Buyers and sellers may want to tune in because changes are coming to the lending process in September and it will affect home buyers. Sellers tend to say that’s not my problem, but it will be if your buyer no longer qualifies for the loan.

Credit Report Changes Coming

Credit Report Changes Coming

Certain loan programs are going to what they call Trended Credit Reports. Trended credit data is different than a FICO score which captures a particular point in time. Trended data looks at the trend and whether a borrower’s creditworthiness is improving or declining over time.

A buyer may have an excellent FICO score but if their trend is negative it could affect their ability to finance that much or the pricing on the loan, which also can affect the total amount financed. Many lenders are up in arms over this change, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing.

For instance, let’s say you charge $1,500/mo on your credit card for everything from groceries, repairs, phone bill, etc. You pay off that $1,500/mo so you have a zero balance each month. Under the current system they see an average balance of $1,500 mo on your credit report. You choose to collect the points on your credit card instead of writing checks but the money remains the same. Under trended credit reporting it just might be that you’re not penalized for charging to your credit card instead of a bunch of online banking payments.

We believe the new reporting will focus on credit utilization scores among other things and what that overall trend looks like, although we don’t know for sure. It’s important to note that this is a FNMA decision. This shouldn’t affect FHA loans.

We often tell buyers, don’t go out and buy a new car just before you close on your home. Buyers get the loan approval to buy their home and think everything is a done deal. What they don’t realize is lenders go back and pull credit again just before the closing and if there is a change they can deny the loan. I’ve seen it happen more times that I care to count. I know agents out there counsel their buyers but for some reason they forget that point.

If you’re considering buying it really helps to talk to a lender first. Sellers won’t entertain your offer unless a pre-approval letter accompanies your offer anyway. You can save a lot of time by knowing what the lender requires. Quite often a buyer needs to just have one thing changed in their financial situation and they’re good to go. Doing it upfront can save your deal and help you to shop in the correct price range.

If you’d like to speak to a lender, give us a call. 239-489-4042 We can recommend some good ones for you and really speed up the process. It doesn’t cost any money to talk to a lender upfront, and it can save you money on inspections and appraisals by knowing the facts upfront. You’ll save time and money.

Buyers are happy to find out they qualify for more now because rates have dropped. You might be surprised at what you can afford, but don’t go buy that new car until after you get the home.

If you’d like to search for your perfect home, go to www.LeeCountyOnline.com It has all the homes and the database is updated every 5 minutes, so you’ll beat out other buyers to hot new listings.

If you have a property to sell, you can call us too. 239-489-4042 Find out why our listings sell fast and for top dollar.

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

Open House Extravaganza This Weekend

Open Sat 1-4 PM

Bell Tower Park Courtyard Home
Open Saturday 1-4 PM

5693 Kensington Loop

$260,000

 

 

 

 

Open Sunday 1-4 PM

Viridian Pool Home on Lake
Open Sunday 1-4 PM

12407 Arbor View Dr

$485,000

 

This past week we’ve been speaking with agents who have noticed lower sales counts across the county, which begs the question “Is something happening to the local real estate market?”

June’s official numbers won’t be released until a few days after this article is written, so we decided to look at May’s numbers and combine some current data from MLS and a few large real estate companies in SW Florida.

Agents Reporting Lower Sales Counts Across Lee County
May 2016 SW Florida Housing Numbers

Agents Reporting Lower Sales Counts Across Lee County

If you look at May’s data you’ll notice pending inventory is down 12% from last year. New pending sales are down 6.4% while inventory is up 14.1% This chart lends credence to the fact that the number of sales counts are softening.

At Keller Williams our office tracks Listings Sold Volume. The board was down 13.21% in June while our office was up 25.33% That’s a differential of 38.54% I spoke with 2 large RE/MAX offices and they both said they were up about 38% and 50% respectively. I’m not sure if that was sold volume or units, but either way they’re up.

So why are some offices increasing sales while others are obviously losing sales? The answer can be complicated. Perhaps the office had 1 or 2 large sales skewing the volume numbers. Perhaps they sold a chunk of homes to an investor. Or, perhaps their agents are just more tuned in to what’s going on in the market and making adjustments.

Agents Reporting Lower Sales Counts Across Lee County Market Watch
7 Day Market Watch

I pulled a 7 day Market Watch available through our MLS. Price decreases are outpacing new listings. I was excited to see pending sales outpacing new listings as well, although we know not all pending sales will close. You’ll see some sellers giving up by looking at the terminated, expired, and withdrawn counts.

It can be frustrating to bring a property to market and have little to no showing activity. When this happens it tells you that you’ve overshot the market. If your home is priced at market it should receive showings. If your home is way above the market, it’s not really on the market and is shunned by potential home buyers.

Sometimes the sellers believe the market is at one point and the buyers believe it to be at a lower point. When this stand-off occurs, activity lessens. The sellers that want or need to sell react and make a move to find the buyers. When this occurs, a property will sell.

We recently had a property go under contract. We picked a price and had lots of showings. It was priced close enough to where buyers would look at it, but not make an offer. We reduced it once and got even more showings and one low-ball offer. We reduced it a second time and it sold, for much higher than the low-ball offer.

The home initially was priced right where it should be based upon past sales. However, the market rarely stands still. In that price range we noticed a shift in the market. If this seller would have stayed at yesterday’s prices, the home could still be on the market.

You never want to get caught chasing the market down. You want to get ahead of it. People read that prices are up, and they are up 4.7% in May versus last year. That doesn’t tell the whole story. That is median price, and some price ranges are increasing while some are decreasing.

Knowing where your home fits is crucial. Sure, you can interview 5 agents and pick the one who says the highest price. But have you done yourself any favors? If your home sits on the market and 6 months later you’re shaking your head because it hasn’t sold, are you going to be happy you selected the agent with the highest price?

We’d suggest interviewing agents who know the market, will be brutally honest in regards to price, and markets the home in a way to reach the entire market. If you do that, you will have success. If you don’t, you can find that agent the 2nd time around and hope that prices haven’t declined further. If it was priced right the first time, it should have sold. Keep in mind, just because you overprice it today doesn’t mean the market can’t fall further. If it does, you’ll just be chasing the market down.

See Also Business Observer Article on SW Florida Real Estate Market

Always call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams, we’ll help you get your home sold now! 239-489-4042 Find your dream home now!

 

Join us for Open House in Reflection Lakes Saturday July 23 1-4 PM

13925 Bald Cypress Cir

Reflection Lakes Gated Community South Fort Myers
Reflection Lakes 4 Bedroom Pool Home on Lake

 

 

 

 

 

 

Best real estate team SW Florida News Press Readers poll
Ellis Team Voted Best Real Estate Team in SW Florida

Thank you for voting the Ellis Team Best Real Estate Team in SW Florida News Press Readers Poll

Back in the mid 90’s we ran an ad in the News Press that said “By the Year 2010 All Real Estate Agents Will Operate the Way We Do” It was forward thinking. We were the first team in SW Florida and probably one of the first in Florida. Today we’re pleased to announce the Ellis Team shaking up real estate industry once again.

Ellis Team Shaking Up Real Estate Industry

We caught a lot of flack for that back in the 90’s from agents because they didn’t see or agree with that vision. Real estate had just never been done that way before. Sure there were some loose knit affiliations where agents teamed up and covered for each other, but not to the extent each person on the team had a specialized area and they owned that part of their job.

Fast forward to 2016. There are many teams here locally and across the country. The benefits to consumers are many. On the listing side quite often the listing agent isn’t the best photographer. They may not be the best person answering multiple phone lines, writing ad copy, and all the various other tasks. What you want is an agent that’s great with people, marketing, and negotiating. All the other stuff can be handled by people who do that best.

And yet, not all agents work as a team. That’s OK for agents doing less than 10-20 deals per year. Once you start doing some volume those tasks add up quickly. At that point if you don’t have an assistant, you are your own assistant, and you have to ask yourself if that’s the best use of your time.

You wouldn’t go to a doctor that greeted you as you came in, asked for your ID card, called your insurance company, took your blood pressure, and all the stuff the receptionist and nurse does. You want a doctor who is tops and only doing what she should be doing, which is evaluating, treating, and diagnosing patients. The same is true with a good real estate agent. You want them doing tasks that will make you, the buyer or seller, money.

Running a team requires managing people, setting up systems, and acquiring leads. It takes money. Converting leads is another thing, and without conversions, it all comes crashing down whether you’re a single agent or a team. Real estate has changed, and agents are learning to adapt.

At the Ellis Team Keller Williams Fort Myers & the Islands we’re all about efficiency. We don’t know everything, but we have learned to listen from the best. We talk to other top teams and trainers throughout the country. We’re experts at creating leads. We have thousands. Sometimes our buyer agents get so busy working with buyers, answering internet leads, newspaper calls, sign calls, referrals, etc. We’ve been looking at ways to free them up to work with more buyers and sellers all the time.

Ellis Team Shaking Up Real Estate Industry Once Again

For this reason, we’re expanding our team to include 2 inside sales agents.  Inside sales agents work with our buyer and sellers leads and nurture them until they’re ready to meet for an appointment. At that time a Realtor on our team meets with them and lists their home or finds them a home to buy.

Inside sales agents can answer questions in minutes because they don’t leave the office. This is better for the consumer because the ball doesn’t get dropped. Imagine thousands of buyers emailing in asking questions like “What are the HOA dues on this particular listing?” Or “can you send me more photos of this home?”

We love to help people and want to in the most efficient way possible. We get people the information they need when they need it.

We want everyone on our team to have a wonderful life, and our customers to be better enriched by the experience.

If you know someone who would make a good Inside Sales Agent, give us a call. We may have a position they never knew existed.

If you’re looking to buy or sell, check out www.LeeCountyOnline.com Or you can call us at 239-489-4042 Happy House Hunting, and let’s shake things up once again!

The Ellis Team Seller’s Club is a big hit, so we put our 1st episode on YouTube.  The Seller’s Club is a private video e-mail each month to our sellers, potential sellers, and For Sale By Owners.  It’s basically for anyone either selling or thinking of selling their real estate in SW Florida. We go in-depth with research and analysis and inform sellers everything they want to know to make informed decisions about their property.  If you’d like to get on this list, simply call us at 239-489-4042 or email us.

Ellis Team Shaking Up Real Estate Industry

Open House Extravaganza- We do open houses differently too. This weekend we’ll have 2 builder model homes on the golf course open in River Hall.

Open Saturday 1-4 pm

River Hall Open House Extravaganza
Builder Model on Golf Course

 3301 Chestnut Grove Dr

Open Sat 1-4 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

Builder's Model River Hall Open House Extravaganza
River Hall Home on Golf Course

16420 Windsor Way

Open Sat 1-4 PM

 

Great Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, also known as Brexit, shook financial markets to the core leaving investors scrambling.  There was a definite flight to quality into US Treasuries as the 10 Yr note yield fell instantly as the vote was announced.  We answer the question, “Could Brexit benefit Southwest Florida home buyers?”

Brexit Benefit Southwest Florida Home Buyers

Could Brexit Benefit Southwest Florida Home Buyers?

The answer is yes, it is already benefiting many borrowers.  Since Brexit rates are down about 1/4% to ½%. This works out to about 6% more purchasing power for the same payment in one week’s time.  In other words, a buyer has two choices.  They can either step up about 6% in purchase price and not have the payment cost them any more, or they can purchase the same amount and spend less per month doing it.

This helps more buyers qualify, so it can help sellers too.  We have a listing in Bella Casa that has Open House Friday 5:30-7:30 and Saturday 5:30-7:30 July 8th and 9th.  It is 3 bedrooms and 2 baths and is listed at $185,000.  Before Brexit we needed a buyer that qualified for the full $185,000.  Today we could find a buyer that qualified for a maximum $174,000 just last week and make that deal happen and it wouldn’t cost the buyer any more.

In the higher price ranges it’s even more dramatic.  Essentially borrowers just got either a financing discount or a purchasing boost for the same money.  The buyer definitely wins, and one could argue sellers do too because now there are more available buyers for their home.

When times are uncertain investors flock to tangible assets or quality.  Good examples of tangible assets are gold and real estate.  Both can fluctuate in value but real estate can be rented out.  It’s hard to do that with gold.  The EU may not be done losing participants either, and if anyone else bows out like Great Britain did it could spell more uncertainty for the markets.

Gold rose and oil fell after Brexit.  Gold was considered a flight to quality while oil fell because people feared a business slowdown.  Sometimes the markets are fueled by consumer confidence while other times they’re fueled by opportunities.

We could have fewer British and European buyers in the US market which could hurt some local markets while at the same time helping many buyers.  Many times there are competing forces at work and so it is difficult for anyone to accurately predict which force wins out and who the winners and losers will actually be.  Just keep in mind there are opportunities in situations like these and the news isn’t always grim.

If you’re thinking about buying in this very low interest rate market we’ve got the website for you.  www.LeeCountyOnline.com  We think you’ll like it because it is updated with all the listings every 5 minutes.  Most of the other sites take days and still don’t always get it right.

Sometimes days is too long.  The best properties go fast.  Timing is critical.  If you’d like to take advantage of this financial situation, give us a call at 239-489-4042 or register on our site.  We can get you in touch with a lender who has rates below 3% as of the time we’re writing this article.

If you’re a seller, we have lots of buyers and may have a buyer that’s looking for a home like yours.  You can call us too.  If we don’t currently have a buyer, we have marketing that attracts buyers.  Give us a call and let’s see if we can get you to your next goal.

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

Next weekend we’ll feature an Open House Extravaganza, so stay tuned.

 

Welcome to the Ellis Team Seller’s Club.  Each month we inform sellers in Southwest Florida trends and data to make the best decisions.  E-Mail us if you’d like to be included in our Seller’s Club.

Back in April we reported sales seemed to be picking up just a bit after a lackluster season. We’re happy to report some encouraging news with SW Florida real estate sales picking up slightly.

SW Florida Real Estate Sales Picking Up Months supply inventory
Months Supply of Inventory June 2016

The trend we saw in April bears out in the statistics. Month’s supply of inventory in all but one price range declined which means there are more sales relative to the amount of inventory on the market. We’ve supplied a chart comparing month’s supply of inventory for single family homes in Lee County Florida in June compared to April 2016. While there is still a large amount of inventory priced $400,000 and up, numbers are looking better.

SW Florida Real Estate Sales Picking Up

Closed sales May 2016 SW Florida Real Estate Sales Picking Up
Closed Sales May 2016

We reported that sales were down about 20% earlier this year; however closed sales in May were just about even with last year’s numbers. While February and March sales were down from last year, May is showing some progress this year.

Brexit is in the news and the jury is still out on its effects on our national and local markets. One boon could be lower rates as we see a global flight to quality to US treasuries. When this happens it drives down mortgage rates which are largely based off the 10 yr note. Lower rates would add buying power to local buyers and create newly qualified buyers into the market. The downside could be a lack of consumer confidence and exports which could cost jobs, so we’ll have to wait and see how this all plays out.

Every circumstance presents a new opportunity, so we’ll be looking for creative ways to market to the opportunities as they present.

New listings are up 10.6% in May, so hopefully the pending sales keep coming and keep that supply of inventory down. Pending inventory fell 12% in May over last year while inventory increased 14.1% in May over last year, so we’ll have to keep our eye on that.

There are so many statistics we research each month that give us a guide to where the market may be headed. It’s worked well in the past and sellers appreciate reviewing all the data when they’re making selling decisions on their home.

This is one of the reasons we’ve decided to start up a Seller’s Club. The Ellis Team Seller’s Club is a group of people who have their home on the market or are considering selling their property and are thirsty for market data. We produce a video going over many charts and analyzing the data. We only have so much room in each of these articles so with the videos we’re able to present much more. All of the data is geared to sellers and what they need to know. If you’re listed with another broker this is not a solicitation to obtain your listing.

If you’re considering putting your home on the market then you definitely want to tune in. Just email me at Brett@topagent.com and ask to be placed in our Seller’s Club and we’ll add you. It’s that simple, and you’ll look at the same data we look at and receive expert analysis of what it all means and how it affects you.

If you’d like to search the MLS like a pro, head on over to www.LeeCountyOnline.com Our database is updated every 5 minutes, so you’ll find hot new properties before other buyers do. If you’d like to list your home now, give us a call. 239-489-4042 We’re easy to talk to and we’re here to help.

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

July 4th Independence Day Specials

 

SW Florida Real Estate Featured Properties
Olde Hickory Golf Course Home

14381 Hickory Fairway Ct

4 Bedrooms, 3 Baths

 

 

 

 

SW Florida Real Estate Reflection Lakes
Reflection Lakes Pool Home on Lake

13925 Bald Cypress Cir

4 Bedroom, 3 Bath Pool Home on Lake

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whiskey Creek pool home SW Florida Real Estate Fort Myers
Whiskey Creek Pool Home

5668 Jerez Ct

3 Bedrooms, 3 Baths, Oversized Lot

 

 

 

SW Florida Real Estate Viridian Fort Myers
Viridian Pool Home on Lake

12407 Arbor View Dr

4 Bedrooms, 4 Baths, Pool Home Lakefront

 

 

 

SW Florida Real Estate Cape Coral Pool Home
Cape Coral Pool Home

2110 SW 13th St

3 Bedrooms, 3 Baths, 4 lot site

 

 

 

SW Florida Real Estate Bella Casa
Bella Casa Home With Garage

Bella Casa Home Fort Myers

3 Bedrooms, 3 Baths with Garage

 

 

 

SW Florida Real Estate Bella Casa Riviera
Bella Casa Riviera Floor Plan

Bella Casa Riviera Floor Plan

3 Bedrooms, 2 Baths, Community Pool

 

 

 

The Ellis Team Seller’s Club is brought to you by the Ellis Team – Keller Williams Fort Myers & The Islands