SW Florida real estate inventory drops in April.  Back in February we calculated 6,677 listings from MLS and today we have 6,283.  Either more homes are selling to cause this drop, or homes are expiring and have not re-entered the market yet.

SW Florida Real Estate Inventory Drops in April

So, let’s dig deeper, find out what is causing this, and look at the opportunities.  We run a 365-day moving average tracking the SW Florida home sales.  Back in February we tracked 13,083 sales compared to 12,986 today.  What this tells us the inventory levels are not coming down from increased sales.  In fact, sales have lightened up a bit.  The other thing it could be is increased pending sales taking inventory off the market, but they haven’t closed yet.

Official pending numbers for March will be released next week, so we’ll study those.  We watch the expired listings hitting the market each day and we noticed a large number at the end of March.  With listing numbers down almost 400 we can assume some sellers gave up when they didn’t get their price.

We can also assume that many of those same sellers would like to sell.  Perhaps they have another property they’d like to move to.  Perhaps they’re tired of the HOA or condo fees where they live now.  Maybe it’s just time.  In any event, there may be a way to get your property sold.

Sometimes sellers just hire the wrong Realtor.  They assume all Realtors market the same, therefore they will all fetch the same price for their home.  Reality tells us this isn’t true.  Some Realtors practice the 3 P’s of marketing.  1.  Put a sign in the yard. 2.  Place it on MLS. 3. Pray that another Realtor sells it.

Placing a home on 100 different Internet sites is not marketing.  Anybody can do that.  It’s easy, and I’ll show you how.  The real marketing is finding buyers for your home.  This entails calling a database of buyers looking in your neighborhood.  That’s right!  We have a database of buyers looking for homes in your neighborhood.  If you doubt me, I’ll show you the database.  I’ll show you the buyers.

Secondly, we want to create new buyers not already in the database.  We target buyers online who are looking for a home or condo just like yours.  You can’t wait for the market to come to you.  You must go and get the market.  This is why so many homes expire and never sell.  The Realtor didn’t go and get the buyer.

Sellers do not want to reduce their price until they’re satisfied that all the marketing is being done.  They only want to reduce the price when they’re convinced it is the price, not the marketing.  When you hire marketing gurus when you list the home, you’ll know.  Hiring the wrong Realtor can cost you valuable time on the market with no sale.

Lots of people call us the 2nd or 3rd time around.  Why not call us 1st?  If you’re thinking of selling, or tried to sell and failed, give us a call.  It might not be the price.  You might have simply selected the wrong Realtor.

Open House App 

We have an app that will show you all the open houses in your area, no matter where you live.  It even works up North.  Simply go to www.SWfloridaopenhouse.com and download the app. Sellers like it so they can explore the competition.  Buyers love it so they can see today which homes will be open house next weekend.

Ellis Team Open House App
Ellis Team Open House App

Free Home Value

You can also check out your home’s value online for Free.  Go to www.SWFLhomevalues.com This site does a pretty good job of estimating your home’s value.  It’s scary how accurate it is many times.  Of course, if you’re thinking of selling, always call Sande or Brett Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4 and we’ll be glad to visit your home and verify its value.  We’ll show you how we go out and find the buyer.  We don’t wait for the buyer to find you!

Happy Easter, and Happy House Hunting!

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses


Boosting your credit score can reduce borrowing costs, and we’ve got some tips to help you do that.  We’ve found three new products to help you achieve a higher credit score.  One is approved for home mortgages, while the other two will help with all other types of loans.  Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may accept the other two in the future.

Mortgage Credit Score Tool

Let’s start with the tool that helps with mortgages.  CreditXpert Wayfinder works like this.  With your lender, you determine how much of an improvement you need to qualify for a loan, or to reduce your rate.  The higher score you have the lower rate you qualify for.  A lower rate means you either save money on your payment or qualify for more home.  Why pay more for less of a loan?

Boosting Your Credit Score Can Reduce Borrowing Costs

The software comes up with options and a plan to achieve a higher score within 1-2 months.  The average credit score goes up about 27 points on this program, which can save you lots of interest on the money you borrow.

In the promotional video for this program, it shows you which credit cards to cancel or pay down and by exactly how much to improve your score. Sometimes cancelling a credit card can lower your score.  It’s always been a complicated business figuring out exactly what credit bureaus are looking for.  They look at available credit, credit history, credit utilization, etc.  The consumer had no good way of figuring what methods would help their score.

This plan comes with a fee of about $15-$18 at each of the credit bureaus plus a rapid re-score fee by an outside vendor when it’s completed, but the fees more than pay for themselves in lower borrowing costs.  Check with your lender to see if they offer this service, and if you need it.  Borrowers are sometimes surprised to find out they can borrow with their existing credit.

We Work With Several Lenders

We just got a buyer a home with a 550-credit score on a FHA loan.  Actually, we didn’t do anything.  The lender did.  We have great lenders with a proven track record of closing loans.  There is nothing more frustrating than picking the wrong lender and finding out your deal is dead after spending money for appraisal, inspection, etc.  If you’re working with an Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty agent, we can recommend lenders with proven track records.  We know who they are.

Another option is Experian’s new Boost product.  It imports your utility and phone bills history into your score.  If you’re paying those bills on-time, this can raise your score in a majority of cases.

FICO Ultra Score is a new product rolling out soon.  It imports your banking, savings, checking, and money market accounts into your score.  If you pay your bills and have some extra money in the bank somewhere, this may help your score.

So far mortgage loans are not utilizing Experian’s Boost program or FICO’s Ultra Score program yet, but other consumer credit like auto and boat loans, credit cards, and revolving credit might.  Who knows, perhaps in a few months mortgage loans will benefit from these programs too.

It pays to know your options, and work with people who know their stuff.  The first step in the home buying process is picking which resources can help you.  We offer 3 great resources, so you’ll never have to wonder.

Always Call the Ellis Team

Always call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty. 239-489-4042.  We can help you find the right lender and find the right homes.  Our website www.LeeCountyOnline.com is another great resource.  It has all the homes, has neighborhood data, and home value data.  It’s updated every few minutes unlike some of the other online search places.  Getting bad and outdated search data is as frustrating as picking the wrong Realtor or wrong lender.

Give our team a call.  We can help, and you’ll notice the difference.  Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

SW Florida Real Estate Market Update March 2019

Open House App

See where the open houses will be this weekend anywhere in the country.  Download our Open House app at www.SWfloridaopenhouse.com

Ellis Team Open House App
Open House App

 

An unexpected mortgage rate drop benefits buyers, but for how long? We had a temporary inverted yield curve, which means long-term rates were less than short term rates.  30-year mortgages are most often pegged to the 10 year note, and when the yield curve inverts, it throws the market into bewilderment.

Unexpected Mortgage Rate Drop Benefits Buyers

There were fears of slowdown and recession, which led many to believe perhaps the Fed was overzealous in raising rates this past year.  Then earlier this week, global economic news started coming in stronger than expected, which set recession fears at ease.

Earnings are due out soon and the thing to watch will be guidance in these reports.  Couple that with listening to what the Fed indicates, and the interest rate uncertainty may start to clear up.  Therefore, we don’t know how long this drop in rates will last.

What we do know is buyers should not squander this opportunity.  Last week we saw the largest and fastest rate drop in history in a week.  Rates are down almost a full percent since last Fall, and about ½ percent since January.  A buyer today qualifies for about 11% more home than they did 6 months ago.  The best part is, not only do they qualify for 11% more, it won’t cost them to borrow 11% more either.

Buyers should lock-in rates right away.  If your lender allows you to lock and shop, that might be a good idea.  If they don’t, get your home under contract and make loan app right away.  Waiting to purchase could cost you much more in interest than you could ever save negotiating with a seller.  Get your negotiations locked up today so you begin the mortgage process.

Sellers, you’ve got a tight window too.  More buyers just entered the pool that can qualify for your home.  If rates go back up, that pool will dwindle to what it was last week.  Don’t bet on the fact all buyers will read this story.  By the time home buyers figure this out, it might be all over.  We just don’t know where rates are headed, and neither does the market.  We are in uncertain times, but rest assured, the market will figure this out.

The Ellis Team still has 20 pending sales, even after the big 1st quarter we had.  With the interest rate drop, we’re looking to add to this number.  We’re down to just 11 homes and condos on the market right now.  Everything else is pending or sold.  We need listings.  Our marketing is working.

Sellers are astounded when their listing expires to find out there is a difference in marketing.  The perception is all Realtors work the same.  Just list it in MLS and on all the websites, and it will sell.  That’s not marketing at all.  Any Realtor can do that.  That’s the bare minimum.  That isn’t what’s going to sell a home.

Unfortunately, too many Realtors have sold the idea that having sellers’ homes listed on all these platforms will sell a home.  The truth is they do this because it’s Free.  That’s right, it typically doesn’t cost the Realtor anything to list a home on all these portals.  What isn’t Free is the lead generation and finding buyers for the properties.  There is a reason the Ellis Team sells so many homes.  It’s because we don’t take the Free route.  We spend a lot to create these buyers for our listings, and we have people on our team to work them.

If you’re thinking of selling, call Brett or Sande Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4, or visit www.SWFLhomevalues.com  If you’re looking to buy now at today’s low rates, check out www.LeeCountyOnline.com or call our office and we’ll get you locked in to a good deal and low rates today.  There is still a good selection of homes on the market right now, even if they’re not our listings.  We’ll be happy to find you the best values.

We track 12 major measures plus some other measures to evaluate health and direction of the local real estate market.  10 SW Florida real estate measures were negative in February, which is better than the 11 in January.

We look at things like closed sales, prices, time on market, inventory levels, pending inventory, time to sell, total money in motion, and others.  It gives us a pretty good indicator of where the market is and where the market is headed.  This is a blueprint for sellers on how to market their property today.

10 SW Florida Real Estate Measures Were Negative in February

We’re able to sit at the kitchen table and show sellers exactly where we are.  Sellers armed with this information can make decisions that will insure a sale and put more money in their pocket at closing.  Sellers who ignore key statistics generally sell for less while their home sits on the market longer.  Some never sell at all, and that’s a shame because people who list their home generally want to sell, and for top dollar.

We’ve still got a pretty good market for those that know their numbers.  We have a good selection of buyers.  Season has been good.  We’ve sold lots of homes.  Unfortunately, season can mask the underlying weaknesses this year compared to last year.  When all the visitors go home in a few weeks, you may find lots of sellers who didn’t sell this season wondering what happened.

What happened was the market shifted and because it was season, sellers didn’t notice.  Marketing becomes even more critical in a shifting market, along with proper pricing.  Getting ahead of the game is paramount.  If you were playing a basketball game with 5:00 left in the game, would you rather be up 10 points or down 10 points?

The game is not over, but our seasonal visitors will be leaving.  If you didn’t market your home to the max, and if it wasn’t priced properly, you might feel like you’re down 10 points.  Not ideal.  You’re behind, but not out.  Homes sell year-round.

If you’re thinking of placing your home on the market, you need an agent that knows exactly where we are in the market, and exactly what to do to get your home sold.  If you’re looking for top dollar, you need aggressive marketing.  Sure, you can price your way into a sale just by being the absolute best value around.  If you want fair market value, that may take aggressive marketing along with a pricing strategy.

When you sit down with an agent, go over the 12 market indicators.  Look at the trend.  Focusing on just one month can mislead you sometimes.  If you did sell, where will you go?  How soon would you like to be there?  How does that compare with the average marketing time of the market, and your price range?

We have all these statistics so we can help you make the best decision for you.  We have the aggressive marketing you’re looking for, whether you realize it or not.  All Realtors do not market the same, just as they don’t price the same.  Making a mistake on either can cost you thousands.  It could even cost you a sale.

To get a rough estimate on what your home could sell for, go to www.SWFLHomevalues.com  It’s free, and fast.  It will give you a good idea, but it’s not perfect.  That’s where we come in.  No, we’re not perfect either, but we can give you a better idea than a computer can.  We can also share with you the 12 real estate measures and show you an aggressive marketing plan nobody else can match.

You can always call Brett or Sande Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4  We’d love to answer your questions and get you to your next home.

Good luck and Happy Selling!

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open House Saturday 1-4 PM

Pelican Preserve

10410 Prato Dr

Pelican Preserve Open House Saturday 1-4 PM

Open House Sunday 1-4 PM

14077 Danpark Loop

Daniel’s Park Open House Sunday 1-4 PM

Open House Sunday 1-4 PM

13 High Point Cir #302

High Point Place Open House Sunday 1-4 PM Naples