How to succeed in the new seller’s housing market.

Some of my clients from other parts of the country and from across the Atlantic, where the housing markets haven’t recovered yet from the recession, come to Florida expecting to go bargain hunting.

But they are in for a rude awakening. They find a house they like, want to put down an offer and find themselves fifth or sixth in line among multiple offers. As buyers, they discover out quickly that in Sarasota, they’re no longer in the power position. The reason? Not enough homes for the demand.

As Sarasota goes, so goes the nation!

Sarasota may have been the first market in the United States to tank when the housing bubble burst, leading the plunge into real estate chaos and economic recession. But it has also recovered earlier, along with other parts of the country, notably Alaska, Washington State, Arizona and other cities in Florida – Miami, Orlando and Ft. Lauderdale, which have become hot markets again.

In June, the number of homes listed for sale nationwide dropped 24% compared with the previous year. Inventory in Sarasota has been low here for months now. Good properties, priced right, get snapped up in days with multiple offers from five to fifteen buyers not at all unusual. Prices are inching up, too, and there are even occasional bidding wars. Add it all up, and it spells “seller’s market.”

The good news is that people continue to want to buy. According to the National Association of Realtors, the number of contracts signed in May was 13% higher than a year ago with every region in the country reporting increases in sales.

But with rising demand and lack of suitable inventory, buyers are no longer in the driver’s seat.

What does that mean for buyers in the Sarasota area?  

If you’re looking for a particular spot, it’s not as easy to find property, especially in the most popular neighborhoods. That’s definitely true for good houses priced under $250,000.

Until new construction catches up with demand, shopping for a home will be more like a hunt than the walk in the park it has been.

What should buyers do in the new seller’s market?

Pre-qualification vs. pre-approval. Don’t bother with the first, which is only an estimate on how much you can borrow. With sellers concerned about deals falling through, they want more certainty. Get pre-approved for a loan based on your credit, income and assets, and you’ll be in a better position to bargain.

Get with a veteran realtor who knows the market. In a competitive market, it’s crucial to have a pro on your side who’s experienced, knows the local scene inside and out, and is experienced in multiple-offer deals. That way you can be sure that a home is reasonably priced and advise you on what to offer.

Make a good, clean, straightforward offer. If you want to wait to sell your current home first, for example, you’re not likely to come out ahead in a bidding war.

Remember, if you get into the game, there are still very good buys to be had. With interest rates at historic lows, and prices considerably lower than during frenzy years, this is still a great time to get excellent value for your money. Just don’t expect bargain basement sales, and be prepared to move fast in the face of the competition.


Prices keep climbing – Florida is heating up

Word is getting out that Florida’s bust is switching to boom, with the charge being led by the $1 million single family house market.

Across the state in Miami-Dade, a $52million house is reportedly under contract and a penthouse condo just sold for a record $25million.

On this side of Florida, our price point is not as impressive but we have continued signs of rising sales.  In February and March of this year, sales of $1million-plus houses in Sarasota county were 48% higher than last year.

For more information on luxury homes in Sarasota call Bev Murray or Jane Ebury 941-365-1837 at Murray Realty


7324 Broughton Street, Sarasota FL 34243 (Short Sale) – $169,900

2 bed 2 bath

7324 Broughton Street, Sarasota FL 34243

Short Sale – Beautiful home situated 1 block away from Sarasota Bay in historic Whitfield Estates and close to Sarasota/Bradenton Airport. The floor plan complements the square footage making it feel bigger. Kitchen has granite countertops. Great outdoor kitchen with a good size back yard. Close to US41 and the SRQ airport.  A/C Handler 2003, Water heater 2007, All the windows hurricane approved, with shutters for doors. BOA has already done their appraisal, the short sale documents have been collected and sent into the bank.Ready for offers!!!

To arrange a viewing please call
Jane Ebury, Realtor
Murray Realty
1255 Seeds Ave, Sarasota FL 34237

Amendment 4: What Every Voter Should Know

What are the facts?

On November 2nd, you will be asked to vote yes or no on a plan to alter Florida’s Constitution called Amendment 4. Special interest lawyers, adult entertainment interests and population control groups have designed, funded and proposed this amendment to our Constitution. Take a moment to learn more about who’s backing Amendment 4 and why.

What is the issue?

Amendment 4 will prolong the recession and put recovery out of reach for thousands of working Floridians. As a result, leading business, labor, and civic groups oppose Amendment 4

What will the measure do?

This proposed change to Florida’s Constitution would require a taxpayer-funded referendum for every single change to a local government comprehensive plan. Simply stated, Amendment 4 would force Floridians, not the representatives they elect, to decide hundreds of minor, technical comprehensive plan changes each year on issues like drainage, traffic circulation, and intergovernmental coordination.

What does that mean for you?

Here is what Amendment 4 means for you: (1) a Florida with drastically fewer jobs, (2) a significantly weaker economy, and (3) unbearably higher taxes to feed the Amendment 4 “litigation” bureaucracy.

The Florida Chamber of Commerce asked leading economists to study the impact of Amendment 4. The study indicates that Amendment 4 would likely put more than 267,000 Floridians out of work, shrink Florida’s economic output by more than $34 billion annually, and take nearly $12 billion out of the pockets of working families.

With Florida’s jobless rate reaching well into double digits, our state’s top business and labor groups have put politics aside to oppose Amendment 4. Mark Wilson, president of the Florida Chamber of Commerce wrote: “If you like the recession, you’ll love Amendment 4.” Frank Ortis, executive board member with Florida’s AFL-CIO noted that “Amendment 4 will devastate Florida’s economy by costing hundreds of thousands of jobs and driving the unemployment rate even higher.”

According to the Orlando Sentinel, “The cost to local governments of [Amendment 4] would soar into the millions.” Those costs would be shouldered by Florida’s taxpayers who could expect to see not only more government waste, but also nonstop lawsuits as special interests wage war in court over the technical wording of endless ballot summaries. Referencing a failed experiment in Amendment 4-style rule in the small Florida town of St. Pete Beach, the St. Petersburg Times wrote that Amendment 4 leads to “short-term thinking” and “invites lawsuits…”

What is the conclusion?

Florida’s jobless rate is high—but it could get much, much worse with the passage of Amendment 4. At a time when many families and small businesses are struggling to make ends meet, that’s the last thing we need. Please take the time to learn more about Amendment 4 by visiting

Real Estate Investment

If you are thinking about purchasing a home, don’t let negative or sensationalized headlines be your sole persuader.  Even journalists who write many of the stories behind the headlines are rebelling against the idea that real estate is on its way out as the foundation of many Americans’ wealth.  We’ve certainly had our ups and downs over the years, but that’s expected in every investment’s cycle.  We are getting much closer to a sustained up cycle.  Read as much as you can from the sources you trust.  That way you’re most likely to make the right decision for you, and with confidence.   Above all, don’t let trash talk rob you of one of the most opportune moments in real estate history.