Navigating the process of buying, selling, and investing in Florida real estate can sometimes be a frustrating and an arduous experience.

What does the future of real estate look like? If we had a crystal ball, we could easily obtain the answer to this question. The housing market has changed dramatically over the past several years. New technologies have provided a multitude of innovative ways to do business. The way we market, buy and sell properties is very different today than it was in the past. It is critical to work with a real estate firm and agent who knows how to successfully guide you through these changes.

Change #1 the Internet

Twenty seconds for love at first site

Approximately 85 percent of home shoppers start their property search on the internet. This means the first point of contact between a potential buyer and your home is that first photo of your property’s exterior.

An interesting article in the Wall Street Journal addressed real estate photography and the impact it has on selling a home. Researchers tracked the eye movements of subjects who looked at online home listings and found that 95 percent of users viewed the first photo, typically the photo of a home’s exterior for a total of 20 seconds. After that, their eyes tended to flit all over the screen.

One researcher stated that “without an eye catching first photo, the battle is lost before it begins.” You have to pique a viewer’s interest within the first few seconds or lose them forever!

Change # 2 Amenities

Men are from Mars and women are from Venus

The way men and women view a home’s amenities have surprisingly integrated. A survey conducted online via Harris Interactive QuickQuery Omnibus among 2,236 adults ranked amenities in a home that effect the buying decision of men and women.

The master bedroom ranked first among both men and women as the amenity that caused them to fall in love with their home. Walk in closets, a feature usually adored by female consumers was also second among their male counterparts. Both men and women agreed upon a gourmet kitchen as the third most sought-after amenity.

Change #3 Foreclosures

Big discounts on foreclosures fading

Homebuyers may not get as great of a deal on a foreclosure as they once did.

Foreclosure starts are falling and the inventory of foreclosures has been decreasing, which has caused the discount on foreclosures to lessen.

The discount on foreclosed homes compared to other homes has fallen to a 12 percent average. That was about the same percentage prior to the housing crash. Last year the foreclosure discount averaged about 30 percent. As the foreclosure phenomenon fades, so to have the days of offering 50 to 75 percent of the list price of a property in hopes of striking a deal. Pinellas County properties are currently fetching on average approximately 95 percent of their list price.

Your home is your most valuable asset, be sure your real estate professional provides both you and your property the expertise it deserves.

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