The Best Way to Find a Home

February 2015 Cover

January is already behind us in this new year! As I sat down to write this month’s message, I looked at what I wrote last February for comparison.  It’s amazing that the same things still apply.  I am reading the message and it is as relevant today as when it was first written 12 months ago.

It’s been an extremely active month in the Orlando real estate market.  This is seasonally expected.  Everyone was busy with the holidays in November and December.  In central Florida we do not get much of a snow-bird influx like our coastal cities.  So it has been relatively quiet.  Now the holiday season is behind us, sellers are seeking consultations for selling their homes, and buyers are inquiring to start their home shopping.  In Orlando, this activity starts in January, and will continue to build momentum through the Spring and into the Summer.

Now having said that, what has gradually changed over the recent years, is that people tend to start looking earlier, and watch the market for a longer period of time.  I believe this is a natural phenomenon resulting from the wide availability of information of homes for sale on the internet.   People can browse online in the comfort of their homes, as well as gather information long before it’s time to start viewing homes in person.  I routinely track online viewing hits of my listings.  I can often see the numbers rise weeks before the actual showings increase.

The result is that we get inquiries on listings in any month, any season.  We are able to fully market and create exposure for listings regardless of the season and market.  My consultation focuses on the overall market trend (trending up, down, and sideways) rather than specific timing of a particular month.  Because we are currently in a stable market where supply and demand are in balance, the listing timing is now based on seller’s personal and family situation and moving plan, rather than market timing.

For home buyers, more information is at their finger tips than ever before.  The market place is flooded with information of mixed quality from a host of real estate websites.  Some are useful, others can be flat out erroneous.  We frequently look up properties our clients found from third-party websites and find them not for sale, already sold, or have misleading information.  We also find our own listings on other websites with wrong information that we have no control over.

For the most accurate MLS search, start with our search engine at  theyaoteam.com.  We typically take the team approach with our buyer clients and evaluate properties together.

What can we provide for our clients as Buyer’s Agents when “everything” is on the internet?

The internet is a wonderful source of BULK information.  Our expertise is in deciphering that, separating the fluff from the reality.  We are your partners in knowing the local market, the trends, quality of specific products, advantageous mortgage financing, supervising the appropriate inspections, facilitating the closing, and in every other matter being the professional eyes and ears in the real estate world.

So far 2015 looks very promising for the continuing health of the housing market. With a stable market, we are working with more lateral movers (selling one home to buy another) than we have in many years.  I will be reporting to you any significant developments over the course of the year.  Other than national agenda everyone can follow in the news, such as interest rate trend, one thing on the local horizon that I will look for in 2015 is if the institutional investors will start to liquidate some of their holdings in Orlando.  Their purchases that started in 2010/2011 can yield significant returns now.

Hope this is helpful to you.  As always, if you have any real estate related questions, give us a call! We are happy to discuss real estate even when it’s not business. And, we love referrals!

Until next month, take care!