Local real-estate agents have reason to be optimistic. They’re reporting increased numbers of pending home sales on Longboat and its surrounding keys.
Roger Pettingell, sales associate for Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, recently surveyed the Multiple Listing Service, and found that current pending home sales are as follows: 63 on Longboat Key, 11 Bird Key and 16 on Lido Key. According to Pettingell, pending sales numbers are higher than they’ve been in a year. But, he reports another reason for optimism: The MLS now has more pending sales than new home listings.
“The reduction of supply means the firming of pricing,” Pettingell said.
Andrew Bers, sales associate for Prudential Palms Realty, said that the increase in pending sales has been high on Longboat Key in the lower price range, often involving foreclosures, short sales or a situation in which a seller needs to move the property quickly.
“Definitely the distressed property is king,” he said.
Local Realtors say that the length of time in which a property is under contract — typically anywhere from 30 to 60 days — is, in many cases, getting shorter. For low-priced properties with multiple offers, buyers often distinguish themselves by agreeing to fewer contingencies.
Many Realtors say they’re noticing more cash transactions than in the past, which often allows the sale to wrap up quickly.
Hannerle Moore, sales associate for Michael Saunders & Co., said that the increase in pending sales is something that she has seen over the past three years during the months of April and May. According to Moore, potential buyers often look at what is available during January and February and make their decisions around this time of year. She said that July is often a strong month, as well, with many buyers returning to Longboat Key to wrap up a transaction.
Moore predicts that many buyers will return this July to take advantage of today’s lower prices.
“I suspect we’re going to have a lot of people come back to Longboat Key,” Moore said.
HAVE YOU SEEN THE SIGNS?
Local Realtors report an increase in pending sales, but you might not know it by looking at Longboat Key’s real-estate signs. That’s because “pending” and “for sale” strips on real-estate signs are banned by the town’s sign code.
According to Longboat Key Code Administrator Randy Fowler, the additions are known as “riders,” which are prohibited from Key signs. Town officials can remove any sign that has a rider, although typically a first-time violation would get a warning.
“It all depends on if it is a recurring problem,” Fowler said.