Dominating the End Zone

Derrick Brooks from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers scoring a touchdown

Photo Credit: Heinz Kluetmeier/SI

Even though the area’s real estate market is at long last exhibiting true signs of a gradual but sustained recovery, it continues to favor buyers in search of the best-priced buying opportunities.  Improvements in the market notwithstanding, the pool of available homes in Southwest Florida—although shrinking—remains much larger during any given month than the corresponding pool of available buyers.   In true “supply-and-demand” fashion, the region remains in a solid buyers’ market.  Nevertheless, if you’re planning to sell your home in the not-too-distant future, you can significantly improve the odds of obtaining better results faster by taking two important steps now that will deepen your own pool of potential buyers.

First, commit to pricing your home at least as aggressively as other homes in its competitive set, if not more so. We repeat this mantra time after time—week after week—because price remains the single most important catalyst for luring buyers away from indecision on the sidelines to confidence at the closing table.

Second, list your home where it is absolutely assured of being noticed by the most buyers. It’s a proven fact.  For homes in virtually every price range, Michael Saunders & Company engages more buyers and brings them to the closing table—by far—than any other company in Southwest Florida.  A bold statement, to be sure; but one for which we proudly offer independent verification based on actual sales data obtained from the Sarasota MLS—and reported monthly by the California-based, independent research firm TRENDGRAPHIX.

For homes priced from $150,000 and up, agents of Michael Saunders & Company brought buyers to the closing table 68% more often in the past 12 months than the market’s next leading competitor. For homes priced $250,000 and above, we are apt to furnish the buyer 87% more often.  Moreover, the spread between Michael Saunders & Company and the next leading competitor in the market is equally dramatic for attracting buyers to higher priced homes. This is a most vital consideration if your home falls into this category; since the recovery has yet to work its way into the upper tiers of the market.  Versus a year ago, nationwide sales of homes priced upwards from $500,000 are down 8.9%, those priced from $1 million and up are down 23.3%; and homes priced from $2 million and up are down 32.4%.

According to TRENDGRAPHIX, when one of our area’s homes is priced from $500,000 and above, agents of Michael Saunders & Company furnish the buyer more than twice as often as the market’s next leading competitor. Likewise, for homes $1 million and up, we bring the buyer to the closing 76% more often.  The same pattern holds true for homes from $2 million and up, where we bring the buyer to the table 77% more often.

Other indications of our coordinated success at bringing more buyers into the company’s “air space” is shown in both the most recent internet usage statistics for michaelsaunders.com—as compiled by Google Analytics—and through the nine years of records maintained by the Michael Saunders & Company Appointment Center.

Through August of this year, the MS&C Appointment Center has logged more than 40,122 calls to set appointments—often to show multiple properties. This averages just over 5,000 calls per month and puts the company on track to shatter its own 12-month record of 42,249 calls set in 2002—by more than 42%.

Likewise, through August of this year, the company’s Web site recorded 835,596 visits, with nearly 14.3 million page views, averaging 17.09 page views per visit. These visits originated in 190 countries around the world, every state and territory of the U.S; and were highest from our traditional powerhouse feeder markets of the upper Midwest and Northeast.  As well each of the company’s property listings are available to the online audience of such national newspapers as the Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune.  Closer to home our listings populate the online real estate pages of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, The Bradenton Herald, St. Petersburg Times, Orlando Sentinel and Miami Herald.

That’s not all.  Our sellers’ listings show up on the web sites of our exclusive global affiliations, including such international real estate icons as Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, Luxury Portfolio, Mayfair International Realty, The European Real Estate Network, LuxuryRealEstate.com and Christie’s Great Estates.

Once in the fold, buyers are especially pleased to discover that all their real estate needs, from obtaining a mortgage to clearing title on a property, can be handled with the same streamlined precision and professionalism as their property search—all under one roof.

What appeals to buyers most are the qualities that we can least quantify through statistical abstracts.  These include our exceptional agents, their accumulated experience and collegial interactions, their singular dedication to their customers and the fact that they have the focused, hands-on guidance of a home-grown leader with more than 33 years of experience in every kind of market imaginable.  Including this one.  Our values and goals aren’t set in some far off corporate headquarters and rubber-stamped for every real estate market in America regardless of local nuances.  We’re independent, locally owned and operated, and no one has their fingers on the pulse of the Southwest Florida market—or understands its countless lifestyle and residential choices—more than the collection of agents in every one of our 17 branch offices from Manatee to Charlotte Counties.

Most important of all, our agents know how to transform a potential buyer into a contented new homeowner through due diligence, patience and skilled negotiations. Like quarterbacks at the top of their games, they confidently move the ball down the field without ever fumbling, being intercepted or sacked; or losing sight of their goal.  The end zone.

  • User Gravatar marilyn wilson
    September 16th, 2009

    Great post Michael! Great way to use market statistics to demonstrate your proven skills!

  • User Gravatar marilyn wilson
    September 16th, 2009

    I just posted this post on the WAV Group blog so that others can learn from this great approach!

  • User Gravatar Renn Nichols
    September 30th, 2009

    This is a terrific article! As an Assistant to a couple of Saunders Agents, this really helps me obtain a clear picture of the market – as I am not so much in the “front line”. I first thought that was a pic of an FSU game (yeah, my hometown), but realized it’s the Bucs. Guess neither one of them is finding the end zone very much this season. Maybe if we could be a spectacularly priced home in the end zone, they could find their way! LOL!

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