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 showings.  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

One of the ways we measure health of the real estate market is to measure the real estate total dollar volume of sales.  We get this by multiplying the number of sales by the average sales prices.  The reason this figure is important is because it quickly tells us so much.  We know that Lee County Florida real estate total dollar volume was up again in 2019, beating all the past 5 previous years.

Real Estate Total Dollar Volume Up in Lee County

Real Estate Total Dollar Volume Up

The average sales price was down 1.7% for the year while the median sales price was up 3.0% The reason the real estate total dollar volume is up is because sales climbed 3.4% for the year.  Even though the average price fell, we made up for it by increased sales.

We started to see sales prices rising at the end of 2019, so the 1.7% drop in average price is the average for the entire year.  Inventory fell 16.5% in 2019. Combining lower inventory with lower interest rates, we’ve got a recipe for potential price increases.  It’s a classic supply vs. demand with a little bit of affordability mixed in the formula which equals rising price potential.

Mortgage applications rose this past week as well, which is a sign that consumers are jumping on these low rates.  Many are new purchase applications, and some are refinance applications.  We’re seeing more people in SW Florida considering their options.  They’ve been locked in their homes for quite awhile and they’re wondering if now might be the time to make a move.  They’ve finally gained enough equity, either through paying own their mortgage or rising home values, or both.

The trickiest part is finding the next home to move into while there are low inventory levels.  That’s where we can help.  We’ve helped people find new construction they weren’t aware of, which is sort of like invisible inventory.  The other thing we have is a new App that is making the home search process more fun.

New Consumer Experience App

You’ll be hearing more about this new app very soon.  We believe it will make shopping for real estate fun and be the best consumer experience you’ve seen.  It will reshape the industry.  To do that, it must be a game changer.  This weekend I’m out in Dallas at our national convention where we expect it’ll be released.  If you’d like a VIP invite to check it out, send me an email to Brett@topagent.com with message line Consumer App.  I’m going to make sure News Press readers and our Blog readers get first access to this cool new technology.  The best part is, it works nationwide too, so if you’re visiting here from somewhere else, you can use it for back home too.

2020 will be an interesting year to watch.  Sometimes election years can be funky as consumer confidence is held in the balance, but that doesn’t seem to be the case this year.  Americans seem confident in the direction of the economy.  The job outlook is bright, interest rates are low, and people’s retirement plans are doing well.  The stock market is on fire.  All systems seem to be go.  Trade deals are going our way which sets up well for the economy of the future.

Prices are almost back to where they were in 2005.  The difference is we have end users for our homes.  Back then we had speculation and flippers without end users.  The inventory was built for future demand.  Today we don’t have enough inventory, so it’s a totally different market, and the risks that were present back in 2005 are not here today.

2020 is All About the Consumer

We feel good about the local real estate market and its direction.  We feel good about the consumer experience we’re bringing to the market.  2020 will be an exciting year on many levels, both for the consumer and for agents that disrupt the status quo.  The Ellis Team looks forward to disrupting the status quo.  Email us if you’d like a first access to our new consumer experience.  If you have a home to sell, call Sande or Brett Ellis at 239-489-4042 Ext 4

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

See Last Week’s Article “Lee County Home Prices Almost Back to Record Prices

Open House Saturday 10 AM – 1 PM

13934 Bently Cir

4 Bed 5 Bath 2,701 Sq Ft

Bell Tower Park Open House Saturday

 

 

Reflection Lakes Fort Myers Market Update

Whiskey Creek Market Update

We’re almost back baby!  We mean this in a good way.  Lee County home prices are almost back to 2005 levels, and this is good news. Some might take this to mean home prices are approaching record territory and it’s time to worry.  We say not in the least, and for several reasons.

Lee County Home Prices Almost Back to Record Prices

In a growing economy, home prices were always going to rise.  The difference is, back in 2005 we had pre-built inventory that exceeded demand.  It was false demand.  You can’t keep selling the same home to flipper to flipper without an end user in mind without future repercussions.  Our market was playing musical chairs.  When the music ran out, we had more homes than end users, and we had a glut.

We would eventually need all those homes, just not right then.  Of course, the downturn came and hit our area hard.  Builders quit building.  Eventually our workforce grew again, and our economy picked up.  Except the home building didn’t, and what seemed like a glut back in 2005 was now the floor.  We needed more construction.

Fast forward to today.  Our economy is fantastic.  We’re looking at some of the best numbers in our nation’s history.  Because we’re now in a global environment, we have global competition.  The U.S. is tearing it up, and we don’t see much inflation.  This allows interest rates to stay low.  In the old days, a heating economy meant rising rates, and that’s just not the case right now.

Lee County Home Prices

We have more room for price gains because it’s really all about the affordability.  People are making more money and borrowing costs haven’t risen.  This makes housing affordable for more people.  And SW Florida is growing, which adds demand for more housing.

Therefore, we’re seeing inventory levels falling and prices rising.  We have end users, which is something we didn’t have back in 2005.  Trade deals favorable to us have been struck with Mexico, Canada, and China.  These deals will greatly help farmers, manufacturing jobs in the US, and more.  The very people it will help may eventually move to places like Florida.

We expect to see the Fort Myers/Cape Coral area and points north like Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte take off.  It may not be sudden, but 10 years from now we’ll look up and marvel at all the new growth we’ve seen.

With that being said, there are still sellers that manage to overprice their home and fail to sell.  Proper pricing and maximum marketing are what sells homes.  You don’t want to under price your home and give equity away to the buyer, and you don’t want to overprice it and watch your neighbors sell while your home sits on the market.

Great Agents Make the Difference

Hiring the best agent is the key.  Hiring the wrong agent can cost you thousands.  It can cost you the sale.  If you’re thinking of selling, please call Sande or Brett Ellis 239-489-4042 ext. 4 for some expert advice.

Buyers, you need expert advice too.  There is a lot to consider.  What is the total cost of ownership?  You’re competing against other buyers, so you need to know what the price and payments will be.  What are the HOA and condo fees?  How much will insurance be?  Are the planned special assessments?

A seasoned agent can help you get all this information.  Buying a home or condo is much more than just looking at pictures and prices.  A lot of study goes into it, and a true professional can speed up that information gathering and analysis for you.  Analyzing information quickly is key here, because low inventory levels are forcing buyers to act faster than years past.  Our team can help you do that.  Buyers can search the MLS like a pro at www.LeeCountyOnline.com  It is updated in real-time, and you can reach us quickly if you need us.  Sellers can get their home value instantly at www.SWFLhomevalues.com  Quality and speed are the keys in 2020, and we can help you with both.

Let us know how we can help you.  Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

See Last Week’s Article “Lee County Real Estate market Finishes 2019 Strong

New economic data just released shows US new home construction up 16.9% in December, and it’s not enough to balance a backlog of demand.  A separate report shows that from 2012 to 2019 builders built 5.9 million new single-family homes.  In that same time frame, 9.8 million new households were formed in the US.  That is a shortage of 3.9 million homes.

New Home Construction Up 16.9% in December and It’s Not Enough

In the aftermath of the foreclosure crisis we saw households forming and little to no new inventory being built because of the credit crisis.  Sure, one of the reasons we had the crisis in the first place was because flippers built homes without end users in mind, so we had perhaps an over-supply.  They were just flipping to another flipper. That crisis lasted several years with little home building.

New Home Construction Up 16.9% in December

Since then builders have been cautious about building anything on spec.  Fast forward to today.  We have a booming economy, low interest rates, and households still forming.  In other words, nationally we have a shortage that needs to be made up.

States like Florida are seeing an influx of buyers moving here because of our tax structure.  Let’s face it, Florida is attractive on several levels, not the least of which is great weather and sunshine.  What’s new are the tax advantages.  While Florida has always enjoyed tax advantages due to no state income tax, new tax laws have brought to light just how out of balance some states are.

For instance, high tax states like New York, New Jersey, California, and Connecticut are bleeding residents, and tax revenue as they leave.  They are leaving in droves to lower tax states like Florida and Texas.  One report suggests lower tax states gained $32 Billion in adjusted gross income.  The booming economy has helped states collect about 6% more revenue overall, but states with lower taxes are doing better than the ones with higher taxes.

In the south, construction was only up 9.3% versus much higher in other regions.  This tells us Florida has more need for building construction, and this could be putting upward pressure on home prices.  Of course, higher prices do not work unless you have rising incomes to support it, and a booming economy.

Despite political turmoil, financial markets seem to shrug off impeachment hearings as not serious.  If impeachment allegations were serious, the markets would not be stable like they are today, and the financial markets and housing markets would swing into chaos.  The markets are betting all signs are pointing to status quo and no real changes coming to Washington.

Interest rates remain low, and oil prices have been steady despite regional tensions.  With an influx of new residents to Florida, we see a need for new construction in Florida.  Many homeowners in SW Florida would sell their home if they had a place to move to that meets their needs.

The Ellis Team has noticed an uptick in buyer inquiries into new construction opportunities.  Some buyers only want to look at new construction.  Many others don’t want to wait and focus on resales, while others look at both because they are flexible and searching for the best opportunity.

It’s important to work with a Realtor when buying new construction.  The commission is built-in, so you don’t save it if you buy on your own.  You also don’t get the expertise of an experienced Realtor who can guide you on options, locations, and designs that will maximize resale value when you go to sell.  Making good decisions upfront can save you thousands later.

Lastly, builders won’t always tell you about incentives.  For them you are just one sale.  A good Realtor can bring them many sales, so they hear about the incentives offered. Just this past month alone our team has helped several buyers save thousands and helped them make great decisions that will help them years down the road when selling their home.

If you have a home to sell, Always Call Brett or Sande Ellis at 239-489-4042 Ext 4.  If you’re looking to buy, our team of buyer specialists can guide you, whether it’s a new home or resale.  Visit www.LeeCountyOnline.com to see all the homes on the market in real-time.

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

See Last Week’s Article “Ellis Team Luxury Division of Fine Homes and Estates

Ellis Team sales smash records again in 2019. Our marketing is working.  In 2018 Board of Realtors sales were down 8.5% for the year.  In 2018 Ellis Team sales were up 53.73%.  2019 official numbers aren’t out yet, but we do have YTD numbers through November.  The Board of Realtors are down 1.2% for the year while the Ellis Team sales are up 18.82% That’s on top of the 53.73% sales gains from last year.

Ellis Team Sales Smash Records

Ellis Team Sales Smash Records Again in 2019

What’s our secret?  It’s a combination of things some would say is the secret sauce.  First off, we believe in marketing.  The Ellis Team survived back in the foreclosure crisis when a lot of other Realtors went out of business because we never stopped marketing.  Sure, times were tough, but we made it, and we sold a lot of homes.  In fact, the National Credit Union Association and Bank of America met with us and hired us because of our marketing and track record of getting homes sold, even the tough ones.

Thankfully, those days are long gone.  Marketing works in good times and bad.  When the market shifts, most agents hunker down and cut costs.  Sales go down when they cut marketing and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.  It’s wise to constantly evaluate what works and adapt to new methods and advertising channels.  We’ve done that, and today we reach more buyers through our advertising than ever before.  Our clients thank us because our listings sell.  In fact, Ellis Team listings sell faster and for more money than the average sale in MLS, and one reason is the extra exposure we can give our listings.

Ellis Team Luxury Division

The Ellis Team just opened our luxury division.  We can now offer additional marketing to luxury listings that increases our local and global reach. Talk to Brett or Sande Ellis if you have a luxury listing you’re thinking of selling.

Sande and Brett have a lot of experience selling in SW Florida and we’ve developed some proprietary systems that help our team stand out.

There’s much more, but the final point we’ll make today is our people.  We only hire the best.  Agents and Ellis Team managers go through a lengthy and exhaustive interview process to be on our team.  We look for people with drive, a willingness to learn, and values that match our own.  We don’t settle, and neither should you.

Best in Real Estate Fort Myers

Perhaps that’s why the Ellis Team has been voted the Best in Real Estate 4 years in a row in the News Press Readers’ poll.  Real estate is all about relationships.  We’re not here just to sell more homes.  We’re here to make a positive impact on each of our client’s lives.  Some buy or sell for happy reasons, and some for sad reasons.  Whatever your reason, we listen and care.  We devise solutions based on your needs, and your time frame.

The market is heating up.  Our phone is ringing, and the sales are coming. We understand that some agents’ business is down, so their perception is the market must be down. For agents that have a plan and are executing that plan, business is good.  As a seller, you want an agent that’s using the latest technology and marketing to reach more buyers for your home.

Marketing is the Key

The real estate industry is changing.  Generating leads has become more costly and time intensive.  Agents try to buy leads from providers because they don’t want to spend money on marketing or time lead generating.  We call that hitting the “Easy Button”.  When you do that, you’re always susceptible to the provider changing the terms and diluting the leads by selling same lead to many agents.  This is why agents are struggling.  There is a better way. Do your own marketing and own lead generating.  Yes, it takes time, skill, and courage.  In the end, it works, and sellers will hire you for it.

Call Brett or Sande Ellis at 239-489-4042 Ext 4 and we’ll be happy to discuss ways we can help you.  Even if you just have a simple real estate question, we’re here to help.  Or visit www.SWFLhomevalues.com for a Free instant online home price evaluation.

See Last Week’s Article “Home Sale Price Gains a Trend in SW Florida?

Could home sale price gains become a trend in SW Florida?  It could, and here’s why.  SW Florida hasn’t seen true price gains the last few years for whatever reason. And that’s OK with us.  We always felt if there was a recession and price correction, SW Florida would be somewhat insulated as we didn’t participate in price run-ups like other counties in the state.  Now that the economy is taking off and interest rates are low, all signs seem go for the Florida real estate market.

Home Sale Price Gains a Trend in SW Florida

This creates an opportunity for SW Florida.  While all of Florida is benefiting from the booming economy, low rates, and low taxes, SW Florida may have more room to grow than other counties that have already experienced price gains.  Just as certain stock industries appreciate at various rates, so can local real estate markets.

High tax states like New York and New Jersey sometimes flock to the East coast of Florida, while Midwestern states like Illinois, Minnesota, Ohio, Iowa, etc. tend to migrate to the West coast.  Even that is changing though.  Part-time and full-time residents from East coast of Florida are coming over to West coast as well.  People want value and quality of life when deciding where to live, and SW Florida offers both, and it’s beginning to get noticed.  Our values are great, and traffic is so much better than the big cities.

Home Sale Price Gains a Trend in SW Florida?

Median home prices are up 5% this November vs. last November and average prices are up 1.6% Year to date median home prices are up 2.4% while average price are down 2.2%  We’ll be watching the next few months numbers to see if a price trend emerges.  The last few weeks we’ve written extensively on how the SW Florida real estate market is changing.  All these indicators point to a strengthening real estate market, and we love the potential of this market.

Stock pickers frequently look for the undervalued stocks in an industry, or the diamond in the rough.  SW Florida was forgotten about for whatever reason, and we think that’s about to change.  Will we see double digit growth?  Doubtful and we’re not looking for that.  We love steady, sustainable growth with quality of life.  SW Florida doesn’t want to become Miami West.  We have our own laid-back character and charm, and most want to keep it that way.  You can’t stop growth, but you can be smart about it.  Proper planning for roads, bridges, water quality, wildlife, shopping, etc. makes a big difference.

Near the end of January, we’ll have final 2019 numbers, and when final numbers are in, we believe 2019 will be a great year.  Home sales should eclipse the past 4 years, prices should be up, and inventory should be down.  If this holds true, we’ll have a better idea of how 2020 will shape up.  History only tells us where we’ve been.  It doesn’t always tell us where we’re going.  To know that, we either have to read the tea leaves or pull out our crystal ball.

It is hard to read the tea leaves if you don’t know exactly where you’ve been, where you are today, and what factors are influencing the market currently.  We have a pretty good handle on all three, and final 2019 numbers combined with January preliminary sales data will go a long way to telling us how season will go.

If you have a home to sell, always call Brett or Sande Ellis at the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty 239-489-4042 Ext 4  or visit www.SWFLhomevalues.com to get an instant free analysis of your home.

We hope the holidays were kind to you and we look forward to serving you another year in real estate.  Please let us know how we can help you.

Good luck and Happy Home Selling!

See Last Week’s Article “November Closed Home Sales up 6.6%

November closed home sales were up 6.6% over last November.  As you can see by the graph, home sales have been mostly up since May over last year.  We’ve been reporting excellent pending sales, so this number is no surprise.

November Closed Home Sales

The interesting number for us to watch as we close out 2019 will be the total number of home sales for the year.  Right now, we’re up 1.0% November through November.  If sales come in as expected for December 2019 will top 2018 which was a great year. November Closed home sales were up as have several previous months.

By our calculations we only need 772 closed sales to beat 2018 numbers.  To put this in perspective, we closed 1001 homes in November.  New pending sales were up 15.2% in October and up 28.2% in November.  It’s hard to imagine that we won’t hit those numbers.

This is good news for home sellers.  Pending inventory is up 33.4% and active listings are down 14.2% from last year.  While interest rates are rising, they haven’t risen enough to make a dent in demand.  Last month we saw some price increases we haven’t seen in a while.  Will this be the start of a trend?

Another indicator we look at is total dollar volume.  It was up again in November, up 8.3% over last year.  Total dollar volume is down 1.2% November 2018 through November 2019.  If we have another big month this December, we could overtake 2018 in that category as well.

It’s almost a tale of two markets.  The first 4 months of 2019 featured higher interest rates.  If you remember, the fed hiked rates about 1% in 2018 needlessly.  Rates since came back down, and the economy got hot.  Together these two factors helped propel the real estate market.  Rates are off their lows just a bit but still under 4% which is fantastic.  Combine low rates with a hot economy, and you’ve got a recipe for a hot real estate market.

We already see evidence, and the signs are flashing green.  Sales are up, pending sales are up, and inventory is lower than last year.  Median home prices rose 5.0% in November vs. last years median price.  We don’t like to get too hung up on prices for any given month.  We prefer to focus on trends. Home prices have been steady since 2017.  The median is up slightly since January 2017 and the average is down slightly in that same period.

We are seeing some trends emerge in the way real estate is bought and sold.  Emerging artificial intelligence are providing tools on how best to reach a buyer for a property.  We’ve been testing some of these tools with some encouraging if not amazing results.  We look forward to rolling out some new marketing strategies based upon intelligence we’ve learned.

Artificial intelligence only works when you’ve got big data.  We have access to the biggest data in the real estate industry, and what we’re learning is changing the industry.  Look for 2020 to be a year the real estate industry changes in a big way.  Agents that aren’t using artificial intelligence will be at a disadvantage moving forward, and for sale by owners will have an even tougher time.

Currently for sale by owners have a challenge marketing their home, and because they only reach such a small segment of the market explains why they net less on average that sellers who use an agent.  Listing a home on the big portals isn’t enough, and the big portals aren’t using artificial intelligence because they don’t have the data necessary.  They have data they’ve purchased, and access to MLS feeds, but that isn’t enough.  That’s essentially nothing more than public records and public listing data.  The real insights come from access to consumer data and drawing meaningful conclusions based upon those patterns.  The Ellis Team will share more in the coming months about this and how it will affect home buyers and sellers.

If you’re curious to you home’s value, find out instantly and for Free at www.SWFLhomevalues.com Or call Sande or Brett Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4.

See last week’s article “Real Estate Inventory Supply Rises Slightly in December

Good luck and Happy Holidays!