Monday Market Report

In the last 6 months the number of homes for sale in Orlando has continued to increase.  This time last year there were about 34% less homes on the market than there are now.  In the current market, about 25-30% of the listings are selling monthly on average.  With added competition comes longer days on the market and more expired listings.  As buyers have more options, they may decide to skip your listing for the one down the street.  There are a variety of reasons that they might choose another home over yours.  Find out the top 5 Reasons by watching the video below and download the full report at my website

The expired listing club is the one club where you do not want to be a member.  If you had a plan to move and your home did not sell or you are just thinking about selling – you don’t want to make these mistakes.  Find out why your home didn’t sell and let’s get together to get it sold!

Call me today at 407-494-2820 or visit the website for the full report with a detailed analysis of the 5 Reasons your home didn’t sell!  Did you have problems selling your home?

Young Woman Laptop StockSometimes it is fun to daydream about moving into a new home.  Maybe something a little larger, with a pool, or maybe a more walkable neighborhood?!  It’s fun to think about these things, but it can be a reality too.  Moving is all about timing and when it makes sense to sell your current home and find a new place.

If you’ve been daydreaming about moving in Orlando, why not make it a reality?  Start searching for Downtown Orlando homes today!  Or download my app and sync it to me to search while you are on the go!  (**don’t forget to register your info or if you contact me I won’t be able to answer any questions when you inquire!)

Reasons to Move Now:

1. You may finally be in a position of equity since the listing prices in Orlando are up about 13% since last year.  That might be just enough to get you moving into a bigger or better place.

2. And although the prices are up, the interest rates are still extremely affordable.

3.  The number of listings is up about 14% since last year, meaning you have more options to choose from when shopping.

Things to consider – since you will have more options to choose from – so will buyers for your current home.   So, as with any market, you need to price appropriately and competitively to actually get a contract.  We’re heading into Summer selling season.  Summer is notoriously the busiest time of year – get your home listed asap to take advantage of the pool of buyers that are looking to move over the summer months. They’re typically motivated by timing and the need to get into a new house before school starts or while they have vacation time planned – which is an advantage as a home seller.

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So let’s talk numbers – if you could sell your home for _______________ (fill in the blank), you would sell today?  Give me a call to see if it’s time 407-494-2820.

summerIf you’re considering purchasing a home in Orlando this summer, here are a few tips to consider!

1. Start now.  If you want to close by August you should give us a call now 407-494-2820.  It can take a little time to find the right fit, and then an additional 30-45 days to close once you’re under contract.

2.  It’s hot outside!  Florida weather is amazing, but it can get pretty hot during the summer months.  It can be especially heated if you’re visiting a few vacant houses that have no utilities.  If you’re home shopping all day be sure to bring water, keep the car AC running, and dress comfortably!

3.  Avoid short sales.  Short sales are not short.  (See what a short sale is here) They can take an average of 3-6 months just to have a response from the seller’s mortgage servicer.  At that rate you’ll be closing by the end of the year if they approve the sale at all.  A topic for another time!

4.  Join the club and have a strategy!  Summer is a peak selling season in many parts of the country because people have time off from work or want to move while the kids are out of school.  Keep this in mind when making an offer.  You’re probably not the only one who wants the house.  We can help guide you on a strong offer that will not be overlooked!

5.  Be prepared.  If you’re taking a summer vacation while under contract on a home, be prepared!  Send in every piece of information your lender might need for a loan before you leave town.  Be sure you will have access to internet and phone while you’re away.  Also – just to be safe – make sure you have access to a printer and fax machine.  We use electronic signatures, but not every agent does.  If you aren’t working with us – then you might need access to a printer and fax machine.  There are inevitably always little things that ave to be signed throughout the process.

Get started now by calling me at 497-494-2820 (ask for Kathryn)
Or fill out this simple form and I’ll get in touch shortly.


Home affordability in Orlando is still very high in the Central Florida area but it is declining.  The affordability is declining due to rising interest rates and rising prices.  However, if you have money to put down, you can still find quite a few options!  Downtown Orlando neighborhoods are particularly desirable so even the “affordable” homes need a little work.  The key is to be realistic with the type of home you can purchase and set aside money for some repairs/improvements.

According to the Orlando Regional Realtor Association, buyers who earn the Orlando median income ($55,670/year) have about 5,180 options to choose in Orange and Seminole counties.  Buyers earning the reported median income can afford approximately $288,418 (*with money to put down).  So let’s see what that $289k price tag gets you in the Downtown Orlando real estate market!

In and around Downtown Orlando there are 133 actively homes for sale at or below what the median income can buy you in Orlando.  These homes range in price from  $82,500-$289,000. The average “affordable” home is about 1400 sq. ft. with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms and will cost you about $207,000.  At this price, you probably have a little work to do to make it your own.

snapshotmap Affordability

If you have the ability to put 20% down and can go up to the top of the affordability scale into the $280,000 range, there are some lovely options for sale in Downtown Orlando – Just NOT that many!


If you are a first time home buyer earning the reported median income of $37,856/year; you have about 3,079 options in the same area.  First time buyers earning the median reported income can qualify for homes around $174,332 or less.  If you’re a first time buyer earning around this income you’ll have only about 35 homes to choose from in and around Downtown Orlando.  The average “affordable” home under $175,000 is about 1179 sq. ft. with 3 bedrooms and 1 bathroom.   The median price of homes that fall into this affordable category is about $142,000.  And with that you’ll need to bring your tools and make some needed repairs!

 Start searching homes in Downtown Orlando today!  Or find out what you can afford by using our simple mortgage calculator.

Image of roadIf you can believe it, it is almost May.  That means it’s time to look back at the first quarter numbers for 2014 and see how things are going in the Orlando real estate market and where the road will lead for the rest of this year.  The general word on the street is that real estate market in Orlando is back.  I agree that the market has had a huge turn around since the lows of 2010; but some people are getting a little ahead of themselves.

The median sales price in Orlando is up about 14% since last year at the same time. That’s a great increase as an average market only goes up about 3-5% per year.  The problem I’ve been seeing lately is that sellers believe that the market has increased by much larger numbers.  If you were under water a year ago, you may in fact have enough equity to sell, but you won’t
have enough to make a sweeping profit.

We are in what is called a normal market at the moment.  Meaning there is a balanced number of buyers and sellers in the Orlando housing market.  I realize that over the last 10 years no one has seen this type of market and this new (normal) market confuses people.  Over the last 10 years we’ve seen a bubble burst, a huge downturn with epic declining home values, and a shift back to a sellers market and multiple offers in what seemed like the blink of an eye.  Now we’re finally to an pretty stable market and this is a good thing for now.  

Things to Watch:

1.  How many new listings come on the market?  We have more listings and more competition since last year.  In fact, the number of listings since last year is up 40% – that’s almost double!  That’s a lot more competition and as the prices go up and the competition goes up that can make things more difficult to sell.  If we are flooded with new listings, we will quickly see a shift back to a buyers market and possible flat-line.

2.  How many pending sales are in motion?  Pending sales are an indicator of future sales and how the market will do in coming months.  The number of pending sales was on the decline towards the end of 2013 but they are back on the rise from January as we enter into the busier season.

Where do you think the real estate market will be at the end of 2014?  Need help navigating the real estate world?  Call us today 407-494-2820


Image credit:  “Darwin’s Shot” by Scott Robinson via Flickr and Creative Commons

April is historically the best month of the year to sell your home.  As you proceed through the process of selling your Orlando house; you’ve made the decision to sell, interviewed agents and asked the right questions, and determined which agent is right for the job.  Now we have reached the 4th and final part of the Selling Your Home Series and we must settle on a price.

Most of the time you will select a price at the time you hire the agent.  We bring all the facts and figures to our appointments so we can get things going as soon as possible.  Ultimately the listing price is up to you as the seller…it is your house after all.  But you are hiring an agent (hopefully us!) to guide you and get your home sold.

A HUGE part of whether or not your home will sell is determined by the price you choose.   As a Downtown Orlando real estate professional, I deal with pricing homes and negotiating offers on a daily basis.  I know what price will cause a home to sell and it may not always be the number you want to hear.  Don’t hire someone just because they tell you the price you want to hear.   As I stated before, hire the right agent for the job and listen to their advice and have them explain their analysis.

PriceitrightIf you overprice your home, it will sit on the market until you reduce the price.  Many sellers think buyers will just make an offer if they like it.  But the fact is, if they feel it is overpriced, they will look for something else.


Here’s an example:

Let’s say the agent suggest a price of $250,000 because the market range is between $230-$250k but your home has some features and we feel it could sell for the top of the market.  (Read more about how I price homes at the post titled The Art of Pricing a Home)

But you elect to price the house at $275,000.

That means you’re potentially 16% above the other houses for sale or that have recently sold in the area.  You have to ask yourself – if you were buying a home would you pay 16% more for the same type of house? 

*And a normal housing market appreciation is about 3-5% per year.  If you’re 16% overpriced, and you don’t want to reduce the price, you’ll likely be trying to sell for years.


Consider this; a marketing plan consists of 4 points, Product, Place, Promotion, and Price.   In real estate, Product and Place often times cannot be changed.  If you hire a good agent like me, promotion will be done properly!  BUT it’s up to you and the agent to determine the right price to get the home sold.

Spring is a great time of year to make a move.  Call us today to learn more about how we sell homes 407-494-2820!

At this point in the Selling Process (Our Selling Series) you have made the decision to sell your home, you have interviewed agents and are determining who you will list your home with.


Choosing an agent is one of the most important parts of the process.  This decision will determine which path you take to sell your home.  There are a few things to consider when selecting an agent:

4 Don’ts

  1. Don’t select an agent just because you are friends with them!
  2. Don’t select an agent just because they are your neighbor!
  3. Don’t select an agent because they promise to reduce their commission (If they are a full service agent you have to ask the questions…Are they going to do less work for me? And/or Do they not value their time and expertise?)
  4. Don’t select an agent because they tell you that your home is worth more than another agent!

4 Do’s

  1. Do hire an agent that has a marketing plan to sell your house.
  2. Do hire an agent that has a track record of selling homes similar to yours.
  3. Do hire an agent that has a history of getting top dollar. (Ask agents what percentage of the asking price they get for their sellers on average and how does that stack up to the “average” agent in the area)
  4. Do hire an agent that supports the market value they are suggesting for you with comparable home sales that are truly comparable AND that have actually sold.

You should select the agent that you feel is the best for the job and that can have a variety of meanings.  You want someone you will feel comfortable working with.  At the moment, the average time on the market in Orlando is 76 days.  Depending on your location it could take longer.  This is someone you should be in constant communication with; so you should feel comfortable with them as a person.  And you should also feel they have the market knowledge and a true marketing plan to sell your home effectively.

Don’t hire an agent just because they told you what you wanted to hear.  Not all agents are alike, pricing a Downtown Orlando home or determining market value is an art not a science.

Bottom Line – Find someone that knows the market well and has a strategy to sell your home, then you can work on pricing it right with their guidance!

We would love to interview for the job to sell your Orlando home.  Contact us today at 407-494-2820 

Image Credit:  Crazy parking Arrows by Roland Tanglao via Creative Commons

CapturerealestateanalysisPart 2 of the Selling Your Home Series is about choosing an agent.  So, you read last week’s post Part 1 and decided that now is the right time for you to sell your Orlando home.  Great news!  Now what?

Well your first step is to hire the right agent for the job.   If you are selling a home in Downtown Orlando, College Park, or Winter Park scroll to the bottom and fill out our form.  You found the right agent!

If you’re unsure of who might be the right agent for the job, look for signs in your neighborhood.  Is there any one agent that seems to dominate the area?  If you look at recent sales online in your area, is there one agent that has a large number of them?  That could lead you to someone who is highly knowledgeable about the area.  Knowledge and sales history doesn’t necessarily make that agent the best agent for you personally.  Get to know them and their business a little better by asking the questions below.  If you’re still torn visit next week for deciding between two agents that tell you different prices for your home!

10 Questions to Ask Your Realtor about Selling a House

1.  Are you a full-time professional real estate agent? How long have you worked full time in real estate? What professional designations do you have?

    • As with any profession, the number of years a person has been in the business does not necessarily reflect the level of service you can expect, but it is a good starting point for your discussion. The same issue can apply to professional designations. 

2.  Do you have a personal assistant, team or staff to handle different parts of the purchase? How will we communicate with you/them?

    • It is not uncommon for agents who are successful to have assistants or other team members.  You may want to know who on the team will take part in your transaction, and what role each person will play. If you have a question about fees on your closing statement, who would handle that? Who will show up to your closing?

3.  Who responds to emails and how quickly?

    • Again this establishes how you will communicate with your agent and how quickly you should expect a response from them.  A good agent should be able to respond to you by the end of the business day. 

4.  How will you keep in contact with me during the selling process, and how often?

    • It is important to understand how exactly you will be notified of activities/marketing/showings/etc.  We have a communication commitment that outlines exactly how we will communicate with our sellers.

5.  What is your average market time versus other agents’ average market time?

    • The time it takes to sell homes can indicate how well an agent is marketing – however keep in mind – some sellers choose a list price higher than the agent recommended and that can add length to the sales process.

6.  Will you give me names of past clients?

7.  What is your average list to sales price ratio? 

    • This number tells you how close to asking price the agent obtained for their sellers.  Our list to sales price ratio was a little over 100% in 2012 and 2013.  The average in Orlando is about 96%.

8.  How will you get paid? What other costs might we incur?

    • In Florida the seller pays the entire sales commissions. Sometimes, brokerage offices will have other small fees, such as administrative or special service fees, that are charged to clients, regardless of whether they are buying or selling. Ask for an estimate of costs from any agent you contemplate employing.

9.  How would you develop pricing strategies for our home? 

    • Although location and condition affect the selling process, price is the primary factor in determining if a home sells quickly, or at all.  Ask your agent how they created the market analysis, and whether your agent included For Sale by Owner homes, foreclosed homes and bank-owned sales in that list.

10.  What will you do to sell my home? Who determines where and when my home is marketed/ promoted? Who pays for your advertising? 

    • Your agent should have a marketing plan.  If they do not – then they do not have a clear picture of how/who to market your home.  We have a Custom Marketing plan for each listing in which we target the most likely buyer for your property and gear the external marketing around this profile.

Get Started selling today with our team! Call 407-494-2820 or complete the form below.

Spring and Summer are always very busy months for the real estate industry in Orlando and across the country.  It is the perfect time of year for people to make a move when they have time off for vacation or school.  As we head into the busy season, I want to give you some tips for selling a home in Orlando.  Even if you are not planning to sell this year, these tips always ring true.

spring image

Part 1 of the Selling Your Home Series is learning when the time is right to sell.  There is no magic time to sell your home.  Some would argue that Spring and Summer are the best because there are lots of buyers in the market; while others would argue Fall or Winter are excellent times to sell because there is less competition from other sellers.  The most important thing to think about is Why do you Need or Want to Sell?

The market has improved quite a bit in 2013 (almost 19% in the Orlando area from Feb. 2013 to Feb. 2014) and certainly is on the way back up from the low point in 2009.  However, just because the market is turning doesn’t mean it is the right time for You.   There are many opportunities for sellers in this market, but be sure you really need to sell before you spin your wheels.  If you just want to test the market that is going to be a large waste of your time and energy.  Selling your home (when done properly and actually getting is sold) is not an easy task.  As your biggest investment, it should not be taken lightly when the time comes to sell.  Be serious and prepare for the sale or don’t list the home at all.

Good Reasons to Sell:

Relocating for Work

  • If you are relocating for work and do not have any ties to the area, then it probably is a good idea to just sell and move on to the next place.  You could possibly rent but that might not make sense if you have no intentions of being in the area again in the future.

Need a Larger Home or Prefer to Downsize

  • If you are considering selling to buy something larger – well that is a good plan at the moment!  The market has improved and is headed up, so if you’re buying a larger home that will be more expensive then it makes sense to sell and buy up now.  The larger homes will get pricier as the year goes on along with interest rates.  Get your current home sold now and buy a new place while the market and rates are still affordable.

Bad Reasons for Selling

You have heard the market has improved and want to get out while you can.

  • To this I say, consider what the alternatives are.  Rental prices are very high right now as well.  If you are considering selling in order to rent – that probably doesn’t make sense.  It is still cheaper to buy in a lot of cases, so as long as your mortgage payment is less than the rental price you would pay for a similar home – it might not make sense to sell.  Check out this buy versus rent calculator to see if it makes sense to buy after you sell.

Relocating and You are Under Water.

  • The rules for short sales have drastically changed.  There has to be a legitimate distress in your life to qualify for a short sale.  If you are under water and need to move for work, consider leasing your property until you have the proper equity.  If you can rent the property and cover your expenses or make some money then that is the obvious choice for now.  Revisit selling in another year or so.  If the market continues to increase, you could gain another 4-5% in equity which could put you into a selling position.

All in all it is a very personal decision and being that it is most likely your largest investment, consider all the facts and alternatives before you list.  Learn what the market value is (not through an online estimate!), discuss with your financial planner, and talk about tax implications with your CPA.  The first step is learning the true price you can expect to earn for your home, contact us today to find out and get started on your search for a new home!

ImagePart of the American Dream is about home ownership.  It is about earning a level of success and prosperity that affords you the opportunity to own your own piece of land and plant roots.  Or in the case of Downtown Orlando homes, own the perfect little bungalow with white picket fence!  The market downturn in the mid 2000s really hurt the American Dream.  Many people had to short sale their homes or lost them to foreclosure due to economic circumstances that no one predicted.  As we enter 2014 we are finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.

So now that we’re a few weeks into the New Year, let’s reflect back on 2013 and look forward to the future of home ownership in Orlando.  The year 2013 was the year of the comeback.   The Orlando real estate market has actually been gradually going up for 3 years.  It’s been on the way up since the market low in January of 2011 when the median price hit a rock bottom $94,900; but in 2013 the good word finally made the national news!    The news sparked consumer confidence and the market improved even more.

In fact, the market is up almost 24% since last year!  That’s a huge improvement.  But here’s where people get a little greedy.  Everyone wants to get the most money possible for their home; but the longer you wait the more likely you are to miss the window of opportunity to sell your Orlando home quickly and possibly get multiple offers.  The market is always shifting.  Most of the time the shifts aren’t as sweeping as the “great recession” but it always cycles up and down.  As we move further into the New Year with rising interest rates and more homeowners with equity to sell, the market will shift again.  My thoughts are that it will probably level off a little and be a pretty healthy market in 2014; but a 20% increase in value year to year cannot be sustained…as we learned just a few years ago.

As far as I can tell home ownership is still at the heart of all Americans hopes and dreams.  And although prices are rising, if the home affordability index stays above 100% or more, the buyers will still be buying for a little while longer!  (*It currently is at 176%!)

So if you need or want to sell your house this year, think about the timing and what is right for your needs and goals.  Interested in selling your Orlando home or buying while the interest rates are affordable?  Contact me today by completing the form below.   Don’t forget to download my app and enter to win $50,000!    

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