Thursday, May 11, 2006

Today's Interesting Real Estate News

The housing market is settling but should experience its third best year in 2006, with job creation and a growing economy offsetting some of the effects of rising interest rates, according to NAR.

Southern Family, Atlantic Preferred and Florida Preferred, subsidiaries of Tampa-based Poe Financial Group, have yet to present a plan to recover from a $2 billion hit in 2004 and 2005 hurricane damage claims. Yesterday, the state asked a judge to liquidate the companies.

Economists are pointing to several subtle signs that the housing market is cooling, including a dip in the homeownership rate to 68.5 percent this year from 69.1 percent last year, and the rising owner-occupied vacancy rate, which is the highest on record at 2.1 percent.

Homebuyers are getting the big breaks in an increasing number of U.S. markets, says Tom Early, president of the National Association of Exclusive Buyers Agents. But even as the market shifts to favor buyers, to get the best deal, buyers should take the right approach. Some advice from Early:
* Tell your buyers to stifle the guilt. Remind them, if the shoe were
on the other foot, the seller would show no mercy.
* Be patient. In slow-moving markets, it is sometimes a good bet to
simply wait until a seller sees the light and drops his price.
* When a seller drops the price, it may be a signal that he is facing
a deadline and will negotiate still more.
* Take advantage of a buyer's right to a home inspection. The buyer
may find an issue that can be used to his advantage in gaining
* Insults don't work. Wounding the sellers' pride in their home is never
a good tactic.
* Also, making a ridiculously below-market bid may shock the owners
into refusing to talk anymore.

Source: The Miami Herald, Ellen James Martin (05/07/2006)

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