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

So your home hasn’t sold yet this season?  Don’t fret; you’re in the same boat as a lot of Lee County home sellers.  January and February started off a little slower but we have seen an increase in buyer activity the last few weeks.  Will it translate into stellar numbers?  We’ll have to wait and see.

So Your Home Hasn’t Sold Yet This Season-Market Watch

January closings were off but we’re predicting February number of closings to come in higher than last year.  So far sales prices are up versus last year but not so much over previous months.  We have noticed some multi-million dollar closings in February which will help the averages but not necessarily the median prices.

So Your Home Hasn’t Sold Yet This Season-Homes Closed Graph

So your home is on the market and you’re wondering if it’s time to worry.  Worrying won’t do you much good.  It’s important to study the numbers and if there has been a shift in the market the sellers most informed will get out first.  Our market is constantly moving and being influenced by external forces.  It pays to keep abreast, especially when you’re ready to buy or sell.

If your home has been on the market awhile it’s either not being marketed correctly or it’s overpriced.  It could be both.  We have a graph we send our sellers that shows typical showing activity.  If your home isn’t receiving any activity chances are you’re overpriced.  If it is receiving activity, a small adjustment may be in order.

Look over your marketing.  Do the photos put your home in a good light?  Does the listing description paint a true and enticing picture of your home?

Is your home being marketed locally in print as well as globally online?  Does it go out to sites like HGTV, Realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia, propsmart, Homes.com, Livedeal, Dupont Registry, etc?  We submit your home to over 100 websites as well as advertise in the News Press and other local outlets.

If your home is For Sale By Owner you’re at a disadvantage as we haven’t found a seller yet that can expose their home properly to the market.  Now you might say it only takes 1 buyer, and this is true.  It only takes 1 qualified buyer who likes your home above all others and sees the value above All others.  If you’re not exposing to the full market, chances are you’re going to have limited success, if any.

If your marketing is good, how is your price?  One way to research is to look at Market Reports for your neighborhood.  Go to www.LeeCountyOnline.com and click on Market Reports.  If you don’t see yours listed yet, you can create your own.  Sellers love this feature.

Of course, you can always call us out and we can sit down with you and answer your questions.  A real estate expert can guide you through the process from correctly pricing to offer simple repair and maintenance tips to get you Top Dollar.

When interviewing agents be sure to look at their marketing plan.  You’ll be surprised to note that not all Realtors market the same and there can be vast differences.  Make sure you know what you’re getting.

Lastly, no matter which agent you select, keep in mind that the seller sets the price, but the market determines the value.  It pays to price your home at or close to market.  If you have questions, give the Ellis Team a call. 239-489-4042  We’re never pushy and we present you with your options so you can make the best decision for your family.

Good luck and Happy Selling!

Official January 2016 real estate sales numbers are in for SW Florida and as expected single family home sales fell 5.5% Condo sales were down 7% from last year.

January 2016 Real Estate Sales Numbers Are In Home Prices SW Florida

Median sales prices were up 22.6% over last year; however they were only up .87% over last month.  We did see a big jump in mean average sale prices in January, going from $280,186 in 2015 to $427,536 in January 2016.  That’s a 52.6% jump.  One reason we don’t use the mean average is because one large sale can skew the numbers.

Pending inventory fell 13.6%.  Some say it is because we have fewer inventories to sell while others suggest the market may be taking a breather and leveling off.  Now that the stock market has recovered some and oil has rebounded off its lows, maybe we’ll have a sense of stability going forward.

January 2016 Real Estate Sales Numbers Are In Singe Family Homes Sold

Of course we have that election thing hanging out there and I think everyone can agree this election cycle is like nothing we’ve ever seen before.  If uncertainty creates confusion, we’ve got it in this election process.

Within the next few months perhaps the economy’s future will come into focus and people can start planning where they want to go with their real estate desires.  So many in SW Florida have options now that their mortgage has paid down and prices have risen.  Many feel like they’re no longer in jail and are free to explore their options.

We’ve seen an increase in local homeowners considering a move.  They need to properly value the current home they have and see what improvements or repairs are needed to make it most sellable.  They also want to know what they can buy if they do sell.

Our website www.LeeCountyOnline.com is great for both because you can search all the listings available for sell, as well as see sold and pending data in your neighborhood via the Market Reports section on our site.  There is even a button to receive an online computerized valuation of your home.

Deciding whether to sell a home and buy another home is like putting together a puzzle.  All the pieces have to fit, and when they do you have to decide if you like the finished puzzle.  There is no substitute for meeting with a professional Realtor who understands this process.  However, if you just want to turn all the pieces over and begin putting the corners and edges together first, our website is an excellent place to start.

If you’d like advice from a professional, give us a call.  239-489-4042 We’re friendly and never pushy.  We simply present you with your options and let you decide what’s best for you.  If you do decide to make a move, you’re not going it alone as you have someone by your side advising you and helping you with the process.  We turn a complicated process into a smooth transition for you and your family.

And we help you avoid some costly mistakes.  Please call, we’d love to help you.  We’re the name you know and the people you trust.  Always call the Ellis Team at RE/MAX Realty Group. 239-489-4042

Open House This Weekend Sat 1-4 PM

Ellis Team Open House
Large pool home in Cape Coral-Open House Sat 1-4 PM

2110 SW 13th St Cape Coral

The past few weeks we’ve released data on the SW Florida real estate market showing a pretty healthy market. We have noticed a shift in buyer attitudes the past several weeks and those can be a blip on the map or the start of a trend. Late Season always provides the answers to that, so we won’t be able to track for several more weeks.

Real Estate Inventory Levels Stable in SW Florida

What we can track among other things is the Months Supply of Inventory. We’ve provided the graph from last year showing the overall single family market at a supply of 5.5 months. Anything less than 6 months is considered a seller’s market. A balanced market is generally a 6-9 months supply of homes on the market.

In 2016 we’re looking at a 5.03 months supply of homes on the market, so it’s more of a seller’s market today than it was last year. Almost all categories improved except for a few. The $400,000-$700,000 market went from 10.89 months last year to 13.95 months this year. The $600k-$1 Million market went up as well, but ever so slightly from 14.12 months to 14.30 months.

Real Estate Inventory Levels Stable in SW Florida January 2015

Real Estate Inventory Levels Stable in SW Florida

Overall we’d say these are pretty stable numbers. Most other price ranges decreased which puts more pressure on buyers. So here’s the takeaway if you’re considering selling in this market.

You should always price your home correctly. That’s a given. And if you’re selling a home in the $300k+ range, you’re looking at supply of inventory over 6 months. If you’re over $400k you’re facing significantly more competition for the same buyers, so it will take longer to sell your home. There are fewer buyers the higher in price you go, and I’m sure this is true in most markets across the US. That’s not rocket science.

What’s amazing this year is how dramatically the chart starts moving right at $400,000. And this year we’re seeing resistance over $300k which may influence the numbers later on in the year.

Keep in mind these data points are good for a specific point in time. It’s like a photo. It shows you what’s happening at a specific moment. A movie however is a series of snapshots over time, or even perhaps real-time if it’s live video. In the trenches we’re seeing buyer reluctance.

It’s kind of like a fishing hole. You go there every day for a few years and it produces results. And the next day seems better than the last, until one day something changes. You get nibbles and bites, but you can’t hook-em like you did the day before. It takes more work, and even then you don’t always get them in the boat. Sometimes they find a way to sneak off your line by the time you reel them in.

Agents today feel like that fisherman where something is up. You’re not sure if it’s the weather or what’s affecting the fish. All you know is the fish are running scared and they’re hard to land.

If you’re a buyer, homes in many price ranges are flying off the shelf. And rates are low, so now is the time to lock down that purchase. As you move higher in price there is more selection.

If you’re a seller, you need the advice of a seasoned expert to guide you through the market. When there is a shift in the market, an expert can be the difference between getting bites and getting the fish in the boat. The Ellis Team can help if you need us. 239-489-4042

You can search the MLS at www.LeeCountyOnline.com if you prefer to start online. We have Free market reports too on our site so you can see what’s going on in your neighborhood. When you’re ready to make a move, give us a call. We can go over your options.

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

Watch the Future of Real Estate on a Shifting SW Florida Real Estate Market

This past week official SW Florida 2015 year end sales prices released and as expected single family home prices showed a price gain of 12.96%  Closed home sales were up 9.7% over 2014 numbers as well, so all in all we’d call 2015 a very successful year.

SW Florida 2015 Year End Sales Prices Released
Year End Sales Prices

As you can tell by the Year End Prices Graph our market has risen every year since the bottom in 2009.  We’re still not back at peak 2005 prices.  We have risen to mid 2007 levels when the market was in free-fall.

When prices rise it doesn’t mean they are guaranteed to rise at the same rate.  In fact, they’re not guaranteed to rise at all.  One of the steepest rises was in 2004 but once 2005 hit the party was over.  We started warning in Fall of 2005 the party was over but few would listen.

Today we aren’t warning anything like that, but we are seeing a shift in the market towards a more balanced market.  If you asked Realtors who have been in the business for any length of time most would probably say a healthy balanced market is the most fun to work because neither buyer nor seller have a leg up on the other and both must act rationally to accomplish their goals.  Of course, not every buyer or seller knows where we really are at any given time and are stuck on yesterday’s headlines sometimes.

One little report I like to look at from time to time is the Market Watch Report published when we log into MLS.  This can be customized.  I have mine set today to look at all activity in Lee County Florida within the past 24 hours.  This can be changed to homes only, condos only, etc and the time period can be adjusted as well.  I look at various time periods.

SW Florida 2015 Year End Sales Prices Released Market Watch
Market Watch

The graph I’m sharing with you today shows 24 hours.  One thing we notice is new listings are outpacing pending sales 84-66.  You’ll also notice sellers that have failed to sell are reducing prices.  There were 101 price reductions in the last 24 hours.  Now this could have been in response to last week’s article about a shifting market, but Realtors in general know when a listing is not receiving showings or losing out to other homes because of price.

Most Realtors will consult with their sellers if they believe the market isn’t responding to their asking price much the same buyer agents must consult with an unreasonable and unrealistic buyer.

Greed works in both directions.  Sellers want the absolute most for their home and buyers are afraid to make a mistake and want to pay the absolute least they can for a home.  It’s the Realtor’s job to educate their customer on the reality of the market.  A balanced market is always the most fun because you’re educating both sides versus scolding one side that refuses to acknowledge the major up or down trend.

A good way to research the market is to search active, pendings, and solds in a given area.  Our Blog blog.topagent.com gives weekly SW Florida market reports, and our MLS search site www.LeeCountyOnline.com lets you search all the listings and view Market Reports.  The market reports tell you what homes are selling for per sq ft in a neighborhood and the average days on market.  You can customize this search for any area.

If you’re thinking about buying or selling, there is no substitute for talking with a professional.  We hope the online tools give you some great information, but please call us and we’ll be glad to sit down with you and go over your options.

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

This Weekend’s Open Houses

Saturday 1-4 PM

6087 Waterway Bay Dr

Open Saturday 1-4 PM

12510 Kentwood Ave