Your Questions Answered

June 18, 2023

I thought this month I’d answer some questions from readers of The Rob Report, and buyers and sellers whom I have the pleasure to serve. I hope it provides insight on the state of the housing market in Sarasota County. If you are considering selling your home, I hope it gives you some things to think about.

Q:   What’s the market like right now?

I’d call it a slight seller’s advantage.  Home prices have plateaued. At $491,000, the median sold price is down 5.6% compared to last month, but at similar value to this time last year.  Basically, we’re at First Quarter 2022 prices.  Only 5% off the highs set in April 2022.

Q:    Should I sell my house now or wait?

If you have owned your home for more than 3-years, you should realize a significant net profit.  Don’t focus on monthly fluctuations, whether you missed the boat, the height of the market. Focus on the 3-5 year average. Afterall, your home is a lot more than a profit center. It’s your safe place.        

Q:     If I put my house on the market now, how long will it take to sell?

That is a function of the asking, the list price. The list price is determined by the condition of your home, whether there are improvements you should make that will extract a higher return than the cost of the improvements, and its location relative to comparable homes. In May, the median sold to list price ratio of homes that went under contract was 95%. Median days on the market, 47.

Q:      I’m hearing people are not getting the price they want for their home. Is that true?

Expectations. If based on the hyper, multiple-bid, name your price activity of last year, you’re bound to be disappointed. But if you’re happy about a 35% return over 2020, versus 40-45% return had you sold last year, then adjust your expectations. Expectations are often future resentment. Or as Warren Buffett is attributed to have said “You’ll never go broke taking a profit”.

Q:      It seems like there are more price reductions in my community.  Are we in a bubble?

This past week, the week ending June 16, 2023, 50% of all single family homes in Sarasota County had price reductions.  Only 2% had price increases. The reason goes back to seller’s expectations not in alignment with current trends. There has been a 5% market contraction.  But a bubble?  Hardly.  While mortgage rates approaching 7% have pushed many buyers to the sidelines, it has also left fewer sellers willing to let go of their under 3-4% mortgage. Although prices have moderated within a modest 5% range, the demographic need for housing is huge. When rates come down, which they will, prices will rise.

Q:      There seems to be more listings in my community.  Why is that?

Perception is not necessarily reality. There are actually less new listings, not more. Down 7.6% from last month, down 28.4% from May 2022, down 19.1% from same quarter last year, down 13.4% from current 12 months  versus the same 12 months 1 year ago.

Q:       Does curb appeal really make a difference, like changing the paint trim of a house, its shrubs?

Absolutely. It’s like dating or that job interview. First impressions mean a lot. And in this case, your first impression is  usually made from a computer screen. It is not in person. You don’t have the benefit of all the surroundings. Photography and descriptive language are critical.

Q:       How difficult is it to get homeowners insurance in Florida?

Like everything else in life, it all depends.  There is a distinction between a home’s useability and its insurability. For example, if a roof is 20-years old, it may be in great shape, but many insurance companies may choose not to insure it. That doesn’t mean you cannot obtain coverage; it just may take some “forum shopping.”   It is no secret that more insurance companies have become risk adverse due to the devastation imposed by recent storms and costs of litigation depleting reserves. Nevertheless, it is rare that a property is not insurable, provided you have the professional resources to procure it.

I hope these answers are helpful. If you have any questions that you would like me to answer, please email me at Thank you.