Where Do We Go From Here

home buyers Miranda Ferreira June 1, 2024

What Buyers in Fernandina Beach, Amelia Island & Yulee Should Know

“It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” Yogi Berra

If anything, this has been an interesting year in residential real estate. To put it lightly: it did not go as originally planned. The 6 projected rate cutes seem like a distant memory, as are sub-6% rates. The spike in home listings and sales has not materialzed to the levels projected at the beginning of the year. But hear me out: this doesn't have to mean "doom and gloom"! It means we need to be more understanding of the canvas on which we are working. 

The first point to make is there are differences in local trends compared to what is happening nationally. Depending on the source, you will hear that it has been a vibrant market or that the market is absymal. The truth lies in the in-between: home resales are down across all four sections of the country but new construction is still doing fairly well. The same can be seen with the days on market. When looking at pending home sales year over year, 2 regions are down (Northeast & South) while 2 are in the positive range (West & Midwest). All regions report increased year over year home sale's price (3.4% in the South region, which was the lowest of the 4). I could go further but I am sure some eyes are starting to glaze over.

Locally, we are seeing some of the same and less of the mainstream. In the latest release of county data from the Amelia Island Nassau County Association of Realtors, the number of closed sales, closed prices and number of active/available listings were up year over year in the month of April. Categories such as time to contract/sale, new pending sales, new listings and pending inventory were down for the month. For the year, closed sales had a slow trend upward prior to plateau. Active inventory and supply are continuing an upward climb. A lot of the statistics are similar to those seen in years 2017-2019. 

The pink elephant in the room is affordability. This will continue to be influenced by mortgage rates, labor market activity and inflation data. Buyers can use the softening demand to negotiate lower home sale prices and/or greater concessions (such as rate buy downs and repairs credits). Seller's use this data to help appropriately price their homes to encourage greater buyer interest. The important message is to get with a loan adviser that is up to date with the latest programs to assist with getting the best deal, such as the 0% down FHA or Hometown Heroes programs to assist with cash to close issues. For both buyers and sellers, keep an open mind about the type of loan program. Conventional is not always the best, but a storng pre-approval from a trusted loan advisor can be a game changer to a concerned seller. 

Below are some tips to help buyers and seller's navigate the current market to be successful:

For Buyers:

  1. Do Your Homework: Understand what homes are selling for in the areas you’re interested in. 
  2. Get Pre-Approved:  This shows sellers that you’re serious and ready to buy, and it gives you a clear budget to work within.
  3. Be Patient but Ready: While it’s important to be patient and wait for the right home, you also need to be ready to act quickly once you find it.
  4. Work with an Experienced Agent: They know the ins and outs of the market, can provide you with valuable advice, and help you navigate the process from start to finish.
  5. Consider All Your Options: Don’t limit yourself to just one type of property. Sometimes, you may find a gem in an unexpected place.

For Sellers:

  1. Price it Right: Overpricing your home can scare off potential buyers, while underpricing could leave money on the table. 
  2. Make Sure Your Home is Ready: First impressions matter. 
  3. Use Professional Photos & Staging: High-quality photos can make a big difference in how your home is perceived online. This is the first impression buyers will get, so make it count.
  4. Be Flexible with Showings: The more people who see your home, the better your chances of selling quickly. 
  5. Work with a Knowledgeable Agent: They can help you set the right price, market your home effectively, and negotiate the best deal.

Don't rely on forecasts to make the decisions, as they are often wrong in hindsight.  The real estate market does not need to be daunting, scary or "over-whelming". The best way to avoid these feelings is to understand what is going on in your specific area and sub-areas. Having the right "coaches" (ie lenders, real estate agents, etc) will help you find the winning sale to make your next move. 


Work With Miranda

Get assistance in determining current property value, crafting a competitive offer, writing and negotiating a contract, and much more. Contact me today.