One of the ways we measure health of the real estate market is to measure the real estate total dollar volume of sales.  We get this by multiplying the number of sales by the average sales prices.  The reason this figure is important is because it quickly tells us so much.  We know that Lee County Florida real estate total dollar volume was up again in 2019, beating all the past 5 previous years.

Real Estate Total Dollar Volume Up in Lee County

Real Estate Total Dollar Volume Up

The average sales price was down 1.7% for the year while the median sales price was up 3.0% The reason the real estate total dollar volume is up is because sales climbed 3.4% for the year.  Even though the average price fell, we made up for it by increased sales.

We started to see sales prices rising at the end of 2019, so the 1.7% drop in average price is the average for the entire year.  Inventory fell 16.5% in 2019. Combining lower inventory with lower interest rates, we’ve got a recipe for potential price increases.  It’s a classic supply vs. demand with a little bit of affordability mixed in the formula which equals rising price potential.

Mortgage applications rose this past week as well, which is a sign that consumers are jumping on these low rates.  Many are new purchase applications, and some are refinance applications.  We’re seeing more people in SW Florida considering their options.  They’ve been locked in their homes for quite awhile and they’re wondering if now might be the time to make a move.  They’ve finally gained enough equity, either through paying own their mortgage or rising home values, or both.

The trickiest part is finding the next home to move into while there are low inventory levels.  That’s where we can help.  We’ve helped people find new construction they weren’t aware of, which is sort of like invisible inventory.  The other thing we have is a new App that is making the home search process more fun.

New Consumer Experience App

You’ll be hearing more about this new app very soon.  We believe it will make shopping for real estate fun and be the best consumer experience you’ve seen.  It will reshape the industry.  To do that, it must be a game changer.  This weekend I’m out in Dallas at our national convention where we expect it’ll be released.  If you’d like a VIP invite to check it out, send me an email to Brett@topagent.com with message line Consumer App.  I’m going to make sure News Press readers and our Blog readers get first access to this cool new technology.  The best part is, it works nationwide too, so if you’re visiting here from somewhere else, you can use it for back home too.

2020 will be an interesting year to watch.  Sometimes election years can be funky as consumer confidence is held in the balance, but that doesn’t seem to be the case this year.  Americans seem confident in the direction of the economy.  The job outlook is bright, interest rates are low, and people’s retirement plans are doing well.  The stock market is on fire.  All systems seem to be go.  Trade deals are going our way which sets up well for the economy of the future.

Prices are almost back to where they were in 2005.  The difference is we have end users for our homes.  Back then we had speculation and flippers without end users.  The inventory was built for future demand.  Today we don’t have enough inventory, so it’s a totally different market, and the risks that were present back in 2005 are not here today.

2020 is All About the Consumer

We feel good about the local real estate market and its direction.  We feel good about the consumer experience we’re bringing to the market.  2020 will be an exciting year on many levels, both for the consumer and for agents that disrupt the status quo.  The Ellis Team looks forward to disrupting the status quo.  Email us if you’d like a first access to our new consumer experience.  If you have a home to sell, call Sande or Brett Ellis at 239-489-4042 Ext 4

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

See Last Week’s Article “Lee County Home Prices Almost Back to Record Prices

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Reflection Lakes Fort Myers Market Update

Whiskey Creek Market Update

We’re almost back baby!  We mean this in a good way.  Lee County home prices are almost back to 2005 levels, and this is good news. Some might take this to mean home prices are approaching record territory and it’s time to worry.  We say not in the least, and for several reasons.

Lee County Home Prices Almost Back to Record Prices

In a growing economy, home prices were always going to rise.  The difference is, back in 2005 we had pre-built inventory that exceeded demand.  It was false demand.  You can’t keep selling the same home to flipper to flipper without an end user in mind without future repercussions.  Our market was playing musical chairs.  When the music ran out, we had more homes than end users, and we had a glut.

We would eventually need all those homes, just not right then.  Of course, the downturn came and hit our area hard.  Builders quit building.  Eventually our workforce grew again, and our economy picked up.  Except the home building didn’t, and what seemed like a glut back in 2005 was now the floor.  We needed more construction.

Fast forward to today.  Our economy is fantastic.  We’re looking at some of the best numbers in our nation’s history.  Because we’re now in a global environment, we have global competition.  The U.S. is tearing it up, and we don’t see much inflation.  This allows interest rates to stay low.  In the old days, a heating economy meant rising rates, and that’s just not the case right now.

Lee County Home Prices

We have more room for price gains because it’s really all about the affordability.  People are making more money and borrowing costs haven’t risen.  This makes housing affordable for more people.  And SW Florida is growing, which adds demand for more housing.

Therefore, we’re seeing inventory levels falling and prices rising.  We have end users, which is something we didn’t have back in 2005.  Trade deals favorable to us have been struck with Mexico, Canada, and China.  These deals will greatly help farmers, manufacturing jobs in the US, and more.  The very people it will help may eventually move to places like Florida.

We expect to see the Fort Myers/Cape Coral area and points north like Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte take off.  It may not be sudden, but 10 years from now we’ll look up and marvel at all the new growth we’ve seen.

With that being said, there are still sellers that manage to overprice their home and fail to sell.  Proper pricing and maximum marketing are what sells homes.  You don’t want to under price your home and give equity away to the buyer, and you don’t want to overprice it and watch your neighbors sell while your home sits on the market.

Great Agents Make the Difference

Hiring the best agent is the key.  Hiring the wrong agent can cost you thousands.  It can cost you the sale.  If you’re thinking of selling, please call Sande or Brett Ellis 239-489-4042 ext. 4 for some expert advice.

Buyers, you need expert advice too.  There is a lot to consider.  What is the total cost of ownership?  You’re competing against other buyers, so you need to know what the price and payments will be.  What are the HOA and condo fees?  How much will insurance be?  Are the planned special assessments?

A seasoned agent can help you get all this information.  Buying a home or condo is much more than just looking at pictures and prices.  A lot of study goes into it, and a true professional can speed up that information gathering and analysis for you.  Analyzing information quickly is key here, because low inventory levels are forcing buyers to act faster than years past.  Our team can help you do that.  Buyers can search the MLS like a pro at www.LeeCountyOnline.com  It is updated in real-time, and you can reach us quickly if you need us.  Sellers can get their home value instantly at www.SWFLhomevalues.com  Quality and speed are the keys in 2020, and we can help you with both.

Let us know how we can help you.  Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

See Last Week’s Article “Lee County Real Estate market Finishes 2019 Strong

For the past few months we’ve been saying the 2019 Lee County real estate market stood an excellent chance of surpassing the previous 4 years closed sales numbers.  More recently we predicted it was going to happen because the pending sales were higher going into December and we only needed about 700 or so closings to break the recent records.  Sales came in as expected, and we can now report 2019 was a good year for home sales.

Lee County Real Estate Market Finishes 2019 Strong

We’ve got so much to report now that we have final year sales statistics, so we’ll do so over the next several weeks.  The Board of Realtors saw a 3.39% rise in number of Lee County real estate market homes closed in 2019 over 2018.  December helped as the Board of Realtors sales were down 1.2% year to date going into December.

Ellis Team sales were up 18.82% in 2019 versus the board at 3.39%, so we feel pretty good about our sales numbers too.  This means we took market share from somebody.  We’ll have some major news releases coming up in a few weeks as to changes arriving in the real estate industry, so stay tuned for that.  These changes will significantly impact consumers and how they receive real estate information.

Some agent’s sales numbers are up, and some are down.  This tells us we have a shifting market and some agents are prepared for what’s going on and some are left wondering what is happening.  When we say shifting market, we don’t mean going from good to bad.  In this case the shift is in the way buyers find homes and select their agent.   This shift is going to accelerate in 2020 and we’re going to see big changes coming.

The agent you choose to work with better be on top of their game.  If they don’t understand the changes that have begun, they won’t be prepared for the changes that are coming.  The cycle has started, and we’re seeing a shift in agent’s and brokerage’s numbers.

Some brokerages are laying off staff.  Agents are watching profit vanish as lead generation costs are skyrocketing.  They don’t know what to do or where to turn.  They were told change would come in 2019 but they didn’t believe it, because it hadn’t happened yet, and they’ve heard all this talk before.  Except this time, it was true, and there is more to come.

You would think with rising sales numbers, agents would be happy.  A rising tide lifts all boats.  The tide hasn’t risen for all agents.  In fact, the tide has gone out for many agents and that has created opportunity for agents that are making the change.

The consumer should not worry.  These changes won’t affect the real estate market.  The market itself will still ebb and flow as it always does.  It will affect how consumers receive information, and it will improve the consumer experience.  Consumers will be happy and will be more educated.  They will feel more involved and will have more information available than ever before.  Exciting things are coming that will shake-up the industry and improve the consumer experience.

If you’re a consumer with an interest in real estate and you’re wondering what the heck we’re talking about, send me an email to Brett@topagent.com with subject line Consumer Experience.  In a few weeks I’ll send you information that will change everything.  Imagine travel before Expedia, Orbitz, and Trivago.  Imagine watching movies before Redbox, Netflix and streaming TV.

In each case the way you received information and the experience you gained from it changed your life forever, for the better.  Some people still remember ordering tickets from the airline and waiting for them to arrive in the mail.  Others remember going to the store to pick out a DVD for the night.  Today it happens at the speed of now, and in a format you can see and digest quickly.  The same is about to happen in real estate.  Sure, you can search real estate online now, so you’re probably wondering what we’re talking about.  You’ll have to trust me that soon your real estate experience is about to change.  Until then, www.LeeCountyOnline.com is the best place to search for SW Florida real estate.

See last week’s article “New Home Construction Up 16.9% in December and It’s Not Enough

Good luck and Happy Selling!

New economic data just released shows US new home construction up 16.9% in December, and it’s not enough to balance a backlog of demand.  A separate report shows that from 2012 to 2019 builders built 5.9 million new single-family homes.  In that same time frame, 9.8 million new households were formed in the US.  That is a shortage of 3.9 million homes.

New Home Construction Up 16.9% in December and It’s Not Enough

In the aftermath of the foreclosure crisis we saw households forming and little to no new inventory being built because of the credit crisis.  Sure, one of the reasons we had the crisis in the first place was because flippers built homes without end users in mind, so we had perhaps an over-supply.  They were just flipping to another flipper. That crisis lasted several years with little home building.

New Home Construction Up 16.9% in December

Since then builders have been cautious about building anything on spec.  Fast forward to today.  We have a booming economy, low interest rates, and households still forming.  In other words, nationally we have a shortage that needs to be made up.

States like Florida are seeing an influx of buyers moving here because of our tax structure.  Let’s face it, Florida is attractive on several levels, not the least of which is great weather and sunshine.  What’s new are the tax advantages.  While Florida has always enjoyed tax advantages due to no state income tax, new tax laws have brought to light just how out of balance some states are.

For instance, high tax states like New York, New Jersey, California, and Connecticut are bleeding residents, and tax revenue as they leave.  They are leaving in droves to lower tax states like Florida and Texas.  One report suggests lower tax states gained $32 Billion in adjusted gross income.  The booming economy has helped states collect about 6% more revenue overall, but states with lower taxes are doing better than the ones with higher taxes.

In the south, construction was only up 9.3% versus much higher in other regions.  This tells us Florida has more need for building construction, and this could be putting upward pressure on home prices.  Of course, higher prices do not work unless you have rising incomes to support it, and a booming economy.

Despite political turmoil, financial markets seem to shrug off impeachment hearings as not serious.  If impeachment allegations were serious, the markets would not be stable like they are today, and the financial markets and housing markets would swing into chaos.  The markets are betting all signs are pointing to status quo and no real changes coming to Washington.

Interest rates remain low, and oil prices have been steady despite regional tensions.  With an influx of new residents to Florida, we see a need for new construction in Florida.  Many homeowners in SW Florida would sell their home if they had a place to move to that meets their needs.

The Ellis Team has noticed an uptick in buyer inquiries into new construction opportunities.  Some buyers only want to look at new construction.  Many others don’t want to wait and focus on resales, while others look at both because they are flexible and searching for the best opportunity.

It’s important to work with a Realtor when buying new construction.  The commission is built-in, so you don’t save it if you buy on your own.  You also don’t get the expertise of an experienced Realtor who can guide you on options, locations, and designs that will maximize resale value when you go to sell.  Making good decisions upfront can save you thousands later.

Lastly, builders won’t always tell you about incentives.  For them you are just one sale.  A good Realtor can bring them many sales, so they hear about the incentives offered. Just this past month alone our team has helped several buyers save thousands and helped them make great decisions that will help them years down the road when selling their home.

If you have a home to sell, Always Call Brett or Sande Ellis at 239-489-4042 Ext 4.  If you’re looking to buy, our team of buyer specialists can guide you, whether it’s a new home or resale.  Visit www.LeeCountyOnline.com to see all the homes on the market in real-time.

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

See Last Week’s Article “Ellis Team Luxury Division of Fine Homes and Estates

We are proud to announce the formal opening of the Ellis Team luxury division of fine homes and estates.  While we’ve had a separate luxury division in the past, recently we’ve marketed luxury homes under the Ellis Team brand to great success.  We’ve been able to do this because our vast local marketing and our online presence which also has a global reach.

Ellis Team Luxury Division of Fine Homes and Estates

We’ve sold luxury homes without focusing on it.  What if we thought bigger?  What if we were intentional about it?  We work with a company that sells billions of dollars each year by its luxury agents and we haven’t tapped into that power, until now.  In fact, KW luxury agents sell $71 Million dollars of real estate each day.  That’s a lot of real estate, and that’s only 2,400 luxury agents worldwide producing that volume.

You must qualify to become a Keller Williams luxury agent by having multiple home sales in the top 5% of your market area.  We’ve been approached over the years to join this powerful group.  Sande and I both qualified, so we decided to investigate it further.  Our business has been growing steadily and we’ve been selling luxury listings through our own efforts.

Upon further investigation it became clear there were additional benefits we could offer our clients.  Luxury agents refer clients to other luxury agents.  By joining KW Luxury International, we now have access to the top agents in the world.  When they refer their high-end clients, they want to know they’re working with an agent on the other end that has experience and can handle high-end clientele. We are part of an online community that talks everyday about luxury issues.

If you’re going to market luxury property, it’s best to market globally.  We now have access to list luxury homes in the international MLS, so agents across the world will now see our luxury listings.

Additionally, we partnered with some of the premiere publications throughout the world.  Ellis Team luxury listings will now appear in these publications that reach affluent buyers.  Our listings are translated into 28 languages and appear in more than 80 countries.  The average income and net worth of these readers is astounding.  We’ll be happy to sit down with you and show you where your home would appear and what that could do for you.

We now have two separate brands online to market from.  This does not mean we are abandoning our traditional sales.  We’ve been growing as a team and we look forward to selling more properties this year than ever.  We are expanding our luxury reach by creating this separate division.

These two divisions work well together because some luxury buyers open businesses here locally and employ local workers.  This helps us all.  Other luxury buyers purchase 2nd or 3rd homes for vacation, which helps our tax base without adding to services required by the county.

You may not see all our luxury listings in all of our local ads, just as not all of our local listings qualify for the international ad campaigns.  Many of these publications set minimum price standards to appear in their publications.

The luxury division helps our traditional sales as it exposes us to more affluent buyers worldwide.  Many of these buyers purchase upscale luxury listings.  Some prefer value and purchase here in SW Florida because of that value.  The additional exposure to this clientele opens up SW Florida to more sales opportunities, both in the upscale market and the traditional market.  There is no better way to reach luxury buyers than the partnership we just formed with KW Luxury International.

If you have a home to sell, please call or email Brett or Sande Ellis directly.  We can expose your home to more buyers than other agents and get you Top Dollar for your home.  Please call 239-489-4042 Ext 4.  Ask for Sande or Brett, or email us at Sande@topagent.com or Brett@topagent.com, and we’ll see you at the top!

See last week’s article “Ellis Team sales Smash Records Again in 2019”

Feel free to search luxury listings at our SW Florida Real Estate search site.

Find out what your luxury home is worth instantly

Ellis Team sales smash records again in 2019. Our marketing is working.  In 2018 Board of Realtors sales were down 8.5% for the year.  In 2018 Ellis Team sales were up 53.73%.  2019 official numbers aren’t out yet, but we do have YTD numbers through November.  The Board of Realtors are down 1.2% for the year while the Ellis Team sales are up 18.82% That’s on top of the 53.73% sales gains from last year.

Ellis Team Sales Smash Records

Ellis Team Sales Smash Records Again in 2019

What’s our secret?  It’s a combination of things some would say is the secret sauce.  First off, we believe in marketing.  The Ellis Team survived back in the foreclosure crisis when a lot of other Realtors went out of business because we never stopped marketing.  Sure, times were tough, but we made it, and we sold a lot of homes.  In fact, the National Credit Union Association and Bank of America met with us and hired us because of our marketing and track record of getting homes sold, even the tough ones.

Thankfully, those days are long gone.  Marketing works in good times and bad.  When the market shifts, most agents hunker down and cut costs.  Sales go down when they cut marketing and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.  It’s wise to constantly evaluate what works and adapt to new methods and advertising channels.  We’ve done that, and today we reach more buyers through our advertising than ever before.  Our clients thank us because our listings sell.  In fact, Ellis Team listings sell faster and for more money than the average sale in MLS, and one reason is the extra exposure we can give our listings.

Ellis Team Luxury Division

The Ellis Team just opened our luxury division.  We can now offer additional marketing to luxury listings that increases our local and global reach. Talk to Brett or Sande Ellis if you have a luxury listing you’re thinking of selling.

Sande and Brett have a lot of experience selling in SW Florida and we’ve developed some proprietary systems that help our team stand out.

There’s much more, but the final point we’ll make today is our people.  We only hire the best.  Agents and Ellis Team managers go through a lengthy and exhaustive interview process to be on our team.  We look for people with drive, a willingness to learn, and values that match our own.  We don’t settle, and neither should you.

Best in Real Estate Fort Myers

Perhaps that’s why the Ellis Team has been voted the Best in Real Estate 4 years in a row in the News Press Readers’ poll.  Real estate is all about relationships.  We’re not here just to sell more homes.  We’re here to make a positive impact on each of our client’s lives.  Some buy or sell for happy reasons, and some for sad reasons.  Whatever your reason, we listen and care.  We devise solutions based on your needs, and your time frame.

The market is heating up.  Our phone is ringing, and the sales are coming. We understand that some agents’ business is down, so their perception is the market must be down. For agents that have a plan and are executing that plan, business is good.  As a seller, you want an agent that’s using the latest technology and marketing to reach more buyers for your home.

Marketing is the Key

The real estate industry is changing.  Generating leads has become more costly and time intensive.  Agents try to buy leads from providers because they don’t want to spend money on marketing or time lead generating.  We call that hitting the “Easy Button”.  When you do that, you’re always susceptible to the provider changing the terms and diluting the leads by selling same lead to many agents.  This is why agents are struggling.  There is a better way. Do your own marketing and own lead generating.  Yes, it takes time, skill, and courage.  In the end, it works, and sellers will hire you for it.

Call Brett or Sande Ellis at 239-489-4042 Ext 4 and we’ll be happy to discuss ways we can help you.  Even if you just have a simple real estate question, we’re here to help.  Or visit www.SWFLhomevalues.com for a Free instant online home price evaluation.

See Last Week’s Article “Home Sale Price Gains a Trend in SW Florida?

Could home sale price gains become a trend in SW Florida?  It could, and here’s why.  SW Florida hasn’t seen true price gains the last few years for whatever reason. And that’s OK with us.  We always felt if there was a recession and price correction, SW Florida would be somewhat insulated as we didn’t participate in price run-ups like other counties in the state.  Now that the economy is taking off and interest rates are low, all signs seem go for the Florida real estate market.

Home Sale Price Gains a Trend in SW Florida

This creates an opportunity for SW Florida.  While all of Florida is benefiting from the booming economy, low rates, and low taxes, SW Florida may have more room to grow than other counties that have already experienced price gains.  Just as certain stock industries appreciate at various rates, so can local real estate markets.

High tax states like New York and New Jersey sometimes flock to the East coast of Florida, while Midwestern states like Illinois, Minnesota, Ohio, Iowa, etc. tend to migrate to the West coast.  Even that is changing though.  Part-time and full-time residents from East coast of Florida are coming over to West coast as well.  People want value and quality of life when deciding where to live, and SW Florida offers both, and it’s beginning to get noticed.  Our values are great, and traffic is so much better than the big cities.

Home Sale Price Gains a Trend in SW Florida?

Median home prices are up 5% this November vs. last November and average prices are up 1.6% Year to date median home prices are up 2.4% while average price are down 2.2%  We’ll be watching the next few months numbers to see if a price trend emerges.  The last few weeks we’ve written extensively on how the SW Florida real estate market is changing.  All these indicators point to a strengthening real estate market, and we love the potential of this market.

Stock pickers frequently look for the undervalued stocks in an industry, or the diamond in the rough.  SW Florida was forgotten about for whatever reason, and we think that’s about to change.  Will we see double digit growth?  Doubtful and we’re not looking for that.  We love steady, sustainable growth with quality of life.  SW Florida doesn’t want to become Miami West.  We have our own laid-back character and charm, and most want to keep it that way.  You can’t stop growth, but you can be smart about it.  Proper planning for roads, bridges, water quality, wildlife, shopping, etc. makes a big difference.

Near the end of January, we’ll have final 2019 numbers, and when final numbers are in, we believe 2019 will be a great year.  Home sales should eclipse the past 4 years, prices should be up, and inventory should be down.  If this holds true, we’ll have a better idea of how 2020 will shape up.  History only tells us where we’ve been.  It doesn’t always tell us where we’re going.  To know that, we either have to read the tea leaves or pull out our crystal ball.

It is hard to read the tea leaves if you don’t know exactly where you’ve been, where you are today, and what factors are influencing the market currently.  We have a pretty good handle on all three, and final 2019 numbers combined with January preliminary sales data will go a long way to telling us how season will go.

If you have a home to sell, always call Brett or Sande Ellis at the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty 239-489-4042 Ext 4  or visit www.SWFLhomevalues.com to get an instant free analysis of your home.

We hope the holidays were kind to you and we look forward to serving you another year in real estate.  Please let us know how we can help you.

Good luck and Happy Home Selling!

See Last Week’s Article “November Closed Home Sales up 6.6%

November closed home sales were up 6.6% over last November.  As you can see by the graph, home sales have been mostly up since May over last year.  We’ve been reporting excellent pending sales, so this number is no surprise.

November Closed Home Sales

The interesting number for us to watch as we close out 2019 will be the total number of home sales for the year.  Right now, we’re up 1.0% November through November.  If sales come in as expected for December 2019 will top 2018 which was a great year. November Closed home sales were up as have several previous months.

By our calculations we only need 772 closed sales to beat 2018 numbers.  To put this in perspective, we closed 1001 homes in November.  New pending sales were up 15.2% in October and up 28.2% in November.  It’s hard to imagine that we won’t hit those numbers.

This is good news for home sellers.  Pending inventory is up 33.4% and active listings are down 14.2% from last year.  While interest rates are rising, they haven’t risen enough to make a dent in demand.  Last month we saw some price increases we haven’t seen in a while.  Will this be the start of a trend?

Another indicator we look at is total dollar volume.  It was up again in November, up 8.3% over last year.  Total dollar volume is down 1.2% November 2018 through November 2019.  If we have another big month this December, we could overtake 2018 in that category as well.

It’s almost a tale of two markets.  The first 4 months of 2019 featured higher interest rates.  If you remember, the fed hiked rates about 1% in 2018 needlessly.  Rates since came back down, and the economy got hot.  Together these two factors helped propel the real estate market.  Rates are off their lows just a bit but still under 4% which is fantastic.  Combine low rates with a hot economy, and you’ve got a recipe for a hot real estate market.

We already see evidence, and the signs are flashing green.  Sales are up, pending sales are up, and inventory is lower than last year.  Median home prices rose 5.0% in November vs. last years median price.  We don’t like to get too hung up on prices for any given month.  We prefer to focus on trends. Home prices have been steady since 2017.  The median is up slightly since January 2017 and the average is down slightly in that same period.

We are seeing some trends emerge in the way real estate is bought and sold.  Emerging artificial intelligence are providing tools on how best to reach a buyer for a property.  We’ve been testing some of these tools with some encouraging if not amazing results.  We look forward to rolling out some new marketing strategies based upon intelligence we’ve learned.

Artificial intelligence only works when you’ve got big data.  We have access to the biggest data in the real estate industry, and what we’re learning is changing the industry.  Look for 2020 to be a year the real estate industry changes in a big way.  Agents that aren’t using artificial intelligence will be at a disadvantage moving forward, and for sale by owners will have an even tougher time.

Currently for sale by owners have a challenge marketing their home, and because they only reach such a small segment of the market explains why they net less on average that sellers who use an agent.  Listing a home on the big portals isn’t enough, and the big portals aren’t using artificial intelligence because they don’t have the data necessary.  They have data they’ve purchased, and access to MLS feeds, but that isn’t enough.  That’s essentially nothing more than public records and public listing data.  The real insights come from access to consumer data and drawing meaningful conclusions based upon those patterns.  The Ellis Team will share more in the coming months about this and how it will affect home buyers and sellers.

If you’re curious to you home’s value, find out instantly and for Free at www.SWFLhomevalues.com Or call Sande or Brett Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4.

See last week’s article “Real Estate Inventory Supply Rises Slightly in December

Good luck and Happy Holidays!

SW Florida real estate inventory supply rose slightly since October.  In October the months supply of inventory stood at 4.33 months.  Today the real estate inventory supply registers 4.43 months.  We’ve been reporting that listing inventory has been growing since October, but so has pending and closed sales.  This chart illustrates the relationship between active inventory versus closed sales the last 365 days and its effect on real estate inventory supply.

Real Estate Inventory Supply SW Florida

Sometimes we have a glut of inventory and low sales.  Other times we have low sales because there is little inventory to sell.  The relationship between the two data points tells a story.  The market is constantly moving; therefore, we are constantly studying it.  If you think you have the market all figured out today, you’re an expert for one day.  Studying the numbers is a never-ending process, but it is what’s required to keep clients educated so they can make the best selling and purchasing decisions available.

Looking closer at the numbers reveals in general the lower priced ranges below $300,000 did the best.  Most all these ranges saw even or declining supply relative to sales.  The $600k- $1 Million and the $1 million plus ranges gained the most inventory.  We have three possible theories as to why this occurred.

Higher priced homes generally take longer to sell, so it’s possible there is a lag between the time sellers place their home on market and time it closes.  The other theory could be that buyers have really turned on in the lower ranges due to lower interest rates.  Perhaps buyers in the lower ranges are more interest rate sensitive.  Lastly, it could be that mid-range and higher range buyers are move-up buyers and have recently sold their entry level homes.  They could help push sales higher in the mid ranges in the coming months.

While any of these theories are possible it proves that the market doesn’t always move in tandem.  Certain ranges get hot before others, and certain ranges cool before others.  We’ve even seen certain ranges remain hot and other ranges remain cold for extended periods of time in the past.  While every market is local, there are several sub-markets in any market.

Sometimes it’s unfair to report how the overall market is doing, because it can distort what’s going on at the neighborhood level, or at particular price points.  Have you noticed that certain stocks slump while the overall stock market is on fire?  The same is true in real estate.

The Ellis Team gets called on several listing appointments each month.  Sellers call us because they want an accurate valuation of their property.  They don’t want to under price it and give equity away, and they don’t want to over-price it and have it sit on the market with no offers.  Some sellers have an honest disagreement about what the market is telling them their home is worth, so they choose not to sell, or they list it above market value, and it fails to sell.  It’s natural to think your own home is worth more than other people think it’s worth because you’re emotionally tied to it.  We get it, and as humans we feel the same way about our own stuff.

Therefore, it pays to have someone else you can trust represent you.  A non-biased advisor can be honest with you and educate you about the market and where your home stands relative to the competition.  We enjoy helping people get Top Dollar for their homes through our market knowledge, expert negotiating, and world-class marketing.  We also know pricing it correctly upfront will help get a better price.  And if you place your home on the market and it doesn’t sell, don’t stop marketing.  It may be time to re-position it in the marketplace, but don’t stop the marketing.  You’ll need more marketing juice to inform buyers of the new price.

To learn more about your home’s value, simply call Brett or Sande Ellis 239-489-40402 Ext 4 or visit www.SWFLhomevalues.com to get a Free and instant online value of your home.

See last week’s article “December Real Estate Activity Busier than Usual

Good luck and Happy Holidays from the Ellis Team!

The Ellis Team has been hustling all of 2019, and December is no exception.  The phone is ringing, leads are pouring in, showings are happening, and sales contracts are being written.  December real estate activity seems busier than usual which makes for exciting times for the local SW Florida real estate market.

We’ve seen this before.  Sometimes as agents we get so busy through our marketing and lead generation efforts that we falsely believe the market is strong simply because we’re busy.  I’ve spoken with other agents and some are busy, and some aren’t.  That probably largely depends on their lead generation efforts.  All I can say is there is business out there if you work hard, advertise, and lead generate.

December Real Estate Activity

December Real Estate Activity 7 Day Market Watch
December 2019 7-Day Market Watch

I decided to pull up a 7-day Market Watch report from the MLS.  The last time we did this was back in September.  Comparing this December report to September’s report we notice a few things.  Back in September pending sales outpaced new listings 359 to 299.  In December, new listings outpaced pending sales 377 to 326.  The number I’m focusing on is the pending sales.  In September they were 359 and today they are 326.  That’s not bad when you consider it’s December.  Many agents take the month off because it’s the holidays and they figure there isn’t much business.  The numbers say there’s about as much December real estate activity as there was back in September.

September Real Estate Activity

September 2019 7-Day Market Watch
September 2019 7-Day Market Watch

The other number I’m looking at is the sold.  In September it was 233 for that 7-day period.  In December it is 270.  That’s a big increase.  Keep in mind that the closed sales went pending last month or more, so all this tells us is that November may have been busier than August.

We’ve got a pretty good market here in SW Florida.  You still have to price properties correctly, and they don’t just sell themselves.  There are buyers though, and that’s a good sign.  Buyers are looking right now too.  If you’re a seller, I wouldn’t turn down too many showings.  Any buyer out looking right now could be serious.

Looking forward to 2020

The Ellis Team just had our team retreat last week.  We don’t call it that because retreat sounds like a backwards word.  We call it a Team Advance because we’re moving forward, not retreating.  Anyway, together we came up with our plan for 2020.  Everyone on the team was extremely optimistic about this next year and the opportunities it presents.

We laid out all the new marketing we intend to implement and several new strategies to advance our clients sales.  Every single person on the team did a presentation for the group and it was one of the most powerful days of learning and growth I can remember.  I was super proud of our entire team and how well they prepared and delivered each of their presentations.  A lot of growth happened that day, and as a team we grew in untold ways.

I believe our current and future customers benefited too, because the ideas shared were incredible.  Our team is pumped up and ready to serve and we believe 2020 will be great for not only our team, but our customers as well.

SW Florida Real Estate Market Outlook

We’re in a favorable interest rate environment combined with one of the best job markets we’ve ever seen.  SW Florida made lists for top job opportunities in the country.  Job income is outpacing mortgage payment increases, so that is a terrific sign for future growth in the market.  That’s one of the biggest things we look at.

SW Florida is SW Florida, and our weather is always fantastic.  With the economy moving in the right direction and favorable rates, combined with all Florida has to offer, we believe 2020 should be a prosperous year.

If you have a home to sell, Call Sande or Brett Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4  If you’re not ready to talk to us yet, we have a website that will give you a pretty good estimate of your home’s value.  Check out www.SWFLhomevalues.com  We don’t sell your data like the big websites do, so it stays with us and is much safer.

See last week’s article “New Real Estate Listings Entering the Market Rises in October

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!