Bradenton Florida Real Estate News

Friday, January 11, 2008

Thinking of Buying a New Home in Bradenton Florida? Check Out These Big Incentives!

If you are in the market for a new home, now may just be the best time ever to buy. New home builders in our Bradenton, Florida real estate market area are offering everything from free 42-inch flat screen televisions to free car leases to free pools.

New homes can be found starting in the low $120,000's. Homes priced in the $2 million dollar range have been discounted $300,000 by one builder. If you have a home to sell, one builder will pay up to 6 months on your new home while you are selling the old one.

How can you find out about these incentives? Contact me of course!

(Copyright 2008 by Dan Forbes, All Rights Reserved)

Please contact me, Dan Forbes, or call 941-713-5760 if you have any questions about our Bradenton Florida Real Estate market. Please visit;;

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Monday, December 31, 2007

Bradenton Prices Moving Upward

Although our Bradenton - Sarasota Florida real estate market was declared the seventh worst market in the nation, things are now looking up. Both home sales and home prices moved up for November compared to October. Although sales and prices are below what they were this time in 2006, they seem to be trending upward the last two to three months.

Today's news on reads,

"While November 2007 homes sales were down 17 percent from November 2006, they were up 5 percent over October's number...

"The median price in Bradenton/Sarasota dropped from November 2006 to November 2007 by 4 percent, but month to month prices are starting to show a small gain.

"The median price of an existing home in Bradenton/Sarasota was $267,700 in November, $3,600 higher than it was just one month before."

Read my prediction about our Bradenton Real Estate Market in my post,

Why We Are Poised for Recovery: People Are Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired

(copyright 2007 by Dan Forbes, All Rights Reserved)

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Friday, December 14, 2007

Bradenton Florida Short Sale Listings

Please contact me, Dan Forbes, or call if you have questions about our Bradenton, Florida real estate market at 941-746-0505; toll free 877-646-8326. Visit my web site and blogs ; ;

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Monday, December 10, 2007

Bradenton Florida Real Estate Market Conditions Report


Market Conditions Report Summary

November 2007
(from our study of the Gulf Coast Regional Multiple Listing Service)

Statistics for Single Family Homes

  • Total Listings: 4354 - Up 2.7% over last year. DOWN 6.8% from last month

  • Total Solds: 161 - Down 11.55% year to year, and Up 25.7% from last month . 96.25+% of homes for sale DID NOT SELL in November.

  • Median Sales Price: $180,000 – Up 10.4% from a year ago. Down 24.2% from high of 2005

  • Absorption Rate: 27.0 months. This is how long it would take to sell all of today's listings at the rate homes are selling and if no other homes were listed. Last year: 23.4 months.

  • Average Days on Market: 106 – Up 15.2% over last year

Statistics for Condos

  • Total Condo Listings: 2002 – Up 3.2% over last year. Up 2.1% from last month

  • Total Solds: 57 – Up 35.7% year to year and Up 23.9% over last month.

  • Median Sales Price: $180,000 – Up 10.4% from a year ago. Down 24.2% from high of 2005

  • Absorption Rate: 35.1 months. Last year: 46.2 months.

  • Average Days on Market: 140 – Up 70.0% over last year

Finally, Things Are Looking Up!!!

The dark clouds may be parting in our Bradenton real estate market. There just may be more good news than bad news. We may have reached the tipping point. Could 2008 begin the recovery in our market? It appears hopeful.

  • Inventory is going down. That is significant.

  • Sales are going up. Another signficant number.

  • Days on Market. Well, they increased, which is not good. Look for this to turn around as the market improves.

Here is the detailed Market Conditions Report:

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Monday, November 26, 2007

Good News: Our Bradenton Florida Real Estate Market is Only Down 6 Percent

According to numbers just released by the Florida Association of Realtors the median price of a home in Bradenton - Sarasota was $283,800 in the third quater. That's just 6 percent below where it was in the same quarter of 2006. How can that be good news?

Well, in the second quarter of this year home prices were 11.3 percent below what they were in 2006. That means the rate of decline is slowing. That's good news. Maybe our market is starting to recover.

Also noted is that Bradenton - Sarasota was the fourth highest metro area in the state of Florida in number of home sales in the third quarter.

The article stated, "Experts have often surmised that the Bradenton - Sarasota market would be among the first to recover because it is a forerunner during the boom and subsequent correction in the market."

So this article had some good news in it.

(Copyright © 2007 By Dan Forbes, All Rights Reserved.)

Please give me, Dan Forbes, a call if you have questions about our Bradenton, Florida real estate market at 941-746-0505; toll free 877-646-8326. Visit BradentonFloridaRealEstate.Com ; my blog The Real Estate ZOO.

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Monday, November 19, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving From Premier Team

We want to wish all of our customers and friends a Happy Thanksgiving!

Without you our business would not exist. We are so grateful for your business, loyalty, referrals, and support over the years.

This is a special time of the year and so want you to know that we are counting our blessings and you are one!

- Dan Forbes, Marie Avery, Lee Forbes, and Jean Trousdale


Thursday, November 08, 2007

Manatee County Sellers Are in Denial

This is our Market Conditions Report for Manatee County Florida.

Our local MLS is flooded with Pre-foreclosure listings, short sales, and foreclosed properties. This is driving our home prices down even further on a DAY BY DAY basis. Our market slide continues its downhill direction. You can almost hear the prices falling.

Every week 10% of the homes on the market have reduced their price. That means in 10 weeks effectively 100% of homes competing with yours have lowered their price. Have you?

What’s curious is that most sellers are in denial. Many are holding out false hopes that things are going to get better next month or next year. Sadly, that's not going to happen. We may be looking at 2010 before recovery comes to the Bradenton - Sarasota market.

We study this market every day and there are no good numbers to report! Believe me, when we start to see a turn around, you will be the first to know. Right now it’s time to move from denial into reality.

We now have over a 3 year of supply of homes on the market overall. In some price ranges we have a 9 year supply of homes on the market! Good grief!

The Total Market Overview Reports below show by price range:

  • Current number of active listings

  • Number of expired listings for the month

  • Total Number of Pending Listings

  • Number of closed sales for the month

  • Absorption Rate

  • Average List Price and Average Sale Price

  • Average Days on Market

  • Market Trend: Improving or Not

  • Compared to 6 months ago

  • Compared to 1 year ago

If you would like to discuss the market with us, please give Dan Forbes or Marie Avery a call at 941-746-0505.

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Is Property Tax Reform on the Way?

Is property tax relief on the way for Florida homeowners? Time will tell.

Yesterday, the Florida Legislature passed a property tax reform proposed amendment that will appear on the ballot in January 2008. The amendment offers moderate relief for homeowners and slight relief for commercial property. To become law, the proposal must still receive 60 percent of the votes in the Jan. 29, 2008, election.

While the plan has many pros and cons there are provisions to provide property tax relief to not only primary residences, but also second home owners and business owners. This is something that our seasonal and vacation population has been needing for many years.

Here's a summary of the plan's provisions:

Portability of the Save Our Homes Exemption Dollars: Homesteaders could take up to $500,000 of Save Our Homes protections to a new home purchase. Those who downsize would take a pro-rated portion of their tax protections. This applies to all property taxes. This will allow people who live in Homesteaded properties the ability to move and no longer be trapped in their current homes due to the fear of tax reassessment.

Double The Homestead Exemption: Homesteaders get a second $25,000 exemption on the assessed value on the value of their homes over $50,000 giving homesteaded property owners a $50,000 exemption on their property taxes. This measure doesn’t apply to school taxes.

• Tangible Personal Property Tax Exemption: Businesses get a break on the taxes they pay on equipment. This would apply to all property taxes.

• Assessment Cap for Non-Homestead Property: Property assessments could increase no more than 10 percent each year on non-homestead property. This is a tremendous victory for second home owners, real estate investors and business owners. While it is 7 percent higher than a Non-Homestead Property this is the first benefit of its kind in Florida history.


Please contact me, Dan Forbes, a call if you have questions about or our Bradenton, Florida real estate market at 941-746-0505; toll free 877-646-8326. Visit my web site at and my blog The Real Estate ZOO.

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Monday, October 29, 2007

Florida Lawmakers Have Until Midnight to Solve Property Tax Problem

I received this email message from the Florida Association of Realtors moments ago.

"At mid-afternoon, the Florida House was still deliberating over a leaner property tax reform package passed out today by the Senate. The proposal would increase the homestead exemption for properties worth at least $75,000 – except for school taxes; would provide a 10 percent cap for non-homestead properties, except for school taxes; and includes a ''portability'' provision allowing homesteaders to take at least part of the benefits they get from the existing Save Our Homes assessment cap with them they move. Lawmakers have until 11:59 p.m. to pass some sort of property tax relief measure if it’s to go before voters on the Jan. 29 ballot."

It is getting ridiculous to watch our Florida legislators bicker about providing tax relief to Florida homeowners. People are mad as H _ _ _ and a tax revolt is eminent.

Please contact me, Dan Forbes, a call if you have questions about or our Bradenton, Florida real estate market at 941-746-0505; toll free 877-646-8326. Visit my web site at and my blog The Real Estate ZOO.

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Friday, October 26, 2007

Today at our meeting of the Bradenton Real Estate Club we talked the Emotional Cycles of the Real Estate Market.

Where are we in our Bradenton - Sarasota real estate market? Somewhere just past "Frightened" was the consensus of the group.

Please give me a call if you have questions abour our Bradenton real estate market. You can reach me, Dan Forbes, at 941-746-0505 or toll free 877-646-8326. Also visit my web site at BradentonFloridaRealEstate.Com and my blog at The Real Estate ZOO.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Bradenton Housing Decline Continues

Bradenton's median sale price of homes sold in September 2007 is 32% below the high of 2005. Sales are down 42.4% from a year ago.

Our Manatee County, Florida real estate market continues to reflect a strong Buyer’s Market with a total 36.8 month absorption rate. This is how long it would take to sell all the homes currently on the market at the rate they are selling today.

The chart above shows the absorption rate by price range. There were no homes sold above $2 million for the month of September.

The Total Market Overview Reports below show by price range:
  • Current number of active listings
  • Number of expired listings for the month
  • Total Number of Pending Listings
  • Number of closed sales for the month
  • Absorption Rate
  • Average List Price and Average Sale Price
  • Average Days on Market
  • Market Trend: Improving or Not
  • Compared to 6 months ago
  • Compared to 1 year ago

Residential Total Market Overview (Click Below)

Please give me a call if you have questions abour our Bradenton real estate market. You can reach me, Dan Forbes, at 941-746-0505 or toll free 877-646-8326. Also visit my web site at BradentonFloridaRealEstate.Com and my blog at The Real Estate ZOO.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

What does the Feds rate cut mean?

On Tuesday the Feds lowered the Federal Funds rate by half a point. What does it mean?

For Consumers: (who are not buying or selling right now.)

  • Now may be a good time to refinance.

  • ARM (Adjustable Rate Mortgages) rates may become somewhat lower.

  • Home equity credit lines will drop a half point at beginning of next month.

For Buyers:

  • Now is an excellent time to buy.
  • There are deals to be had.
  • Interest rates are good (but don’t expect them to drop significantly overnight because of the Fed Cut - though some loan products did drop a 1/4 point Tuesday.)

For Sellers:

  • The market for Sellers is not out of the woods yet.
  • Real estate prices continue their gradual decline.
  • Inventory remains a concern (it could take more than 2 years to sell what’s on the market now).
  • Sell now and take advantage of being a Buyer on what you buy next.
  • Holding out for a price that doesn’t exist will cost you more in the long run.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Stop Foreclosure With a Short Sale

If you or someone you know is facing foreclosure we can help. Lenders are ready to accept short sales rather than taking a home back in foreclosure.

A short sale occurs when a lender is willing to accept less than what is actually owed on the mortgage. Why would they do this? A 2002 study revealed that the average foreclosure costs a lender over $58,000. They would rather accept a short-pay on the mortgage.

Put our experience to work for you and save your credit! Call today.

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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Manatee County Housing Starting to Recover

This was just released today from the Florida Association of Realtors:

"Popular perceptions about the housing market are wrong, says noted economist Hank Fishkind, who believes the market reached bottom a few months ago. Fishkind looks for trends in real estate statistical releases, and says that things may not be great but there's also no indication that they're getting worse."

In his weekly radio address on WMFE in Orlando, Fishkind said he constantly encounters audiences worried about the housing market and any financial disruptions it could cause.

"The variance between the real economic data and people's perceptions was enormous," Fishkind said. "While home starts have dropped 36 percent from their peak, starts have stabilized over the last six months with no further erosion. Friday's report on new home sales confirms that the market has bottomed out. Sales actually increased 2.7 percent to an annual pace ... and the inventory of new but unsold homes declined."

"Fishkind agrees that sales of existing homes are down, but also looks at the amount of the drop and recent changes. "Importantly, the sales of existing homes were again stable for the seventh month in a row," he says. "While recovery may be some time off, it is clear that Florida's housing markets have bottomed out."

"Fishkind does not believe Florida home prices will decline any further over the next 18 to 36 months, but he does expect them to remain generally flat, depending on where they're located in the state."

'The more overbuilt markets will take longer to recover," Fishkind says. "But fears that prices will drop significantly are unfounded. And so is the pervasive panic. The economy is stronger than the reports about it.'"

Buyers today need to understand that they have a lot to lose by staying on the sidelines. Those waiting to spot the exact market bottom will lose time, money, and opportunity. Today's buyers market may very well represent the greatest buying opportunity in over 100 years.

I'm Dan Forbes and I want to be your Realtor and resource for all your Bradenton real estate needs.

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Local Home Sales Third in State

Good news!

Our local home sales are on the way up. For the month of July we were THIRD among the state's 20 metro markets.

Inventory is down for the third straight month. I am quoted in an article by the Bradenton Herald today, " 'That really is the first sign that we are bottoming out, when the inventory evens out,' said Dan Forbes, co-owner and broker of Premier Team Inc. in Bradenton."

Read the article here.

I'm Dan Forbes and I want to be your Realtor and resource for all your Bradenton real estate needs.

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Saturday, August 25, 2007

Property Tax Reform Falls Short

Today's Bradenton Herald carries an article about the so-called property tax reform bill. You can read it by clicking here.

Also read the comments to the article to which I added my own thoughts.

Landlords need relief.

I'm Dan Forbes and I want to be your Realtor and resource for all your Bradenton Real Estate needs.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Real Estate Roller Coaster --You Gotta See This!

This Roller Coaster Graph is an actual graph showing the Real Estate Market Prices from 1890 to PRESENT! Take a ride through history on this clever creation, and see what kind of breath taking experience we have experienced over the years! Be sure to watch the lower right corner under the youtube logo to see what year you're actually in. At the end of the video, it shows the graph from which this video analogy or metaphor was created.

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Bradenton - Sarasota, Florida in "Top 100 Places to Live"

Our Bradenton - Sarasota, Florida area continues to attract new residents from around the county and around the world. A recent article in a local paper pointed out some of the buzz...

2007 (to date)

“Top 10 Places To Start A New Business,” according to American City Business Journals

“Top 10 Places to Retire Young,” by Money Magazine

“Top 10 Boomtowns For Entrepreneurs,” from INC Magazine (2nd year in a row)

Sarasota’s New College ranked sixth best value in public colleges in the United States by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine


“Top Areas For Overall Quality Of Life,” by Business Development Outlook Magazine

Siesta Key’s Crescent Beach named among the “Top 3 Walking Beaches In The U.S.,” by Best Beaches USA

Top 5 among the “Hot Spots In The Sunbelt,” by Biz Journals

Sarasota/Bradenton/Venice among the “Top 100 Places To Live,” by Relocate America

“Top 25 Arts Destinations Among Smaller Cities,” by American Style Magazine

“Best Place to Retire For Singles” (June 2006) by Fortune Magazine

Sarasota County named among the 10 “All-America Counties” at the 57th Annual All-America City Awards in Anaheim, California

Sarasota’s New College rated as the “#1 Liberal Arts College in the United States” by U.S. News and World Report

I'm Dan Forbes and I want to be your Realtor and resource for all your Bradenton Real Estate Needs


Friday, August 17, 2007

Do Open Houses Work?

Quite often when being interview by a seller, we are asked...."What about open houses??? Do you do them??" Our answer to most people is...While we are willing to do open houses they are not as effective as most people think.

Statistic show that 1 out of every 100 people that come thru an open house actually buy the house that is being held open. Even with internet advertising and newspaper adds, most people find open houses by following the signs in the neighborhood. Sometimes it is nosy neighbors or people just looking for decorating ideas.

Therefore, when walking into an open house, the public knows nothing about the house. They don't know the price, taxes or amenities therefore creating a lot of unnecessary traffic thru ones home.

This is usually a great opportunity for a REALTOR to find some buyers to work with. Most people that visit open house and are really considering moving are not loyal to a REALTOR, giving the agent that is holding the open house an opportunity to provide their services to that buyer.

On the other hand, because statistics show that 1 out of every 100 people that come thru an open house actually buy the house that is being open, you do have a remote chance of selling your home through a open house.

If you have 6 people come through an open house on a given weekend, you will have to have about 17 open houses to get 100 people thru. That is 17 weekends that you, the seller, have to be gone for 3 to 4 hours so that your agent can host the open house. Since most people work and use their weekends to catch up on household chores, hosting so many open houses becomes very inconvenient to the seller.

Now the questions is...Is the person who is going to buy your house the 1st person thru, the 50th person thru or the 96th person thru?

When looking to hire a real estate agent to market and sell your home, you want someone who knows what it takes to get the results. The results are just not there with open houses. Hire a REALTOR with an aggressive marketing plan that is going to get you ALL the exposure that you can possibly get. The more people that know about your home, the more likely you are to sell quicker and for a good price.

Let's face it....if the results were that great, there would be no room on the street corners with all the open house signs.
I' m Dan Forbes and I want to be your Realtor and resource for all your Bradenton Real Estate needs.

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Summer Maintenance Suggestions

You know all of those little things that you have been meaning to do this Summer but haven't gotten to? Now is the time.

As the end of Summer approaches, we will post tips and suggestions to spruce up your home before the Fall Market starts. Remember, with Buyers, first impressions count.

Today's post is about General Maintenance:

  • Oil squeaky doors

  • Tighten doorknobs

  • Replace burned out light bulbs

  • Clean and repair windows

  • Touch up chipped paint

  • Repair cracked plaster

  • Repair leaking faucets and toilets

  • Re-grout baths, as needed

  • Patch and reseal the driveway

  • Clean the gutters

  • Do all those other "little repairs" you need

I'm Dan Forbes and I want to be your Realtor and resource for all your Bradenton Real Estate needs.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Highest-appreciating and Most-depreciating areas

The value of midsize and large homes declined more in the last year than the value of small single-family residences, according to a second-quarter analysis by real estate Web site

The value of single-family homes smaller than 1,200 square feet fell by just 1 percent, according to Zillow’s report. Meanwhile, values of midsize homes between 1,200 and 1,900 square feet fell an average of 3.1 percent, and homes larger than 1,900 square feet declined 2.8 percent. also offers a comparison of 66 metropolitan statistical areas on findings are culled from that analysis:

The highest-appreciating metropolitan areas (year-over-year):
Grand Junction, Colo. (18.6 percent)
• Corvallis, Ore. (11.2 percent)
• Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill, NC-SC (9.0 percent)
• Eugene-Springfield, Ore. (6.9 percent)
• Spokane, Wash. (6.1 percent)
• Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton, Wash. (5.3 percent)

Most-depreciating metropolitan areas (year-over-year):
Sarasota-Bradenton, Fla. (-16.4 percent)
• Melbourne-Titusville-Palm Bay, Fla. (-14.3 percent)
• Stockton-Lodi, Calif. (-13.5 percent)
• Charleston-North Charleston, SC (-12.8 percent)
• Daytona Beach, Fla. (-12.5 percent)
• Modesto, Calif. (-12.4 percent)

Most expensive metropolitan areas:
San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, Calif. ($685,653)
• Honolulu, Hawaii ($632,270)
• San Luis Obispo-Atascadero-Paso Robles, Calif. ($537,722)
• Los Angeles-Riverside-Orange County, Calif. ($525,175)
• San Diego, Calif. ($505,334)
• New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island ($445,435)

Least expensive metropolitan areas:
Jackson, Tenn. ($91,563)
• Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson, SC ($101,178)
• Tulsa, Okla. ($102,876)
• Dayton-Springfield, Ohio ($108,121)
• Rockford, Ill. ($116,475)
• Columbia, SC ($116,865)

Source: Zillow

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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Top Ten Reasons to Buy Bradenton, Florida Real Estate

When is the best time to buy real estate? When it is a buyer’s market, right? So, what are you waiting for? Our Bradenton real estate market is a ripe opportunity for investing in real estate or buying your dream home.As I sat down to write this article I thought I’d write about the Top Ten Reasons to Buy Bradenton Real Estate. These thoughts are coming to me as I type:

1. Bradenton has a wonderful, desirable location. Bradenton is located in Manatee County which is between Sarasota and Tampa on Florida’s West coast. The largest city in the county is Bradenton, but the name Bradenton is used for most of the unincorporated area of the county as well. Other cites include Palmetto, Ellenton, Parrish, Bradenton Beach, Holmes Beach, and Anna Maria. Bradenton offers easy access to all of central Florida, including Orlando.The Manatee River runs through the county and provides easy access to the Gulf of Mexico. Boating, fishing, and water sports are great area attractions. Or maybe, you’d prefer relaxing on some of the best beaches in Florida.

2. Bradenton has a huge supply of inventory, but it seems to have topped out. Excess inventory is what drives prices down, but just as importantly, it gives you plenty of choices. Just two years ago if you could find five homes in your price range, you were lucky. Now you can select from among hundreds of homes. Better selection equals a better purchase.Now that our inventory is beginning to shrink, it may signal that the bottom has already occurred. Buy now before the seller’s market returns.

3. Bradenton prices are down. Our residential prices are down over 20 percent from the high of 2005. This is unprecedented and represents a great buying opportunity. If you were to tell someone that you could buy real estate at a 20 percent discount, they would call you a genius. Opportunities like this don’t last long.

4. Interest rates are still near historical lows. Ask anyone in the business where interest rates are going to go over the next few years. Everyone believes that rates will go up. For every increase in interest rate, thousands of buyers are shut out of the market. Your dollars will go farther today than they will a year from now. Taking advantage of today’s rates is like buying your house at a discount. Financing guidelines are tightening on a daily basis. This is a sure sign that rate hikes are coming.

5. In Bradenton it is still possible to buy with little to zero down. 100% financing has all but disappeared. However, it is still available for many. Then there are other options like 97% percent, or 95% financing. On top of that, today’s sellers are willing to pay some or all of the buyer’s closing costs. We have seen many buyers get into the home of their dreams with virtually no money out of pocket.

6. The baby boomers are coming to Bradenton. A few short years ago Money magazine named Bradenton, Florida as one of the top five places to retire. Well, it’s an even better area today than it was five years ago. Our proximity to the white, sandy beaches of the Gulf of Mexico is quite attractive, since we are a coastal county. We are also located near two major airports (Tampa and Sarasota). The Interstate highway system provides great access to Manatee, Sarasota, Pinellas, and Hillsborough Counties. As long as it keeps snowing up North the baby boomers will keep coming here. Our area is just a fantastic place to live, work, and play.

7. Bradenton sellers are motivated to sell. Some homes have been on the market for over a year. They have reduced their price again, again, and again. Some are desperate and most are quite motivated. Having practiced real estate for thirteen years in Bradenton, I have never seen sellers so motivated. Now is the time to get a great deal!

8. Bradenton’s foreclosures and short sale market is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Since many speculators overextended themselves in 2005 our foreclosure and short sale rate has skyrocketed. If you are an investor, this represents a tremendous buying opportunity. Your strategy should be to buy at a discount, hold for a few years, and then sell for a big profit. Put a tenant in the property and allow them to pay down your mortgage for an even greater profit. If you are buying a home to live in, the advantage is even greater.

9. New home builders in Bradenton are offering unprecedented incentives. Buy a new home, get a free pool. Need help with financing? No problem. One builder is offering to hold a 15 %t second mortgage for five years, no interest, no payments. Others are offering $10,000 or more towards closing costs. All of this is on top of the $50,000 to $100,000 price reductions. Your Realtor will know where the best deals are.

10. The Bradenton real estate market is poised for a quick rebound. It is predicted that our market will experience what’s called a “V” recovery. It was quick to go down and it will be quick to recover. If you are the type of buyer waiting to find the bottom you have probably already missed it. Even if you believe the bottom is still to come, buying today locks in your discount during a historical opportunity. Waiting now may only mean paying more in the future.

Well, there you have it. Here are my thoughts on the Top Ten Reasons to Buy Bradenton Real Estate. Actually, it was quite easy to come up with these ten reasons. There are probably ten more I could have written about.

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Monday, July 30, 2007

“My home isn’t selling. Is it the market?” No, No, No!

It’s not the market that is keeping your home from selling, it’s the price. When the price reaches the point that a buyer is willing to buy, you have then discovered the true market value of your home.

I recently wrote an article to answer the question, “My home isn’t selling; is it my price or my Realtor?” The comments and responses were interesting. One agent wrote that “maybe it’s neither; maybe it’s just the market.”

Let’s think about that. Imagine that your home is listed. It’s in perfect condition and has a great location. Your Realtor is working hard and is using a proven marketing strategy that he or she has used to sell many other homes. The problem is, your home still isn’t selling.

You don’t think it’s the price. Your Realtor doesn’t think it’s the price. In fact, the Realtor states, “It’s just the market; hardly anything is selling in this market.”

I will be so bold as to say that this kind of thinking reflects a misunderstanding of what “the market” really is.

We talk about a “seller’s market” or a “buyer’s market,” but what do we really mean? And, if a home isn’t selling, can it be the market’s fault? A seller’s market simply means there are more buyers than sellers and that those conditions favor the seller. A buyer’s market occurs when there are more sellers than buyers and those conditions favor the buyer.

The market always is what the market is. What a home sells for is the market value of that home. And, we only know the true market value of a home when it sells. Market value is what a buyer is willing to pay. It is no more or no less. This is true in either a seller’s market or a buyer’s market.

Any home will sell today! Let me prove it. Imagine your home is on the market. It’s in the Multiple Listing Service and thereby shared with hundreds and perhaps thousands of agents. It’s also exposed to the public. Let’s suppose you put a price of one dollar ($1.00) on the home. How long do you think it would take for an offer to materialize? It would probably take only minutes or hours.

I’m not suggesting that one dollar is the market value of the home. That’s just an extreme way to show you that price is determined by the market. The true market value of your home is somewhere between one dollar and the price you are asking today.

It’s not the market that is keeping your home from selling, it’s the price. When the price reaches the point that a buyer is willing to buy, you have then discovered the true market value.

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My Home Isn't Selling, Is it My Price or My Realtor?

“My Realtor called to remind me that my home hasn’t sold. He says it’s because my price is too high and that I should drop the price. I think he’s not marketing it as aggressively as he should. Who’s right?”

That’s a question asked by many sellers in today’s real estate market. Actually, it’s a question that’s probably been asked since the beginning of time.

“Hello, Caveman Realty, may I help you?”

“Yes, I want to fire my caveman agent because my cave isn’t selling.”

Surely, that conversation could have occurred.

Let me try to answer the question with which I began. Is it the price, or is it the agent? First, it could be the price. Maybe your agent is right. Perhaps the market just won’t accept the price you are asking for your home.

If the price is too high, all the marketing in the world probably won’t sell it. You see, your home is just a commodity. If the price is right somebody will buy it. If the price is too high, nobody will buy it. That’s not rocket science.

The key is finding out exactly where the price needs to be. How do you do that?

You could interview several experienced agents to collect several price opinions. You could pay for an appraisal from a licensed appraiser (just remember that’s only an opinion too). But the best information is how is the market responding to your price? Are you getting showings? Are you getting offers? If not, your price IS probably too high.

“But no one has even made an offer.”

That’s right. Buyers don’t make offers on overpriced homes. They simply move on to find one that’s reasonably priced. If you fight this concept you are sure to lose. It is a basic truth.

Second, it could be the agent. If your agent doesn’t have a well conceived marketing strategy it certainly could affect the outcome. So, what should you expect from your agent?

Having sold over 1,000 homes here is what I would expect from any good agent:
  • Place the home in the local Multiple Listing Service
  • A professional sign in the yard
  • A brochure box which is kept full at all times
  • Strong internet marketing across multiple web sites
  • Color real estate magazine advertising
  • Open House if the home is located in a high traffic area

Everything else an agent does from networking to other forms of advertising generates very few buyers (no matter what they tell you).

I believe that price is 80 percent of getting the home sold. Marketing makes up the other 20 percent.

Some sellers jump from agent to agent when their home doesn’t sell. But 99 times out of 100 the home doesn’t sell unless the price is adjusted.

So, when your home isn’t selling, there’s a 20 percent chance that your agent’s marketing strategy is flawed and an 80 percent chance that your price is too high.

I'm Dan Forbes and I want to be your Realtor and resource for all Bradenton Real Estate needs.

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Monday, July 23, 2007

Is there any good news in our Bradenton real estate market?

A prospect wrote to me by email today, "It would be nice to see some positive news about the real estate market in Florida."

I gave him a call to let him know there's no good news yet. Most are growing weary with the bad news.

Then I read this today: "The U.S. housing market isn’t going to get any better this year, says David Berson, vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae.

"Berson expects new and existing home sales to decline by 10.2 percent in 2007 to the lowest level since 2002. Single-family starts are expected to fall 21.7 percent....He predicts that 2006 and 2007 will together show the largest drop in sales since the housing slowdown of 1989-1991.

"Berson says it will take until 2008 before unsold inventories have fallen enough to relieve downward pressure on house prices. Source: Reuters News (07/18/2007)"
I'm Dan Forbes and I want to be your Realtor and resource for all your Bradenton Real Estate needs.

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Home Prices Continue to Fall in Bradenton - Sarasota

I just found this on MSN real estate

"A new report projects home-price declines for the next two years. The riskiest markets are in Florida, California, Nevada and Arizona. Here's how to ride out the hard times.

"As if the housing market isn't bleak enough. The Standard & Poors' Case-Shiller Home Price Index reported in late June that home prices dropped more in the first quarter of this year than at any other quarter in the last 17 years. Now, a report from PMI Mortgage Insurance says home values could decline across much of the country for at least two more years.

"There's a 34.6% chance on average that home prices will drop in the nation's top 50 markets in the next couple of years, according to PMI Mortgage Insurance's new U.S. Market Risk Index, which heavily factors in recent price volatility.

"How far and how fast prices actually fall remains to be seen. But the report underscores the fact that today's market is decidedly different from that of recent years, when homeowners could bank on rapid home-value appreciation."

This is the news we are sharing with our sellers today. If you think the price on your home is below your comfort level today, just wait until next year.

I'm Dan Forbes and I want to be your Realtor and resource for all your Bradenton Real Estate Needs

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

How do you see other people?

Have you heard this story?

A fellow is contemplating moving into a small town. He approaches a local resident and asks, "What are the people like in this town?" To which the resident replys, "Well, what are the people like where you live now?"

"Oh," he says, "most are self-centered, impolite, rude, and not very bright." To which the local resident says, "That's probably what you'll find here too."

Another fellow approaches the local resident with the same question, "What are people like in this town?." Again, he asks the questioner, "Well, what are people like where you come from?"

"Oh," says the new questioner, "most are kind, generous, polite, and quite intelligent."

"Amazing," says the local resident, "that's a perfect description of the people here too."

The moral of course, is that most people live up to our expectations. If we look for the worst in people we find it. If we look for the best in people, we find that too.

I have decided to make this a day to look for the best in others. Will you join me?


I'm Dan Forbes and I want to be your Realtor and resource for all your Bradenton real estate needs.

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Monday, July 16, 2007

The Steps to Buying a Home

Once you zero in on the home you want to buy, what do you do next? The steps to buying a home or a condo are essentially the same. This article will cover the buying process.

Step #1 – Make an Offer. If you are working with a Realtor, he or she will be able to guide you through this step and all the other steps as well. If you are working without a Realtor, you will probably want to hire an attorney to help you with this step. The attorney will charge you a fee. The Realtor, of course, is paid from the commission paid by the seller, so their services are free to you.

How much should you offer? You will need to find out what similar homes in the same neighborhood are selling for. Information from the local Multiple Listing Service is accessible to your Realtor. They can review the sold properties with you to determine a target buying price. The public tax rolls will also have information on homes that have been sold without a Realtor.

Another factor to consider it the list-to-sale-price ratio. Are homes selling on average at 90% of the asking price, or 98% of the asking price? This may give you a clue as to how much of a discount the seller is expecting to make.

The offer will include the purchase price, deposit amounts, closing date, inspection periods, other clauses and contingencies. All of these items are negotiable. It is best to seek the help of a skillful Realtor or attorney.

In Florida offers may be made verbally, but only written offers are enforceable. A written offer presented with a deposit shows the seriousness of the buyers and is recommended.

Step #2 – Negotiating and Counter Offers. When your offer is presented to the seller, they will have three options. First, they may reject your offer. If your offer is extremely low and insulting to the seller, this may be their response. Second, they may accept your offer. In most states, if your written offer is accepted and signed by the seller and delivered back to you, it is then binding on both parties. Accepting your offer means the seller makes no changes to the offer whatsoever.

Thirdly, the seller may propose a counter offer. Any change to your offer from the seller is considered a counter offer. Most of the time counter offers focus on important areas like price, deposit amount, closing date, and contingencies.

When the sellers counter offer is present to you, you now have the same three options. You may reject it, accept it, or counter it. This can go back and forth several times until all parties either come to agreement or give up.

In my own real estate practice I usually suggest that we do these negotiations verbally once the original written offer is presented. The advantage to doing it verbally rather than creating a written counter offer each time, is that the negotiating process can be handled by phone and consummated rather quickly. The quicker everyone can come to agreement, the more likely you are to succeed.

Most negotiations can be handled within twenty four hours. I have seen negotiations settled in a matter or minutes while others have dragged on for days. Again, having sold thousands of homes, the quicker you can respond to an offer or counter offer, the better your chances are at succeeding.

Once the contract has been executed by all parties it is now binding. You then enter the contract to closing stage.

Step #3 – Between Contract and Closing. This period may last from a few days to several weeks depending upon the situation. If it is a cash transaction, the buyer can be prepared to close in a few days. If the buyer is using a mortgage it is going to take the lender anywhere from two to four weeks to complete the process.

This is also the time for inspections. Most contracts provide for a home inspection and a termite inspection. These inspections require several days to order, perform, and report. Most contracts have specific time periods and guidelines for these inspection periods. The purpose of the inspection is to evaluate the condition of the property and to make sure it is as advertised by the seller.

Most states have disclosure laws which require the seller to disclose anything about the property that might affect its value. But sometimes the seller is unaware of problems like roof leaks, settling, and other problems. The few hundred dollars charged by a home inspector is well worth the service.

During this time the Title Company or attorney will perform a title search to make sure the seller can deliver clear title to the buyer. They will also be sure the property is free of liens and encumbrances. The will also prepare all of the documents needed for closing.

When the buyer’s lender is ready, they will send the mortgage package to the Title Company for the day of closing. This package contains the mortgage, the note, and all the documents needed to fund the loan.

Finally, and usually the day before closing, the buyer may conduct a final walkthrough of the property to make sure that repairs have been completed and that nothing has changed about the property. The contract should spell this out.

Step #4 – The Closing. The day of closing is noted on the contract. The hour of closing is coordinated between all parties. The closing agent and the Realtors usually coordinate this. On the day of closing documents are signed to transfer ownership of the property from the seller to the buyer. In Florida, the closing is usually attended by the seller, the buyer, the Realtors, and the closing agent. Rarely does the lender attend the closing. Most closings are held at Title Companies. Some are conducted by attorneys.

Some closings are what we call “mail away.” If the seller or buyer is unable to attend on the day of closing, the documents may be prepared in advance, over-nighted to the party, signed and over-nighted back in time for the closing.

The closing usually takes about an hour or a little longer. The buyer usually brings any funds which are required to close and the seller receives a check for their proceeds. The Title Company coordinates the loan documents, tax payments, and any other expenses related to the transaction.

Your Realtor will receive a copy of the settlement statement before the closing. They can review it with you and help you be ready for the closing hour.

At the closing table keys are usually passed from the seller to the buyer. Congratulations are offered and well wishes shared.

These steps may vary across the country, but most areas are somewhat similar. Unless you are thoroughly familiar with the process, I recommend that you involve a Realtor. Realtors are experts at guiding you through the process and will help make sure that everything is handled properly and professionally.

Note: read more about buying a home on my website.

I'm Dan Forbes and I want to be your Realtor and resource for all your Bradenton Real Estate needs.

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Friday, July 13, 2007

When Selling You Must Know The Market

A few months ago I listed a small home in Bradenton for $200,000. It was a cute home in a nice established neighborhood.

I explained to the Seller that we would know if the price was right but the number of showings and feedback from buyers.

We had a lot of showings!

We also received about 5 offers all around $185,000. Each offer was rejected by the seller, against my advice. (I always counsel that we should, at least, make a counter-offer).

This was a difficult seller and I ended up terminating the listing.

I see the home listed in the MLS now with another agent for $189,900. Since the market has declined significantly, I'm wondering if even $185,000 is possible today.

In this Buyer's market, most sellers are praying for at least ONE offer.

POINT: If you receive multiple offers all around the same price, that IS the market value for your property. Don't blow it.

I'm Dan Forbes and I want to be your Realtor and resource for all your Bradenton Real Estate needs.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

We closed this nice Cypress Strand Condo today

We closed this nice Condo today in Cypress Strand at Tara in Bradenton, Florida. It is a beautiful two bedroom, two bath end unit with a picturesque view of the lake. It was listed for $185,000 and sold for $180,000

This is a great example of the good deals you can get right now in the Bradenton real estate market. In 2005 these condos were selling in the $280,000's.

If you are looking for a home in the Bradenton, Palmetto, Ellenton, Sarasota area. Please give us a call.

I'm Dan Forbes and I want to be your Realtor and a resource for your Bradenton real estate needs.


Monday, July 09, 2007

When Will the Bradenton - Sarasota Market Hit Bottom?

When real estate hits the bottom will you know it?

Mixed numbers and contrary reports cause us to wonder just when we’ll hit the bottom in the Bradenton – Sarasota market. Inventory decreased for the month of June and that’s a good sign. However, sale numbers and prices continue to fall. That’s a bad sign. Bottoms can only be seen in the rear view mirror, so keep looking.

What signs will confirm the bottom of the market?. Mixed numbers like the ones we see may suggest the bottom is yet to arrive. The signs that follow the market bottom are: (1) Reducing inventory, (2) Increasing sales, (3) Increasing prices, (4) Fewer days on market.

It’s the showing activity...oh, wise one
We have sold over 1,000 homes/condos over the years and here’s what we know: If you get no showings, it means that even agents aren’t excited about your price. If you get few showings and no repeat showings, buyers aren’t excited. When you get multiple showings and buyers coming back for a 2nd look, you should sell soon, but if buyers seem to cool off, it’s the market moving away from you. Make a price change quickly. You should have an offer in 10-12 showings. If not, evalute the condition of your home and the price.

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Monday, July 02, 2007

Where's the bottom?

Today's News from the Florida Association of Realtors has us wondering just where the housing market is heading.

The release stated: "Like a mirage in the desert, the bottom of the housing slump seems to fade in and out of sight as the year progresses. Home sales jump, and there – you think you can make it out in the distance. Home sales fall, and it’s lost in the haze.

“There’s a lot of competition trying to figure out when things are going to bottom,” says Morningstar (MORN) analyst Eric Landry. “But it’s unlikely that you’re going to figure that out before any one else does.”

“Write it off: ‘07 is going to be a bad year,” Landry says. “It [the housing bottom] could be a 2008 event, it could be a 2009 event.”

Say it isn't so!!

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Bottom, Bottom, Where's the Bottom?

We keep looking for the bottom of our Bradenton - Sarasota, real estate market. The signs are a bit confusing. Sales are up, that's good. However, inventory is also up, that's bad. Prices continue to fall.

Yesterday, the Florida Association of Realtors noted a University of Florida quarterly analysis showing some disturbing news about our Florida housing recovery:

Florida’s housing market, thought to be stabilizing earlier this year, deteriorated in the latest quarterly survey conducted by the University of Florida (UF), a situation likely brought on by uneasiness about lending practices, insurance rates and the state’s property tax structure, according to UF analysts.

“Like the graying skies over the state tainted by drought-driven brush fires, the mood for Florida real estate has grown more somber since January,” says Wayne Archer, director of UF’s Bergstrom Center for Real Estate Studies.

“Perhaps the implications of the subprime ‘meltdown’ are creating a disquieting haze; perhaps anxiety over property taxes and high insurance rates are shrouding Florida’s otherwise sunny outlook. In any case, there are few signs of improvement.”

Contiue reading here:

Bradenton Real Estate
Dan Forbes

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Bradenton - Sarasota Real Estate Market Conditions

Market Conditions Report Summary
May 2007
(from our study of the Gulf Coast Regional Multiple Listing Service)

Statistics for Single Family Homes
  • Total Listings: 4739 - Up 20.38% over last year. Up 6.02% from last month
  • Total Solds: 237 - Down 14.75% year to year, but Up 15.05% from last month . 95% of homes for sale DID NOT SELL in May. Sales are rising: Jan. 115; Feb. 167; Mar. 202; Apr. 206; May 237
  • Median Sales Price: $ 285,000 – Down 5.16% from last year and Down 18.55% from 2005 high
  • Absorption Rate: 10.2 months. This is how long it would take to sell all of today's listings at the rate homes are selling and if no other homes were listed. Last year: 7.5 months.
  • Average Days on Market: 104 - Up 44.4% over last year

Statistics for Condos

  • Total Condo Listings: 2104 – Up 33.42% over last year. Down 3.93% from last month
  • Total Solds: 77 – Down 23% year to year and Down 3.93% over last month.
  • Median Sales Price: $185,000 – Down 7.96% from a year ago.
  • Absorption Rate: 14.2 months. Last year: 10.0 months.
  • Average Days on Market: 103 – Up 58.4% over last year

Summary: Bottom, Bottom, Where’s the Bottom
Mixed numbers and contrary reports cause us to wonder just where the market bottom is. Unfortunately, inventory continues to rise overall. That’s a bad sign. Prices also, continue to fall. The good news is that sales are slowly increasing. In reality, bottoms can only be determined after you’ve hit them.

What signs will confirm the bottom of the market? Mixed numbers like these may suggest the bottom is here now. The signs that follow the market bottom are: (1) Reducing inventory, (2) Increasing sales, (3) Increasing prices, (4) Fewer days on market.

It’s the showing activity. We have sold over 1,000 homes/condos over the years and here’s what we know: If you get no showings, it means that even agents aren’t excited about your price. If you get few showings and no repeat showings, buyers aren’t excited. When you get multiple showings and buyers coming back for a 2nd look, you should sell soon, but if buyers seem to cool off, it’s the market moving away from you. Make a price change quickly. You should have an offer in 10-12 showings. If not, evalute the condition of your home and the price.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

This week's club meeting - Exchanging

Don't miss this week's meeting of the Bradenton Real Estate Club this Friday at 11:45 a.m.

This week's topic: "The Basics of Exchanging and Creative Exchanging", presented by Tim Mapp, Mapp Realty and Investment Co.


WHEN: Every Friday Arrive: 11:45 - 12:15 Networking, Order and enjoy lunch ($13.00 includes lunch, drink, and tip). Meeting: 12:15 - 1:15 Discussion/Presentation

WHERE: Stoneybrook Clubhouse in Heritage Harbour, 7515 Grand Harbour Parkway, Bradenton, Florida 34212.(I-75Exit 220, go one mile East on State Road 64 to entrance).

WHAT: This is a round-table luncheon and discussion of real estate topics and trends open to investors, landlords, owners, renters, buyers, and sellers. We help investors by focusing on Information, Motivation, Education, Training, and Networking.

INFO: For information call Dan Forbes at 941-746-0505 or visit our web site at

I hope to see you there!


Friday, June 01, 2007

Manatee - Sarasota real estate recovery underway!

It's official the real estate recovery for our Manatee - Sarasota area is underway.

1. Yesterday I attended a local real estate technology and business expo in which a Certified Financial Advisor presented "10 signs the real estate market has bottomed". He specifically addressed the Manatee - Sarasota market.

2. Today's local paper ran this headline on the top of page one, "Manatee's property values increase 11 percent". You can read the article here:

3. Today's business section ran this article: "Realty expert: Recovery comingEconomist confident 'Florida will have the highest price growth in the long term".

"People should not bet against this region, the Bradenton-Sarasota-Punta Gorda area," said Lawrence Yun, senior economist for the National Association of Realtors."There is really no correction or recession in terms of home value," Yun said. "Florida will have the highest price growth in the long term."

Read the article here:

4. Released yesterday was this: "Florida economist predicts housing ready to recover".

A top Florida economist has declared the housing slump a done deal. “It will take another 18 months or so before closing volumes reach more normal levels, but the worst is behind us,” says Hank Fishkind.Read it here:

5. Our preliminary look at the MLS statistics for May shows more absorption of inventory. This is a positive trend. For 3 months in a row the number of homes for sale has decreased. This is a positive sign of recovery.

Summary: NOW is the time to buy!!

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Send a message to Florida Legislators: Lower my property taxes!

A special Florida legislative session has been called for June 12-22, 2007. The purpose of this session is to find a solution for astronomical increases in our property taxes. Between now and the session's beginning a committee is working on a proposal. It is likely some proposal will be ready for the lawmakers when the session begins.


Please send an email, fax, letter, or better yet make a call today!!

Find your Senator or Representative and send a and Tell them we want a roll back in property taxes to 2001 levels, increase the sales tax and eliminate or at least significantly reduce property taxes, plus set limits on local and state spending.

We need property tax relief.

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Friday, May 25, 2007

150 steps ahead....12 steps back

From the National Association of Realtors

"Okay, so the median price of an existing home is expected to fall 1 percent this year -- hardly a "correction" when prices have risen more than 50 percent over the last five years. Even the relatively large price decline of 12 percent in Sarasota, Fla., this year isn't much of a "correction" when you consider that it comes on the heels of a 150 percent price increase during the boom. Let's see, that is 150 steps forward and 12 steps backwards...."

Lawrence Yun, NAR Senior Economist

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

How to get top dollar for your home in a down market

Most sellers have one thing in common. They want to know how they can get top dollar for their home. Here are some suggestions from a top selling agent.

See your house through the buyer’s eyes

I spoke with an agent today who showed one of my listings. She and her buyer looked at 30 homes, before making an offer on another home.

I have been encouraging my seller to make some minor improvements which would help sell the property. The seller just doesn’t get it. The seller is not looking at the property through the buyer’s eyes.

Buyer’s today aren’t excited about a home’s possibilities. They get excited about a home that is completely move-in perfect….

What do buyers want?
· They want to see curb appeal.
· They want fresh and clean carpets
· They want a freshly painted home with modern colors
· They want appliances that are clean and modern

What buyers do not want:
· They aren’t excited about a converted garage
· They aren’t excited about a back-porch that’s been closed in.
· They aren’t excited about your above-ground pool or an in-ground pool needing marcite
· They don’t want to paint, clean, and update your tired home.
· They don’t’ want to pull weeds and rescue and dying lawn

Imagine yourself as the buyer. Take a good look at your home from the street out front. Then walk through your home with a critical eye. If you were a potential buyer, would this home excite you?

Spend a few dollars to make cosmetic fixes and save yourself thousands

Often times when we meet with a seller they want to offer a carpet or painting allowance. Their idea is that the buyer can then pick out their own colors.

We recommend that you go ahead and replace the carpet and that by doing so you will actually save money. You see, a buyer will often estimate four times what it actually cost to replace carpet. If it only costs $2,000, the buyer will imagine it is going to cost $8,000.

When a buyer is looking at your house they begin to discount the price for all the cosmetic deficiencies they see. Does it need painting? Ca-ching. Does the carpet need replacing? Ca-ching. Does it need new countertops? Ca-ching.

What kind of cosmetic fix-ups should you complete?
· Carpet
· Paint, caulking
· Countertops
· Cabinets, cabinet knobs
· Lighting
· Sinks, faucets
· Landscaping

It will cost you a few hundred or even a few thousand dollars to make these cosmetic improvements. However, it will put even more money in your pocket at the closing.


One listing client had strong maroon colored walls in the family room and bright yellow and blue walls in the kid’s rooms. The home had failed to sell with the first agent with whom they listed.

We suggested they repaint the interior with neutral colors and replace the carpet with a neutral color as well. Buyers who walked into the home were pleasantly greeted by a home that was inviting and in which they could visualize their own belongings.

If you have a wall full of personal photographs, it’s best to remove them. Too many personal photographs, trophies, and the like make the buyer feel like a guest. It’s hard for them to imagine the home as their own.

Remove knickknacks and collectibles. De-clutter bookshelves and dresser tops. Throw out old magazines and newspapers. Clean out closets and garages. Create the illusion that there’s plenty of storage space throughout the house.

Remove ornaments from the yard and flowerbeds. I remember one client whose front yard looked like Disney World. The flower bed had about 20 statues of Mickey Mouse and his gang. There was no way that was going to make a good first impression.

If you need to see what a staged home looks like, take some time to visit new model homes. Many builders hire professional decorators and stagers to prepare their models. You are sure to pick up some good ideas.

Price your house competitively

I believe that proper pricing is 80% of getting the job done. In fact there are four factors that determine whether your house sells or not: location, condition, marketing, and price. The most important factor is price.

It’s common for Sellers to compare their homes with other active listings and think their price is fine. The problem is that the price of active listings is sometimes “fantasy land.”

Right now, we are seeing homes languish on the market for months without selling. Many of the neighbor’s homes are listed and not selling either. They all belong to the same club. It’s the “I’ve got my home on the market club.”

You must compare your price to the recently sold homes. This reflects what buyers are actually willing to pay. Compare the features and amenities of your home with other sold homes to determine what your home should sell for?

Should you raise the price to leave room for negotiating? That’s often a fatal mistake. Most buyers won’t make an offer on your home if other homes are priced more competitively. In fact, if your home is the best priced home you may actually get full price or more!

A skillful Realtor is probably the best person to consult about pricing. Realtors have access to all the active, sold, pending, and expired listings. They will know if a price accurately reflected the deal or if the seller contributed thousands towards the buyers closing costs. They will also know the features and amenities of the homes and have access to both interior and exterior photos.

Be careful when consulting a Realtor. Some may overprice your home just to get the listing. Inquire about the Realtors track record. How many homes do they list and sell? How of their listings expire? How long does it usually take them to sell a home?

Our advice for homes located in a buyer’s market is to be priced as the obvious best value in the area. This may mean pricing your home even below recent sales. In a seller’s market you may price your home a little bit above recent sales.

Implement an aggressive marketing plan

When I meet with potential listing clients I like to ask, “What are you looking for in the agent you choose?” Most sellers will say, “I want an aggressive agent.” I’m always happy to hear that because I am aggressive.

What you really want though is an aggressive agent with an aggressive marketing plan. Even if you decide to try to sell your house yourself, you’ll need an aggressive marketing plan.

Here is what I would consider to the minimum standard marketing plan:
· Multiple Listing Service entry with plenty of photos
· Virtual tour in the MLS and other websites
· Personal web site for the subject property
· For sale sign with a flyer box
· Full color real estate magazine ad
· Newspaper advertising (if warranted for your area)
· Open house depending upon location

My own marketing plan includes at least 30 steps to achieve maximum marketing exposure.

Offer buyer incentives

When buyers visit builders today they are likely to hear about incentives like free pools, free cars, free closing costs, and more. It’s hard to compete with builders’ incentives, but buyers are looking for whatever they can get.

You need to make your home the most attractive deal in the neighborhood. Incentives you might offer include:
· A free home warranty that protects the property for the first 12 months.
· Offer to pay some or the entire buyer’s closing costs.
· Offer the buyer a free gift card to the local home store.
· Throw in the big screen TV or appliances.
· Prepay the first year’s insurance or HOA fees
· Offer to buy down the buyer’s mortgage rate

Consider offering an incentive to Realtors as well. You might offer a higher commission than your neighbors are offering. This will get agents excited about showing your home.
It’s important to get your home on the showing list of agents. A higher commission will usually help.

Be Realistic

I recently had an inexpensive listing priced at $200,000. We have had 4 offers of $185,000 which the seller rejected, and another offer of $175,000 which was also rejected. The seller has maintained that his price of $200,000 is reasonable.

That’s unrealistic.

Finally, months later, the seller accepted the 6th offer of $199,000 with $12,000 credit to the buyer. Essentially, it comes out to $187,000. Obviously the market value of that home is $185,000 - $187,000.

To get top dollar in a down market you must be realistic about how much your home is worth. Remember the adage, “your first offer is usually your best offer.” I believe that’s right 99% percent of the time. Take you first offer, negotiate it up as high as possible and take it. An offer in hand is worth a lot more than hopes of future offers to come.

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Bradenton - Sarasota home sales surge

Bradenton-Sarasota home sales surge

MANATEE --The Bradenton-Sarasota housing market was the only one in Florida to experience an increase in sales in the first quarter of the year, compared to the same quarter last year.

Existing home sales were up 6 percent, according to numbers released by the Florida Association of Realtors on Tuesday. The median price slid 12 percent to a median of $290,500, good news for buyers.

During the same quarter last year, the median price was $331,100.

In contrast, sales in neighboring markets like Tampa-St. Petersburg were down 37 percent; Fort Myers was down 35 percent; and Naples was down 30 percent. Statewide, sales were down 26 percent.

"It's all relative because our sales were so dismal, the only direction they could go was up," said Dan Forbes, co-owner and broker of Premier Team Inc. in Bradenton.

Re/Max Gulfstream's Ken Miller was a little leery about calling Tuesday's figures the first step toward full recovery.

"No one can speak from experience about where we are now, but I don't think you're going to see any big change until mid-2008," Miller said.

He agreed the increase in sales was a good thing but says coming off an unprecedented boom makes it even more difficult than usual to predict the path the market will take.

Locally, condos appreciated by 15 percent in the first quarter, with the median price at $312,600.

Although local condo prices inched upward, those looking to buy a home under $200,000 have a chance now that was unheard of just a year ago, said May Aston, president of the Manatee Association of Realtors.

"There are quite a few decent homes under $200,000. Last year, if someone were to ask me for a home under $200,000, I couldn't have found one," Aston said.

Forbes thinks there is an underlying demand growing, but many people are waiting to see what the Legislature does about property taxes before making a move.

"I think we are accumulating some pent-up buyer demand," Forbes said. "I think there are a lot of folks that would like to move that are waiting to see what happens with property taxes."

Miller said it's for that reason many who want to make lateral moves are holding back. A significant part of any real estate market are families moving upward to larger homes, but that market remains quite a bit quieter with insurance and property taxes up in the air.

Those who are buying are looking for deals, experts said.

"We are definitely seeing positive numbers," Forbes said. "For the true, seasoned investor, it doesn't matter if it's a buyer or seller's market, they are looking."

And what are they looking for? "Steep discounts," Forbes said.

Miller agreed. He finds that buyers and sellers are at a standoff, with buyers expecting sellers to cut prices tremendously and sellers expecting to get unrealistic amounts of money in the current market situation.

"If the home was purchased before 2004, they are a little more realistic when it comes to listing price," Miller said.

During the height of the real estate boom, there was only a 1.7-month supply of homes on the market, but as speculators and other sellers scurried to get out of their homes, that number skyrocketed to more than a 10-month supply.

That tide is finally turning, Forbes said. Currently, there is a 9.7-month supply of homes and with more than 500 sales pending in Manatee County, that supply is expected to decline further.

In an ideal market, there is a two- to three-month supply of homes on the market.

"I think because of our location, we will definitely be one of the first markets to bounce back," Aston said.

Market analysts said that home prices are staying even with the rate of inflation.
"We see this as a benchmark," said Wayne Archer, director of the University of Florida's Bergstrom Center for Real Estate Studies, in a statement accompanying Tuesday's figures from the Florida Association of Realtors.

"When prices maintain the same level as inflation, then we're probably in some kind of equilibrium. It indicates the market is stabilizing."

Bradenton Real Estate

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Monday, May 14, 2007

UF professor says now is time to buy

UF professor says now is the time to buy

Grant Thrall, a University of Florida land economist, said he believes the state's real estate market is poised to rebound in the not-too-distant future. But first, Florida's Legislature has to get its act together on taxes and insurance.

'Without insurance, you can't get a mortgage, and without a mortgage, you cannot buy a house,' Thrall said. '

If potential buyers think they will either not be able to obtain insurance or believe they will lose their insurance, they won't bother looking or buying in Florida.

'As to taxes, unless millage rates are rolled back and Save Our Homes benefits become portable, Floridians will not trade up into bigger houses or trade down into smaller ones. They will just stay put, he said, and that hurts real estate agents, mortgage brokers, bankers, title agents, appraisers, lawyers and anyone else involved in real estate transactions.

Thrall is convinced that state lawmakers will make the right choices, and once they do real estate prices will stop falling and start climbing again.

Adding to the rise will be the return of the baby boomers.

Part of the reason prices spiked upward so sharply during the boom is that the period coincided with a massive transfer of wealth from the World War II generation to the baby boomer generation -- people born from 1946 to 1964.

'Because prices were rising, many baby boomers rushed into the market, figuring if they did not buy soon, they would forever lose their place in the sun,' Thrall said.

'Housing builders responded with supplies of housing. But the peak of this intergenerational wealth transfer passed, bringing a slowing Florida second home market, softer prices and less urgency to buy.'

Now there is a large inventory of unsold homes hanging over the market. But Thrall thinks that inventory will be depleted quickly as baby boomers start thinking about retirement again.'

Aging is inevitable,' Thrall said. 'Baby boomers' numbers are legend, and baby boomers will eventually seek a place in the sun.'

So anyone who wants a good deal on a house, Thrall said, had better buy before that massive wave of buyers gets geared up again.


Bradenton Real Estate

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Home-Price forecast: First ever decline noted the National Association of Realtor's news release indicating the decline in home prices.

"National Association of Realtors cuts 2007 forecast; would mark first drop since it began tracking values in 1968."

"Home prices are expected to finish down for the year, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) said Tuesday, which would mark the first drop since the group started tracking values in 1968.

"NAR projects a 1 percent decline in the median price of an existing single-family home, to $219,800. The group, in a forecast made a month ago, had previously been expecting a 0.7 percent decline. Prior to that, it had expected a gain of 1.2 percent. "

Read the article here:

Our Bradenton - Sarasota markets suffered an 18% decline in 2006 and that is continuing into 2007.

Bradenton Real Estate

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The $5 Home Makeover

Real estate professionals in Sacramento, Calif., suggest five $5 investments that boost curb appeal or make a listing more attractive to potential buyers:

• Give the trim around the front door a fresh coat of paint, covering up fingerprints and dings.
• Fertilize the grass so it’s bright green.
• Hang a small flag that says, “Welcome.”
• Place a big pot of yellow marigolds in the foyer – yellow makes people feel comfortable.
• Dribble a few drops of vanilla on the oven door and turn it to low. (It’ll smell just like cookies baking.)

Source: The Sacramento Bee, Jim Wasserman (05/04/07)

I would add:

  • Lay out a fresh welcome mat for the front door

  • Upgrade lightbulbs to a higher wattage for more light

  • Install a scented A/C filter

  • Spread a few bags of fresh mulch in the flower beds

  • Set the table with new attractive place mats

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Monday, May 07, 2007

Where are the buyers? Renting perhaps

Home sales down. Prices down. Where are the buyers?

Many people who have moved into our Bradenton - Sarasota area with intentions to buy have decided to rent instead. With some many cheap rentals on the market, why buy?

If you are trying to sell your home, your competition is not only other sellers, but rental properties as well.

Read this article in the Herald:

Bradenton Real Estate


Sunday, May 06, 2007

For Sellers: waiting can be costly

The Herald continues it's article series on the Manatee Money Squeeze. We encourage all of our listing clients to read this article:

In a declining market, like we have seen in the Bradenton - Sarasota , Florida area holding out for "your" price means only one thing. You will end up with even less in your pocket as the days tick by.

We have seen it happen for month after month now. We list a home at what seems like market value at the time. However, the market is declining every month. What seems like the right price is soon rejected by the market.

Sellers who wait too long to drop their price too little see their listing languish on the market. However, sellers who repond quickly to lack of showings and lack of offers with a significant price adjustment soon have offers. We have seen some of our clients receive 3 offers at a time and sell above the asking price.

Our recommendation:

1. Price it "right" to begin with.

2. If you have few showings, make a price adjustment.

3. If you have lots of showings but no offers, make a small price adjustment.

4. Have your house in super, tip-top shape.

5. Make it sparkle during showings.

We have sold 30 houses this year already. That's about 10 times the number sold by the average agent in our market. We know HOW to sell your home, but you control the price.


Bradenton Real Estate

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Are Manatee county homes worth the price?

This article from The Herald is worth the read:

The Herald is running a series of articles called Manatee Money Squeeze in which they are focusing on several local money issues.

This article talks about the dilemma home buyer's face in our market due to rising house prices.

Here's a formula we've seen happening:
rising house prices + rising property taxes = less buyers in the market.

Bradenton Real Estate

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Thursday, May 03, 2007

Foreclosures way up in Manatee County

Foreclosures are skyrocketing in our Bradenton - Sarasota , Florida market.

Yesterday's paper noted, "Lenders have filed 573 foreclosure actions in Manatee County Circuit Court through the first four months of 2007, including a record 156 in April alone, according to the Manatee County Clerk of Court's Office. At that pace, the county's annual foreclosure-filing record - 901, set in 2002 - could fall as early as mid-July."

If you need to sell your home and are struggling to keep up with the mortgage payments, give us a call. If you are behind in your mortgage payments, we may be able to help you save your credit.


Tuesday, May 01, 2007

An irate customer

Every once in a long while we run across and customer that we just can't please. But this one takes the cake, as they say.

We took this customer's listing for only 90 days at his request. Even though the average listing is taking over 100 days to sell in our MLS. Normally, we list the property for 6 months and give our clients our Easy Exit Agreement that they may cancel at anytime with 30 days notice.

He also priced it a little higher than we suggested. We had good showing activity, but the market just wasn't supporting his price. We suggested a price adjustment which he adamently refused.

On the last day of the listing I called and asked if he wanted our continued help. His answer was no, and if anything he was going to raise his price. (Like that makes sense). I wished him well.

Anyway, we removed the sign and lockbox on the final day of the listing. Our normal procedure is for the sign guy to return the keys to the office the next day and then we call the customer to arrange returning the keys.

So after 5:30 pm this guy starts calling the office and leaving voice mail messages for EVERYONE on staff. He's cursing and demanding that someone bring his key to him to immediately!!! He also threatened to come to the office in the morning and "cause a scene."

I gave him a call to explain that I hadn't even received his key yet and that it would be available the next day. He cursed so violently that I had to hang up. It's been a long time since I've heard anyone that abusive.

I decided to drive to the sign-guy's house, pick up the key, and personally deliver it to the guy. Of course, at the door, he said nothing....just took the key. Who knows he might be a wacko and show up with a gun.

I'm thinking that just like there is a Better Business Bureau for people to complain about businesses, there ought to be a Better Customer Bureau for businesses to warn others about dangerous customers.

What do you think?

Bradenton Real Estate


Friday, April 27, 2007

Send a message to Florida Legislators: "Lower property taxes!"

Florida Legislative Update on the Property Tax Issue

April 26 • 10:30 P.M.
Tie breaker? With the Florida House and Senate at an impasse over the best way to provide immediate property tax relief to thousands of Florida homeowners, Gov. Charlie Crist today announced a plan he considers a reasonable compromise. His four-part program includes rolling back local property taxes for 2003 levels, with an allowance for inflation and population growth; doubling the homestead exemption to $50,000; Save Our Homes portability; a 25% property tax exemption for first-time homebuyers; and a $25,000 exemption in taxes for business equipment and other tangible personal property for businesses.

“This plan would provide immediate relief to both those who are barred from the American dream of owning their first home and those current homeowners who feel unable to move and trapped by skyrocketing property taxes,”

Governor Crist said in a press conference this afternoon. “By providing immediate relief now along with a plan for future reductions, we can reverse the trend of high property taxes and make living in Florida more affordable.”

Tell lawmakers what property tax reform legislation means to you. With the 60 day session scheduled to conclude next week, legislators need to hear that comprehensive property tax reform for commercial and residential real estate is needed NOW, during the regular session.

The House continues to push for a property tax/sales tax swap but the idea is flatly opposed in the Senate. Governor Charlie Crist recently indicated he does not support a sales tax increase, but wants more relief than what the Senate proposes.

April 25 • 10:30
Try again tomorrow. The Senate came back to the property tax reform conference committee tonight with a new offer: they’ll agree to roll back property rates to 2000-01 levels, but no deal on replacing property taxes on homestead properties with a higher state sales tax. House conferees weren’t impressed and asked the Senate for a “formal” offer. And so it goes.

Check in tomorrow for the latest in the ongoing search for meaningful property tax reform.

April 25 • 3:30 P.M.
No deal. The House and Senate remain at odds over the best way to deliver “doable” and meaningful property tax relief to Floridians. After a raucous conference committee meeting yesterday, each chamber met separately this morning to try to patch together a compromise. FAR lobbyists report little progress after either meeting. House is holding firm on its plan to abolish property taxes on primary homes in favor of a higher sales tax. The Senate wants to roll back property taxes to 2005-06 levels, double the $25,000 homestead exemption for first-time buyers and allow homeowners to transfer a portion of savings they accrue under the Save Our Homes amendment when they buy a new home. The House and Senate Conference Committee meets again at 6 pm.

Find your Senator or Representative and send a message: and Tell them we want a roll back in property taxes to 2001 levels, increase the sales tax and eliminate property tax, set limits on local and state spending. MORE property tax relief than currently being discussed! Send a fax! Send an email!

Bradenton Real Estate

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Home sales jump 16%

Today's Bradenton Herald began a story about increasing home sales this way...

"MANATEE --While most of the nation saw significant drops in the number of homes sold in March compared to a year ago, sales in Bradenton-Sarasota increased 16 percent.The National Association of Realtors reported that unseasonably bad winter weather and the tightening purse strings of banks and other lenders throughout the country further hindered a market many hoped was on its way to recovery.

"Statewide, the market saw a 28 percent drop in the number of single-family home sales, and the median price dropped 4 percent. Locally, single-family home prices fell 9 percent to $291,500, but Manatee-Sarasota proved to be one of only two markets in the state that experienced an increase in sales compared to March 2006."

My own study of the Gulf Coast Multiple Listing Service which serves primarily the Bradenton ( Manatee ) , Florida market shows a 20.9% increase in sales in March over February for residential properties. Condo sales increase 32.5%.

That's good news and further evidence that our local real estate market has bottomed out and better days are ahead.


Bradenton Real Estate

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Monday, April 23, 2007

84% of sellers just don't get it...prices are down

As many as 84% of home-sellers just don't get that prices are down. I see expired listings every day that may be as much as $100,000 overpriced in the $500,000 - $600,000 price range. But it's true for all price ranges.

Sellers wonder why their home has been on the market for months and months. Some have gone through several Realtors. Those recently entering the market wonder why there are so few showings and no offers. I've got the answer: IT'S PRICE!

I have two of my own investment properties under contract. One sold in less than 2 weeks. Why? Because I priced both the homes to be the obvious "best value". My team and I have sold 29 homes this year, because we are able to help our sellers select the best price and then our marketing plan takes care of the rest.

Here's and article about seller's thoughts:

Eighty-four percent of U.S. residents say home values will hold steady or increase, despite trends to the contrary, a nationwide poll published in the Los Angeles Times found.

Nearly a third of those surveyed this month predicted home values in their local markets would rise in the next six months, a Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll said. Only sixteen percent anticipated a decrease. The rest said values would hold steady.

The belief that home values will increase in the short term is missguided according to many industry experts.

"Mortgage credit is clearly tightening, affordability is not good and there are a record number of unoccupied homes for sale," said Scott Simon, a mortgage-bond fund manager for Pacific Investment Management Co. in Newport Beach, said in an interview with a Los Angeles Times reporter. "We think prices should be down a few percent this year and, if we are wrong, it will be worse than that."

Recently, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported home prices fell 2.7 percent in 2006's last three months.

NAR forecasted just this week that existing-home prices would probably slip an average 0.7 percent this year.

Sixty percent of the poll respondents also said a recession was somewhat or very likely within the next year.

Source: National Realty News


Bradenton Real Estate

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Friday, April 20, 2007

When loan approvals turn sour

Well it happened again!

This week a transaction failed to close because the buyer's loan was rejected. But wait, we had been presented a letter with the offer stating the Buyer was APPROVED for financing.

The letter was generated by the real estate agent working for the buyer. He also works as a mortgage broker.

When I inquired as to why the Buyer's loan was rejected I was told it was because the buyer has been self-employed less than 2 years. The loan program requires more than two years.

So, how is it we get to within a few days of closing, with a loan-approval letter in the file, and it is just now discovered that he's self-employed less than two years. Good grief! Wasn't that question asked during the pre-qualification questioning? Wasn't that information on the written loan application?

Did the agent/mortgage broker generate the approval letter fraudulently in order to put the deal together? Or, is he just incompetent?

It's too bad that only one who suffers is the seller, who has taken his home off the market all this time. It's too bad there are no penalties incurred by whomoever dropped the ball!

This is the nature of today's real estate market. Marginal buyers are about the only buyers out there. Desperate real estate agents and desperate mortgage brokers try to make the buyer look good in order to get the deal executed. Then they hope and pray they can get the buyer approved.

Loan pre-qualification letters and loan approval letters just aren't worth the paper they are printed on.

Thanks for letting me rant!


Thursday, April 19, 2007

Practical Advice for Home Sellers

A lot of sellers in today's market don't want to paint, clean or fix anything. The assumption is the house down the street sold last year for more money, and that home does not come close to comparing to theirs! Even when an experienced listing agent makes recommendations to the seller -- the seller's refuse to take them to heart. Why? They believe their home and situation is different from everybody else that is selling a home.

They feel they have the best home, or perhaps some aspect of their home that makes them totally unique. In the seller’s mind, they get an exemption from doing the required work.

But this can be the fatal mistake or real estate, failing to see that the home down the street is unique as well. Maybe it has been totally updated with new siding, or new roof.

Buyers will view your home with a critical eye -- all the while comparing current pricing and all other real estate in your area. They want to be certain the money they are spending to purchase a property is well spent! They do not want to overpay on a home that still needs work. So if the carpets are dirty and original, the carpet padding has lost it's resiliency, if there are water stains on the kitchen ceiling, there is rusty water underneath the hot water heater, the paint trim has yellowed, the windows are fogged up, the furnace is gasping, and the home is on the market with none of the needed maintenance taken care of, the buyer will say "Next!"

And then when the buyer does move on, the seller may be thinking that his agent is wasn't working for him -- not holding enough open houses or placing ads and classifieds in magazines. The truth is they were not listening.

Clean and staged homes are important. The buyer needs to be able to envision themselves living in the space. Spending weeks -- or months -- on the search for their next perfect home has tired the buyer out. They don't want to see the grimy floors and the minor repairs that they'll spend week fixing when they move in.

For some quick tips, have your homeowners:

+Mow the yard and weed the flower beds.

+Tone down the color. You love the red, but a neutral tone, such as beige. You are selling the room, not the color.

+Declutter, especially before and open house or a walk-through.

+If they don't want to clean, hire a maid service for a day. Have them mop and dust and scrub -- especially in the kitchen and bathrooms!

So sellers, listen to reasonable advice in the form of wisdom from the experienced agent you have hired to sell your home. Ask for the market statistics to be substantiated. Compare your homes to other homes in your own community "apples to apples!" Then paint, clean, fix, update, and still price your home or real estate competitively!

Source: Realty Times; Jim Crawford

Bradenton Real Estate

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Monday, April 16, 2007

Rally for property tax relief

The time to act is now. And we need your help! Homeowners are hurting and small businesses are closing their doors.

Floridians for Property Tax Reform will rally in Tallahassee on April 17. Enough is enough. We must make sure our elected officials know that this crisis must be addressed before May 4. We cannot wait another year for real change. The most effective message will be delivered when a large assembly of citizens file into the courtyard at the Capitol, and announce to our Legislators that we mean business.

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Home Prices to be flat this year

David Lereah, NAR’s chief economist says, "Existing-home sales are likely to total 6.34 million in 2007 and 6.52 million next year, in contrast with 6.48 million in 2006. New-home sales are seen at 904,000 this year and 935,000 in 2008, below the 1.05 million last year. Housing starts are estimated at 1.47 million in 2007 and 1.55 million next year, down from 1.80 million units in 2006.

“As home sales moderate, overall home prices will be essentially flat this year,” Lereah says.

“The good news is that inventories remain well below the levels experienced during the last housing downturn in the early 1990s, and supplies are close to balance in many areas.”

The national median existing-home price will probably slip 0.7 percent to $220,300 in 2007, following a 1.0 percent rise last year. The median new-home price is projected to increase 0.4 percent to $246,200 this year, after gaining 1.8 percent in 2006. Modest growth is expected next year, with existing-home prices increasing 1.6 percent and new-home prices rising 2.0 percent.

Bradenton Real Estate

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

This Week's Bradenton Real Estate Club Meeting - Fri. Apr. 13th

Don't miss this week's meeting of the Bradenton Real Estate Club on Friday, April 13th at 11:45 a.m. (see details below)

This week's topic: "Evictions ", presented by Alvin Holmes of LandlordsOnline. Bring a guest if you can



WHEN:Every Friday
Arrive: 11:45 - 12:15 Networking, Order and enjoy lunch ($13.00 includes lunch, drink, and tip).
Meeting: 12:15 - 1:15 Discussion/Presentation

WHERE: Stoneybrook Clubhouse in Heritage Harbour, 7515 Grand Harbour Parkway, Bradenton, Florida 34212. (I-75Exit 220, go one mile East on State Road 64 to entrance).

WHAT: This is a round-table luncheon and discussion of real estate topics and trends open to the general public, investors, landlords, owners, renters, buyers, and sellers.

INFO: For information call Dan Forbes at941-746-0505 or visit our web site at

I hope to see you there!

DanDan Forbes (e-PRO,CRS,GRI)
2005 Realtor of the Year (Manatee Assoc. of Realtors)
3850 E. State Road 64
Bradenton, FL 34208
Office: (941) 746-0505
Fax: (941)749-0383
Toll Free 1-877-646-8326


Friday, April 06, 2007

Bradenton - Sarasota Real Estate Market Has Hit Bottom

The Bradenton - Sarasota, Florida real estate market has hit bottom, and will stay there for the next 12-18 months and then begin a 3-4 percent annual growth climb.

At least that's the word from Hank Fishind a well respected Florida economist. And that's good news for our Bradenton Real Estate Market. Having seen a median price decline of approximately 22% since the high of 2005, it seems that we have finally hit bottom.

Personally, our real estate team is having a strong 2007 as we see buyers entering the market to take advantage of the price declines. Low interest rates and a great inventory selection makes this a perfect time to buy.

To our listing clients we reccommend the following:
1. Be sure you are priced competitively, because homes ARE selling. Buyers are buying the "obvious best value." What's that mean? It means your home should be the BEST priced home in the area, hands down.

2. Clean, paint, install new carpet. Do everything you can to make your home show perfectly and be "move in" ready. Buyers have 100's of homes to compare to yours, make sure yours shows the BEST.

3. When you receive an offer, be courteous, grateful, and negotiate it to it's highest, then seriously consider executing it. Many seller's have been on the market a year or more with NO offer. Don't lose an interested buyer.

To our buyer clients we say:
1. Have a clear picture of the home you want to buy. With so many homes on the market it's easy to get confused by looking at 20 homes or more. Narrow down your criteria to a short list of homes to visit.

2. Make your offer attractive by having a pre-qualification letter in hand from your lender. We can help you with that. There's no cost or obligation to that particular lender.

3. Be sure that your are working with a Realtor who is a Certified Residential Specialist or an Accredited Buyers Representative. These designations (which we hold) give you the assurance that you are working with a highly trained professional.

Fishkind's presentation yesterday in Manatee County was covered by our local paper. You can read the full story here...

Bradenton Real Estate

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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

This Week's Club Meeting - Fri. April 6th

Don't miss this week's meeting of the Bradenton Real Estate Club on Friday, April 6th at 11:45 a.m. (see details below)
This week's topic: "31 Ways to Find Motivated Sellers ", presented by Dan Forbes, Premier Team Inc., Realtors. Bring a guest if you can.


WHEN:Every Friday Arrive: 11:45 - 12:15 Networking, Order and enjoy lunch ($13.00 includes lunch, drink, and tip). Meeting: 12:15 - 1:15 Discussion/Presentation

WHERE: Stoneybrook Clubhouse in Heritage Harbour, 7515 Grand Harbour Parkway, Bradenton, Florida 34212.(I-75Exit 220, go one mile East on State Road 64 to entrance).

WHAT: This is a round-table luncheon and discussion of real estate topics and trends open to the general public, investors, landlords, owners, renters, buyers, and sellers.

INFO: For information call Dan Forbes at941-746-0505 or visit our web site at

I hope to see you there!


Dan Forbes (e-PRO,CRS,GRI)
2005 Realtor of the Year (Manatee Assoc. of Realtors)
3850 E. State Road 64
Bradenton, FL 34208
Office: (941) 746-0505
Fax: (941)749-0383
Toll Free 1-877-646-8326


Saturday, March 24, 2007

Bradenton - Sarasota Home Sales Up 5%

From today's Bradenton Herald...

"In February, the consumer appetite for buying single-family homes and condos in the Bradenton-Sarasota market rose 5 percent from a year earlier.

"While that may sound like only a modest gain, Bradenton-Sarasota outperformed every other market in Florida, except one. Statewide, the sales of existing homes were down 23 percent, according to the Florida Association of Realtors.

"Only Panama City, where sales were up 21 percent, outperformed Bradenton-Sarasota.Statewide, sale prices continued to slide from precipitous heights a year ago.

"The median price of a single-family home in Bradenton-Sarasota fell 9 percent compared to last year, resting at $294,500.

"That said, many market observers were saying the market has gone as low as it is going to, and now is a time to buy.

"If you're thinking of buying a house, there's probably not much to be gained by holding out at this point," said Wayne Archer, director of the University of Florida's Bergstrom Center for Real Estate Studies. "It doesn't look like prices are going to fall anymore."

We have certainly noticed more buyers in the market since the beginning of the year. We have sold 25 homes this year!! Perhaps this is the beginning of stabilization in our Bradenton - Sarasota market.

Bradenton Real Estate

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Friday, March 23, 2007

People want to move to Florida

According to Anholt State Brands Index many people say Florida is where they would like to live. Florida makes two of their top five lists.

Top Five Places People Want to Live - U.S. Residents
1. North Carolina
2. Virginia
3. Florida
4. Colorado
5. Oregon

Top Five Places People Want to Live - International Residents
1. California
2. Florida
3. Hawaii
4. New York
5. Washington

Our Bradenton - Sarasota , Florida area has been attractive for years to both U.S. and international residents. Having live here since 1986 I can see why. Our sandy beaches, mild climate, year round recreational opportunies, strong job market, and every convenience one could want is a great asset.

Bradenton Real Estate


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

It's Time to Buy

The National Association of Realtors is running an ad campaign.
This ad says, "Buyer's market, seller's market. Either way, it's an 'I-need-a-Realtor' Market.""Right now rates are low and home choices are plentiful..."
In our Bradenton - Sarasota , Florida market it certainly is true. We have an abundance of homes and condos for sale. Prices have fallen to quite attractive levels. Buyers are starting to re-enter the market.
If you have been thinking of buying, now is an opportune time.
Bradenton Real Estate

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