Can you believe it’s 2017 and we still receive phone calls from people who say “I want to buy a foreclosure in Southwest Florida?” It’s true. Short sales too.
Who wouldn’t want a bargain, especially when prices have risen so much from the bottom of the market back in the housing crisis? People also watch those TV shows and see how others flip houses for unbelievable profit with little to no work. Other TV shows illustrate how buyers can buy a property, put some sweat equity into it, and flip for amazing profits.
Southwest Florida isn’t that market. In September there were exactly 2 short sales and 13 foreclosure sales in Lee County. As we know Hurricane Irma slowed down sales, so we went back to August and found there were 8 short sales and 41 foreclosure sales. Short sales and foreclosures combined came to about 4% of the total sales in Lee County in August, and about 2% in September. There just are not many short sale and foreclosure listings out there.
Want to Buy a Foreclosure in Southwest Florida
We get it, everybody wants a deal. However, the thing people need to know is when a bank agrees to take less to allow a short sale, they still do an appraisal. They may consider taking less if the owner is a default risk and the property’s value is truly below market value. What they will not do is give the property away just so a new buyer can keep the equity. If a bank is going to take a loss, they want to minimize the loss.
When a bank sells a foreclosure, they typically want as much money as the market will allow for the property in its present condition. The banks often even spent money to fix up homes to increase their value.
There are good values in Lee County, you just need to know how to find them. Wasting time searching for 2% of the market will leave buyers frustrated. It all depends on your definition of a good value. Homes priced at or near fair market value are a good value. Homes priced well over are not and will probably not sell unless the seller makes changes.
There are two ways to find value. First is pick a website that has all the listings and is updated instantly. Our website www.LeeCountyOnline.com has all the listings and it’s updated every minute. So when a Realtor inputs a new listing, or makes a price change, our database will know about it and display the new information.
In a race to beat out other buyers to the best listings, speed wins. Having perfect knowledge of the market back in 2007 will not help you buy a house today. And having day old MLS data from yesterday will not help you either.
Secondly, you need an agent on your side that understands the market. Agents with experience know how hurricanes, interest rates, new schools, company headquarters, new roads, hospitals, etc. affect the market. Numbers are great, but having an expert helping you can make all the difference.
The Ellis Team has been around for 30+ years in Southwest Florida. We’ve done thousands of transactions, and some people think we’ve seen everything. We haven’t, as we see new things all the time that still amaze us. What hasn’t changed is people. People still want the same things for their family today. They still use the same negotiating tactics. They may have different tools, but the tactics are the same.
We can help you navigate the maze of real estate. From selecting the property, to negotiating, to inspections, and closing, we help coordinate it for you. You don’t have to worry as we handle the process. If not the Ellis Team, make sure you’re working with an experienced team who will be there for you. It’s all fun and games until somebody gets poked in the eye, then the name calling begins. We’ll help you avoid all that. Always Call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty 239-489-4042.