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Everybody talks about Season and how it influences sales in SW Florida but few people understand the various seasons, so we’ll attempt to explain with our SW Florida Real Estate Guide to Seasonal Buyers.

SW Florida Real Estate Guide to Seasonal Buyers

 

  1. The 6 Monthers- These residents arrive in October and stay through end of March or so. They typically own a property here, although each year some of them think about moving into a different seasonal property. This year we’ve had several sell their local home and purchase another.
  1. Week After Christmas- These people arrive Dec 26 or thereabouts and stay through New Years. They bask in the sun and one day wonder about living in Florida. When the weather is bad, or their sunburn is crisp they call our office and want to look at property today.  Some buy, but some are just killing time and dreaming about one day.
  1. The 1 Monthers- These people rent a home or condo, possibly on the golf course, on a canal, or in a neighborhood with lots of activities and enjoy SW Florida for a month or two. They tend to be serious as they are spending more money for the rental and they can take off work for a month.  Their dream is much closer to reality and should be taken seriously as they could purchase a second home or make the move at any time.  Some will become 6 monthers and some may even relocate here.
  1. Spring Breakers- These kids don’t buy real estate but they have a good time and spend money while visiting. They’re not shoppers anytime soon.
  1. Family Spring Break- These are the families taking their kids to Florida while they’re off from school. They love Disney and the beaches, so SW Florida does very well here. Some have lots of money and keep an eye out for opportunities to move here or buy a vacation home.  Their biggest issue is family up North, so vacation homes many times win out.
  1. Foreign Visitors- SW Florida receives visitors from Germany, England, and Europe in droves. One day last year I rented a hotel at the beach and my wife and I were in the minority speaking English. I did strike up several conversations.  One couple was a pair of doctors from Europe and they just loved SW Florida.  I was amazed at how popular our beaches are over in Europe and how many visit here year round.
  1. Day Hoppers- These are people that find a cheap flight and fly down for a few days or long weekend. After a trip or two they search for property on the Internet and begin the dream process. These buyers are fairly serious and a sale could happen at anytime.  They line properties up in advance and many times our buyer specialists find the perfect property for them.
  1. The 20 Belows- These are Snowbirds suffering through another long winter. Each storm brings more visitors to our website Topagent.com until it becomes one storm too many and they say Enough! We’ve had people book the next flight out and begin shopping because they’ve had enough.  We know, 27 years ago I was a 20 Below.
  1. Relocation Buyers- These buyers jump at the chance to move to SW Florida because of an employment opportunity. These are fun and serious buyers to work with.
  2. Summer Buyers-These buyers come back after visiting or dreaming about Florida all winter as their schedules allow. Kids are out of school and they have more vacation time. Summer buyers are serious buyers. Some agents take summers off but that’s a big mistake.

Selling real estate is a year round profession.  We hope you enjoyed our analysis of shoppers.  Perhaps even some were comical.  If you’re thinking of buying or selling your piece in paradise, call the SW Florida real estate experts 230-489-4042 or search online at Topagent.com

Search the SW Florida MLS for Free


To view our Listings in Hi Definition, visit www.HomesinHD.TV or click on our playlist below

Visit our Google+ Business Page

Feel free to view our Virtual Tours

Check out Bella Casa Condominiums.  We’ll be happy to show you this project in South Fort Myers

 

By Brett Ellis

RE/MAX Realty Group – Ellis Team

Fort Myers Real Estate Agent

7910 Summerlin Lakes Dr

Fort Myers, FL 33907

239-489-4042

 

Southwest Florida Real Estate Prices Rise in October.  Single family average home prices in Lee County Florida rose 7.6% in October 2014 over last year, up to $250,164, up from last year’s average of $232,526.

Southwest Florida Real Estate Prices Rise in October

Median single family home prices rose too in October, up 17.3% from last year.  October 2013 median home prices were $157,000 and this year they shot up to $184,175.

As you can see from the graph, home prices traditionally start making their move in October to the upside and lead-off the season.  It should be interesting to watch how sales numbers progress this season.

Here’s what we know.  Listing inventory is down 11.8% from last year.  Pending sales are rising.  Interest rates are low and many people fear they’ll be heading higher in 2015.  The stock market is near record highs.  People have a quiet confidence as real estate is affordable and stock portfolios look better than they did years ago.

This means that people have the ability to liquidate stocks to buy real estate which is especially important to SW Florida.  It also means that many have the ability to sell their current home or borrow against it to buy property in the Sunbelt.  This is another notch in SW Florida’s cap.

Combine these financial facts, simple supply and demand, and our abundant sunshine while the weather is cold and snowy back home, and you’ve got a recipe for some strong sales for the 2015 season.

Winter started early and hard for our Snowbirds.  Most had just about had it from last year and planned trips to Florida.  They were hit with another round of heavy snow and frigid temperatures early in the winter season this year.  If they were sick of it last year, they’re beyond tired of it already this year.

When they arrive and are sipping their umbrella drink on the beach they begin to dream and visualize what paradise would look like for them if they moved here.  We’ve all done it.  Very few people in SW Florida grew up here compared to all the people living here.  Many if not most have relocated here from somewhere else, and somewhere else is usually cold this time of year.

We expect the beaches to be packed starting December 26.  Reservations are doing well at the beach.  Traffic picked up early this year and we expect an influx starting in a few weeks.

I called the Carefree Boat Club in Fort Myers to see if people up North had shown interest in boating down here this winter.  They have a Canadian boat club and many Canadians are looking forward to traveling here and checking out the SW Florida boating lifestyle.

All these visitors add to the local economy, and many buy here after seeing how beautiful it is here.  I’m not sure we need a Chamber of Commerce to promote SW Florida when we’ve got the beaches, water, umbrella drinks in the sand, golf courses, sun, and warm temperatures.

Throw in Spring Training, year round softball, tennis, and walks around the neighborhood and we’ve got a winning formula.  No wonder our local real estate market is heating up!

If you’d like to search for your piece of paradise, visit our website Topagent.com or call us at 239-489-4042  You can search the MLS for free and see homes on the market in real-time.  If you have a property to sell, we can help with that too.

Good Luck, and Happy House Hunting!  And remember, whether you live here full-time or just visiting, get out and enjoy the water, beach, or golf course.  People fly here the world over to enjoy this place.  Don’t take it for granted.  Get out there and get you some!

Search the SW Florida MLS for Free


To view our Listings in Hi Definition, visit www.HomesinHD.TV or click on our playlist below

Visit our Google+ Business Page

Feel free to view our Virtual Tours

Check out Bella Casa Condominiums.  We’ll be happy to show you this project in South Fort Myers

 

By Brett Ellis

RE/MAX Realty Group – Ellis Team

Fort Myers Real Estate Agent

7910 Summerlin Lakes Dr

Fort Myers, FL 33907

239-489-4042

We’ve often said in recent years if we had more inventory we’d have more sales. We don’t have a sales problem, we have an available amount of appropriately priced homes problem.  Well,  here comes the listings here comes the sales.

Here Comes the Listings, Here Comes the Sales

Here Comes The Listings

We need look no further than this month’s data that was just released.  New listings in October were up almost 400 over September and were up 2.8% over new listings last year.  New pending sales were up 13.4% over last year which says that inventory is selling at a faster rate this year.

You’ll notice 1,827 listings entered the market and 1,265 went pending.  Not all homes are selling.  Even though we have a low inventory market, there are still sellers who overprice their home for the market.

Selling a home is not a guaranteed thing, and it’s not easy.  It takes a seasoned expert to price it correctly and navigate all the obstacles thrown our way via new regulations and lending policies.

From inspections, insurance, appraisals, flood insurance, lending regulations, estoppels, to title, real estate has never been more complicated.

It’s one thing to find a buyer for your home; it’s quite another to actually close it.  Finding buyers has gotten trickier as well.  Last week we wrote about the changing landscape of online advertising.  Early this decade the likes of Zillow and Trulia fought hard for advertising dollars from agents, and they still are.  Agents are shifting advertising dollars as we speak. What worked last year may not be what’s best this year.

Winning the advertising game is complex. Not only must your website be highly ranked, the algorithms for pay per click advertising have become a science as well.  Today’s Realtor must be an expert in dealing with people, navigating regulations and obstacles, and an expert in online social behavior.

It’s an exciting time to be a Realtor, but it’s become increasingly hard for a new person to enter the market and compete without joining a team that handles all the details.

Presidential elections are another example of this.  It’s not enough just to buy the most TV ads.  Mathematicians calculate turnout, demographics, and target undecided voters online in ways never seen before.

We’re now able to target people on Facebook who visit SW Florida who make over $200,000 per year and enjoy boating or golf, and their kids are now entering college.  That’s a lot to keep track of, but the data is there.  You’ll be hearing the term “Big Data” more and more and how it can be used to predict consumer behavior and modeling.

The Ellis Team uses it now and it is working.  Large companies are using it, and one day most real estate companies will be using it.

4 weeks ago we listed a home in Moody River Estates in North Fort Myers.  Within 3 days a buyer specialist on our team sold that home and we closed it last week.  Buyers are finding us from all over the world in new and exciting ways.

This doesn’t replace sign calls, newspaper advertising, or personal referrals, but it does change how people will find you who don’t know you already.  The agents, brokers, and media companies that best figure this out will be the winners going forward.  It won’t matter what expert on TV or radio says you’re the best because the public realizes they’ve never used your service.  They want to read reviews from people who’ve actually used your service.

Endorsements didn’t work in the mid-term elections and they’re not as effective in business today because the Internet has changed the way people receive information.  Sure, traditional marketing still works, but not all traditional marketing is the bang for the buck it used to be.

If you’re thinking of buying or selling, don’t go it alone.  Feel free to search the MLS at Topagent.com and let an expert help you navigate the regulations and obstacles, or call us at 239-489-4042 and we’ll be happy to help.

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

Search the SW Florida MLS for Free


To view our Listings in Hi Definition, visit www.HomesinHD.TV or click on our playlist below

Visit our Google+ Business Page

Feel free to view our Virtual Tours

Check out our New Fort Myers Downtown River District Blog by Barbara Perez, Buyer Specialist on the Ellis Team

 

By Brett Ellis

RE/MAX Realty Group – Ellis Team

Fort Myers Real Estate Agent

7910 Summerlin Lakes Dr

Fort Myers, FL 33907

239-489-4042

When prices rise for a period of time everyone begins to ask the question “Is there a real estate bubble?  The answer is yes, but perhaps not for the reason you might think.

Is there a real estate bubble

Is There a Real Estate Bubble?

Buyers and sellers worry about prices and supply and demand.  Realtors worry about marketing and finding buyers for their listings.  The real estate industry has changed in the past several years and newer agents relied on real estate portals like Zillow and Trulia to provide leads, for a fee.

This worked for agents who didn’t have a lot of listings or only worked with buyers as they were able to essentially purchase leads and hopefully go out and sell.  Agents didn’t count on sites like this diluting inventory by selling to many more agents leads in their zip code, and raising prices.

Agents who relied on this model complain how a certain zip code now is bought up by many more agents, and the cost per impression has skyrocketed.  Agents are beginning to say enough is enough, so we say there may be a real estate bubble for these large portals.

Our team purchases a certain amount of advertising on each to attain Premiere status.  Almost daily we’re getting calls that more inventory has opened up in key zip codes.  This either means they’re selling more impressions in that zip code or other agents are cancelling.  Rates have also fallen.  This tells me agents may be cancelling.

Furthermore the National Association of Realtors recently voted in some changes that will level the playing field, making agent websites more attractive against the likes of the big players mentioned above.

MLS’s will now be required to send out more data in its data feed for use by brokers. Section 7.79 of MLS policy did not spell out whether MLS’s must provide this extra data so brokers and agents could use AVM’s (Automated Valuation Models) in their own websites.

Zillow came to fame because of their Zestimate, which was an online AVM.  Never mind the fact the estimate was so far off in the beginning it didn’t resemble reality. It has gotten better, but consumers still complain about outdated and inaccurate data on their website.

Brokers on the other hand have access to today’s data, because it is the brokers who maintain the data to begin with.  Instead of going through a 3rd party who doesn’t always get it right, why not use a broker direct and get the accurate data?  So goes the argument at NAR, and this year they followed through.

The Ellis Team was one of the first brokers nationwide to put the MLS on our website, and we were one of the first to utilize an AVM on our website.  That’s right, at Topagent.com you can search the MLS and get an estimate of value for your home.  In the future, more agents and brokers will do the same, which brings me back to the point of this article.

We believe agents will either go back to traditional marketing to find buyers and sellers, or spend money promoting their own websites. Newspapers now have digital media divisions designed to manage an agent’s or broker’s online presence.  You don’t have to be an Internet expert like we are, you can hire it done.  In fact, even though we know what we’re doing, it makes sense to let someone else manage the online ads so we can do what we do best, which is sell real estate.

Instead of paying money to promote Zillow, why not pay money to promote your own site?  If you search anything real estate related you’ll notice they show up.  That’s because agents advertising dollars are promoting the portals. When agents stop advertising with them, their ability to buy up positions on Google, Yahoo, and Bing will dry up too. This is what we call an online Real Estate Bubble.

The big guys won’t go out of business, but their lofty valuations on Wall Street may take a hit. There is no way Zillow/Trulia is worth $3.5 Billion dollars when neither makes a profit. And if their revenue falls, they may not be worth anything.

Good luck, and Happy House Hunting!

Search the SW Florida MLS for Free


To view our Listings in Hi Definition, visit www.HomesinHD.TV or click on our playlist below

Visit our Google+ Business Page

Feel free to view our Virtual Tours

Check out our New Fort Myers Downtown River District Blog by Barbara Perez, Buyer Specialist on the Ellis Team

 

By Brett Ellis

RE/MAX Realty Group – Ellis Team

Fort Myers Real Estate Agent

7910 Summerlin Lakes Dr

Fort Myers, FL 33907

239-489-4042

bella-casa-fort-myers

This holiday season you’ll probably be checking online reviews for restaurants, stores, products, and much more.  I know I look to online reviews when making purchasing decisions.  I’ve bought items and shied away from certain products based upon the review of others.  Beware of legal ramifications of online reviews.

Legal Ramifications of Online Reviews

Rate us on Google+

I was astounded to watch a newscast from KSHB in Kansas City about a woman who left a mediocre review on an orthodontist. She left him a 3 star review because she felt the service was OK.

She was contacted by the orthodontist and asked what they could have done better and she told him.  She was impressed that he cared enough to call.  About a month later she received a nasty letter from an attorney that she was being sued if she didn’t take the 3 star review down.  It created quite a stir in that community. People even came up to her in the grocery store and said things to her over that issue.

While we have free speech laws a business still has the right to sue you if they feel they have been slandered. Some states have enacted an anti-slapp (Strategic Lawsuit Against public Participation) law that protects consumers from businesses or governments for voicing their honest opinion.  I’m no lawyer, but it appears Florida does have a law like this that protects against governments suing you. I read of a case where it was applied to protect against a business as well.

If a business must bully consumers into writing 5 star reviews or nothing at all I would suggest that business may take a beating in the court of public opinion.  The Kansas City lady isn’t backing down and now it’s made national news.  How great is that for the orthodontist? I have no idea if he’s good or bad, and if I was in Kansas City I wouldn’t have judged him harshly for a mediocre review.  I think people weigh all the reviews before making an opinion.

I think this could have been handled much better. If a customer is unhappy with us I would hope they’d respect us enough to give us a chance to correct whatever issue was bothering them.  Most people will before writing a bad review.

We encourage reviews.  If  you’ve had a great experience with our team, or just enjoy reading our newspaper article, we’d love for you to review us at google.com/+Topagent  If  you’ve had a mediocre or negative experience, send us an email at brett@topagent.com and we’d welcome the chance to address it.

We think this is a much better way to handle positive, mediocre, and negative reviews.  Hiring an attorney to threaten legal action over mediocre reviews just seems kind of old school and not in the spirit of how business is transacted today.  Sure, there are always goofballs that can hide behind an online identity and say whatever they want about your business, but this case in Kansas City doesn’t seem anything like that.

If you’d like to search the MLS like a pro, go to our website Topagent.com and you can see homes currently on the market throughout SW Florida.  If you have a property to sell, check out our reviews, then call the Ellis Team at RE/MAX Realty Group 239-489-4042 We’re easy to talk to and we love to help people.

We look forward to hearing from you and reading your reviews. And be careful when writing negative things about businesses unless it’s all true. While Florida may have some protections for you in can be costly to defend something like this.  It pays top check them out beforehand so you never have to write a bad review.

Good luck, and Happy House Hunting!

Tune in to The Future of Real Estate

 

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

Search the SW Florida MLS for Free


To view our Listings in Hi Definition, visit www.HomesinHD.TV or click on our playlist below

Visit our Google+ Business Page

Feel free to view our Virtual Tours

Check out our New Fort Myers Downtown River District Blog by Barbara Perez, Buyer Specialist on the Ellis Team

 

By Brett Ellis

RE/MAX Realty Group – Ellis Team

Fort Myers Real Estate Agent

7910 Summerlin Lakes Dr

Fort Myers, FL 33907

239-489-4042

Beware of Property Scams in SW Florida. 2 weeks ago our office began receiving phone calls from confused customers calling in on one of our listings.  The problem is they were under the assumption the property was for rent when it is actually listed for sale.

 

Beware of Property Scams in SW Florida

Beware of Property Scams in SW Florida

Upon further investigation we found a Trulia listings advertising the property for rent.  Our listing is also on Trulia for sale.  Rental customers were interested in renting but were confused with it being for sale, so many called us.

We assured each one of them it was not for rent.  They were being told the family had a change of heart and decided to rent it.  We called the family to verify and they said it is not for rent and knew nothing about it.  We had the ad taken off Trulia after a phone call to them.

A few days later we received more calls.  One person mentioned that seller was expecting a money gram for $1,000 deposit and $800 1st month’s rent and then seller would send the keys.  No lease mentioned, just keys would be Fed Ex’d when money arrived.

The prospective tenant questioned him about the For Sale sign in the yard.  She was told that he was very unhappy with the team selling the home.  He said the real estate company let someone move into the home and they trashed the place, so as soon as she sent the money he would take the For Sale Signs down. Luckily for her she called our office before she lost the money.

We reached out to the Lee County Sheriff’s office who is investigating.  We spoke with several detectives and they say this is a growing epidemic here in SW Florida.  They’ve seen many complaints from ads on Craig’s List and all over the Internet.  It’s a real shame because these scam artists are virtually assuring that you must go through a reputable company to rent anything.

How is a buyer or renter to know if they’re actually dealing with the owner?  Detectives tell us quite often the scam artists opens up phone numbers in the US using a service like Magic Jack, but really many are from overseas like Egypt.

According to the sheriff’s office scam artists in Lehigh Acres are selling properties they don’t own to unsuspecting buyers who think they’re getting a good deal.  If the deal seems too be good to be true and there are not licensed professionals involved in the deal, you might want to investigate the deal further.

If you see a home listed for sale and for rent with different owners or companies, it bears asking further questions.  Never give out personal information or fill out detailed application forms until you’re sure who you’re dealing with.

In the above case the scam artists are looking for money, but we could see unscrupulous people using your private data from a rental application for identity fraud to obtain credit in your name.

Use MLS search sites like Topagent.com to search the MLS.  Using sites like VRBO, Craig’s List or Ebay is risky if you’re not dealing with the legitimate owner.  If you have concerns or feel you’ve been a victim of a property scam, contact the local Sheriff’s Department and they will assist you.  More importantly, take the steps beforehand to protect yourself so you don’t end up a victim.

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

 

Tune in to The Future of Real Estate

 

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

 

Search the SW Florida MLS for Free

 
To view our Listings in Hi Definition, visit www.HomesinHD.TV or click on our playlist below

Visit our Google+ Business Page

Feel free to view our Virtual Tours

Check out our New Fort Myers Downtown River District Blog by Barbara Perez, Buyer Specialist on the Ellis Team

 

By Brett Ellis

RE/MAX Realty Group – Ellis Team

Fort Myers Real Estate Agent

7910 Summerlin Lakes Dr

Fort Myers, FL 33907

239-489-4042

The Ellis Team at RE/MAX Realty Group is hosting two SW Florida home buyer seminars this week.  We’re naming it “Why Feed the Rent Monster?”

 

SW Florida Home Buyer Seminars

Why Feed the Rent Monster?

Call our office at 239-489-4042 to reserve your spot.  We’ll have lenders on hand to answer financial questions and offer credit advice.  Our team will show you how much more it costs to rent versus purchasing a home and how much buying a home can save you on taxes.

We’ll share with you how to build equity.  A fixed interest rate locks in your monthly principal and interest payment.  Renting typically has yearly rent increases, and when you’re done renting you have nothing to show for it.  We’ll show you how to lock in your payment, build equity, and save on your taxes.

Studies prove children do better in school when the parent sown their own home, and divorce rates are lower too.  Most people don’t buy because they have fear about the process.  We’ll take the fear out of the picture as we walk you through the entire process.  We’ll hold your hand and explain what comes next every step of the way.

We can help you find an existing home, and we know the builder inventory of new homes too.  Consider the Ellis Team your partner in success.  In a few years you’ll be thanking us for helping you find your dream home and building equity.

 

Feel free to search the MLS.

To view our Listings in Hi Definition, visit www.HomesinHD.TV or click on our playlist below

Visit our Google+ Business Page

Search All SW Florida Real Estate Market Listings

Feel free to view our Virtual Tours

Check out our New Fort Myers Downtown River District Blog by Barbara Perez, Buyer Specialist on the Ellis Team

Barbara’s First Blog is about a New Condo High Rise Coming to Downtown Fort Myers River District

 

By Brett Ellis

RE/MAX Realty Group – Ellis Team

Fort Myers Real Estate Agent

7910 Summerlin Lakes Dr

Fort Myers, FL 33907

239-489-4042

New appraisal rules are limiting the way appraisers can show value for a home which is frustrating sellers, buyers, appraisers, and lenders alike.

Appraisals Hurting Homebuyers in SW Florida

The appraisal industry has become increasingly frustrating over the years.  Mortgage rules dictated adding a middle man to the process in the way of appraisal management companies.  Now the lender submits orders to the management companies who in turn hire out appraisers.  The appraiser is given the order and must return the appraisal within a short amount of time, in many cases two days.  The appraiser doesn’t get to keep all the money either as the management takes a large cut.

The management company then reviews the appraisal and can kick it back and reject the value.  All this happens before the lender even sees the appraisal.  And if this isn’t bad enough, there are recent rules that prohibit appraisers from going outside of an area unless they show all actives and sales within an area first, regardless of whether they’re good comps for the subject property.

It’s kind of ironic because they will reject comps that are not good, but if you are forced to use comparables outside of an area, they’re suddenly judged as valid comps and must be considered.

This year we’ve sold several homes higher than the appraised value of the home.  Many times we have multiple offers on a property. If the winning buyer is obtaining a mortgage, you never know what that bank’s appraiser will appraise it for.  Sometimes we blame the appraiser for doing a bad appraisal, but many times it’s not their fault.  They’re just working under new rules with unrealistic conditions that do not bear what’s really happening in the market.  Isn’t that what an appraisal is supposed to do?

Something’s not working, and the rules should be written by those that understand properly evaluating real estate.  These rules should work in all conditions; up, down, and sideways markets.

In one subdivision we work in the last 3 homes did not appraise for selling price.  This forced the buyers to pay more cash out of pocket, because if they didn’t, someone else would have bought the home and done so.

Appraisals Hurting Home Buyers in SW Florida

We sold a home in San Carlos Park earlier this year and the home appraised for more than $20,000 less than what we sold it for.  The bank wouldn’t adjust their appraisal.  We said you’re not hurting our seller but rather just your borrower.  The buyer came up with $7,500 extra cash on top of their down payment but couldn’t come up with over $20,000.  The seller declined and the deal fell through.

A cash buyer came in the next day and it closed 3 weeks later back up to where we sold it the first time.  Was the first buyer protected by the appraisal?  No.  In fact, the appraisal cost them the home they truly wanted.

We can’t say it was the appraisers fault.  We can say it was the new guidelines fault.  This story is playing out across SW Florida over and over again.  Ask any Realtor that’s selling homes if appraisals are affecting their sales and many will tell you they are.

There are things you can do.  We’ve been meeting with the appraiser when they inspect the home and offering up any comparables they may not have seen.  Most appraisers will listen if you’re trying to help them.  If you think you’re going to bully a higher value out of them or trick them, you can forget that.  If they respect you as an agent most will listen because in the end we’re all just looking for the best information possible to make the best appraised value possible, under the conditions we’re given.

It helps to hire an agent who understands appraisals, and one that can talk with and assist the appraiser upfront if need be.  It does no good to argue with an appraiser if you don’t understand the process or have facts in hand.

If you’re thinking of selling, hire experienced agents like the Ellis Team who can guide you through the selling maze.  You’ll be glad you did!

 

To view our Listings in Hi Definition, visit www.HomesinHD.TV or click on our playlist below

Visit our Google+ Business Page

Feel free to view our Virtual Tours

Check out our New Fort Myers Downtown River District Blog by Barbara Perez, Buyer Specialist on the Ellis Team

Barbara’s First Blog is about a New Condo High Rise Coming to Downtown Fort Myers River District

Search All SW Florida Real Estate Market Listings

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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

239-489-4042

Low Inventory Leads to Quick Home Sales in SW Florida

If you price it right, they will come.  We’ve been saying this for years, and it’s true.  Perhaps you’ve read recent headlines that shows home sales are down.  This would also be true but not for the negative reason the headline implies.

Simply put, home sales are down only because we don’t have much to sell.  We have greater demand than supply.

Low Inventory Leads to Quick Home Sales in SW Florida

If you look at the inventory chart for single family homes in SW Florida you’ll find that inventory levels are at their lowest level in years.  Inventory levels usually begin to rise in October through season, so we’ll have to keep our eye on that.

Buyers aren’t really prepared for the competition for new listings.  Their agent tells them it’s a good market and multiple offers are more often the rule rather than the exception, but it doesn’t sink in until they experience it for themselves.  There’s nothing quite like losing out on your first and second choice home.  It begins a powerful soul search and buyers have to ask themselves a hard question.  How bad do I want a home?

Most want one.  Some think about it and fear takes over so they do nothing.  They try again next year after feeding the rent monster and can’t believe how much waiting has cost them.  And the process begins all over, until the fear of remaining the same is greater than the fear of change and they take action.

New SW Florida Pending Sales October 2014

Look at the new pending sales chart.  This chart measures only new pending sales during the month.  It is not cumulative pending sales.  You’ll see new pending sales are rising over previous years at a time when inventory is falling.

This is why average sale prices are up 14.8% while median prices are up 3.9% from last year.  Combine that with a temporary drop in interest rates and you can see why we have a buying frenzy in SW Florida.  Other parts of the country aren’t experiencing what we’re seeing here, but then again they didn’t go through the tough times we did for 6-7 years either.

Builders didn’t build here for years.  Now that companies are hiring and moving here, we have a shortage, but thank goodness inventory is coming online.  It’s hard for a buyer to know where the inventory is, however an experienced agent who is active in the market knows and can help you.

The Ellis Team will be conducting home buyer seminars in November to help buyers.  We’ll educate you on how to get the best financing and what the lenders are looking for when you apply.  We’ll teach you how we get our offers accepted by sellers.  You have a limit to what you can afford, so we structure your offer to stand out.  We’ll show you where the new and existing inventory is that other buyers might not know about.

We teach you about flood insurance, homeowners insurance, the inspection process, and more.  You’re not in competition with the seller.  You’re in competition with other buyers who want the same homes you do.  We’ll educate you so you’re more informed.  Knowledge is power, and you can use that power to get in your home now before rates and prices price you out of the market.

Call our office to signup for one of our November seminars. 239-489-4042  Or you can email me at Brett@topagent.com  Feel free to search the MLS on our website www.Topagent.com If you can’t wait for our seminars this month, call us and one of our buyer specialists can meet with you one on one and get you a head start.

The market is Hot.  Sellers are doing well.  We’d like to help buyers take advantage and get in now before it goes higher.

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

To view our Listings in Hi Definition, visit www.HomesinHD.TV or click on our playlist below

Visit our Google+ Business Page

Feel free to view our Virtual Tours .

Search All SW Florida Real Estate Market Listings

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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

239-489-4042

 

Mortgage rates hit new lows for the year this past week as 30 year fixed rates averaged 3.97% The 15 year rate fell to 3.18%, and the 5-1 ARM sits at 2.92%

Mortgage Rates Hit New Lows

 

Mortgage Rates Hit New Lows

Forecasters have been prognosticating mortgage rates would begin to rise going into 2015 as the Fed tapers its bond buying program and most believe this is true.  However, we’ve heard fears of deflation and 10 year bond yields have fallen below 2%.  This is due to several factors including an economic slowdown in China, Europe, as well as fears of Ebola.  Ebola is one of those wildcards we’re thrown every once in awhile that makes it difficult to predict what will happen to the world economy.

Buyers are taking advantage of the dip in rates too as we listed and sold several homes this past week that sold in a day.  Buyers who have been shopping for any length of time are tired of getting beat out by other buyers for hot new properties that enter the market.

They’re also watching the interest rate market as a dip in rates means they can afford a larger mortgage with the same monthly payment with the new lower rates.  This is important in a rising price market like we have here in SW Florida.

When prices rise, it raises the monthly payment for a buyer if nothing else changes, or it drops them into a lower tier home if they cannot afford the higher payments.  Lower rates are a nice surprise, especially in a rising market.  Because home prices are expected to be higher next year than this year, and because rates are expected to be higher next year as well, it really pays to jump on that house when it hits the market and go after it hard.  Even if you overpay a little bit now, it can save you thousands in a few months when rates rise and prices rise.

At our team meeting this week our buyer specialists were talking about helping buyers in the $100,000-$120,000 range and how difficult it was for them as each home they were interested in had multiple offers.  Basically it’s come down to setting up alerts on the MLS and notifying our buyers instantly when a new home enters the market and writing an offer within hours.  Multiple offers are still a possibility, but it’s the only way these buyers are going to have a chance at landing a home.  They just can’t go higher and there is limited inventory.

This is happening in several price ranges.  We just had a home come on the market in the $450,000-$500,000 range and it went pending in one day and we have several more buyers begging for a call if anything happens on this transaction.  It’s good news for sellers and terribly frustrating for buyers.

Our advice is work with an agent who will study the market for you and guide you.  If what you’re looking for has limited inventory, jump on a new listing that fits your needs and will work for you, and is priced fairly in the market.  If it’s well overpriced you may not have to worry.  Some sellers are delusional even in a seller’s market and you just have to let those go.

However, the seller may not be as delusional as you might think in some cases.  If the property is unique or has something drawing you to it, chances are it may be drawing other buyers as well.  Views, extended lanais, or remodeled kitchens and baths might bring extra value.  You can’t just look at dollar per square foot.  Appraisers don’t work solely off that and neither should you.  Rather it’s best to make specific adjustments for certain items based on market conditions.

It pays to work with a Realtor that knows the market.  This is true buying or selling.  To search the MLS for free check  www.TopAgent.com  If we can help, please call us at 239-489-4042  Good luck and enjoy the interest rate break!

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!
To view our Listings in Hi Definition, visit www.HomesinHD.TV or click on our playlist below

Visit our Google+ Business Page

Feel free to view our Virtual Tours .

Search All SW Florida Real Estate Market Listings

Listings Sitemap

Link Showcase

 

Sitemap

By Brett Ellis

RE/MAX Realty Group – Ellis Team

Fort Myers Real Estate Agent

7910 Summerlin Lakes Dr

Fort Myers, FL 33907

239-489-4042

 

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