Realtors Tooling Up as Sarasota Home Market Jump Starts


The recent upturn of the residential property market in Sarasota can be expected to notch up even higher. Along with the momentum that the local home market further gained in the beginning of 2014, Sarasota Bay Real Estate (SBRE) reports that realtors and brokers in the county are gearing themselves up to maximize opportunities from the heightened market activity.

The market for resale homes in Sarasota hit the ground running in 2014 with a substantial increase in new listings which spurred a 10.6% rise in total inventory from December. The January inventory levels, estimated at 5.4 months supply for single family homes and 5.1 months for condos, represent a 32-month high and correspond to a 30% improvement from the recent low set in July 2013.

Come-ons for sellers/buyers

Realtors Tooling Up

An encouragement for prospective sellers, Sarasota home sales posted healthy double-digit price gains in January 2014. The median price for single family homes sold for the month was estimated at $189,500, up 21.3% from January 2013. For condos, the median sales price for the comparative period rose 17.1% to $176,000.

Buyers, on the other hand, can take comfort on the rising inventory which not only provides more home purchase options but, as important, also tempers price appreciation. Significantly, the uptick in home prices during the 12 months ended January 2014 was relatively more stable compared to the wild price swings during the 2004–2006 period.

These improvements in prices are in lockstep with an intensified market activity as manifested in the decline in the days on market (DOM) for both single family homes and condos in January 2014. Single family homes sold during the month were on the market for an average of 74 days before landing a contract, down from 85 days in December 2013 and 89 days a year earlier. Condos’ January DOM was 85 days, down from 98 days in the previous month and 131 days a year earlier.

Upgrading realtor services

Sarasota realtors are gaining access to an increasing number of tools and additional capability-building programs which should contribute in further stimulating the local home market activity. One is the Realtors® Property Resource (RPR) which was introduced this March 2014 to members of the Sarasota Association of Realtors® (SAR) as part of the continuing skill-building programs for its members.

With the RPR, a realtor gains access to a database of more than 147 million property records. Upon integration of this resource with data from the Multiple Listing System (MLS), a reliable valuation model becomes available, since such inputs as plat maps, lien data, mortgage, flood zone maps, and school zones from the RPR are integrated.

Making searches easier, faster

Positive contributions to home buyer/seller servicing can likewise be drawn from the hands-on MLS training that SAR has been conducting. Through these classes, for instance, realtors can acquire the capability to notify their prospects automatically on properties matching those clients’ specific search criteria.

Notably, this tailor-fit automatic notification is one of the useful features of the SBRE website. Its property search features have also been revamped to include a wider range of search parameters, such as location, school zone, and interior/exterior home features.