In a shifting market it’s not uncommon for real estate appraisal values to lag behind the market of the moment.  We have such a market in SW Florida.

Real Estate Appraisal Values Lag Behind Market
Real Estate Appraisal Values Lag Behind Market

Have you ever noticed when gas prices at the pump rise, they seem to do so quickly and when they fall it tends to be slow?  Appraisals feel kind of the same way.  In a rapidly rising market appraisers are slow to pick up on the rise, but when prices are falling, they get conservative and offer time value adjustments to the downside.  Appraisers are simply protecting themselves because they have risk.  The last thing they want is a lender accusing them of over valuing property values.

Appraisers concentrate on what happened in the past and must wait on data to reflect on what is happening on the streets today.  It’s a lot like looking in the rear-view mirror, they can tell you where the market has been but not where the market is headed.  Appraisers must prove values with data all the while mitigating risk by being caught in a rapidly changing market.

There are things agents can do to improve value with the appraiser as well as sell over appraised value.  It takes an experienced agent to deal with these issues.  Sellers mistakenly believe it does not matter who they list with in a seller’s market.  It always matters who you list with, and now is no exception!

Experienced buyer’s agents are counseling buyers on what it takes to score a property today.  We are seeing multiple offers and many times the winning buyer will pay well over asking price.  Buyers are being counseled it may or may not appraise depending on the appraiser and the buyer will have to pay the difference.  The lender will lend based upon a loan to value ratio of the appraisal.  This does not stop the buyer from purchasing, but it might raise their down payment.  Lenders are now counseling buyers too that homes are selling for more than appraised value in many cases.  Real estate appraisal values simply are not keeping up.

Sellers are not accepting as many repair items after inspection either.  They do not have to.  If the buyer backs out there may be 10-20 other buyers willing to pick up that property the day it falls out.  In fact, many buyers are scoring deals simply on the fear of greed of a previous buyer who backs out.  Sellers have the upper hand right now.  Buyers are not really in competition with the seller, they are in competition with all the other buyers that would love to have their deal.

You never want to go back to sell a property a second time, unless the first buyer is not being reasonable or if the line of backup buyers is stronger and more motivated than the first.  This is one reason we spend time on selecting the best 1st contract.  We evaluate how likely this buyer is to complete the sale. We look at pre-approval letter, amount down, amount in escrow, and all terms.  The offer tells a story and prompts questions.  We may call the lender or ask further questions to help the seller make the best decision for them.

For buyers it helps to work with a team that represents a lot of sellers, because we know what listing agents are looking for in an offer, and we can help structure your offer to be more desirable.  Remember, your offer not only has to be acceptable to seller, it must beat out all the other offers.  Price is just one term among many the seller and listing agent looks at.

If you are looking to buy and sell, give us a call.  Brett and Sande can be reached at 239-489-4042 Ext 4.  We’ll be happy to talk about your situation and give you the advice you need to succeed. Visit www.SWFLHomevalues.com to see what your home is worth.   Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

See last week’s article “Correctly Priced Homes Selling with Multiple Offers

SW Florida Real Estate Market Update September 2020

Market prices are driven by supply and demand.  Basic economics teaches us this and the SW Florida real estate market is living proof.  We have excellent demand locally along with declining inventory.  Basically, we are outselling the number of new homes that come on the market each week.  We see correctly priced homes selling with multiple offers.

Correctly Priced Homes Selling with Multiple Offers
Correctly Priced Homes Selling with Multiple Offers in SW Florida

Ellis Team buyer agents have been selling up a storm lately, and we have had to spend some time with our buyers educating them on what it takes to win an offer.  Homes that are not in multiple offer situations can quickly turn in just a matter of hours.  We keep on the lookout for homes that enter the market for our buyers and many times our buyers are forced to buy it within a day or two of being on the market.

Our team has a databank of over 11,000 people searching for specific criteria.  We filter those out by the most motivated.  If they wish to buy in a year, they search for information purposes, but any home they see now will be gone in days, if it is priced and marketed correctly.

Most Correctly Priced Homes Selling

We have seen homes priced correctly that have not sold.  Our buyers are thankful for that because if it had been marketed correctly it might not still be there.  This brings us to another especially important point.

Marketing matters as does proper pricing.  Pricing can change by the week in some areas, and not move so much in others.  It pays to know what is selling, what is not, and why.  An experienced agent can help you with that.

It also pays to list with an agent who is an expert in the market, and markets heavily.  We have included a graph sorted by price range.  We also look at property class, neighborhood, and a variety of other factors to determine pricing trends.

Housing supply lowered in every single price point in the last 30 days, and yet not all prices saw rising sales.  Inventory just dipped, and maybe sales were lower because there was not inventory to sell.  We are seeing a nice rise in sales in the $300,000 to $1 Million range.  Other ranges saw sales gains too, but homes in these ranges not only saw lower inventory but rising sales numbers as well.

September was a good month for the Ellis Team and our Keller Williams office.  We had 188 closings last month with several more that spilled into October as the lenders were backed up getting the closings out.

Thinking of Selling?

You should talk to Brett or Sande Ellis. Brett and Sande have the experience to price your home where it should be in today’s market and the marketing muscle to get your home sold fast and for top dollar. When we take your listing, we can search our databank of buyers and see if we may already have the buyer for your home.  If not, our marketing goes to work, and we would love the opportunity to show you that all Realtors do not market the same.

Choosing the wrong Realtor could cost you thousands of dollars.  Selecting the wrong offer can cost you the sale completely.  If you’re not ready to sell but want a quick, fairly accurate price of your home, www.SWFLhomevalues.com is one of the most accurate around.  No computer is perfect, and prices are changing weekly, but it’s a good start. If you want to talk, Call Sande or Brett Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4 Selling a home is a process, and we enjoy explaining the process and making it easier for you.  The Ellis Team has systems and tools to make the process simpler, and of course we’ll get you Top Dollar.

Always call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty, your Top Dollar Realtors!

See last week’s article “Lee County Real Estate Market Setting Records

We’ve got good news for sellers and for buyers.  The Lee County real estate market is setting records and you might be wondering how this is good news for buyers.

Total Dollar Volume Lee County Real Estate Market

First off, the total dollar volume of sales increased 45.5% to a whopping $553.5 Million in August sales, a new high for the year. Three things are spurring these sales.  Low interest rates, people moving to Florida, and more inventory coming to market.  Median prices rose 16.5% in August over last year, and closed sales were up 16.5% as well.  Both positive numbers added to the rise in dollar volume.

When inventory is falling like it has, you cannot have increased sales forever.  Eventually you’ll run out of inventory to sell. What saved the day is a 32.3% rise in new listings over last year.  This is the good news for buyers.  Before we get too carried away, we’d like to point out one fact.

Lee County Real Estate Market New Listings
New Listings

It is true listings were up 32.3%.  August new listings were 1,547.  New pending sales was 1,796.  This means 249 more homes went under contract than came to the market.  We know some of those deals will fall out over inspection issues, appraisal, etc.  Still, more homes are going pending than coming to market, so that is not a sign of increasing inventory.  The silver lining is more new listings came up than last year.  Without those new listings, dollar volume would not be as high.

We are starting to receive more calls from sellers wondering if now might be a good time to cash out of their property.  Their property has served them well, and they know inventory is low and sellers are in the driver’s seat.  Some sellers are looking to upgrade or downsize, and they feel now is a good time to sell, and they are correct.

We believe more of those conversations will be happening this year.  Will it be enough to cover the buyer demand we have right now?  Nobody knows that answer.  We do not know who will win the election, or even when it will be decided.  A vaccine isn’t approved yet, although tests look promising.  With so many unknowns, nobody can guarantee where the Lee County real estate market will be next year.

What we do know is buyers love Florida and they are moving here.  Sellers sit in a good position, and the sellers choosing to sell right now are doing well.  Agents who use technology and marketing at a high level are doing well, and others are struggling.

The real estate business is changing rapidly right now, and many agents won’t be in the business a year from now.  Some companies are also closing due to pressures of lead acquisition and market conditions.  Who you work with now is more important than ever.

Keep in mind, markets can swing, and little variations in the data can affect sellers.  Staying on top of the data can help sellers make quicker and better decisions.  When the market is on the move, you must pay attention.

The Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty studies the market and the data.  Did you know you can see years’ worth of data on our blog? Subscribe to blog.topagent.com and you’ll receive timely trends as we publish them.

If you’d like to talk to Sande or Brett Ellis, give us a call 239-489-4042 Ext 4  We can discuss your situation and see if this hot market is right for you to make a move.  Having facts helps you make better decisions.  Brett and Sande are here to help.

Find out what your home is worth online for Free

Good luck and happy selling!

See last week’s article “Rising Florida Home Prices Caused by Low Inventory