Archive for the ‘Orlando Sellers’ Category


Homes Sales Up in Almost Every Price Range

June 15, 2015


The National Association of Realtors’ most recent Existing Home Sales Report revealed that home sales were up rather dramatically over last year in five of the six price ranges they measure. Only those homes priced under $100,000 showed a decline (-10.1%). The decline in this price range points to the lower inventory of distressed properties available for sale and speaks to the strength of the market. Every other category showed a minimum increase of at least 9%, with sales in the $250,000- $500,000 range up 21.2%!
Here is the breakdown:

Sales-Up-STMWhat does that mean to you if you are selling?
Houses are definitely selling. If your house has been on the market for any length of time and has not yet sold, perhaps it is time to sit with your agent and see if it is priced appropriately to compete in today’s market.


Holy cow – there are no homes to sell…

January 30, 2013

house sideways

Things have gotten a wee bit strange in real estate recently. There are simply too few homes for sale. I have buyers…lots of buyers actually but there is an absolutely nothing to show them. If you want a home in the $200,000 to $350,000 price range in a good area of Orlando then you had better be prepared to look a long time and jump on something the minute it becomes available. I’m seeing multiple offers on homes listed and anxious agents who want contracts signed before it is too late. There is definitely a sense of urgency in the Orlando real estate marketplace.

What does this mean? The economy is affecting homes listed for sale as potential sellers fear they won’t obtain fair market value for their home. The majority of homes for sale in Orlando remain short sales or foreclosures. We need to see the inventory of distress sales dwindle and more normal market conditions return.

What is normal? Who knows? But this certainly isn’t it.


What’s happening in Orlando real estate?

July 1, 2012

What an interesting time in real estate. Homes ARE selling and I have had a great year to date. I’m grateful for that. But there is a lot of work to be done. In what direction are we moving as a nation?

The majority of homes sold are still distress sales. Homes that are NOT distressed (in foreclosure or short sale) are selling fast and furious. These homes are generally well cared for and the Seller can make a decision quickly. People are tired of waiting on banks and on being required to accept homes in shabby condition or AS IS without regard to repairs. I truly believe that buyers want to work with homes that they KNOW are well-maintained and show pride of ownership.

So who is buying distressed properties? Mostly investors with a lot of cash. Are we turning into a society of renters? Time will tell. I can tell you that there are a lot of people looking for rental homes. I probably get five to ten calls per day of someone looking for a rental house.

I am happy for the uptick in home sales but I will be happier when we see loans easier to obtain (even qualified buyers are unduly pressured during the loan process), appraisers realizing that the market is getting stronger and buyers not afraid to make decisions. WE NEED TO MOVE TOWARD A COUNTRY OF CONFIDENT CITIZENS.

I love our country as we approach this July 4th holiday and I pray that we will see our nation move in a positive direction with everyone working to the better good of our nation. May it be so.


Looks matter…

May 7, 2011

I am preparing to sell my parent’s villa-style retirement home and I am getting ready to set the “stage” with color, light and stunning furniture & accessories. All this for a home that will sell under $200K. But I know in doing so – I’ll sell it faster than my competitors.

Why do I do this? Because in today’s real estate world – looks matter. They matter more than ever. I have noticed that you can show buyers great values but if the homes are ugly, dirty, smelly or just not exciting, then they won’t sell. Buyers want something pretty and they don’t want to do anything to make it pretty. They are looking for inherited pretty.

I recently had someone submit a contract on one of my listings where they asked for ALL the furniture and accessories in the home to be included in the purchase price. While this may be extreme, it further validates my belief that a visually stunning home will sell faster than a home without decorating. Buyers want it all.

There will always be investors looking for great buys. But investors are now buying dumps and turning them into show homes with staged furniture. It’s more common than ever and a smart move for savvy sellers. Have you noticed that even foreclosed homes are now getting a facelift and banks are reaping the benefit with higher sales prices?

So for anyone who wants to improve their chances of getting a home sold? Call in a decorator and get that home in show shape. It makes a difference.


Generational real estate selling and other minsinformation.

April 28, 2011

We live in a time when people want quick answers and quick resolutions to all their questions. How many times a day do you see articles with “Five ways to Happiness” or “Seven steps to selling your home”? Here’s a fact: there aren’t any quick or fast steps to doing anything. It’s just the use of a catch phrase to get your attention. Imagine how great life would be if we could solve things in three easy steps? It just not that simple.

One of the main things I see is that realtors are being misled to believe that their clients are now internet social butterflies and that so much business is done via the web. This is simply not true. While more than 80% may look on the web for a home; the majority of individuals still rely on word-of-mouth or personal relationships to find a realtor to assist them. For instance, a recent fact published by the American Affluence Research Center reflects that only 12.5% of affluent clients even use social media. That’s not very good odds for those seeking to attract the luxury market via the web, through Facebook or other social networking venues.

The other common mistake I see in today’s real estate world is labeling clients. Of course, you know about “boomers” but now we have the newest which is the Millenial generation. The Millenial Generation was born between 1977 and 1998 and has approximately 75 million members. REALTORS are being led to believe that this age group is the next big wave of buyers. Let me assure you – I don’t see this happening. Why? Because I personally have millenials (with college degrees) living under my roof and they can’t find jobs that pay enough to afford a home. Fact: College degrees don’t guarantee a high-paying job thereby making home ownership affordable. I have friends who also have children who graduated college, who are hard-working and driven BUT who are also waiting tables and working part-time at corporations just to get an opportunity for full-time employment. Where do they live? At home with their parents! In addition, many of my friends have not only their grown children living at home but also their parents. These are the people who are helping to support the Millenials. I wish more people would write about that fact.

Millenials and Gen “X” and “Y” are watching the world economy in turmoil and they are scared for their future. I’m not sure they see the value in home ownership and they may just wait it out for a few years and see how the United States government (and lending instituions) respond to our economic crisis.

What is factual? At the end of the day it is still about relationships. Get out from behind your computer and meet people. Stay in touch with friends and former clients. While I personally have a blog, Facebook page and I tweet like a maniac, I do so for fun. I don’t expect business to boom because I do all my social networking. People will buy homes because they need a place to live. But as for me – know any investors or better yet – let’s do lunch?


Buyer/Seller Logjam

October 1, 2007

In a recent article by Diane Hyman, she states that “Home Buyers are less willing to Compromise in Today’s Market.” She goes on to state that Sellers should drop their prices and be realistic. While I agree with her in principle, I don’t think all the blame can be placed at the seller’s feet.In today’s market I am weary of everyone blaming the market on the seller’s unwillingness to compromise. Recently, I had a home listed for $699,000 and it was at or below “fair market value”. One buyer insisted on repeatedly offering $600,000 for this home. The home was beautiful, in model home condition, great location, and well -priced but the buyer felt that the sellers should accept his ridiculously low offer. I now find myself telling buyers, “I do not think is the right home for you”. This was done after obviously consulting the sellers who were outraged at the offer.

All too often sellers are expected to price their homes at below-market prices, and buyers still insist on offering thousands of dollars less than list price. In Orlando real estate, the average home sells within 95% of list price. I am not sure who has informed buyers that this statistic has changed and the sellers will accept ridiculously low-ball offers. It rarely happens.

Most Sellers are not hardship cases. Most Sellers can afford to wait till the market turns. Most Sellers are willing to compromise but not to extremes. It is time for everyone in the real estate world to start acting like adults and quit trying to take advantage. For the record, many banks will no longer accept short-sales and will complete foreclosure to maximize their profit. Times sure have changed.

I look forward to the day when we all treat each other with respect, courtesy and fair-mindedness. It’s time to quit taking advantage and become people who are responsible buyers and sellers of real estate. The market is great. Home prices are the lowest they have been in years and great deals are out there. I can only hope that we can return to a time where reasonable offers are tendered and everyone works to the better good of all parties.


What’s In A Name?

September 14, 2007



by Linda Hutchinson

Florida Today reports that people sometimes make home selections based upon the names of the streets. Flowers are popular while street names like “Soggy Bottom” are not highly regarded. The article found here notes the real importance of street names in a variety of arenas, including ease of access for the fire and police departments as well as plain likability. This article is so dead on…and I don’t mean dead end. I have had a lot of buyers who would not live on certain streets because they didn’t like the name. One client thought Harmony Lane was just too cute. I also had a customer who would only buy a house where the house numbers totaled seven. Fortunately, I found her a house with the numbers 421 and she bought it! You never know what will help a home sell but names (and numbers) do make a difference!



Photography – What You Need to Know to Sell Your Home!

September 12, 2007

by Linda Hutchinson

Home photography makes a great difference when it comes to attracting buyers to your home. For the record, Sotheby’s research reflects that buyers require a minimum of six photos to hold their interest as they view homes over the internet. With over 80% of the public starting their home search online, it’s important that home photography be of the highest quality with multiple photos of the home available to internet users. It’s a whole new world out there in real estate sales! Great tips on home photography here.


Sinkholes, Sharks, & Alligators… Welcome to Florida

September 12, 2007

by Linda Hutchinson

Right next to sinkholes is the fear of sharks and alligators in Florida. The reality is that sinkholes don’t happen that often, sharks rarely attack our swimmers and alligators are afraid of humans. But for some reason, one of the first things that new residents ask is “have you seen a live alligator”? For the record, I have. It lives in the lake behind my house. We tend to have a mutual admiration relationship and we keep our distance. He does not come up to the back door nor does he come into the yard. I just see him floating in the lake from time to time to remind me that wildlife in nature still exists just as God intended!


Barking Dog Ordinance?

September 11, 2007

by Linda Hutchinson

The city of Mount Dora is considering a change in their noise ordinance regarding barking dogs and the disturbance they create. (The full story can be found here)


I can honestly say that, as the owner of three dogs, I love dogs more than most people. But I will also tell you that incessant yapping by a neighbor’s dog is absolutely one of the most irritating sounds (right next to the noise emitted by car boom boxes). It is a shame that we can trust our neighbors to keep their dogs under control and we have to enact laws to make it so. For the record, a dog that barks can “kill” the sale of a home. No one wants to live next to that kind of noise.