Thursday, May 23, 2019
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Coral GablesReal Estate

Deal Breakers & Deal Makers in a Fluctuating Market

With an increase in inventory of homes for sale in Coral Gables, buyers are becoming more selective. When the pendulum swings towards buyers, prospects’ expectations typically rise. That has been my experience in The City Beautiful in the last six months. While new roofs and impact windows were seen as an added bonus before, now they are required by most home buyers.

As people’s lives are becoming increasingly busy, buyer’s have less of an appetite for renovation than in the past. They expect to buy updated homes, or that the sales price and/or credits clearly reflect attributes that properties lack. Early in their search, home buyers stipulate more than preferred location, budget, bedroom count, and architecture style. They are also communicating must haves that include impact windows, newer roof, and even the confirmation of PVC pipes.

Often if a home doesn’t include these enhancements, it’s a deal breaker. To be honest, these homes may never get toured by savvy clients and hence will not enter their consideration set. Many of my sellers express that they are in a catch-22. They prefer not to go through the disruption and/or expense of updating the property they are prepared to sell, but want to secure top dollar for it in the quickest time frame.

Clearly, the seller whose house does not include some of the coveted upgrades must decide between investing more in their home to maximize profit and endure some inconvenience, or sell at a lower cost per square foot. There are benefits and drawbacks to either approach.

One must also keep in mind all the unknowns that arise at the time of inspection, a slew of which can be instant deal breakers. Cast-iron pipes, mold, and septic tank issues have the potential to be deal killers. There are a number of different tactics that a seasoned Realtor employs to negotiate fair terms to solidify a transaction in the event that these issues surface, but with more homes on the market, buyers feel more emboldened to look for other options.

On the other hand, there are some products that are not highly requested but seem to encourage prospect buy-in. A generator in South Florida is a huge plus as are technology enhancements including surround sound, wired cameras, and Nest-type products. These value-added components are a smaller investment but can be impressive.

A buyers’ market raises the stakes for home sellers but can be a collective win for all parties when expectations are effectively managed. If you are listing your property, align yourself with an experienced, local agent that maneuvers the inevitable complexity of buyers’ expectations and maximizes your property’s value proposition.


Carole Smith has consistently been among the top five Realtors in Coral Gables for over 20 years. Assisting hundreds of families find their place in the world in Coral Gables has been among her most significant professional accomplishments.

Carole Smith
the authorCarole Smith

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