We have been reporting for weeks that pending sales have been outpacing new listings.  See last week’s article “Housing Inventory Falls in May” We entered 2020 with low inventory and since the Coronavirus outbreak it’s only deepened.  It’s time to issue a warning.  Buyer beware listing inventory disappearing quickly.

Many people watch the news and speculate that homes are not selling.  The truth is homes are outselling new listings by a 2 to 1 margin.  In the last 24 hours we had 84 pending sales and 39 new listings.  It’s a similar story the past 7 days, and the last month for that matter.

Buyer Beware Listing Inventory Disappearing Quickly

Buyer demand is strong.  Realtors are on the front lines, so we hear the stories every day.  Northern buyers are flocking to Florida and buying property.  They are either buying a 2nd home and moving here to escape quarantine, or more predominantly they are escaping what they see as repressive government overreach and leaving their state entirely.

If business owners pull out of those states some of those jobs will never return.  Others are deciding on early retirement and getting out of Dodge.  You can only lockdown people for so long before they feel they need to make a change.  States like Florida and Texas are particularly attractive for a few reasons.

Both states have had far less mortality rates and fewer hospitalizations than other states.  Buyers feel as though states like Florida and a few others have been better managed through the crisis.  Secondly, Florida and Texas offer no state income tax.  Before Coronavirus people were already fleeing high tax states like New York, New Jersey, Illinois, etc.  Low tax states like Florida helps seal the deal for business owners and higher end employees seeking relief from high taxes.

The other thing we have learned through this pandemic is people and businesses are re-thinking work models.  More companies have allowed work from home, and employers and employees alike have gotten used to it.  Now that its viable, companies are questioning if they need high lease space commercial properties or if they can get by with less expensive space out of the bigger cities.

Financially it may be an easy choice for employers, and even easier for employees.  Add in the pandemic and there is a propensity to escape densely populated areas to more rural areas.  When you combine financial concerns with health concerns, more employers and employees are choosing to get out of the big city, even if it means quitting a job, or closing a company.

We believe over the next few years companies will start migrating out to flex space in the suburbs, and out of high tax states altogether.  As more people leave those states, it will place a higher financial burden on the fewer remaining to carry a higher tax load, and they will eventually leave too.  It’s like a chain of events that began a few years ago with America’s economic revival and it’s picking up steam today due to Covid-19.

Buyer Beware Listing Inventory Disappearing Quickly

Our advice to buyers is select a property that meets your needs and lock it down.  We are down to about 3.85 months supply of inventory and going lower every day. We were down to 4,440 single family homes on the market in Lee County Mid May, and if this pace keeps up, we’ll be down in the 3,000’s by June.

If you are a seller, there is no better time to sell than right now.  We are seeing properties that did not sell in season suddenly sell because they are the next one up.  If you are a buyer, you need a realtor that knows how to write a winning offer, and that takes experience.

If you are a seller, you need a Realtor with experience dealing with multiple offers, or the wisdom to know when to wait for a better offer that might be just around the corner.

Neither side should wait.  Interest rates are low, and there are compelling reasons for both sides to act quickly.  Call Brett or Sande Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4 to discuss your sale, or visit www.SWFLhomevalues.com to find out what your property is worth instantly.

Buyers, we have a system that will alert you to new listings the minute they hit the market.  We can also tell you about new listings we might be working on.  We’re here to help.

Happy Memorial Day!

Let’s face it, the Coronavirus has changed the way people think about work and home.  More employers are staggering their workforce or allowing employees to work from home.  The Coronavirus may alter the commercial workspace landscape.  So, it begs the question, if you could work from anywhere, where would you want to be?

If You Could Work From Anywhere Where Would You Want to Be

Employers are rethinking their work spaces.  In New York City for instance where the population is very dense, along with work spaces, they are considering options.  One option is to rent space out on Long Island and stagger the workforce where some go to the Long Island space a few days per week and and rotate to the city the other days.  Office space might be less expensive on Long Island, thus requiring less space in the city.

This strategy also allows you to space out your workforce, so they are not congregated in tight work spaces. Some employers are questioning if they must come in at all and can work from home.  In any event, employees are asking themselves questions.  Do I really want to commute into city and work in a tight workspace given health concerns today?  Coronavirus may disrupt people’s attitudes toward city living in general.  If you think taxes are high in the city now, just wait until people start moving out.

Across the US people are questioning living in the big cities.  Customers are flocking out to the suburbs, or out of state altogether.  States like Florida stand to gain because we have excellent weather, wide open spaces, great healthcare, no state income taxes, and we haven’t mentioned the weather yet.

I’m pretty sure the Internet works as well in Florida as anywhere in the country.  Remember the question above. If you could work from anywhere where would you want to be?  One answer seems to be Florida.  Another may be suburbs and rural areas outside the densely populated cities.

SW Florida is well served by a regional airport, university system, and land that is spread out.  Adding in fantastic weather and low taxes makes Florida a winner in a lot of people’s eyes.  Florida was already winning due to tax issues before Covid-19, and very well may afterwards as we look to the future.

Florida’s economy will open up as soon as travel picks back up due to all its fantastic advantages.  If you’re reading this article and live up North you might want to check out www.LeeCountyOnline.com  It has all the home listings and it’s updated in real-time, so the data is good.  It’s no fun to search and see old listings that aren’t really on the market anymore or miss out on hot new ones.

If you’re considering selling, definitely talk to Brett or Sande Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4 You can also visit www.SWFLhomevalues.com and get an instant value on your property. Buying and selling today is different than it was 2 months ago.  You need a team that can handle all the details and show homes virtually.  Our team sold 10 homes in April virtually so it can be done if you have got the right systems and marketing to do it.

If you’ve got questions, we are quick phone call or Zoom call away.  Getting answers fast means more today than ever.  Whether you’re making a move today or many months down the road, we’re here to answer your questions.  We can even set you up with some handy resources about our area you might enjoy.

If you could work from anywhere, would SW Florida be a place you could see yourself living in?

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

See last week’s article “Pending Sales Outpace New Listings

Closed and pending sales outpace new listings in the SW Florida real estate market once again.  Looking at the latest 7-day Lee County numbers shows 192 new single-family home listings and 349 new pending sales.  There were 222 closed sales.  The closed sales number will only increase because numbers were taken Wednesday April 29th at the time, we are writing this article.  It takes a few days to report out closed sales end of month. As pending sales outpace new listings we’ll have to track and see if there is eventual upward price pressure.

Pending Sales Outpace New Listings

Pending Sales Outpace New Listings

The Lee County Florida real estate market has been busy this past month as new pending sales outpace new listings. Closed sales did as well. The Ellis Team has been busy too this past month.  We hold daily sales huddles and yesterday we counted 10+ pending deals for month of April and we did not have all our agents on call.  That is not bad for s state that is been on stay at home orders.  Keep in mind, real estate is considered an essential business, so we’ve been able to conduct virtual showings and virtual open houses, but the public hasn’t been out shopping models and showings like they used to.  Most all of this has been done virtually with minimal in-person showings.

Our team takes the real estate business seriously.  It’s a full-time profession for us, which means we don’t have other jobs paying our bills.  Because we take it so seriously for our clients, we’ve learned to innovate and adapt to changing conditions.

We know many buyers still want or need to buy.  Many sellers want or need to sell, so it’s up to us to find a way to make that happen for them and find a way we did.

Other agents are switching companies, and some companies are even contemplating closing their doors.  We are fortunate to belong to a national company with no debt and full of ideas.  We share best practices and ways to get the job done for our customers.

New Virtual Programs

If you read this article or subscribe to our blog you know about the programs we’ve introduced the past month.  Programs like www.virtual-listing-appointment.com, or www.virtual-open-houses.com, or www.virtual-showings.com None of these programs existed 30 days ago and they are so critical to what we’re doing today.

It is not the website themselves that makes this a success.  It’s the concept.  For instance, sometimes another Realtor has a buyer and they ask a question about one of our listings.  We have options to show them the home or answer their questions.  We can visit the property and do a live or recorded video.  Our team can schedule a 3D showing online with the customer and their agent, so they can ask any question.  As the listing agent we can answer those questions and even point out a few things the other agent might not have shared.  Nobody has to be at the property because we utilize cutting-edge technology upfront to be able to show the property over and over again with the 3D tour.

The bottom line is successful agents will thrive and adapt no matter what the market throws at them.  I have sold real estate through several recessions, double digit interest rates, and a housing and financial collapse.  Those experiences taught us how important it is to adapt quickly.  What seems like an obstacle to many agents is a simple pivot for us.

The Future of Real Estate

Going forward we can see this may become the future of real estate.  We believe there will be a new normal.  Many agents you see today won’t be here 6 months from now, and next year there will be a new crop of agents eager and ready, but they won’t have the experience of what it takes to survive and thrive in a shift.

The shift can be economic, health, or just mindset.  Let’s face it, few in America look at things the same today as we did 60 days ago.  The world has changed, and so must we, regardless of which industry we are in.

If you have a property to sell, visit www.SWFLhomevalues.com, or call Brett or Sande Ellis at 239-489-4042 Ext 4 and we’ll be happy to talk to you about your options.  Yes, we’d love to show you how we’re selling properties with advanced marketing we can put to work for you, and we can do this virtually with you as well.  We look forward to hearing from you.

See last week’s article “Southwest Florida Real Estate Market Update April 2020

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Getting a Mortgage Today

New Listing of the Week

5314 Chippendale Cir E  Whiskey Creek

It is time for another Southwest Florida real estate market update. It seems everyone I talk to asks how the real estate market is doing during this Coronavirus shutdown. During the last 7 days in Lee County 212 homes came on the market and 301 went pending. 289 closed in the last week.  This tells us that we’re pending and closing more homes than are actually coming on the market.

This also tells us that now is a great time to sell. You have less competition from other sellers, and homes are actually selling. This past week our team held 9 virtual open houses. All open houses received over 200 video views and our best one had 3,300+ people tuning in. You might ask how do we get so many people to view our open houses online. We will answer that later in the story.

As you can see from the graphs, inventory levels were falling pre-Coronavirus. In other words, this is not a new trend. More homes have been selling than what is coming to the market. This was indicative of a strong housing market locally and a strong economy. Given the shutdown, we have no idea what shape the economy is in today. What we do know is the housing market has remained strong.

Southwest Florida Real Estate Market Closed Sales by Year

We have official sales numbers through March, and you can see that 2020 was on pace to eclipse the previous 4 years. Some people feared we would lose closings in March as buyers became fearful of the unknown. That scenario did not play out. The question going forward will be how does the disruption affect the market going forward?

Nobody knows for sure the answer to that. Hopefully answers about when states will open back up and to what degree will become clearer soon.  What we do know is that it is a good time for sellers right now! It’ always more fun to sell when there is less competition from other sellers.

Buyers still need to buy, and when you see low inventory and buyers buying sight unseen, you know it’s a good time to sell.  What will happen when this virus thing is over and all those sellers who did not want to put their home on the market during the pandemic decide to sell?  Sellers will have more competition. It does not mean the market will be bad, it just means it may take longer to sell as they’ll have more competition.

Pricing is still a critical component. The market either accepts or rejects the price, and some sellers will never get that point regardless of if the market is up, down, or sideways. Proper pricing is important.

Back to the question about how we drive so many people to our online open houses. It’s all about the marketing. The Ellis Team are Southwest Florida real estate experts at driving traffic, whether it be old-school like print marketing or cutting edge like targeting buyers. Our brand is wide and our reach is deep because we have a large digital footprint to draw from.

If you are considering putting your home on the market today, you want it sold for top dollar and fast.  You want to limit the in-person showings. The faster we get your home sold for market value, the better it is for everyone. The Ellis Team digital reach can help you achieve that.

If you’d like to get a quick feel for the value of your home, visit www.SWFLhomevalues.com  It you’d like to setup a meeting with Brett or Sande to talk about the market, your home, or your options, we can jump on a video call and talk about it. Simply visit www.Virtual-Listing-Appointment.com and fill out the form, or call 239-489-4042 Ext 4 and ask for Brett or Sande.

If you are thinking of selling, let’s talk about your opportunity today versus waiting and figure out what’s best for you.

Good luck and Happy Selling!

See last week’s article “Virtual Open Houses Sells Homes in a Virtual World

Check out this weekend’s Virtual Open Houses

Today we’d like to show you how virtual open houses sell homes in a virtual world.  People may not realize that real estate is still selling.  In fact, I just checked MLS and in the last 7 days 224 homes went pending and 247 homes closed.  In fact, more homes went pending than actually came on the market in the last week, and Florida is under a stay at home order.

Virtual Open Houses Sell Homes in a Virtual World

How is it that so many homes are selling?  Top agents are adapting to market conditions.  We know some buyers still need to purchase and some sellers still need to sell.  The market didn’t go away, even though access and the way we show homes did.

This weekend the Ellis Team is hosting an online virtual Open House Extravaganza.  We’ll have 7 virtual open houses this weekend. The neat thing is we can do this during the week too.  Our Virtual Open Houses website www.Virtual-Open-Houses.com has links to times and locations of each open house.  Each open house will be its own event and also streamed live.  The beauty of this is customers can tune into the live stream, and the virtual open house can live on long after as a posted video.  If you miss one of our open houses you can go back and watch a previous open house. Virtual open houses sell homes and the Ellis Team wants to be at the forefront of that process.

Who knows what you’re going to see?  Because this is live and reality based, you might see some unexpected things.  We’re not saying this will become as popular as the Tiger King, we’re just saying you never know.  These live events will be streamed on our Facebook page www.facebook.com/Ellisteam as a live event.  Check it out or check out our virtual open house page mentioned earlier for a complete and changing schedule.

We’ve been getting hundreds of people attending live open houses.  Not only do we get the live views, there are many more views later through shares.  Who knows, this may set a new trend in how open houses are conducted.

Consumers also love it when we do a virtual open house from a gated community.  They no longer must worry about getting through a gate.  Consumers can see if the home and property interests them before deciding to give up time to go visit a gated community.

Our agents are getting better and better.  Each home is unique, and the internet or cell phone access can vary greatly by location.  They are stepping out of their comfort zone to bring you properties you can see.  In addition to our listings we can bring you new developments and new construction homes as well, so stay tuned for all kinds of opportunities.

Perhaps you’ll find a listing you love.  Perhaps you won’t.  Our agents also show homes virtually through our www.Virtual-Showings.com program.  The virtual showings program differs in that we have a virtual meeting with you and listen to what you’re looking for.  We then select properties that match your criteria and show those homes to you versus a live stream virtual open house.  The virtual showing is sort of like your custom virtual open house only we can do that live or through a 3D tour anytime day or night.

If all this is confusing to you, we’re still available to talk to.  If you’d like to sell your home, you should call Brett or Sande Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4 and we can show you all the tools we’re using to sell homes today.  Remember, 247 sellers closed this past week.  It might as well be you.

If you’d like a Free online instant estimate of your home’s value, check out www.SWFLhomevalues.com  It’s quick, free, and pretty darn accurate in most cases.

Our team is here to help.  Hopefully we’re providing the tools you need wherever you are, in whatever situation you’re in.  If you need to talk, we’re a quick phone call away.

Take care and stay safe.  This will all be over soon.  Maybe not soon enough, but hopefully soon.

See Last Week’s Article “Guided Virtual Showings Program Helps Buyers Tour Homes Safely

Be sure to check out our video on virtual showings too

Sellers can take advantage of our Virtual Listing Appointment

Last week we focused on keeping sellers safe using the virtual listing appointment program.  Today we’d like to talk about buyer’s safety. Guided virtual showings program helps buyers tour homes safely and efficiently.

Let’s face it, no matter what is going on in the world many sellers need to sell, and many buyers need to purchase.  Did you know that in the last 7 days 254 new homes came on the market, 240 homes went pending and 354 homes closed in Lee County?

So how can we show homes safely and efficiently in today’s environment?  The Ellis Team guided virtual showings program helps buyers tour homes safely.  The guided virtual showings program consists of several steps.

Virtual Consultation.  Our agents listen to what you’re looking for.  We ask detailed questions about the type of home you’re looking for.  Based on your answers we get to work finding the best properties that match your criteria.  An Ellis Team agent sorts through all the clutter to get you to the best homes at the best value.

Guided Virtual Showings Program

6 Easy Steps

We set you up on a favorite list whereby we email you new or modified listings each day that match your criteria. We want you to know about hot new listings first.  Speed wins and the best homes go fast.

We setup virtual showings online. Together we go through each of the best homes.  You tell us what you like and what doesn’t work for you.  Many times, we’ll have found the home on the first attempt, if we’ve done a good job of listening.  Sometimes we tweak the search a little bit, and sometimes we must go back to drawing board.  The neat thing is, because this is all being done virtually, the process can happen quickly.

Electronic Signatures– All of the purchase agreement can be created and signed electronically. The advantage to buyer is it can be done quickly which means your offer may get accepted before another higher offer comes in from another buyer.  Speed wins the day.

Home Inspections– Many home inspectors will inspect the home and send you a report along with photos and proof of items needing repair. Home inspector can even setup a virtual meeting to discuss items.  This limits people needed at the home inspection and keeps you safer with social distancing.  Sellers appreciate it too because there are less people invading their home potentially getting them sick.

Closings– Much if not all of the closing can be done remotely or by Fed Ex. You do not need to attend closing.  In the days of social distancing, why be present for something you don’t need to be?  You can focus your time on more productive things.  We’ll arrange to meet you with the keys to your shiny new home.

We Listen-Then Suggest

The key to the whole system is listening to what you’re trying to accomplish, educating you on the market, and helping you find and negotiate to a successful transaction.  We have lenders that offer low rates and zero lender fees.  Our team has access to so many resources.  We can discuss your needs and ways we can save you money and make the process easier for you when we meet.

To get started, simply go to www.Virtual-Showings.com or you can request a virtual consultation and virtual showings from any of our websites like www.LeeCountyOnline.com

If you’re a seller, you’ll be interested in www.Virtual-listing-Appointment.com Sande and Brett will use the same tools to get your home sold fast, and safely.

As always, we can always talk on the phone the old-fashioned way too.  You can reach Brett or Sande at 239-489-4042 Ext 4

See last week’s article “Virtual Listing Appointment Program to Safely List Your Home

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