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