Options abound in red-hot Southwest Florida housing market – Naples Florida Weekly

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COURTESY PHOTO

COURTESY PHOTO

In Southwest Florida, there are more homes available to purchase now than there have been in nearly four years. Inventory may be sky-high, but this is certainly the calm before the storm.

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Buy/sell, rent/lease residential &
commercials real estate properties.

It’s clear to anybody that the last three years have been a whirlwind. Since COVID-19 began and Hurricane Ian left its mark on Southwest Florida, the local housing inventory has skyrocketed.

In Southwest Florida, a sizable number of property owners continue to reel from the impacts of the historic storm, with damage still in need of repairs 14 months later. One client was ready to sell his beachfront condo, but it still does not have air conditioning. Repairing an AC unit is not something that a new buyer expects, so I advised my client to delay the sale.

Even as we wait for further storm repairs, though, the local housing inventory is growing, creating an ideal buyer’s market.

The time to buy

This is absolutely the moment to buy. With snowbird season kicking in, the high inventory we’re currently seeing won’t last long. With higher supply and lower demand, prices adjust downward, creating better deals for house hunters. Take advantage of the opportunity to buy a home at a lower rate before the high inventory trickles away.

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OSBORNE

Savvy shoppers are taking notice. The week before Thanksgiving — typically a slower time in our business — I had daily showings as prospective buyers try to get ahead of the high-traffic period that arrives each January.

Builders are also aware of this pattern. As they try to increase their numbers for the end of the year, builders are stepping up with aggressive incentives for buyers, such as interest rate buydowns for new construction, which is when the seller covers a portion of the buyer’s interest. Other incentives include adding luxury items, such as an outdoor hot tub, at no additional cost.

Once season kicks into gear, I foresee both the attractive incentives and the high inventory rate dropping.

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Determine a plan

To efficiently sell your home, you need to strategize. Selling is not as simple as putting your house up for sale and waiting for buyers to show up. The days of houses selling after only 24 hours on the market are long gone, and we’re seeing more frequently that homes can spend upwards of 120 days (three to four months) on the market.

Selling your house includes putting in the extra work. Market your home, host open houses, tell your neighbors, and hire a real estate agent who will spend those extra dollars on advertising to make your home marketable. With a plan of action and a bit of extra dedication, finding the perfect buyer can be made easier.

Today’s buyers are on the hunt for a “toothbrush and toothpaste” ready home. In other words, these buyers want to be able to purchase a home and show up with just their toothbrush and toothpaste, ready to get their feet in the door, clothes in the closet and photos on the walls.

To make this possible for your buyers, consider any repairs that your home needs. Take the time to touch up the paint on your walls, replace any torn screens on your patio, spruce up your home’s landscaping, revamp your bathroom and update any outdated kitchen appliances. Rather than leaving more work for your buyers, take the initiative to attract them with an updated home.

My advice to anybody looking to sell now — wait a bit and use the extra time to make updates to your home. Once season fully arrives and snowbirds are back in full swing, demand will increase, making it the perfect market to sell your home. An increase in activity means more buyers, which means more opportunities to show your house.

More properties, more opportunities

Be patient. As the years go by and more newfound Floridians join us (just as the 700,000 new residents since 2020 have), there will certainly be an increase in opportunities to own a piece of paradise.

The U.S. Census Bureau predicts that the population of the Naples-Marco Island metro area will nearly double over the next 35 years. If searching for your own perfect piece of paradise, now is the time to take action. ¦

— Aprile Osborne, Call It Closed International Realty co-founder, has been a licensed agent in Southwest Florida for almost 20 years. Naples-based Call It Closed International Realty currently operates in 16 states. Visit aprileosborne.callitclosed.com.

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