Archives July, 2009

Welcome Aboard – The Advantage of Michael Saunders & Company

With all the challenges and obstacles involved in what used to be a fairly simple process, it is essential that today’s homebuyer work with an experienced real estate professional.

So what sets a Michael Saunders & Company agent apart from others?

While common differences between agents consist of tenure in the business, experience in a certain range of sales prices, or demonstrating high-touch customer service, much of what sets our team of agents apart is the support infrastructure provided by Michael Saunders & Company.

Here’s a great example: The first day an agent joins the Michael Saunders & Company team, they meet with the assistant to the vice president of operations/personnel to assemble their “jump start” package together. This start-up kit includes the principal ingredients for success in the world of real estate:

  • Business cards
  • Announcement cards
  • Information on the free agent website
  • Name tag

Additionally, each new agent receives a comprehensive New Associate Manual, which serves as a personal roadmap for company procedures and operations.

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The Neighborhood Report – Englewood

eng-officeVisitors from around the world choose Englewood for its unspoiled beaches and some of the richest fishing grounds found in the Gulf of Mexico. Staffed by an exceptional team of area specialists, our Englewood office is strategically located at the intersection of Highway 776 and Beach Road, along the shores of Lemon Bay.

How’s the Market in Englewood?

According to Barbara Fendley Saputo, branch manager of Michael Saunders & Company’s Englewood office, business to date in 2009 has surpassed 2008 in the same timeframe by 27 percent. Every component necessary to make this an opportune time for a buyer is in place:

  • Low interest rates
  • Reasonable prices
  • Favorable exchange rates for foreign buyers (more…)

Words of Wisdom

FOR SELLERS, IT’S “PRICE”

If you must sell your home in today’s buyer-friendly market, the key word that should most inform your thinking is “price.”   Even with sales perking-up considerably over the past few months, price remains every buyer’s top priority.  With the sheer number of available properties continuing to significantly outstrip demand, if a home is not priced in line with—or below—similar properties that have sold in the last 60 days, its chances of selling in a reasonable amount of time are drastically diminished with each passing day.  Moreover, home prices won’t stabilize until buyer demand catches up with supply.

Even though inventories of available homes are dropping significantly with each passing month, the key word that continues to affect supply is “foreclosures.”  Regrettably, thousands more are anticipated by year’s end; which will continually replenish the market’s overabundance of homes.

An article in the May 5th edition of Business Week Magazine was blunt in its assessment of what sellers must do to succeed in today’s market.  Its title basically says it all:  “Want to Sell Your Home?  Lower Your Price.”   The article went on to say:

“Accepting a price reduction—even a sizable one—may be the only way to sell a house in this market.  For sellers who can afford to ride out the downturn, the smart move is to take your property off the market.  For everyone else it’s time to get real.”

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Smart Homeowners Earn a Government Tax Credit

The clock is ticking and we’re down to less than 5 months of available time to take advantage of the $8000 federal tax credit for first time home buyers. What are we all doing to market to and appeal to the pool of first time home buyers in our Sarasota/Manatee county markets? Housing prices are fantastic and mortgage interest rates are low creating a great opportunity to help many first time home buyers achieve the American Dream of home ownership. Michael Saunders & Company is well positioned to support the needs of the first time home buyer – a vast inventory of well priced properties in all segments of our market area (Best Opportunities will spot light some of the best bargains around), an experienced team of real estate sales professionals ready to walk the first time home buyer through the home buying process, as well as a team of mortgage originators with MSC Mortgage armed with an array of mortgage programs and products specifically designed for the first time home buyer. Lets get this information out to any and all first time home buyers in an effort to make sure everyone eligible for this tax credit takes advantage of the opportunity.

Speak to one of our MSC Loan officers at MSC Mortgage

Smart Homebuyers are Buying Now

I wanted to share a great YouTube video regarding why this is an ideal time to buy. While we don’t need a video to remind us, it’s always great to hear a re-enforced message from someone as well respected as David Bach. Property prices are great, interest rates are incredible, and everyone in the industry, including sellers, are motivated to make deals happen.

Feel free to reach out to one of our MSC Mortgage Loan Officer for additional information regarding mortgage programs and interest rates.

Visit MSC Mortgage to speak to one of our loan officers by clicking here: MSC Mortgage

The Neighborhood Report – Siesta Key

Siesta Key Office

Siesta Key Office

Renowned around the world for its sugary sand, Siesta Key is a major attraction for those in search of a property close to the area’s finest beaches. Our Siesta Key office is located on the north end of Siesta Key Village, which also serves as quite an attraction for visitors and residents alike. Picture perfect and ideal for laidback tropical afternoons, the Village was recently transformed into an inviting pedestrian-friendly area, where benches, streetlights, additional crosswalks and a gazebo create an attractive setting. Additionally, the great restaurants and vibrant nightlife make this a destination not to be missed.

How is the Market on Siesta Key?

Debbie Judge, branch manager of Michael Saunders & Company’s Siesta Key office, reports positive news for Siesta Key’s inventory of available properties. For the first two quarters of 2009, the supply of available single-family homes is down 22 percent compared to the first five months of 2008. Furthermore, condominium inventory is down 9.2 percent. After a very strong June, Debbie expects to see a further decline in properties available for buyers. Her conclusion: Educated buyers are scooping up the values. (more…)

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The Neighborhood Report – Lakewood Ranch

Lakewood Ranch

Lakewood Ranch

Similar to the regional highs and lows of the national housing market, our local neighborhoods and communities experience differing results relating to home sales and inventories. To help you understand the ongoing dynamics that shape Florida’s Gulf Coast real estate, we shine a spotlight on each of our offices to present an intimate peek inside the conditions and trends observed by our team of branch managers.

How’s The Market?

Gloria Weed, branch manager of our Lakewood Ranch office, is pleased to report strong activity throughout the communities of Lakewood Ranch. Here, our agents are consistently showing and writing contracts for the properties priced correctly—further reinforcing the importance of pricing in accordance to the market’s demand. In fact, our Lakewood Ranch agents are receiving multiple offers on some of the more aggressively priced properties, a definite sign of a vibrant market. (more…)

Commercial Update

Like the residential sector, the market for commercial property has not been immune to the challenges presented by the broader real estate correction of the past few years.  Further, even though residential sales are exhibiting the earliest stirrings of a comeback, activity in the commercial sector continues to be contracted; due mainly to tightened credit, more properties to sell—including an increasing number of foreclosures—and conflicting economic predictions fueling buyer uncertainty.  Moreover, the disconnect between what sellers want and what buyers are willing to pay for a property is clearly causing sales to be worse than anemic compared to activity in normal years.

Fortunately, just as the residential real estate market is cyclical in nature, a complete recovery is fully expected for the commercial sector.  It will take a while longer, to be sure, as the commercial correction commenced long after the residential correction was well underway.  The most encouraging news as we mark the midpoint of 2009 is that the current market environment will cease to get much worse. Many leading indicators predict the commercial sector will likely bottom-out before year’s end.  Meanwhile, there remains a continuous flow of capital-rich investors seeking to purchase heavily-discounted bank-owned properties through foreclosures and short sales.

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