For months we’ve been telling sellers it may cost them to wait when selling their home.  This is true for a variety of reasons, but the two most important are when you sell, chances are the home you’ll purchase to replace your current home is also increasing in value, and because rising rates affects your buyer and your next loan too if you’re getting one.

That’s not the purpose of this article though.  While sellers wait for the absolute highest prices on their home, they should keep in mind that prices won’t rise 12% per year forever.  We’re predicting another good season.  Inventory is low, rates are still pretty low, and demand is high.  However, demand begins to fall off at certain prices.  So we ask the question, has a seller slowdown begun in SW Florida?  Let’s take a deeper look.

If you look at the graphs, you’ll notice that typically home prices peek around April each year and again in June.  Many times June is even better than April.  This year, we saw the peak in April but didn’t see the 2nd peak in June.

Has a Seller Slowdown Begun in SW Florida

Furthermore, homes closed in SW Florida usually peaks around May, and then we see some strength in July-August, albeit not quite at May levels.  This year August numbers fell off.  This could be due to lower inventory levels, but it could also be the start of a trend.

Has a Seller Slowdown Begun in SW Florida

We’re cautious not to read too much into any one month period, and moving forward this will be especially true as new Federal lending and closing guidelines will extend financed closings out longer.

Cash sales in August for single family homes were 37.4%.  This was a 20% decline from the previous year.  This is good news as financing has helped push prices higher.  We always said this market will not be fully healed until financing and capital comes back into the market.  We have that now, but with that come appraisal issues and closing delays.

We think we’ve got an excellent market.  Buyers are shopping though and are price sensitive.  Even with low inventory, if a property is over-priced buyers are sitting on the sidelines.

October begins the start of Season.  Last year we saw an uptick in buyer activity in October.  It used to be said Season was January-April but it’s started earlier.  We think we’ll have another great season, but sellers may not want to wait much longer.  The graphs may be a sign of things to watch, or they could just be a temporary blip.

Some economists are talking about recession starting in 2018 while others are talking about the end of 2016..  Nobody can predict accurately when a market will bottom or when it will top, but looking back there are generally signs that foretold the future and they were ignored.  People tend to follow the herd and ignore signs because when it’s all good, they want to believe.  And when a market is near bottom, nobody wants to believe it’s over until they see proof.  Thus, people usually miss the top and the bottom because they wait until they see the change on paper.  For this reason, most people will absolutely miss the top and the bottom unless they just get plain lucky.

Bottom line is we’ve got a great market.  Just don’t get too greedy and over-price your home.  Over-priced homes sit in any market, and you don’t want to look back and say I missed another boom market like 2006 simply because I got greedy again.

If you’d like to search the MLS, you can do so.  If you’re thinking of selling, it pays to talk to the Ellis Team at RE/MAX Realty Group.  Our sellers net about $10,000 more than the average seller.  Call us and find out why. 239-489-4042

Good luck and happy house hunting!

Featured Property of the week!  102 Maple Ave S in Lehigh Acres FL

Check out all the Ellis Team Featured Listings


If you read our article on a regular basis you know about the new Federal regulations about to go into affect beginning October 3rd. After studying the new regulations in depth we’ve put together some Best Practices to help people understand what’s about to happen.

Lending Delays About to Get Real Next Week

New regulations affect closings on financed deals only, 1-4 units residential and multi-family. This will not affect cash deals, so financed buyers will need to work with an experienced agent who understands the changes to make your offer look as Best as it can. Otherwise the seller will just go with cash deals.

Listing agents need to really investigate the new rules to protect their sellers. Gone are the 30 day closings. Plan on 45-60 days now, and if there are changes it can be even longer. Here are a few things you can do to avoid re-disclosures and costly delays to your closings. Lending delays about to get real next week.

1. Make sure buyer obtains a 60 day rate lock up-front. In a rising rate environment, if the lender fails to meet the 30 or 45 day rate lock it will trigger a re-disclosure to re-lock the rate. This new time frame could extend your closing up to 10 days or so.

2. Have seller pre-pay their condo and HOA fees. The title company may be forced to acquire a new estoppel letter if the closing is delayed a few days. This happens at the end of a month or quarter. If the new numbers affect the borrower, it could trigger a re-disclosure, which could delay closing up to 10 days.

3. If new extended closings occur before the 5th of a new month, it may not trigger, but after the 6th it can change the borrower’s cash-to-close which can trigger. Dates will become critically important under these new regulations.

4. Have two walk-thrus. A preliminary walk-thru for any repair type items and a final walk-thru solely for the purpose of making sure everything that was supposed to stay with the home is there and for any damages by seller moving out. You really want any repair items fixed well enough in advance and accounted for as new closing and lending disclosures must be accounted for well before closing.

5. Agents will no longer see all the charges to the buyer. The borrower may wish to share this document with your Realtor ASAP so if you’re being over-charged by the HOA, Title Company, or lender it can be spotted quickly.

6. There will not be a unified closing statement on financed deals anymore, so your agent won’t be able to see all the charges to the borrower. The seller charges will be seen, but not the borrower’s.

7. Not all agents will know about the changes. If the agents don’t know, how can the consumer be expected to know? Be sure to work with an agent who does several transactions and is current on lending changes.

8. Communication will be key. Listing agents should call the loan officer before seller accepts a deal with financing. The loan officer may not be able to share with buyer agent everything but a skilled listing agent should be able get the required information. Agents, lenders, title companies, and customers must communicate to avoid costly delays. One delay can create others due to new waiting periods.

9. New sales contracts are coming out soon. We intend to scour the contract for changes as we anticipate several issues that will occur because of new regulations and we want to see how they’re addressed. Otherwise they may need to be addressed by addendum.

For more information, you can review past articles on how the time lines work on our blog at Just search for TRID

To see all the homes listed in MLS, feel free to search like a realtor on our MLS search site

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!


Be sure to check out SW Florida’s Featured Properties of the Week.

Many are speculating that the Fed is going to raise interest rates sometime between September and November.  They were all set to raise rates this month until the Chinese markets took a tumble.

Rising Interest Rates a Double Whammy For Sellers

Most people believe the US is in trouble because China owns so much of our debt.  It’s true, China did buy up some of our securities but this was really a hedge to prop up the Yuan.  China has been playing financial games for years.  Their economy isn’t as strong as many would have you believe.

Mortgage rates are more closely aligned with the 10 year note.  Even if the Feds raise interest rates it may not move the 10 Yr note much.  So it’s not automatic mortgage rates will rise substantially.

If they do, sellers could be hit the hardest.  Here’s why.  For every 1% rise in rates, a buyer’s purchasing power decreases about 11%.  This limits the amount of buyers who qualify for your home.  But here’s the kicker.  Most sellers go on to buy another place and a large percentage finance their next home.

Rising Interest Rates a Double Whammy For Sellers

So not only does the buying pool shrink for your existing home, but the borrowing costs on your next home increase as well.  You now qualify for less on your next home, and if you do still qualify for more, that payment will cost you much more.  Over 15 or 30 years that extra payment per month adds up.

Waiting to sell and hoping to get an extra $10,000 on your existing home might cost you $50,000 in higher interest payments.  And when rates rise, the appreciation of homes may slow as well because fewer buyers can afford higher payments.

Right now we sometimes have more than one buyer for many homes on the market.  When you start limiting the buyer pool with higher rates, this could change.  It may take some sellers longer to sell.  Some sellers may have to reduce their price when the buyer pool shrinks.

There are a lot of wildcards when it comes to interest rates.  We won’t even get into inverted yield curves and other factors.  Suffice it to say that the world market is complicated and rates could rise one of these days.  Near zero percent interest rates by the Fed is not normal and will end someday.

Sellers tend to hold onto their property because they feel it may gain in price.  Chances are, if your home is going up in price, the next one you’re going to purchase is too.  And if you’re going to finance it, there’s your triple whammy.

Bottom line is waiting may cost you more money than you’ll save by eking out those gains.  Nobody blames you for getting all you can for your home; you should.  You just may want to weigh what waiting will cost you if you’re going to purchase another home to replace the one you’re in.  You also must weigh the carrying costs.

Some sellers are hoping their home goes up $10,000 in the next year, but between utility bills, property taxes, maintenance, HOA fees, mortgage payments, home insurance, flood insurance, etc. they find it costs them much more to carry the home than the predicted gain.  And that’s assuming an air conditioner or roof doesn’t go bad.

If you’re considering selling, find out how the Ellis Team puts an additional $11,892 in your pocket at closing versus the average Realtor.  We’ll be happy to sit down with you and show you how much to expect.  We can even help you find your next home if you’re staying in the area.

If you’re a buyer and would like to search the MLS like a Pro, visit  You can save your search and the system will email you new homes entering the market as well as price changes when they occur.  You can setup multiple searches too.

Good Luck and Happy Home Selling-Buying!


Featured Home of the Week

Reflection Lakes  condo overlooking the lake.  Fully furnished.

View All of Ellis Team Featured Listings Here

You can always call us at 239-489-4042 and speak with us to find out how we can sell your home or find your dream home in SW Florida.

In the real estate industry one of the metrics agents use to measure their success against the market is the List Price/Sale Price Ratio.  We know that the sooner the seller prices their home to the market the quicker it will sell and for more money.  Overpricing simply insures it stays on the market longer and sells for less money later on.  While this may sound counter to logical thinking, it is a truth known in the industry and born out by statistics.

The Realtor recommends the price, but the seller chooses which Realtor to hire and which price to list at.  While the seller sets the price, the market determines the value.  If it is overpriced it will languish on the market.

Could Choosing the Wrong Realtor Cost You Money

Assuming you have a home that is priced appropriately, there are statistics to measure the market and the average agent’s effectiveness.  For instance, the average agent selling a single family home in Lee County Florida in July of 2015 did so at 94.5% of asking price.  In other works, the buyer received 5.5% off asking price on average.

Could Choosing the Wrong Realtor Cost You Money?

We’ve been monitoring this statistic over the course of the last year and by and large it’s been running about 94%.  It can vary a little bit each month.  And we know over the years the Ellis Team averages around 97-98%.  We recently pulled up our sales in the last year and it ran 98.02%.  That’s about a 4% difference for the year and 3.52% over July’s official numbers.

So how much is 3.52%?  Well, with an average sales price of $337,848 it works out to $11,892.  The perception is all Realtors are the same, so what would account for almost $12,000 difference in net to the seller?

3 things influence how much a seller receives at closing.

  1. Negotiating skills-The skills of the Realtor you hire make more of a difference than you might think. It doesn’t matter how strongly your agent says the price is firm or argues your position.  What matters is how well your agent works with the other Realtor, how much information they gain on your behalf about the buyers ability to pay, motivation, etc.  Your agent should also evaluate your position in the marketplace to see where your home stands.  This tells you what cards are in your hand and how you should play them.
  1. Marketing- Effective marketing brings more interest, and more interest brings the seller more money. Many times an agent can create multiple buyers and the seller can select from the strongest of the offers.  Advertising in several places such as print, online, social media, etc, can pay off big for the seller.
  1. Secret Sauce- All Realtors have or should have a Unique Selling Proposition. It’s your job as the seller to determine if the agent knows what they’re talking about and if that proposition actually works.  Our team has come up with a home selling system so remarkable that it helps us sell homes fast and for top dollar.  It is based upon interviews with Top Realtors from all over the country and our own proprietary marketing methods.  We no longer share all the details of this system but we’d be happy to sit down and show you many of the parts so you can decide for yourself.

The real proof is in the results, not the proposition.  When you’re interviewing agents to sell your home, look at their past sales.  Evaluate their List Price/Sale Price ratio.  Ask detailed questions.  Have a conversation about negotiating.  If the agent’s strategy is simply to say the price is firm, you might want to ask more questions.

Have the agent explain in detail the recommended price for your home.  Is the strategy to test the market or do they know what it should sell for?  If they don’t know, how are they going to sell it to a buyer?

If you’re thinking of selling, we’d be happy to talk to you.  You can call us at 239-489-4042 to set up an appointment and see if working with us can net you more money at closing.

Good luck and Happy Selling!

You can search the MLS like a Realtor

Featured listing of the week- Riverfront Home.


Official sales numbers were just released today  and as expected record sales lead to higher prices and lower inventory in SW Florida real estate market.

Record Sales Lead to Higher Prices and Lower Inventory in SW Florida Real Estate Market


Single family home sales were 1,315 which were a 26.2% increase over last year’s numbers.  Keep in mind our inventory levels stand at 4,311 now compared to 4,918 last year.  We’re down 12.3% in inventory and sales are up 26.2%.  It’s no wonder there has been upward pressure on prices.

New pending sales were up 6.3% in July in what could be a good sign for August and September closings.  Total pending inventory was down 2.9% but that doesn’t mean much.

Fort Myers Florida homes Cape Coral real estate

Last week we reported unofficial sales price numbers and we said the official numbers were going to be good.  They’re even better than we reported and we’ll feature that in next week’s article.

Our buyer specialists have been very active in this market.  We’ve recently landed several homes for our customers.  In a low inventory market the secret is getting to them fast and finding where the hidden pockets are.

We’ve identified several listings that are mis-categorized in the MLS by the listing agent so they’re not getting the traffic they should.  This generates opportunity if you know where to look.  If you’re a seller you don’t want this but as a buyer you look for opportunities wherever you can find them.

We also look for recent price reductions.  Sometimes sellers are over-priced and when this happens the property will not sell.  A property is freshest to the market when it first comes on.  After about 21 days on the market it gets passed over. This can be unintentional.  Buyers subconsciously feel the home is stale to the market and figures it’s over-priced or something is wrong with it if it doesn’t sell in first month or so.

Some of these listings get forgotten about.  While it is better to price correctly upfront, some sellers have to test the market, or perhaps they’re not as motivated Day 1 as they are later.  For whatever reason the property sits on the market, and when the price is reduced it’s not always noticed.  Buyers looking in that neighborhood see the sign, but they no longer call on it or check up on it after awhile.  They lose interest.

That’s why our MLS search site is so important for buyers.  When a buyer saves a search the system will email any changes in that search result.  If a new property comes on the market, our buyers find out about it.  If an older listing reduces their prices, our buyers know right away.

It’s a great way to stay on top of the market and beat out other buyers to new or changed listings.  In a low inventory market, these tips can produce big results.  Four of our buyers in the last month scored the home they were shopping for using one of these techniques.

Technology is great, but there is no substitute for meeting with a great agent and sitting down and going over your needs.  Buyers are frustrated out there and they’re calling us because they’re tired of losing out on homes.

While we can’t guarantee to get you your first choice in a multiple offer situation, we can put your offer in its best position by using a few inside tips we’ve developed over the years.  Put our team’s experience to work for you.  It could make the difference between owning your first choice or your 5th choice, and not owning one at all.  We’d hate to see you rent another year.  Rents have climbed so high many times it’s more expensive to rent than to own.

Visit our SW Florida MLS search site and our phone is 239-489-4042.  Lets us know how we can help you!


Check out our Featured Property of the week.

Riverfront home in SW Florida
Riverfront Home

Click here for Details on this Riverfront Home

Of course, feel free to call us at 239-489-4042  We’ll be glad to help you buy or sell.  Good luck and Happy Selling!

Southwest Florida Real Estate Video Market Update

The past several weeks we’ve been providing some nice articles on tips to sell your home, information on online real estate scams in SW Florida, updates on inventory supply, and understanding today’s home buyer and why that’s critical to a sale these days.  By the way, you can catch up on these great articles at in case you missed them.

We’ve kind of gotten away from pricing updates so we thought it’s time to revisit.  New statistics will be out between the time we write this article and the time it’s published, but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.  We’re releasing unofficial stats but we’re pretty confident they’ll come in pretty close to our numbers.

SW Florida Price Gains in July

New numbers suggest some nice price gains in July. In fact, if we’re right, median sale prices should be up around 13.95% and average sale prices up around 15.07% Our numbers were pulled August 18th and official numbers are pulled around August 10.  Some Realtors could have reported July sales after Aug 10 which wouldn’t make the official numbers.

SW Florida Price Gains in July

Across the country markets are either rising or topping out.  Here in SW Florida we have very limited inventory and a tight rental market.  We have end users and few places to put them, so demand is outpacing supply right now.  It’s a good time to be a seller.

Our MLS search site is getting good traffic from buyers both locally and from up North.  If this trend continues, we could be in for another good season, but what about all the permanent folks looking for property now?

This past month our buyer specialists have been busy putting deals together for our buyers.  Basically our agents stay on top of new listings or pending sales that fall out and we jump quickly.  Our clients love using technology to stay on top of the market as well, so they setup saved searches on our website that alerts them to price changes, new listings, recent sales, and of course pending sales that fall out.

In this way we have a more educated buyer who’s ready to pounce.  You have to be like a cat waiting for prey in this market, because if you’re not prepared, another predator will beat you to it.  And all this is before season arrives.

My advice to buyers would be it’s never too early to begin the process.  If you wait until you’re ready, it’s already too late.  We need to have you speak with a loan officer to see how much you qualify for and if there are any issues you can work on now that will get you a better rate.

Most people prefer to wait until they see something they like.  If you like it, other buyers will too and because they are ahead of you, they end up getting the prize.  It’s really easy to get pre-qualified these days, and the technology available to you makes research fun and exciting.  Let us show you how.  In a half hour consultation we can show you your options and how making a move can become a reality for you, but you’ve got to do some homework or your dream will go to someone else.  We can help you by sitting down with you for a few minutes and talking about your needs.

Sellers, you too should do some homework.  Just because headlines read “Market up 13% doesn’t mean every home is up.  You may also have some work to do on your home to get top dollar.  We can help you with that too.  And maybe, just maybe, we already have a buyer for your home.  Several times this year we’ve sold homes we just listed to buyers we’ve been working with for weeks.

It pays to call us.  We’ll sit down with you and go over your options, just like we do with buyers.  The market is the market.  We’re here to educate buyers on how to score their dream home and sellers on what it takes to have a successful sale.

If we can help you, we’d love to help.  239-489-4042

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

Search the Southwest Florida MLS Like a Realtor

It is no secret that a buyer looking for a home is impressed by its upkeep.  And occasionally you will see a seller described in an ad like “Mr and Mrs Perfect”  or “Mr and Mrs Clean”  are moving away and offer their meticulously kept home for sale.  Buyers spring into action on these homes because sellers meticulous about cleanliness are generally meticulous about repairs as well.  And we all know most people do not live perfect.  Most sellers have a few things to do before putting their homes on the market.  This article is dedicated to those who have a few things to do.

15 Tips to Get Your Home Ready to Sell

The Ellis Team has always passed along tips to get a home ready to sell.  Recently we had the good fortune to hire Michelle Hendren who has a strong background in Property Management.  Property managers are said to have “seen it all.”  Michelle contributed several of the tips.

A buyer recently shared with us that because the woodwork had been recently painted, it made the wall color pop for him.

15 Tips to Get Your Home Ready to Sell

Tip #1  If the woodwork does not need painting use fabric softener sheets to clean the woodwork.

Occasionally sellers will plan to replace a newer carpet because of a spot or stain.

Tip #2  Wet the stained area.  Spread a sufficient amount of baking soda over the affected area.  Wait.  Come back later to find the baking soda has magically lifted the stain (even nasty red stains).  Michelle mentioned that on one occasion the entire carpet was treated.

Tip #3  They will think you have a green thumb.  Your plants will look healthier after you spread the used coffee grounds around them.  And bugs will take a hike because of the coffee smell.  How about that?

Have you ever had a shower door or glass in the bathroom that you had cleaned but lacked the luster of new.  You knew that it was clean but would still look scruffy to a buyer.  Tip #4  Use Turtle wax or another similar car wax.  Apply to tub, shower, tiles and doors.  Poof … a shiny bathroom as old water stains disappear.  Keep the look fresh by wiping down the shower door with baby oil.  Water will bead on the doors.

Tip #5  Dishes and utensils will appear more sparkly clean when you place the concentrated pouch in the silverware rack and not in the door dispenser.  We got this tip from an appliance salesman.  I tried it and loved the results.  I would never have thought of it.

Tip #6   Extend the life span of washing machine and dishwasher by using liquid products.  We have been told that the powdered products are made of paper and will clog the appliances.  Who knew?

Tip #7  Freshen the smell of the appliances by running an empty cycle with 1 c fresh vinegar.

Tip #8  If you can smell it; you cannot sell it.  Remove the cause of any stench or smell.  Sometimes we all become accustomed to certain smells in our homes.  A buyer walking into your home does not want to become accustomed to a smell.   We will share some thought with you depending on your situation and the cause of the smell.  Remember we are here to help.  While we do not profess to having seen it all, we have seen a lot and have had many successful sales after sellers followed a few suggestions.

To get the rest of the Ellis Team Tips just go to  If you have a tip you’d like to share with us that we may publish in a future issue simply email me at  Let us know if we can give you credit for the tip by using your name or if you prefer your tip to be incognito.

Search the SW Florida Real Estate MLS property database.

It’s happening up and down the coast of SW Florida everyday.  It’s gotten so bad it’s forcing buyers and sellers to only deal with reputable agents.  It’s practically destroying the credibility of companies like Craigslist and VRBO and yet they can’t seem to do anything about it.  It’s really Buyer Beware of Online Real Estate Scams in SW Florida!

Buyer Beware of Online Real Estate Scams in SW Florida

Last week our phone started ringing off the hook and it hasn’t stopped since.  We’ve received hundreds of calls from prospective tenants calling about a rental in Tanglewood. The good news is we have a rental listing in Tanglewood.  It’s a gorgeous 3 bedroom 2 bath home with 2 car garage and nice back yard.  It’s a bargain at $1700/mo.  The problem is people are calling on the online rental ad for $950/mo.

People are driving by and then calling us from our sign because they’re confused.  They see the online ad with no Realtor and then see a Realtor sign at the property.  It’s good that they called because the scam wants them to check out the neighborhood and view the online photos then send them money after filling out a rental questionnaire.

The emails tell customers not to contact the agent and ignore the sign as they’ve decided not to sell and they don’t have an agreement anymore.  It says Realtors tend to over-price properties and they just want to rent the home, and money isn’t important to them.  They just want a tenant to take very good care of the home.

Thus they are renting it for half its market value.  This should be a warning sign.  The other should be “Don’t contact the agent for any reason.”

They are taking photos we took and put in MLS and scraping them and posting on Craiglist and using them in follow-up emails to prospects.

What makes this so funny is this isn’t a normal listing.  Sande Ellis is the owner of this home.  We’d encourage at a minimum for people to use Lee County’s Property Appraiser’s website to verify who the owner is of any property.

The rental questionnaire they send out is also disturbing.  They ask questions like, Are you married, Do you have a pet, Do you work at night?  Once they steal your money you send them they have information about you.  This information could be used for identity theft, or worse.  They know if you work at night, have a spouse that might be at home, or a dog that might be a problem for someone breaking in.

I don’t know if they’re trying to look smart and ask pertinent questions so you’ll send them money or if they have nefarious intentions.  Either way these are not good people, and chances are they don’t even live in the US.

We reached out to law enforcement who sees this every day.  Quite often they try to get as many people as possible to send them money, all expecting to rent a deal that’s too good to be true. Judging by the hundreds of calls we’ve received most people don’t fall for this, but enough must or they wouldn’t keep running this scam.  There is no telling how many people send in money only to find out later they’ve been scammed.

If you’re looking for a nice rental home in Tanglewood, we have one.  Give us a call. 239-489-4042  We’d suggest only dealing with reputable companies whether buying or renting.  If you insist on taking your chances, make sure you’re dealing with the actual owner.  And use common sense.  If the deal appears too good to be true, it probably is.

We hope this article benefits anyone trying to buy or rent. We hate to see anyone get burned by scammers.  You can always search for homes for sale on our  SW Florida Real Estate Search Site  This is a trusted site and all the homes on this site are actually listed in the MLS.

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

See previous property scam article October 2014

SW Florida Real Estate Market Update


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By Brett Ellis

RE/MAX Realty Group – Ellis Team

Fort Myers Real Estate Agent

7910 Summerlin Lakes Dr

Fort Myers, FL 33907



We’ve been talking about price increases and low inventory for months, so this week we thought we’d revisit some data and provide an update on inventory supply in SW Florida.

Update on Inventory Supply in SW Florida January 2015

Back in January we analyzed the supply of inventory and compared it to May of 2014.  Since January there have been some changes.  All price ranges of inventory supply fell except one.

The $600,000 to 1 Million range actually increased from a 14.12 month supply back in January to a 16.64 month supply today.

Update on Inventory Supply in SW Florida July 2015

The overall market stands at 4.52 months compared to 5.5 months back in January.  Anything less than 6 months is considered a seller’s market and the overall market certainly qualifies for that.  In fact, anything up to about $400,000 is a sellers market and up to about $600,000 is a neutral market.  Once you start getting up over $600,000 there’s more competition for the buyers as there are less buyers and more inventory available.

For instance, back in January there were 579 homes on the market priced between $600k-$1 Million.  Today there are 807.  That’s a 39.38% jump in inventory. Thankfully we had 90 more sales in the past year in that price range which helped offset the large jump in inventory or the months supply would have been larger.  It would have jumped to 19.68 months were it not for the increased sales.

Otherwise listing inventory pretty much dropped across the board. In the $100,000-$150,000 price range listings dropped from 721 to 457 while sales actually increased in that price range.  Hence why you see only 1.87 months supply of inventory.

Even the $1 Million+ price range saw a shrink in inventory and an increase in sales.  It’s no secret that prices have been rising in SW Florida and now you can see in clear detail the reason why.

If you’re a seller it pays to know the inventory levels.  If you have a home in the $400,000+ range you may need some extra advertising to stand out from the crowd, and you want to make sure your price is in line as buyers have more choices.  You don’t want to price yours and help sell your neighbors home.

If you’re a buyer this is useful information as well.  It’s easy to focus on your search and see other homes, but when you get a bird’s eye view of the market you can better decide how strong to make your offer and how quickly you may need to step up.  In some price ranges you’re not really in competition with the seller.  You’re in competition with all the other buyers looking for the most desirable homes in your price range.  The real question is, if you don’t get your first choice home, how happy are you going to be with your 2nd, 3rd, or 4th choice, assuming there even are other choices?  In some neighborhoods you’re lucky to find 1 or 2 homes on the market.

It’s very frustrating missing out on Hot properties.  One way to stay on top of the market is to search the MLS at Not only can you search the MLS for exactly what you want, the system will also email you when matches reduce their price or when new homes enter the market that match your criteria.  This helps buyers beat out other buyers to Hot new listings.

If you’re a seller, we’ll sit down with you and analyze where your home stands in the market, the best pricing strategy for your home, and how we would market it to make it stand out from the crowd.  We can even help you sell your home and help you search for another one. Give us a call at 239-489-4042


Good luck and Happy House Hunting!


Understanding Today's Home Buyer Critical to the SaleIn a hot market like we have today many agents and sellers believe anything will sell if you just stick it on the market.  This couldn’t be further from the truth.

There are currently over 4,700 single family homes on the market that have not sold yet.  This number is low and we do have a hot market, but I’m trying to make a point here.  The bottom line is there will be sellers in any kind of market; Hot, Warm, Cold, that will not sell.

The most obvious reason is over-pricing.  If you over-price your home, chances are it will not sell no matter how good the market is.  In a rising market, the market will eventually catch up to your price and it may sell in time.  If you’re not in a rising market it will just linger, and if the market turns to decline, you’ll be caught chasing the market down.

Understanding Today’s Home Buyer Critical to the Sale

But this isn’t supposed to be a pricing article either.  Understanding your target market and who the buyers are today can make all the difference in selling or sitting.  Agents who work with buyers must understand today’s buyers’ needs or you’ll be a chauffer and nothing to show for it.

Our team works with a lot of buyers.  We also manage a condo sales center, so we see everyday the gamut of buyers and what their concerns are.  Not every buyer is the same, nor is every group.  We’ll talk about a few here.

First-time home buyers typically need a lot of information.  They haven’t been though the process before and they have a lot of questions.  They want to make a sound decision and can’t afford to make a mistake.  They don’t know the hidden costs like polybutylene plumbing or older wiring and how that can affect their insurance costs.

Typically a first-time home buyer will find a home, go to contract, pay for inspections, and then learn all the repair items through the inspection reports.  When they go to their insurance agent and find out the home cannot be insured, or it’s going to cost $5,000 year they get nervous.  When they give the insurance quote to the lender they find out it disqualifies them to buy the home because in makes their income ratios out of balance.

These were all preventable and predictable outcomes.  Having an agent and lender with experience could have saved everyone the trouble of going to contract.  The seller had their home off the market for 10-15 days.  The buyer is out inspection fees, and most first-time homebuyers are limited down payment money to begin with.

While nobody can predict the outcome of a property inspection, there are some things you should be looking out for.  Buyers need to do a better job of selecting an agent who has experience who can guide them through the process.  Sellers need to select an agent who won’t just take the first offer because it’s easy.

Sometimes buyers need creative help with the offer.  Structuring the offer correctly upfront can make all the difference.  If a buyer is tight on down-payment and closing costs, there are ways for the seller to legally help out and make the deal work.  If the buyer is tight on ratios, sometimes an interest rate buy-down can make the difference.

The key is you have to know upfront the way to go.  It’s usually (but not always) too late to go back and correct it later.

We haven’t even covered move-up buyers, relocation buyers, baby boomers, boomerang buyers, half-way backs, retirement, or 2nd home buyers.  The key is, when you understand the buyer, you have a greater chance of getting the buyer into the home they love and the seller onto next, whatever that is.

If you’re a buyer, you can search the entire MLS for free at  Finding the right property is only half of the equation. Working through inspections, financing, HOA approvals, environmental, insurance, surveys, and title issues are the other half.  Working with an experienced agent is invaluable.

When we say it pays to work with someone with experience and cares, it’s true.  If you think it doesn’t pay, wait until you see what it costs if you don’t.

For the seller, it may cost you the sale.  For the buyer, it may cost you application fees, inspection fees, appraisal, etc.  It may cost you your dream home when you have to let it go.  And it may cost you your 1st backup, because it sold while you were messing around with the wrong deal.

We’re here if you need us..  239-489-4042

Good luck, and Happy House Hunting!

This week’s featured communities:

Paseo Fort Myers

Miromar Lakes Beach & Golf Club-Estero

Gulf Harbour  Waterfront Community Fort Myers