He said buyers also should avoid gumming up their offers with unnecessary conditions and contingencies that will turn off sellers. “You’ve got to paint yourself in the best possible position,” McWilliam said. “There are multiple buyers.”
Adam R. Cohn, a senior mortgage banker with The Mortgage Firm in Deerfield Beach, said business is brisk. “It’s ridiculously crazy right now. It’s overwhelming. The last two weeks, I’ve been slammed with referrals from real estate agents. People are very busy.”
Deals are happening faster amid the tight supply: The median days on the market was 43 for single-family homes and 51 for condominiums. A more typical period is 90 to 120 days, the Miami Realtors said.
For Broward, homes were on the market 40 days on average, down from 55 days a year earlier.
Another big sign that South Florida’s market is improving: Distressed sales, while still a huge factor, are becoming a smaller part of the pie. Distressed sales, including bank-owned properties and short sales, comprised 43.4 percent of transactions in Miami-Dade in November, down from 56 percent a year earlier and 47.4 percent in October.
The number of foreclosure sales in Broward declined 17.1 percent year over year in November, while short sales rose 7.5 percent and non-distressed sales increased 42.4 percent from a year earlier, according to the Greater Fort Lauderdale Realtors.
For all of Florida, sales of existing single-family home also continued to improve in November, rising 24.4 percent from a year earlier and median prices rose 11.2 percent. Statewide condominium sales rose 18.3 percent year over year with the median price of a condominium soaring 23.1 percent to $112,000.
Nationally, existing home sales and prices also proved strong. According to the National Association of Realtors, existing home sales hit their highest level since November 2009, when they were fueled by a federal tax credit. Total existing U.S. home sales rose 14.5 percent in November from a year earlier, as the median home price climbed 10.1 percent to $180,600 over the period.