Official September closed sales numbers have not been released yet, but we can report that pending home sales rose in August which means September and October numbers could come in stronger than last year.  Pending sales are always a precursor to what may come one to two months out.

Pending Home Sales Rose in August

Pending Home Sales Rose in August 2019

It’s a good time to be a seller.  We have a fairly balanced market, however statistically it favors the seller right now.  To make things tougher for buyers, new listings were down 17.8% in August.  This pulled the overall listings on the market down 3.9%, a direct result of less listings coming in August.  Officially we are down to a 4.9 months’ supply of homes on the market.  We will run our numbers in a few weeks that will show current supply numbers by price range.

As a seller, right now is a good time to put your home on the market.  In January there will be a rush of sellers placing their homes on the market.  Today you can beat that rush.  The Ellis Team has placed several homes under contract the past few weeks whereby the seller won’t have to compete with all the new listings entering the market.  They got out now and were happy with their price.

Buyers are more motivated now than ever.  There is less supply, and rates are historically low.  We’re not saying rates will go up overnight.  We are saying nobody knows when they will.  Buyers have low rates and not as much inventory to choose from.  Buyers are motivated.  There’s an old saying that says it’s always best to strike while the iron is hot.  The iron is hot right now.

We’ve got a new system for homeowners thinking of selling their home sometime in the future.  We’ll show it in a future article, but basically the gist is this.  The system will email you a neighborhood report with photos and details about nearby homes for sale, pending, and recently sold.  In addition, at the click of a button there are neighborhood stats that will tell you how many homes are for sale in your neighborhood, the average price, the price per square foot, and the days on market. It provides commute times to your favorite places, as well as reviews of local neighborhood businesses.

If you’d like to see stats and info with your neighborhood, send me an email to Brett@topagent.com with your name, address, and phone number.  I’ll put you in the system and it’ll email you new stats every two weeks.

If you prefer a quick price estimate, you can check out www.SWFLhomevalues.com This site gives you an instant price estimate that is surprisingly accurate in many cases.  Of course, before listing your home we’d want to verify the information.  Homeowners like this site because it is Fast and Free.

Buyers, we’ve got you covered too.  You’ll want to go to www.LeeCountyOnline.com  This site gives you a leg up on the competition because it includes all of the listings, and it’s updated every few minutes.  There is nothing more frustrating than not seeing all the listings or looking at a home that sold months ago.  Our site will help you win!

Speed wins in today’s market.  That’s why we work so hard to bring you tools that will provide you information very fast.  What you decide to do with it is up to you.  All we ask is that if you ever need real estate advice, you’d think of the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty.

We study the market.  We’re full-time and we take this seriously.  Isn’t that the kind of agent you want working for you?  If you’re a seller and want to speak with Brett or Sande, call us at 239-489-4042 Ext 4.  If you’re a buyer, call our main line and we’ll get a buyer specialist in touch with you today.

Or just visit one of our handy tools and surf away on your time.  We’re here to help you on your schedule.  Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

See Last Week’s Article “Mortgage Applications Rise Sparking Important Questions

Mortgage applications rise sparking important questions this past week 8.1% as mortgage rates fell.  We are consistently seeing rates below 4%.  Recently we had a buyer receive 3.25% on a fixed rate loan.  With rates falling, it’s sparking two important questions.

Mortgage Applications Rise Sparking Important Questions

If I own a home, should I refinance?  The answer depends on two things.  What is the differential in the rate you have currently and today’s rates, and how long do you plan on staying in the home?  Does your current home meet your needs?  We are at a historic time.  This is an opportunity to lock in a low rate for your home, or an opportunity to find something better and lock that in.

You May Qualify For More Home Now

You might qualify for much more home than ever before due to these low rates.  Your dream home you thought was an impossible dream might just now be a reality.  The question is, are you content where you are, or do you aspire for something better?  Now is the time.  There is no right or wrong answer, It’s your answer.  What we can say is there is a right or wrong time, and now is the right time.

If you don’t currently own a home, now is the best time from a financial standpoint.  Only you can answer if it’s a good time job wise, relationship wise, etc.  It’s been proven that owning a home is key to accumulating long-term wealth.  Putting money in the stock market may not work out the way you want.  Income stocks and bonds, CD’s, and interest bearing accounts aren’t paying much either.  Real estate may be your best bet, and now is the time.

You may need help deciding whether to keep your existing home and fix it up or sell it and buy another.  You’d probably think a real estate agent would only want to sell you something, so no sense consulting with an agent.  A good agent will listen to what you’re trying o accomplish and make suggestions for you to consider.  This is a moment in history, and you may not get a do-over.

Real Estate Sales Versus Consultant

Good real estate agents know things the general public does not.  We can offer advice based upon your needs, even if it’s not deciding to sell.  When you receive good advice, you’re much more likely to recommend your agent to people you know.  Great agents know that if they take care of their customers, their customers will always take care of them.

We help a lot of people buy and sell property in SW Florida.  Sometimes we don’t take a listing because we can’t help the seller.  Sure, we could take a lot more listings, but in the end, if you know it’s not right you’re not helping anybody.

Most sellers don’t know for sure where they’d go if they sold.  They know their current home isn’t ideal for them anymore, but they don’t know how they’d get to another home.  It’s logistics.  This is where a great agent can help.  You must have a plan to get from point A to point B.  There are steps, and good agents have a track record of accomplishing this.  Sellers see the task as daunting, so they give up before they start.

Mortgage Applications Rise Sparking Important Questions

Sometimes homeowners look back on their life and hate how they’ve been stuck someplace that doesn’t make them happy.  We’re not saying you should sell today at all costs.  What we are saying is if you have a home that isn’t working for you anymore, there are options, and today more things are possible than they were in past.

Call Sande or Brett Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4 and schedule a sit-down appointment to go over your needs.  If you’re just looking for a quick, free online evaluation, we provide that service as well.  Simply go to www.SWFLhomevalues.com and it does a pretty good job of estimating your home’s value instantly.  Did we say Free?

Of course, there’s no substitute for consulting with us.  We’re here when you’re ready to talk, and we have tools for you if you’re just curious and beginning the thought process.

Good luck and Happy Home Buying/Selling!

See last week’s article “Median Time to Contract Increased 20.6% in August

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Ellis Team Facebook Page-Open Houses

 

One of the things we look at in evaluating the local real estate market is how long it takes to sell a home.  New statistics just released indicate the median time to contract increased 20.6% in August 2019 versus 2018.

Median Time to Contract Increased in August

Median Time to Contract Increased

If you look at the chart, we see a 15.9% year over year increase in the time it takes to sell a home.  This tells us it’s not a one-month blip on the chart.  It’s taking longer to sell a home in 2019 than it did in 2018.

There is good news though. New pending sales were up 2.9% in August versus last year, and inventory is actually down 3.9% The numbers tell a story that at least in August, it’s kind of a mixed market.  We’ll keep our eyes open for trends that will swing the market one way or another.

The local real estate market is sort of like the economy.  There are positive signs like employment numbers, interest rates, etc.  There are also signs of consumer confidence perhaps swinging while people wonder what the outcome of the China trade agreement will bring.

What all this process is that the Internet does not sell homes.  Experienced agents that price homes properly and aggressively market homes sell homes.  It’s not enough to throw it up on MLS and hope another Realtor sees it, or a buyer sees it online and falls in love with it.

Marketing Still King

There is competition for the buyers, and buyers are still swayed by marketing.  As an example, we get a certain number of leads through a paid advertising program we use.  It costs a lot of money, and it’s very successful.  When we launch additional targeted online advertising promoting our listings or our open houses, we get dozens more leads looking to buy now.  Had we not done that extra advertising, we would not have gotten those buyers.

We can track which ad each buyer came from and which property they clicked on.  We know exactly which ads work.  This knowledge helps us repeat the process.  Each time we list a new property we can design ads that bring in buyers for that property.

Chances are we might already have a buyer.  Yesterday I was at a listing appointment and we searched for leads looking in their subdivision.  We had 572 leads looking in their subdivision, complete with name, phone number, and email address.  Once this property goes on the market, our team of agents have built-in leads they can call announcing the new listing and giving these 572 people first crack at seeing the home.  That’s the power of marketing.

Agents that sit back and wait for other agents to show their home don’t have a database of buyers like the Ellis Team does.  At last check we had 8,373 in one system alone.  The advertising platforms cost money, so not every agent can afford to market like this.  When you’re interviewing agents, you’ll want to ask to see their online leads and how many they have for a home like yours.  Is the data good, or is it just email addresses?  Good data to us is when we have their contact information and we know the buyer’s What and When.

If we have the buyer’s What we can help find them what they’re looking for, and on their timeline.  If a buyer is 5 years out, that’s not going to help any of our current sellers today.  Building up a consistent pipeline is key to getting seller’s homes sold quickly.

If you have a home to sell, call Brett or Sande Ellis 239—489-4042 Ext 4 or visit www.SWFLhomevalues.com We can sit down with you and show you how we’re different.

In the meantime, we’ll keep an eye out on the market for you.  Good luck and Happy Selling!

From time to time we like to take a snapshot in time and evaluate what’s going on in the local real estate market.  It’s been awhile since we’ve posted our Lee County 7-day real estate market watch, so we decided it’s time.

Lee County 7 Day Real Estate market Watch 9-21-19

As you can see from the chart,  the Lee County 7 day real estate market watch shows pending sales outpaced new listings 359 to 299.  If you add back in the 82 back on market listings, you’ll notice that inventory slightly outpaced pending sales.  It’s fairly normal to have fallout on pending sales for various reasons.

Buyers have inspections and sometimes try to use that as an additional negotiation point which results in contract fallout.  Sometimes a buyer’s financing falls through, or occasionally a property might not appraise.  Any number of things can cause contract fallout.

The other thing we noticed this 7-day period is the price decreases.  There were 305.  This tells us 305 sellers overpriced their home.  The sellers are still motivated to sell and they’re doing what it takes to find the market for their home.

We’ve got a pretty good market right now, and you don’t want to miss it.  Don’t worry, plenty of sellers will miss this market.  We see homes fail to sell in all kinds of markets.  Remembering back to 2005 there were tons of sellers that didn’t sell because they thought the market would keep going higher and their investment was their lottery ticket.

The thing is, lottery tickets expire.  They don’t last forever.  Real estate markets don’t stay the same forever either, both on the upside and the downside.  We’ve got a pretty good market going, and we haven’t seen a lot of appreciation in Lee County the past several years, so they’re no reason to believe our market is in jeopardy, unlike 2005.  The key term here is sustainability, and we have that barring any wild cards.

You’ve heard the term perfect storm before.  Usually this refers to a market that’s over valued and one or more events triggers a fall.  What we have today might be a perfect opportunity.  There is no storm.  We’ve had a boring market locally the last few years.  We didn’t participate in any great upside, and if there was a downside, we might not see as much of that compared to other areas because of this fact.

Low interest rates are creating the opportunity for a seller to sell and re-invest in another home at low rates.  Today rates are around 3.25%  A seller could hold out for home prices to go up another 5-10%, but at what cost?  Chances are the home they’re moving to will also go up 5-10%.  If that weren’t enough, chances are the mortgage rate will go up too.

A 1% rise in rates could cost a borrower tens of thousands of dollars in interest.  It also costs a borrower buying power as they qualify for less.  If you’re a seller and have been eyeing a move, now might be the time to talk about your options.

We’ve got some good lenders that can sit down with you and go over your options.  The Ellis Team can evaluate your property and tell you what it should sell for today.  We can even calculate how much you’d net out at the closing table after all expenses, so you know how much you’d be working with for the new home.

Times like this are exciting, and they only come around once or twice in your lifetime.  Can you remember when mortgage rates were 3.25%?  When I first got in the business in 1988 interest rates were about 11-12%  I bought my first home in 1989 with a 10.5% rate and thought that was great.

We may never see 3.25% again.  We don’t know how long this will last.  All we can do is help as many as possible while we can.  If you’re thinking of selling, call Sande or Brett Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4

Of course, we can help you purchase too.  Visit www.SWFLhomevalues.com to find out what your home is worth.

Good luck and Happy Selling!

See last week’s article Prospective Home Buyers Have Difficulty Finding Right Home

A recent survey from the NAHB (National Association of Home Builders) shows that 55% of prospective home buyers have difficulty finding the right home.  That same survey says that 84% aren’t willing to give up their search.

62% will continue looking for the right home in their preferred location.  36% agreed to expand their search area.  21% are prepared to accept a smaller or older home than they originally sought out.  16% are willing to increase their price range to get the home they want because they have the means.  Another 16% say they’re putting off their search until next year.

Low interest rates are increasing demand from prospective home buyers and should allow for price increases because now typical buyers qualify for more home than they did last Fall.  Locally we’re seeing multiple offers on some properties.  Pending sales are increasing, but so has the inventory slightly.  If these low rates continue, we could see inventory levels fall as buyers scoop up more homes.

Speed is key to scoring a home in this environment.  Buyers need an agent that knows the market and can respond quickly.  You can’t have an agent that takes the month off and expect to score a home when homes are selling quickly.

Information is key as well.  Our website www.LeeCountyOnline.com gives buyers an advantage too because it has all the listings, and it’s updated every few minutes.  Surprisingly, many of the big websites don’t have all the listings, or the data is outdated.  It’s hard to win a sprint when you’re giving your opponent a 25-yard start.  The same is true in real estate.  It’s hard to beat out other buyers to hot new listings if you’re getting information a few days late.

It’s not just the new listings either.  Price reductions are important.  I can’t tell you how many times a home goes under contract within a day or two of a price reduction.  A price reduction essentially makes it a new listing on the market.  It was off the radar for buyers when it was over-priced.  As soon as it gets into range, it shows up on their radar.  Essentially, it’s newfound inventory to the buyer they didn’t know existed.

Prospective Home Buyers Neighborhood Market Report
Prospective home buyers have difficulty finding right home. Use our neighborhood reports

Our website also has market reports, so you not only see active and pending homes, you can also see sold properties complete with inside photos.  Now you have an excellent way of comparing homes without having to be a Realtor.

In fact, we have a lot of real estate agents registered on our website because they don’t want to pay for MLS.  If you’re an agent, please don’t do this.  You should join the Board and pay for MLS like the rest of us.  It’s also not fair to Ellis Team agents who are working hard calling leads trying to get them the best home they can afford.

Our agents are full-time and they’re serious.  We’re not here to sell anybody anything.  We’re here to uncover your needs and help you find it in the most efficient way possible.  If you’re not ready to purchase yet and just looking, that’s OK too.  We’re not here to bug people.  We may stay in touch from time to time to see if anything has changed.  We see our job as to help you when you’re ready.  We’re here when you need us, and we don’t want to bug you too much when you don’t.

Interest rates are down around 3.3%.  With rates this low, buyers are deciding now may be the time.  Call an Ellis Team agent and we’ll be happy to sit down with you and go over your options.  We have some excellent lenders we work with.

If you’re looking to sell, call Brett or Sande Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4  We’ll show you how to sell your home quickly and walk you through all the steps.  We can even find you your next home too.

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!  Don’t forget to use our site or call us.  You’ll be glad you did.

See last week’s article Lee County Closed Home Sales up 8.2%

Lee County closed home sales were up 8.2% in July over last year signaling buyers are taking advantage of historically low rates while they can.  Prior to May the Lee County housing market had been trending under 2018 levels.  We officially broke out of that in May and haven’t looked back since.

Lee County July Closed Home Sales up 8.2%
Lee County Closed Home Sales up 8.2%

Last year Fall rates shot up about 1%.  That can and will happen again someday.  When they shot up, it limited price gains, and it dampened home sales because affordability was an issue when rates rose.

Buyers felt it instantly.  Sellers didn’t feel the pinch until they saw there were fewer buyers for their home.  More sellers placed their home on the market, and inventory began to build.  For sellers, rising rates is a lagging indicator because it takes them a few months to feel the pain the buyer feels today.

Fast forward to today.  Home prices have begun rising again, if only slightly.  Successful homes closed have risen, and new pending sales were up 4.5%.  New listings fell by 5.7% with the latest numbers.  It’s only a matter of time before the active inventory levels fall.  Currently they’re still 1.8% higher than last year, but if these trends continue, we expect those numbers to fall.

What we don’t know is how many new sellers will decide to enter the market given recent strength.  Market forces shape the entirety of the local real estate market.  It’s not as simple as supply and demand.  This is because supply and demand is the end result.  What influences supply and demand ultimately influences the market and that is what we attempt to flush out for you each week.

If you want to know where the market is headed, you must first know where it’s been, where it is now, and what is influencing it.  It sort of reminds me of Hurricane Dorian.

For days experts told us where they thought it was going. It was being influenced by high pressures in multiple locations, upcoming troughs and ridges, all of which were the steering currents.  Hurricanes don’t steer themselves.  They are just bundles of energy doing what they do.  External forces steer them.

Steering currents are like supply and demand.  Everyone knows that’s what drives the hurricane, or the market.  But knowing what drives the currents is critical to knowing where things are going.  Luckily, the computer models did a pretty darn good job with the storm.  They told us it would stall out and sit there until other forces decided to move it out.

Real estate markets sometimes stall out until a new force enters the market and drives the thing.  Right now, our market is being driven by low rates and tax advantages.  Underlying currents are global trade, foreign currencies vs the dollar, jobs, the economy, the availability of money, and a handful of other factors.

We don’t control these external forces.  All we control is how we react to them.  People are reacting by making purchases because it saves them money.  Consumers sense a real opportunity now; one they don’t want to miss.  Savings on a 30-year loan add up.

We’ve got some great lenders that can help you take advantage of these low rates.  We just had a buyer get a 3.3% fixed 30-year loan.  Some buyers need help, and we have lenders that can help with that too.  Give our team a call and we can put you in touch with a lender.  If you need help with your credit, they can tell you what you need to do to qualify.  Many buyers are surprised that they qualify now.  Others just have a little bit of work to do and will qualify in a month or two once they take an action step.

Call our office at 239-489-4042 and speak to one of our buyer specialists or visit www.LeeCountyOnline.com   If you’re thinking of selling, ask for Brett or Sande at Ext 4 or visit www.swflhomevalues.com .  We may be able to make your dream a reality, and at low, low rates.

See last week’s article Lee County July 2019 Real Estate Prices Rise Slightly

Finally, Lee County 2019 real estate prices rise slightly.  For the past two and a half years, prices haven’t moved much, and they still haven’t.  However, we did see a small break-out to the positive side in July.  This could be due to lower interest rates and lower Florida taxes compared to high tax states up North.

Lee County July 2019 Real Estate Prices Rise Slightly

Real Estate Prices Rise Slightly

Median home prices were up 2.0% over last year and average home prices were up .8%.  This may not sound like much.  Because we have a balanced market, we’re looking more at the direction than the rate of change.

Inventory is up slightly over last year, but that is offset by the fact that the number of home sales closed was up 8.2% in July.

Agents are still feeling the pinch because the total dollar volume of sales in Lee County year to date is off about 5%.  However, total dollar volume was up 9.1% in July, so we’re closing the gap.  We’ll keep an eye out and see how inventory numbers, closed sales, and prices fare in the coming months.

New pending sales were up 4.5% in July, so there is reason to believe sales in the future could increase as well.  It’s hard to have a closing without a pending first, although you can have a pending and not eventually close.

The Ellis Team is getting renewed interest from buyers all over the country. It’s not just the high tax states, although many are.  People who have been on the fence about when the best time to move may be swayed by these low rates.

How long will this last?  There’s no reason to believe this can’t go on for a while unless something funky happens with the economy.  SW Florida really didn’t participate in the upswing of the past few years, so we may not have any downswing to contend with if things change.  With interest rates this low, it could fuel home sales further nationwide, and certainly in SW Florida.

Inventory Falling?

We could begin to see inventory shrink if this keeps up.  Unless there is pent-up inventory from home sellers, these low rates could fuel price gains, especially in SW Florida.

Of course, there are the wild cards.  You know, the China trade war, fuel prices, conflict with Iran, North Korea, etc.  Right now, the economy is doing well.  Getting trade agreements with Canada, Mexico, and Japan is huge.  The only thing bigger would be a deal with China, then it could be off to the races.

Where is the best place to shop for homes on the Internet?  Definitely www.LeeCountyOnline.com  It has all the homes, and the data is updated every few minutes.  There is access to pending and sold data too, and it’s all current.  There is nothing more frustrating than inquiring on a home that sold years ago.  Well, maybe missing out on a great deal because it wasn’t there.  With our website, it will be there, and you don’t need to miss out.

Thinking of Selling?

If you’re thinking of selling, head over to www.SWFLhomevalues.com You can get an instant value on your home, and if you’re really interested in getting Top Dollar, call Brett or Sande Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4.

Some sellers wait until season to sell, but that could be a mistake.  In season, a bunch of other sellers also come out to test the market, so you have lots more competition.  And, we don’t know how long these ultra-low rates will last.

Sure, rates may stay low into 2020, but they may not stay this low.  If rates rise 1%, and they will one day, it will cost you 11% more to purchase your home.  Waiting can cost you thousands. And, it’s always more fun to sell when real estate prices rise.

The Ellis Team is here to help.  If you have questions, we have agents here to answer them for you.  Our website is the best if you just want to shop around and research the market.  Our agents are best if you’re serious and would like some guidance about the best way to approach the process.

Good luck, and hope you had a happy Labor Day weekend!  Thank you Hurricane Dorian for not raining on our parade!

Southwest Florida housing inventory fell in August to a 4.37-month supply of homes on the market.  This has turned our local market into a seller’s market from a balanced market.  Most experts state that anything around 5.5 months is considered a balanced market.

Southwest Florida Housing Inventory Falls in August
Southwest Florida Housing Inventory Falls in August

Market Influences

What influenced our market to change?  Markets rarely stay the same for long as they are subject to influences.  We believe two things are influencing buyers today.

The first is interest rates.  One of our loan officers we work with just got a buyer a 30 year fixed rate loan for 3.3% That’s an incredible rate and it makes it hard for buyers to pass up buying opportunities with rates that low.

Secondly, people are migrating from high tax states to Florida.  We don’t have a state income tax.  There is a $10,000 deduction limit known as the SALT deduction on federal income taxes.  SALT stands for state and local taxes.  High tax states like New York and New Jersey have both high property taxes and a state income tax.  People are tired of the high taxes to begin with, and now they face higher federal taxes on top of it.  Sellers are bailing from California too to places like Texas.

Because Texas and Florida have managed their money better it’s an attractive option.  Not only are property taxes lower, there is no state income tax, and their federal tax is lower too.  That’s a win on three fronts.  Add in the weather, and you’ve got a deadly combination to high tax states.

There could be other reasons, but these seem the most logical to us.  Boomers will still keep retiring and places like Arizona and Florida are natural destinations.

Sellers Benefit

The real question is, how can these factors help you?  If you’re a seller locally, you now have more buyers qualified to purchase your home due to lower rates.  You also have more buyers from up North looking to move here.  You’re going to want a Realtor with national reach.  We get a lot of referrals within our company from agents in these other states to us in Florida.  That’s a fantastic way, because they trust their agent up North to find them a great agent here.

We also have a large digital footprint online.  I’m not talking social media.  Everybody has that.  We target and advertise to buyers in those areas most likely to move to Florida.  Because we know where buyers are coming from, we can target ads directly to them.  Of course, you can’t target everyone in a state.  You must reach the residents likely to move, and we have ways of doing that.

I’m not going to announce all our trade secrets publicly as every agent in town would attempt to copy if they knew the strategy.  Suffice it to say it takes a lot of money, and a lot of know-how to pull this off and it’s something we’re good at.  We enjoy it actually.  It’s fun to watch the leads roll in and see all the sates they come from.

Sellers also benefit on their next purchase.  If they sell now at top dollar, they get to enjoy a low interest rate on what they are purchasing.  It’s absolutely win-win for a seller, not solely the buyer.

Buyers Resources

If you’re thinking of selling, please call Brett or Sande Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4.  Or visit www.SWFLhomevalues.com to get a good idea on what your home may be worth today.

If you’re looking to buy and not sell, check out www.LeeCountyOnline.com  It has all the homes on the market.  We even have pending and sold data there too.  If you’re looking to do both, start out at the home values site.

Of course, we’d love to sit down and talk with you.  Together we can come up with a plan to make a possible move reality.  Sometimes the biggest block people have is the logistics.  How can they time a sale and a purchase?  We can help with all those questions.

Good luck and Happy Selling!

Hurricane Dorian Tips

Old Video Still Has Good Hurricane Tips

SW Florida Hurricane Tips From a Top Agent

You’ve probably heard of those instant offers programs whereby a company offers to buy your home instantly for cash.  Closing takes place in a short period of time.  No getting the house ready to show, no hassles with showings, no hassles period.  Sounds great, doesn’t it? What do these instant offers programs cost sellers?

Instant Offers Programs Cost Sellers 15% Equity or More

Except there’s one catch. They don’t offer you full market value.  Not even close.  A recent study showed that the typical instant offers programs cost sellers around 15% equity.  That’s a big price to pay, and costs much more than selling your home even after paying a real estate agent commission.

Going For Top Dollar

Most sellers are afraid they may have to drop their price if their home doesn’t sell.  Homes in SW Florida typically sell for around 95% of list price.  Some much more than that depending on the price range.  What this is telling us is those sellers were about 5% over the market, and when they came down to where the market was, their home sold.

Imagine selling 15% below that number.  You don’t have to imagine because it’s reality.  These instant offers companies don’t tell you that.  They also don’t tell you the final price when they make their original offer.

To date these national companies haven’t come to SW Florida.  We have spoken with people who have used them in other markets, and they’re not happy.  First, it starts with an offer, typically 7-10% below fair market value.  Seller accepts the offer, and inspections are setup.  Then the instant offers company amends the offer to account for major renovations needed.  That could total $30,000 or more depending on inspection results.

If the seller’s biggest fear was having to reduce asking price, it was just realized by accepting an instant offer.  The only difference is the process sped up, and the reduction was severe.  Had the seller priced their home upfront to meet today’s market, they could have sold quickly and put much more money in their pocket.

These sellers’ biggest regret was using an instant offers company.  Sometimes the fear of the process overrides the financial loss, until the financial loss becomes real.  We can help with this.

Choices

In the near future we’ll bring an iBuyer program to SW Florida.  You’ll be given the choice.  Take the instant offer or go for top dollar with us.  Logically most will choose the top dollar, but we’ll have the choice for those looking for the instant sale.

If you’re in a situation where you need to sell fast and you’re fearful of the process, a simple sit-down meeting can answer many of your questions.  We can look at what fair market would look like and discuss insightful ways to get your home sold fast, and not for bottom dollar.

Anyone can give away a home.  That’s easy, and costly.  We can help you sell fast and put more money in your pocket.  We’ve been working on a few solutions to help sellers that are exciting.

We have an instant repair bid program.  Basically, we take the home inspection and upload into our system.  Within 48 hours we have bids to repair anything on the report.  This makes it easy for buyers and sellers because almost instantly they know the price of the repairs.

Many times, deals are lost because a buyer believes the repair cost is just too expensive.  By having instant bids, they know the cost upfront.  Often, the repair cost isn’t as bad as they think.  Sometimes sellers blow up because they believe the repairs the buyer is asking for will add up too.  Having an instant repair bid shows the seller the true cost of the repair.  Perhaps buyer is asking too much, and now the seller will know.

The instant repair bid is a nice tool which can give both buyer and seller peace of mind.  It’s also much less expensive than giving your house away to a greedy iBuyer program.

Thinking of Selling?

If you’re looking to sell, talk to Brett or Sande at the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty.  239-489-4042 Ext 4  We can show you how to net more at closing and make the process easier for you.  Don’t let fear of the process let these companies take advantage of you.  A solution is often just a face to face conversation away.  Or visit www.SWFLhomevalues.com for a quick idea of your home’s value.  If you like that price, we can talk further.  If you think it’s off, we can sit down and discuss that too, because it could be.

See last week’s article “Wall Street Fear May Spark Main Street Opportunity

Good luck and Happy Selling!

This past week we’ve experienced large fluctuations on Wall Street. Wall Street fear may spark Main Street opportunity.  Financial markets are fearful trade wars may carry over and harm earnings, which would put a damper on company valuations.  Everyone agrees the United States must confront China, as most agree the best time to do it is when we’re at our strongest economically.  Just the same, it does create worry amongst our farmers, companies, and investors as they need a road map of where it’s safe to invest.

Main Street Opportunity

Enter Main Street.  In financial turmoil’s past, there’s always been a flight to quality.  Right now, it’s U.S. treasuries, pushing the yield on the 10-year note down to 1.62%.  It simply can’t go much lower.  Europe has negative interest rates, which means people trying to protect their money choose to lose money invested in government bonds, because they feel that’s their safest bet.

Main Street Opportunity

Money always moves.  We saw money this past week move into Gold and oil, and then it moved back out.  Investors are seeking safety and return if they can get it.

Real estate may become the preferred investment once again.  Wall Street fear may become Main Street Opportunity. Money is practically free.  The Federal Reserve has been forced to cut interest rates to protect against the dollar becoming too strong.  A strong dollar means foreign countries will buy less of our stuff because it’s too expensive.  In this case, the trade imbalance widens, so we weaken the dollar by lowering interest rates to remain competitive.  There is no inflation right now, so it’s safe.

Lower rates have helped propel the Southwest Florida real estate market.  Going into 2019 we were experiencing a shift.  The feds had just raised rates about 1%, and the market responded.  Buyers couldn’t afford as much as in the past and the market cooled.  Inventory built up.

Fast forward to today.  The feds are fixing their mistake.  It’s not the feds job to prop up the stock market or housing market.  It is their job to manage our monetary policy to keep us competitive, and they are responding.

The advantage real estate brings is it’s tangible.  If the stock market collapses, investors lose money.  If the real estate market falls, homeowners can still live in the property and investors can still rent out a property.  Real estate can still provide income.  Buying gold or silver provides no income, just a tangible asset. Real estate is both.

Most Americans believe the best long-term investment is real estate by far.  It might surprise you to know that millennials prefer real estate as an investment more than any other generation.  This is surprising because many millennials put off home buying compared to predecessor generations.

Right now, home sellers have an interesting opportunity in front of them.  They already own a home, and perhaps they’ve considered a move.   They’re not sold on the idea though, but they are considering it.  These lower rates help sellers in two ways.  The most obvious is, when they pay off their mortgage and buy another home, they’ll save big-time when they purchase their next home.

Secondly, lower rates help more buyers qualify for homes today than last Fall.  More buyers create more competition for the listings.  Listing inventory begins to fall, and this helps raise home prices.  Or, at the very least, it stalls out price declines.  June inventory numbers were lower than April.  We’ll be pulling August numbers soon to compare.

The fact that sellers win in two ways creates an opportunity for home sellers.  Usually home sellers have questions, because there are many pieces to the puzzle that must be answered before deciding.  The most obvious would be, where do we move to?  How do we accomplish this logistically?

A seasoned real estate professional can help answer these questions.  Call Sande or Brett Ellis at 239-489-4042 Ext 4.  We’ll guide you through the maze and help you decide if a move is right for you.  Or visit www.SWFLhomevalues.com

Thank you, News Press readers, for voting the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty the Best in Real Estate for the 4th straight year.

Good luck, and happy house hunting.

See last week’s article Total Volume Down 7.15% Year to Date in Lee County