Official September closed sales numbers have not been released yet, but we can report that pending home sales rose in August which means September and October numbers could come in stronger than last year.  Pending sales are always a precursor to what may come one to two months out.

Pending Home Sales Rose in August

Pending Home Sales Rose in August 2019

It’s a good time to be a seller.  We have a fairly balanced market, however statistically it favors the seller right now.  To make things tougher for buyers, new listings were down 17.8% in August.  This pulled the overall listings on the market down 3.9%, a direct result of less listings coming in August.  Officially we are down to a 4.9 months’ supply of homes on the market.  We will run our numbers in a few weeks that will show current supply numbers by price range.

As a seller, right now is a good time to put your home on the market.  In January there will be a rush of sellers placing their homes on the market.  Today you can beat that rush.  The Ellis Team has placed several homes under contract the past few weeks whereby the seller won’t have to compete with all the new listings entering the market.  They got out now and were happy with their price.

Buyers are more motivated now than ever.  There is less supply, and rates are historically low.  We’re not saying rates will go up overnight.  We are saying nobody knows when they will.  Buyers have low rates and not as much inventory to choose from.  Buyers are motivated.  There’s an old saying that says it’s always best to strike while the iron is hot.  The iron is hot right now.

We’ve got a new system for homeowners thinking of selling their home sometime in the future.  We’ll show it in a future article, but basically the gist is this.  The system will email you a neighborhood report with photos and details about nearby homes for sale, pending, and recently sold.  In addition, at the click of a button there are neighborhood stats that will tell you how many homes are for sale in your neighborhood, the average price, the price per square foot, and the days on market. It provides commute times to your favorite places, as well as reviews of local neighborhood businesses.

If you’d like to see stats and info with your neighborhood, send me an email to Brett@topagent.com with your name, address, and phone number.  I’ll put you in the system and it’ll email you new stats every two weeks.

If you prefer a quick price estimate, you can check out www.SWFLhomevalues.com This site gives you an instant price estimate that is surprisingly accurate in many cases.  Of course, before listing your home we’d want to verify the information.  Homeowners like this site because it is Fast and Free.

Buyers, we’ve got you covered too.  You’ll want to go to www.LeeCountyOnline.com  This site gives you a leg up on the competition because it includes all of the listings, and it’s updated every few minutes.  There is nothing more frustrating than not seeing all the listings or looking at a home that sold months ago.  Our site will help you win!

Speed wins in today’s market.  That’s why we work so hard to bring you tools that will provide you information very fast.  What you decide to do with it is up to you.  All we ask is that if you ever need real estate advice, you’d think of the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty.

We study the market.  We’re full-time and we take this seriously.  Isn’t that the kind of agent you want working for you?  If you’re a seller and want to speak with Brett or Sande, call us at 239-489-4042 Ext 4.  If you’re a buyer, call our main line and we’ll get a buyer specialist in touch with you today.

Or just visit one of our handy tools and surf away on your time.  We’re here to help you on your schedule.  Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

See Last Week’s Article “Mortgage Applications Rise Sparking Important Questions

Mortgage applications rise sparking important questions this past week 8.1% as mortgage rates fell.  We are consistently seeing rates below 4%.  Recently we had a buyer receive 3.25% on a fixed rate loan.  With rates falling, it’s sparking two important questions.

Mortgage Applications Rise Sparking Important Questions

If I own a home, should I refinance?  The answer depends on two things.  What is the differential in the rate you have currently and today’s rates, and how long do you plan on staying in the home?  Does your current home meet your needs?  We are at a historic time.  This is an opportunity to lock in a low rate for your home, or an opportunity to find something better and lock that in.

You May Qualify For More Home Now

You might qualify for much more home than ever before due to these low rates.  Your dream home you thought was an impossible dream might just now be a reality.  The question is, are you content where you are, or do you aspire for something better?  Now is the time.  There is no right or wrong answer, It’s your answer.  What we can say is there is a right or wrong time, and now is the right time.

If you don’t currently own a home, now is the best time from a financial standpoint.  Only you can answer if it’s a good time job wise, relationship wise, etc.  It’s been proven that owning a home is key to accumulating long-term wealth.  Putting money in the stock market may not work out the way you want.  Income stocks and bonds, CD’s, and interest bearing accounts aren’t paying much either.  Real estate may be your best bet, and now is the time.

You may need help deciding whether to keep your existing home and fix it up or sell it and buy another.  You’d probably think a real estate agent would only want to sell you something, so no sense consulting with an agent.  A good agent will listen to what you’re trying o accomplish and make suggestions for you to consider.  This is a moment in history, and you may not get a do-over.

Real Estate Sales Versus Consultant

Good real estate agents know things the general public does not.  We can offer advice based upon your needs, even if it’s not deciding to sell.  When you receive good advice, you’re much more likely to recommend your agent to people you know.  Great agents know that if they take care of their customers, their customers will always take care of them.

We help a lot of people buy and sell property in SW Florida.  Sometimes we don’t take a listing because we can’t help the seller.  Sure, we could take a lot more listings, but in the end, if you know it’s not right you’re not helping anybody.

Most sellers don’t know for sure where they’d go if they sold.  They know their current home isn’t ideal for them anymore, but they don’t know how they’d get to another home.  It’s logistics.  This is where a great agent can help.  You must have a plan to get from point A to point B.  There are steps, and good agents have a track record of accomplishing this.  Sellers see the task as daunting, so they give up before they start.

Mortgage Applications Rise Sparking Important Questions

Sometimes homeowners look back on their life and hate how they’ve been stuck someplace that doesn’t make them happy.  We’re not saying you should sell today at all costs.  What we are saying is if you have a home that isn’t working for you anymore, there are options, and today more things are possible than they were in past.

Call Sande or Brett Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4 and schedule a sit-down appointment to go over your needs.  If you’re just looking for a quick, free online evaluation, we provide that service as well.  Simply go to www.SWFLhomevalues.com and it does a pretty good job of estimating your home’s value instantly.  Did we say Free?

Of course, there’s no substitute for consulting with us.  We’re here when you’re ready to talk, and we have tools for you if you’re just curious and beginning the thought process.

Good luck and Happy Home Buying/Selling!

See last week’s article “Median Time to Contract Increased 20.6% in August

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Ellis Team Facebook Page-Open Houses

 

One of the things we look at in evaluating the local real estate market is how long it takes to sell a home.  New statistics just released indicate the median time to contract increased 20.6% in August 2019 versus 2018.

Median Time to Contract Increased in August

Median Time to Contract Increased

If you look at the chart, we see a 15.9% year over year increase in the time it takes to sell a home.  This tells us it’s not a one-month blip on the chart.  It’s taking longer to sell a home in 2019 than it did in 2018.

There is good news though. New pending sales were up 2.9% in August versus last year, and inventory is actually down 3.9% The numbers tell a story that at least in August, it’s kind of a mixed market.  We’ll keep our eyes open for trends that will swing the market one way or another.

The local real estate market is sort of like the economy.  There are positive signs like employment numbers, interest rates, etc.  There are also signs of consumer confidence perhaps swinging while people wonder what the outcome of the China trade agreement will bring.

What all this process is that the Internet does not sell homes.  Experienced agents that price homes properly and aggressively market homes sell homes.  It’s not enough to throw it up on MLS and hope another Realtor sees it, or a buyer sees it online and falls in love with it.

Marketing Still King

There is competition for the buyers, and buyers are still swayed by marketing.  As an example, we get a certain number of leads through a paid advertising program we use.  It costs a lot of money, and it’s very successful.  When we launch additional targeted online advertising promoting our listings or our open houses, we get dozens more leads looking to buy now.  Had we not done that extra advertising, we would not have gotten those buyers.

We can track which ad each buyer came from and which property they clicked on.  We know exactly which ads work.  This knowledge helps us repeat the process.  Each time we list a new property we can design ads that bring in buyers for that property.

Chances are we might already have a buyer.  Yesterday I was at a listing appointment and we searched for leads looking in their subdivision.  We had 572 leads looking in their subdivision, complete with name, phone number, and email address.  Once this property goes on the market, our team of agents have built-in leads they can call announcing the new listing and giving these 572 people first crack at seeing the home.  That’s the power of marketing.

Agents that sit back and wait for other agents to show their home don’t have a database of buyers like the Ellis Team does.  At last check we had 8,373 in one system alone.  The advertising platforms cost money, so not every agent can afford to market like this.  When you’re interviewing agents, you’ll want to ask to see their online leads and how many they have for a home like yours.  Is the data good, or is it just email addresses?  Good data to us is when we have their contact information and we know the buyer’s What and When.

If we have the buyer’s What we can help find them what they’re looking for, and on their timeline.  If a buyer is 5 years out, that’s not going to help any of our current sellers today.  Building up a consistent pipeline is key to getting seller’s homes sold quickly.

If you have a home to sell, call Brett or Sande Ellis 239—489-4042 Ext 4 or visit www.SWFLhomevalues.com We can sit down with you and show you how we’re different.

In the meantime, we’ll keep an eye out on the market for you.  Good luck and Happy Selling!