Hello Naples Friends!
Signs pointing to a stronger real estate market are becoming more abundant. I’m not talking just with the number of sales, lower inventory and shorter market times but the way some are marketing and selling properties. Here, I’m going to explain what buyers could be faced with this year and what you’ll want to watch out for if you’re thinking about selling your Naples real estate.
According to statistics provided by my favorite stager, people spend an average of only 6-9 minutes in a vacant property. They spend an average of 40 minutes in a staged property.
If you think that isn’t any big deal consider this, roughly 96% of the world begins their real estate search online. We have to get them IN the property roughly 99%+ of the time before a buyer will purchase a property in Naples. Some will buy sight unseen but it’s rare.
That means if you can’t capture enough interest online, you’re going to sit around or drop your price until you can gain the attention of that tiny group of people who will work harder and use more imagination when they purchase.
True Story: Stats from a photo report of a vacant home in Grey Oaks with over 400 days of market time shows there have been a total of 25 views. HOLY MOSES, that listing is in trouble. Only 5 real estate companies have been able to drag eyeballs to this tour. Another furnished home listed roughly around the same price and for the same number of days furnished had 138 views. If people aren’t even going to click the virtual tour button, what are the odds they’re actually going to go see it?
Of those 25 people who clicked the virtual tour button on the vacant home, 1 dropped out before seeing the first photo. 7 people dropped off after the first photo and only 15 people or 60% looked at the whole tour. The furnished property managed to capture over 5 times the amount of eyeballs and keep 80% of those people interested through all photos and that’s with 2 really boring aerial photos sandwiched in the middle of the tour.
TRUE STORY: Last year I took a customer to see roughly 10-15 homes in Old Naples and one Aqualane Shore property. All of them were beautifully furnished except for the last one which was a new home on an amazing lot but it was vacant. The buyer was so disappointed because he had seen all of these amazing presentations only to be gutted at the very end. 10 Old Naples new homes have either closed or gone under contract this year. That vacant one is still available after 725 days on the market.
Selling? I can present your home online and can provide a sound strategy to make sure people see your property.
Buying? I can help you visualize and provide you with a team to furnish if you are willing to use your imagination for what can be done.
Less Virtual Tours
Some industry experts say virtual tours are more important to the seller than the buyer. That’s funny because there seems to be a ton of traffic on virtual tours for that to be true. Buyers today are information hounds especially when it comes to being in a secondary market. It’s not like many of our buyers are here right now. They want as much content as they can get. A virtual tour is a basic marketing tool sellers should be getting as part of their listing package to help them sell quickly and for a good price.
Selling? I have your virtual solutions.
Buying? If you see a home that looks interesting but you need more information, give me a shout, I’ll be happy to walk you through it via FaceTime but understand, not every agent/homeowner will allow it.
I know some of you are thinking how can photos be worse than they are already? There are over 301 million search results for bad real estate photos and if you haven’t looked at some of these hilarious sites, you must. They’ve been a source of entertainment for me spanning over 2 decades. In all seriousness, there’s a very active agent in Pelican Bay who takes the world’s worst photos. Why are sellers ok with this?
Selling? I’ll keep your home out of the dark and remember to put the toilet seats down along with a long list of other secrets that produce amazing photography that promotes people into wanting to see your property.
Buying? Move on to the next property or call me and I’ll help you.
No Remarks On Listing
Photos are worth 1,000 words but you still need a descriptive paragraph too. We literally get one paragraph to describe an entire property. It’s not hard but some agents would be bold enough to say, “I don’t have time.” I don’t care if it’s lack of time or even imagination, your property deserves to be thoughtfully described EVERY time.
TRUE STORY: Last month I was nosing around MLS when I came across a listing. This was written by a listing leader in one of Naples most fabulous golf course communities on a home priced over $5,000,000. “This rarely available estate home..” I thought oh cool, when was the last time it was listed. He actually drove me to look at the property history. It has been on the market 6 of the last 10 years. What do I remember about the house? It was listed in the 5’s and they haven’t been able to sell it. What do I remember about the agent? He’s on autopilot and everything he writes must be fact-checked if I’m representing a buyer interested in one of his properties.
Prices Will Go Up
A couple of weeks ago I reported about a Naples beachfront condo with a new list price of over $1,000,000 than what they had been asking. One of my clients asked if I was serious and if I would have done the same thing. The answer was yes, I’m serious and no, I would not have encouraged it. As they’re rapidly approaching 500 days on the market I might have encouraged offering a better commission split instead.
Buyers: You’re going to see more of this in markets where inventory is tightening but not all sellers and all selling agents are going lose their minds. There will be good buying opportunities like that condo in Carlysle but don’t be surprised if you run across a seller with a new found confidence.
Sellers: Keep your heads on. Some price increase might be ok but really bold moves are going to hurt your success for selling this year. Check with me personally to determine the best time to enter the market for your location. The answer isn’t the same for all Naples luxury locations.
During a hot market, some sellers get stubborn on repair requests. I’ve seen evidence this summer. When the market heats up and as sellers gain confidence, some shy away from doing the “right” thing by performing repairs on inspection items.
Sellers: Sometimes you can save a few bucks when buyers are unreasonable with their repair request and sometimes you run the risk of losing your deal. If the market isn’t as hot as you thought that next deal may take way longer than you expected and you could end up losing way more than
Buyers: If you perform inspections and ask the seller to handle some repairs and they say, “no”, you’ll be faced with having to make a decision on whether or not to purchase the property. There are ways to combat this up front. Ask me how.
When popular listing agents get busy their time becomes a rare commodity. Sellers who get a ton of showing traffic grow weary too. That means buyers are going to have a tougher time getting accommodated on last-minute showing appointments.
Sellers: Consider listing with an agent who isn’t too busy to show your home. There’s nothing worse than not selling because your agent was too busy selling your neighbor’s property.
Buyers: The best way to go about being able to see everything you want to see is to make those appointments will in advance. This will increase your chances of getting it all in.
Properties Are Going To Sell Faster
Seeing a Naples property hit the market that looks amazing and is priced fairly is bliss. Almost as blissful as being able to casually take your time booking tickets in timeframes that are most convenient for you. Unfortunately, when the market speeds up, many buyers are going to find themselves competing with people who are already here and ready to see it causing some heartburn for unsuspecting buyers who book their flights, arrive in Naples only to find out that property they wanted to see is ga ga gone.
Work with an agent who knows how to help you with unexpected disappointments like this. It can mean everything.
Many Naples buyers start out just looking and have a very casual demeanor when it comes to doing their research. They spend lots of time clicking around on the internet and visiting open houses once they’re here. Often something changes when they decide to make an offer. Their commitment level has a tendency to elevate sometimes to great surprise to themselves.
During a heated market, it isn’t uncommon for buyers to find themselves in a competing offer situation. Our market is split roughly in half when it comes to those who are willing to duke it out to get their deal and those who will walk away for fear they’re getting played or because of a lack of interest in losing the upper hand.
Many buyers walk because they secretly think they’ll be able to call a seller’s bluff and regain control. That’s when they find out there was, in fact, another buyer and now they’ve lost their shot. This can make buyers emotional. They may fire their agent, take matters into their own hands, disappear altogether or roll up their sleeves and prepare to battle the next deal a little more aggressively than they handled the first one. Mostly it only takes one loss before the attitude shift occurs but I’ve seen it take as many as 6-7 misses before a buyer has gotten serious about a purchase.
If you’re planning on purchasing in a Naples real estate market with low inventory this year, be prepared to make a move quickly and take the advice of a tenured agent. One that has been around for at least 3 years is good but more preferably one who knows what you can be faced with so you have all of your most strategic options in front of you. You may find yourself competing with a buyer who has already lost and doesn’t want to lose again. You don’t want to be ill-prepared if that’s who you’re up against.
True Story: I just listed an amazing condo in Grande Excelsior at The Dunes. The unit is freshly updated, has amazing views, furniture is negotiable and it is priced remarkably well. It’s located in a building that has already been remodeled, the beach club has been remodeled and the neighborhood amenity center was completely torn down and is currently being rebuilt. It’s set to open on January 1st. The owners already purchased and they are priced to sell. We’ve been on the market for 4 days and already we are seeing serious interest all over the East Coast, Chicago, locally and as far as the UK. Judging by the number of repeat visitors to both virtual tours and other marketing measures I study, I don’t expect it to be available come October. All of this during one of the quietest months of the year. Without question, one buyer is going to feel very lucky while a few others will feel a ping of disappointment when it is no longer available.
Inventory Is Going To Feel Picked Over By March
We have enjoyed amazing late and after season discounts during the past two years. When inventories are lower, you can expect the best properties to sell first unless they’re horrifically overpriced. For those buyers who have been studying Naples ways, they may find themselves caught off guard this year if they wait till the end of March expecting to pick up an amazing after season deal. It’s worse if they’ve been watching the whole time too because I’ll hear lots of remarks like, “we really liked that one that sold over there can you find one like it“. In hot markets, great properties at great values aren’t easily replaceable. Then the waiting game begins which causes pent-up demand and we all know what happens when that happens.
Buyers: If you already have a basic outline of what you’re looking for, let me know. It may already be in my pocket or I might know about one that is secretly available.
Sellers: The Naples real estate market is all over the road right now. If you don’t know if now is a good time to list or what you can expect for the upcoming season, call me. We can talk about shadow inventories and what we can do to put you in a fantastic position.
This is going to be a fun season. I hope you’ll consider using my services if you’re planning on buying or selling Naples real estate. Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter will you get first insight on great deals, tips on selling and other top secret stuff I don’t share here on my posts!
Shannon Lefevre, PA
Your Naples Smart Girl!