Don’t panic if your home hasn’t sold yet.  There’s still time.  Besides, season isn’t the only time homes sell in SW Florida.  Years ago, home sales peaked in the summer.  The last few years they’ve been higher in season and just after season as it takes a while to close a home once it goes pending.

Don’t Panic if Your Home Hasn’t Sold Yet

As you can see, closings tail off after June but there are still sales.  There are more eyeballs here in season so there is more potential however some are just lookers exploring opportunities for years in the future.  If you have a home you’d like to sell and it’s not selling, we offer some tips on getting it sold now.

  1. Hire the best Realtor you can find.  You want one with pro-active marketing.  One that advertises where the buyers are.  Targeted online advertising is a must these days.  If the agent you interview doesn’t understand this, keep shopping.
  2. Stage your home. No, you don’t have to hire a professional stager.  You do have to follow some simple guidelines.  Consulting with a Realtor or stager knowledgeable in bringing a home to market so it shows its best will help.
  3. Professional photos are a must. With so many buyers shopping online, having bad photos will simply turn them off.  Hire an agent that either hires a photographer or one that takes great photos and has a graphics design department touch up each photo.
  4. Fix repair items. Buyers imagine problems ten times worse than they really are.  Fixing a few simple items will go a long way to getting that contract.
  5. Make home easily available to show.  Nothing turns off a busy Realtor more than making your home hard to show.  Things like 24 or 48 hour notice reduce showings significantly.  Place your home on lockbox and allow your Realtor easy access and watch your showings multiply.
  6. Curb Appeal-Look at your home and see how it compares to the neighborhood. Does your home need paint, landscaping, or de-cluttering on the outside?  If so, an investment here can increase showings.
  7. Talk to your neighbors. If a neighbor has an un-kept yard or a boat in the yard, chances are it will affect the value of your home.  Sometimes working out a deal with the neighbor can pay big dividends.  If that doesn’t work, consider code-enforcement or the HOA.  No buyer wants to come in and inherit a mess of a neighbor.
  8. Price it Right. Don’t price it by what you need out of it. Price it as if you were a buyer.  Would you buy your property at your price?  If you over-price your home, you’re essentially buying back your property for the price you’re offering.  Being overzealous leads to you keeping your home because you value it more than the public does.  If that’s the case, maybe you’re not ready to move yet emotionally or financially.  If you really want to move, you can’t love your home more than the market does.  Price it at today’s market value and move on to your next home.
  9. Be gone for showings.  Nothing hampers a potential home sale more than a seller sticking around trying to help.  Buyers extract motivations and information from sellers that can only hurt.  As a seller, you don’t know what’s important to that buyer and saying the wrong thing can lose the sale.  Be gone if possible, or be invisible if not.  Let your Realtor answer any questions. If you don’t trust your Realtor to do this, then you’ve hired the wrong Realtor.  If no Realtor will ever be as good as you, then the Realtor accepted the wrong client.

You can always search for your next home at www.LeeCountyOnline.com  It’s updated every 5 minutes and it has the best photos available from MLS.  If you’d like to talk to experienced agents who know how to get homes sold, always call the Ellis Team at 239-489-4042.  We’d love to help you make your next move!

Ellis Team Open Houses

Gorgeous Pool and Spa

Open Sunday 1-4 PM

15830 Beachcomber Ave  $360,000

 

4 Bed 3 Bath Pool Home on Lake

Reflection Lakes

13795 Bald Cypress Cir    $420,000

 

Pool Home on Golf Course

Open Sunday 1-4 PM

Olde Hickory

14381 Hickory Fairway Ct    $450,000

 

Pool Home Close to Beaches

Open Sunday 1-4 PM

Iona Area

15271 Thornton Rd   $290,000

 

 

It’s that time of year again folks.  SW Florida home sellers begin reducing prices as season drags on.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  In season, homes fly off the shelves, but not all homes.  Each year some sellers get greedy and hope that an out of town buyer will overpay for their home because they just love it so much.  What’s different this year is that inventory levels are higher and the monthly supply of inventory has grown. Market data shows price decreases amid growing inventory.

Market Data Shows Price Decreases Amid Growing Inventory
SW Florida Market Watch

Motivated sellers are finding out that they cannot overprice a home and expect it to sell.  It’s been a seller’s market in years past.  This year it’s more of a balanced market.  We have perhaps one of the healthiest markets we’ve had in a decade.  By that we mean neither seller nor buy has an advantage.

When the market shifts like this it’s an opportunity for educated sellers to use their knowledge and jump ahead of other sellers before they figure out what’s going on.  It’s not that hard to do.  Many sellers are reluctant to hear the truth, so they tell themselves the market is better than it is.  They study neighbors asking prices and add some more simply because their home is nicer.  Never mind the fact their neighbor’s home has been on the market for over a year.  They judge their competition by asking prices instead of sold prices.

Market Data Shows Price Decreases Amid Growing Inventory Listings
Listing Inventory

The educated seller looks at other sellers who have won the home selling game.  It’s kind of like asking a group of fishermen how the fish are biting today.  You wouldn’t ask the ones going out in the morning who haven’t caught anything yet.  If you truly want to know how they’re biting, you’d ask the ones coming in at end of day with fish in their boat.

Market Data Shows Price Decreases Amid Growing Inventory Months Supply
Month’s Supply Inventory

The same is true with the real estate market.  We must look at actual sold data and compare to the subject property.  And we should look at what the conditions were at the time of those sales versus today.  If a home sold 5 months go back when we had less inventory to compete with we may have to discount that a bit now that we’re competing with many more homes.  We must take all conditions into account.  Otherwise we may misjudge the market, and that only hurts the seller in the long run.  Sure, they’ll feel better about themselves for a month or so until they realize the price they thought their home was worth was just pie in the sky.

Sellers may blame the market. They may even blame their Realtor for not selling it.  We’ve been through shifting markets before.  Many times, we’d call a seller and talk to them about market conditions.  Some just do not want to hear they need to reduce their price.  No Realtor enjoys that conversation anyway, but ignoring changing conditions can be at your own peril.

We have a good market right now.  Chances are if your home hasn’t sold yet it’s due for a pricing checkup.  Marketing becomes more important as inventory grows.  Pricing is equally important.  It could just be that you were a little too aggressive initially and re-positioning your home in the marketplace could do the trick.  As you can see, a lot of sellers are selling, and the one’s that aren’t are reducing their price.

If you need to get your home sold, call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams for expert pricing and marketing 239-489-4042.  If you’d like to shop and educate yourself online first, go to www.LeeCountyOnline.com  It has all the listings and it’s updated every 5 minutes.  No more looking at homes that sold months ago, or old prices.

If you’re looking to buy or sell, our team can help!  We make the process easy and we handle all the details.  Let us help you with your next SW Florida transaction.

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

Everybody knows fish tend to swim in schools.  The same is true with buyers.  93% of buyers search online, so knowing where they are and how to reach them is integral today. Targeted marketing attracts schools of online buyers.

This past month we’ve held some open houses.  We had one 3 weeks ago and 45 people showed up.  Last week we held one and 40 people showed up.  The lender who agreed to sit with us and help pre-qualify buyers who might need assistance was amazed.  He said he’d never seen anything like it.  He went to 6 open houses last weekend and none had that kind of traffic but ours.

Targeted Marketing Attracts Schools of Online Buyers
Last Week’s Open House Ad Online

We’ve developed a particular set of skills that finds specific buyers and brings them to your door.  We are targeting buyers, and they love it.  We asked each buyer who came through how they found us.  Many said the open house popped up on their phone, while others said they saw it online.  Were they mad they saw one of our ads?  Heck no, they were glad, and they acted and showed up.

In any advertising, you must target the right people, with the right message, at the right time.  If you fail at any of the three, you’re missing opportunities.  It’s not about how much you spend.  While it is true we spend more than other agents, spending alone won’t bring buyers.

There is blanket advertising and targeted advertising.  Advertising in the Super Bowl might cost $5 Million and blanket the US.  Sure it would attract attention for about a minute.  Targeted advertising hits the right audience, when they’re ready to purchase, with the right message.

First you must have a great page to send them to.  It must have compelling content, and either a call to action or a benefit to going there.  You can see from last week’s online ad there is compelling content with photos if you’re a buyer looking for such a home.  Our open houses generated 1,355 views of our two properties.

Targeted Marketing Attracts Schools of Online Buyers

Secondly, we chose buyers looking to purchase with the exact interests of each home.  We separated the buyers into different audiences so we could tailor each creative ad to each set of buyers.  We ran ads to 5 separate groups, and each group performed well.   Our Click-thru rate was over 15%.  This means that over 15% of people that saw the ad clicked on the ad.  The ad itself was engaging and was worth customers spending their time on.  The industry average is less than 2%.

Targeted Marketing Attracts Schools of Online Buyers Ad Performance
Ad Performance

Targeting worked.  I’ve heard people say they don’t like targeting.  We also put up open house signs on the road.  Those signs target people driving by.  Newspaper ads target readers for products and services.  Online ads are no different.  In fact, most people like it better because hey get to see ads for things they like or are interested in.

This is one reason why For Sale By Owners stand little chance of selling their own home.  They’re not reaching the whole market, and when you limit your market you limit the price you’ll get.  Imagine selling an item at an online auction.  If you have one bidder, you’ll get a certain amount.  What if you had 1,000 bidders?  Do you think you’d get a better price?

All Realtors are not the same.  It makes a difference which Realtor you hire.  We use both blanket marketing like newspaper, video, postcards, etc as well as online targeted ads on Google, Bing, Yahoo, Facebook, and more.  We corner the market.  Hiring the wrong Realtor could cost you thousands!

Always call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams 239-489-4042 to get your home sold fast and for top dollar, or visit www.LeeCountyOnline.com

By the way, we have two open houses this weekend in Reflection Lakes.  See our ad in News Press Homefinder, or find them at www.Facebook.com/Ellisteam

Good luck and Happy Home Selling!

Ellis Team Open Houses

Open Sunday 1-4 PM

Reflection Lakes Condo

13971 Lake Mahogany Dr #2623

Reflection Lakes  $215,000

Affordable Living in SW Florida

 

Reflection Lakes Pool Home

Open Sunday 1-4 PM

13624 Gulf Breeze St   Pool Home  $275,000

Brought to you by your Reflection Lakes Experts

2017 SW Florida State of the Market Report

From time to time we go on listing appointments whereby the seller doesn’t like their current market value, so they decide to wait until the market goes up to sell.  Waiting for market increase could cost you money.

3 Reasons Sellers Overprice Homes

We know why sellers overprice their home. It’s always one of three reasons.  Need, greed, or ego.  We all know the market doesn’t care what a seller needs to sell for, nor does it care how much a seller would like to get for the home.  This brings us to ego.  Some sellers want to sell at a certain price because they don’t want to lose money.  You might think this is greed, but it’s actually ego.  It’s an ego thing to hold out for break-even or better.  It feels good to tell people, or yourself, that you didn’t lose money.  If anything, you made money.

Sometimes ego can get in the way of a sound financial decision.  First, you’re not guaranteed to make money on every deal, and it’s not your fault.  The market can change, the economy can change, and demographics can change.  All are beyond your control.  You win some, you lose some.  And nobody else really cares how you did except yourself.

So if we’re into convincing ourselves what the best decision is, let’s look at the whole picture.  I took a real-life scenario and broke it down.  At the end, you can answer what the best decision is.

Waiting For Market Increase Could Cost You Money

Seller has a home that’s worth $400,000.  He really wants to sell for $420,000.  He knows it’s 5% above the market and home won’t appraise, so he figures he’s better off waiting until next year to get his money.  Is he better off though?

Waiting For Market Increase Could Cost You Money

The seller’s home is 12 years old.  At some point it will need a new roof, air conditioner, water heater, pool pump, etc.  This seller owes $350,000.  The principal and interest payment is $1,670.95/mo.  Additionally, they pay $4,000/yr in taxes, $2,000/yr in homeowners insurance, $500/yr flood insurance, and $3,600 yr in HOA fees.

The seller is waiting until the home goes up $20,000 in value.  Let’s say it takes a year.  In one year’s time this seller just incurred $30,151 in expenses. This does not include the yard, utilities, budgeted maintenance for things like a roof, AC, pool pump, paint, water heater, etc.  If anything breaks down it’s in addition to the $30,151.  If the seller waits a year, he actually loses $10,151 waiting for that extra $20,000.  Sure, his mortgage balance might be slightly lower than next year, but his cost of sale will be higher too (doc stamps, title insurance, etc. )

And there is no guarantee this home will be worth more next year.  In that case it would really cost the seller.  There is one more cost to think about as well.

Unless the seller already owns their next home they have to replace the current one.  If their home goes up 5%, it’s logical to assume their next home may go up about 5% too.  So did they really save anything?

And even if they already own their next home, did paying taxes on two properties and all the costs save them?  Definitely not.  So next time you’re forced with a decision on price, ask yourself this question.  Is my motivation based upon need, greed, or ego?  If the answer is yes to any one of these, calculate the cost of keeping your home versus the expected gain and evaluate.  Often the best answer will be to sell now, in which case you’ll have to decide what your bigger need is, a sound financial decision or a happy ego.

Talk to Your Ego

An ego doesn’t know any better.  It’s based upon the information you give it.  If you tell your ego you’ve come to a logical decision based upon facts, your ego will surprise you and reward you.

If you’d like to talk to us about your options, we’re here to help.  239-489-4042  If you’d like to surf for your next home, or get an idea of what nearby homes are selling for try www.LeeCountyOnline.com

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!  Always call the Ellis Team!

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Golfer’s Dream – Low Golf Fees

Open Sunday 1-4 PM

14381 Hickory Fairway Ct

Olde Hickory   $465,000

4 Bed 3 Bath- 3 Car Garage on Lake  2,647 SQ Ft

 

Pool Home Close to Fort Myers Beach

Open Sunday 1-4 PM

15271 Thornton Rd

Iona Area  $300,000

3 Bed, 2 Bath- 2 Car Garage Pool Home

Search SW Florida Luxury Homes

 

 

 

Welcome to the 2017 Southwest Florida State of the Market Report.  We love this time of year as we get to analyze how the previous year ended up and give our insights on what the future year may bring to us.

2017 Southwest Florida State of the Market Report Monthly Sales Prices

The headlines may read that 2016 ended with a whimper. We might disagree. All year we were saying sales were down and prices were kind of flat.  This was true.  2015 sales prices were revised downward in the latest official release so the 2016 numbers appear better than they were.  We eked out an 8.3% median price increase which is fantastic considering many months were flat.  December’s numbers really helped the year.  The last 6 months of the year showed median prices hovering between $225,000 and $230,000.  December’s shot up to $249,900.  Additionally, the number of homes closed shot up in December as well.

2017 Southwest Florida State of the Market Report Homes Closed

2016 sales numbers were down all year. Closed sales were down 6% for the year.  For the most part we were behind last year’s numbers except August and November.  This is not uncommon when prices rise.  As you can tell from the year end prices chart, we’ve come a long way back.  Would you rather be where we are today or 2007 which was a bit higher?

2017 Southwest Florida State of the Market Report Year End Prices

We’ve got a healthy market today.  We did not have that in 2005, hence the free-fall we experienced a few years later.  We have end users for our homes now.  Back in 2005 we had speculators flipping homes from one speculator to the next.  We had some cleaning up to do.

Southwest Florida real estate inventory supply increases in 4th Qtr

I remember as a boy my mom saying you can’t go out and play until you clean up that room.  That was Hell!  All a boy full of energy in the Midwest wanted to do on a sunny day was go out and play.  Being bottled up inside was no fun.  We didn’t have all the video games and Internet, so outside was where it was at.

SW Florida felt the same, only it lasted several years.  Our market was Hell for anybody who bought in 2006, 2006, or 2007.  We had some cleaning up to do.  2009 was the bottom of the market but it still wasn’t big fun.

Today almost everyone is outside playing, and most everyone has a clean room at home.  January started with a bang this year.  We think for the first time in a while there is genuine optimism about the economy.  This past election was fierce and gruesome.  People are glad that’s over and looking forward to lower taxes and a smoother mortgage process.  Both are in the works.

2017 Southwest Florida State of the Market Report Inventory Levels

Nobody knows how long this excitement will last.  All we can tell you is 2017 season has started off well, and we expect it to end well.  If a seller prices a home correctly, it will sell.  If a home is overpriced, it will sit.

Year End Sales Numbers

2017 Southwest Florida State of the Market Report Year End Sales Numbers

Buyers are competing to win a home.  If a home is priced at market, it may attract several buyers.  We have a balanced and healthy market.  Sure, we’re not back to the height of the market, and that’s OK.  Those numbers were not supported by end users or income.  Today’s demand is supported by people needing a place to live, not a speculative get rich scheme.

2017 Southwest Florida State of the Market Report Video

We have a full State of the Market  video on our Facebook page www.facebook.com/Ellisteam or watch below.

Be sure to search the MLS at www.LeeCountyOnline.com or get neighborhood reports here too.  If you’d like to talk to us about the market or how we could sell your home and find you a better home for you, please call us at 239-489-4042 Ext 4.  Brett and Sande are easy to talk to and we’re never pushy.  We present you with your options and we’ll help you accomplish them!

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

Additional 2017 Southwest Florida State of the Market Report Graphs

Money in Motion

2017 Southwest Florida State of the Market Report Money in Motion
Market Intensity

Active Inventory Rising

2017 Southwest Florida State of the Market Report Active Inventory rising

New Pending Sales

2017 Southwest Florida State of the Market Report New Pending Sales

One of the common question real estate agents get from sellers centers around a home’s Zestimate on Zillow. Deep down sellers know what homes are selling for in their neighborhood and how their home compares.  Often, they just want to try a much higher price simply because Zillow says their home is worth more.  We attempt to answer the question, Are Zillow home value zestimates purposely inflated?

The buzz amongst real estate agents is they can’t believe how far off many Zestimates are these days.  Agents laugh anytime the words Zillow and home values are mentioned in the same sentence because they know they’ll have to explain how inaccurate these things tend to be.

Last weekend I had a conversation with one of our sellers.  She brought up her Zillow Zestimate.    Within 15 minutes after that conversation I went outside to work in my yard and my next-door neighbor asked me about his Zestimate.  He noticed it went up over $100,000 last month and wondered if the real estate market was that good right now.

Zillow Home Value Zestimates Purposefully Inflated

Of course, his value didn’t change $100,000 last month.  Perhaps you’ve heard the story of Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff.  His home was valued at $1,750,405 on March 1, 2015.  The funny thing is, it sold 1 day earlier for $1,050,000.  That’s a difference of $700,405.  Put another way, Zillow was off over 40% on their CEO’s own home.

Are Zillow Home Value Zestimates Purposefully Inflated?

So is Zillow’s data that bad, or could there be another motive?  Let’s remember where Zillow gets its revenue. Zillow charges agents, property managers, and lenders to appear on their website.  They are gathering leads to sell to agents.  Some agents pay several thousand dollars per month for these leads.  Zillow takes MLS and public records data and assembles them and markets that data to the public in the hopes of attracting eyeballs to its site.

To increase revenue and charge more to agents, brokers, and lenders Zillow must increase visits to the site.  One way to do that is advertise more on the Internet and TV.  Another way is to change up the values frequently in hopes of getting repeat viewers to come back often and see what’s going on with their value.

We get it.  The market changes every day.  It doesn’t typically change $84,000 in one day.  So, either Zillow’s algorithm for calculating values is off, the underlying data are off, or they are trying to create a buzz by getting people to check back repeatedly.  In the news business, they call it Click Bait.  Click bait is when editors write a sensational headline to get readers to click on the article.  It could be fake news, doesn’t matter.  If the headline works, it attracts readers which ups the hit count.  The higher the hit count, the higher the advertising rates.  Most reputable news organizations don’t utilize this tactic.  They don’t have to because they have valuable content.  Tabloids on the other hand use this with perfection.

Agents are paying top dollar presumably for new leads not realizing Zillow is stoking the fire by attracting the same old leads repeatedly.  Consumers may be unaware that Zillow now has data on everyone who has checked their home value, and they are selling data like that.

Zillow Admits Errors

Zillow says that nationally their Zestimates are off by 7.9% on average.  That’s a lot!  However, in Seattle where their CEO’s former home is located, they claim to be more accurate at only 6.1% off.  Can we really trust their numbers when they were off over 40% on their own CEO’s home?

If you’re thinking of selling, we have an automated valuation tool that may be more accurate.    More importantly, we will never sell your info to other agents and brokers.  Why would we?  We want your business.  We’d love to earn your business.

If you’re thinking of selling, call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams 239-489-4042 Ext 4  Let us show you how we put more money in your pocket at closing than other Realtors and how we sell homes Fast!  And, we’ll show you what true Top Dollar is for your home so you can make accurate decisions.

We’re here to help.  Always ask for Sande Ellis or Brett Ellis.

Read about Southwest Florida Real Estate Market Statistics to be released tomorrow.

Paint the Town Red

This weekend is the Keller Williams Paint the Town Red Event.  We’ll have around 100 homes open in a single day.  It’s the single biggest open house event of the year.  Check back as we’ll be posting the addresses here.

Ellis Team Featured Open Houses

Sunday 1-4 PM

Ellis Team Open House

6180 Winkler Rd

 

 

 

 

 13624 Gulf Breeze St Reflection Lakes Pool Home

It takes a team to win a Super Bowl. This weekend America will tune in and watch the two best football teams square off in the Super Bowl. Fans will be rooting for their team.  Others will be watching for the commercials, and others just love a reason for a party.  Super Bowl weekend is one of the biggest party gatherings of the year.  There’s just something in it for everyone.

It Takes a Team to Win a Super Bowl

It Takes a Team to Win a Super Bowl

Winning a Super Bowl is a lot like a winning real estate transaction.  All football teams start pre-season, endure a grueling season, and the most successful teams at end of year have a chance to compete for the grand prize.  Sure, you can make some mistakes along the way.  You don’t need a perfect record during the season, but you do once the playoffs start.  One setback will end your season and its game over.

In real estate, the pre-season is interviewing and selecting agents if you’re a seller.  Having the perfect agent doesn’t matter if your goal is to win some and lose some.  If your goal is the grand prize, which is selling the home, then you can’t make mistakes during the playoffs.

If you’re a buyer, the pre-season is casually looking for homes on various online sites or visiting open houses just to see if anything catches your fancy.  You’re not ready yet, and that’s OK.

But then something happens to buyers and sellers, and they decide now is the time to take that leap.  Not the Lambeau leap, the real estate leap.

Have you ever noticed that certain football coaches tend to win more Super Bowl’s than others?  In the last 15 years it tends to be the same coaches over and over.  Have you also noticed most NFL coaches never win the Super Bowl and they get fired?  It’s true.  That’s because they can’t bring home the trophy.  They might have a winning season, but lose in the playoffs when it matters.  This get’s us back to the original goal.

Is your real estate goal to have fancy brochures and a high price so you can tell all your friends what your home is worth?  Or is it to actually sell?  Brochures are nice, and they don’t sell homes.

Systems Key to Victory

Hall of fame coaches have systems in place that work.  Winning coaches exhibit the same common traits.

  • Accountability
  • Team of professionals coaching the players
  • Evaluate talent at a high level
  • Call the right plays when the situation demands it
  • Make the tough calls.  Calls other coaches are sometimes afraid to make
  • Study their opponent
  • Do their homework
  • Preparation
  • Work long hours

This is the difference between obtaining the goal and settling for just looking good. All coaches are not the same.  Neither are real estate agents.  The traits of a good coach listed above sound a lot like the traits of a great Realtor.

All Agents Are Not the Same

Agents do not advertise the same.  Many don’t have the experience to get your home from pending to sold.  Some agents never make it out of pre-season because they price the home wrong to begin with. Agents sometimes recommend taking the wrong offer, or not waiting for a better more qualified offer.  These are all mistakes agents make that can cost a seller thousands.  It can even cost you the sale.  You might say these are rookie mistakes, but not always.  These could be seasoned agents that are decent.  They’re just not trained as well as a Super Bowl winning coach. They don’t have that level of experience.

Experience matters when hiring an agent, just like it does when hiring a coach.  If you’re a NFL general manager and your owner wants to win it all next year do you hire a coach like Bill Belichick or Tom Coughlin, or do you pay less money for a less experienced coach?  Remember, the big prize is the goal, and anything less is not acceptable.

The cost of losing exceeds the cost of winning.  Losing can be life changing.  So can winning.  If you’re looking for experienced, world class Realtors who have been the Top agents in Lee County many times, you should call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams.  You’ll be glad you did.

Ask for Sande or Brett. 239-489-4042 ext 4 or visit our MLS Search Site and find your dream home.  If you’re a seller, you can get market reports and home values for your home Free!  Now that’s a winning combination.  Enjoy your Super Bowl party!

And don’t forget, Spring Break is just around the corner.  We though you might enjoy watching the Cincinnati Firefighters put on their daily show courtesy of the News Press and the current Spring Break schedule for 2017.

Cincinnati Firefighters Show

College Spring Break Schedule

Feb 25

Michigan

March 4

Dayton

Ball State

Florida Gulf Coast University

John Carroll

Michigan State

Penn State

Queens

Stetson

Florida

Georgia

South Carolina

March 11

Florida Southwestern State College

Georgia State University

Indiana State

Indiana

Iowa

Iowa State

Ohio State

Purdue

Kentucky

Notre Dame

North Carolina

Minnesota

Valdosta State

March 18

University of Chicago

Miami of Ohio

Wisconsin

Ask to join our Ellis Team Seller’s Club.  Next week we’ll be releasing vital year end statistics for the 2016 Southwest Florida real estate market.  If you’re a buyer or seller, you’ll want this information before other buyers or sellers receive it.  We’ll email you the video when it’s done.

 

Southwest Florida December home sales were down 5.5% from last year and pending inventory fell 8.4% from last year, a worrisome sign to agents heading into 2017.

December 2016 may be an abnormal year as we just came off the most contentious election cycle I can remember.  January sales normally don’t start heating up until the 2nd half of the month.  Already we’ve seen strong buyer activity which may be a sign that consumers are now moving forward after a lull in 2016.  Potentially we have a lot of pent-up demand.  Consumer confidence seems to have increased post-election.

Southwest Florida December Home Sales

Single family home prices increased 8.7% over December 2015.  Many of these sales would have been in place before the election, so that is a positive sign.  Listing inventory declined slightly from November although it is up 11.4% from December 2015.

We’ll be keeping our eyes on inventory levels moving forward into 2017 as well as pending and closed sales.  One month does not make a trend.  So far we’re still seeing mixed signals but all indicators were pre-election.

The other thing we’ll watch in 2017 is interest rates and job creation.  Interest rates rose in 4th qtr of 2016 and the Fed has signaled more in 2017.  They predict 3 more Fed increases.  It’s impossible to know how the overall market would respond to that as the Fed doesn’t control bond prices or mortgage rates directly.

We hear great news on the manufacturing front.  Jobs returning to the US would be a boom for real estate.  Quietly we’re losing other jobs, like retail brick and mortar stores.  Macy’s, Sears, Kmart and others are closing stores as sales are off at malls and retail stores.  It may very well be that sales are not off, just a reformation of how people are shopping.  We believe more people are shopping online and less at malls, but that’s just our guess.

Real estate consumers are also researching and shopping online.  Last month our websites earned over 7,000 user sessions by over 3,700 unique users researching our market and searching for property.  This doesn’t include our social media sites.

Remembering back to life before the Internet, we never had 3,700 people coming through our team’s doors each month.  Sure, we had more than most as we have always been large advertisers, but no team had that many.

Online shopping has really opened how consumers access information.  To capture these buyers agents must have a website that serves timely and useful information, and presents it in such a way that is mobile and consumer friendly.

38.76% of our property search traffic is mobile and another 16.03% is tablet.  Combined that equals 54.79%.  More than half our traffic is mobile, which means less than half are searching on desktop.  Therefore having a team ready and able to respond to leads quickly is critical.  Statistics show buyers work with the first agent they talk to and build a trust with.  Communicating with a lead within first 5 minutes is key.  Agents are busy and can’t always call a lead immediately, but when they can conversions go up.

Buyers want to buy from somebody.  They just want to work with someone who can answer their questions and solve their problems.  Faster response times just increases your chances.

Buyers, if you’re looking to purchase or curious about the market, check out www.LeeCountyOnline.com  It has everything you need and database is updated every 5 minutes.  Hard to believe, but it’s true.  I’ve tested it.

Sellers, if you’re looking to sell, hiring an agent that will proactively market your listing and reach today’s online buyers is critical.  In addition, they must have a team in place to service these leads quickly.  Without these tools and the agents to work the leads, your home is just sitting on the market waiting for someone to possibly find it.  We don’t wait!  We market!

Agents, if your sales are coming up short because you don’t have the leads, maybe we should talk!

Always call the Ellis Team!  239-489-4042  We can sell your home!

Southwest Florida Real Estate Market Update January 2017

We’ll have an updated Seller’s Club coming out in next few days.  Until then, here is December’s Report.  Please contact us if you’d like to have this report emailed to you each month.

 

Ellis Team Open House

Ellis Team open house Reflection Lakes
Reflection Lakes Open House

Open Sunday 1-4 PM

Reflection Lakes  Gate 2

13624 Gulf Breeze St

$285,000

Lately we’ve been hearing a lot of complaints from sellers who are frustrated because they listed their home with a discount broker and it didn’t sell.  Others have tried selling For Sale By Owner and listing on real estate portals and that didn’t work either.  There’s a very good reason for this.  The MLS never sold a home, and it never will.

People sell homes.  Sellers want to minimize how much they pay to sell their home.  The logic is the less you pay to sell, the more money you should end up with in your pocket.  This assumes discount brokers and For Sale By Owner sites can get you Top Dollar.  They can’t!  And they’re not motivated to either.

To a discount broker your listing becomes an asset that attracts buyers.  When the home sells, the asset goes away and thus their ability to attract buyers.  Keep in mind; they’re not spending a lot searching for buyers for your particular home.  They’re advertising their low price in hopes of attracting future assets.  These companies have agents who gather buyers from their low commission listings and often times sell them other company’s listings at much higher commissions.  This is called the co-broke fee.

When they sell another company’s listing at a higher fee, they also get to keep their asset in hopes it will generate even more buyers.  When it does, they can repeat the process.  They don’t always attract the best buyers either because they’re not advertising the home to the total market.  They’re using MLS as a tool to get it out there on various portals but that’s it.

For Sale By Owner sites list homes from owners as they want to attract eyeballs to their site.  They can use this eyeball count to attract advertising.  They really don’t care if your home sells or not.  They just want the eyeballs.  It’s a lot like click bait for news stories.  New news organizations are popping up and either writing fake stories or outrageous headlines just to get the user to click on it.  The more clicks they receive the more they can charge advertisers.

When you’re selling your home, there is one thing that matters more than any other.  How can I get the most money for my home with the least hassle?  Choosing the least expensive option doesn’t guarantee the most money.  In fact, it almost guarantees you won’t receive the most money!

MLS Never Sold a Home

When we list a home we go out and find the buyer.  We don’t sit back and wait.  We spend a lot of money advertising, both in print and online. We invest in data analytics, and then serve up ads online to buyers with the income and interests for your home. When we list a waterfront home we can target buyers interested in boating and fishing. We identify the best characteristics for your home, and then serve up ads online directly to buyers that match the criteria and income level.

MLS Never Sold a Home

This past weekend we had 2 open houses.  Not only did we run ads in paper, we also advertised online.  The online ads reached almost 2,400 targeted buyers likely to move and generated 73 clicks to these two homes web pages.  It’s no wonder we had a nice turnout because of our proactive marketing.

We generate thousands of impressions each month.  The past 30 days we had over 6,100 user sessions at www.LeeCountyOnline.com alone.  Add in our Blog and our other websites and we’re reaching thousands.  We reached 442 buyers from Canada and 365 from the United Kingdom.

This is very different than companies that sit back and wait for MLS exposure to sell your home.  There’s a reason we get Top Dollar for our homes and they sell 19.7% faster.  It’s because we proactively expose your home.  We don’t sit back and wait.

All agents are not the same.  Call the Ellis Team and see how we’re different!  The jingle in your pocket will thank you. 239-489-4042 Ask for Sande or Brett!

Ellis Team Open House

Each year we tell home sellers not to get too excited about showings until about mid-January.  Showings and contracts tend to increase as the month goes on and builds throughout season.  2017 however is different.  Southwest Florida home sales are heating up earlier than past years.  Could it be there was pent-up demand from 2016?  We think so.

Southwest Florida Home Sales Heat Up in January

Our team set a goal to sell 4 homes this past week.  We sold 6.  Our agents have been out showing every day, sometimes working with 2-3 buyers per day this past week.  Sure, some of these are buyers in our pipeline we’ve been working with for weeks or months until they arrive.  Others are new buyers we’ve attracted to our website or referral calls.  In any event, activity has picked up earlier than past years.

Showing activity on our listings from other agents has picked up too.  Combining this with what our team is seeing leads us to believe the market is heating up.  So I went to MLS and did some checking.

In the first 10 days of January 309 properties have gone under contract.  The average list price is $317,843 and the median list price is $230,000.  These prices are pretty much in line with recent sales numbers.  What’s encouraging is the number of properties going pending so early in January.  This potentially bodes well for an excellent season.

2016 was a year in which the number of transactions was down.  It was a year in waiting.  It seems people were waiting on the election, waiting on the economy, waiting on something.  Now there is renewed hope and optimism and we hear it.

People have renewed confidence in jobs staying in America.  The U.S. has its swagger back and people are optimistic.  Even the people who threatened to leave if Trump got elected are staying.  This article isn’t a political post.  The United States is the greatest nation on the planet and people recognize that, even if their candidate didn’t win.

Southwest Florida Home Sales Outlook

We think 2017 is going to be a better year in real estate than 2016.  Prices were largely flat in 2016 and sales volume was down.  We think we’ll see rising sales volume, and who knows where prices will head.  Rising interest rates could dampen price gains, or not.  They’re still low.

Rising inventory could dampen price gains, or not.  Sometimes I think sellers haven’t listed because they didn’t know where they wanted to go.  As inventory rises, more choices open and it could spur more sellers to act.  It’s a cycle that could really get the economy moving again, raise tax revenue to the state, and sales tax revenue to local governments as people buy appliances, flooring, etc. for their new home.

Where 2017 goes is an open book yet to be written.  Way too early to predict or know for sure.  We are encouraged by the flurry of activity so early in the season.  It just seems like 2016 was a year in limbo and 2017 is a year of action.  People don’t wait forever.  They move on.  They move forward.

If you’d like to search for your piece of paradise, check out www.LeeCountyOnline.com  You can search the MLS like a Realtor as our database has all the listings and it’s updated every 5 minutes.  You can also get a Free estimate of your home’s value.  If you like the value and want to talk to us about your options, call us at 239-489-4042 Ext 4.  Brett or Sande will be happy to talk to you and make sense of the process.

If you don’t like your home’s value, don’t give up.  It’s just a computer, and it’s not 100% accurate.  How could it be?  It’s never been inside your home.  We’ll be happy to look at it with you.  Sande and Brett are experts at getting Top Dollar for your home, because our marketing works.  Just give us a call.

Whether you’re buying or selling, it pays to talk to the Ellis Team! 239-489-4042

Ellis Team Open Houses

Saturday 12-3 PM

Ellis Team Open House6180 Winkler Rd   $500,000

 

 

 

 

Sunday 12-3 PM

Ellis Team Open House

16585 Wellington Lakes Cir  $300,000

 

 

 

 

Ellis Team Seller’s Club Video