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Congratulations to EPCAR’s New President

Congratulations to EPCAR’s New President

Congratulations to EPCAR’s New President

Steve Silcock was honored to be sworn in last week as the newest president of the East Polk County Association of REALTORS®, also known as EPCAR. He eagerly embarked on his position by proceeding to deliver a brief virtual acceptance speech, highlighting some of the exciting advancements anticipated for this year within the association. During his presidency, Silcock intends on working relentlessly to refine the efficiency of EPCAR’s communication amongst its members and business partners through placing great emphasis on engagement, retention and governance.

EPCAR is a reputable medium-sized REALTOR® association founded back in 1925 and headquartered in Winter Haven, Florida; a city notorious for its breathtaking canal-linked Chain of Lakes and being home to the family-friendly theme park, Legoland Florida. A trade association 501C6, EPCAR is exceptionally committed in meeting the needs of its members as well as businesses searching for guidance in progressing within the Central Florida real estate industry. According to the association’s website, they aim “to be ‘the source’ for ethical and professional real estate services for the community and the county they serve.”    

Silcock, who is keenly looking forward to serving as EPCAR’s president for the next year, joined the industry 15 years ago after making a huge leap and relocating to Florida from England. Since then, he has proudly owned Bardell Real Estate: a full-service real estate and property management office in Clermont, Florida that has been outstandingly devoted in exceeding client expectations for the past 30 years. The Central Florida brokerage assists clients throughout the entire process of renting out, selling and buying retirement homes in 55 plus communities, residential property, vacation homes and villas in the Disney area. Additionally, Bardell Real Estate’s property management services support tenants when finding Orlando homes for rent.

If you are interested in receiving a free home valuation or want to speak with an experienced realtor or property manager in the Orlando area, contact Bardell Real Estate today for more information.

Ready to make a Move?

Bardell Real Estate are the experts in helping you with your selling, buying or renting needs near Orlando, Florida. Make your Disney area experience a forever memorable one. Call us now to speak to a real estate agent.

December 2020 home sales report

December 2020 home sales report

WASHINGTON (January 22, 2021) – December 2020 home sales report rose reaching their highest level since 2006, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Activity in the major regions was mixed on a month-over-month basis, but each of the four areas recorded double-digit year-over-year growth in December.

December 2020 Existing-Home Sales


Total existing-home sales,1, completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, increased 0.7% from November to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 6.76 million in December. Sales in total rose year-over-year, up 22.2% from a year ago (5.53 million in December 2019).

“December 2020 home sales report we saw sales perform at their highest levels since 2006, despite the pandemic,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “What’s even better is that this momentum is likely to carry into the new year, with more buyers expected to enter the market.”

Yun predicts a continuation of the strong activity that’s currently taking place in the housing market and in the overall economy.

“Although mortgage rates are projected to increase, they will continue to hover near record lows at around 3%,” Yun said. “Moreover, expect economic conditions to improve with additional stimulus forthcoming and vaccine distribution already underway.”

The median existing-home price2 for all housing types in December was $309,800, up 12.9% from December 2019 ($274,500), as prices increased in every region. December’s national price increase marks 106 straight months of year-over-year gains.

Total housing inventory3 at the end of December totaled 1.07 million units, down 16.4% from November and down 23% from one year ago (1.39 million). Unsold inventory sits at an all-time low 1.9-month supply at the current sales pace, down from 2.3 months in November and down from the 3.0-month figure recorded in December 2019. NAR first began tracking the single-family home supply in 1982.

Properties typically remained on the market for 21 days in December, seasonally even with November and down from 41 days in December 2019. Seventy percent of the homes sold in December 2020 were on the market for less than a month.

“To their credit, homebuilders and construction companies have increased efforts to build, with housing starts hitting an annual rate of near 1.7 million in December, with more focus on single-family homes,” Yun said. “However, it will take vigorous new home construction in 2021 and in 2022 to adequately furnish the market to properly meet the demand.”

First-time buyers were responsible for 31% in the December 2020 home sales report, unchanged from the same time in 2019, but down from 32% in November 2020. NAR’s 2020 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers – released in late 20204 – revealed that the annual share of first-time buyers was 31%.

Individual investors or second-home buyers, who account for many cash sales, purchased 14% of homes in December, identical to the share recorded in November 2020 and a small decline from 17% in December 2019. All-cash sales accounted for 19% of transactions in December, down from 20% in both November and December 2019.

Distressed sales5 – foreclosures and short sales – represented less than 1% of sales in December, equal to November’s percentage but down from 2% in December 2019.

“NAR will work with the incoming Biden administration in pursuit of policies promoting housing affordability and accessibility,” said NAR President Charlie Oppler, a Realtor® from Franklin Lakes, N.J., and the CEO of Prominent Properties Sotheby’s International Realty. “We were pleased with the homebuyer tax credit President Biden proposed as a candidate and we look forward to continuing our work with Congress and the White House. We will aim to find common ground, especially related to ways of boosting home supply and working toward solutions that will protect and support homeownership and America’s broader real estate industry.”

According to Freddie Mac, the average commitment rate(link is external) for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage decreased to 2.68% in December, down from 2.77% in November. The average commitment rate across all of 2020 was 3.11%.

Single-family home sales rose at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 6.03 million in December, up 0.7% from 5.99 million in November, and up 22.8% from one year ago. The median existing single-family home price was $314,300 in December, up 13.5% from December 2019.

Single-family and Condo/Co-op Sales

Existing condominium and co-op sales were recorded at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 730,000 units in December, up 1.4% from November and up 17.7% from one year ago. The median existing condo price was $272,200 in December, an increase of 6.9% from a year ago.

Regional Breakdown

Median home prices increased at double-digit rates in each of the four major regions from one year ago.

December 2020 saw existing-home sales in the Northeast climb 4.5%, recording an annual rate of 930,000, a 27.4% increase from a year ago. The median price in the Northeast was $362,100, up 19.0% from December 2019.

Existing-home sales in the Midwest were unchanged, recording an annual rate of 1,590,000 in December, but up 26.2% from a year ago. The median price in the Midwest was $235,700, a 13.7% increase from December 2019.

Existing-home sales in the South increased 1.1% to an annual rate of 2,860,000 in December, up 20.7% from the same time one year ago. The median price in the South was $268,100, an 11.3% increase from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the West fell 1.4% from the month prior, recording an annual rate of 1,380,000 in December, a 17.9% increase from a year ago. The median price in the West was $467,900, up 14.2% from December 2019.

The National Association of Realtors® is America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1.4 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

For local information, please contact the local association of Realtors® for data from local multiple listing services (MLS). Local MLS data is the most accurate source of sales and price information in specific areas, although there may be differences in reporting methodology.

NOTE: NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index for December is scheduled for release on January 29, and Existing-Home Sales for January will be released February 19; release times are 10:00 a.m. ET.

1 Existing-home sales, which include single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, are based on transaction closings from Multiple Listing Services. Changes in sales trends outside of MLSs are not captured in the monthly series. NAR rebenchmarks home sales periodically using other sources to assess overall home sales trends, including sales not reported by MLSs.

December 2020 home sales report is based on closings, differ from the U.S. Census Bureau’s series on new single-family home sales, which are based on contracts or the acceptance of a deposit. Because of these differences, it is not uncommon for each series to move in different directions in the same month. In addition, existing-home sales, which account for more than 90% of total home sales, are based on a much larger data sample – about 40% of multiple listing service data each month – and typically are not subject to large prior-month revisions.

The annual rate for a particular month represents what the total number of actual sales for a year would be if the relative pace for that month were maintained for 12 consecutive months. Seasonally adjusted annual rates are used in reporting monthly data to factor out seasonal variations in resale activity. For example, home sales volume is normally higher in the summer than in the winter, primarily because of differences in the weather and family buying patterns. However, seasonal factors cannot compensate for abnormal weather patterns.

Single-family data collection began monthly in 1968, while condo data collection began quarterly in 1981; the series were combined in 1999 when monthly collection of condo data began. Prior to this period, single-family homes accounted for more than nine out of 10 purchases. Historic comparisons for total home sales prior to 1999 are based on monthly single-family sales, combined with the corresponding quarterly sales rate for condos.

2 The median price is where half sold for more and half sold for less; medians are more typical of market conditions than average prices, which are skewed higher by a relatively small share of upper-end transactions. The only valid comparisons for median prices are with the same period a year earlier due to seasonality in buying patterns. Month-to-month comparisons do not compensate for seasonal changes, especially for the timing of family buying patterns. Changes in the composition of sales can distort median price data. Year-ago median and mean prices sometimes are revised in an automated process if additional data is received.

The national median condo/co-op price often is higher than the median single-family home price because condos are concentrated in higher-cost housing markets. However, in a given area, single-family homes typically sell for more than condos as seen in NAR’s quarterly metro area price reports.

3 Total inventory and month’s supply data are available back through 1999, while single-family inventory and month’s supply are available back to 1982 (prior to 1999, single-family sales accounted for more than 90% of transactions and condos were measured only on a quarterly basis).

4 Survey results represent owner-occupants and differ from separately reported monthly findings from NAR’s Realtors® Confidence Index, which include all types of buyers. Investors are under-represented in the annual study because survey questionnaires are mailed to the addresses of the property purchased and generally are not returned by absentee owners. Results include both new and existing homes.

Ready to make a Move?

Bardell Real Estate are the experts in helping you with your selling, buying or renting needs near Orlando, Florida. Make your Disney area experience a forever memorable one. Call us now to speak to a real estate agent.




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$ Click for current price
5 BEDROOMS | 3 full baths BATHROOMS | 2949 SqFt

One of the best parcels in the popular Highlands Reserve golf community. A pie shaped lot at the end of a quiet cul-de- sac with a 180 degree elevated view over the golf course and Green Swamp conservation area in the distance – the sunsets from the pool deck are truly breathtaking. Original owner from new the home has been meticulously maintained. Tiled throughout the downstairs living area the entrance hall leads into a formal living and dining area and provides access to a fully equipped kitchen at the heart of the home with access to a separate breakfast area. A family room with sliding patio doors overlooks the pool area and offers ample room to relax or entertain in this spacious, open floor plan. A good sized bedroom adjacent to the house bathroom completes the first floor accomodation. Upstairs the master bedroom overlooks the golf gourse and benefits from a good sized ensuite bathroom with tub, separate shower and dual sink. The loft area with built-in desk separates the remaining bedrooms and provides a great work space while the banister railing and picture window ensure lots of natural light. Stepping outside the covered lanai provides the perfect place for al-fresco dining and the inground swimming pool (resurfaced 2020) offers the perfect place to relax in the Florida sunshine. Located close to schools, shopping, restaurant’s, and easy access to Hwy 192, I4 and all the Central Florida attractions this would make a great family home or snowbird/vacation home. Sold fully furnished so if you are looking for something special to make your own……..this has to be on your viewing list!!


Could this economy Boost lead us to Higher Home Prices?

Could this economy Boost lead us to Higher Home Prices?

An improving economy is turning up the heat on the summer housing market.

The unemployment rate fell to 13.3% in May as more cities and states reopened and many furloughed employees were called back to work, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics announced on Friday. While unemployment is still high, it’s less than April’s rate of 14.7% and well under the predictions of many economists.

“There are signs that the better-than-expected jobs situation is already having a positive effect on the housing market. We’re seeing more home buyers in the market than we did this time last year,” says® Chief Economist Danielle Hale. “It’s shaping up to be a hotter-than-expected summer in the housing market.”

Summer has historically been when the housing market catches fire, as buyers bid up prices to secure a home and move before the kids start school in the fall. This year, experts had predicted that the season would be slower than normal, because of the economic turmoil, high unemployment, and fears of the novel coronavirus.

To put it in perspective, just after the Great Recession unemployment reached a high of 10%. May’s rate was higher.

But the economy’s retreat from the precipice is already having an impact on the national housing market.

“Part of why we’re seeing the housing market rebound is because people who would have been shopping in March and April are now out shopping in May and June with people who were originally planning to look for homes” in the summer, says Hale.

“The primary motivation is people believe this is the right time for them to buy a home,” she says. “The secondary motivation is that mortgage rates are low, so it helps [buyers] afford more home than they would have been able to [previously]. That’s especially important now that people are wanting more space.”

Home buyers undeterred by the coronavirus pandemic and ensuing economic fallout returned to the market en masse in the last two weeks in May. The number of mortgage applications for home purchases climbed 8.7% year over year in the week ending May 22, and surged 17.5% in the week ending May 29, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Mortgage forbearances, which allow homeowners in financial hardship to skip monthly payments, were also down for the first time since the crisis began. Forbearances fell to roughly 4.73 million as of June 2, down from 4.76 million the previous week, according to Black Knight, a technology, data, and analytics company.

Home prices responded to the increase in buyers by going up. They rose 3.1% year over year in the last two weeks of May, according to data. In the first two weeks of the month, before many of the city and state reopenings, home prices had been going up by about 1.5%.

“People are surprised that prices are rising, not falling, because in the last recession home prices fell,” says Hale. The difference this time is the severe shortage of homes for sale.

“We’re seeing bigger price increases with [a limited] number of homes. … That’s likely to lead to more competition and potentially multiple offers and bidding wars,” says Hale.

Even before anyone had heard of COVID-19, there was a shortfall of homes for sale. Once the virus reached crisis proportions in the U.S., many sellers responded by pulling their properties off the market or holding off on listing them. This made the situation even worse.

However in the past few weeks, things are beginning to shift a little.

“There are more people putting their homes on the market than there were in late March and April,” says Hale. “But there still aren’t more sellers now than there were a year ago.”

Hale cautions that even though unemployment was lower than anticipated, the economy isn’t out of the woods. Only about 10% of the jobs that were lost the previous month have been recovered. And while more people in hard-hit sectors like tourism and hospitality are being brought back to work, white-collar layoffs likely aren’t over.

brought back to work, white-collar layoffs likely aren’t over.

“There’s still a lot of recovery just to get back to where we were. … If this [economic] momentum continues, it could propel the housing market forward,” says Hale, who is taking a wait-and-see approach. “Prices could potentially slow down later if we see a second wave of infections,” or the economy falters again.

Clare Trapasso is the senior news editor of and an adjunct journalism professor at the College of Mount Saint VIncent. She previously wrote for a Financial Times publication, the New York Daily News, and the Associated Press. She is also a licensed real estate agent. Contact her at
Follow @claretrap

Ready to make a Move?

Bardell Real Estate are the experts in helping you with your selling, buying or renting needs near Orlando, Florida. Make your Disney area experience a forever memorable one. Call us now to speak to a real estate agent.

From Boom to Bust and now a Pandemic

From Boom to Bust and now a Pandemic

From Boom to Bust and now a Pandemic

From the Boom years through the great recession of 2009, Steve Silcock Broker / Own er at Bardell Real Estate thought he had experi enced most chal-lenges a business owner can face …until the first global pandemic !! “For the last 30 years Bardell has helped it’s clients navigate the real estate markets in the Four Corners area through good times and bad … but this time it’s different”.

Originally from the UK and resident of Central Florida for 15 years, Steve’s 25 years of experience in business development and senior management roles in the UK Banking and Insurance sectors prepared him well for today’s challenges.

“Like many businesses we had to change, we adapted, and we learned to deal with the new norms. Face masks, gloves, plexiglass barriers it’s all part of the new world. We had to make some physical changes but dealing with so many international clients over the years means we were already well placed to pivot to an on-line world.

Whether our Agents are at home, in the office, or on the move, we remain connected to our clients, lenders, and title companies making sure today’s deals are managed just as efficiently despite the social distancing challenges.

Virtual video tours, Zoom meetings, remote closings, and electronic signatures may be new for some brokerages, but it’s been part of our process for years and that means we can continue to serve our clients buying, selling or renting in the Four Corners area ….even through a Pandemic.

Ready to make a Move?

Bardell Real Estate are the experts in helping you with your selling, buying or renting needs near Orlando, Florida. Make your Disney area experience a forever memorable one. Call us now to speak to a real estate agent.

Homebuyer Incentives

Homebuyer Incentives

Home buyer Incentives

Be sure you’re sending the right message to buyers when you throw in a homebuyer incentive to encourage them to purchase your home.

When you’re selling your home, the idea of adding a sweetener to the transaction — whether it’s a decorating allowance, a home warranty, or a big-screen TV — can be a smart use of marketing funds. To ensure it’s not a big waste, follow these do’s and don’ts:

Do use homebuyer incentives to set your home apart from close competition

If all the sale properties in your neighborhood have the same patio, furnishing yours with a luxury patio set and stainless steel BBQ that stay with the buyers will make your home stand out.


Do compensate for flaws with a homebuyer incentive

If your kitchen sports outdated floral wallpaper, a $3,000 decorating allowance may help buyers cope. If your furnace is aging, a home warranty may remove the buyers’ concern that they’ll have to pay thousands of dollars to replace it right after the closing.

Don’t assume homebuyer incentives are legal

Your state may ban homebuyer incentives, or its laws may be maddeningly confusing about when the practice is legal and not. Check with your real estate agent and attorney before you offer a homebuyer incentive.

Don’t think buyers won’t see the motivation behind a homebuyer incentive

Offering a homebuyer incentive may make you seem desperate. That may lead suspicious buyers to wonder what hidden flaws exist in your home that would force you to throw a freebie at them to get it sold. It could also lead buyers to factor in your apparent anxiety and make a lowball offer.

Don’t use a homebuyer incentive to mask a too-high price

A buyer may think your expensive homebuyer incentive — like a high-end TV or a luxury car — is a gimmick to avoid lowering your sale price. Many top real estate agents will tell you to list your home at a more competitive price instead of offering a homebuyer incentive. A property that’s priced a hair below its true value will attract not only buyers but also buyers’ agents, who’ll  be giddy to show their clients a home that’s a good value and will sell quickly.

If you’re convinced a homebuyer incentive will do the trick, choose one that adds value or neutralizes a flaw in your home. Addressing buyers’ concerns about your home will always be more effective than offering buyers an expensive toy.

Ready to make a Move?

Bardell Real Estate are the experts in helping you with your selling, buying or renting needs near Orlando, Florida. Make your Disney area experience a forever memorable one. Call us now to speak to a real estate agent.