Mind you, not the best year ever in terms of total dollar volume; but perhaps one of the most satisfying, given today’s extremely harsh economy combined with the challenges of what is perhaps the toughest real estate markets in the region’s history. Needless-to-say, we are in awe of how well our agents played the extremely difficult hand they were dealt in 2010. “Humbled” might be the better word, as their considerable efforts on behalf of their clients and customers not only exceeded ambitious company-wide goals set this time last year, but also vastly outperformed the market in general.
A review of all year-to-date residential sales throughout Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte Counties—based on an actual accounting by the Mid-Florida Regional MLS—reveals a slight overall improvement for the tri-county region versus 2009. Unit sales through mid-December were up 3%; while dollar volume was up .5%. Not at all bad considering the number of distressed properties that weighed heavily on the market throughout the year, to say nothing of the expected lull in sales that followed the end of a popular housing tax credit.
For the identical period, unit sales at Michael Saunders & Company are up 30.3% versus 2009. Dollar volume is up as well, by 23.1%. Moreover, of the $3.528.1 billion in volume sold through mid-December by all agents in the three county region, the agents of Michael Saunders & Company were responsible for a 38% share of it, or $1.340 billion. And the year isn’t over yet. A substantial number of transactions, representing tens of millions of dollars in additional volume, are expected to close by year’s end.
So let this be the first thank-you note of 2011; a New Year’s message to all our clients and customers who made this level of performance for our agents possible. Thank you for a very good year and for the opportunity to prove why we believe so strongly in our agents. This year, their average closed volume per agent through November was more than $2.5 million, an increase of 17.2% over last year.
We add a second heartfelt thanks to our 550-plus agents for the level of performance, cooperation and camaraderie that resulted in their ability to find buyers for our own listings and provide service to both sides of our transactions 42.3 % of the time. When you list your home with an agent of Michael Saunders & Company, the odds are now approaching even that another one of our agents will help you find the buyer. Not surprising since our agents meet weekly to preview and discuss each other’s newest listings; then “caravan” together to personally visit them once they’re officially on the market.
There’s been increased activity in the luxury tier of our market as well, putting to rest once and for all the mistaken belief that few properties in the price ranges above $ 1 million are selling. Through November, agents from Michael Saunders & Company were involved in one or both sides of 147 closed transactions of properties with prices in excess of $ 1 million, for a total volume of $374.1 million—a 31.03% increase over 2009. This has allowed our agents to garner 42 % of the transactions over $1 million and 75% of all transactions over $5 million throughout the entire market area that they serve. (Source: Trendgraphix, November 2010)
The real estate market is expected to be no less challenging during the first half of 2011, after which most economic pundits believe a more noticeable housing recovery will begin taking shape. How best to predict the final outcome of 2011 for the agents at Michael Saunders & Company? To borrow yet another song lyric immortalized by Ol’ Blue Eyes, we think “the best is yet to come.”