Hello Naples Friends,
Whoo, it’s been a crazy busy postseason. While much of what I’m doing right now remains confidential, I do have some juicy insight for you today so grab an ice cold lemonade and let’s get down to it.
Here’s what I’m covering:
- Are Naples real estate auctions all they’re cracked up to be?
- The real Naples real estate temperature.
- The pitfalls of listing with an agent who checks out in the summer.
- New tactics I’m adding to my listing arsenal.
- FaceTime Showings and purchasing from afar are making a comeback.
Are Naples Real Estate Auctions All They’re Cracked Up To Be?
I have received a few calls about a particular property advertised as a “no reserve” auction. Deep down we love the idea of the term but we also know if it “sounds too good to be true…it probably is” Most calls end up with that one burning question….”What is a good price?” Nobody is prepared for my response.
Let’s face it, there are countless stories of how people in history have taken advantage of out of town prospects. Have you read the story of how Cape Coral was originally marketed? It’s a fascinating read if you have some time this summer!
Bottom line, there are ALWAYS facts less exposed. Who’s on your team to help you find them out?
Here’s what I hate about auctions:
- Contracts are overwhelmingly in favor for everybody BUT the buyer.
- They’re not telling the entire story.
- If you win, you’re on the hook. Period.
- Guess who pays the auction fees?! The Buyer.
Let’s look at the timeline of 1230 Gordon River Trail in Estuary at Grey Oaks.
- It sold unfurnished in ’14 for $6,205,000.
- Went back on the market 10 months later for $9,900,000
- Dropped to $9250,000 7 months later.
- Dropped to $8,950,000 5 months later.
- Dropped to $8,650,000 14 days later.
- Dropped to $8,500,000 4 months later.
- Dropped to $7,950,000 16 days later.
- Terminated on 1/18/18
- Re-entered the market on 8/18 for $7,800,000.
- Dropped to $7,490,000 4 months later.
- After 31 months of market time it sold furnished just before the auction for $6,750,000.
In this scenario, the buyer could’ve been on the hook for 10% of the sales price (auction fee) and ALL of the closing costs. There are some differences depending on which auction company is involved but you’re going to want to read that fine print before you get involved.
Thinking about auctioning your property?
The allure of “we can expose your property better than anybody else” sounds so amazing, right? The best results start with a realistic price. We see several luxury listings in Naples priced far beyond reach of smart even passionate buyers. Sure, we can sometimes get way more than a property is worth but it takes somebody with a great deal of passion to do it.
The longest listing in Naples right now is at nearly 4.5 years and the clock is still turning. If you want to avoid this, call me.
Thinking about bidding on an auction property?
You are best served by reviewing all of the details long before the auction. Did you hear about the man who paid $9,100 for a foot wide piece of property thinking he bought a villa worth $177,000 this summer? There are some pretty long lengths marketers will go through to prevent important information from being readily identifiable and I can go over some scary local examples with you.
The Real Naples Real Estate Temperature
“So, how’s the market?” I’ve heard it 100 times this summer. People don’t ask when they know and people don’t know so they’re asking. This is hands down the weirdest market I’ve seen in my 23 years of being an agent. Just when I think I’m positive the market is taking a turn down, I see selling and buying behaviors customary of the hottest market.
There are two areas, in particular, I am gravely concerned about. Inventories are very light and buyers are buying right now, just like what we see at the very top of the market. Sellers are flexing HUGE muscle and getting their way while Buyers are allowing it to happen in some locations.
In other locations…crickets chirping loudly. Clearly, a Buyer is going to have a great time negotiating if they’re purchasing in an area that is very slow moving right now. This is when summertime purchasing offer enormous opportunities for those willing to forego a few summertime plans to accomplish their Naples real estate objective!
To say the market is compartmentalized is an understatement so this is a BIG year to get the true facts of the exact location you’re considering. Be thoughtful of where you’re getting your information. For example, to chat with the market leader may not be the wisest of resources. Their goal is to sell the market of which they focus. To chat with the listing agent may not be the wisest choice either. Their goal is to sell their listing. Not that what they’re saying is a lie or even skewed but it helps a great deal when you’re talking with a more objective based source or even a source who is actually on your side as a buyer. It makes a difference on everything from property condition, negotiations and how the contract is written.
If auctions are a tactic sellers turn to in a falling market, working directly with the listing agent in hopes of a better negotiation is a tactic buyers take on in a hot market. It’s not until later they find they didn’t do all of the inspections they should have or got turned on to a crap inspector only to find many more issues with their property after they close. They also didn’t uncover all of the things that affect value and sometimes overpay because they didn’t ask the right questions. Many people find their great deal didn’t turn out to be so great after all. It doesn’t cost extra to have someone on your side who knows the intricacies like a boss.
Buyers: If you’re thinking about buying Naples real estate next season, you may do a way better job for yourself if you can get down here now. It’s worth taking a few minutes of your day to give me a jingle to see if it’s smarter to buy now than wait. In some areas there’s plenty of inventory with a strong chance there will be even more this season but there are other areas where exactly the opposite is occurring and there may be NOTHING for you to buy if you wait. Call me.
Sellers: If you’re thinking about listing next season, take a look at your market now! Last year I saw a ton of sellers exit the market and miss huge buying activity only to list during season to find they were amidst a huge amount of other like-minded sellers. Do not miss your shot if you can at all help it. Sure, there are some locations around Naples where it might be smarter to wait til season. Let the current inventory burn off if you will but if you’re located in a market where many of your neighbors punted out, now may be the best time to list before they all come back with the same idea.
The Pitfalls Of Listing With An Agent Who Checks Out In The Summer
Sellers: If you’re thinking about listing this summer the best thing you can do is to choose an agent who is still present and working.
An enormous amount of agents travel during the summer and don’t have a back-up plan when other agents want to show their properties. We have encountered several showing requests where the listing agent is required to accompany but they’re out of town and they did not make arrangements for assistance. Sellers typically don’t know this is happening. In a depreciating market, they’re losing real opportunities to sell and $1,000’s of dollars because they didn’t sell.
On the buying side we’ve seen people walk through our open houses and say, “Well our agent is out of town and told us just to go see open houses.” Mmm ok, fend for yourselves, I guess? I had another lady come through ready to go but her agent was out of town. My listing didn’t work for her but she knew exactly what she wanted and I knew the exact property she would love. Unfortunately, her agent is out of town and due to the fast-moving location she desires, I don’t know if it will work out for her or not.
Just because they’re in town doesn’t mean they’re working. We’ve heard everything from, “This is my day off”, “I play Pickleball on Thursdays”, “Well, it’s Friday so I’m playing golf”. All missed opportunities because listing agents have checked out.
On the other hand, we’ve seen agents who are all the way on top of it. Previewing new listings, FaceTiming their clients during previews, beefing up on market knowledge by visiting open houses. Not every agent checks out and that’s why there are in fact masters of the Naples real estate trade!
The other thing to consider is the Naples real estate market is a living, breathing animal. If your agent is checked out all summer, how smart are they when it comes to being ready for the season? I used to check out in the summer against my will. I hated it for my business.
Buyers: Because of all of this new found freedom and entitlement, you’re going to want to call me as soon as you have your buying plans in place. I’ve already made appointments well into July with other buyers who are coming to town. I want to show you everything that may work for you if you’re coming to purchase this summer. That’s going to take a few extra steps of preparation so please schedule in advance so I can help us avoid the summertime pitfalls of Naples real estate.
New Tactics I’m Adding To My Listing Arsenal
While I may not be face to face with as many clients as I am during the peak season, I am making HUGE changes to my listing arsenal. So far I’ve added 5 new technologies that are serving my listing clients in a BIG way! I’m here to tell you, the difference between a typical listing agent on autopilot and what I can offer is going to be measurably different this year. Those differences are reflected in what my sellers net and the time it takes doing so. I’d post all my new ideas here but unfortunately, competing eyes are everywhere. Reach out to me directly and I’ll go through each service and how it can help you accomplish your goals.
FaceTime Showings And Purchasing From Afar Are Making A Comeback
Back in 2011ish I wrote more deals with buyers who didn’t have time to make it to Naples but still purchased site unseen. Was it because the market was coming out of the toilet and people were still hard at work building their businesses? Perhaps. I’ve seen two scenarios like that this summer but you and I both know our economy is in a much different place. If you’re watching properties from afar, it’s really good to have a pulse on what you’re looking at especially if you have very particular tastes.
Not everybody is comfortable about purchasing real estate they haven’t actually seen with their own eyes but if you are, call me. You may be amazed at the amount of information I can share but you’ll be spellbound by my candor.
Ok, that’s all for now. If you have questions, I’m just a call, text or email away!
Shannon Lefevre, PA
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