Posts Tagged ‘orlando home sales’


The Art of Real Estate (or any type of) Negotiation

March 19, 2013

In my mind, a successful negotiation is not where one side has pulverized the other. You don’t “win” a negotiation; you get the best possible outcome for your clients while doing the least harm. No one should leave a negotiation angry. After all, you never know when you might have to negotiate with the same people again.  When it comes to negotiating on behalf of my clients, I keep the following in mind:


Set the stage: I like a location that’s quiet, neutral, pleasant, and away from distractions and confusion.  It’s best if everyone turns off their devices, and refrains from calls or texts during negotiations.


Be prepared: I never enter without my homework. I verify any outstanding facts before the negotiation begins. (Later fact-finding can cause a negotiation to bog down!)


Present a united front: I represent clients and have been hired to act on their wishes. At times I may not agree with their position, but I never share that with the other side. If I feel a client’s position is less than optimal, I only discuss it with them in private


Leave attitudes at the door: It’s very simple… treat everyone in the negotiation with respect, regardless of personal opinions. If anyone disagrees, disagree with the idea, not the person.


Watch non-verbal cues and body language: (Sorry, but I can’t reveal all of my secrets here… suffice it to say I take it all in!)


Hold something in reserve: I discuss concessions with my clients beforehand and only offer these concessions when we absolutely need to concede something.


I don’t harp about points that don’t matter to my clients: Negotiations should never choke over a minor point.  I like to get agreement on major points such as price and terms and put lesser items aside to return to later.


Never volunteer too much information: Knowledge is power in a negotiation. Telling the other side any information, however insignificant seeming, could weaken my clients’ position. On the other hand, I learn as much about the other side as I can.


If you ever need someone on your side in a real estate negotiation, feel free to contact me directly: 407-925-7721 (Cell or Text) or


Orlando Real Estate Update

September 1, 2011

My Mom always said…if you don’t have something nice to say – don’t say it. So I have been quiet for a while about the condition of the real estate market in Central Florida. I thought I would update you as we enter the final part of 2011.

Things are pretty rough and that is putting it mildly. I know everyone says we should be positive and optimistic and believe me…I am. But the realities are that (a) we have the lowest number of homes available in recent history for sale with so many of them short sales (b) lenders are still making it very difficult to obtain loans and (c) when you do get an offer on a home – appraisers have become the enemy. The low-ball appraisals are causing the cancellation of many contracts.

It’s hard times. In fact, in some areas of Central Florida…I see home prices rolled back to 1980’s price range and can’t believe it. This is the LOWEST price for listed home that I have seen in some time. That says something.

What does this mean to you? If you have CASH and want to buy – there will probably NEVER be a better time to pick up some bargains. Buy now at the LOW point and lease out your properties…it’s a wise move. For those of you who own your home free and clear – HOLD A MORTGAGE. This is a no-brainer. Sell your home with OWNER FINANCING and you will realize a higher return on your property with a 7% mortgage than putting it a volatile stock market. Take a reasonable but good sized down payment and hold the balance on a seven year balloon. You will watch your money and investment grow.

When will things change? No one knows. But I don’t look for things to get better in the immediate future. However, the wise investor or buyer knows that NOW is the time to buy and that’s good news.


Orlando Home Sale Statistics

June 11, 2009

I have some new statistics to share with all of you and they are pretty shocking when you consider the luxury market conditions and the number of home available for sale.

I would also like to say that I am so grateful to the many sellers out there that have confidence in my marketing program. I believe that the combination of a personalized marketing plan and Stirling Sotheby’s International Realty brand is a great team and we really try to do our best. I constantly try to look for new and creative marketing ideas to get my listings sold.

The May, 2009 update sums up the market quite well — only 1,055 homes sold in ORANGE COUNTY, Florida. This is a shocking number! 69% of the homes sold were sold for $200,000 or under. When you increase the sales price to $300,000 that accounts for 88% of all homes sold in Orange County, Florida. Over $1M luxury market is at .076% – in other word, almost non-existent with a mere 9 sales and a few of them short sales. One Winter Park estate home was original listed at $2.5M and sold for $1.4M.

Where do we go from here? We stay the course. In 23 years I have never seen market conditions like we are currently experiencing. We have a shortage of lenders willing and able to loan money unless the loan is backed by FHA. This explains why the average sales price for a home in Orlando right now is $130,000.

If your home is vacant, consider leasing at this time. At least it will cover some of your carrying cost until our elected leadership can figure out how to stimulate the economy and increase consumer confidence. As the housing market improves – so will the American economy.

For additional details on your neighborhood – call Linda at 407-898-9090 or my cell at 407-925-7721.  I am very excited to be busy and I still work hard to increase transactions in this difficult market.


Orlando housing market – Surge in sales of lower-priced homes indicate a healing housing market

May 11, 2009












(May 11, 2009 – Orlando, FL)

Members of the Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association in April sold nearly seven times more homes in the lower-price range categories than in the upper categories, which according to economists is typical of a rebounding market.

“Orlando’s housing market appears to be following a recognized healing pattern — from the bottom up — as evidenced by the greater number of sales in the lower-price categories,” explains ORRA President Les Simmonds, L.G. Simmonds Real Estate Corp. ”For example 75 percent of homes sold in April were purchased for less than $200,000, while 10 percent sold for more than $300,000. And, we expect the ratio of sales of lower-priced homes to increase exponentially as more and more first-time homebuyers seek to take advantage of the $8,000 federal tax credit.”

Sales activity in the lower-price categories gradually stimulates sales in other categories as sellers who want to become trade-up buyers are able to sell their current homes.

Forward-looking factors also indicate an improving market: REALTORS® filed 3,412 new contracts in the month of April, nearly double than the number of contracts that were filed in April 2008 (2,012), and are awaiting the closing of a record 5,818 pending sales. There were 103.90 percent more homes under contract last month than in April 2008 (2,853).

The 1,741 completed closings in April is a 41.43 percent increase compared to April 2008 (1,231) and a 0.74 percent decrease compared to last month (1,754). Year to date, there have been 42.58 percent more sales than by this time last year (5,867 to 4,115).

The median price of all Orlando homes sold in April ($132,900) decreased by 37.01 percent compared to April 2008 while the area’s average interest rate increased to 4.86 percent, up from last month’s record low of 4.67 percent.

Of the 1,741 sales in April, 49.68 percent of the homes were either bank-owned (733) or distressed (132). The median price of the bank-owned homes sold in April was $89,900, while the median price of distressed homes was $146,000. The median price for the “normal” homes (876) sold in April was $161,245.

The area’s affordability index continues to nudge the 200 percent mark, 194.01 percent to be exact. (An affordability index of 99 percent means that buyers earning the state-reported median income are 1 percent short of the income necessary to purchase a median-priced home. Conversely, an affordability index that is over 100 means that median-income earners make more than is necessary to qualify for a median-priced home.) Buyers who earn the reported median income of $52,307 can qualify to purchase one of 11,233 homes in Orange and Seminole counties currently listed in the local multiple listing service (MLS) for $257,840 or less.

The first-time homebuyer affordability in Orlando is currently 137.96 percent. First-time buyers who earn the reported median income of $35,569 can qualify to purchase one of 7,027 homes in Orange and Seminole counties currently listed in the local multiple listing service (MLS) for $155,850 or less.

Homes of all types spent an average of 104 days on the market before being sold in April 2009, and the average home sold for 93.14 percent of its listing. In April 2008 those numbers were 120 and 93.18 percent, respectively.

The majority of single-family homes (153) that changed hands in April 2009 were sold in the $200,000 – $250,000 price range. Eight hundred eighty-seven homes sold for less than $200,000 in April, and 159 sold for more than $300,000. On the far ends of the scale, 12 homes were sold for $1 million or more while 102 homes sold for less than $50,000.


There are currently 20,194 homes available for purchase through the MLS. Inventory decreased by 1,254 homes from March 2009, which means that 1,254 more homes left the market than entered the market. Compared to last year, the April 2009 inventory level is 20.60 percent lower than it was in April 2008 (25,436).

The inventory level reflects an 11.60-month supply at the current pace of sales, which is down from the 12.23-month supply recorded in March 2009 and equal to the pace during the last quarter of 2006. Altogether, inventory months-of-supply has declined 5.15 percent since January 2009.

There are 14,472 single-family homes currently listed in the MLS, a number that is 4,579 (24.04 percent) less than this time last year. As usual, most (1,755) are listed in the $200,000 – $250,000 price range. Condos currently make up 3,928 offerings in the MLS, while duplexes/town homes/villas make up the remaining 1,794. Most condos (622) are priced below $50,000; the majority of duplexes/town homes/villas (273) are listed in the $120,000 – $140,000 price category.

Condos and Town Homes/Duplexes/Villas

The sales of condos in the Orlando area have increased by 167.52 percent (down from last month’s massive increase of 252.22 percent). A total of 313 condos changed hands in April of this year compared to 117 in April 2008. Nine hundred eighty-three condos have sold to date this year, a 138.01 percent increase over last year’s 413.

The most (148) condos in a single price category that changed hands were in the $1 – $50,000 price range, again nearly three times the number (49) that were sold in the next most populated category ($50,000 – $60,000).
Orlando homebuyers purchased 148 duplexes, town homes, and villas in April 2009, which is a 23.33 percent increase from April 2008 when 120 of these alternative housing types were purchased. The majority (29) of duplexes, town homes, and villas sold in April 2009 fell into the $100,000 – $120,000 price category.

MSA Numbers

Sales of existing homes within the Orlando MSA (Lake, Orange, Osceola, and Seminole counties) in April were up by 48.26 percent when compared to April of last year. Throughout the entire MSA, 2,178 homes were sold in April 2009 compared with 1,469 in April 2008.

Each county’s year-to-date sales comparisons are as follows:

Lake: 24.67 percent above 2008 (1,142 homes sold to date in 2009 compared to 916 in 2008);
Orange: 64.37 percent above 2008 (3,889 homes sold to date in 2009 compared to 2,366 in 2008);
Osceola: 105.54 percent above 2008 (1,410 homes sold to date in 2009 compared to 686 in 2008); and
Seminole: 6.74 percent above 2008 (1,030 sold to date in 2009 compared to 965 in 2008).

For detailed statistical reports, please visit and click on Housing Statistics on the top menu bar. This representation is based in whole or in part on data supplied by the Orlando Regional Realtor® Association or its Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Neither the Association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy. Data maintained by the Association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market. Due to late closings, an adjustment is necessary to record those closings posted after our reporting date.

ORRA Realtor® sales, referred to as the core market, represent all sales by members of the Orlando Regional Realtor® Association, not necessarily those sales strictly in Orange and Seminole counties. Note that statistics released each month may be revised in the future as new data is received.

Orlando MSA numbers reflect sales of homes located in Orange, Seminole, Osceola, and Lake counties by members of any Realtor® association, not just members of ORRA.

Statistics on the sales of area homes that are sold without the assistance of a Realtor® are available in the Real Estate Index, a report produced jointly by ORRA and the Real Estate Attorney’s Fund.

Copyright © 2009 Orlando Regional Realtor® Association.
All rights reserved.


Real Estate Problem Solving

March 17, 2009

Market conditions seem to be getting dicey to say the least. What do I see on the streets? Here’s a summary of Orlando real estate sales (from my personal observations):

  1. If you are priced at $200,000 to $250,000 you should get a buyer. Why? Because most loans being written are FHA backed and accessible.
  2. Which brings me to my second point – WE NEED RESPONSIBLE MORTGAGE LENDING TO RESUME. Not really a strange concept but banks appear to be retreating from the real estate battlefield and have gone AWOL. Without loans, you can’t sell houses – it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this one out.
  3. Buyers need to realize current market conditions (buyer’s market) are not going to last FOREVER. If I had a nickel for every time I have heard someone say “I’m waiting for the bottom” then I would be Trump-style rich.
  4. High end market is seeing some backlash with the main focus being on declining home values.
  5. We need to quit giving money to AIG for bonuses to their lame executives and give it to people who want to buy a home. Did I mention that it is ridiculously difficult to get a home loan right now?
  6. Buyers are unreasonable, Sellers are frustrated and REALTORS are trying to hold it all together for the better good of the public. Really!

Will our market improve? Absolutely. When? When the banks and Congress come together to loosen the control on the mortgage loan markets.



It’s time to quit retreating and advance the cause of home ownership.


REALTORS – worth their weight in SOLD?

January 29, 2009








These are great times for real estate agents…it is FINALLY our chance to show what true professionals can accomplish for clients under the most trying circumstances.

The numbers of Orlando REALTORS who are still working (successfully) in our profession continue to diminish hourly. This is not necessarily a bad thing. We are left with the agents who are prepared to move forward utilizing the most innovative tools and relying on outstanding experience to get homes sold.

I am proud to be a part of this group. I feel change and I think it will be good news for all people who want to see real estate rebound. Will it be the craziness of 2005? No. But will it be fair market value and a sense of order and civility. Absolutely.


Do you see what I see – Stirling Sotheby’s International Realty sales

November 25, 2008

sotheby's real estate by TheTruthAbout....



As a member of Stirling Sotheby’s International Realty…I see good thing ahead. Just as most recessions start with the decline in real estate values…the RISE in the economy will be ushered in with a resurgence of real estate values. At Stirling Sotheby’s International Realty, we are poised to grow and become a serious force in the coming market.


The following is a recent press release from SSIR:


Stirling Sotheby’s International Realty Plans to Expand through Acquiring Central Florida Realty Companies, Anticipates Major Expansion as Central Florida Real Estate Market Recovers in 2009

Posted in July 28th, 2008


ORLANDO, Fla. Stirling Sotheby’s International Realty (,) which operates internationally through its world marketing center – the Global Gallery, expects the real estate market to recover in 2009 and is planning to acquire several Central Florida real estate companies this year as part of an expansion strategy.


Roger Soderstrom, founder and owner of Stirling Sotheby’s International, said offices in Heathrow, Winter Park, Downtown Orlando, Windermere/Dr. Phillips, Clermont and its world marketing center, the Global Gallery – a high tech, $4.5 million real estate showcase Soderstrom launched in mid-2007 in the 16th floor penthouse suites of The Plaza in downtown Orlando – can easily accommodate more than 150 new associates.


And, Soderstrom said, Stirling Sotheby’s is well positioned to take advantage of today’s global real estate market.


“The Sotheby’s International Realty brand ( is one of the most recognizable luxury real estate names in the world,” Soderstrom said.


“We launched our world marketing center, the Global Gallery (,) to expand our global outreach to luxury home buyers and buyers of unique properties, and we have extended our services to include new home communities and distinctive resort properties locally, nationally and internationally,” he added.


Soderstrom said he plans to be highly selective and isn’t looking to acquire distressed real estate companies or disgruntled real estate agents.


“We have exceptionally high standards, a sophisticated marketing program that has garnered national acclaim, a comprehensive training program that fully integrates all of our technology and the resources to acquire real estate enterprises that will fit our style and our standards,” Soderstrom said.


“All of our efforts so far have been aimed at becoming the best real estate agency in Central Florida,” Soderstrom said. “We expect the market to improve dramatically in 2009, and we are preparing for it,” he said.