Real Estate Sales in SWFL Golf Communities…Pandemic and After

When the entire economy essentially shut down around mid-March 2020, it appeared to be absolute destruction for the real estate industry. However, designation as an “essential industry” quickly changed that. Then, over time, “working remotely” kicked into gear and employees in a multitude of industries realized that they could satisfy their job requirements and responsibilities from more satisfying locales. Additionally, concerns about personal and family safety in high-population areas; unacceptable local and state taxes; disagreement with the decisions and direction of local politicians; and, universal dislike of cold weather, prompted millions of folks to pull up stakes and head to more acceptable areas. Florida, more than ever, became a prime target of these migrants.

At the same time, people were finding out that golf was one of the few sports that could be played safely during the pandemic, and it went through a massive rejuvenation. People coming from northern and midwestern states sought out residency in golf communities more than ever…and nowhere in Florida could they satisfy their golf “appetite” more than in Southwest Florida, the home of over a hundred golf communities and over 150 golf courses.

Southwest Florida golf community real estate sales skyrocketed…2020 sales, beginning in May—when people started traveling—were phenomenal. 2021 real estate sales in these golf communities accelerated to record-setting levels. Buyers were happy, sellers were excited, and real estate brokers and agents were experiencing sales volume that hadn’t been seen since the doomed “funny money” years of 2004-2006. And, the really good news was that this sales boom was on a significantly more sound financial basis than that previous period.

Then the unexpected happened. Because of the continuing sales explosion, and because fewer homes than normal went onto the market in late-2020/early-2021 due to decreased number of owners (especially from Canada) coming to Southwest Florida due to Covid concerns and restrictions, inventory dried up. Large golf communities of 3000-6000 condos and houses that normally had hundreds of homes for sale at any point-in-time, dried up to 10-20 active daily listings, offering inadequate selection. Popular medium-sized golf communities of 800-1500 homes quite often had zero homes available for sale. Ironically, the tragic pandemic had exacerbated Southwest Florida real estate sales to record levels, but the over-whelming sales results had, in turn, left us with minimal inventory to sell.

Buyer demand is continuing to be extremely strong, but buyers are now operating in a “seller’s market” and prices are going up at an unrealistic pace. New listings are tied up with a full schedule of showings their first few days on the market (if they last that long), getting multiple offers, and selling for generous premiums over asking price.

Here are some suggestions that might help you win the bidding war on your “dream” golf home…

  1.  Watch new listings on a daily basis—If you’re comfortable using some of the national apps and websites, continue using them. However, if your target is a home in a Southwest Florida golf community, my personal website (GolfHomeGuru.com) and personal iPhone/iPad/Android App (Golf Home Guru) are the most comprehensive, informative, and user-friendly Southwest Florida golf community-specialized resources that you will find.
  2. Be willing to buy sight-unseen—If you’re not already in Southwest Florida, you probably don’t have time to fly down and look at the home you like online. If you really want it, you’re going to have to rely on online photos, virtual tours, and FaceTime or Zoom sessions with your real estate agent. There’s no time for hesitation in this market if you’re committed to a particular home.
  3. Be willing to pay premium dollars—In some cases, this may be significantly over asking price; the surplus amount varies a lot from home-to-home. One of my recent clients offered $950,000 for a home that was listed at $895,000, and they lost it to a $1,000,000 offer. Don’t get too far out of line, though…eventually there will be a market correction…
  4. Be a cash buyer…or at least be willing to waive your financing contingency—Sellers are giving priority to cash offers so that they don’t have to wait 30-45 days for financing approval from the buyer’s lender. They’re also doing it so that they don’t need to worry about an appraisal not working out because of their inflated price.
  5. Be willing to close fast—Title companies, attorneys, lenders, etc. are so busy now that this is sometimes tough to do, but sellers want to be free of costly HOA fees, golf dues, special assessments, real estate taxes, etc. as soon as possible. If possible, shoot for 30-days-or-less.
  6. Be willing to take furnishings you normally wouldn’t buy—Every seller has their “hot button”, and for some it’s that they don’t want to mess with liquidating furnishings when they sell the home. If furnishings are included in the sale for a reasonable amount, accepting them might save your purchase.
  7. Be willing to buy “As Is”—“As Is” makes you responsible for any repairs that are required; however, if they look too costly, you can terminate the contract, so you’re properly protected. Some buyers are currently offering to waive inspections, but I wouldn’t advise this for anything other than a new/newer home.
  8. Eliminate other miscellaneous contingencies—Keep the contract as simple as you can in these very competitive times…sellers will reject bids loaded up with contingencies.

 Because of wariness about the current market, many prospective buyers are considering rental instead. However, available supply for rentals is also extremely limited…and expensive. Buying is still probably your best option…you just need to be alert, 100% committed, and willing to respond quickly per my above suggestions.

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A Special Offer from Joe,
The GOLF HOME GURU…
GET A FREE “MARKET ANALYSIS” FOR YOUR TOP SWFL GOLF COMMUNITIES!

Nobody knows SWFL golf homes better than the GURU! He’s been specializing in SWFL golf communities for the past 15-years, and he can help you find the golf home/golf community that will best fit YOUR personal budget, golfing habits and ability, and family lifestyle!


The GURU will send you an email to find out what golf communities you’re looking at…then he’ll send you detailed information about each of them!

How Can The GURU Reach You?

Please tell the GURU how he can get in touch with you. He needs to get more information regarding YOUR needs and priorities, and any golf communities that you’re already considering. The GURU will then send you a “Market Analysis” for each of these communities…plus, he’ll give you recommendations for other golf communities that would work well for you.

SATISFACTION “GURU-TEED”!
CHECK YOUR E-MAIL FOR A MESSAGE FROM THE GURU
A Special Offer from Joe,
The GOLF HOME GURU…
GET A FREE “MARKET ANALYSIS” FOR YOUR TOP SWFL GOLF COMMUNITIES!

Nobody knows SWFL golf homes better than the GURU! He’s been specializing in SWFL golf communities for the past 15-years, and he can help you find the golf home/golf community that will best fit YOUR personal budget, golfing habits and ability, and family lifestyle!


The GURU will send you an email to find out what golf communities you’re looking at…then he’ll send you detailed information about each of them!

How Can The GURU Reach You?

Please tell the GURU how he can get in touch with you. He needs to get more information regarding YOUR needs and priorities, and any golf communities that you’re already considering. The GURU will then send you a “Market Analysis” for each of these communities…plus, he’ll give you recommendations for other golf communities that would work well for you.

SATISFACTION “GURU-TEED”!
CHECK YOUR E-MAIL FOR A MESSAGE FROM THE GURU
A Special Offer from Joe,
The GOLF HOME GURU…
GET A FREE “MARKET ANALYSIS” FOR YOUR TOP SWFL GOLF COMMUNITIES!

Nobody knows SWFL golf homes better than the GURU! He’s been specializing in SWFL golf communities for the past 15-years, and he can help you find the golf home/golf community that will best fit YOUR personal budget, golfing habits and ability, and family lifestyle!


The GURU will send you an email to find out what golf communities you’re looking at…then he’ll send you detailed information about each of them!

How Can The GURU Reach You?

Please tell the GURU how he can get in touch with you. He needs to get more information regarding YOUR needs and priorities, and any golf communities that you’re already considering. The GURU will then send you a “Market Analysis” for each of these communities…plus, he’ll give you recommendations for other golf communities that would work well for you.

SATISFACTION “GURU-TEED”!
CHECK YOUR E-MAIL FOR A MESSAGE FROM THE GURU