Home prices in Southwest Florida have been stagnant for the better part of a year now, but nobody believes it because headlines tell us how wonderful homes are appreciating in Florida. We were waiting to see how season went to see if that trend would continue.  What we found is more of the same, SW Florida home price gains remain elusive compared to Florida in general.

SW Florida Home Price Gains Remain Elusive Compared to Florida

The Cape Coral- Fort Myers MSA median home prices increased .6% in the 1st quarter compared to 9.7% statewide.  Our condos and townhouses showed no price change whatsoever from last year, compared to 7.8% gain for the state.  Cape Coral-Fort Myers is the 6th largest MSA in the state, and yet each of the 5 larger MSA’s all had gains of 4.8% or better.  Some much higher.

We go on listing appointments where the seller believes their home has appreciated 9% in value each of the past few years.  Unfortunately, if you interview enough agents you will find one that agrees with you and takes the listing.  Getting the listing isn’t the end of the sales process, it’s simply the first step.  The seller sets the price and the market determines its value.

If a seller sets the wrong price, one thing happens, doesn’t it?  You guessed it, it sits on the market like a lonely school child watching all the other kids play.  Oh, it may have some friends.  Misery loves company.  They hang out with all the other kids who have overpriced their home too.  The strange thing is, nobody really wants to be in this club.

So, they turn on each other, and start lowering their prices to get out of the club.  Each watch what the other is doing, looking over their shoulder each time they make a reduction.  The only problem is, they’re looking the wrong direction.  They should be looking at all the kids playing.  Wherever that group is, that’s where they should head.  While they’re busy looking over their shoulder at where they’ve been, their eye still isn’t on the market.  It’s looking backward instead of forward.

The market rarely sits idle.  It is moving.  While they’re looking over their shoulder, the moving target in front of them just moved someplace else.  Wouldn’t it save so much time to just find that group of kids on the playground and get right in there?  Skipping a half mile behind them means you did spend time on the playground, but when recess is over, you never had any fun.  If you’re going to the trouble of placing your home on the market, you want results.  The quicker you get there, the more fun you have.  If the market is on the move, you never want to get caught chasing the market.

Chasing will not only wear you out, it can cost you money.  When all the overpriced homes figure it out and finally make their move, you now have more competition.  Setting your home price correctly upfront and reacting quickly if it doesn’t sell is a recipe for faster to the fun.

If you’re thinking of selling in the next year, check out www.SWFLhomevalues.com You’ll be able to get approximate current values for your home.  Of course, to be most accurate, always call Sande or Brett Ellis and we’ll be happy to come out and view your home and tell you what we think it would sell for.  You might have some questions about how the process works, timing, or where you would move to.  We’d be happy to sit down and discuss all this with you.  You’re more than a transaction to us.  We’re interested in getting you to your next destination safely.  Hopefully you’ll have some fun on the playground while we sell your home for you.  Call Brett or Sande at 239-489-4042 Ext 4

Good luck and happy selling!

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open House Saturday 1-3 PM

Parker Lakes Pool Home $300,000

14941 Lake Olive Dr

Open House Sunday 1-4 PM

13460 Marquette Blvd     3 Bed 2 Bath Waterfront Home

Unbelievable changes are coming.  I remember having a conversation the other day.  I told my wife that our kids would freak out if we told them we didn’t have Internet growing up as kids.  The Internet today just seems fundamental, and certainly to a Millennial, they wouldn’t understand the concept of its absence.  Just as the Internet changed our lives, so too will artificial intelligence.  Artificial intelligence will change real estate shopping and everything else too.

Artificial Intelligence Will Change Real Estate Shopping

I just watched a live video whereby you take out your smartphone and open the camera.  In your screen is a lamp.  Your phone will show you other accessories that match that style, so you could shop for and put together a room that matches.  I watched another video where the camera showed a woman in an outfit.  Artificial intelligence scanned billions of images and within a second pulled up where you could buy that outfit, along with other similar outfits, and prices.

So, imagine walking down the street and noticing a home that looks good to you.  It’s not for sale, but you like the look.  Your phone could instantly find other homes on the market right now that look just like the one you love, show you the price, and even setup a showing appointment to see it.  Sound futuristic?  Perhaps, but it is coming.

Keller Williams has already been working on this for its agents.  Currently I can ask our artificial assistant Kelle many things, and instantly she will give me results that used to take hours.  Let’s say I have a client moving to Bowling Green, KY.  I whip out my phone and tell Kelle, “show me Bowling Green agents with the CRS designation.”  Kelle spits out agents with their CRS designation.  There is a ton of activities I can ask Kelle to do while I’m in the field and Kelle only gets smarter.  As we ask her to do things, she learns and becomes capable of more.

Google held its I/O conference this week and announced some amazing things.  Companies like Google, Microsoft, IBM, etc are all working on artificial intelligence.

Artificial intelligence offers the ability to ask, scan, analyze, and deliver billions of pieces of information instantly.  Our military is scanning and analyzing photos on video and delivering results with over 90% accuracy.  It used to take people days and months to scour video.  Now our defense department can search for and do things in minutes.

Our company is working on analyzing photos in MLS.  Let’s say you like a certain kind of counter-top, or a certain color cabinet.  We’ll be able to ask, show me all kitchens with Black Quartz priced below $450,000.  Having the ability to scan photos and deliver results would save an agent or consumer many hours perusing photos of listings.

We use big data to search for buyers for our listings.  When we list a home, we serve up ads on that home to consumers that match certain criteria.  For instance, we just listed a nice 4-bedroom pool home in Belle Lago.  We’ll be holding it open this Saturday from 1-3 PM.  We’ll serve up online ads for buyers looking to purchase in the Estero area.  Big data allows us to target specific buyers.  It helps us sell homes faster and for more money for our clients.

Big data is great, but artificial intelligence is what will tie it together.  The pentagon can have all the videos it wants, but what good is it when it sits in a vault and is too big to work with?  The same is true for real estate.  Being able to ask and analyze data is key.  Many sellers interview agents and ask which one can save them 1%.  The real question should be, which agent can sell my home for 3% more and 20% faster.  Saving 1% doesn’t save anything if they sell it for less and take longer.

If you want to search the MLS like a pro go to www.LeeCountyOnline.com.

If you’re thinking of selling, call Sande or Brett Ellis 239-489-4042 and find out how Today’s systems just might help sell your home faster, and for more money.

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Belle Lago

Open Saturday 1-3 PM

19790 Maddelena Cir

Daniels Park

Open Saturday 1-4 PM

14077 Danpark Loop

 

Official sales numbers are out, and Southwest Florida housing median home prices rose 2% past year.  March 2018 median home price came in at $260,000, up from $255,000 last year.  All year we’ve been saying home prices have been flat since about June, so this was a nice rise albeit a moderate rise.  Average home prices were up 4.1% to $375,895, up from $361,082 last year.

Southwest Florida Median Home Prices Rose 2% Past Year

The number of home sales were down 2.7% in March versus last year.  So, what is the takeaway from these numbers?  Statistically we have a balanced market neither favoring the buyer or the seller.  Of course, certain price ranges and neighborhoods can vary.  These are what we call sub-markets.

All real estate is local.  It doesn’t matter if you’re in Pittsburgh PA, Peoria IL, or, Cleveland OH.  What’s true in one market can be different in another.  What’s true in one market can be different in a sub-market of that same market.  Therefore, it’s important to work with a seasoned Realtor with experience in the market you’re looking.  While I believe the Ellis Team are some of the best agents around, we wouldn’t be in another town like Pensacola or Jacksonville.  Sure, we’re licensed Florida agents and can serve you anywhere in Florida, but is that wise?

By the same token, national websites cannot help you like a good local one can.  www.LeeCountyOnline.com is the best local SW Florida real estate website for several reasons.  It has all the listings, and it’s updated instantly.  Other large national websites don’t have all the listings, and many of the listings they do have offer incomplete or inaccurate data.  We’ve had calls on our own listing and the condo or HOA fee is completely wrong on the national sites.  It’s correct on our website.

We’ve had calls on a property that wasn’t on the market from one of the national sites.  Turns out the property sold three times since the listing they found.  We have no idea how they could have a listing from a decade ago on their site.  You’d think they’d at least get the last listing, not three before it.

Selecting the wrong agent to work with you can be a costly mistake.  Sometimes people choose to work with a friend or relative to purchase a home.  When you find out you bought the wrong home, or paid too much for it, it can be frustrating.  Or worse, when you lose the home over an inspection issue that could have been handled with a little experience and know-how.  There’s no substitute for hard work, and experience.

Choosing the right lender is important too.  Some lenders have high fees, while others are notorious for rigid underwriting requirements and not getting loans closed.  Experienced Realtors know which lenders perform what they say, on time, and where the best rates are.  Did you know most lenders have extra requirements they place on buyers?  They’re called overlays.  We work with lenders that offer little or no overlays, so the buyer can be approved almost instantly.  Buyers hate all the documentation and hoops banks make you jump through just to get a loan.

Insurance is another big issue.  A large homeowner’s or flood premium increases your monthly payment.  This can alter how much home you can afford.  Remember, you’re approved for a total payment amount.  Why let insurance eat away at your purchasing power?  We know a few good insurance agents we keep in our pocket.  It helps our buyers beat out other buyers to the best properties.

Between having the most accurate and timely information, getting the loan the easy way, and best prices on insurance, we turn the home buying process into fun!  This way you can concentrate on shopping for a home which is the fun part.  We’ll handle all the other details, so you can get your loan, save money, and enjoy that great house you just found.  And you’ll be smiling because you got it and the other buyers didn’t.  Always call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty 239-489-4042

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open House Saturday 1-3 PM

Belle Lago 4 Bed 3 Bath Pool Home

Belle Lago  19790 Maddelena Cir

Daniels Park Home Open Saturday 1-4 PM

Coming Soon