While inventory in Fort Lauderdale and much of South Florida remains low, some reports indicate that more bank-owned properties may go on the market sometime after Labor Day, so selling now could give homeowners that extra edge. Highly coveted for its location, prestige and breathtaking seaside views, Fort Lauderdale Real Estate market is attracting a new influx of homebuyers - many with reinvigorated buying power. Experts say reord-low mortgage rates and a shift in buyer confidence is likely at the root of it all. A shrinking inventory of residential listings, due in part to last year's healthy sales pace, is creating a higher demand, boosting prices and helping sellers. Also, banks have been slow to market properties tied up in the foreclosure process. According to a recent South Florida Sun-Sentinel article, Broward County currently has 10,682 home and condos for sale, but only 700 are foreclosures (6%). Last year, the number of foreclosures on the market was nearly twice that amount. In Florida, the foreclosure process takes an average of 861 days to complete - one of the longest timeframes in the country. "Inventory is down to extremely low levels while pending sales are on the rise - almost 38 percent for single-family homes and 25 percent for townhouses and condos. It is not unusual to see multiple offers," stated 2012 Florida Realtors® President Summer Greene. When there is limited inventory, buyers tend to compete, yielding offers higher than the asking price. If a buyer moves to slow on the draw or concentrates too much on paying the lowest possible price, he or she risks losing out to buyers with stronger, quicker offers containing fewer contingencies. While competitive bidding isn't creating major price increases, such as those experienced during the housing boom, experts say the presence of bidding wars amid tight inventory is a sign the housing demand is truly starting to pick itself back up following a six-year long slump. "Here in Florida, we're seeing some strong numbers that show positive momentum for the state's housing recovery and for our economy," Greene noted. "Overall, we are happy to see the market move in this direction and expect this trend to continue." If you are considering buying a home, condo or townhouse in Fort Lauderdale, you'll want to be prepared by first getting pre-qualified for a loan if you will need financing, align yourself with an experienced Fort Lauderdale real estate agent, who will help you write a strong offer that will stand out from the crowd and get accepted. A recent article from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel outlined five common pitfalls homebuyers should avoid as a seller's market looms. Here is a recap of the things to avoid:
- Making unreasonably low offers. Stick to bids anywhere between 80-85 percent of the list price.
- Waiting too long to make an offer. New listings that are appropriately priced and in attractive neighborhoods tend to go fast in a market with a limited inventory. If you hesitate, you may miss out on the home you really wanted.
- Weighing the contract down with contingencies. An example is unnecessarily long inspection periods.
- Forgetting to make a good impression on the seller. In a competitive buying market, it's not always just about the money. In the end, it is the seller's decision, but it certainly doesn't hurt if the seller's agent likes the potential buyer.
- Failing to get pre-approved for a mortgage prior to your search. This can take up to two weeks or longer, and waiting too long to arrange your financing up front can jeopardize your transaction.
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