The fun and not-so-fun of selling a home

Castles in the Sand

Last week we talked about the fun and not-so-much fun of buying a home. This week we’ll talk a little about selling your home, choosing the perfect realtor and not necessarily one you’re related to. But before we do that, let’s review the June and July Manatee County sales statistics as reported by the Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee.

In June, Manatee County closed 2.2% fewer homes than last year, not surprising for this time of year. In spite of that the median sale price, half above and half below, increased by 5% from last year to $315,000. The average sale price was $397,987, up 8.8%, and the month’s supply of properties is down to 3.6 months.

June’s condo sales increased for the number of sales by 6.1%, the median sale price was $210,000, up 14.3%, and the average sale price was $246,381, up 5.2%, all impressive numbers. The month’s supply of properties was 4.2%.

July single-family sales were down slightly by 1.8%, but the median sale price broke a record at $325,000 up 5% from last year. This is the highest median price since the housing crisis more than a decade ago and near historic levels. The average single-family home price was $391,049, up 2%, and the month’s supply of properties was down to 3.4%.

Condo sales were up by 8.7% with a median sale price of $191,000, down 4.1%. The average sale price for condos was $216,523, down 6.6% from last year and the month’s supply of properties was 3.7%.

Do these numbers give you incentive to find that perfect realtor and consider selling? Maybe, but remember statistics are only a snapshot in time and, although our sales and appreciation rates continue to go up every month, it could change in a heartbeat.

But just in case you’re ready to cash in, here are a few tips for choosing a realtor:

Although there are many questions you should ask a real estate professional before you turn over what may be your biggest asset to them, the two that are most important to me are how long have you been in residential real estate sales and what is your specific marketing plan?

Much of real estate experience is an on-the-job learning experience but choosing an agent who has accumulated a few designations or certifications shows a commitment to his/her profession. Certainly, you should ask if real estate sales are their full-time job. There are sales agents who get into the field thinking it’s a part-time job they can fit around their children’s school schedule. Trust me you don’t want this person.

As far as a marketing plan, the agent should be prepared to show you a written plan involving print advertising, open houses and digital participation. They may also include a pricing schedule suggesting a step-down pricing recommendation for 30, 60 or 90 days in the event offers are not coming in. As part of this plan, your agent should advise how frequently he/she will be in touch with you regarding showings and feedback.

It is also important for you to know how long homes in your area are taking to sell and the variation between the listing and final sales prices. I frequently note these statistics in my monthly updates for Manatee County because they are so important to the overall picture of the market.

Finally, giving your listing to a relative may look appealing since you already have a relationship and he/she may offer to reduce commission for you. However, it takes away the business aspect of the transaction and gets into the emotional aspect. My advice is don’t do it.

I’m looking forward to receiving the August Manatee County real estate numbers and hope you have a fun selling experience with a qualified broker.

More Castles in the Sand:

The fun and not-so-fun of buying a home

The challenges of inheriting a house

Uncovering a home’s defects