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How Hurricane Sandy Affects Tampa Insurance Rates and More – The Duncan Duo Radio Show

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The Duncan Duo Real Estate Show. Now, your host: Andrew Duncan.

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Andrew Duncan:              Good morning Tampa Bay. We’re here with you for another week to talk about the local real estate market here in Tampa Bay. We have Richard Vazquez from Artisan Insurance Group today to talk about how the big storm Sandy that hit up in the North-East could impact our local insurance rates, our local insurance market, our real estate market as well as our economy and we’re taking your questions live today. If you have questions are about real estate, whether it’s buying homes, selling a home, home-owner’s insurance, foreclosures, short sales, investing, getting into the real estate business – if it’s real estate-related we’d love the opportunity to talk to you. We’re here with you every Sunday at 10:00. Our calling numbers are: 990-9352 in Hillsborough, 461-9352 in Pinellas and toll-free 1-800-969-9352. Again, our calling numbers: in Hillsborough 990-9352, Pinellas 461-9352 and toll-free 1-800-969-9352. All of our phone numbers end in ‘9352’ or WFLA. When we aren’t on air, you can check us out on Facebook or Youtube by searching for The Duncan Duo and we’d love the opportunity to talk to you guys today.

So, Richard, I wanted to have you on the show. Obviously, you come on the show with us a lot but there are a lot of questions I think this week about the huge storm that hit the North-East and how it would impact our insurance rates in Florida. I wanted to allow you to come on and talk about that a little bit.

Richard Vazquez:             Well, yeah, it’s certainly been a big week in the insurance business. We don’t like to see things like this happening and it’s never fun in the insurance business when we have occurrences like this. I’ve been reading a lot of information out there. People are already chiming out on whether hurricane Sandy will or will not affect our rates and, to be honest with you, I don’t think anybody really knows for sure whether and how that’s going to affect us yet. A lot of people – and these are people up in the insurance industry dealing directly with re-insurance companies. The companies that offer insurance to the big insurance companies and insure them against losses. There have been a lot of people saying that, yeah, because of this big occurrence, re-insurance rates are going to go up. The rates that insurance companies pay to protect themselves against giant losses like this, and therefore it’s going to trickle down. And then there’s been other people out there who say well, no, that’s going to happen in the North-East but it’s not really going to affect us here in Florida. And I even heard the term this week: “What happens in Florida stays in Florida.”

[both laughing]

Richard Vazquez:             So, yeah, I think the jury’s still out right now. It’s a little early for us to tell but I could definitely see those re-insurance rates creeping up over the next couple of years because now we have places that have traditionally never had to really deal with hurricanes and now all of a sudden the re-insurers are going to have to figure in hurricanes when they’re figuring in the overall rates across the country.

Andrew Duncan:              So they’re figuring in. An example would be maybe if they’re underinsured or they are undercharging in New York, they’ve got to make that up.

Richard Vazquez:             Exactly, exactly. Now, the law doesn’t allow them to increase Florida’s rates to make up for the losses in New York. That cannot happen. But, when they’re looking at overall rates across the country, and they used to look at the country and say: “OK, well, hurricanes we only have to worry about in this little corner of the country down here in Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, maybe Texas – that’s a real small area of the country and that’s the only place that we have to figure in these catastrophic hurricane losses.” Now they’re looking at a map of the country and now they go: “Well, no, it’s not just that little South-East corner of the country anymore. Now it’s all the way up and down the East coast as well as the Gulf Coast, so that …

Andrew Duncan:              It’s like the whole country now. [laughing]

Richard Vazquez:             Yeah, so basically we have to figure those in when we’re trying to determine what our losses were going to be.

Andrew Duncan:              So, a great reminder for people out there though in areas of Florida that aren’t required to have flood insurance to think about it because there are a lot of portions of the North-East that were impacted by these storms that were not in mandatory flood zones but there was a lot of flooding and a lot of damage. Now they’re going to have struggles with their insurance because was it a flood or was it a wind damage issue. For the cost on people who aren’t in mandatory flood zone it’s pretty minimal.

Richard Vazquez:             Right. And as a result of the hurricane Katrina, the United State Supreme Court already ruled that yes, storm surge is considered a flood. So if you live ten miles inland and storm surge reach ten miles inland but you weren’t in a flood zone…

Andrew Duncan:              It’s a flood.

Richard Vazquez:             It’s a flood and you’re not insured unless you have flood insurance.

Andrew Duncan:              So I think it is really crucial right now if there are other… This is a good wake-up call for some people who probably need to really think about getting flood insurance.

Richard Vazquez:             Right, yeah. I think there are a lot of people inland in New Jersey who wished they had flood insurance…

Andrew Duncan:              Because now their damage is not going to be covered and they’re going to have some issues fighting with their insurance company or total losses on a home that their mortgage is on. And that’s where I want to take it to the next point. So, while it may not necessarily impact the insurance market or we’re not really sure yet, it will impact on our economy and our real estate market. I mean you look at tourism: we have a lot of people from up North that come down here during the holidays during November, December for vacations. A lot of those people probably will not be coming now because they’re going to be dealing with the mess up there. Some of them will still come. But you’re going to eliminate some people travelling there.

We also have a huge portion of our real estate market. Our people from up North that buy vacation homes and snow birds that come down here and buy. And, again, obviously snow birds are coming from all over the country, all over the world, really. But you’re impacted by the people who are up in New York and that area that aren’t going to be coming down and buying vacation homes because they’re trying to take care of their primary residence that got hurt. Well, it’s not going to be a huge impact for our economy, it’s going to have some backlash. We’re going to lose some real estate sales, we’re going to lose some tourism dollars, we’re going to lose some people visiting the area because you’re not going to have that as much of an influx of population because those people out there who were affected are going to say: “Look, I don’t have the couple of thousand dollars to take the vacation or take the trip down there because I’m dealing with so many other things.”

Richard Vazquez:             Right, yeah, I definitely think you’re right there.

Andrew Duncan:              So, like I said, it may not impact. Insurance – it may it may not, it’s hard to say. It’s certainly going to have an impact on our real estate market and I think that on the opposite side of that – and I heard an argument from another broker this week – there are a few people up there who are going to be like: “Hey, if I’m going to be in the hurricane’s way, I’m just going to Florida.” So, I think it also motivates some people to say: “Look, if I’m going to have to deal with hurricanes here why not just sell up and move to Florida?” You’ve got both side of the fence. It’s going to have an impact. It’s going to move some people.

Richard Vazquez:             Yeah, I remember shortly after 9-11 we had quite an influx of people from the New York area that were coming down here and buying homes.

Andrew Duncan:              Right.

Richard Vazquez:             They had just thrown in the towel and said: “Well, …

Andrew Duncan:              I’m tired of New York.

Richard Vazquez:             Yep,

Andrew Duncan:              I’m tired of the traffic and everything else so…and I mean we are Florida for a reason, you know. [laughing] We’re a second coming of New York area and Tampa, Florida. Anyways, if you’re listening to the show and you have questions about real estate, whether it’s about this topic or any topic related to real estate, we’d love the opportunity to talk to you. You can call us on 990-9352 in Hillsborough, 461-9352 in Pinellas and toll-free 1-800-969-9352. What are other news going on in insurance, Richard, that’s important for our listeners?

Richard Vazquez:             Well, one of the things that I wanted to talk about being that we’re dealing with Sandy right now is: this storm is going to bring, it’s already starting to bring up a lot of topics that have been discussed in the past but then they’ve kind of fallen off by the wayside. I’ve heard a lot of people bring up the subject again in the past they’ve talked about wanting to form a national wind pull in order to protect people who are in hurricane zones and that receive hurricane damage. And every time that subject was brought up in the past, you had a lot of the states in the North that said: “Well, why do we want to pay money to protect Florida and North Carolina and places like that? We don’t have to worry about stuff like this.” We’re starting to have people bring up subjects like that again, we’re starting to have people bring up a lot of the building codes that we have here in Florida – those are going to have to be expanded to other parts of the country. Now…

Andrew Duncan:              That’s a really good topic, too because you think about it, I mean you drive around New Jersey and Boston and you see some of the types of construction and you’re like: “That would never fly in Tampa.”

Richard Vazquez:             No, no. Absolutely.

Andrew Duncan:              You’re not going to build that type of property in Tampa. I think you’re right. Maybe you start to see some of the changes and construction quality too.

Richard Vazquez:             Yeah, I saw an interview with Governor Cuomo  the other day and he specifically said: “Listen, we are not Miami. We don’t build things the way they build them in Miami to withstand hurricane winds and a lot of the things that we build here were built for over a hundred years ago.”

Andrew Duncan:              Right.

Richard Vazquez:             So now they’re going to have to start thinking about a lot of the things that we think of down here, in Florida. And I think they’re going to quickly learn the difference between a gabled roof and a heaped roof and they’re going to quickly learn what hurricane tie down straps mean on your roof. Different things like that which we take for granted nowadays but they’re going to have to implement those things pretty quickly.

Andrew Duncan:              Well and it’s interesting like you talk about. Are they going to have to force some construction quality changes there and adopt some of the thing we’ve done here. And you think about it and, obviously, it’s going to increase the cost of construction, it’s going to… Now is, obviously, not the time when people want to endure that but you look at the number or the amount of claims and the amount of losses from it and they’re going to have to be proactive. That or the insurance companies are going to force it or have higher rates because of how many losses that are going to come from the storm.

Richard Vazquez:             Yeah, I think we’ll see a trickledown effect. Even if they don’t require it in their building codes, you’ll see a lot of customers ask for it. Because they know that if they have a certain type of roof or a certain type of construction, they’re going to pay a lot less in insurance and I think definitely you’ll going to see insurance rates going up there. The price always dictates what the customer wants. If the customer is asking for certain types of construction, the people will start building it and we’ll start to see those changes being made.

Andrew Duncan:              In other news: faster short sale guidelines started on November 1. New short sale guidelines spearheaded by the Federal Housing Finance Agency going to effect. The new rules impact all mortgages under federally controlled Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. One part that changed a lot is a handful of nation’s larger services to approve your short sale without needing Fannie Mae or Freddie to sign off on it. Some of the servicers and mortgage insurance companies are already on board but you’re probably not going to get to know who most of them are: CMG,  Essent Guaranty, Genworth Mortgage Insurance, Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corp, PMI Mortgage Insurance Company and Radian Guaranty. So, it does appear that more relief is in sight for quickening short sale approvals. It’s long been a challenge and a thorn in the side of real estate agents who are starting to get a lot better. We are starting to see more approvals coming, coming more quickly. We start to see some of the challenging once out there but it has improved.

Other changes become a fact of the day, allowing homeowners hit by a hardship, moved by the military or held back by a home second mortgage. Borrowers facing an approved hardship don’t have to be delinquent. You can now do a short sale and not be delinquent. It’s a lot harder to pull that off. You’re going to have a lot of proof. Service members that are PCSed – and, you know, especially those out of Macdill that are PCSed to other parts of the country, may have additional support and quicker approvals. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac won’t pursue deficiency in certain cases under the new rules. And then FHFA will get service more consistent guidelines and process and execute short sales and consolidate existing short sales programs into a single, uniform program.

And then Fannie Mae and Freddie will now offer up to 6,000 to 2nd lien holders to expedite their short sales. So, good news for those out there who are in those types of situations: they are either contemplating a short sale, they’re in a short sale or they’re buying a short sale or realtors listening who have to deal with short sales every day. It’s obviously a staple of our market right now and something that’s important to pay attention to. I think one of the neat parts about it is the non-delinquent borrowers now being eligible. That means, basically, if you were current on your mortgage but you have a defined hardship, you’re losing a job or something upcoming, you’re robbing from Peter to pay Paul, just to stay current to keep your credit better, there are now guidelines to allow you to get approved where before it was more or less – I wouldn’t say impossible, but highly unlikely to get that done. Anyway, if you’re listening, feel free to give us a call: Hillsborough 990-9352, Pinellas 461-9352 and we’ll be right back after a quick break here, on the Duncan Duo Show.


Andrew Duncan:              We’re back here on the Duncan Duo Show and talking about the local real estate market here, in Tampa Bay like we are every Sunday at 10:00 here on 970WFLA. Here with Richard Vazquez from Artisan Insurance Group. I want to talk about something that’s been in the news a lot. If you’ve been paying attention, you’ve noticed that our local real estate market is getting pretty heavily impacted by large corporate investors buying homes across the Tampa Bay area. I want to let you know the FHFA announced last week but it was encouraged by the results of Fannie Mae’s first real estate owned pilot transactions. It is not going to pursue efforts to build upon that. What that program was it was a program where FHFA were continuing…Basically, the Fannies, the Freddie and FHA are selling properties in bulk to large companies before they hit the retail market. So we’re talking about foreclosures: Florida, California, Arizona, looks like Chicago as well – these are the areas where they’re pursuing it. This is something I spoke to a caller a couple of weeks back about. He seemed to reiterate how many foreclosures are on the market. I told him this program is going to grow and it’s going to gain steam because it makes sense and it’s going to continue to happen. So the banks in lieu of dumping all these foreclosures on the market – because there is a lot of inventory out there coming, they’re coming up with creative solutions to keep either people in their homes or to turn them into rentals to keep too many homes that hit the market.

That is going to be a trend that continues in Tampa Bay. It’s a trend that continues to get the focus of large corporate investors from all around the country that are buying up real estate and in Tampa Bay area. If you’re a home buyer out there thinking about – home seller, rather – out there thinking about selling your home, and you don’t necessarily want to go through the hassle and you’re curious as to what one of these large corporate investors are paying for your home, definitely reach out to us and we can certainly put your property in front of them to see if you can avoid the hassles of listing your home during the holidays and sell it. Great opportunity for tenant occupied homes as well. Property that may be a challenge to sell to the retail market with a tenant, some of these investors may be interested in buying it. You can do that at our website. It’s or

And if you’re a home seller curious about your market value and you’ve been paying attention the last couple of years and maybe over the last year or two your home hasn’t been able to sell, market is starting to show some signs of improvement. We’ve seen year over year appreciation of a 10% and then even greater than that in some of the ZIP codes. So if you want a better than Zillow market report for your home, go to You fill out a form.  You get a monthly report from us which shows you all the comparable sales in your neighborhood in a really nice graphic form. It continues to update you on the market. Again, the website with a quick and easy form to fill out is at And if you fill out that form, we’ll get back to you with a quick market report on the value of your home.

So, again, you’re listening to the Duncan Duo Real Estate Show here, on 970WFLA. If you have questions, you can give us a call: 990-9352 in Hillsborough, 461-9352 in Pinellas and toll-free 1-800-969-9352. It looks like there are probably five or six different companies around town buying homes right now in bulk. And not just bought from the banks but buying large amounts of inventory. And a lot of the criteria seem to be the same. So, I just want to share with our audience today for those who may have a home that they’re thinking about selling to see if your home fits the criteria.

These investors buy the homes all cash. They close pretty quickly. They’re really light on contingences.  Most of them are focused on single-family homes only, so they’re not buying condos or townhomes. They want a three-bedroom, two-bath home. Most of them prefer a garage. Block homes or – if it’s two-story home, block on frame. Under $300,000 is the usual price point. They’re like low or no HOA or CDDs. Prefer no flood zones but they’ll buy in the lower price-range insurance so it’s like AE. And they like to see homes rent for a particular yield so if it’s a $400,000 home and it rents for $800 a month, that is not going to work, you know. It needs to rent somewhere between 10 to 15 percent of the monthly yield and feel free to contact us if you know of an opportunity or you’re interested in that.

So, we’re going to continue our conversation. We’re going to talk with Richard about some insurance changes as well as some changes in how your re-build cost in terms of value is changing with the changes on the market. As well as where Tampa Bay ranks. It’s ranked in the country and some of the real estate outlooks that are coming out for 2013. As well as calculating the cost of the mortgage interest deductions and the chance that they might go away, depending on what happens on Tuesday. So, we will be right back after a quick news break here, on 970WFLA.


Andrew Duncan:              We’re back here on the Duncan Duo Show talking about the Tampa Bay real estate market and answering your questions. If you have questions you can contact us live today: 990-9352 in Hillsborough, 461-9352 in Pinellas, toll-free -1800-969-9352. If you don’t feel like calling in, you can also email us at It comes through on our phone and could be answered live on air today if you have a question, you can send it to so, again, calling numbers 990-9352 in Hillsborough and 461-9352 in Pinellas. We were talking with Richard a little bit earlier in the show about insurance and the impact of Sandy. You were also bringing up a good point about how our market is starting to shift and how’s it’s impacting people with the coverage on their rebuilt cost for their insurance policy.

Richard Vazquez:             That’s right. Basically, I gage the real estate market by the types of phone calls that we get from our customers. And back in 2005, 2006 when the boom was going on and people were buying and selling houses as quickly as they can the typical phone call from our customer was when something like this they’d call up and say “Listen, you’ve insured my house for a $150,000 well how come it’s so low because I just bought this house for $225,000 and we’d have to explain how the re-build value is different from the market value; that market values go up and down and but the price of two-by-fours and concrete blocks and wiring doesn’t go up and down as much so because you know we’re in such a building boom that that’s how come we’re only insuring it for $150,000 because the retail value is much higher than that. Then that kind of switched in the last few years and it’s gone the other direction where people are calling us up and saying “You’ve insured my house for $150,000 – why is that so high? Because right now if I were to go to sell it, I could only sell it for $100,000.” And we’d have to explain the same thing but in reverse: the price of two-by-fours and concrete blocks didn’t drop as much as the housing market did so we still have to be able to rebuild their house so that’s why we have to insure for that $150,000. And within the last week I’ve taken two phone calls that have gone back in the other direction. And it was kind of a shock to me because I wasn’t used to taking phone calls like that of people calling me up and going: “Hey, you wrote me a quote on this house that I’m buying. You only wrote the quote for a $150,000 yet I’m buying it for $225,000 so how come you’re trying to insure so low?” And I’d have to go back and explain the whole thing so it seems like we’re right in the middle of that shift where we’re shifting from the buyer’s market to the sellers’ market again and we’re starting to get those phone calls where people are wanting me to try and find ways to increase the dwelling value because they’re paying much more for the houses than what we’re trying to insure them for even though it may only cost $150,000 to rebuild this house that they’re paying $200,000-$250,000 because it’s a sellers’ market out there and they’re having to pay a premium for it.

Andrew Duncan:              No and it’s a valid point because I think again a consumer’s mindset changes.

Richard Vazquez:             Absolutely.

Andrew Duncan:              And I think that it changes when you’re dealing with the shift in the real estate market it changes the scenarios and I think people naturally when the market is healthy versus when it’s not healthy, they think differently.

Richard Vazquez:             Right. Yeah, absolutely, they do. And it’s funny to see a lot of these people who are sometimes the same people. We have people who called us up three years ago and we insured their house and talked with us and we consulted them and finally we said: “OK, look, we’ll review your insurance” and we ended up lowering their coverage a little bit. Now some of those same people are starting to call us back and want us to review their policies so that we can raise it again.

Andrew Duncan:             Because they’re concerned the value is higher and they don’t want to…especially, do you think more of that will happen like the coming weeks because of Sandy? Like people are seeing the devastation and are like: “I want to make sure I’m fully insured.”

Richard Vazquez:            Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And a lot of this is just going to be concerning people just wanting to review their policies, which is absolutely right thing to do. If you haven’t talked with you real estate agent in the last three years or if you deal with a 1-800 number somewhere who you don’t have any idea who represents you, you need to build that relationship with your insurance agents and you really need to sit down and consult with them and just have them review your policy and make sure that you’re properly insured because things do change, absolutely. They change in the market out there.

Andrew Duncan:             Well, and it’s hard for people because you know the other challenge that you have is you go websites like Zillow and Trulia and all these websites that claim to be able to spit out an automated number.

Richard Vazquez:             Right.

Andrew Duncan:              And there’s really no way in anyone can just spit out an automated number. It’s just irresponsible to do that because no one is seeing inside your home and upgrades. I mean there are so many variables in selling your home and that’s why we put together We want to give people an insight direct in the MLS, then we take some of those features and consideration and then we personally look at it and say “OK, do we need to make an adjustment to this to be able to give someone an approximate value because there’s no way that you can do it with a computer. We’ve got friends of our up North that run large real estate companies and it’s interesting because they’ve attempted to put it together this algorithms to make it so you could go online and find out like an automated devaluation and give it an exact number and then you’ve got like Bank of America and all the lenders that do something similar, but there’s no way that they can be 100% correct. So, one of the news out there in insurance world do you have going on that’s important for our listeners?

Richard Vazquez:             Well, again, we talked about a little bit earlier: flood insurance is something that’s very inexpensive to buy. If you’re not in an active flood zone. And I’ve said this before and people sometimes raise their eyebrows when I say it but it’s true: 70% of all flood damage occurs every year in areas that are not active flood zones.

Andrew Duncan:              So not covered. So, again, it’s the same challenge in that people get hammered because they don’t pay. So talk about a typical, let’s talk about a typical neighborhood with a $200,000 house in a non-flood zone. I mean the cost for flood coverage for that type of a property are relatively inexpensive?

Richard Vazquez:             Yeah, if you’re not in a flood zone and now keep in mind that for people who aren’t in a flood zones it’s almost like ordering off a menu. FEMA puts out you can buy this much insurance for this price and down the line. So, if you’re not in an active flood zone it’s very easy for me to determine how much it’s going to cost you for flood insurance. And for a typical $200,000 home that’s not in an active flood zone, you’re talking about $350 a year. That’s coverage for your house as well as coverage for your contents. Now, if you’re in an active flood zone, it’s a totally different story.

Andrew Duncan:              Right, because then you’ve got to determine the elevation, how much it’s going to be, what zone you’re in. But not in a flood-zone. Again, we always encourage it to people because you have the big one come through and you’re talking crazy devastation.

Richard Vazquez:             And for a $350 a year, you know you’re not sitting out there going and I feel so bad for these people that were on the TV over the last week crying into cameras saying “WE have nothing. Everything I had was gone.” And it’s true. Everything that they had was gone and basically those people are now hoping that somebody’s going to come up and take care of them whereas if you had spent the $350 investment..

Andrew Duncan:              You’d know.

Richard Vazquez:             You would have peace of mind in place. You know you’re going to be taken care of.

Andrew Duncan:              So in other news next weekend show we’re going to Nate Davis from Plant City Mortgages on with us, Nate comes on Sunday of every month but I want to give a couple new mortgage updates. We’re constantly getting called by people who short sale their property – two, three, four, five years ago looking to buy now and FHA makes it eligible for you to be three years past foreclosure or short sale and qualify. Now, again, still a lot of terms and conditions. It’s not like doing a short sale three years ago or a foreclosure three years ago automatically qualifies you but you’re eligible. You won’t get the immediate red flag. There are a lot of steps to go through but if you were in that situation we’ll talk about this in a little bit more detail next week but let’s say you short sold your property in 2009, you may be able to qualify for a mortgage again today. You may be able to buy a home again, assuming your the rest of your credit you’ve taken a good care of, you’ve got significant income and down payment and employment, FHA ensures home loans that banks can offer these loans and for many Florida residents who went through foreclosure an FHA loan might be the best option to buy a home. They might want to go through one of these scenarios.

So, again, you’re listening to the Duncan Duo Real Estate Show here on 970WFLA. If you’ve questions, you can call us: 990-9352 in Hillsborough, 461-9352 in Pinellas. In other news: Warren Buffet said Tuesday he’s buying the Prudential – Real Living real estate franchise and watching a new brokerage brand for those agents called, I believe, it’s Berkshire Hathaway Home Services. I thought this was kind of interesting just from a news stand point because if you’re talking about a hedge in real estate market this is one of the most savvy investors ever. And if he is deciding to buy in now and to double down on real estate as a consumer you’ve got to have some positive encouragement that if this guy’s making an investment to buy this huge real estate brokerage, that it’s a great sign for real estate. To have his name involved in real estate and then to have him making that decision now with all the other subsidiaries that they own. I think that they also 80 different companies and major investments in some major companies. So, he monitors a lot of things so it’s definitely an interesting sign for our real estate market. Tampa Bay landed in the middle of the metro pack in the 2013 real estate outlook. 51 major markets were surveyed in the 2013 emerging trends in real estate. Basically, just estimating what the kind of recovery would happen in the State and how improved the market would be in 2013. They’re pretty much in the middle of the pack. Miami broke through at solid number 12, Orlando is ranked just ahead of us – again, right in the middle of the pack. A lot of the major draw markets were also expecting huge recoveries. The Las Vegas, San Francisco, New York, Southern California seemed to be at the top of the list. Again, you’re listening to the Duncan Duo Real Estate show here on 970WFLA. We’ll be back to talk about the home-listing do’s and don’ts. How to get your home sold when it hasn’t been sold and when it’s been stale on the market, after a quick break here on the Duncan Duo show.


Andrew Duncan:              So, we’re back here wrapping up the show here on 970 talking about home listing do’s and don’ts. There are some things you should do. So, let’s say your home is out there on the market right now and it hasn’t sold and it’s been on there for a few months. First thing you need to do is probably address your price. So often price is the challenge. You’re out there, you’re on the market, you’ve been on the market a few months – if you haven’t had an offer on the property within a few month and it’s properly marketed – so, again, we’re going to talk about that in the do’s and don’ts because there are ways that you can make sure it’s properly marketed – and you don’t have an offer, it’s generally the price. You’ve overpriced and the market is telling you your home isn’t worth that number, it may not deliver you an offer. So, one thing to keep in mind if you’re out there and if your listing is stale, generally, it’s the price that the market is rejecting. So, if your home hasn’t sold, look in the mirror, decide what you really want to do. If you really want to sell it, you’ve got to get it the market value and price it appropriately with what the market will bear. Some do’s and don’ts. You want to have a nice, high quality photos of your house and lots of photos. Some will now allow 25 photos – another website that we worked with will allow you up to 50. So you want to have professional, high grade photos, video is also a huge way to sell the property. You can get people look at the property with video because they can see every angle of the house. They can see the floor plan that they cannot see with the photos. So maybe your home’s been on the market for a while and the photos are really dungy, the grass is ugly or the agent that you hired didn’t take quality photos, maybe have them hire somebody to go out and take new quality photos. Another is the public remark section to list ways the home differs from similar ones on the market. Nothing frustrates me more than seeing a listing on the market that say “Really nice, three-two in Seminole Heights” That’s the worst description you can possibly describe. I mean you have to describe all the benefits. People’s attention span today is like they’re next, they’ll click next. You’ve got to do something in that paragraph to describe the home. Describe the setting, the emotional setting, all the positive features of it or the benefits of it that tie in the value. In other words that make it worth that number. If it’s $20,000 more than all the other homes in the neighborhood but it’s got a pool and a decked out kitchen, make sure it’ll explain that. Use those remarks and features to really effectively describe and sell the property. We do that. We write a professional copy with every listing that we take but I cannot tell you how often I look at the listing and I see the first two things I see are terrible photos and a horrible description. And then people wonder why their home hasn’t sold. Well, it hasn’t sold because it looks terrible. It looks like crap – excuse my language, but that’s what it looks like. You have to spruce it up. If you want to sell your home for top dollars, it’s got to look beautiful.

And then also don’t oversell the home. If you’ve got a home that’s priced at $100,000 don’t make it sound like a million dollar home. You’ve got to understand who you’re selling the property to as well. If you target consumers a $100,000 buyer, you’re not going to want to talk about features that make it sound like it’s more valuable because then what you’re doing is when the consumer gets there, they’re disappointed. Like, for example, a water-view. If the water-view is the paddle in your driveway, that’s not really a water-view. And I’ve seen that happen before because the consumer gets so excited, they see this property, it sounds like a great deal and they get there and they’re let down. So a few dos and don’ts this time also when it comes to the holidays a lot of people are hesitant to put their home on the market during the holiday because they think that “Oh, there’s nobody going to be looking.” But we’re getting an influx of population in Tampa Bay and our real estate market doesn’t see the downturn that we see in the North, for example, because we don’t have the climate change. In fact, I think last year December was our second best month of the year. This year, so far November is looking like our best month of the year. Real estate doesn’t die like it does in the North in Tampa Bay. Certainly a do is if you’re out there thinking about telling your home and you’re concerned wait till spring, talk to us and let us see if maybe it’s a wiser move to look at doing it now because you might have less competition because more and more people will think like you’re thinking and you want to do the opposite what everyone else’s doing. If everyone’s saying “Oh, I’m going to wait till spring.” when you go on the market in spring, there’s going to be a ton of homes. Right now, there’s not as many hitting and there’s are tons of buyers that missed out on inventory in the summer. And don’t forget to check out Again, where we put the best bargains in the marketplace every week our team hand-picks some of the best bargains in the marketplace across the entire Tri-County Tampa Bay area: foreclosures and short sales. Again, it’s If you’re looking for a free home-evaluation, check out Thanks for tuning in, we’ll be here next Sunday with Nate Davis from Plant City Mortgages.

Have a great rest of your Sunday, Tampa Bay.

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