Florida's Largest Home Show helps potential home-sellers stand out in competitive market

Florida's Largest Home Show wrapped up Monday following a weekend in which dozens of vendors packed into the Expo Hall at the Florida State Fairgrounds. 

The event was also a chance for potential home-sellers to figure out how to make their properties stand out in an increasingly competitive market.

"That's what's great about a home show is that you have industry experts [right here]," said Brian Santos, a painting contractor who's known as "The Wall Wizard." "That's what's great about a home shows that you can meet and greet the people that are to be in your home."

Noah Rich, with Tomlin St Cyr Real Estate Services, said the Tampa Bay housing market is seeing a large increase in inventory over the past couple of months, but not levels like they were pre-COVID.  

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"Interest rates are definitely a big factor," Rich said. "We're just over 6% for conventional home loans. Also, I think just all the news stories about recessions coming, and it's kind of scaring some of the buyers and slowing the housing market down."

With the market more competitive, vendors at the Home Show found themselves giving tips on how to make homes stand out.

"A lot of people want to raise the value of their home before they sell it to get as much as they can out of it," said Xiara Leon, a designer with Floor and Decor in St. Petersburg who was at the Home Show. "A lot of older homes will have five different kinds of tiles. You have one tile in the bathroom, one tile in the kitchen, one tile in the foyer, and then three different laminates. So a lot of times, one of the first things that people want to do is...getting all those different floorings out and putting in one same flooring all throughout the home, except for maybe the bathrooms."

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According to Realtor.com, home prices nationally are also declining, fueled largely by rising interest rates.

Rich said the Tampa Bay housing market appears to still be in a pricing bubble.

"Over this next year, I think we're going to see a 4-5% increase in home prices, where the previous two years we've seen 20% year over year," he said. "I don't think we're seeing them go down. I think we're just seeing them level off."

Rich added, because homes are staying on the market longer, potential first-time home buyers are having better opportunities making offers on homes.