Thank goodness we’ve been busy listing and selling a lot of property lately.  The 360-degree home tours and advanced marketing we’re employing to go out and create buyers for our listings is working.  We have noticed a trend recently we thought we’d try to clear up.  SW Florida home sellers are confused when they read headlines that home prices were up 11.3% in August.  They’re interviewing agents and they aren’t hearing the higher prices they were expecting, so they’ve called us out to verify what’s really going on in the market.

SW Florida Home Sellers Confused

We decided to present the chart in a different way.  Agents have been telling sellers there’s been a shift since we reported on it back on February 16th.  Sellers aren’t seeing it though because they read the headlines.  It is true, median prices are up 11.3% over last year.  However, they are down $5,000 from last month and down $2,000 from where they were last November.

Unless home prices rise in the next few months, we’ll be looking at essentially a flat line since last November.  In other words, home prices aren’t statistically rising right now.  The rise occurred last year up until November, so when you read that home prices are up over last year, they are until we get to November.  They are actually down month over month as much as they are up which is creating the flat line.

It is possible prices could start rising again.  Perhaps after the election consumer confidence will grow.  I think everyone can agree they’re tired of the political season and just want it over with as soon as possible so we can move on with our lives.

We see the Fed raising rates at their December meeting.  Interest rates have been quietly rising the past few weeks and we see more of that in 2017.  Rising rates typically do not help home prices rise because it steals affordability from the buyer.  Basically, when rates move up 1% it robs the buyer of about 11% purchasing power.

In other words, a $400,000 buyer putting 10% down could finance $360,000.  If they lose 11% purchasing power, for the same payment they can now finance 320,400.  They lose $39,600 in purchasing power.  Their payment remains the same as if they were financing $360,000 and paying $400,000 earlier before rates went up.

This is why rising rates does not help home prices.  Rising rates can spur home buyers who have been on the fence to buy now so they will save money on payments, but it doesn’t help prices long-term.

This is one reason choosing the right Realtor to list your home will become even more important.   You need a Realtor who has sold during a rising rate environment.  I venture to guess that over 80% of agents today have not been in business long enough to experience that.

How you sell in a rising rate environment is vastly different than in a stable or lowering interest rate environment.  Marketing becomes more critical as well.

If you’re a buyer, I would seriously consider buying now.  It will cost you to wait.  Prices may still rise, just not as fast.  Or they may remain stable.  The only advantage to you might be more inventory to choose from.  The disadvantage will be that it will cost you more to buy the same house next year, simply because of rising rates.

If you’d like to search the market, check out  You can beat out other buyers to hot new listings as our database is updated every 5 minutes directly from the MLS.

SW Florida home sellers, if you’re  considering making a move, you should call us now.  239-489-4042.  Or visit and get a free computerized estimate of your home’s value.

Please call us if we can help.  Good luck and Happy Home Buying!

Our Paint the Town Red event was a success.  We had over 35 properties open in one day and produced several interested buyers for our properties.  Be on the lookout for our next open house extravaganza.

Don’t forget to enter our contest so you can win a Yeti Cooler.

Please join us for our Keller Williams Paint the Town Red Open House Extravaganza where we’ll have 35 open houses in one day.

Keller Williams Paint the Town Red Open House Extravaganza

Saturday October 22  11am-3pm

Please join us as Keller Williams paints the town red with 35 open houses in one day.

$310,000 * 16585 Wellington Lakes Cir, Ft. Myers, FL 33908

$500,000 * 6180 Winkler Rd, Ft. Myers, FL 33908

$240,000 * 11889 Tulio Way #4203, Ft. Myers, FL 33919

$1,500,000 * 1135 Lorraine Ct, Cape Coral, FL 33993

$225,000 * 3226 SW 8 th Ct, Cape Coral, FL 33914

$259,000 * 8441 Lemon Rd, Ft. Myers, FL 33967

$239,000 * 11736 Izarra Way #7806, Ft. Myers, FL 33912

$725,000 * 2537 SW 38 th St, Cape Coral, FL 33914

$509,000 * 6260 Plumosa Ave, Ft. Myers, FL 33908

$197,500 * 1503 McGregor Park Cir, Ft. Myers, FL 33908

$230,000 * 13633 Admiral Ct, Ft. Myers, FL 33912

$387,000 * 9344 Independence Way, Ft. Myers, FL 33913

$459,000 * 9072 Prosperity Way, Ft. Myers, FL 33913

$279,000 * 10006 Sky View Way #208, Ft. Myers, FL 33913

$365,000 * 12890 Timber Ridge Dr, Ft. Myers, FL 33913

$449,000 * 11207 Sand Pine Ct, Ft. Myers, FL 33913

$123,900 * 1429 SW 48 th Ter #6, Cape Coral, FL 33914

$594,900 * 12570 Villagio Way, Ft. Myers, FL 33912

$874,000 * 15690 Catalpa Cove Dr, Ft. Myers, FL 33908

$439,999 * 1121 SW 51 st Ter, Cape Coral, FL 33914

$313,000 * 5709 Sandpiper Pl, Ft. Myers, FL 33919

$244,900 * 9370 Old Hickory Cir, Ft. Myers, FL 33912

$315,000 * 12634 Shannondale Dr, Ft. Myers, FL 33913

$750,000 * 5615 Natoma Dr, Ft. Myers, FL 33919

$399,000 * 11180 Sand Pine Ct, Ft. Myers, FL 33913

$789,000 * 1832 SE 28 th St, Cape Coral, FL 33904

$580,000 * 12010 Honeysuckle Rd, Ft. Myers, FL 33966

$272,000 * 15620 Laguna Hills Dr, Ft. Myers, FL 33908

$229,000 * 1037 Wilshire, Ft. Myers, FL 33919

$545,000 * 12737 Gladstone, Ft. Myers, FL 33913

$187,900 * 13402 2 nd St, Ft. Myers, FL 33905

$459,000 * 1206 Shadow Ln, Ft. Myers, FL 33901

$419,000 * 4403 Chiquita Blvd S, Cape Coral, FL 33914

$419,900 * 5479 Beaujolais Ln, Ft. Myers, FL 33919

$399,900 * 10100 Belcrest Blvd, Ft. Myers, FL 33913

Call us at 239-489-4042 if you have any questions about any of these SW Florida properties.

Keller Williams Paint the Town Red Open House Extravaganza




Dear Ellis Team:

Dear Ellis Team - Your Real Estate Questions Answered

Q: I’ve been paying my mortgage but slipped behind on my HOA fees. I didn’t want the bank to foreclose. I was surprised to learn that my homeowner’s association filed foreclosure on me. Is this normal? Alex

A: Alex, sorry to hear about your dilemma. This however is a great question. We have been seeing more and more condo and homeowner’s associations foreclosing for non-payment. We always tell people, pay your HOA first as some of them will foreclosure faster than a bank will.

Q: My home has been on the market for 4 months and we haven’t had a single showing. Are agents lazy? How come nobody wants to show my home? I didn’t want to pay a commission in the first place and I didn’t like my agent’s price. I told her if she wanted that much we’d have to raise the price for her to get it. I guess she didn’t want it that bad! Anonymous

A: Well anonymous, where to begin? The seller sets the price and the market determines the value. If you’ve priced your home above where the market is, you may not receive any showings. Why would a Realtor deliberately show an over-priced home when they can show other homes a buyer might actually buy? Sellers often believe they can always come down but you can’t go up. This isn’t even true as we have several homes that sell above asking price. It sounds like you wanted what you wanted for the home regardless of what the market was bearing. The market doesn’t care what you want or need. The market only cares about value.I’m also concerned about 2 other things. You’re blaming your agent for your mistake. The agent isn’t to blame for you wanting more than the market will bear. I do blame your agent for taking the listing in the first place. Sometimes a home has few comparable sales to value properly, and sometimes you just have to bring it to the market and see how market responds. Your agent should be communicating with you about re-positioning your home in the marketplace. Your question doesn’t tell us anything about that. If she has, she’s doing her job. We really need more facts to answer this any better.

Q: I went on (we blanked out the actual website) and it said my home was worth $412,000. I go on every day and it changes wildly. One day it said $350,000 and another it was up to $475,000. How can the market vary that much in such a short time?

A: The site you are talking about is historically unreliable. In fact, in the fine print it used to say their data was intentionally off. I guess this made online viewers have to check back often, which increased viewership, and thus advertising rates. Some of those national sites are filled with bad data. To get a more accurate and reliable estimate, go to our site Even then it is just a computer. For the most accurate, call us and have Sande or myself evaluate your property if you’re thinking of selling. 239-489-4042

Q: What are the qualifications to becoming an agent? Can anybody do it?

A: Just about anybody can. You must not have a felony. You do not need to be a college graduate at this time. Anybody can do it, but not everybody is the same. Anybody can play baseball, but it doesn’t mean everybody is good at it. The best practice every day, learn, take classes, and work all day at it. Real estate takes work, and for those that are prepared to out-work everybody else, you can do it. You can do real estate part-time, but you won’t be great at it. It takes years of learning about property, people and situations. There’s always a place for great people in real estate, and yet about 80% fail within a year. It’s all about you and what you’re willing to put into it.
If you have more questions, give Sande or myself a call. 239-489-4042. We love helping people.
Good luck and Happy Selling!

We hope you enjoyed our answer.  If you’d like to ask more questions, simply write Dear Ellis Team and we’ll be glad to answer your questions.

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View Ellis Team Featured Listings in 360 Virtual Reality

Paint the Town Red Open Houses this weekend:  Coming Soon

Perhaps you’ve read about virtual reality headsets and what it can do for the gaming industry.  You may not realize what 360 degree home tours mean for the real estate industry, until now.

360 Degree Home Tours
360 Degree Home Tours on Your Smartphone or Desktop

Until recently agents would provide a virtual tour in 2D, meaning the tour would consist of a series of photos, and perhaps video walking through the home.  This was great but it didn’t provide perspective and the consumer was forced to look at what the photographer wanted you to see, exactly when they wanted you to see it.

Now the technology has grown such that savvy agents can now provide more perspective and the consumer is in control.  They get to control the scene, view each scene as long or as little as they like, and see how rooms and objects relate to each other.  It’s very spatial and the best way to view a home without actually being there.

We’ve had buyers buy homes sight unseen before simply from photos and videos we’ve taken from a home, and now buyers will be able to feel like they’re in the home.  Showings will go way up because now people are viewing the home on their computer, or on their mobile device.

Many mobile devices today are better than computers were a few years ago.  They displays are crystal clear, and they have sensors like gyroscopes that allow a consumer to place it in motion view or 360 view and literally move the phone around and see the entire room.  Sure, you can still move around the room by touching your screen, but now the phone or VR (Virtual Reality) headset will do it for you.  All you have to do is look a certain direction and now you’re moving the scene, 360 degrees.

360 Degree Home Tours

We’re creating a new website which will showcase our listings in full 360 virtual reality.  You don’t have to have a VR headset to do this.  As we said, many smartphones will do this.

Facebook and YouTube already allow 360 photos and videos.  We’ve been adding 360 photos to our fan page Not only is this one of the most fun things we’ve done, it’s also one of the most useful things for consumers.  We’ve been hosting live events on FB as well as utilizing 360 photos.

We love 360 videos too, however when you shoot a home in 360 video consumers need to pause the scene if they want to view it for longer than what the videographer chose.  That’s OK, but why make a videographer choose a length or the consumer have to take extra steps?  With a 360 photo the consumer can see everything for as little or as long as they choose, then move to another scene.

Every person we show 360 degree home tours to sees the big WOW.  Sellers realize instantly what it can do for their home.  Marketing matters.  Pricing is important, but it’s not the only thing that sells a home.

More Online Showings

Imagine you have an item and you place it in an online auction.  Do you think you’ll sell your item for more in you have 1,000 bidders or just 1 bidder?  Of course, more bidders bring a higher price for anything, including real estate.  This is why marketing is critical in getting Top Dollar.

Adding 360 degree home tours to a home brings more online showings to your home, and there is no limit as it’s online and shareable via social media.  We have the ability to target buyers by income, price range, age, geographical area, recreational interests, habits, and much more.

We’re listing a home in an over 55 community.  We can place ads to only people 55+ We can place ads to golfers, boaters, people likely to move, have certain incomes, etc.

Marketing today isn’t what it was 10 years ago.  If an agent tells you marketing doesn’t work, seek another opinion.  Remember the formula.  Proper Pricing x Targeted Marketing= Successful Sale.

If you’re thinking of selling, Always Call the Ellis Team 239-489-4042 or visit to search the MLS or find out what your home is worth.

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