Sep 16, 2023 - Real Estate

Tampa Bay buyers don't want your fixer-upper

Illustration of two hammers forming an "X" shape.

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Tampa Bay sellers need to put in a little work for buyers to bite, Tampa-based agent Paul Fennell says.

Why it matters: Homebuyers already burdened by gravity-defying prices and mortgage rates don't want to move into an HGTV "before" photo.

What's happening: Sellers typically have a bias toward their house β€” and, of course, it's natural to want top-dollar for your home, Fennell says.

  • But they're starting to understand we're in a very different market than we were two years ago; buyers are strapped and can't afford to overpay, he says.

What they're saying: Sellers in the $300K-$400K listing range can expect to spend up to $30,000 getting their home ready for market. Fennell recommends spending the bulk of your budget on:

πŸ‘ƒ Erasing smells. The easiest way to neutral scent is to replace the carpets and carpet pads, especially if you have pets.

πŸ’‘ Lights. Choose neutral paint and flooring, and upgrade lighting.

πŸ›  Updating cabinets. Now's not the time for a full kitchen reno, but painting dark maple cabinets and adding fresh handles will go a long way.

🌳 Landscaping. Pull weeds, mow the lawn, remove branches from the roof.

The big picture: Self-identified fixer-uppers are typically selling for less, and more slowly, than expected, according to Zillow data shared with Axios.

  • Across the U.S., listings that mention the phrase β€” just 0.3% of sales in the first half of the year β€” sold at a 3.1% discount and took 3.2 days longer to sell relative to expectations, the data shows.
  • Listings pegged as "remodeled" or "renovated," which accounted for 24.1% of U.S. sales, sold at a 1.2% premium and 1.8 days faster than expected.

Zoom in: Listings that mention "fixer-upper" comprised 0.3% of Tampa. metro-area sales in the first half of 2023, per the Zillow data, while those advertised as "remodeled" or "renovated" made up 28.9%.

Data: Redfin; Note: Metro divisions are subdivisions of metropolitan areas; Chart: Axios Visuals

By the numbers: Roughly 47.5% of Tampa-area homes in July were snapped up in two weeks or less, according to Redfin data shared with Axios.

  • Nationwide, around 41% of listings were marked pending, contingent or sold within that window, Redfin found.

State of play: Houses that stay on the market for more than a month are usually overpriced or in need of major work, according to Redfin's Taylor Marr.

  • Tampa homes go off-market after a median of 21 days, compared to 10 days a year ago, per the real estate brokerage.

Go deeper: A $630K Bradenton fixer-upper with a dated kitchen and finishes has been on the market for 98 days so far.


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