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David vs. Goliath: Buyers In A Seller’s Market

Posted on Monday, March 09, 2015


(getting with a good team may be the key to overcoming big challenges:  photo courtesy of wikipedia)

This weekend buyers came to our sellers and offered a full price offer on one of our listings – just hours before the next open house and more exposure to other buyers. That is getting the job done. Do you know what you want? Then you better pounce when you see it in a seller’s market.

Real estate is booming again, supplies of existing properties are very low, prices are jumping and seller’s are feeling their oats. What do you do if you are a buyer in a seller’s market? We thought we would offer up some thoughts this morning.

Our first thought for a buyer in a seller’s market? Speed baby. Early last week while looking at homes over tow afternoons our buyers put an offer down on a beautiful place. For months they had done their homework with personal visits to Naples, online searching and a lot though given to the local lifestyles. Their offer was successful and they were fast enough to buy their Naples Best Address in this seller’s market.

455 Palm Cir East outdoor living

(buyers were quick to move on this property just hours after listing)

Buyers be quick about it. Well priced homes in good condition go in days in this market. The average time on market is 40 days but the good ones go fast. Buyers should be “pre-approved” or have cash on hand so you are ready to go. Some of our favorite buyers have lost their chance to buy a property when they hesitated, or went back up north to think about it, or just wanted to spend some time thinking about it. We met some of our clients in the grocery store last week happy in their new home but saying they had “regrets” for now moving more quickly. Darn it. Not what we want to hear from our clients. If you like what you see today folks – pounce.

Should a buyer rush in every time? No way. Of course not. You need to love the place. But if you do love the place move on it.

Buyers need to look good to the seller is our next idea. When the time comes you want to make as clean an offer as possible – meaning as few contingencies as possible.

6930 Sable Ridge

(single family homes on large tracts in good condition may be tough to find – be ready)

If you need financing (and many of us do) get pre-approval. When you make that offer send along the pre-approval letter so the seller’s know you will be good for the money after all they are trying to decide if you are the one and it is worth taking their home off the market for you. The fewer the contingencies in your offer the better you look to the seller.

Our next idea? Buyers get “your radar up” with a good search tool. You need a search tool which ties directly to the realtors MLS (multi listing service). We have a tool (it’s free) to help you. You may not want one of the popular national online tools with time delays built-in (some of these tools get their data from feeds from the MLS and can run slow). By the time you get the information it may be too late. Let us know – we have some good search tool options for you. One of our clients used this tool to great affect this weekend and we are off to look at property tomorrow.

Another idea” When supplies are low you may want to make an unsolicited offer on a place not yet on the market. If you know your target neighborhood why not? We literally called and mailed each house on a target street for a buyer to find someone willing to sell. One of our buyers this week has a street in mind and we may be making those proactive calls for them.

cochrane lanai

(now under contract, buyers moved quickly to capture this lanai on a public garden)

Next idea? When making an offer in a seller’s market a buyer may use “comps”. Most seller’s use comparable market analyses to judge the value of their property – why not buyers? A buyer may find this useful when dealing with a seller offering prices above market. Comps will let you know a reasonable price for the place in fact you can submit your comps with you offer to give some support to your pricing. If they are motivated sellers they may listen.

Another idea? Ask the seller if they have an appraisal. Why? Well this is another way to estimate the market value of the place. By the way, if a seller is priced too high and a prospective buyer requires financing the deal might not go because the lender is not going to say “ok” to an overpriced property. Ask for an appraisal or get one yourself – sometimes these are useful tools to talk a seller down.


(well priced views of the bay are moving a lot faster than the 40 day on market average)
Buyers should be careful with counter offers in a seller’s market. When a buyer makes a counter offer to a seller they are actually saying no to the first offer. Follow along here. Let’s say you offered $900,000 for a home and the seller countered $975,000. If you counter again at $950,000 the $975,00 offer from the seller is terminated. So what? Well the so what is if you say “just kidding” and try to go back and accept the seller’s $975,000 offer the seller is not obligated to say yes. They might move on to another buyer. Lesson: if it looks Ok and the market is really tight you might go for the seller’s last offer and stop dickering.

A seller’s market may not be the best times for a lot of back and forth negotiating.

Another idea for these times … Why not move inland and check out new construction? Further inland, buyer’s are finding new construction with modern floor plans and the homes are just beautiful. Buyers may give up the walk to the beach or a boat dock and endure a car drive and parking to the beach or boat – but this is probably the case for you up north as well. Moving inland may save you hundreds of thousands of dollars in some cases.

The Lady Chadwick at Useppa

(buyers need to be careful not to miss the boat in a seller’s market)

Our final idea for buyers this morning? Get with a good Realtor. In the past we literally called homeowners on target streets for clients to see if they would sell their place to a client. Once you make an offer you will want a good negotiator on your side willing to go the extra mile – like submitting market analysis to support your offer or picking up the phone and responding quickly to both sides of the transaction.

We hope these ideas are helpful to buyers in this market. You can get it done – just be ready, get a good realtor, use the right online search tools, get pre-approved, use comps and appraisals to your advantage and go after it.

I hope you have an opportunity to visit or live in Naples or Marco Island.  If you would like to know more about living here just give us a call at 239.595.3921.

Please also consider reading our book “Understanding Naples Real Estate” to get you started on a real estate search or just give us a call about things to do here.

We look forward to meeting and talking with you soon,

Mark Goebel PA, Nan Goebel PA and David Goebel, PA
Co-Founders of the Naples Best Addresses Team

Coldwell Banker
Mark Goebel, PA and Nan Goebel, PA
REALTOR Coldwell Banker 5th Avenue South
Mobile: 239.595.3921 239.595.3920
Facebook: NaplesBestAddresses

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No legal, investment, or tax advice is being given in this Blog. Consult with legal, financial and tax professionals before acting on any real estate transaction. Actual real estate price and sales results are subject to market forces and are not completely predictable. The writings of this Blog are intended for the sole use of our clients.
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Some of the data related to Naples homes for sale and Naples real estate for sale on the website comes in part from the Broker reciprocity program of M.L.S. of Naples, Inc. The properties displayed here may not be all the properties available through the MLS reciprocity Program. This information is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed. Buyers and sellers are responsible for verifying all information about their purchase prior to closing.
Mark Goebel, PA is a REALTOR with Coldwell Banker on 5th avenue in Naples, Florida with 35+ years of visiting and living in Naples. After 25 years at Accenture, Mark retired as a managing director and spends his time helping non profits and building a Naples real estate team with his wife Nan and son David. Talk to Mark, Nan and Dave about life in Naples and why they chose this place to live full-time over all others and enjoy Naples real estate.
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