A lot of people ask what they can buy at certain price ranges in the SW Florida real estate market, so today we thought we’d pick a price range and report on that.  We answer the question, “What does $250,000 buy in Lee County real estate market?”

We logged into MLS but you can do the same at www.LeeCountyOnline.com and search like Realtors do and find the same information.

What Does $250,000 Buy in Lee County Real Estate Market MLS Search
Search Results on LeeCountyOnline.com

What Does $250,000 Buy in Lee County Real Estate Market?

In Cape Coral we spotted a brand new home in SW Cape Coral.  It is listed for $245,900 and has 2,180 sq ft. It has 5 bedrooms 3 baths and is on an oversized lot.

What Does $250,000 Buy in Lee County Real Estate Market Cape Coral
Cape Coral Home Under $250,000

We then decided to see if we could find any waterfront homes with gulf access in this price range.  We found 6. We found a home with 1,588 sq ft and a 10,000 lb boat lift with a spa in SW Cape Coral with gulf access. We found another gulf access home with boat lift and a pool. It has 1,436 sq ft and a single car garage.  It is 10 minutes to the river by boat.

Lee County Real Estate Market Gulf Access Waterfront Home Cape Coral
Cape Coral Gulf Access Waterfront Home

Next we decided to look at Fort Myers Beach and see what’s available for $250k.  We did find a small single family home for $219,000. It’s a 1 bedroom, 1 bath home with 630 sq ft.  but hey, it’s at the beach.  When we searched for condos we found 15 in that price range.  Some ranged from small 1 bedroom condos at Pink Shell with great investment potential to larger 1 bedroom units along the beach with greater size.  Manufactured housing opened up 7 more homes at Fort Myers Beach and many were waterfront.

In Fort Myers we found 69 single family homes listed up to $250,000. For instance, we found a 3 bedroom, 2 bath lakefront home in Botanica Lakes with 1,782 sq ft for $240,500.  It was built in 2012

What Does $250,000 Buy in Lee County Real Estate Market? Fort Myers Home Botanica Lakes Under $250,000
Fort Myers Home Botanica Lakes

As you go further south into Estero and Bonita the pickings get a little slimmer.  We found 33 single family homes available.  We found a cute 2 bedroom + den in the Villages at Country Creek for $249,900.  It has 1,382 sq ft, a 2 car garage, and has been completely updated with stainless steel appliances.

250000 Buy Lee County Real Estate Market Estero Home
Estero Home Villages at Country Creek

None of the listings shown today are our listings.  We just wanted to show you what your money will buy at this price range and show you how you can search and find these kinds of properties.

Our website allows you to see the home on the map so you can see exactly where it is and what it is close to, like shopping or water.  You can view all the photos of each home in the photo gallery. You can setup a showing request when you see something you like, or find out how much it will cost with the mortgage calculator.

You can also add homes to your favorites to easily find them again or check on their status, or save your search and have the system email you when new homes enter the market or when an owner changes their price.

You can search all price ranges and all areas, not just the $250k example we did today.  As Realtors we get to see a lot of homes each week.  If you’ve been searching awhile and having a hard time making sense of it all, you’re not alone.

Sometimes it pays just to sit down with a good agent who listens to what you’re looking for and they can point you in the right direction for you.  Ellis Team agents listen and are experts at finding what you want.  Give us a call at 239-489-4042 and we’ll be happy to sit down and discuss the market and homes that may interest you.

If you’re not ready to meet just yet, that’s fine too.  Simply search away at www.LeeCountyOnline.com and let us know when something catches your eye.  You might not be ready today, but someday you will be, and this site is perfect for those who want to see what’s out there and what is possible.

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

Open House This Saturday 1-4 PM

2110 SW 13th St, Cape Coral FL

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Ellis Team Moves to Keller Wiilams Fort Myers & The Islands

Sometimes we like to take a break from statistics and real estate market news and tell you about a neighborhood or area in SW Florida. Today we picked Palmetto Point waterfront community in South Fort Myers.

Palmetto Point Waterfront Community
Palmetto Point Waterfront Community

We don’t currently have any listings in Palmetto Point, we just love the neighborhood and enjoy selling homes in there whenever we get the chance.

Palmetto Point waterfront community is special because it offers deep waterfront access which accommodates large yachts and sailboats. It is located adjacent to Gulf Harbour Golf and Country Club so residents can join Gulf Harbour and enjoy their amenities like golfing, tennis, fitness, and fine dining without having to live in the country club.

I remember when I first moved to SW Florida in 1988. I used to drive through Palmetto Point waterfront community and say this is where I’m going to live one day. While that never quite worked out for one reason or another, my love for waterfront communities like Palmetto Point has only grown.

Most Expensive Home in Palmetto Point Waterfront Community
Most Expensive Home in Palmetto Point

Currently there aren’t many homes on the market in Palmetto Point. The most expensive home is on the market for $4,395,000 and features 5 bedrooms and 5.5 baths. It has approximately 7,292 sq ft living area, a 3 car garage, and overlooks the yacht basin with room for a 100 ft yacht in your back yard.

Least Expensive Home in Palmetto Point Waterfront Community
Least Expensive Home in Palmetto Point

The Least expensive home on the market right now is $329,000. It is considerably smaller at 1,645 sq ft of living area and is not waterfront although it does have a canal view. You won’t be able to park your boat behind this home.

There are other waterfront listings for $1,190,000 and $799,900. In case the existing inventory doesn’t suit your fancy, there are 5 waterfront lots currently available ranging from $695,000 to $2.25 million. If you’re looking for Fort Myers deep water access in a Fort Myers waterfront community, Palmetto Point might be just what you’re looking for.

If you’d like to see more information on any of the active or sold properties simply head over to Palmetto Point Market Report section. You’ll see that the highest sale in Palmetto Point in the 6 months sold for $3.75 million. You can click on any of the homes and see all the information about them. The site will give you days on the market, price per sq ft, sold date, and all the property details.

Palmetto Point Waterfront Community Market Report

Palmetto Point Waterfront Community Market Report
Palmetto Point Market Report

You can also find out what your home is worth on this site. Well, at least according to the best online computer models available today. Keep in mind that the computer has not been inside your home nor seen the updates you’ve done. For that, you’d want to speak to a professional like the Ellis Team. We’re experts at getting top dollar for nice homes in SW Florida.

You may have heard about the recent sale on Sanibel for $6.837 million. This past year we have seen several sales north of $1 million. While the $1 million+ currently has a 19.74 month supply of inventory right now, that’s actually pretty good historically speaking. It always takes longer on average to sell the larger homes as there are fewer buyers for them, but like anything else, if it offers what everybody wants, is in good condition, and priced correctly, it will sell.

If it isn’t priced correctly, properties will sit on the market. Proper pricing along with exposure to the market is what sells property.

If you’re looking for a waterfront gem but don’t have $1 million+ right now to spend on a home or lot, we have one in Overiver Shores that’s a beauty for $600,000. It’s 5 bedrooms, 3 baths with 3,363 sq ft living area and offers access to the river in seconds. There are buys out there if you know where to find them.

If you’re looking to buy or sell waterfront property in SW Florida, always call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams. We know the market and can guide you through searching for your piece of paradise. You can reach us at 239-489-4042 or search away at LeeCountyOnline.com

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

The Ellis Team Moves to Keller Williams

Check out other popular subdivisions in Fort Myers:

Just added

Tanglewood

Tanglewood Market Reports

Official numbers were released for March single family home sales and it’s no surprise that March SW Florida closed sales fall as prices rise slightly.

March SW Florida Closed Sales Fall as Prices Rise Slightly Home Prices

Home sales were down 13.2% in March while median home prices were up 4.2%.  This could have been worse except for the fact that numbers last year were revised down.  As you can see from the attached sales prices chart we’ve been bouncing around close to a recent high which was set in January.  Each year median prices tend to top out in April so we’ll be watching next month’s numbers to see what the trend is for the balance of 2016.

March SW Florida Closed Sales Fall as Prices Rise Slightly

Closed home sales tend to top out in March/April or May so we’ll be watching closed sales over the next few months to see how that trend scores as well.

Active inventory has risen 8.4% over last year at a time when closed sales are falling which has led to an increase in months supply of inventory, which is up to 5.4 months, up from 5.1 months last year.

All in all we have a fairly stable market.  Sellers have gotten used to the new normal for the most part.  It’s been the hardest on sellers who listed last Fall as they were expecting prices to continue rising.  Sellers listing today look at the facts and realize prices aren’t rising like they were.

Buyers are under tremendous pressure and it’s going to get much worse.  Prices have risen, but so have rents.  In fact, you could argue rents have risen at a faster rate than prices have.  What have saved home buyers are ridiculously low interest rates.  Low rates have contributed to affordability.  Rising prices lowers affordability as does rising rates.  If you have both, you’ve got real problems for buyers.  Rising home affordability only pushes rents higher too as landlords know buyers can’t afford homes.

Really, now is the time to make the move.  Whether you’re considering replacing your current home or buying your 1st home, now is the time as rates are low.  You’ve still got affordability on your side, but not for long.

Ellis Team Moves to Keller Williams

Speaking of moving, in case you haven’t heard, the Ellis Team has moved to Keller Williams after nearly 30 years with RE/MAX.  Our team, phone numbers, and websites all stay the same.  Simply go to www.LeeCountyOnline.com to search the MLS, view market reports, or find out what your home is worth.  You can always call us at 239-489-4042.

Our team is growing.  We now have new opportunities to grow with our team we didn’t have before.  The future has never been brighter.  If you’ve got a property to sell, you should definitely give us a call.  We’re experts at selling homes in any kind of market, and we’ve got a good market right now.  Just because it isn’t appreciating at double digits doesn’t mean it’s not good.  That kind of market is unsustainable and invariably runs out of gas.

I’ll take a steady slow growth kind of market any day.  It’s what we used to have back in the 80’s and 90’s.

Always Call the Ellis Team 239-489-4042, we’ll handle you with care.

 

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

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It is with great excitement and great sadness that the Ellis Team announces it is leaving RE/MAX Realty Group after nearly 30 years. The Ellis Team moves to Keller Williams Fort Myers & The Islands.

Sande joined RE/MAX in 1987 and Brett joined in 1988.  Sande was named the Broker Manager of the year and quickly recruited agents to make RE/MAX the #1 company in SW Florida.  This was back when people asked, “What’s a RE/MAX”?

Shortly thereafter Sande gave up managing so the team could devote all its energy into selling real estate.  The Ellis Team became the 1st real estate team in SW Florida and the #1 team in sales.  Sande and Brett earned the prestigious RE/MAX Hall of Fame Award, the Lifetime Achievement Award and Sande the Circle of Legends Award.

At the time, RE/MAX was a pioneer and gave a 100% commission concept to top producing agents.  RE/MAX became the #1 company in the world.

Ellis Team Moves to Keller Williams

We were approached to join KW in its infancy.  Keller Williams was that up and coming pioneer like RE/MAX was, we just refused to see it out of loyalty to RE/MAX.

We became Stars with Star Power, a group of top agents throughout the country who trained agents nationwide.  Star Power offered the best training in the world.   Many Stars left their companies and became pillars of Keller Williams because Keller Williams offers training and coaching. So much of what we taught at Star Power is being taught today at Keller Williams.

Today Keller Williams is the #1 training organization across all industries in the world and provides the perfect team environment with coaching, training, technology and profit sharing. Gary Keller is a visionary much like Dave Liniger at RE/MAX.

We love to hang around with visionaries.  Keller Williams also shares profits back to the agents.  KW has some technology that helps us market properties for our sellers that nobody else has as well. The is just another reason why the Ellis team moves to Keller Williams.

As my grandmother would say “Some Realtors change offices as often as they change underwear.”  We receive offers from other companies weekly.  We never took the offers seriously.

Ellis Team Moves to Keller Williams


All the stars lined up to finally make us consider the move.

It was a tough decision because we love RE/MAX.  We love Michael Frye the owner, and Frank Szelest the manager.  They are lifelong friends along with all the agents at RE/MAX.  It’s a bittersweet day.  And yet we’ve met so many wonderful people at KW who are so nice, it’s made the decision tolerable.  They make you feel like family, and that’s important to us.

This isn’t farewell as we’ll still be here doing deals with both companies.  We have nothing but good things to say about both companies.  If I were an agent in this marketplace considering a move, I would definitely say put both companies on your interview list.  Every agent needs something different and it pays to interview and learn, much like a seller interviewing agents.

If I were a buyer looking for an agent to work with, I’d look for one that has lots of transactions under their belt.  Experience helps an agent understand pitfalls before they happen, and know what to look out for.

I’d want an expert negotiator, and an agent that knows which financing sources are the best to go to and get the job done.  I’d want an agent that allows me to search the MLS on my own so I can see hot deals as they enter market too.  Our SW Florida MLS Search Website  allows you to do that.

And most of all, I’d want an agent that is full-time and available, and one that will listen to my needs and find me what I want.  If you’re looking for all that, you should talk to one of the Ellis Team’s expert agents  239-489-4042  We’re easy to talk to and we love to help people.

Our team is growing.  We look forward to giving you the same great service as ever, with a few new tools to serve you.

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!!!

We also have a Keller Williams Fort Myers Live MLS Search Site

Keller Williams Sitemap

Back in February we posted real estate inventory levels for SW Florida and reported a fairly stable inventory market.  Back in January the market was strong, but since then agents have complained about a shift in the market.  Properties are selling.  We’ve got a great market, however there have been some changes the last few months so we’ll bring you up to speed.

SW Florida Post Season Real Estate Inventory Levels April 2016

SW Florida Post Season Real Estate Inventory Levels April 2016

Almost all categories have increased in the past few months with 2 exceptions.  The below $50,000 range and the $400,000-$600,000 range.  The change below $50,000 is so small and there are so few properties involved it’s not worth talking about.  The $400-600k range is a bright spot.  Active listings went down in this range and closed sales have increased.

SW Florida Post Season Real Estate Inventory Levels April 2016 February

In the past year we’ve had 1,254 sales in the $400-600k range.  Back in February we only had 1,093, so that’s helped lead to a decrease in supply of inventory. There were 1,271 on the market back in February and 1,206 now, so most of the change has to do with increased sales.

Overall the market has increased to a 5.84 months supply, up from 5.03.  The change in sales won’t look as dramatic as month over month sales data from last year because it’s average over the last 365 days, but this is a fairly significant swing given the 2 month window.

At close to 6 month supply I’d say we have a pretty balanced market.  If your home is on the market over $400,000 you’re looking at a year plus to sell your home on average, unless you take steps to win the selling game.

Remember, your home is in competition with all the other homes for sale.  You’re not really in competition with the buyer.  The buyers will look at all options and decide on what is best for them.  The goal is to make your home valuable in the marketplace.  Obviously your home has value.  The question is, does it have as much value to the buyer as it does to you?

When the sellers set the price equal to its value, it will sell.  If a home has a value to the seller at $1 Million dollars but has value to buyers at $500,000, it will not sell.  This is one reason you see so many professional athletes retire.  Perhaps they see their value at $5/million/yr.  Ball teams see value in them too, but the athlete is getting older, susceptible to injury, and not the team’s future.  They may be willing to pay $1.8 million for one year and the athlete is holding to $10 million over 2 years.  When the value is not equal to the price, there is no market for the athlete and they retire.

Some star athletes are trouble makers and have issues.  Perhaps they’re a $10 million/yr player, but because they have baggage and potential to affect other players, teams won’t take a chance on them.  At a lower price, somebody will take a chance no matter how many issues you have.

Right now there isn’t a high market for Johnny Football.  Even his agents have dropped him.  He has baggage and needs to deal with his issues.  If he had no issues he’d be worth a lot more.

The same is true in real estate.  The market changes monthly, and just because you feel your home is worth X doesn’t mean the buyers will.  I can assure you though, when your price equals the value in the market, it will sell, even if your home has issues.  The more you deal with the issues upfront the more value your home will have.

If you’d like to search the market, or your home’s value, feel free at www.LeeCountyOnline.com If you’d like to talk to a professional agent about how to maximize your value, call the super agents on the Ellis Team 239-489-4042.  If you’re a Star athlete, we can’t represent you with ball teams, but we can help you find the perfect home.

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

Ellis Team Featured Property of the Week

2110 SW 13th St Cape Coral FL– 2,256 Sq Ft pool home built on 4 lots with stainless steel appliances, engineered wood floors throughout the home, and wood cabinets.  Also view virtual tour.

A few months ago we informed readers about a possible shift in the local SW Florida real estate market.  Agents were calling complaining that their buyers didn’t have a sense of urgency and just weren’t responding to seller’s counter offers. Today agents react to shift in local real estate market.

Times have been tough for agents lately.  Season is the time agents can make it up if the rest of their year has been flat, but this year things were different.  Our sellers did fine as we saw the changes coming and recommended strategies to get our client’s homes sold.

Agents who read this article or study the market the way we do also made changes, but many agents didn’t and are hurting today.  Some are leaving the business, while many more are getting into the business.

You might question if some are getting out why would others be getting in?  Truthfully, it’s happened before.  A whole new crop of newbie agents don’t know what’s happening in the market, and that’s a good thing.  It’s not good that they won’t know the market, but it’s good that they’re not listening to the doubters as you’d never make it in this business if you listened to negativity.

And besides, there’s always room for good people no matter what the market is doing.  This business isn’t easy.  Buyers and sellers need good quality agents to guide them, and these shifts in the market can help weed out some of those agents.  Agents who didn’t make it on their own will flock to teams, which is maybe where they should have been to begin with.  Teams spend lots of money generating leads.  Capturing today’s buyers and sellers isn’t free and newer agents just don’t have those resources to spend and stay in the business.

Agents React to Shift in Local Real Estate Market

Agents React to Shift in Local Real Estate Market March Home Sales
March 2016 Home Sales and Dollar Volume

 

It’s always been said that when prices rise sales naturally fall, and you typically make up for the slower sales with increased volume.  With fewer sales, this means some agents won’t be getting a piece of the pie, but the agents that do will have larger pieces.  But what if that wasn’t true either?

I pulled up unofficial statistics for March and noticed home sales were down 18.74% from last year.  I looked at total dollar volume and it’s down 25.65%, even more than the drop in sales.  This tells me prices have dropped, or sellers have dropped their prices.  Total dollar volume has dropped through a combination of fewer sales and lower prices.

I expect average prices to drop in March and quite possibly median prices too when numbers are released later this month.  I did not study median prices for purposes of this article.

The news is not all bad.  This doesn’t mean prices have fallen 25%.  It means that if a seller was listed too high their home didn’t sell.  Perhaps it was 5-10% too high.  In any event, the market rejected it.  If enough sellers are 5-10% too high, number of sales fall and so can sales volume.  If all the sellers out there reduced their price to where the market really is, number of sales might be the same or better.  Sales volume might be slightly lower because prices are 5-10% below last year, but you wouldn’t see declines of 25%

Not all real estate is lower.  Some prices are appreciating while some are taking a break from recent peaks.  It pays to hire an agent who has experience and can guide you through these market shifts.

And if you’re an agent who is struggling but feel you have what it takes to succeed in real estate, perhaps consider joining a team.  Yes, your splits may be different, but you’ll actually have business and profit because you have leads and guidance versus wallowing with few leads and little coaching.

If you’re a buyer or seller, you can search the market and do market research at our MLS Search Site. You can always call us at 239-489-4042 and one of our agents will be happy to guide you through the market.  And if you’re a good agent that needs some help, call us too.

Ellis Team Featured Listings

Important Interview Questions Before You Sign Any Listing Agreement

Neighborhood of the Week – Reflection Lakes

There is no greater pleasure we receive than to go out to a home and meet with potential sellers.  We preview the home and look at ways of increasing its value while evaluating it’s sales potential.  And, we get to meet face to face with the seller and speak with them about what they’re trying to accomplish.  We’re not here to just sell homes, we solve puzzles.

Selling a home is like putting a puzzle together.  You must uncover all the pieces, put the corners together, and identify if there are any missing pieces.  Once you’ve laid the foundation, you can make decisions.  Once sellers open up about what the goals are and we identify the obstacles, we can begin solving the puzzle.

Virtual Meetings Solves the Puzzle with Sellers and Buyers
Video Meeting

Sometimes there are multiple decision makers, and they can’t always be in SW Florida at the same time, or at all.  We can still view the home and communicate over the phone, but it loses that face to face, and getting everyone on the same call can be challenging too.

The Ellis Team has added virtual meetings to help.  We can meet with up to 50 people at a time, and we can communicate face to face even if we’re thousands of miles away.  A few years ago we sold a home to a couple from Dubai.  We didn’t meet them until months after the closing, but we met face to face regularly.

Not only can we meet face to face, but we can share with the entire group listing comparables on screen, ways we will advertise their home, and go over all the details of the listing right on screen.  If they have questions we can cover those line by line.

Virtual Meetings Solves the Puzzle with Sellers and Buyers

Virtual Meetings Solves the Puzzle with Sellers and Buyers-Pricing
Pricing Recommendations

This is really helpful when we have spouses in two different locations.  Many times one is leery of signing all the documents without going over it with their spouse.  Now we can all go over everything together.  We can show them their net sheet so they know how much they’ll get at closing and they can ask questions.  We can even present multiple offers and let the sellers choose the best one.

Buyers love this service too.  An Ellis Team agent can go over contracts line by line.  We can also view listings together and talk about which ones they like or not.  They key word is together.  Better communication helps buyers and sellers make better decisions.

We have all the technology and equipment on our end.  All the buyer or seller needs is a computer, Internet connection and a web cam if they want us to see them.  If they’re missing the web cam, we can still show them everything on our screen and have a conversation.

Most laptops, tablets, and smart phones have web cams, so that’s not really an issue anymore.  Yes, a buyer or seller can use their tablet or smart phone with our virtual meeting technology.

While the technology is just one more example of how we help our clients stay one step ahead of the competition, it really just comes back to improving communication.  Real estate is a communication business, first and foremost.

Some get lost in the glamour of selling exotic homes or meeting famous people.  For us, it’s all about connecting with people and solving puzzles.  If technology can help us do that better, then we’re all for it.

It’s not just the first meeting that counts.  Listing a home is a process.  Sometimes it’s necessary to meet to go over marketing strategy, shifts in the marketplace, evaluate new listings that enter the market, new solds that affect appraisal, or talk about inspection issues. Virtual meeting technology means we can meet just about anywhere, anytime.  We don’t have to get everyone to the same location.  It makes us more efficient, which means our clients can react faster and make better decisions.

If you’re looking to buy or sell in SW Florida, put our team to the test.  We look forward to meeting you face to face, and that can be in person or online.  Don’t worry about the details, we’ll take care of that.  Call us at 239-489-4042 or visit our MLS Search Site

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

Last week we highlighted two listings we felt stood out for value and included them in our Bargain Listings of the Week.  We are happy to report both sold last weekend.  Today we have another another listing that stands out!

Ellis Team Bargains of the Week

Luxury Waterfront Home seconds to the river
Seconds to the river and just minutes to work in Downtown Fort Myers

31 Lagoon St-5 Bedrooms, 3 Baths-Pool.  Waterfront-seconds to River-Private dock

Real estate transactions are more complicated than ever.  Increased governmental regulation has added layers to transactions in recent years and made it virtually impossible for a buyer or seller to go it alone.  Working with a Realtor or attorney is a must today.  As a real estate insider you’d think we’d be happy about this.  We much prefer the days when you could do it yourself.  It wasn’t always wise, but it was possible.  Government is out of control and has made things harder on people getting a loan, and not for the right reasons.

Communication Critical to Serve Today’s Real Estate Buyer

Communication Critical to Serve Today’s Real Estate Buyer

Today’s home buyer is leery of making a mistake.  They really want to research the market, and they have lots of questions.  They go online and search, and preview, and search.  They take virtual tours, video tours, and search some more.  They analyze price per square foot, amenities, and condo and HOA fees.  Before long their head is spinning.  It’s a lot to take in, and it can become overwhelming.

I see the emails coming in to our buyer specialists.  Buyers want an agent who will hold their hand and make sure they make an intelligent decision. I sit in on some of the consultations with buyers.  They want to know about the area they’re looking at and how it’s appreciated versus other areas.  They want to know what commute time to work will be, and to schools, kids activities, or beaches.  They like to see things on a map, and they want input from their agent.

Basically, communication is critical to serve today’s real estate buyer, and they want it now.  When a new home enters the market they’re afraid they’re going to miss out because of limited inventory.  They want an agent who can show them the home when it enters the market.

Our team of buyer specialists uses technology and to keep our buyers informed of new listings.  After listening to a buyer’s needs we setup search parameters in the MLS so our agent and the buyer are notified when a new listing enters the market, or an existing seller reduces their price that meets our buyer’s needs.

We have a new system where we can communicate with buyers via video and answer questions, talk about new listings, and go over the buyer’s needs.  The buyer can use their computer or Smartphone wherever they are, so an Ellis Team buyer specialist is never far away.

Buyers get frustrated when their agent is unavailable.  Sometimes they call on one of our listings as their agent is out of town.  If you’re an agent and leaving town, let your buyers know and assign them to another agent in your office who can help them out.  If you don’t buyers anxiety level rises.

We have a team of buyer specialists and they work well together.  If a specialist goes on vacation or is unavailable, they’ll have another member ready to help out.  We never want one of our customers feeling abandoned or afraid they’ll miss out on a property simply because life happens.

Ideally buyers should sit down with their agent and have an initial consultation.  You should ask questions and discuss how listing alerts will be handled, what will happen when agent is out of town, and how available agent will be.  Are they working another job and doing real estate on the side?  You research the home you’re looking for.  Wouldn’t it make sense to research the agent who will help you find that home?

You can search the MLS for free at www.LeeCountyOnline.com  Of course, you can speak with one of our buyer specialists at 239-489-4042 and we’ll be happy to answer your questions or setup a buyer consultation and get you on the path to home ownership.

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

Ellis Team Bargain Listings of the Week

Ellis Team Bargain Listing of the Week
Large Home With Pool and Spa, 3 Car garage

12724 Aston Oaks Dr-5 bedroom, 3 bath, 3 car garage with pool and spa in South Fort Myers.  Only $350,000  Call today, it won’t last long

 

 

 

 

 

 

8685 Banyan Bay Blvd
5 Bedroom 3 Bath Home with pool and spa-gated community

8685 Banyan Bay Blvd-5 bedroom, 3 bath home in gated community features granite counter tops, pool, spa, and fantastic price for a growing family

If you read our article on a consistent basis you’ve been hearing about a decrease in pending sales and a potential shift in the SW Florida real estate market.  Official numbers confirm a February real estate sales drop in SW Florida.

February Real Estate Sales Drop in SW Florida

Nationally existing home sales fell 7.1% in February.  Locally home sales were down 12.8%. This wasn’t a difficult prediction to make as we’ve been watching pending sales decline.  The good news is we made some adjustments to our listings in reaction to the market and we’ve been able to get many of our listings under contract in March.  Regardless of whether the market is up, down, or sideways, understanding the market and making changes can be the difference between success and riding the merry go round awhile longer.

Median sales prices are up 11.8% over last year.  They are down 6.95% from January numbers.  Average sales prices are down 1.2% from last February and down 31.23% from January.  This is why we use median price as a more valid indicator than average price because it’s a more stable indicator and less susceptible to wide variations due to a few large or small sales.

February Real Estate Sales Drop in SW Florida

It does tell an interesting story though.  While we hesitate to read too much into one month, we did see a fall-off in sales and prices in February.  SW Florida wasn’t alone as the overall US market seems to be affected as well.

We have a new metric to track which is the total dollar volume of the local market.  Obviously if sales are down it will influence this number.  When prices are rising its not uncommon to see declining sales as less people can afford the higher prices.  If you have lower sales you can sometimes make up for it with higher prices, but we didn’t see that this month.

SW Florida Real Estate Dollar Volume

Total dollar volume fell 13.6% in February.  We’ll be keeping an eye on this indicator going forward and help you track it.

It pays to know the numbers.  If you ask an agent how the market is doing most will give you an honest answer based upon how their own sales are going.  Knowing the underlying numbers is critical. If an agent is having a good month or a lousy month it may have no bearing on what the overall market is doing.  I would even go so far as to tell agents you’ll have better months if you study the market and take actions for your clients based upon what’s really happening.

New pending sales fell 12.1% in February and new listings increased 14.3%.  This tells us March and April sales might not be at 2015 levels either.  Keep in mind some January pending sales may get extended into March as new lending guidelines can extend some closings.

Buyers may have a few more choices if new listings keep rising.  We have a pretty healthy market, but as of right now, gone are the days when the seller can name the price and the buyer had to comply if they wanted to buy.  It’s a more balanced market now and sellers must justify their price.  Buyers and sellers are on a level ground in many price ranges with the seller still having the upper hand in a few ranges.

If you’re looking to buy or sell, consult a professional who can guide you through the market, financing, and closing process.  We’d be happy to help 239-489-4042 or visit our Free SW Florida MLS Search Site where you can search the MLS for free and do valuable market research.

Good luck and Happy Hunting!

View our Ellis Team Featured Listings

Valuable Market Reports– Find out what’s selling in your neighborhood

Last week we wrote about sellers in SW Florida who have had their home on the market this season and their home hasn’t sold.  We talked about market activity and closing statistics as well as the latest pending stats. In that article we mentioned one sentence that elicited responses from readers “We have a graph we send our sellers that shows typical showing activity.” This week we’ll focus on the question, is your price on target?

We have a lot of information we send our sellers that educates them on how the industry really works and how best to sell their home.  We don’t normally share all this information with the public, but in this case we’re going to share the pricing target graph.

Is Your Price on Target

This graph is based upon research and showing data over many years in many markets.  We know that the seller sets the asking price and the market determines the value.  Over time the market speaks to us.

Some sellers place their home on the market and receive lots of showings, while other go on and receive little to no showings.  Is the market speaking to you?  Perhaps this guide may answer some of those questions?

If you are getting showings but no offers it generally means you are in the range 3-5% above market value.

If your number of showings is low and you’re experiencing a lot of drive-ups but the buyers don’t come in to see the home, your home may be 5-10% overpriced.

If you aren’t receiving showings at all, then your home is likely priced 10% more above what the market will bear for your property.

Many sellers say things like “Well, we can always come down but you can’t go up”   , or “They can always make an offer”.  The reality is buyers don’t make an offer when a home is overpriced.  They make offers on other homes that are priced correctly.  Many times they don’t even view the overpriced listings because it’s not what they’re looking for at that price.

Overpricing a home hurts a seller two ways.  Legitimate buyers in that range are used to seeing other homes that offer more than yours.  When they view yours, it just doesn’t measure up, so they will never buy it.

The actual buyer for your home never sees it, because it’s not on their radar screen.  It’s priced above where they are looking.  So you miss the mark 2 ways.  Sellers that overprice never had a chance.  So when we hear things like “They can always make an offer” we know that they won’t be receiving that offer.

A lot of sellers call us blaming their crappy real estate agent because their home hasn’t sold.  It may not be your agent’s fault.  Have you listened to your agent and had the pricing discussion?

Now if your agent suggested a higher price and never communicated with you how your home is stacking up against the competition, you might have a point.  Many times it’s the owner who wants more than what the agent says, or they Realtor shop until they find one that agrees with them.

You’ve heard of Doctor shopping for pills.  That’s a bad thing, and so is Realtor shopping for an agent that will write you a price prescription.  That prescription never works and can do you more harm than good.

Our suggestion is call a good Realtor who knows the market.  You may not like the medicine he/she recommends, but a bitter pill only last a few seconds while taking the wrong medicine can hurt for months or years.

Plus, we live in paradise.  Life’s too short not to move on and get what you want.  When you overprice you delay your goals.  You’re not moving on to where you should be.  You’re trapped in your current circumstance, just because you wanted more than what the market would bear.  That’s usually an ego thing.  It’s human nature.  We all do it.  The real question is, are you going to let ego and greed hold you back?  Some people do and they regret it for years, and some accept the market, take their medicine, and live their dreams.

If you’re looking for a Realtor that will tell it like it is, call us 239-489-4042.  Our marketing is pretty good, and chances are we can get you where you want to be if we work together.  You can search the MLS at www.LeeCountyOnline.com

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

This Week’s Featured Listings

31 Lagoon St

Luxury Waterfront Home seconds to the river
Seconds to the river and just minutes to work in Downtown Fort Myers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6087 Waterway Bay Fort Myers

6087 Waterway Bay Fort Myers