Everyone seems to ask how the market is doing.  Usually the answer depends on where you live, price range, and several factors.  It’s not always as cut and dried because within the overall market we have several sub-markets that fluctuate independently of each other.  Here are Southwest Florida October Housing Statistics by City.

We decided to release some numbers we look at each month.  One of these metrics is the breakdown by city.  Before we discuss the numbers, we must first be careful not to read too much into one-month data.  If a city has a low number of sales each month, the data can fluctuate wildly any given month.  Secondly, in 2017 we were impacted by Hurricane Irma.  In some cases, it hurt sales last year, and in others it increased sales last October because they were delayed from September.

Southwest Florida October Housing Statistics by City

Southwest Florida October Housing Statistics by City

Since all that is out of the way, here we go.  Bonita Springs led the way with a 43.9% increase in closed sales, but again, it’s a small data set.  Sanibel/Captiva slowed the most followed by Estero, again with small data sets.

Moving over to price changes, Sanibel/Captiva led the way with a 59.7% increase in median price.  This might explain why fewer sales, although we think it has more to do with the mix that sold that month.  Bonita Springs, Fort Myers Beach, and Pine Island saw price decreases while the rest of Lee County saw mild to moderate increases.  Fort Myers and Cape Coral did particularly well given that each has a large data set, and both scored gains in closed sales and pricing.  Lehigh Acres and North Fort Myers were the only two areas besides Fort Myers and Cape Coral to record gains in pricing and sales activity.

A lot of people made a big deal about water quality and how it affected home sales.  By the numbers, it didn’t seem to harm Fort Myers, Cape Coral, North Fort Myers, or Lehigh Acres.  Did it hurt Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel/Captiva, Pine Island or Bonita Springs?  Possibly, but the numbers are mixed, and again it’s only one-month data.

Search Homes by City

We have a section on our website www.LeeCountyOnline.com where you can search for homes by city, neighborhood, or even get neighborhood market reports.  We have several neighborhoods setup and saved, and you can create your own as well if you don’t see your neighborhood listed.

The neighborhood market reports are nice because they show you active listings, pending sales, and sold listings along with data and photos of each.  You can signup to have these reports emailed to you monthly, bi-weekly, or weekly.  These are different than neighborhood saved searches in that they contain much more data.  Saved neighborhood searches can be emailed to you daily.  Market reports can only be emailed weekly or greater because of all the extra detail.

We provide more data than any other website we know of, and yet there is no substitute for speaking with us if you’re considering making a move.  The data we provide is Free to use. We hope it helps you in making the best decision for your family.  Sometimes it’s the experience, wisdom, and marketing behind the data that matters.

These homes don’t sell themselves.  Even when people think a home sells itself, there was still marketing involved to expose the buyer, negotiating the contract, inspections, etc.  A lot goes into making a transaction come together.  Most people don’t realize only 4% of prospective buyers can buy.  They need help, perhaps selling another property, getting financed, etc.  This is where agents come in, and experience matters.

If you’re looking to purchase, sell, or both, you should call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty. 239-489-4042.  We don’t sell anything.  We listen, educate, and help you achieve your goals.

Good luck and Happy Selling!

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open House Saturday Dec 8th 1-3 PM

2008 Bolado Pkwy Cape Coral, FL 33990

Open House Sunday December 9  12-3 PM

908 SE 21st PL Cape Coral, FL 33990

Listing portal sites like Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com essentially package listings they assemble from Multiple Listing Services around the country, or by large real estate company syndication feeds, or by agents themselves.  Brokers often have the ability to override their MLS syndication.  For instance, and agent or a seller may not want certain listings to go to certain listing portals, or perhaps none of their listings at all. Pulse syndication marketing could be the real Zillow killer.

Pulse Syndication Marketing Could Be the Real Zillow Killer

When you think about it, large listing portals don’t really help agents sell more homes.  All they do is come between the agent and the public, and for that they charge a fee.  You see, listing portals true customer is the agents and brokers.  That’s who pays the advertising to these sites in hopes of picking up leads.  If these sites didn’t exist, those leads would go directly to agents and brokers themselves without the middle-man.

So how did these listing portal sites come to prominence?  Many agents and brokers aren’t tech savvy, and some are just plain lazy.  They don’t have the time, money, or inclination to manage the online process.  So, they abrogated lead generating to outsiders who were more than happy to pickup on that.  And the worst part is, agents gave them their data, only to be charged back for leads their data creates.

I say some agents were lazy (and they still are) because even when given a lead they find a reason not to call them.  Speed to lead is the name of the game, because statistically the first agent that reaches a buyer or seller is the one that they work with.  If you’re not going to call a lead from your own website, why in the world would you want to pay for leads and not call them right away.

This is where online tech companies are learning.  They used to farm out leads to 3 or more agents, and agents would compete for the lead.  Only the most aggressive agents would win the lead, so the other two quit paying.  Zillow eventually came up with a system to combat this where instead of charging agents a monthly fee, they would charge per qualified lead, and agents would bid on them.  Keep in mind, the only reason Zillow got the lead in the first place is because agents gave them their data, and Zillow charged agents back leads.  The only winner was Zillow.  The consumer isn’t really any better off.  Buyers thought they were dealing with the listing agent and didn’t realize several agents would be calling them.

So, the only thing these online listing portals really do is get in between consumers and agents and charge a fee to agents for the privilege.  Truth be known, agent websites like ours www.LeeCountyOnline.com also known as agent IDX websites, and company websites like www.kw.com, www.remax.com, www.coldwellbaker.com, www.centruy21.com and others have better data.  I say that because the data is timelier and include all the data versus just some of the data.  The data is just more accurate too.

Zillow Has a Plan

Part of Zillow’s plan is requiring agents to upload consumer data into their database.  In addition to collecting a referral fee, they want the data.  Why do they want the consumer data if they already have the MLS data?  Because the next step is to cut the agent out of the next deal.  By accumulating consumer data, they can market directly to consumers making the MLS data that Realtors hold valuable less valuable.  The one with the most data wins.  Right now, Realtors have the MLS listing data and the consumer data, but not for long.  Once companies like Zillow complete this process, it’s game over.

Tough Decisions

MLS’s and brokers have tough decisions to make.  On the one hand, they want to turn off sending their listings to these large listing portals. This avoids public confusion.  It’s frustrating as an agent to have to explain why the home a consumer is seeing on Zillow isn’t even on the market right now, has wrong information, or the estimated value is $100,000 or more off.  On the other hand, agents are afraid they may suffer backlash by consumers who want to know why their home isn’t listed on one of these sites.  We have a solution that solves both options.

Pulse Syndication Marketing Could Be the Real Zillow Killer

If brokers and agents would pulse their listing data to online listing portals, it would satisfy sellers and disrupt the online portal advertising model.  By pulsing we mean turn on the syndication and send listings one day and turn off and withhold the next.  This could be done on daily or weekly basis.  In any event, if enough brokers, agents, and MLS’s used this technique, sellers would still receive the perceived added exposure, and online listing portals would have fewer page views and listing clicks because the listings would be there half the time.

Online listing portals like Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com solicit Realtor advertising based on property ad views, and/or leads derived from the ad views.  Mind you, the leads don’t necessarily go to the listing agent that provided the data but rather the agent or broker who pays to be the premier agent listed on a listing.  And this is the crux of the discussion.  The listing agent isn’t necessarily receiving any benefit from the exposure, while other agents who pay to play are.  The seller isn’t either because that lead went to another agent besides the listing agent who has no incentive to sell that property, nor knowledge of that property. That next agent doesn’t mind shifting that buyer prospect over to one of their listings, or another listing they are more familiar with. It’s one thing to pay per click on Google or Bing, and quite another to have to pay to play on your own listing where the listing agent freely gave up the data in the first place.

By pulsing the data, the online listing portal essentially has its free inventory cut in half.  This would inevitably lower adverting rates because there would be less hits and less leads per zip code, further lowering the already suspect data of these online portals, and increasing the value of MLS public facing websites, broker websites, and agent websites.

In a perfect world, I don’t think these public online portals are even necessary.  Some MLS’s have contemplated just cutting their entire feed to the portals, and I don’t see a problem with that.  Let consumers get their data from the MLS, broker, or agent websites which are more regulated and tend to be more accurate.

Agents Need to Wise Up

These online portals are providing services in attempts to make life easier for the agent, but are they really?  They’re really trying to get the agent’s data.  I don’t think they really care to make the agent’s job easier.  This is just the candy they offer Realtors to use their service.  By providing online transaction management, they learn buyers and sellers’ names, phone numbers, email addresses, and much more.  That information is as valuable as these DNA companies offering familial lookups.  They’re really after your personal data.  With your DNA they can tie your family tree to history.  Wouldn’t a health or life insurance company love to know if cancer runs in your family, even if it’s 3 generations removed?  You bet they would.

And what about errors?  Who fixes the DNA database errors once they’re out there?  When data gets in the wild, good luck fixing that.  Do you see a pattern?  Real estate data is just as valuable, and agents and brokers are just giving it away.

It doesn’t have to be this way.  We must start somewhere.  Online listing portals are getting so big, they might just decide the agent is replaceable, because they have the data.

Right now, they don’t.  Agents and brokers do, and right now agents and brokers can do something about it.  They can cut off the feeds or pulse the feeds and take control back of the data.

Copyright Brett Ellis 2018

There is much debate about the local SW Florida real estate market and whether it is shifting.  Experts speculate that it might because of everything from rising interest rates, rising prices, housing declines up North, to climate change. This makes selecting correct listing agent critical when market shifts even more important, which we’ll discuss later on.

Selecting Correct Listing Agent Critical When Market Shifts

One of the factors some experts look at when evaluating the market is housing inventory.  New listing inventory numbers were just released, and we noticed a few things.  First off, new listings increased 11% in October over 2017 new listings.  Secondly, current listing inventory stands at 5,823 which is 17.9% increase over last year.  So, what is causing this inventory buildup, and what can we do about it?

Inventory buildup is caused by several things including rising rates, decreasing home affordability, and false expectations.  Sellers read that home prices are up 2.9% over last year, so they add 2.9% to the figure they thought their home was worth last year, and voila, they have a number. Different homes appreciate at varying rates, just like certain neighborhoods appreciate at different rates than others due to location, age, the finances of the association, amenities, etc.

Most sellers believe we have a runaway market while many buyers are fearful that prices are too high and should come down.  The truth is both could be right, and both could be wrong, depending on the price range, neighborhood, and other factors.

Selecting Correct Listing Agent Critical When Market Shifts

In a shifting market, two things sell homes.  Marketing and Price.  Sometimes a correctly priced home won’t sell or won’t sell for full value if it isn’t marketed well.  However, history is littered with examples of overpriced merchandise that won’t sell no matter how well it’s marketed.  Marketing and pricing go hand in hand.

Other factors influence showings, like pet smells, kitchen and bath updates, the general condition of the property, etc.  It all comes down to price though.  What you have in it doesn’t necessarily affect value.  For instance, I was in GA at a real estate conference and they drove me by Evander Holyfield’s home.  I think they said it was a $30 million home to build, and it was in an area of acreage and homes worth a few hundred thousand dollars.  If Evander would have sold that home back then, there is no way he’d get $30 million, even though he may have had that much in it.  Who would buy it?

While that’s an extreme example, the same principal holds true.  Cost does not equal value.  If you want to sell, we must determine what the market is willing to pay.  It doesn’t matter how much you have in the home, how much you need to buy your next home, or how much you owe.  It’s just worth what’s it worth at this point in time.

Some sellers decide to wait until it goes up in value.  That’s fine if they realize it could go down in value too.  And, while they’re waiting for their property to go up in value, the thing they were going to buy with their proceeds might go up in value too.  What if it goes up faster than the home their waiting to sell?  They lose money by waiting.

We’re not here to talk sellers into anything or convince people to sell.  We do offer common sense solutions, and present ideas for them to keep in mind so they can make the best decision for their finances.  Buying and selling can be emotional, so they tend to have knee-jerk reactions.  Once buyers or sellers get an idea in their head, it’s hard to come off that. That’s where a seasoned professional with years of experience comes in.

It’s one thing to know the market, and it’s another to know how to deliver information to buyers and sellers in a format they can digest to make good decisions for their family.  If you’re thinking of buying or selling, call Sande or Brett Ellis 239-489-4042 and we’ll help you with your questions, or go to www.SWFLhomevlaues.com to find out your home’s value for Free online.

Good luck and Happy Selling!

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open House Sunday 12-3 PM

7152 Reymoor Dr

7152 Reymoor Dr Riverfront Home
Riverfront Home

We get this question a lot?  Is it better to list SW Florida home in December or January?  The perception is there are more buyers here in season, so why not wait until season when more buyers are here, and the home will be fresher to the market.

The advice we’re about to give might fly in the face of reason, however it is steeped in experience and logic.  Yes, more visitors arrive in SW Florida in the seasonal months of January through April.  If you look at the closed sales chart, you’ll notice we typically have far more closings in December than we do in January.

Better to List SW Florida Home in December or January

Many buyers wish to get their sale in by year end for tax and homestead purposes.  It’s not uncommon for us to have a big sales month in December, probably for these reasons.

If we recognize that December can be a good month for sales, we must also recognize what happens each January and February.  The listings shoot through the roof.  January and February show the largest increase in listing inventory each year.  It will happen again this upcoming season.

Better to List SW Florida Home in December or January SW Florida Listing Inventory

As a seller, if you’re contemplating selling in the next few months, you are absolutely better off listing now.  Buyers are out there.  Our team has been busy showing properties to multiple buyers, and we have several offers in the works.

We tell sellers there may not be as many showings in December, but they showings that do occur tend to be from serious home buyers.  If the middle of November is any indication, showings this December might increase over previous years.

If sales activity is higher in December than January, and if there is far more listing competition in January, why would you wait to put your home on the market?  Statistically you’re better off putting it on the market now.

The answer is, sellers believe the holidays are a bad time to sell a home.  And the reality is, many agents believe it to, so they take the month of December off.  When they take the month off, it further confirms to them that nobody buys in December because they had no sales.

The same can be said for agents who take the summers off.  They believe there are no sales in the summer, and their belief becomes their reality.  As you can tell from the chart, summertime closings are some of the best months each year.  Why would you take those months off?

But then again, why would you hire a part-time Realtor?  To me, a part-time Realtor isn’t just an agent who has a primary job somewhere else and works real estate on the side.  A part-time Realtor can also be an agent that takes months off.  When you do that, you basically shut your business down.  It’s one thing to take a vacation.  Everybody needs them.  For heaven’s sake, if you’re going to take a vacation, get another agent to cover for you.  How would you like to be a seller and find out your agent took the month off?

That’s why having a team makes a lot of sense.  If any team member takes a vacation, the rest of the team picks up the slack.  The Ellis Team works 365 days per year, and yet not every agent on the team has to.  We want each of our team members to take some time off and come back refreshed.  It’s all part of offering 1st class service.

If you’re considering selling in the next 5 months, you should call Sande or Brett Ellis and discuss your options.  We’re not saying putting your house on the market today is the best for everybody.  We’re just saying be careful about listening to false assumptions.  If you’d like to talk, we’re here to help.  239-489-4042 Ext 4.  Or find out your home’s value online for free at www.SWFLhomevalues.com

Good luck and Happy Selling!

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open House Saturday 1-3 PM

13 High Point Cir N Unit 302, Naples FL  34103

Each year the Ellis Team studies a publication put out by the National Association of Realtors research department.  This year we’re studying the 2018 National Profile of Home Buyer and Sellers.  We do this for several reasons.

We’re able to gain insight on how best to serve the buyers we work with.  We want to know what issues are most important to them, and what issues might be affecting them.  When we identify and isolate these issues, often we can come up with solutions for them.

By understanding buyers needs better, this also helps us with sellers as what affects the buyer usually comes back around and affects the seller.  Better understanding buyers helps our seller clients tremendously.  The most educated and skilled agents tend to come up with the best solutions, and when this happens everybody wins.

Secondly, we want to understand home sellers better too.  Sellers have needs that need to be addressed.  We want to pay attention to changes.  Even though our team has loads of experience, we can’t let that blind us to the possibility things are changing in real-time.

So, what did we learn this year?  Gross household income increased to $91,600, up from $88,800 the previous year.  The median age of a home buyer is now 46, up from 42 back in 2013 and 45 last year. 63% were married couples, 18% were single females, 9% single males, and 8% unmarried couples.  Children in the home decreased to 34% and has been on a steady decline from 40% since 2013.

2018 National Profile of Home Buyer and Sellers

2018 National Profile of Home Buyer and Sellers

Drilling deeper into the reason buyers were rejected for a mortgage we found that 33% were rejected due to their debts being too high relative to their income.  27% had a credit score that prevented them from buying, while 14% had income that was difficult to verify.

Buyers of new homes had a median income of $111,770 while buyers of existing homes had a median income of $89,100.  Did you know that 15% of buyers chose their neighborhood because of their pet?  We can’t tell you how many buyers won’t buy a property due to neighborhood restrictions on pets.  It’s often the first question we get regarding condo or HOA documents.

Student loan debt typically delayed a home purchase for 2 years, and the typical student loan debt was $28,000. 3% of buyers are active in the armed forces, while 18% of all buyers were veterans.

The Internet played a large role in the purchase of real estate. 83% frequently used the Internet to search, and 90% used an agent.  88% found the detailed property information useful while 90% found the photos useful.

Single females outpaced single males 2 to 1 in purchases.  Convenience to friends and family was important to single females while convenience to job was important for single males.

54% of unmarried couples rented together before purchasing.  First time home buyers expect to be in their 1st home for 10 years. Repeat buyers expect to be in their next home 15 years.

The stats go on and on.  We like to look at data to see if there are trends we need to pay attention to.  For instance, we notice a rising age in the typical home buyer.  Is this because younger people are delaying their first home purchase, or having trouble saving for the down payment or qualifying for the mortgage.  Once we identify the issue, we may be able to identify a solution.  We do have some down payment assistance programs available.  It’s all about knowing where to look, if you ask the right questions.

Only 4% of buyers can purchase a home without help.  The rest either need help getting a mortgage or have something to sell first.  This is where a good Realtor comes in.  We listen, we identify, and we help.  Call us at 239-489-4042 and see how we can help you, or search the MLS for Free at www.LeeCountyOnline.com If you have questions about selling a home, ask for Brett or Sande Ellis Ext 4.

Find out what your Home is Worth for Free

Good luck and Happy Selling!

Ellis Team Featured Property of the Week

7152 Reymoor Dr

Agents around the office often ask us how the Ellis Team sells so much real estate each month.  The answer is, it’s marketing.  It’s not about the dollars you spend each month, although we do spend more on advertising than just about anybody out there.  It’s about spending smart, understanding how and where to find your customers, and converting. The Ellis Team smashes industry standard online advertising conversion rates.

The industry standard for online display ads back in 2016 was .35%.  Many say it’s below that now.  The Ellis Team converts 26 times that rate with an average in October at 9.13%.  Some of our ads convert at 20%.  The industry standard for a search ad is 1.91%.  Again, the Ellis Team smashes industry standard online advertising conversion rates in every category.

Ellis Team Smashes Industry Standard Online Advertising Conversion Rates

So how do we do this?  We’re not going to divulge that but suffice it to say we know a thing or two about online advertising, and it works.  In fact, the Ellis Team was the first team in the country to put the MLS on our website.  That first year we sold over 100 homes, and Realtors everywhere wondered what was going on.

NAR (National Association of Realtors) called us to Chicago to talk about this.  They said the info was in the MLS books and couldn’t be made public to everyone on our website.  After meeting with the president of NAR and NAR general counsel, they realized what we were doing was legal and met the bylaws of NAR.  And this is how VOW (Virtual Office Websites) was born.  SW Florida, you received it first.  It later transitioned to IDX (Internet Data Exchange) and now Realtors across the country, along with Realtor.com, Zillow, and others are displaying agent’s listing data.  I was always against Realtors letting 3rd party companies display our data.  I felt it should be reserved for agents displaying each other’s data, but somebody up at NAR decided otherwise.

Since those early days, we’ve been perfecting the art of online registrations and conversions.  First, you must give people what they want.  Your website must be fast, easy to use, and provide the most accurate and up to date data out there.  Our website is real-time, so it’s fast, has all the listings including sold data, and it’s easy to use.  Consumers like that they can see a photo gallery of all pictures instead of clicking one by one.

Buyers and sellers like that they can get neighborhood data in real-time and emailed to them weekly or monthly.  This informs them of new listings, pending sales, and closed sales in a community.  This is helpful when you’re keeping an eye on one or more communities.

Secondly, it helps to target the correct people.  This is where the magic happens.  It does no good to target the universe, because the universe will not all buy property, and certainly not in SW Florida.  We target people who have an interest in SW Florida, even if they live out of the country.  We find them from anywhere, and everywhere.

In the last month, www.LeeCountyOnline.com received 291 users from overseas.  Our agents are working with several of them, and some are in a nice price point.  Let’s not forget that we received 4,240 users last month from inside the US.  And of those users, 82.5% are new users, so we’re advertising to and attracting thousands of new users each month.

Ellis Team Overseas Online Visitors

It’s no wonder why Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty agents are so busy and selling so much.  We know how to find the buyers, no matter where they are.

If you’re looking to buy, you should talk with our experienced agents.  If you’re looking to sell, speak with Sande or Brett Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4.  Brett and Sande handle the listings.  We know how to get Top Dollar for our sellers.  Let us sit down with you and show you how we market.  Nobody else does what we do, and the results speak for themselves.  Find out what your home is worth at www.SWFLhomevalues.com

Good luck and Happy Selling!

November SW Florida Real Estate Update

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open House Sunday 1-3 PM

12760 Seaside Key CT, North Fort Myers Moody River Estates

Weekend Garage Sale

Saturday 8 AM-1 PM

2153 Treehaven Cir North

 

In 2018 we’ve been on a recent record pace, eclipsing 2015 levels for homes sold in one year.  We haven’t gone back and analyzed against all-time highs more than a decade ago.  Since prices and home sales reset after the correction, we’re analyzing against recent records.  We believe we’re behind 2005 sales numbers, but not by as much as you would think. SW Florida homes closed YTD slipped slightly in September.

SW Florida Homes Closed YTD Slipped Slightly in September

We’ve been trending above 2015 numbers, so what changed?  In September of this year we dipped below 2015 levels and that set us back.  We only had 922 closed sales in September.  Back in 2015 we had 1,078.  I think we’ll be able to track where our market is headed by how well it holds up to 2015 levels.

This year we had 968 new pending sales.  Back in 2015 we had 1,169.  This could be an indicator that closed sales in October may fall below 2015 levels as well.  The median price back then was $211,578 and we had 3.7 months supply of inventory.  Contrast that with today our median price is $245,000 and a 4.9 month supply of inventory.

What’s different today is median home prices are 15.8% higher than they were 3 years ago, and interest rates were 3.978% and falling in 2015.  Today rates are at 4.875% and rising.  Rising rates have a way of spoiling home sales in that they rob buyers of purchasing power.  At some point they rob sellers too because if the sellers raise prices and rising interest rates also put pressure on buyers, the whole train stops.  You can’t have both for very long.  When buyers are maxed out, they’re at their limit.  With every rise in rates, it could be at the seller’s expense next.

The only thing that can offset this is rising wages.  Wages do appear to be on the rise somewhat, but they lag rises in rates.  This might explain why home prices haven’t risen since January of 2017.  Sure, we’ve seen blips up and down, but statistically they haven’t moved.

How does this affect sellers trying to sell their home?  First off, we’ve got a balanced market.  Homes are moving if marketed and priced correctly.  Perhaps now more than ever marketing becomes critical.  Prices are stagnant, interest rates are rising, and inventory is building.  Hiring a Realtor who markets is critical.  We’re not talking about posting it on all the websites.  That’s not marketing.  Anybody and everybody can do that.  If you’re not sure what we’re talking about, then definitely give us a call.  When you sit down and see, it’s easy to understand why our results are different.

This is also the silly season for Realtors.  Board dues are up end of the year.  Realtors that haven’t marketed or seen results from their lead generation begin shopping around.  As a last-ditch effort to save their career, they look to low cost brokerages to reduce fees.  Ultimately this doesn’t bring them more buyers or sellers, so they eventually quit, but it does buy them a few more months in the business.  Others look to hop on teams that provide leads.  Some are so deep in debt even this won’t work because they waited too long.  Or, they just don’t know how to close leads.

When selecting a Realtor, ask to see their marketing.  Then call us.  I bet you’ll see a difference.  Ask them how many listings they successfully sold last year.  Ask them how long they’ve been with their company.  Do they jump around?  Will they be at the same company in a month or two?  Can you get out of your listing if they move?  Ask all these questions before you sign up.

Your best bet is to just call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty the first time.  Sure, we help a lot of customers who are on their 2nd or 3rd Realtor.  Wouldn’t it make sense to just use us first?

Call Sande or Brett Ellis 239-489-40402 Ext 4 or visit www.SWFLhomevalues.com   Good luck and Happy Selling!

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open House Saturday November 3 1-3 PM

Open House Saturday November 3 1-3 PM

Open House Sunday November 4 1-3 PM

Have you read the headlines lately?  Home sales are sliding nationwide.  September home sales fell 4.1% nationwide, and we hear new home construction has fallen too.  What’s to blame for this?  Home affordability.  Rising rates are cutting into home buyers’ ability to pay ever increasing prices, and it’s showing up at the closing table.  Rates have risen about 1% in the past year.  Some experts warn of shifting nationwide real estate market upcoming.

We know that a 1% rise in interest rates erases about 11% of buyer’s purchasing power.  So if a buyer could afford a $250,000 home last year, that same buyer can now only afford $222,500 unless they received a pay raise since last year.  Nationwide wages are growing while unemployment is falling, so there is room for further gains, but that takes time.  Higher rates are here now.

Some Experts Warn of Shifting Nationwide Real Estate Market

Locally in SW Florida, we may be in good shape.  If you look at the chart, you’ll notice that SW Florida hasn’t participated in a price run-up the past two years like the rest of the state has.  Prices in September are down.  The median price in September was down 3.9% while the average price was down 3.5%.  Remember, closing last year was disrupted due to Hurricane Irma, so we can’t read too much into this just yet.  We don’t know if the lower or higher end were disrupted, so these numbers could potentially level out in coming months.

We know active inventory is up 18% over last year.  Again, many listings came off the market after Irma, so that’s not a surprise.  Inventory has been building a bit in 2018, but so have the closed sales.  In fact, 2018 is shaping up to be a very good year for home sales.  We have the highest YTD home sales of any year since 2015.

Is SW Florida in a Shifting Market?  Not right now.  Technically we’re still in a seller’s market, but it is getting very close to a balanced market. The thing that may be protecting SW Florida versus the rest of the country is the fact that we didn’t go up in value the past 2 years.  The median price of a home in January 2017 was $245,000.  Today, it’s $245,000. The average price of a home was $340,604 in January 2017.  Today it’s $313,102.

Could our market shift?  Absolutely.  No market stays the same forever.  Agents who have been in the business less than 5 years probably don’t know how to handle a shifting market.  The way you sell in a rising market is completely different than in a declining market.  An experienced agent can sell in an up, down, or sideways market.  Today, all indications are we’ve got a pretty good market, and there’s no reason to believe that will change drastically one way or the other.

It always pays to study the market.  We have a Market Report section on our website, so buyers and sellers can study the active, pending, and sold listings in a neighborhood as well as view all the photos.  No other site has the sold data for you like this.  It’s updated instantly, so when a home goes pending or sells in your neighborhood, you’ll see it live.  You can create your own neighborhood report if you don’t see yours listed.  Simply go to www.LeeCountyOnline.com to view your neighborhood.

If you want a quick and Free home price analysis, go to www.SWFLhomevalues.com  In less than a minute you’ll have your home’s value.  If you’re thinking of selling, please call Sande or Brett Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4.  We’ll be happy to answer your questions, show you how much you’ll net at closing, and about how long it will take to sell your home.

Good luck and Happy Selling!

A few weeks ago, we wrote about how strong closings have been in 2018.  This week we’ll talk about two more indicators that help us evaluate the health of the market; median time to contract and dollar volume.  Currently median time to contract date 63 days this year.

Median Time to Contract Date 63 Days This Year

The median time to contract is 63 days this year.  This is measured by taking the number of days from listing to time of pending contract.  In other words, it’s taking just over 2 months for homes to go under contract.  If you have a home on the market and it’s taking longer than that, it’s either not being marketed correctly, it’s overpriced, or both.

Because the market has been strong in 2018, the median time to contract is down 4.5%. It’s taking less time to sell homes this year than last.  In the past month or two we’ve seen listings increase, and yet the market has gobbled up many of these listings.  This tells us buyers are out there and ready to buy, but at the right price.  Even in a hot seller’s markets some sellers seem to overshoot the market.  Ask all those sellers in 2005 and 2006 who were on the market and failed to sell if they’d love to have that opportunity back.

Some sellers will always be too greedy for the market.  There’s a term for them.  They’re called Expireds because they were never priced to sell at the market.  It might not be their fault.  If they demanded more than the market would bear, it is.  Perhaps they listened to their agent who didn’t really know that market, or really needed a listing badly and convinced the seller they could sell it higher than any other agent.  I guess you could say it’s the seller’s fault for listening to the wrong people, but how is a seller to know for sure?

We see the same mistake from buyers.  They low-ball sellers and seem to come up short on every offer.  Their goal was to purchase a house, and yet they see everyone else buying but they can’t seem to score a deal.  Greed is getting in their way, just as it does for sellers who overprice.  Greed prevents more buyers and sellers from accomplishing their goals than anything, followed closely by fear.

People have a fear of making a mistake, so often they do nothing.  The sad reality is doing nothing may very well be the biggest mistake they could make.  A seller riding the market down is no fun.  A buyer watching interest rates rise while they sit on sidelines is no fun either.

Dollar Volume Lee County Florida Median Time to Contract Date 63 Days This Year

Getting back to the market, the other indicator we watch is dollar volume. Dollar volume is the cumulative total of all sales.  It is of course influenced by the number of closings and the average price.  As you can see, dollar volume of sales was up 12.9% in August and up 14.9% year to date.  By all accounts, 2018 has been a very good year for real estate sales.

Waiting in this market can be a costly mistake, both on the buy side and the sale side.  It pays to work with a professional that knows the numbers.  I can assure you, agents on the Ellis Team know the market numbers.

If you’re looking to sell a home, call Sande or Brett Ellis at 239-489-4042 Ext 4.  If you’re looking to buy, our team of friendly and knowledgeable agents can help you too.  Don’t forget to check out www.LeeCountyOnline.com  It has all the listings, and it’s updated instantly, so you’ll know about hot new listings before other buyers and sellers on those other sites.  Sometimes they take days to update, and sometimes listings are missing because the agent decides not to list them there.  We have all the listings.  You can even find out what your homes is worth online too.

Always call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty 239-489-4042.  We’ll take good care of you, and give you the straight scoop with what’s really going on in the market!

Ellis Team Weekend Open House

Saturday October 20, 2018 11AM -2 PM

 

The last few weeks we’ve been reporting official Southwest Florida real estate sales numbers, and the numbers look good.  This flies in the face of what some sellers and some agents are saying about the market.  Real estate tends to be an emotional item.  It is for buyer and seller, and for agents alike. This week we’ll focus on why you should avoid Dr do it all when selecting a Realtor to sell your home.

Buyers and sellers tend to get caught up in their own personal transaction.  Agents tend to get caught up in their overall production.  Sometimes agents confuse their own production with that of the overall market, and often they are completely different.

The typical agent’s production cycle is up and down.  They prospect, farm, and lead generate which leads to appointments.  As they take appointments they get busy.  A lot goes into working with a buyer or bringing a listing to the market.  Both can be time consuming.  As transactions begin to occur, all of the prospecting, farming, and lead generating tends to stop.  They must focus limited resources on the ultimate goal, getting the deals closed.

Once they get their deals closed, they’re basically out of business and must begin the process all over again.  And after they do, the cycle begins anew.  When agents are in the transaction phase, they feel like the market is booming, because they’re busy and they have closings coming up.  When they are in the prospecting phase, they can feel like the market is dead and nobody wants to buy.  Because they honestly feel this way, agents tend to report on how they feel the market is doing by how their personal business is going.  And the answer always lies in which step of the process they are in.  Talk to 10 different agents and you might get 10 different answers, and it’s all real to them.

Avoid Dr Do It All When Selecting a Realtor to Sell Your Home

Experienced agents with a long track record of sales have learned to level out the ups and down by doing two things.  Hire talent to help handle all the fine details of bringing a listing to market and managing a transaction.  This helps agents do the 2nd thing, which is never stop lead generating. 

Avoid Dr Do It All When Selecting a Realtor to Sell Your Home

Not only will it help an agent level out the ups and downs of their business, it also helps their sellers.  Imagine listing with an agent that is so busy taking your listing and closing a few deals that they stop lead generating.  Now that your home is new to the market, there are no new leads for your home because the agent stopped lead generating to get your home ready for MLS.

A lot goes into placing a home in MLS, if done properly.  Professional photos must be taken.  Several hours are spent on a pricing strategy, and several more hours are spent gathering information for the MLS, like HOA or condo information, and of course listing all the details and fields for the home.  Then there is the dreaded agent remark section where agents must cleverly write a compelling story on why your home is a good buy.

It’s no wonder why single agents get frustrated, because there is so much to do, and when business starts happening, the lead generation stops.  This is where sellers get frustrated.  Their home is fresh on the market, and few people are viewing the home.

Always Call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty

Avoid Dr Do it All- This is why we created a team.  In fact, we were the first team in SW Florida many years ago.  We never stop lead generating.  The Ellis Team has a full-time listing manager to help with all the details of bringing a home to market.  We have a closing manager to help get our deals to the closing table, so we don’t have to start all over with another buyer.  And, we have a full-time marketing manager to make our ads, and our homes look good.

We never stop marketing and lead generating.  This is why our homes sell faster and for more money than the average agent.  We have a list of buyers ready to buy now, and we are working every day to find them homes.  We may already have a buyer for your home, and if not, our marketing will create one.

Call Brett or Sande Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4 if you’re thinking of selling, or go to www.SWFLhomevalues.com to see what your home may be worth.