll… or so we thought.

Then came the COVID and a surprise switch to a seller’s market.

On Thursday March 12th, we listed a 3/2/2 pool home at the high end of fair market value. That weekend brought out the first open house shoppers that were taking precautions against the spread of the COVID. Masks, gloves and air fist-bumps were all the rage. That high-priced house received 3 offers from that weekend of open houses and sold for slightly above list price in 4 days. (I would certainly be amiss if did not give at least some of the credit to my wife’s staging skills)

Although many potential sellers have decided to hold off putting their homes on the market during COVID, SMHG had 9 new listings from March through June. They all sold in less than 28 days. Our average days on the market for the first half of 2020 is an incredibly low… 8, with prices ranging from $200,000 to $500,000 during that time frame.

In the midst of this we’ve also put 6 families into brand new construction and others into a variety of resales. Currently we are set to close as much by the end of August as we closed in all of 2019. From my perspective, the Sarasota County real estate market is very strong  - in spite of all the crap that is going on in the world.

Who ARE these buyers that are grabbing up our inventory at lightening speed? They are people who no longer want to be where they are and are dying to be in Sarasota County. 

What does this mean for you? If you were ever thinking about selling, this could be one of those rare opportunities that you’ve been hoping for. Keep in mind that you are still competing with new construction models and need Little Black Dress Home Staging to help you win that competition. 

If you are thinking about buying, you’ll need a REALTOR that can help you to be completely ready to pull the trigger when you find the right home and one that knows how to win in a multiple offer situation without breaking your piggy bank.

FEAR NOT: The market is not skyrocketing. We are not currently seeing another bubble. Sarasota County prices have been gradually climbing since 2014 and that has not changed. What has changed, is that more than ever people want to live in Florida.

Can you blame them?

On behalf of Steve Martin Homes Group,


Steve Martin Smith is a top Sarasota County area Real Estate Agent licensed in the state of Florida since January of 2015. With an impressive launch, he attained the number two ranking in his first brokerage of 20 agents by the end of 2016. That caused other brokerages to aggressively attempt to recruit him and eventually he accepted an offer with Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate in March of 2017. Since that time Steve Martin has reached many personal heights. Selling $1,000,000+ estates from Panther Ridge in Manatee County to condos in Punta Gorda, Steve has managed to become one of the top selling agents of single family homes in our local Sarasota County market.  The growth and success that Steve Martin Homes Group has attained in 2019 paved the way to accept an offer with RE/MAX Platinum Realty. This move to better serve their customers, with offices across Sarasota County, Manatee County and the largest global presence of any real estate brand, is certain to build on a history of pleasing buyers and sellers who choose to trust Steve Martin Homes Group with all of their residential real estate needs.