Florida realtors show 11,000 homes at first-ever nationwide open house

With just 18 days left until the federal first-time homebuyer tax credit expires, realtors across Florida showed more than 11,000 homes at the first-ever statewide open house weekend in Florida, according to Florida Realtors.

“As of noon today, we reported in 11,434 homes, which is a huge, huge success,” said Wendell Davis, president of Florida Realtors and regional vice president at Watson Realty in Jacksonville. Davis said there was 92 percent participation among the local Florida Realtors boards in the state.

The trade association, the largest of any in Florida, has more than 125,000 members.

“The indication is that every anecdotal piece of evidence indicates a success,” Davis said, adding that the group is considering making it an annual event.

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The open house weekend was marked by the presence of signature blue balloons at the open houses, where realtors worked to persuade buyers to make deals for homes using the $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit, and the $6,500 credit for other homes, as an incentive.

Realtor Lori Fein of Prudential Florida Realty showed two properties, each in a waterfront community in Aventura.

“I think [the weekend] was a great idea, considering we only had a few more weeks before the government tax credit expired,” she said. “We had four people come in; all were looking for upgrades or homes for their friends.”

Fein was showing one property for $988,000, and a second for $798,000, and said three prospects were coming back in the next week.

“On Saturday it was absolutely packed,” said Coral Gables broker Laura Mullaney of Coldwell Banker.”I had an open house in the Grove, and the turn out was very good.”

Mullaney was showing the Villa Degarno, at 3710 Degarmo Lane, in the Grove. It is currently listed for $3.25 million.

Gisela Cacciamani, a broker at EWM showed two houses in Coral Gables this past weekend, each listed for over $1 million. “I saw a great response yesterday,” she said.