'Line out the door': High demand for homes in Palm Beach County prompts purchases sight unseen

Market experiencing 38% drop in inventory
Posted at 3:29 PM, Jan 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-14 18:11:56-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Real estate agents say the inventory of single families homes has dropped drastically in Palm Beach County, but demand is still increasing.

SPECIAL COVERAGE: Rebound South Florida

Palm Beach County real estate agents say the housing market is experiencing a 38 percent drop in inventory and a 19 percent increase in average home price.

It is a tough market for buyers, but some tips may help you in your next offer. Virtual tours and open house live streams are the modern-day showings.

During an inventory shortage of single-family homes, it may be the quickest way to make an offer on a home before it's gone.

"By the time I look at something, and I … fly 1,200 miles to Florida and usually by then it could be gone," said Adam Weinberg, who is looking to buy a home in Palm Beach County.

Adam Weinberg
Adam Weinberg is looking to move from Massachusetts to Palm Beach County.

Like many other prospective buyers, he is looking to move to South Florida from the northeast.

"Sandy, my wife said, 'Let's get out of here.' I mean, where do we want to spend the last 25 years of our life, and I love that area," said Weinberg.

He and his wife are specifically looking at northern Palm Beach County, where Echo Fine Properties President Jeff Lichtenstein said homes are in high demand.

"Talking about Jupiter, Juno Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, and Singer Island, etc., there's really no new construction that stopped going back into 2019," Lichtenstein said.

"Even with Jupiter Farms, I'm finding that all these properties are about $150,000 more than they were even from January," Weinberg said.

Jeff Dono, sales director at Bex Realty
Jeff Dono, the sales director at Bex Realty, says the hot real estate market in Palm Beach County is causing more demand than supply.

Jeff Dono, the sales director at Bex Realty, said he has never seen anything like what's happening now.

"A property gets put on the market. There's a line out the door followed by like 20 to 30 offers. I've even heard accounts of 50 offers on a property within the 24 hours of showing," Dono said.

Dono said he sees more homes bought unseen with cash -- even with zero inspections.

"It’s a dog eat, dog world," Weinberg said.

Here is some advice for prospective buyers:

  • Move quickly: real estate agents say speed is your friend in making an offer
  • Buyers be flexible: you may not find the home with everything on your checklist
  • Keep the terms tight: experts recommend getting inspections done within three to five days. Find mortgage brokers who can approve your loan in 15 days.

Finally, Lichtenstein advising showing the seller a little love.

"Connect with them, write a love letter that tells them a little bit about who you are because a home is still an emotional purchase and the seller has an emotional attachment to their home," Lichtenstein said.