Disney employees backing out of home buying, costing realtors big time

Some Central Florida realtors say more Disney employees continue to back out of buying homes after the Walt Disney Company decided to postpone the relocation of several positions from California to Florida.

"I was like, this is gonna cause some stir in our clientele, cause so many of the people we work with were with Disney," said Ken Pozek of Real Broker.

TRENDING: Man with 'Ricky Bobby' tattoo arrested at Florida Buc-ee's for driving stolen SUV, deputies say

He says Disney’s postponement continues to have a ripple effect on people buying homes here. "We had nine people cancel," which Pozek explained was "about $5 million dollars in sales – well over six figures in commissions."

According to a Disney spokesperson, Disney was supposed to relocate 2,000 Imagineers and other employees by 2023, but that’s been pushed to 2026. Ken says, "The majority of them we were able to get money back and some of them did walk away from deposits."

He thinks the delay may have to do with the nationwide labor shortage, as well as other factors. "They’re putting people in temporary space and trying to relocate people when the stock is down. You just never know. I think there were so many moving parts and the market’s doing its thing, where it’s a little unknown, so why rush something."

We recently talked to Ray Lopez of Keller Williams he says the market plays a role in this as well. "I think the people that were on the fence about coming, may not come now because they might have been locked in at a 3% rate in California."

STORY: Florida man poses as Disney World cast member, steals $10K R2-D2 droid, deputies say

He also thinks politics is to blame. "Unfortunately, with a lot of the things going on between the State of Florida and the governor, a lot of people are trying to figure out if that’s the issue, or if it's actually Disney just trying to move it back three years."

"They’re able to take this house, list it higher and make up for the difference," Pozek, adding that builders were able to make up for the recent loss. 

He believes the sales will come back eventually. "At the end of the day a lot of those people are still going to move here, so you keep those relationships going."