Southwest Florida December home sales were down 5.5% from last year and pending inventory fell 8.4% from last year, a worrisome sign to agents heading into 2017.

December 2016 may be an abnormal year as we just came off the most contentious election cycle I can remember.  January sales normally don’t start heating up until the 2nd half of the month.  Already we’ve seen strong buyer activity which may be a sign that consumers are now moving forward after a lull in 2016.  Potentially we have a lot of pent-up demand.  Consumer confidence seems to have increased post-election.

Southwest Florida December Home Sales

Single family home prices increased 8.7% over December 2015.  Many of these sales would have been in place before the election, so that is a positive sign.  Listing inventory declined slightly from November although it is up 11.4% from December 2015.

We’ll be keeping our eyes on inventory levels moving forward into 2017 as well as pending and closed sales.  One month does not make a trend.  So far we’re still seeing mixed signals but all indicators were pre-election.

The other thing we’ll watch in 2017 is interest rates and job creation.  Interest rates rose in 4th qtr of 2016 and the Fed has signaled more in 2017.  They predict 3 more Fed increases.  It’s impossible to know how the overall market would respond to that as the Fed doesn’t control bond prices or mortgage rates directly.

We hear great news on the manufacturing front.  Jobs returning to the US would be a boom for real estate.  Quietly we’re losing other jobs, like retail brick and mortar stores.  Macy’s, Sears, Kmart and others are closing stores as sales are off at malls and retail stores.  It may very well be that sales are not off, just a reformation of how people are shopping.  We believe more people are shopping online and less at malls, but that’s just our guess.

Real estate consumers are also researching and shopping online.  Last month our websites earned over 7,000 user sessions by over 3,700 unique users researching our market and searching for property.  This doesn’t include our social media sites.

Remembering back to life before the Internet, we never had 3,700 people coming through our team’s doors each month.  Sure, we had more than most as we have always been large advertisers, but no team had that many.

Online shopping has really opened how consumers access information.  To capture these buyers agents must have a website that serves timely and useful information, and presents it in such a way that is mobile and consumer friendly.

38.76% of our property search traffic is mobile and another 16.03% is tablet.  Combined that equals 54.79%.  More than half our traffic is mobile, which means less than half are searching on desktop.  Therefore having a team ready and able to respond to leads quickly is critical.  Statistics show buyers work with the first agent they talk to and build a trust with.  Communicating with a lead within first 5 minutes is key.  Agents are busy and can’t always call a lead immediately, but when they can conversions go up.

Buyers want to buy from somebody.  They just want to work with someone who can answer their questions and solve their problems.  Faster response times just increases your chances.

Buyers, if you’re looking to purchase or curious about the market, check out  It has everything you need and database is updated every 5 minutes.  Hard to believe, but it’s true.  I’ve tested it.

Sellers, if you’re looking to sell, hiring an agent that will proactively market your listing and reach today’s online buyers is critical.  In addition, they must have a team in place to service these leads quickly.  Without these tools and the agents to work the leads, your home is just sitting on the market waiting for someone to possibly find it.  We don’t wait!  We market!

Agents, if your sales are coming up short because you don’t have the leads, maybe we should talk!

Always call the Ellis Team!  239-489-4042  We can sell your home!

Southwest Florida Real Estate Market Update January 2017

We’ll have an updated Seller’s Club coming out in next few days.  Until then, here is December’s Report.  Please contact us if you’d like to have this report emailed to you each month.


Ellis Team Open House

Ellis Team open house Reflection Lakes
Reflection Lakes Open House

Open Sunday 1-4 PM

Reflection Lakes  Gate 2

13624 Gulf Breeze St


Lately we’ve been hearing a lot of complaints from sellers who are frustrated because they listed their home with a discount broker and it didn’t sell.  Others have tried selling For Sale By Owner and listing on real estate portals and that didn’t work either.  There’s a very good reason for this.  The MLS never sold a home, and it never will.

People sell homes.  Sellers want to minimize how much they pay to sell their home.  The logic is the less you pay to sell, the more money you should end up with in your pocket.  This assumes discount brokers and For Sale By Owner sites can get you Top Dollar.  They can’t!  And they’re not motivated to either.

To a discount broker your listing becomes an asset that attracts buyers.  When the home sells, the asset goes away and thus their ability to attract buyers.  Keep in mind; they’re not spending a lot searching for buyers for your particular home.  They’re advertising their low price in hopes of attracting future assets.  These companies have agents who gather buyers from their low commission listings and often times sell them other company’s listings at much higher commissions.  This is called the co-broke fee.

When they sell another company’s listing at a higher fee, they also get to keep their asset in hopes it will generate even more buyers.  When it does, they can repeat the process.  They don’t always attract the best buyers either because they’re not advertising the home to the total market.  They’re using MLS as a tool to get it out there on various portals but that’s it.

For Sale By Owner sites list homes from owners as they want to attract eyeballs to their site.  They can use this eyeball count to attract advertising.  They really don’t care if your home sells or not.  They just want the eyeballs.  It’s a lot like click bait for news stories.  New news organizations are popping up and either writing fake stories or outrageous headlines just to get the user to click on it.  The more clicks they receive the more they can charge advertisers.

When you’re selling your home, there is one thing that matters more than any other.  How can I get the most money for my home with the least hassle?  Choosing the least expensive option doesn’t guarantee the most money.  In fact, it almost guarantees you won’t receive the most money!

MLS Never Sold a Home

When we list a home we go out and find the buyer.  We don’t sit back and wait.  We spend a lot of money advertising, both in print and online. We invest in data analytics, and then serve up ads online to buyers with the income and interests for your home. When we list a waterfront home we can target buyers interested in boating and fishing. We identify the best characteristics for your home, and then serve up ads online directly to buyers that match the criteria and income level.

MLS Never Sold a Home

This past weekend we had 2 open houses.  Not only did we run ads in paper, we also advertised online.  The online ads reached almost 2,400 targeted buyers likely to move and generated 73 clicks to these two homes web pages.  It’s no wonder we had a nice turnout because of our proactive marketing.

We generate thousands of impressions each month.  The past 30 days we had over 6,100 user sessions at alone.  Add in our Blog and our other websites and we’re reaching thousands.  We reached 442 buyers from Canada and 365 from the United Kingdom.

This is very different than companies that sit back and wait for MLS exposure to sell your home.  There’s a reason we get Top Dollar for our homes and they sell 19.7% faster.  It’s because we proactively expose your home.  We don’t sit back and wait.

All agents are not the same.  Call the Ellis Team and see how we’re different!  The jingle in your pocket will thank you. 239-489-4042 Ask for Sande or Brett!

Ellis Team Open House

Each year we tell home sellers not to get too excited about showings until about mid-January.  Showings and contracts tend to increase as the month goes on and builds throughout season.  2017 however is different.  Southwest Florida home sales are heating up earlier than past years.  Could it be there was pent-up demand from 2016?  We think so.

Southwest Florida Home Sales Heat Up in January

Our team set a goal to sell 4 homes this past week.  We sold 6.  Our agents have been out showing every day, sometimes working with 2-3 buyers per day this past week.  Sure, some of these are buyers in our pipeline we’ve been working with for weeks or months until they arrive.  Others are new buyers we’ve attracted to our website or referral calls.  In any event, activity has picked up earlier than past years.

Showing activity on our listings from other agents has picked up too.  Combining this with what our team is seeing leads us to believe the market is heating up.  So I went to MLS and did some checking.

In the first 10 days of January 309 properties have gone under contract.  The average list price is $317,843 and the median list price is $230,000.  These prices are pretty much in line with recent sales numbers.  What’s encouraging is the number of properties going pending so early in January.  This potentially bodes well for an excellent season.

2016 was a year in which the number of transactions was down.  It was a year in waiting.  It seems people were waiting on the election, waiting on the economy, waiting on something.  Now there is renewed hope and optimism and we hear it.

People have renewed confidence in jobs staying in America.  The U.S. has its swagger back and people are optimistic.  Even the people who threatened to leave if Trump got elected are staying.  This article isn’t a political post.  The United States is the greatest nation on the planet and people recognize that, even if their candidate didn’t win.

Southwest Florida Home Sales Outlook

We think 2017 is going to be a better year in real estate than 2016.  Prices were largely flat in 2016 and sales volume was down.  We think we’ll see rising sales volume, and who knows where prices will head.  Rising interest rates could dampen price gains, or not.  They’re still low.

Rising inventory could dampen price gains, or not.  Sometimes I think sellers haven’t listed because they didn’t know where they wanted to go.  As inventory rises, more choices open and it could spur more sellers to act.  It’s a cycle that could really get the economy moving again, raise tax revenue to the state, and sales tax revenue to local governments as people buy appliances, flooring, etc. for their new home.

Where 2017 goes is an open book yet to be written.  Way too early to predict or know for sure.  We are encouraged by the flurry of activity so early in the season.  It just seems like 2016 was a year in limbo and 2017 is a year of action.  People don’t wait forever.  They move on.  They move forward.

If you’d like to search for your piece of paradise, check out  You can search the MLS like a Realtor as our database has all the listings and it’s updated every 5 minutes.  You can also get a Free estimate of your home’s value.  If you like the value and want to talk to us about your options, call us at 239-489-4042 Ext 4.  Brett or Sande will be happy to talk to you and make sense of the process.

If you don’t like your home’s value, don’t give up.  It’s just a computer, and it’s not 100% accurate.  How could it be?  It’s never been inside your home.  We’ll be happy to look at it with you.  Sande and Brett are experts at getting Top Dollar for your home, because our marketing works.  Just give us a call.

Whether you’re buying or selling, it pays to talk to the Ellis Team! 239-489-4042

Ellis Team Open Houses

Saturday 12-3 PM

Ellis Team Open House6180 Winkler Rd   $500,000





Sunday 12-3 PM

Ellis Team Open House

16585 Wellington Lakes Cir  $300,000





Ellis Team Seller’s Club Video

Over the holidays, I had the chance to speak with several Realtors at various parties and get togethers and find out what are other agents saying about SW Florida real estate market.  We work with other agents every day, however there is something about getting a bunch of agents together in one place and discussing what they’re seeing in the market.

Agents Saying About SW Florida Real Estate MarketAgents Saying About SW Florida Real Estate Market

Each one that I spoke with had similar observations.  Buyers and sellers seem to share an anger.  When both are angry this is an indication the market is in flux.  Each side has certain expectations and neither are being met.

If you’ve ever watched American Idol, some of the best episodes in the beginning of the season are when they show singers who think they are good.  They’ve been told all their life how wonderful they sing by friends and family.  Nobody wants to disappoint them, so they don’t tell them the truth.  It may help their ego for a while, but secretly people are laughing at them because their talent doesn’t match their perception of themselves.

The real estate market can be like that sometimes.  Most people know what a seller’s market is, and most know what a buyer’s market is.  Imagine being a seller believing wholeheartedly it’s a full-blown seller’s market and buyers are just beating down doors to buy any home they can.

And imagine a parallel universe where buyers believe it’s a full-blown buyer’s market and sellers are practically giving homes away.  When you merge these two universes together, each one begins to realize their expectation of what the market is, or what they think it should be collide.  And when these universes collide, each side becomes frustrated.

Therefore, now more than ever buyers and sellers need agents.  When either side is confused about reality, or angry, or sometimes both, transactions do not get done without the help of a professional.  In 2016 transactions were down about 15% or more.  We’ll wait for year-end calculations on that.

Anger shows up when it shouldn’t, and it kills deals.  Regular inspection items become mountains, because the buyer has fear, or doesn’t feel like the transaction has been fair to them.  Rational or not, buyers bail.  Or sellers refuse to fix the most basic items; items they’d fix if they were staying in the home anyway.  If the seller is angry or doesn’t feel like they’ve won, sometimes they turn off and tune out and kill deals.

What neither side fails to realize is that winning is the culmination of attaining a goal.  The goal was to either buy a house or sell a house.  Anger gets in the way.  They judge wins and losses by who got the better of the deal, not whether the deal closes.

Now many items are important.  We’re not making light of that.  Agents work tirelessly every day to bring a transaction together, and lots of things must happen to make that reality.  We’re talking about the silly things that shouldn’t rise to deal-breaker status but do because of emotions.

When you’re in a transaction, you can convince yourself of anything, and you’d be right.  Most buyers and sellers appreciate having a professional guide them.  They can bounce ideas off their agent, and an agent can give them a professional perspective on how to handle it, and which items are worth arguing about.

Imagine 4 siblings fighting over a toy.  Or arguing about who started the fight.  You’ve all heard “But she started it”.  As a parent, you know the kids can’t see the big picture because they’re caught up in the emotion of who is getting the fair shake.  They don’t realize that the parents aren’t necessarily picking a favorite, they’re just arbitrating what is fair this time, until the next argument 10 minutes later.

We don’t see buyers and sellers as children.  However, children and adults alike are people, and emotions take over.  It’s human nature.  To combat emotions, we like to use facts, data and logic.

We study the market and counsel buyers and sellers to actual market conditions.  We help get you from Stuck to Sold.  Call the Ellis Team  239-489-4042.  Let’s make your next transaction in 2017 a success.

Feel free to search for homes  Our data is updated every 5 minutes, so you’ll get the latest listings when seconds count.

Seller’s Club December Video

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