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!

Be sure to check out our Hurricane Tips

 Learn more about selling your home in Hi Defintion

Search the MLS for Your Dream Home

SW Florida Hurricane Tips From a Top Agent

It’s getting that time of year again when the tropics begin to heat up.  The newspapers and TV stations do a good job of educating people how to survive a storm.  We thought we’d give you our insights and tips from an agent perspective.

SW Florida Hurricane Tips From a Top Agent

 

  1.  Remove for sale signs from yard.  You don’t want that becoming a projectile in a storm
  2. Purchase a Hi Definition antenna for your TV. TV stations broadcast over the air in digital format and Hi Definition.  If you have a Hi Def TV you can receive these broadcasts over the air for free with $10 antennae. Mine has a 35 mile range and picks up stations from all over, including Sarasota and Tampa.  Those old portable hurricane TV’s probably won’t work anymore as the standards have changed
  3. If you have hurricane shutters, roll them down or slide them and lock into place and test them out.  Over the years dirt, frogs, and other creatures can jam up the tracks.  The time to work on these is before the storm
  4. Be sure to go around your yard and look for loose items.  Pay particular attention to your lanai and bring items inside that could blow around
  5. Do not cut pool screens.  It is true pool screens add resistance and could help bring down your cage in heavy hurricane force winds, but why cut them?  You’d be better off removing spline and the screen and installing the screen after the storm.  When you cut the screen you remove any chance of using it again
  6. Park your cars against your garage door inside your garage.  Experts will tell you this doesn’t work.  Since your garage door may be the least protected exterior item on your home, I just don’t see how reinforcement behind the garage door could hurt.  It’s no guarantee, but sometimes little things can help
  7. Purchase a Sawzall, also know as a reciprocating saw.  These are very useful in cutting down debris after a storm. We had one client take down his entire pool cage that had collapsed in Charley after the storm.  Sometimes debris can block your exit to your home, so it’s nice to cut your way out if need be
  8. Keep an axe in your home.  Rising waters are usually more dangerous than high winds.  If the waters were to rise, you might want a ladder and an axe. In Katrina people in New Orleans used axes to cut wholes in their roof from their attic.  They were forced up in their homes due to rising waters.  You’d hate to survive high winds only to drown in your own home
  9. Buy lots of water-If the electricity goes out, you may not be able to count on having good drinking water
  10. Fill up your car with gas ahead of the storm.  Buying gas after a storm is never fun, and nearby stations could be out

We’ve created a Hurricane Tips Page on our website at Topagent.com with more tips.  We’ll have an updated video you can watch on our YouTube Channel www.YouTube.com/brettellisfl with many more tips you might not think about.  We’ve lived through and flourished through several storms, and we want you to as well.  A storm doesn’t have to be as scary as it sounds if you prepare ahead of time.

If you stay, be prepared.  The decision to stay or evacuate is yours.  Listen to the experts, and know what you’re going to do before so you’re not caught off-guard.  Be sure to visit our complete checklist with more tips online.

Good luck and have a safe hurricane season!

 
View our July 2014  SW Florida Real Estate Market Update

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

Changes are coming to the way property is shown in SW Florida.  Gone are the days where agents call the listing office to setup showing appointments.  This was an inefficient system as agents had to make phone calls to listing office, who had to in turn call seller, then call showing agent back to confirm.  If one seller wasn’t available it could throw the whole showing schedule into chaos and start the process all over.

Centralized Showing Service Changes Way Property is Shown in SW Florida

The way properties will be shown is changing for the better as the MLS has now gone to a Centralized Showing Service.  Technically offices can still setup showings the old fashioned way, but once they see how the new system works they’ll quickly learn their sellers will be at a big disadvantage so they’ll want to join in the new system.

When agents view properties online in the MLS there is a button they can click on that will automatically setup the showing for them.  If the agent sees 7 homes that meet their buyer’s needs, they simply select those 7 homes and request showings at a set time interval, i.e., tomorrow from 2-4 pm.  They system will contact each owner and notify the showing agents which appointments are set along with a showing map for the route.

Since this will be automated sellers need to understand the new rules of showing real estate.  Actually they’re old rules but with the new system it’s even more important.  The more accessible a property is, the more it will get shown if it’s priced correctly.  If the sellers reject showings as inconvenient, the showing agent will simply just show the homes they have approvals on.  The rejected showings will miss out unless the buyer doesn’t like one of the other 6 homes.

With limited inventory, buyers are hesitant to wait, so they offer on one they’ve seen that meets their needs and is priced correctly.

The new system will handle alarm codes, gates codes, special instructions like handling of pets, etc.  There’s even an app for the agent’s phone that will remind them not to let cat out or why a bedroom door is closed.

Sellers will have the option of receiving a tele-call where they can hit 1 for accept the showing or 2 for reject.  Or, they can receive texts where they can accept or reject, or an email, or all 3.  Once the seller accepts the showing agent is instantly notified, so setting up showings can take just a few minutes versus chasing listing brokers and sellers down for hours.  Weekends were especially hairy if the listing office didn’t have personnel to handle showings.

Hot Price Ranges Way Property is Shown in SW Florida

The system has some interesting features.  It can tell an agent which price range is receiving the most showings.  This can be helpful in setting the correct price for a home if the home is on the edge of a price bracket.

The system also contacts showing agents for feedback and generates a nice report for our sellers.  Tracking agents down for feedback used to be difficult but now the system will do it automatically and makes it easy on the showing agent to respond.

We look forward to sharing with our sellers the new seller reports, showing reports, and market statistics we’ll generate on showings.  We can compare this to sold and pending data and spot trends as they develop.  If the market takes a turn, we’ll be able to see if other similarly priced homes are getting showings.

This new service is a win/win for sellers and agents.  Knowing the new rules and how to work the system can mean the difference between selling or watching all the homes around you sell while your home sits.  Take the time to learn the system and make your home accessible.

Good Luck and Happy Showing!

View our July 2014  SW Florida Real Estate Market Update

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

Fort Myers Open House

Fort Myers open house in Reflection Lakes gated community

When: Sunday, August 3, 2014 from 1pm – 4pm.
Where: 13745 Bald Cypress Circle. Map here.
Special Instructions: Reflection Lakes Pkwy to Gate 2 Code is: Press Phone button then 0293

 

Fort Myers Open House Reflection Lakes
13745 Bald Cypress Cir

Reflection Lakes Finest!

This beautiful 4 bedroom, 3 bath, pool home located on one of the most desirable lakefront lots in all of Reflection Lakes. You will be captivated by the gorgeous view as you relax poolside and thoroughly enjoy the ideal Florida lifestyle. From the moment you enter, you’ll find a spacious open floor plan, high ceilings, and upgrades abound. The kitchen is equipped with stainless steel appliances, solid surface counter tops, and plenty of space to satisfy any home chef! Reflection Lakes is regarded as one of Ft. Myers best communities featuring its ideal location close to everything! With a large community clubhouse, resort style pool, tennis courts, children’s play area, fitness center, and low HOA fees, Reflection Lakes has it all. Be sure to put this at the top of your list and see it today.

More Information on This Home

 

For more information on Open House
View our July 2014  SW Florida Real Estate Market Update

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

Fort Myers Real Estate Agent

7910 Summerlin Lakes Dr

Fort Myers, FL 33907