When it comes to listing Pinellas County real estate, many sellers realize it’s the step-up buyer with the money to make a solid offer. A recent survey by the National Association of Realtors shows renters’ confidence in buying a home is down significantly compared to last year, but current home owners remain confident that it’s a good time to buy or sell. For sellers, there are pros and cons to dealing with fewer first-time home buyers and/or renters. In some cases, the buyer wants to sell their current home before going to closing on a new home purchase. They might add contingencies based on whether their home sells by a certain date. On the other hand, people who already own a home often take out conventional loans and contribute more to the closing costs. According to a recent report by CNBC.com, renters are less likely to buy now because of high home prices.

Getting out of the rent trap

The recent survey showed 52 percent of renters feel it is a good time to buy a home compared to 62 percent last year. Meanwhile, 80 percent of homeowners think now is a good time to buy a home. The home owner confidence remains unchanged from last year. Home owner confidence reflects positively on home ownership. Most people who already own a home enjoy greater wealth due to equity. Delaying home ownership and staying in the rent trap often delays financial opportunities for many renters in Pinellas County.

Waiting for credit standards to ease

Experts point out more buyers will likely enter the housing market soon as new underwriting standards go into effect. Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Authority plan to ease credit standards. Pressure to compete for mortgage volume often leads lenders to lighten up on first-time homebuyers and others with lower credit scores.

Home sellers in Pinellas County who want to sell quickly stage their home to appeal to the move-up buyer. At the same time, experts recommend sellers not go overboard with major renovations or upgrades. If you own a starter home, expect interest to pick up as more first-time buyers receive loan approvals. The real estate market is somewhat seasonal in Pinellas with fewer people shopping in late summer and fall. During the winter months, expect more traffic from “snowbirds” and visitors.

At International Title Partners, LLC, we provide innovative title services that save you money. For more information about trends with Pinellas County real estate, please contact us. We take pride in being a new kind of Title Company.