The Ellis Team is introducing our virtual listing appointment program to safely list and sell your home. People still need to buy and sell property, but in today’s social distancing environment meeting people isn’t always a good idea.

For years we’ve used various technologies to bring a consumer experience to the buyer.  We’ve adapted to bring this same experience to the seller, with a few new twists.  Our website can be found at www.Virtual-Listing-Appointment.com

Virtual Listing Appointment Program to Safely List Your Home

How the Virtual Listing Appointment Program Works

The first step is a virtual listing consultation with Brett or Sande.  We’ll discuss your situation, what you’re trying to accomplish, where you’re going, and what your ideal timeframe is.  We can do all of this with an online video conference we’ll setup for you.

Next, we can do a virtual walkthrough with you.  On your phone you can show us the house using our video conferencing application.  If you don’t have internet at the home, we can do this through photos and other methods.  Brett and Sande can discuss comparables and market conditions with you on the video conference just as if we were meeting in your home or at our office.

Once you feel comfortable and make the decision to place your home on the market, all listing documents can be signed electronically by e-signature.  We have the software to do that as well.

3D Virtual Tour

3D Virtual Tours

The Ellis Team then springs into action.  We hire a professional photographer to photograph your home and do a 3D virtual tour of your home.  This allows us to setup online showings via our websites and 3D tour solutions for buyers.  Our team has sold several homes over the years sight unseen online.  We can do the same for your home.

Some buyers will purchase via virtual tools, and some will not.  At the very least, we can eliminate a lot of shoppers.  Most all buyers love the technology and can narrow down their choices online.  In this way we’re helping sell our listings and reducing the foot traffic in the home.  It doesn’t do a lot of good having 100 showings to find one buyer.  Now we create the online showings and still find the buyer.  If we can cut the actual showings down significantly and still sell the home, we’ve made the selling process safer for buyers and sellers in the process.

Virtual Open Houses

Our team holds virtual open houses.  This is another way we can cut down on people entering your home and potentially spreading the Coronavirus, the flu, or any other germs.

Ellis Team buyer agents can also do virtual showings with buyers.  Let’s say the virtual tour or online photos don’t address all the buyer’s questions.  Instead of setting up showings and bringing buyers through your home, our agents can go to your home a do a video walk-through guided by the buyer.  The buyer sees exactly what they want to see and gets all their questions asked, and the seller doesn’t have a large group of people going through their home.

Sellers also appreciate that with less showings, the home doesn’t have to be stage ready at a minute’s notice every day.  By having the home show ready on day of photos, it takes a lot of pressure off keeping home show-ready every single day.

Once we list a home, we can continue to host virtual meetings with our sellers.  We can provide listing updates, walk through the MLS together, and present sales contracts.  Our technology brings us closer together than ever before.

The Future of Real Estate

And who knows, this may become the Future of Real Estate.  A crisis like this forces us to adapt, and by thinking out of the box we may have created a better way to communicate with our sellers on a consistent basis.  Now we can have scheduled virtual meetings anytime, just as if we’re sitting together in your living room.  Put the virtual listing appointment program to work for you.

If you’re thinking about selling, Always Call Brett or Sande Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4 or visit www.Virtual-Listing-Appointment.com

See last week’s article “Coronavirus Changing Real Estate Transactions

The world as we know it has changed, at least for a few months.  Today we’d like to talk about how the Coronavirus changing real estate transactions affects consumers and what needs to happen going forward.

Let’s face it, people are scared about their health, job, economy, etc.  This virus is scary and causes us to feel a loss of control.  We as humans like to control our destiny and protect our family.  We also know some buyers need to buy, and some sellers need to sell.

What can be done to alleviate fears, calm anxiety, and still allow for real estate transactions to occur.  We’ve come up with some strategies to help our customers who want or need to make a move while all this virus stuff is going on.

One of the things we do is create 3D tours of our listings so buyers can walk through a home virtually.  We also use professional photos to make the home look as real as possible to a potential buyer online.

The second thing we’re doing is creating virtual staging.  Let’s say we have a buyer out of town, or local but trying to eliminate the number of homes they enter.  Our agents can setup a virtual showing whereby we show the home on video and walk-thru.  Buyers can ask questions and have us go back and show them certain things on video in real-time.  We’ve had several buyers purchase homes using this technique without ever having to visit the home in person.  We can video the back yard, neighborhood, amenities, etc.  Anything the buyer wants to see in person we can do online.  We also have some video walk-throughs  like this one at 19694 Villa Rosa Loop in Estero.

We offer online mortgages too with zero-lender fees.  This speeds up the lending process and requires no human interaction in person.  Our team uses electronic documents as well, so customers can sign purchase or listing agreements, required disclosures, and all necessary paperwork electronically.

We now have a mobile app that let’s customers view properties anywhere in the country.  Simply go to www.mobilesearchapp.com and search away.  Be sure to select Brett Ellis as your agent.  The app shows you how much you’ll save with the zero-lender fee option, as well allow you to search at the neighborhood level, not just the city and zip code level.  Just type in a neighborhood and you’re good to go.  It will also show you nearby open houses.

Coronavirus Changing Real Estate Transactions

Video conferencing is a nice option to meet with your agent and discuss your needs.  We can share our screen so you can see items on a contract or MLS printout, or simply talk face to face without any risk of transmitting or receiving Coronavirus.

The bottom line is just because the world is going through a health scare doesn’t mean you have to give up on your real estate needs.  If you have a lease expiring, your landlord may not care that you don’t have a place to go.  We’ve got to find alternative ways to accomplish our goals.  The restaurant industry is adapting by offering drive thru, takeout, and delivery service.  The real estate industry must adapt as well.  In fact, this could become a model going forward.

We posted a video on our YouTube channel www.youtube.com/brettellisfl about how we’re changing to meet the needs of our customers.  The current situation demands it.

We also created a Real Estate Coronavirus Mastermind Task Force for top agents to meet and discuss ways to help buyers and sellers conduct transactions in this challenging time.  Buyers and sellers have needs, and we want to deliver results in a safe way for our clients and our families as well.  Together we’ll weather the storm, and who knows, we might even create a model to more efficiently and safely sell homes in the future. As we study the effects of Coronavirus changing real estate transactions, we’ll constanly provide solutions to meet those challenges.

If you’d like to talk to Brett or Sande, give us a call at 239-489-4042 Ext 4.  We can setup a video conference with you as well.

Good luck, stay safe, and Happy Home Buying and Selling if you’re in the market.  We’re here to help if you need an agent with experience working through challenges like this.

See last week’s article “Real Estate Inventory Supply Tightens in SW Florida Since December

Real estate inventory supply tightens in SW Florida since December with current supply standing at 4.20 months.  Back in December the number stood at a 4.43-month’s supply.  It’s interesting, because everyone believes inventory levels are falling.  That is a true statement, but inventory levels only fell 58 homes since December.

Real Estate Inventory Supply Tightens

Real Estate Inventory Supply Tightens in SW Florida

The bigger story is 535 more homes sold in the past 365 days than the past December’s last 365 days.  This tells us home sales are on the uptick.  We’ve been preaching how low interest rates are causing more people to purchase, and that is also true.

So basically, we’ve seen 535 more sales combined with 58 less homes.  These two factors caused the month’s supply to drop to 4.2 months.  Could there be more to the story?  Let’s dig a little deeper.

Inventory Levels Rise Above $300k

We saw inventory levels rise in all ranges above $300k.  The good news is sales rose in those ranges as well to help offset that.  When we analyze each price range, we discovered the month’s supply of inventory grew in the $600k-$1 million range, and the $100k-$150k range.  The differences in each range are minuscule.

We have a healthy market, and if a home is priced correctly and marketed well, it should sell.  If a home is not selling and being marketed, it means the market is rejecting the price and it must be lowered to meet where the buyers are.

Some homes are priced correctly, and they’re just not marketed.  In that case, the seller will never know if it’s the price or the marketing.  If it is marketed well, sometimes the seller refuses to accept that they want more for their home than the market will bear.  They’ll typically say things like “You’re not attracting the right buyers”, or “They aren’t buyers, they’re just lookers and can’t qualify for my home.”  They’re often shocked to find out those buyers went and bought another home that was a better value.

Buyers don’t care what a seller needs for their home.  They only care about what’s best for their family.  Sellers should understand this because they were the same way when they were purchasing.

Agent’s Role in Transaction

A real estate agent’s job is part analyst, part psychologist.  We must uncover the true motivations for each buyer and seller and determine what is most important.  If they truly want a different home but are holding on too tightly to the home they have, perhaps they’re not as motivated to move as they thought they were.

We have a really good market right now.  It’s a good time to sell because buyers are out there, and rates are affordable.  Low interest rates are beneficial on the sell side because more people qualify for the home than they did when rates were higher.  It’s also beneficial when that seller turns around and purchases the next home if they’re getting a mortgage.

We’re telling people it’s not a bad idea to get a mortgage even if they were considering paying cash.  It’s almost free money at this point if they qualify, and we can help get buyers a loan with zero lender fees at market rate without paying a premium.

Neighborhood Info

If you’re a seller and would like a neighborhood snapshot of your home, simply email me at Brett@topagent.com with your name and address and I’ll set you up on a system that will email you updates on your neighborhood. Or, you can signup at ellisteam.kw.com and put in your neighborhood.  The site will show you all the homes for sale along with neighborhood statistics.

Our mission is to provide you with information the easiest way possible.  Your search for information should be easy, not complicated.  And if you need some wisdom and counseling about the process, we’re here to help with that too.

We’re here for you whatever step you are in the process.  You might just be starting out, you might be interviewing agents for a home you’re considering selling, or your home may have expired, and you want to switch agents.  Please call Brett or Sande Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4, use our website, or email us and we’ll be glad to help.

See last weeks article “Once in a Lifetime Opportunity

Coronavirus Update on How Real Estate is Sold in SW Florida

I had other subjects I intended to write on for this week’s article.  However, when a once in a lifetime opportunity presents itself, it becomes newsworthy and a story worth telling.

Two weeks ago we mentioned how interest rates and inventory will shape this real estate market for 2020.  Last week we talked about Coronavirus and its possible impact on the market.  This week it’s a combination of both, and what the once in a lifetime opportunity is and how to take advantage of it.

Once in a Lifetime Opportunity

Because of Coronavirus, the financial markets have been lowering the yields on the 10 yr Treasury note in a flight to quality.  The Coronavirus brought global recession fears as business and travel would surely slow due to the virus.  Money fled out of stocks and into treasuries.  The Federal Reserve was forced to have an emergency meeting and lower the fed funds rate.

30 yr mortgages are not tied to what the fed does.  They are more closely tied to the 10 yr yield.  As a rule of thumb, you can add about 2 percentage points to whatever the 10 yr yield is and that’ll be close to current mortgage rates.

10 Year Yield Hits Historic Low

Once in a Lifetime Opportunity

An interesting thing happened this week.  The 10 yr yield went down below 1% for the first time in history.  When we add 2% to the 1% yield, we get 30-year rates about 3% or less.  So, what is the once in a lifetime opportunity?

Buyers today can get a new mortgage at some of the lowest rates in history.  It’s not free money, but it’s close enough for conversation.  Every 1% drop in interest rates provides about 11% more purchasing power for a buyer.  We’ve seen rates drop about 2% in the past year, so that’s about 22% more purchasing power for buyers.

Put another way, this also brings more buyers to the table.  So if a buyer was having a hard time finding a decent property in their price range, they now qualify for more.  Buyers may be able to go up in price range and get that home they wanted, and the monthly payment won’t cost them any more than it would have 6 months ago.

Sellers: Time to Stay or Time to Go

Homeowners could choose to refinance their home.  Saving money each month would allow them to buy that dream home in Florida or save for retirement.  All that extra monthly savings will somehow get reinvested back into the economy, which could fuel our economy into the future, long after this virus business has passed.

We have an open window right now.  Nobody knows how long the window will stay open.  We have several lenders we work with that offer little to zero lender fees, so now may be your once in a lifetime opportunity.

If you’re a seller and unsure whether to refinance your home or sell it and buy a new home, call Brett or Sande Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4 and we can look at your situation.  We also have a Free home valuation tool that will give you an approximate home value online instantly.  Simply go to www.SWFLhomevalues.com to get your free analysis.

The Ellis Team has a team of buyer specialists to help guide you through this once in a lifetime opportunity. We know you have questions.  We can help answer real estate questions as well as help you with some lending options that might make sense for you.  If you’re not sure if you qualify, that’s OK.  Let’s get you with a professional and find out.  It’s free to find out, and we’re here to help.  Be sure to ask about our zero-lender fee mortgage available to our customers.

If you’re a seller, be sure to ask for Brett or Sande.  This is a once in a lifetime opportunity, so we want to make sure you make the best decision for your family. If you’re thinking of buying and would like to search the MLS like Realtor’s do, go to www.leecountyonline.com

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

See last week’s article “Coronavirus Impact on Real Estate Nationwide and Locally