Clearwater and Dunedin Florida homes, condos and townhouses are still good deals due to the continuing buyer’s market. The buyer’s market began back in about 2006-2007 and should continue through at least the first part of 2011.
To take advantage of this there are some things you should be aware of.
Before looking at buying you should begin by deciding if now is the right time for you to buy.
Buying a home, condo or townhouse because you are moving here or to use for a getaway or vacation home would be a good reason to buy now as long as you can really afford to do so.
Buying something as a long-term investment, if you can afford to do so, could also be the right thing for you to do at this time.
If you’ve decided that now is the right time for you, the first thing to address is making sure you’re financial preparations are lined up for your potential purchase. To best take advantage of the market you will need to come prepared with either proof you have the cash to purchase or approval for a loan as you will commonly need to present this with any offer you put in on a property.
The most fatal error for buyers in this market is not being prepared well enough to act quickly when they find the right property or a great deal.
Let me tell you about 2 of my clients’ experiences recently to emphasize this point.
One of my clients wanted an exceptional deal for a waterview condo that looked out over Tampa Bay or the Gulf of Mexico. I found the perfect deal for him and emailed him the listing within a few days of the condo coming on the market. It was just the next weekend when he got here and he liked what he saw so he had me call the listing agent about submitting an offer. The next morning when I called the listing agent I was told it had already gone under contract and that he had quite a few offers in during the 7 days since it had been listed.
The fact that my client wanted to come here to see the property before he bought it was not an issue that we could have done much about. However, even if that hadn’t been a problem there were two other issues that might have still gotten in the way for him. The first was not having his financing fully arranged. The second was not recognizing how good a deal it already was – he wanted to try to get it for much lower than it was listed for.
Then there was my client who had already decided he wanted to buy a vacation home in this area who came up here with his wife to look at some villas and townhouses.
We found one that they really liked and was very rare because it was not attached to any other villas and also had a big, fenced backyard.
My client went back home saying he wanted a few days to think about it. I warned him not to delay as there had already been an offer that was nearly accepted and the property had been on the market less than a month. The next day the listing agent called to let me know they were expecting an offer that day that would likely be acceptable and I called my client to let him know. This was on Saturday and he said that he would let me know Monday or Tuesday but that is was about an 80% chance he would be putting in an offer.
The next day I found out that the villa was now under contract and my client had missed out on the best deal for what they wanted. I found out that part of the reason for the delay was that he wanted to speak with his financial advisor about how he was going to make the purchase to work out the best tax consequences. His advisor didn’t work on weekends so he had to wait until the workweek began, and the fact that he didn’t handle this before coming resulted in his losing the property he wanted to buy.
I bring this one up to make it clear why you really need to have your financing worked out fully prior to looking at properties.
I bring these examples up because a lot of people have false information that because it’s a buyer’s market sellers have to negotiate down, or that properties don’t sell quickly and that you should take your time. Actually that is true sometimes BUT not for great properties that are priced well or for ones that are a great deal.
Let me summarize some key points if you want to make the most of the buyer’s market:
If you don’t recognize an exceptional deal, you will never get one.
If you don’t act quickly and give a strong offer when you find an exceptional deal, you will most likely lose it.
If you aren’t fully prepared with your financing lined up, including preapproval or proof of funds letters, you won’t be able to act quickly enough on an exceptional deal.
There are exceptions to this but in my recent experiences I’ve found that these hold true more often than not.
One point I want to emphasize which I briefly described in the first example. It also goes along with the second bulleted point above.
When you find an exceptional deal, don’t lose it because you think you can get it for a lot less since the sellers “are probably desperate” or “they’ll probably take less because of how the real estate market is doing”. There are times when you can negotiate a seller or bank down on a property and times when it is already priced so well that it will be snatched up very quickly at the listed price. You either need to know enough to recognize this or listen to your realtor when they tell you this (especially when they provide enough information to show this is the case).
Knowing this information can provide you with a foundation on which you can proceed successfully in your real estate purchase so that you don’t let the right time to buy slip away.
To see some of the exceptional deals that are out there you can go to the Deals page of my blog and while on the site you can also get access to the local MLS for your computer or cell phone.
You can also register for MLS access on your computer or cell phone and find many other resources at http://www.searchdunedinhomes.com.