Real estate experts believe that Orlando home prices will stay strong for the remainder of 2021. With tight inventory and pent-up demand from buyers returning to the market, Magic City will remain a seller’s market over the next 12 months. To succeed in this market, buyers and sellers must come prepared. It is more important than ever to know how to ﬁnd the best Realtor for professional representation.
Table of contents
- Thinking of buying or selling your house in Orlando, FL?
- Find the right neighborhood in Orlando, Florida
- How real estate professionals can help buyers and sellers in Orlando, Florida
- How to ﬁnd the best Realtor in Orlando, Florida
- Why the Nickley Group is a real estate rock star
Single-family homes have been the best performing sector since the pandemic. According to the Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association (ORRA), home sales increased 82% in May 2021 over the same time last year. Realtors sold 3,999 homes in August 2021, up 13% from August 2020. The number of new listings also decreased 7.1% in August 2021 from the previous month.
The median home price was $320,000 in August 2021, up 16%from August 2020 and a record-high for the market. Properties spent just an average of 25 days on the market, which is a record low and is only half the time spent on the market in 2020.
Because of high demand, homes go under contract almost as soon as they’re listed. There’s a long line of buyers entering the market after putting oﬀ the home search during the ﬁrst few months of the pandemic. Sellers are also eager to take advantage of record home prices and lower interest rates.
Recent developments and future prospects in Orlando, Florida
Residential and commercial construction starts have increased 18% year-over-year through August 2021 as Orlando and the surrounding areas recover from the pandemic slump. Major developments in the pipeline include the new Disney headquarters, the Orlando Museum of Art’s downtown site, and several hotels.
There are also some high-proﬁle apartment complexes and multi-family properties underway in the Lake Nona area in Southeast Orlando. Developers are lining up projects in and around the 17-square mile community, which is considered among the most desirable places to live in the city. There’s a strong demand for apartments in the area, with a 4.7% average vacancy rate in the Lake Nona apartment submarket compared to an average of 5.3% in the larger Orlando area, according to data from the CoStar Group. The Lake Nona submarket also has an average monthly rental rate of $1,969 – the highest in Orlando and surpassing the city average of $1,587.
Another market trend has large real estate investors purchasing Orlando residential properties at full speed, acquiring properties 170% more compared to the same time period in 2020. This trend contributes partially to Orlando’s dwindling supply and higher home prices.
Why people are moving to Orlando, Florida
The strong demand for housing in Orlando has to do with an inﬂux of new residents and a booming economy that presents countless opportunities for career and personal development. Even before the pandemic, a study by the Orlando Economic Partnership found that an average of 1,500 people were moving to Central Florida each week.
According to Redﬁn data, the Orlando Metro Area welcomed 61,000 new residents in 2020, making it the third fastest-growing housing market in the United States. ORRA found that approximately 75% of new Central Florida residents came from the Northeast.
Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings anticipates 700,000 new residents arriving in the county by 2050, putting the population at more than 2 million within the next 30 years. Orlando serves as the seat of Orange County.
Mayor Demings cites several drivers for the county’s rapidly growing population, including the fact that Metro Orlando opened at a much faster pace than many other metro areas during the pandemic, making it an attractive prospect for buyers bristling under COVID-19 restrictions.
There was also a massive relocation among tech employees and hedge-fund execs in search of better taxes, warmer weather, and larger homes during the pandemic. Many of these new residents moved to Florida from New York and California, where higher taxes, higher housing costs, and ﬂexible working arrangements have pushed them to set down roots in Florida.
Orlando’s growth is putting pressure on the real estate market with a low housing supply and a higher median home price of $300,000, up 15% from May 2020.
Orlando is a patchwork of desirable neighborhoods, each with its own ﬂavor and identity. Choosing is the hard part. Here’s a short guide to some of the most notable neighborhoods in the city:
- Lake NonaAs one of the city’s most visited neighborhoods, Lake Nona is known for its vibrant shopping, dining, and entertainment scene. This master-planned community has its own Tom Fazio-designed golf course, commercial complex, and medical and research facilities. Highlights include the Lake Nona Golf & Country Club, Lake Nona Town Center, and Nona Adventure Park.
At approximately 17 square miles, it is a self-contained community with an excellent selection of single-family homes and townhomes. Prevalent architectural styles include Mediterranean, Craftsman, and Contemporary. Residents have access to Orlando International Airport, Walt Disney World Resort, SeaWorld, and USTA National Campus.
- Downtown OrlandoAlso known as the Orlando Central Business District (CBD), Downtown is one of the most exciting places to live in the city. Here you’ll ﬁnd high-rise apartment buildings and modern condo complexes just a stone’s throw from oﬃces, shops, bars, and restaurants. Aside from condos and apartments, there’s also a limited selection of single-family homes in the neighborhood.
Highlights include world-class entertainment venues like the Amway Center and Dr. Phillips Center, where residents can watch musicals, concerts, and basketball matches.
- Audubon ParkAudubon Park Gardens District is an award-winning eco-village and shopping and dining district that caters to buyers who enjoy the ﬁner things in life. The neighborhood oﬀers stylish suburban living with independently-owned clothes stores, weekend markets, bakeries, and craft beer parlors.
Highlights include the East End Market, where residents shop for organic produce and artisanal goods, and Harry P. Leu Gardens, an exquisitely maintained 50-acre botanical garden.
Located near Downtown Orlando and Winter Park, Audubon Park is known for its 1920s single-family homes and townhomes on meticulously landscaped streets. Prevalent architectural styles include Mid-Century Modern and Ranch.
- Thornton ParkThis trendy but laid-back neighborhood oﬀers the best of urban living in Orlando, with boutiques, eateries, and cafes along cobblestone streets. It’s a picturesque area with Bungalow-style homes hidden behind mature oaks and Spanish moss. Highlights include the decorative fountain on Washington Street and nearby Lake Eola. Living in Thornton Park also gives residents access to one of the most reputable school districts in the Orlando area.
- Park LakeLocated north of Lake Eola, Park Lake oﬀers scenic views in a tranquil setting. The neighborhood is prized for its historic lakefront homes and newer construction single-family homes. Highlights include the Orlando Urban Trail, a popular recreational trail, and a vibrant local dining scene that oﬀers everything from Vietnamese cuisine to Spanish tapas. The neighborhood is also home to Lake Highland Prep, one of Orlando’s most esteemed academic institutions.
- Delaney LakeDelaney Lake is known for picturesque brick-lined streets with giant oaks, playgrounds, ball ﬁelds, and picnic areas. Highlights include Delaney Park, one of the oldest parks in Orlando and which oﬀers 7.25 acres of greenery and open spaces.
Located south of Downtown Orlando, Delaney Lake is a quiet and desirable enclave with good schools and gorgeous Spanish Revival and Mid-Century Modern homes from the 1930s and 1940s. Buyers will also ﬁnd new construction townhomes with Modern and Contemporary architecture.
Working with a real estate professional is one of your best options for securing your ideal home in Orlando. But what’s the diﬀerence between an agent, Realtor, and broker? To simplify, the main diﬀerences between these job titles have to do with their roles, training, and work standards.
An agent holds a professional real estate license to help clients buy, sell, or lease real estate. To secure a real estate license, agents undergo pre-licensing training, with the number of training hours varying signiﬁcantly by jurisdiction. In Florida, applicants are required to complete 63 hours of pre-licensing training. After training is done, they must pass the sales associate exam. Once they meet these requirements, they pay a processing fee and get ﬁngerprinted before obtaining their license.
An agent facilitates transactions between buyers and sellers as well as property owners and tenants. They help clients make oﬀers and counteroﬀers. Once an oﬀer is accepted, they will coordinate with the other agent when an oﬀer is accepted and assist clients with paperwork. They make sure that the client understands all of the transaction’s requirements, conditions, and liabilities.
- Listing agents are agents who represent sellers. They help list homes, set home prices, and suggest home improvements to boost property values. They may also assist with home staging and marketing. They negotiate the sales price, closing costs, and contingencies on behalf of the clients, helping them prepare and ﬁle the necessary documents.
- Buyers agents represent buyers. They help clients ﬁnd suitable properties within their price range. They also help arrange home inspections and appraisals, negotiate terms, and prepare the necessary documents.
A Realtor is a real estate professional who is also a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) or any local boards or associations. Anyone within the real estate industry can carry this designation, including brokers, salespeople, appraisers, and property managers.
Realtors must meet certain requirements, including an active real estate license and active participation in the industry. They need to have a clean record and should not have ﬁled for recent or pending bankruptcy. Lastly, Realtors must comply with NAR’s Code of Ethics. NAR holds Realtors to a higher standard than non-members.
A Broker has received education and training beyond the level required by state laws for real estate agents. To become a broker, one must complete broker education, which entails additional coursework on topics like taxation, insurance, and contracts.
The extra coursework helps them develop in-depth knowledge of the law and how it applies to real estate, investments, construction, and property management. They must also pass a broker’s license exam and have over three years of experience as a licensed real estate agent.
Every brokerage has a principal broker who supervises the activities of all its agents. Their job is to make sure that all agents under the brokerage adhere to state and national real estate laws and regulations.
There’s no substitute for professional guidance when buying or selling Orlando real estate. Realtors hold themselves to a higher standard than non-member agents as they are bound to NAR’s Code of Ethics. Here are some things to consider when choosing a Realtor in Florida:
- Availability – Are they doing this full-time or part-time? How quickly do they respond to calls and messages? When choosing a Realtor, it’s best to go with someone who works full-time as a real estate professional. They should make themselves available for calls, inquiries, and consultations. Working with a full-time real estate professional will help prevent delays and oversights in the buying or selling process.
- Communication style – Choose a Realtor who keeps their lines open for communication. Aside from responding to calls and messages as soon as possible, they should also be able to communicate clearly to avoid confusion.They should also avoid emotive language when communicating to minimize conﬂict and maintain objectivity during the transaction.
- Experience – Do they have experience buying or selling similar property types like the one you’re interested in? How many home sales have they facilitated in your preferred location? When choosing a Realtor, it’s important to gauge their experience, local expertise, and specialization.
- Network and resources – When determining how to ﬁnd the best Realtor, it helps to look at the Realtor’s professional network and resources. What do they bring to the table aside from skill and experience? Do they have professional contacts who can assist with home staging, sales, and listing? Can they provide access to the MLS and exclusive oﬀ-market listings? Can they refer you to reliable contractors and vendors? Getting an idea of a Realtor’s network and resources will help you determine how well they can assist you with the transaction.
- Dual agency – In certain states, agents may represent both buyer and seller in a transaction. This is called dual agency. This arrangement comes with a potential conﬂict of interest. Clients should be aware that in Florida, a Realtor cannot lawfully represent both the buyer and seller in the transaction as a ﬁduciary.
Realtors have a ﬁduciary duty to their clients, which means they are sworn to a high level of loyalty and conﬁdentiality that can’t be oﬀered to more than one party in the transaction. They must protect your interests and privacy during the negotiation process.
However, a Realtor can act as a transaction broker, which is the default arrangement if they haven’t speciﬁcally entered into a single agency role, which means they are only representing one party.
As a transaction broker, the Realtor is a neutral agent who facilitates the transaction but hasn’t entered into a ﬁduciary relationship with the buyer or seller. They owe both parties limited conﬁdentiality, which means they may not disclose sensitive information without permission from all parties involved (i.e., they may not tell the seller that the buyer is willing to oﬀer more than the list price vice-versa).
So when choosing a Realtor, it is important to understand their role and capacity in the transaction. Are they entering into a ﬁduciary relationship with you as their client, or will they serve as a transaction broker?
If you’re ready to take on the Orlando housing market, the Nickley Group is here to assist you. We’re one of Florida’s top-selling real estate teams with over $300 million in sales volume for 2021. Contact us at 407.904.1788 or Info(at)TheNickleyGroup(dotted)com for inquiries. You can also ﬁll out our form here.
Whether you’re selling a home or looking for one in a desirable school district, our experienced, full-time Realtors are ready to meet your demands. We sold 650+ homes in 2020, and we’re on track to sell 900+ homes this year.
Why work with one agent when you can have access to 32? Our team also includes home showing assistants, transaction coordinators, salespersons, a listing manager, and an entire marketing department. We can’t wait to start working with you today.