One common belief among home sellers is that all Realtors do pretty much the same thing.  Sometimes we even get the question, “Are all Realtors the same?”  They put a sign in the yard, place it in MLS, and pray someone else sells it.

Are All Realtors the Same

I can understand why the public is confused.  They don’t see what really goes on in a real estate transaction, so how could they possibly know?  Years ago, the broker made all advertising decisions.  With the advent of higher splits to agents, brokers have less money to call the shots now.  They can’t deliver all the benefits they used to and still pay the agents top splits.

This fact began the decline in advertising.  Top splits should have gone to the highest producing agents, who would then take that money and re-invest into advertising.  Unfortunately, the high splits now go to anybody who can fog a mirror.

One might assume if an agent was receiving a higher split they’d have money to advertise, and that would be wrong!  The average agent sells than 1 home per year.  Even if they sell a home or two they don’t have money left over to advertise.

If they did have money to advertise, they wouldn’t know what’s effective.  We hear agents all the time say this doesn’t work and that doesn’t work.  The truth is, it doesn’t work the way they are doing it.  If you’re going to advertise, it pays to go big!

A $200 online budget will get you nowhere.  A small print ad with too much info crammed in will not produce.  Agents try these things and get no results, then they honestly say we tried that and it doesn’t work.

You’ve heard the term Go Big or Go Home.  It’s true in advertising.  The Ellis Team (230-489-4042) has always gone big.  Sure, we evaluate what’s working and what’s not all the time.  The point is, if you want results for your sellers, you must step up.  They are placing their trust in you.

There is a reason our listings sell faster and for more money.  It’s because we advertise.  We take pride in the fact that sellers net more using our services than they would on their own without paying a commission.  We expose their home to more people than they can, which results in higher prices and faster sales.

Agents wonder why buyers or sellers ask for part of the commission back.  In other markets, there are a few companies that have started doing that.  If an agent isn’t willing to go big and reinvest into marketing why not?  They’re not fully exposing the home and bringing top dollar.

Personally, I don’t think an agent should give back.  Agents earn it.  I do think some agents are worth more than others.  I think sellers should ask more questions about marketing and advertising so they better understand what they’re paying for.  Most agents give standard answers like the home will be advertised online and on a hundred websites, etc.

Are All Realtors the Same?

The truth is, many agents can’t answer the question because they don’t know.  When you interview an agent who understands and utilizes marketing and compare that to the agents who don’t, you begin to get an understanding what the differences are.  As a consumer, you might even learn more about home marketing than a lot of agents.

Agents are only taught how to pass the real estate exam, not how to effectively sell a home.  This knowledge must be obtained other ways, and it requires capital to invest in advertising.  Typical agents come into this business because of the low start-up costs but they don’t have the knowledge, expertise, or money to implement a plan, so they rely on the broker.  The broker isn’t much interested because they’ve given the splits to the agent to attract them to their company in hopes they turn out one day to be a high producing agent and stick with their company.  Don’t let the broker’s issue become your issue.  Hire a marketing pro.

If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur.  Always call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams 239-489-4042 or search the MLS at www.LeeCountyOnline.com

Find out How Much Your Home is Worth Online for Free

There’s an old saying in real estate that says if your home is priced over the market then it’s not really on the market.  Essentially an overpriced listing is invisible to the buyer because it’s attracting the wrong prospects.  These are called invisible listings.

The correct prospects never see it on their radar because they search up to a certain point and cutoff anything over that.  The prospect that can afford the overpriced home is looking at other homes as well, and they quickly see other homes offer more value.  Perhaps it’s more size, better location, better condition, more amenities, etc. Overpriced listings miss the market both ways, and therefore they linger on the market.

Periodically we publish the local market’s month supply of inventory by price range.  We decided to take the monthly supply of homes in each category and consider how many homes are currently on the market in that category that exceeds the average monthly supply.

Invisible Listings Southwest Florida Real Estate market

When a home doesn’t sell it’s either overpriced or not marketed correctly.  Many times, it’s both.  If you have a home worth more than $ 1 Million we know there is a 22.58-month supply of homes on the market.  When you list a home you should ask yourself, when would I like to move?  If the answer is less than 22 months, you’d better price it and market it effectively.

The good news is only 8.3% of the homes over $ 1 Million are invisible.  The overall Lee County single family home market is 15.4% invisible.  This tells us that 15.4% of the home sellers have overpriced their homes such that they’re probably not going to sell unless the owner takes action.  They will expire.

Putting your home on the market is not a fun experience.  You have strangers coming through your home when they want and you must keep the home in show condition all the time.  Nobody would want to go through that experience unless they were serious about selling.  And yet, some are not serious because they overprice their home and it’s invisible.

When you list your home you not only want it visible, you want it to stand out.  Therefore marketing and pricing is critical.  The seller controls the price.  The market determines the value.  Not all Realtors market the same.  Some market very little while others do much more, and a select few market a lot.

Some Realtors don’t believe marketing sells homes and only price sells homes.  That’s simply not true.  If you were in the market for a new car I can guarantee you there are a few dealerships you’ve heard of.  Why?  Because they market and it works.  If you could buy a new car and get a TV or a cruise would you take it?  Only if you knew about it.  If you liked that brand and the value was there, you’d at least consider it, because their marketing works.

The same is true in real estate.  It’s not enough to have the lowest price and pray that’s enough to sell your home.  The world needs to know about it, and listing it in MLS isn’t enough.  Sure, listing in MLS can get your home on some websites, but it’s not promoting your home.  This is where Realtors who understand marketing stand out.  Besides, not every seller wants to give their home away just to sell it.

We believe you should receive fair market value.  To get that, you need marketing.  To expect more than fair market value insures it will not sell.  If we listed a home worth $300k and marketed it at $600k no amount of money spent on marketing would sell it.  To get full market value requires correct pricing and full-blown marketing.

If you have a home to sell, you should call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams. 239-489-4042  We’ll help you get Top Dollar and make your home visible, and stand out. You can also visit our website www.LeeCountyOnline.com and search for homes.  We look forward to meeting you!

See also Southwest Florida Real Estate Inventory Rises as Sales Grow in March

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Is it possible to have rising real estate sales at the same time as rising inventory levels?  Obviously, it is possible as Southwest Florida real estate inventory rises as sales grow in March.

Most people equate rising inventory levels to lower sales which is usually what leads to the rising levels in the first place.  However, in years past I can think of a few scenarios where this absolutely wasn’t true.

I remember back in the late 80’s and early 90’s talking about a subdivision called Eagle Ridge.  Back then we had discussions that every 3rd home in there was on the market.  Sales weren’t frequent enough to work down that inventory so it stayed relatively constant back then at every 3 houses on the market.

Fast forward to years later and there were very few sales and almost no homes on the market.  When one did come on the market buyers would ask if it was a tough neighborhood to sell in because there were no sales.  The reason there were no sales prior to that is because there was no inventory to sell.  Had there been inventory we would have sold them all.

This is an example of one subdivision at two points in time.  It had few sales, for very different reasons.  One was because of too much inventory and one was because of too little inventory.  You can’t always read too much into inventory levels.  This metric must be considered in perspective.

Southwest Florida Real Estate Inventory Rises

In March inventory levels grew to 6,100, a 5.1% increase over last year.  Month’s supply of inventory grew to 5.7 months, which was a 5.6% increase over March 2016.  We don’t get too excited about any one month numbers.  We like to look at market trends.

Southwest Florida Real Estate Inventory Rises Months Supply

As you can tell from last week’s article, sales were up 18.1% in March and average sales prices were up 19.1%  The Southwest Florida real estate market is strong if the seller has priced the property correctly and it is marketed to the buyer.

Today’s sellers want top dollar.  Today’s buyers just want to buy a home and pay fair market value.  These are not mutually exclusive.  We’ve been selling homes at full price in many cases.  The buyer is happy to land a nice home and the seller is happy because they got more money than their neighbors.

So why is it that some sellers get top dollar and some do not?  We believe it’s a combination of things.  Price, condition, and market exposure.  If an agent tells you that marketing doesn’t sell homes, you should call us.  Marketing absolutely sells homes.  It sells cars, homes, and everything else.  There is a reason a certain auto dealer sells more cars than anybody else.  It’s because he advertises more.

Marketing Works

There’s a reason our team sells homes for top dollar.  It’s not because we price them lower.  We price our homes for all they’re worth.  The reason our sellers receive more in their pocket at closing is because we expose their home to more people with more frequency than other agents.

You’re reading this article right now.  Perhaps you see our weekly newspaper ad, or our online ads.  Quite possibly you watch our videos, tour our 360 degree home tours, or receive targeted ads for a specific property we’re marketing.  Chances are you see our ads and you don’t even realize you’ve been targeted.

When we list a property, we don’t just sit back and wait for agents in the MLS to hopefully bring a buyer.  We don’t give your property away.  If we guaranteed a sale simply because you were priced under the market, we wouldn’t be getting you top dollar, would we?

Anybody can give a house away.  That’s not selling, that’s taking the low hanging fruit.  If you have a property to sell, always call the Ellis Team 239-489-4042  Ask for Sande or Brett.  We’ll show you what full market exposure looks like and help you get Top Dollar.  We’re your Top Dollar Realtors.

Feel free to search the MLS for free or research the market at www.LeeCountyOnline.com

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If you read this article regularly you’ll know that January and February real estate sales numbers in SW Florida were ho-hum in terms of sales counts and prices.  In March, that all changed.  Agents wait for official numbers to be released around the 23rd-26th of each month, however we had some early indications things were going to be good even before that.  We are pleased to announce that Southwest Florida March real estate sales numbers rebound nicely.

One of the things we love about our current real estate company is that they are fully transparent with their numbers.  They must be because they profit share out to the agents.  As such, we get early numbers which is useful information.

Southwest Florida March Real Estate Sales Numbers Rebound Nicely

I noticed our profit share check was larger than month’s past, so I looked at our internal numbers.  Because we market properties for our clients, I like to compare our numbers versus the rest of the MLS to see how we’re doing.  In real estate, we don’t control the market.  The market could be good, bad, or sideways and either way agents need to sell their clients properties.  If an agent wants to increase their volume in a down market, they’ll need to go steal some market share from somebody else.  You can’t properly evaluate your numbers if you don’t know what they are.

Southwest Florida Real Estate Market numbers Southwest Florida March Real Estate Sales Numbers Rebound Nicely

So, here’s what we know.  The local board sales were up 18.1% from last year.  Our office was up 96.6%.  Median sales price was up 13.3% in March and average sales price was up 19.1%  This leads to dollar volume, a metric we’ve been talking a lot about lately.  It measures the overall health of the market.  Simply, if you multiply average sales price by number of units you’ll get the total dollar volume.  When both numbers are up, you know you’re going to have an increase over the past year.  It’s simple math.  Board dollar volume was up 40.6%. That’s a fantastic number.

Our office volume was up 101.3% for the same period.  Our agents killed it!  It’s important to track numbers because sometimes as humans we get lost in success.  For instance, let’s say your office was up 20% in sales over last year.  You might say wow, we’re doing everything right.  When you later learn, the board was up over 40% that number doesn’t seem so good.

On Wall Street investors would hammer a company that isn’t keeping up with the market.  Agents should never measure the market’s success by their own.  Often sellers will ask an agent how the market is.  Many agents don’t know.  Perhaps they personally had a good month last month so they say the market is on fire, when in reality the market may be down.  Clients deserve to know what’s really going on, not how the agent feels right now based upon personal production.

Southwest Florida March Real Estate Sales Numbers Rebound Nicely

It’s important to track overall market statistics.  Only then can you best guide a seller.  It’s also important to track your own numbers.  How will you know if your marketing is working if you don’t track?  How will you know if you’re pricing properties correctly?

Perhaps an agent out there is advertising somewhere that is producing results. Possibly there is a new technology driving sales you should be aware of.  Perhaps it’s just old-fashioned hard work, education, and proper pricing that’s working for an agent.

The point is, agents should always be studying what’s working and what’s not.  Eliminate the things that don’t work and do more of the things that do.  Just because you’re having a good month don’t assume it’s good enough.  If you’re having a bad month, don’t assume everybody else is.  Assume nothing.

Study the market.  Look at your company profit share checks.  If your company isn’t profitable, what could you do to change that? We owe it to our buyers and sellers to explain what’s really going on in the market so they can make good decisions.  Study how your company is doing against the market so you can explain your value proposition to them.  Clients want to know.  They need to know.

Feel free to call us at 239-489-4042 or Search the Southwest Florida MLS   We’ll get your home sold fast or help you buy a new one.  Put our marketing to work for you!