Every day it seems I hear agents and buyers alike complain there just aren’t any listings on the market.  If you’re an agent without listings or a buyer who can’t find anything that matches your criteria it certainly does feel that way, but sometimes feelings and reality don’t always match.

SW Florida single family home listing inventory

Take the SW Florida real estate market for example.  In the past few years inventory supply has been tight, and the few listings that were on the market either seemed to have multiple offers or was a short sale.  Probably not entirely reality, but it did seem that way.

With prices rising more and more sellers have realized they may finally be in a position to sell.  We think there are more ready and willing sellers, if only they were able, just waiting to put their house on the market.  At each incremental rise in price we’ll see more and more people deciding to sell.  Many have been bottled up in their home, a financial prisoner so to speak for years.

In a normal market SW Florida homeowners would trade up, down, or make lateral moves in real estate as needs changed.  We haven’t seen that in the last several years.  I think many homeowners have probably skipped one trade in their life cycle due to the real estate bust we all endured.  Going forward we may see more slowly get back on that track as prices rise.

If you’re an agent surfing the MLS you might not have noticed an influx of properties on the market.  I just ran internal numbers yesterday and I saw a surge in inventory.  We’ll be watching these numbers over the next few months.  Could it be hundreds of homeowners decided to test the new market now that season is here?

Why are buyers not seeing the listings?  Last week at the CyberStars Summit we learned some agents nationwide are withholding their listings from sites like Trulia, Zillow, Homes.com, etc. for several weeks or altogether. These companies are aggregating Realtor data and selling leads back to Realtors using their own data.  Agents are tired of seeing other sites rise in the search engines using their own listings as content to do so, so they’re changing the game a bit.

We provide all the listings on www.Leecountyonline.com unless companies opt out of IDX.  I don’t personally know of anyone doing that, but many are opting out of realtor.com, Trulia, Zillow, etc.  Agents don’t so much mind other agents who are on the business promoting the selling of real estate.  They do mind 3rd party companies using listings as content and selling leads back to Realtors, and that is the difference.

So if you’re a buyer and not seeing all the listings online, you might want to check with your agent and see if they can set you up on their MLS portal or visit a site like ours.  If you’re an agent and didn’t realize inventory has gone up, you might want to go back and check the MLS.  You might be surprised to find a few more listings that match your buyer’s criteria.

If you have a listing it’s always good to monitor the MLS to see if new competition has come onto the market that will affect your seller.  We constantly look for new sales, new pendings, and new active listings to measure their impact on our sellers so we can properly advise them.  It does no good to List it and Forget it.  A listing is a process.  It’s not sold until thousands of steps occur.  Too many people think their job is done once they get a listing.  The job has just begun.  A full time active agent understands this, and this is why some properties sell and some sit on the market.  Whether you’re a buyer or seller, it pays to price it right.  Otherwise you’re just wasting a lot of time and money on something that will never sell.  So get online and check out the market, or better yet, call an agent and find out today.  Our number is 239-489-4042 if you need help.

Good luck, and Happy House Hunting!

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