I’m familiar with what a flash sale is. Flash sales are a common term for e-commerce business models in which a website offers a single product for sale for a period of 24 hours. Sites like Gilt Groupe and GroupOn are flash sale models.
Well it seems the term “flash sale” has translated to real estate – especially in hot markets. The data comes from Seattle-based real estate firm Redfin, which has coined the term “Real Estate Flash Sales” for homes that go under contact within only hours of listing. Houston ranks No. 3 on the nationwide list, counting 188 flash sales within the past five months. I started thinking back on the last several listings I’ve had…
- 332 35th Ave NE – under contract in less than 48 hours – received multiple offers.
- 114 35th Ave N – under contract in less than 24 hours – technically a real estate flash sale! Sold cash at 98.52% of asking price.
- 2441 Adrian Ave – under contract in 3 days – but only because we got 9 offers in and asked for everyone’s highest and best before making a choice.
- 5975 Tanglewood – under contract in under 5 days.
Dare I say Tampa Bay is on its way to being a flash sale market…? We’ve been working with several frustrated buyers lately who go see a property and by the time they write the offer, it’s already gone. In my eyes it’s not always wise for Realtors to advise their Sellers to accept an offer on the 1st day a property is listed – unless maybe it is very close to or over asking price and cash with few contingencies.
The strategy we normally take for our listings is to (at the Seller’s direction of course) let it stay on the market for 3 to 5 days to allow all offers to come in, and informed all parties that we had multiple offers if we have them. This helps to bring the highest price for our Seller, and gives the listing time to get syndicated out to various real estate websites so that all the buyers in the market have a chance to review the listing and get in to see it. Sometimes taking this strategy upsets buyers who put in the offer at 24 hour deadline for a response, but in most cases I find that if they really want the house, they will hang in there with us the 3 to 5 days. However, I did get snipped at by another local Realtor recently when my listing on Tanglewood went under contract in under 5 days that she didn’t get the opportunity to show the listing. Well – we left it on as long as we could and this is why its imperative for buyers to have their Realtor set them up with an “ASAP” MLS search and go see new listings as soon as they hit your email.
New stats have recently been released on our local market that I thought were interesting. Cash is king. There’s been a huge jump in cash sales this year from the same time last year. Single Family Homes were up 24.4% for cash transactions and 19.3% for condos and townhomes. This is a sign of a lot of investors and foreign buyers in the market. We have approximately 5 months of inventory (below 6 months is an indicator of a Seller’s Market). While the number of closed sales paid in cash is a good indicator that investors are picking up properties; the combination of that and the low inventory means that prices will be driven higher due to demand.
Our average sale price is up 4.8% over last year and our number of listings on the market is down -12.7%. One of the most important indicators for the residential real estate market is closed sales. This breakdown is quite interesting – with the bulk of the market purchasing homes between $200-300K.
Another interesting chart to check out is the “New Listings by Initial Listing Price”. This is the number of properties put on the market during the month. As you may notice, we are seriously lacking new listings in certain price ranges. Finally, a look at the overall summary.
What do you think? Are we in a flash sale market here in Tampa Bay?