I thought that was a good question. I am sure the public reads the articles, watches the newscasts and listens to the radio. Sales of real estate are up, no - wait they're down, the bubble has burst, new home sales are down but they're up in the east due to warm weather. Everyone in the housing industry or some government pooh bah has an opinion. Quite frankly, I'm sick of hearing from them because they have no clue as to the reality.
Here's the bottom line!
As I write this column at 8:10 p.m. on Monday, March 27, 2006, there are SEVEN HUNDRED, THIRTEEN condos, villas or townhomes for sale from Harrison Ave. in Belleair Beach north through Sand Key, Clearwater Beach and Island Estates. There are actually more than that since I did not include Belleair Beach and points south. So you tell me, what is reality? The reality is that it's a buyer's market. Another reality of this housing market is that the days of For Sale By Owners (FSBO) and one or two percent commissions and outrageous profits are over for awhile.
Please be assured I am not trying to drum up business, I am only telling the facts (reality) of the real estate market in our area. If your dwelling is overpriced and you are offering a minimal commission, you will still own this property six months from now. If you are a For Sale By Owner, you are in steep competition with the 713 plus properties in the MLS. By that I mean, even though you may be priced right, the traffic to your property is going to be substantially less because realtors are informing a majority of the buyers as to what is available.
The other day I was informed of a closing that was taking place in south Pinellas County where the seller was offering 8 percent commission, 3 percent to the listing agent and 5 percent to the selling agent. The property sold in 11 days. I'm not saying you need to pay 8 percent, but the seller probably figures the cost over the next six months and wanted to sell. That's a pretty savvy seller.
P.S. I just received these figures from the tax collector and thought I'd pass them along. For the year 2004, the real estate taxes billed to property owners in Pinellas County was $1,220,035,276 (Billion) and for 2005 it was $1,410,012,541 (Billion). On your back, the County reaped an additional $190,000,000. ONE HUNDRED, NINETY MILLION! Where is it going?
Ric Cornelius is the Broker/Manager of Sand Key Realty Sales and Rentals, Inc. Sand Key Realty has three offices with 40 agents. One office is at 740 S. Gulfview Blvd., Clearwater Beach, 727-443-0032; the second office is at 2701 Gulf Blvd., Indian Rocks Beach, 727-595-5441; and the third office is at 309 Belleview Blvd., Belleair, 727-461-4200.
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