Palm Beach Real Estate News

As the country reopens and starts to lift COVID-related restrictions, more people are getting back into the housing market—but many sellers are still concerned with how the pandemic will impact their home sale.

According to a new survey from LendingTree, more than 80 percent of sellers are concerned their home won’t sell—and almost 70 percent of sellers would accept a lower price in order to sell their home in the midst of the pandemic.

The Takeaway:

What does that mean for you? While this concern isn’t the best news for sellers, it is good news for buyers. Sellers are willing to lower their home price in order to successfully sell their properties, at least for the time being. So, if you’re thinking about buying, now could be a great time to score a deal on your home purchase.

Posted in:home buyerPosted in:home buying and tagged: home buyerhome buying
Posted by Heather Smith on July 6th, 2020 4:18 PM

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, many potential buyers decided to put their home search on hold. But it looks like buyers are getting back to searching for homes online.

According to recent analysis from LendingTree, which analyzed Google search data, search interest value for the term “homes for sale,” which measures the popularity of a search term on a scale of 1 to 100, jumped from a low of 56 when the pandemic hit to 86 by the end of April—an increase of 54 percent!

The Takeaway:

So, what does this mean for you? An increase in searches for the term “homes for sale” is a good indicator that buyer interest is starting to pick up again—so if you’re thinking about selling your home, consider that good news. And, if you’re thinking about buying, know that you’re not alone, and you may have some stiff competition for houses you want to buy.

Posted by Heather Smith on June 4th, 2020 12:40 PM

5 Questions Buyers Have During the Coronavirus Outbreak Answer

Everyone is being affected in some manner by the outbreak of Covid-19 coronavirus. During this time, buyers will have more questions than normal about the home buying process and their ability to buy a new home. While we can’t predict what the next few weeks and months will bring, the more we can educate ourselves, the better we can help buyers navigate the buying process smoothly during the pandemic. Here are a few common buyer questions as they related to the Coronavirus outbreak and real estate answered.

1. Can we still go see home listings in person? – This is the hardest question to answer and it will depend on the home, the seller, the agent and any fast-changing governmental policies put in place. Agents should be able to offer a Skype or Face Time home tour virtually. Talk to your agent to find out what they have available for the buyers to prescreen the home virtually before setting up the visit; they might have virtual tours already available which can help rule out those that don’t suit their needs.

2. How can I stay safe while visiting homes? – Everyone’s health has to be the priority; this includes the buyers, sellers, and agents. If you are going to see a home in person during this time, carry hand sanitizer and wipes to use before, during and after the tour. Drive separately from your agent meet at the homes. During the tour, designate one person to open doors, drawers, and closets and use disposable gloves during the showing.

3. What happens if I lose my job during the escrow period? –Most real estate contracts include a contingency that protects the buyer in the event they can’t get final loan approval and close the loan. Typically during the process, this contingency is removed after a set time frame, or after receiving the loan approval. Since every aspect of real estate is negotiable, consider asking for the contingency deadline to be extended and in place until the close; talk through this aspect with the seller and their agent in advance to set the right expectation.

4. Will I still have access to the home during the escrow period? – It’s very common for the buyer to have easy access to the home during the escrow period; home inspections, appraisals and just measuring are all common reasons to visit the home during escrow. Consider grouping these activities whenever possible.

5. Will I get a better deal if I wait to buy a new home? – We all know there’s no crystal ball, but with everything that’s going on, sellers on the market should be very motivated to sell. There are also historically low-interest rates on home loans. There is no way to predict the future, so if the right home comes along, it makes sense to consider it.

The Covid-19 outbreak is causing some uncertainty among home buyers, sellers, and even agents. However, with the use of technology and following best practices, you can still find the home you’ve been waiting for during this time.

Posted by Heather Smith on May 21st, 2020 12:51 PM

Predicting the housing market should be an Olympic event; everyone loves to predict the ups and downs of the real estate market. As we enter 2020 consumers are wondering if it’s a good time to buy? What can home buyers expect this year and is it time to move?

Housing Market Trends 2020
Most analysts agree that 2020 should see a continuation of the momentum which built in 2019. The foundation for growth is strong with low unemployment numbers, higher household incomes and high consumer confidence. Additionally, we are starting to see more Millennials enter the housing market than ever before.

Housing Stocks
More and more investors are realizing the value of adding real estate to their portfolios. Shunting the hassle of owning rental properties, many of these investors, as well as new participants, are turning to REITs for investment diversification. REITs that are based on hard assets provide stability as well as liquidity, making them very popular. The types of properties held in these funds is changing also. In addition to commercial and large scale buildings, many funds are adding smaller homes to their portfolio – taking advantage of the growing down-sizing trend as Baby Boomers move to their next home.

Market Picture for Buyers

Overall, buyers should find a nice selection of homes from which to choose. Interest rates are expected to remain reasonable and home prices should flatten a bit with the increased inventory of homes. All-in-all, 2020 should be a continuation of the past year with no extreme moves expected in the market.

Posted by Heather Smith on February 28th, 2020 6:29 PM


A lack of inventory has made it extremely challenging for would-be buyers to find the right property. But it looks like a wave of new construction may finally be on the way—and, judging by the permits, that wave is going to be a significant one.

According to a recent article in REALTOR Magazine, housing permits (which act as a predictor for future construction) increased 5 percent in October. That’s the fastest rate of permit authorization since 2007—just before the Great Recession.

According to Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of REALTORS®, this increase in housing permits is “tremendously good news for the housing sector.”

“At 1.46 million units on an annualized basis, housing permits are nearly to the level needed for the country over the long haul,” Yun said in the article. “Since new-home construction kicks off the chain reaction of people trading up and trading down by buying new and selling their existing homes, more housing inventory will surely show up in the market next year.”

The Takeaway:

So, what does this mean for you? If you’ve been trying to buy a home but have struggled with a lack of inventory, this increase in housing permits should be the jumping off point for new construction—and once that new construction hits the market, it should make it easier for buyers to find the right home.

Posted in:homebuyerPosted in:buying a homePosted in:home buyer and tagged: homebuyerbuying a homehome buyer
Posted by Heather Smith on January 10th, 2020 2:57 PM



For most first-time buyers, purchasing a home is the biggest purchase of their lives—but according to a recent survey, the majority of them don’t exactly feel prepared.

A recent article from REALTOR Magazine outlined a survey from first-time homebuyer survey from real estate resource Framework, which found that the majority of first-time homebuyers feel unprepared to buy. According to the survey, only 41 percent of first-time homebuyers felt prepared for the homebuying process, while 44 percent said they feared making a costly mistake. And more than half of all first-time buyers—both prospective (58 percent) and recent (53%)—said the homebuying process was more difficult than it needed to be.

What does this mean for you? If you’re buying a home for the first time, you want to feel as prepared as possible—and that means working with a qualified real estate agent. The right agent will help you feel prepared for every step of the homebuying journey—and make the entire process of buying a home feel less complicated and difficult.


Posted by Heather Smith on November 21st, 2019 3:07 PM

A lot of potential home buyers think that in order to successfully buy property they need to save up a sizeable down payment of 20% of the purchase price—and that until they have that down payment in the bank they can’t transition to homeownership.

But the “20% down payment myth” just isn’t true. Thanks to a variety of lending options, there are plenty of buyers out there purchasing property with far less than 20% down.

According to recent research from Zillow, 24.2% of buyers put down 5% or less when purchasing their homes. That’s nearly one in four buyers on the market!

The Takeaway

According to this data, it’s not only possible to purchase a home with a down payment of 5% or less, it’s also extremely common. So if you’ve been putting off buying a home until you have a 20% down payment in the bank, it might be time to rethink your strategy—and finally make your dream of homeownership a reality in 2019.

Posted in:homeownerPosted in:buying a homePosted in:home buyer and tagged: buying a homehomeownerhome buyer
Posted by Heather Smith on June 26th, 2019 1:02 PM

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Heather Smith

Illustrated Properties 125 Worth Avenue, Suite 202
Palm Beach, FL 33480-4094