Time To Make An Appointment

We are continually amazed to hear people remark that buyers appear to have all but stopped purchasing real estate in Southwest Florida. They see many homes for sale, some for long periods of time, only to conclude that serious buyers are absent the market.

Observing the vigorous attendance at our weekly open houses ought to be enough to dispel that belief. But monthly activity at the Call Center at Michael Saunders & Company is what really crushes the notion that serious buyers are nowhere to be found. Through August of 2007, the Call Center scheduled 24,727 appointments to show homes, nearly eight percent higher than the same period last year and virtually even with the number of appointments set through August of 2005. This amounts to nearly 2,100 showings per week—hardly indicative of a dearth of buyers.

Though the market is filled with exceptional opportunities, buyers still have the burden of sifting through the many possibilities. This takes no small amount of time and effort, which obviously slows the process of deciding on a home and finalizing its purchase. Needless to say, buyers give two thumbs-down to the idea of visiting any home—no matter how special—that isn’t priced competitively. Remember, you must first “sell” your home to the real estate community before they will label it a “must-see” for their clients. For this reason, it is vitally important to obtain the best possible advice when establishing a fair price for your home. What it might have sold for last year—or even three months ago—may not be valid in today’s rapidly evolving market. A truly competitive price stems from a careful analysis of comparable homes sold very recently in the same—or similar—neighborhoods. Overpriced listings will wind up as lonely as the Maytag repairman.

Far from being lonely, competitively-priced properties are still selling briskly here at Michael Saunders & Company. We continue to close, on average, daily sales amounting to $4.8 million and expect to finish 2007 with $2 billion in sales. If selling your home in today’s market has you concerned, please contact us for advice on setting a competitive price and how to best prepare your home for the most effective showings.



  • User Gravatar Dave
    September 25th, 2007

    It’s encouraging to hear about the call center volume. I suspect it will be a very decent selling season.

    I really think the major problem we’re facing is a confidence crisis. All other housing downturns have been created by a poor employment environment. We have a solid employment situation in the US at this time.

    Sure, the popularity of Sarasota drove up prices and along with cheap money, a lot of speculators entered the market. The speculators, as buyers, are now completely out of the market. Now every purchase will be taking a home or condo out of the market for quite some time.

    But, more than anything else, I believe that the media has been carpet bombing us with this situation and it’s messing with our heads. It’s no wonder the buyers are sitting on the sidelines.

    The Fed recently cut interest rates. The markets are predicting they will do it again in October. This will positively impact ARMs in the near term and even fixed mortgages down the road. So, why has this positive development still not been reported in the real estate section of the Herald Tribune?

    Sarasota is still paradise and people want to live here. If buyers are expecting lower prices, so be it. Sellers that really want to sell their homes need to lower their asking prices. Sellers that are not willing to budge on price should pull their listings as it is not helping anyone to keep their homes on the market.


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