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October 2020 Real Estate Market Report

Sarasota & Manatee Counties

Record Sales Continue to Dominate the Market

It’s no secret Sarasota and Manatee Counties are among the most desirable places to live, work and retire and October home sales demonstrate the continued growing interest among buyers to find their next best place.  October sales kept up the record setting pace set over the past several months. This included a continued rise in closed sales and median price.  While it’s definitely a seller’s market, there are still many opportunities for buyers and with mortgage rates at historic lows, there is no better time to sell or buy.

According to the Realtor® Association of Sarasota and Manatee, closed sales are up 34 percent across all categories and new pending sales were up a combined 39.5 percent compared to October 2019.

Commanding the lead were single-family home sales, up 48.4 percent in Manatee County and 30.1 percent in Sarasota County.  Condo sales also rose, with a 39 percent increase in Manatee and a 29 percent jump in Sarasota. 

Median sale price also continues to rise each month. In Manatee County, single-family home median prices increased by 10.4 percent to $360,000. Sarasota single-family prices increased by 20.2 percent to $345,000. Condo prices increased by 34.2 percent to $255,000 in Manatee and by 18.7 percent to $261,998 in Sarasota.

What it means for buyers

With average days on the market decreasing every month and now hovering around less than 18 days on the market in Manatee and 21 days in Sarasota, if you’re looking to buy, working with a local realtor who knows the market and has built-in relationships that come with knowing in advance when homes are coming to market will give you your best chance of finding a home that meets your needs and budgets.  Equally important is that you come ready with a bona-fide offer and minimal criteria for closing. The more flexible you can be on move-in and “as is” offers, the more likely you are to be one of the top offer considerations. 

Stay positive.  Even if you don’t get your first offer, know that more than a thousand listings come on the market in Manatee and Sarasota counties every month. While  inventory is currently below optimal levels there are still new opportunities coming forth every month.  Many new home communities also offer early signing deals that can enhance your build-out package and/or come with cash incentives.  It is also expected sellers will be following the seasonal schedule and list after the holidays so be ready!

What it means for sellers

Sellers who want serious offers should still follow fair market value pricing, which a good Realtor can assist with to minimize counter offers and other time limiting criteria from buyers, which adds to overall days on the market.  If you are planning to  list “in season,” between December and April, now is the time to be making sure your home is “sale ready,” including specific touch ups and curb appeal enhancements that help market your home.  In working with sellers, my services include assisting with preparing the house for the market and watching the prices and other listings to make sure your home is in the competitive market set.  In addition, you also receive expert advice on how to deal with multiple offers and differentiate one from the other in terms of overall ROI.

As a Florida native and 35+ year Sarasota resident, I have dedicated my professional career to providing expert knowledge and personalized service to both buyers and sellers. I would be happy to discuss your specific needs and interests and how I might assist you in finding your next dream home or assist a friend, family member or neighbor who make also be looking to buy or sell in Sarasota and Manatee Counties.

To learn more about the market and benefits of being a member of the #1 Most Trusted Real Estate Brand in the U.S.,  please visit www.sarasotahomesandlifestyles.com, email me at sarasotasuze@gmail.com or call/text me at 941-726-2227.

Happy Thanksgiving Wishes to you and your family!


Susan Phelps