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Lately we’ve had quite a few calls from potential buyers about how to improve their credit scores so they can obtain a mortgage at today’s low rates.  They really want to get in before the rates go up.  this week we’d like to provide some tips on improving credit scores to get mortgage.

Tips on Improving Credit Scores to Get Mortgage

Last month we wrote about a way for buyers who can’t qualify today to pick out a home and work with an investor we know who buys the home and rents it to the buyer until they can qualify.  Certain conditions apply such as income requirements, etc.  But what about people that are renting and just want to buy?

I ran across a blog recently with some good tips, and I’ll share a few of their tips here and a way to read the complete article if you’re interested.

Tips on Improving Credit Scores to Get Mortgage

One way to establish good credit if your credit is horrible is to use a secured credit card. Basically you can put your own money into an account and borrow against that and then pay it off each month.  This establishes a payment pattern on the record, which can help those with horrific credit.  Check out First Progress Platinum Select MasterCard Secured Card.  Another secured card that is highly recommended is Secured Visa from Merrick Bank.

Keep in mind that on-time payments and credit utilization ratios are the biggest factors these days.  Paying late hurts your score.  It’s also better to have a few credit cards and spread out the credit amongst them than having one card all filled up.  Each card has a utilization factor as well as the total of your debts.  So if you’re maxed out on one card, that card is at 100% utilization which isn’t good.  Be careful to watch your overall utilization as well.

Don’t apply for too many cards in a sort period of time.  This will ding your credit.  Be careful not to close a bunch of accounts even if you owe nothing on them.  This changes your utilization ratio, essentially raising it because you just cancelled a debt free credit source.

Check your credit scores too.  Credit Sesame was rated # 1 free credit score service followed by #2 Credit Karma.  Keep in mind these free tools only check one credit bureau.  You might try www.annualcreditreport.com as it will check all three.

26% of participants found credit errors that negatively impacted their credit, so it can pay to check.

We will have some upcoming Home Buyer Seminars you can attend where we’ll explain the nuts and bolts of buying a home in SW Florida.  We’ll have a lender on hand to answer some of your financial and mortgage questions as well.  Check with us for upcoming dates as these seminars are always popular and fill up.

here’s the link if you’d like to read the complete article Best Credit Report Site of 2014

If you’ve got questions now and don’t want to wait for an upcoming seminar, give our office a call.  We can put you in touch with a lender now and get the process started for you.  It’s never too early to start working on your credit.

And don’t forget, if you’d like to search the MLS and get a feel for what’s on the market, go to www.Topagent.com and search for Free.

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

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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

 

Are National Real Estate Values in Decline?

Each week I scour articles on the real estate industry just to get a feel for what may be going on locally and up North.  Some articles are factual and some are quite comical.

Today I ran across an article on CNBC speculating that home prices could be in for a triple dip.  Of course the headline grabbed my attention and I wanted to read further.

The article’s premise was that nationally home prices appreciated at a 1% rate from the 2nd to 3rd quarter of this year and that the rate last year was 3%, so a meltdown may be in the works.

The article rated the West as a highly over valued market and they feel as the West goes so goes the rest of the country.

I am not an expert in all markets across the country and I cannot tell you if the national market will go up or down this year, but I can tell you I see some flaws in the reporting.  It’s true, I have been hearing rumblings from agents that buyers have chilled in certain markets, but then again this is normal.  Some markets do well when others do not.  Certain states have better economies than others and this is why they say all real estate is local.

I am interested though because Northern markets can influence our markets.  The winter is expected to be brutal again this year and cold fronts are already zipping through the country.  If Northern buyers fear their market is headed down. They may decide to cash out and move south.

Other Northern buyers borrow against their home to purchase 2nd homes, so a decline up north would hurt those buyers.  In any event, I’d prefer the reports focus on interest rates, the economy, consumer confidence, and the job market which definitely affects the market rather than reporting on price gains slowing and how the market may be headed for doom.

SW Florida knows what doom looks like.  We lived it for 6+ years.  Many are still digging out from the price collapse after 2005.  Just because a market appreciates at a normal or below normal rate doesn’t mean anything.  Could the national market go down?  Yes, of course.  Will it go down for the facts mentioned in the article?  Definitely not as the article missed on what is truly driving the market.

Be careful not to believe everything you read on the Internet.  Some reporters have no idea how money works or what affects real estate.  They may have just been assigned to a story outside of what they normally cover.  Or, they just may not know what they’re talking about.  This might be a fine reporter and perhaps she was in a hurry to get a story out.  I understand about deadlines.

Regardless of what ultimately happens up north, our market looks to be in great shape.  Hertz is hiring, and we may have another company moving here as well.  Our market is rebounding and things are on the move.  Harborside renovation was just approved and the downtown area is looking up.

Rates are low but headed higher this next year.  All signs point to another great season coming up.  We will survive a potential downturn up north should it occur because our fundamentals look good.

National Real Estate Values in Decline Home ownership report

Home Ownership report Page 2 of 5

Prices have been moving up locally.  Median prices are up about 10% from last year.  If you’re thinking about selling we have a computer tool that is pretty decent at estimating your home’s value.  Simply go to www.swfloridahomevalues.com and find out.  Of course, we’d love to sit down with you and go over comparables and marketing strategies if you’re selling as the computer cannot always be 100% accurate.

Buying or selling, give us a call. 239-489-4042  We’ll sit down with you and go over your options.

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

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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

 

National Pending Home Sales Fall Slightly

Nationally pending home sales pulled back slightly in August but are still in positive territory.  The NAR (National Association of Realtors) Pending Home Sales Index stands at 104.7 which is down from 105.8 in July.  Anything over 100 is considered positive territory.

National Pending Home Sales Fall Slightly in August 2014

New Single Family Pending Sales

Lawrence Yun, chief economist for NAR was quoted as saying “With investors pulling back, the market is shifting more towards traditional and first-time buyers who rely on mortgages to purchase a home. Fewer distressed homes at bargain prices and the acknowledgement we’re entering a rising interest rate environment likely caused hesitation among investors last month.”

Locally we’re seeing new pending sales declining slightly as well.  This very well could be because of declining inventory levels.  Our market is still hot for the most part.  Inventory levels are down and median time on the market is also down 12.5% from last year.

The 42 days on market includes high priced homes and short sales which tend to skew the number higher.  If you have a home on the market longer than 42 days it could be that you’re not priced at the market.

We are seeing some resistance in the first time home buyer market.  Buyers are being stingier and writing low-ball offers at the lower end of the market. The ironic thing is this is the hottest part of the market in terms of marketing time.  Lower priced homes fly off the shelves the quickest.  The median time it takes to sell a $100-150k home is 27 days.  For a $150-200k home it’s 34 days.

Median days on market SW Florida Single Family Homes For Sale

Median Days on market

We’re seeing buyers with pre-qualification letters for much higher than their offer but not all are stepping up to the plate.  We don’t know if the buyers are fearful and being cautious or getting bad advice from their Realtor as to what the realistic chances are of getting the home.

Most times they lose out on the home to another buyer.  There is limited inventory in the market, so if you miss out on your 1st choice, you may slip down to getting your 2nd, 3rd, or 4th choice, and those choices don’t look as good as when you have more to choose from.

Our buyer agents have been working very hard at identifying properties for buyers and notifying them as soon as one comes on the market.  Sometimes beating out other buyers to hot new listings is a good way to get a new #1 choice, but it is risky as the next homes to come on the market could be at higher prices.

Buyers aren’t really in competition with the sellers.  They’re in competition with other buyers who are looking for the same thing.  Beating them to the punch can be the difference, and having a Realtor with excellent technology systems in place can make the difference.

If you’re tired of losing out to other buyers and want a team working for you, give us at call at 239-489-4042.  Or you can signup at www.Topagent.com and view properties in the MLS.  Our agents have other systems and can contact you and be on the lookout for you and notify you immediately when something pops up that meets your needs.

We also get our buyers pre-approved for a mortgage, so when that property does pop up, you’re ready to go.  It’s frustrating to find a property then lose out to another buyer who was a day or two ahead of you with the pre-qualification process.

Our team makes the process easy.  Most people have fear about the process as much as anything.  We’ll walk you through step by step so you always know what to expect.  With some hard work on our end and a little luck, we’ll have you in your home before rates and prices go up anymore and price you out of the market.

With the Ellis Team at RE/MAX, it’s a family affair.  Always call the Ellis Team, we’ll handle you with care!

 

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

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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

 

August Home Sales Report Shows SW Florida Real Estate Market is Healthy

Initial August home sales numbers were just released by Florida Realtors and it reveals some encouraging yet predictable figures.

SW Florida Real Estate Market Shows Healthy Signs

Single family home sales in Lee County Florida showed a median price increase of 10.6% over last year to $182,500, while the average sales price was up 6.3% to $261,011 The median price was up from July $179,900.  If you’ll notice last year prices began rising again in August as well. There is seasonality in the SW Florida real estate market and the graphs help illustrate how this works.

Listing inventory is also down this year with only 4,890 single family homes on the market.  Last year there were 4,997 so inventory is going down.  You can see from the total inventory graph that there is always a dip in inventory this time of year.

SW Florida Listing Inventory

Making predictions is easy if you have lots of historical data to look at and graphs.  We always have to look at external factors that could influence the market going forward and combine that with market data.  If no new external forces were influencing the market, where would you predict inventory levels in a few months?

If you predict inventory levels to rise, there’s a good chance you’ll be correct based upon the last 3 years of data.  If we provided a price graph you’d see prices begin escalating after September as well, so going forward we could have rising inventory and rising prices.

Let’s look at external forces that could influence the market.  The Feds could increase interest rates which has a negative effect on buyer’s purchasing power.  This could happen in the next 12 months.

We have elections coming up in November.  Depending on how they turn out could affect consumer sentiment about the economy going forward.

The war on terrorism, along with hot spots in Ukraine, Iran, Syria, Iraq, Libya, and elsewhere could affect the world economy and impact us here someday.

Locally we’re expecting an announcement regarding a company relocating to SW Florida.  It is dubbed Project Orange and the announcement should come in the next 12 months.  Should they choose Lee County we hear Bonita Springs is the likely winner.  This could positively impact Southern Lee County and Northern Collier County, however landing a company with jobs helps the entire area really.

Builders will be bringing more inventory to SW Florida in a few months, and we need it.  Buying new construction is complicated.  It’s hard to know who has the best deal and what incentives are being offered.  Hooking up with a top Realtor in the area can save you big and Realtors can offer guidance on what areas are hot and what amenities future buyers are looking for.  Purchasing in the best area for you can help secure your financial future down the road.

Good Realtors know what to stay away from and what will be hard to resell later on, so having a Realtor with you when you purchase is critical.  You don’t pay extra from a builder to have a Realtor, but not having one can cost you thousands. We know which builders and which communities have product coming and when, so give us a call if you’re in the market for a home and can’t find it on the resale market.

We also have some great resale homes coming to the market. If you’re looking for a certain home or neighborhood, our buyer specialists can guide you and may know of something that fits your needs.  If not, we can be on the lookout for you and notify you if a match hits the market.  The market is picking up and new listings sell very fast, so don’t waste time if you have a need.  Call us at 239-489-4042

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

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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

Benefits of Working with a Team in Real Estate

Benefits of Working with a Team in Real Estate

The Ellis Team Works as a Team

Years ago we were the first to predict top agents would form teams similar to a baseball team to take better care of their customers. We fielded a team of Realtors because just as the pitcher cannot be expected to catch a high fly ball to center field, a Realtor cannot be at a listing appointment, install a sign, write newspaper ads, take pictures, show property to buyers and present an offer all at the same time.
Brett and Sande concentrate on pricing the homes properly (comparative market analysis) for the listing. We also negotiate the offers. Perhaps this is why our listings sell faster and for more money.  We price them correctly and we negotiate well.
Buyers must see property on their time – days off,  or after work,  golf or boating.  Buyer Specialists are available for the buyer seven days a week. They are experienced, knowledgeable and fun to work with.  Thinking of buying or selling? Interview teams and single agents to see which best fits your particular needs.
We have full-time staff to help as well.  Dale Peck is our marketing manager and he corrects all our photos digitally and makes our homes look good.  We produce videos in-house, as well as our newspaper ads, yellow page ads, and more.  If we want something change, we collaborate in-house and make it happen.
Ashley Johnson is our closing coordinator.  She stays on top of our closings and coordinates with other agents, the banks, title companies, lawyers, appraisers, home inspectors, etc.  We keep our closings on track.  It’s hard enough to sell a home the first time, so we’d just as soon close it the first time too.  We don’t want details slipping through the cracks.  This can easily happen if you’re a single agent doing everything.
Vickie Frierson is our Listings Manager.  She stays on top of your listing and keeps everyone informed.  Communication is Big on the Ellis Team.  Vicki obtains feedback on showings, notifies our sellers when and where they property is advertised, and checks on the properties.  We want to make our homes show well online and in person, and Vicki keeps the process moving right along.
Hopefully after dealing with the Ellis Team you too will realize there are benefits of working with a team in real estate.

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 .

By Brett Ellis

RE/MAX Realty Group – Ellis Team

Fort Myers Real Estate Agent

7910 Summerlin Lakes Dr

Fort Myers, FL 33907

Fear of Obtaining Mortgage Holding Back Some SW Florida Buyers

Headlines the past few years have painted a bleak picture for those attempting to get a mortgage, and for good reason.  After the downturn banks over-reacted and added several layers of verifications and procedures in hopes of insuring they wouldn’t face losses in the future or be forced to buy back loans from regulators.  Mistakes were made by the government and banks.  This held the recovery back, but real estate still found a way to recover.

Fear of Obtaining Mortgage Holding Back Some SW Florida Buyers

Many do not know there are new programs out there and buyers can get financing today.  For instance, persons who lost their home to foreclosure or experienced a short sale 3 or more years ago may qualify now.

There is a program for 1st time home buyers (anyone who has not owned a primary residence in last 3 years) that allows them to purchase a home for essentially $1,000 of their own money.  They need a minimum FICO score of 640 and must not make more than $66,025 for a family of two and $69,600 for a family of three.  A $10,000 2nd mortgage can be used at 0% interest for the down payment and closing costs.  The property must be located in a federally designated target area.

Jumbo Loans  Traditionally Jumbo loans in lee County were anything over about $417,000  We have a lender that now has the option of treating your loan as a jumbo loan at $250,000.  They portfolio the loan, so they can use business funds as an eligible asset for reserves and as a down payment source, which is huge.  The lender is able to take a common sense approach to the loan versus a hard and fast rules and regulations placed by the government.

While $250,000 doesn’t sound like a jumbo loan, it’s nice that a lender now has the option to lend their own money with different guidelines.  They can do so with as little as 10% down.

We also know of a program whereby the buyer can pay cash for the home and then refinance and take cash out within 6 months.  This is helpful when the buyer has cash but doesn’t really want to tie it up and is looking at a hot property.  Many homes are selling with multiple offers and the cash offer often times wins because financing and appraisal isn’t an issue.  Many homes are selling above appraised value because appraisers are looking at past sales and the market has been rising.

Credit scores are set to rise and credit agencies are treating medical debt differently than in the past.  Some people will see their scores go up.

The reason many buyers have remained on the sidelines is because of fear.  Fear of the process and fear they won’t qualify for a mortgage.  We will be setting home buyer seminars to explain the process to buyers and have lenders look at your credit and tell you if it’s possible.  Buying a home doesn’t have to be scary when you have someone holding your hand and walking you through the process.

Lastly, we have a way to lease-option a home so you can lock-in your home and move in before you own it.  We have an investor that purchases the home on your behalf and leases it to you and there is an agreement that you can buy it anytime in the next 5 years for set prices.  This is a good program for those with credit issues but know they can purchase in a year or two when their credit is better.  It creates stability for the family, especially those with children looking to get into a school zone.

The bottom line is there are more choices now.  Call us today at 239-489-4042 and see if buying a home is in your future.

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 .

By Brett Ellis

RE/MAX Realty Group – Ellis Team

Fort Myers Real Estate Agent

7910 Summerlin Lakes Dr

Fort Myers, FL 33907

Brett Ellis attended the CyberStars 2014 Meeting in Las Vegas.

CyberStars 2014 Meeting in Las Vegas

Top Real Estate Agents Meet in Las Vegas

The CyberStars met and discussed topics affecting the future of real estate and how agents can effectively market properties for their sellers and better communicate with buyers and sellers.  The real estate industry is changing.  A big topic of discussion has been whether agents should syndicate listing data to websites like Zillow, Trulia, and realtor.com

Syndication large Issue

Agents were split on the topic.  Some agents felt agents shouldn’t be gathering the data and providing it for free to these aggregators only to have the aggregators sell leads back to agents.  Other agents felt like the ship has sailed and the aggregatros are providing value because they have consumer eyeballs and provide valuable interest for our clients listings.

Most agents agreed NAR (National Association of Realtors) has dropped the ball and hasn’t properly dealt with the issue.  Brad Korn, CEO of the CyberStars presented the latest Stephan Swanepoel Report which studies latest trends in real estate and consumer behaviors.  Interesting insights were learned.  We learned the the About page for Realtors is usually the most visited page on an agent’s website.

Bob Sokoler will be sharing later today his video strategies.  Bob dominates the Louisville Kentucky market by using videos for virtually everything.  Bob is a former news anchor for a local television station and uses those video skills in his real estate practice.

Rob Levy shared how to properly promote Facebook ads.  He blew through a lot of money and learned quickly what works and what doesn’t. Rob targets his Facebook advertising to key demographics.  For instance, he has targeted ads for sellers, so he selects only people who actually use homes, over the age of 24, and so on.

CyberStars 2014 Meeting in Las Vegas

Feel free to call our team at 239-489-4042 and let us help make your move a reality.  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 .

By Brett Ellis

RE/MAX Realty Group – Ellis Team

Fort Myers Real Estate Agent

7910 Summerlin Lakes Dr

Fort Myers, FL 33907

New Pending Sales Jump in Southwest Florida

As I look back at our business over the last few months it seems we can’t list property fast enough because we’re selling our inventory quickly.  When you’re busy and having a good month it’s sometimes easy to lose track of the overall market.  This is one of the reasons we’ve always studied the market to spot trends. I’ve spoken with agents over the years and asked them how they thought the market was doing.  One agent would say it’s on fire when another agent would say it seemed down.  I’d then follow-up and ask how their month was going and invariably the agent who said the market was on fire was having a good month and the agent who said it seemed down was having an off month.  This tells me they weren’t studying the market but rather going by how their business was doing. It is human nature I suppose.  People tend to justify the market by how they’re doing.  If they’re having a bad month it must be the market.  It’s easier to blame the market than evaluate everything you do, where you’re spending money, etc. We’ve been really busy the last few months and we wondered if it’s due to us working extra hard or if the market is doing well.

New Pending Sales Jump in Southwest Florida

New Pending Sales

It turns out both are true.  We have been working really hard and the market is doing well.  Pending sales are up 8.4% in July over last year and they were up 8.2% in June.  Pending sales are a direct result of what inventory is available.  We’ve been saying for awhile there is limited inventory that is priced correctly.  If it is priced correctly and marketed properly, it will sell.

Inventory grows in Southwest Florida

Inventory Grew Since March

If you look at the inventory graph you’ll see that inventory rose in May 6.3% and 5.5% June.  If what we’ve been saying is true, you would expect to see rising sales following the increases in May and June.  Sure enough, June and July pending sales rose 8.4% and 8.2%.  Actually inventory levels rose just a bit in March 1.7% and April 2.2% so that helped with the increase in pending sales too. The bottom line is if you’re a seller, now really is a good time to talk to us.  The sales process has become more complex with more regulations and paperwork.  The good news is if you have an agent who can properly market your home, correctly price your home, and is astute to all the government regulations and changes in financing, you have an excellent chance at selling your home. In fact, the median days on market are down to 48 days.  Depending on your price range, your home could sell sooner than that. Last week many went to our website www.Topagent.com  to get an idea of what their home is worth online.  Sellers just love this tool.  Many times this year we’ve actually sold homes for more than what the computer said the home was worth.  The computer is an excellent way to get a ballpark idea of what your home is worth based on statistics and nearby home sales, but the computer hasn’t been inside your home so you can’t trust it completely.  That’s where we come in.  We study your home versus recent comparable sales and educate you on where your homes should sell. We then show you our marketing plan and how we’ll expose your home to the market.  This is where sellers are really impressed.  If you’re considering selling, you should talk to us.  We can sit down with you and guide you through the maze.  It really isn’t hard when you’ve got a pro guiding you.  Call us at 239-489-4042 or email me at Brett@topagent.com and we’ll be glad to meet with you. Good luck and Happy Selling! Visit our Google+ Business Page Feel free to view our Virtual Tours . By Brett Ellis RE/MAX Realty Group – Ellis Team Fort Myers Real Estate Agent 7910 Summerlin Lakes Dr Fort Myers, FL 33907

SW Florida real estate market sales numbers for July 2014 were just released and as expected median and average home prices dropped from the previous month.  They always do this time of year as the higher seasonal sales occur in the first half of the year.  This does not mean prices are falling, rather it means the types of properties that sell changes in the 2nd half of the year which affects the numbers.

SW Florida Real Estate Market Sales Numbers

In fact, median sale price numbers are up 10.4% over last year. 2014 numbers came in at $179,900, up from $163,000 last year.  Average sales price numbers rose 3.7% from last year.  July 2014 numbers came in at $254,012 versus $244,852 July 2013.

2 Price Ranges Stand Out

We noticed two price ranges that really stood out for sales gains.  The $300,000-$399,999 price range saw a 23.5% gain in sales in July over last year.  This wasn’t the largest range to gain though.  The $600,000-$999,999 price range saw a 48.5% rise in home sales in July, so there is strength in that price range right now.  The $250,000-$299,000 was flat, but that is more attributable to the fact there isn’t much inventory in that range.  If there was more inventory it would sell.  Homes in that price range have graduated up to the $300k+ range and thus we’re seeing more sales.

Homes tend to graduate in a rising market.  Remember back in 2008 and 2009 when we had lots of sales below $100,000.  You won’t see that today as very little is available in that range due to rising prices.

SW Florida Real Estate Market Sales Numbers Homes Sold

SW Florida Real Estate Market Sales Numbers Rise

The number of homes closed also fell in July as it usually does.  In June single family home sales were 1,213 and in July they fell to 1,042.  This was however a 3.7% increase from sales levels last year.  Again, as we reported several months back, we were seeing slightly elevated inventory levels and now we’re seeing slightly elevated sales numbers.

If we had more inventory we’d be selling more homes.  More inventory is on its way if you know where to find it.  Builders are pumping homes out of the ground at an increasing pace because prices have risen which has allowed them to do so.  This wasn’t the case a few years ago.

The top builders have been making presentations to Realtor offices so the top agents should have a pretty good grasp of where the inventory is.  Builders have been saving the day in some cases as buyers just can’t always find what they’re looking for with existing inventory.

There is some inventory that is available but if the seller prices it too high buyers sit on the sidelines or move over to new construction.  Just because it’s a seller’s market shouldn’t be an excuse to overprice your home.  No matter the market, the buyer has choices, and if you overprice your home you either help sell your neighbors home or a new construction home.

You can get an idea of what your home might be worth on our website at www.TopAgent.com  Just click on the Find Out What Your Home is Worth tab.  You can also search the MLS to look for a home, or see what your competition is.  Either way it pays to be educated on the market if you’re looking to buy or sell.

There’s no substitute for talking with an expert though if you’re seriously considering making a move.  Computers are useful tools, but a knowledgeable expert can guide you on things like financing, occupancy, zoning, insurance, inspections, and many other issues.

Feel free to call our team at 239-489-4042 and let us help make your move a reality.  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 .

By Brett Ellis

RE/MAX Realty Group – Ellis Team

Fort Myers Real Estate Agent

7910 Summerlin Lakes Dr

Fort Myers, FL 33907

Real estate has always been an industry that has adopted change.  Real estate agents by their very nature are some of the early pioneers to adopt technology.  Agents typically have an entrepreneurial spirit and are always looking for ways to make their marketing stand out. Agents are risk takers, because you have to invest so much of your time, energy, and money trying new things to make it in this business.  Owners really have little idea how much Realtors spend on various advertising or technology platforms in hopes of finding better ways to sell homes.

SW Florida CyberStar Attending Conference on Real Estate Change

SW Florida CyberStar Attending Conference on Real Estate Change

This is why we are traveling to Las Vegas in September.  I will be attending and speaking at the CyberStars annual convention.  The CyberStars are a network of 225+ top technology-oriented real estate professionals from the U.S., Canada and Australia. Their purpose is to share ideas, tips and techniques with each other, to conduct information-sharing sessions at various state, national and franchise conventions and to benefit from numerous referrals sent within the CyberStars® network.

The Ellis Team has attended CyberStars conventions for years and brought back some of the most exciting marketing ideas the SW Florida real estate market has ever seen.  While the Cyberstars are one of the best groups, there are others, and we highly encourage agents to attend events and bring back ideas.  It makes us all better.

Years ago we had a slogan that said we were the most copied team in real estate.  That’s probably true as we introduce ideas to the market and other agents copy them.  We always felt we could innovate faster than others could copy, and most agents won’t or can’t copy everything you do anyway.

The truth is, some of these ideas we’ve copied from other agents nationwide.  If an idea is successful and helps sell homes, chances are others are going to try it too.  If it works in one market, it’ll probably work in another.

It’s also important to stay on top of emerging trends and discuss their implications with other top producing agents who are dealing with the same thing.  There are some looming changes on the horizon and we look forward to exchanging thoughts on how we’re going to deal with them.

Among the changes we see coming are further Dodd-Frank rules and regulations affecting lending.  Companies are also deliberating on the value of sending listing data to portals that assemble that data and sell back to agents and companies.  If that data isn’t accurate and up to date, why are agents buying back data that is created at the MLS level anyway?

The closing process is changing.  Recently RE/MAX Realty Group switched to a system called Dot Loop whereby everything is paperless.  We really love it.  Contracts can be created and digitally signed online now, and the entire sales and closing process has sped up and been more efficient.

We’ve also joined a new referral system for top agents around the world called Agent Bridge. This system was developed by a top producing agent we know in CA and does some things other referral systems cannot.  We’ve already placed some referrals with this system so it’s benefiting our clients from day 1.

In a month or so we’ll report back on what we learn at the convention.  Rest assured, if there’s a new and exciting technology or idea, we’re going to look into it.  Not every new idea works.  We’ve tried several over the years, so we’re selective.  We’re also excited about some of the new changes coming to the industry, and we think you will be too when you see them.

Good luck and happy buying/selling!

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