Welcome to the 2017 Southwest Florida State of the Market Report.  We love this time of year as we get to analyze how the previous year ended up and give our insights on what the future year may bring to us.

2017 Southwest Florida State of the Market Report Monthly Sales Prices

The headlines may read that 2016 ended with a whimper. We might disagree. All year we were saying sales were down and prices were kind of flat.  This was true.  2015 sales prices were revised downward in the latest official release so the 2016 numbers appear better than they were.  We eked out an 8.3% median price increase which is fantastic considering many months were flat.  December’s numbers really helped the year.  The last 6 months of the year showed median prices hovering between $225,000 and $230,000.  December’s shot up to $249,900.  Additionally, the number of homes closed shot up in December as well.

2017 Southwest Florida State of the Market Report Homes Closed

2016 sales numbers were down all year. Closed sales were down 6% for the year.  For the most part we were behind last year’s numbers except August and November.  This is not uncommon when prices rise.  As you can tell from the year end prices chart, we’ve come a long way back.  Would you rather be where we are today or 2007 which was a bit higher?

2017 Southwest Florida State of the Market Report Year End Prices

We’ve got a healthy market today.  We did not have that in 2005, hence the free-fall we experienced a few years later.  We have end users for our homes now.  Back in 2005 we had speculators flipping homes from one speculator to the next.  We had some cleaning up to do.

Southwest Florida real estate inventory supply increases in 4th Qtr

I remember as a boy my mom saying you can’t go out and play until you clean up that room.  That was Hell!  All a boy full of energy in the Midwest wanted to do on a sunny day was go out and play.  Being bottled up inside was no fun.  We didn’t have all the video games and Internet, so outside was where it was at.

SW Florida felt the same, only it lasted several years.  Our market was Hell for anybody who bought in 2006, 2006, or 2007.  We had some cleaning up to do.  2009 was the bottom of the market but it still wasn’t big fun.

Today almost everyone is outside playing, and most everyone has a clean room at home.  January started with a bang this year.  We think for the first time in a while there is genuine optimism about the economy.  This past election was fierce and gruesome.  People are glad that’s over and looking forward to lower taxes and a smoother mortgage process.  Both are in the works.

2017 Southwest Florida State of the Market Report Inventory Levels

Nobody knows how long this excitement will last.  All we can tell you is 2017 season has started off well, and we expect it to end well.  If a seller prices a home correctly, it will sell.  If a home is overpriced, it will sit.

Year End Sales Numbers

2017 Southwest Florida State of the Market Report Year End Sales Numbers

Buyers are competing to win a home.  If a home is priced at market, it may attract several buyers.  We have a balanced and healthy market.  Sure, we’re not back to the height of the market, and that’s OK.  Those numbers were not supported by end users or income.  Today’s demand is supported by people needing a place to live, not a speculative get rich scheme.

2017 Southwest Florida State of the Market Report Video

We have a full State of the Market  video on our Facebook page www.facebook.com/Ellisteam or watch below.

Be sure to search the MLS at www.LeeCountyOnline.com or get neighborhood reports here too.  If you’d like to talk to us about the market or how we could sell your home and find you a better home for you, please call us at 239-489-4042 Ext 4.  Brett and Sande are easy to talk to and we’re never pushy.  We present you with your options and we’ll help you accomplish them!

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

Additional 2017 Southwest Florida State of the Market Report Graphs

Money in Motion

2017 Southwest Florida State of the Market Report Money in Motion
Market Intensity

Active Inventory Rising

2017 Southwest Florida State of the Market Report Active Inventory rising

New Pending Sales

2017 Southwest Florida State of the Market Report New Pending Sales

One of the common question real estate agents get from sellers centers around a home’s Zestimate on Zillow. Deep down sellers know what homes are selling for in their neighborhood and how their home compares.  Often, they just want to try a much higher price simply because Zillow says their home is worth more.  We attempt to answer the question, Are Zillow home value zestimates purposely inflated?

The buzz amongst real estate agents is they can’t believe how far off many Zestimates are these days.  Agents laugh anytime the words Zillow and home values are mentioned in the same sentence because they know they’ll have to explain how inaccurate these things tend to be.

Last weekend I had a conversation with one of our sellers.  She brought up her Zillow Zestimate.    Within 15 minutes after that conversation I went outside to work in my yard and my next-door neighbor asked me about his Zestimate.  He noticed it went up over $100,000 last month and wondered if the real estate market was that good right now.

Zillow Home Value Zestimates Purposefully Inflated

Of course, his value didn’t change $100,000 last month.  Perhaps you’ve heard the story of Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff.  His home was valued at $1,750,405 on March 1, 2015.  The funny thing is, it sold 1 day earlier for $1,050,000.  That’s a difference of $700,405.  Put another way, Zillow was off over 40% on their CEO’s own home.

Are Zillow Home Value Zestimates Purposefully Inflated?

So is Zillow’s data that bad, or could there be another motive?  Let’s remember where Zillow gets its revenue. Zillow charges agents, property managers, and lenders to appear on their website.  They are gathering leads to sell to agents.  Some agents pay several thousand dollars per month for these leads.  Zillow takes MLS and public records data and assembles them and markets that data to the public in the hopes of attracting eyeballs to its site.

To increase revenue and charge more to agents, brokers, and lenders Zillow must increase visits to the site.  One way to do that is advertise more on the Internet and TV.  Another way is to change up the values frequently in hopes of getting repeat viewers to come back often and see what’s going on with their value.

We get it.  The market changes every day.  It doesn’t typically change $84,000 in one day.  So, either Zillow’s algorithm for calculating values is off, the underlying data are off, or they are trying to create a buzz by getting people to check back repeatedly.  In the news business, they call it Click Bait.  Click bait is when editors write a sensational headline to get readers to click on the article.  It could be fake news, doesn’t matter.  If the headline works, it attracts readers which ups the hit count.  The higher the hit count, the higher the advertising rates.  Most reputable news organizations don’t utilize this tactic.  They don’t have to because they have valuable content.  Tabloids on the other hand use this with perfection.

Agents are paying top dollar presumably for new leads not realizing Zillow is stoking the fire by attracting the same old leads repeatedly.  Consumers may be unaware that Zillow now has data on everyone who has checked their home value, and they are selling data like that.

Zillow Admits Errors

Zillow says that nationally their Zestimates are off by 7.9% on average.  That’s a lot!  However, in Seattle where their CEO’s former home is located, they claim to be more accurate at only 6.1% off.  Can we really trust their numbers when they were off over 40% on their own CEO’s home?

If you’re thinking of selling, we have an automated valuation tool that may be more accurate.    More importantly, we will never sell your info to other agents and brokers.  Why would we?  We want your business.  We’d love to earn your business.

If you’re thinking of selling, call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams 239-489-4042 Ext 4  Let us show you how we put more money in your pocket at closing than other Realtors and how we sell homes Fast!  And, we’ll show you what true Top Dollar is for your home so you can make accurate decisions.

We’re here to help.  Always ask for Sande Ellis or Brett Ellis.

Read about Southwest Florida Real Estate Market Statistics to be released tomorrow.

Paint the Town Red

This weekend is the Keller Williams Paint the Town Red Event.  We’ll have around 100 homes open in a single day.  It’s the single biggest open house event of the year.  Check back as we’ll be posting the addresses here.

Ellis Team Featured Open Houses

Sunday 1-4 PM

Ellis Team Open House

6180 Winkler Rd

 

 

 

 

 13624 Gulf Breeze St Reflection Lakes Pool Home

It takes a team to win a Super Bowl. This weekend America will tune in and watch the two best football teams square off in the Super Bowl. Fans will be rooting for their team.  Others will be watching for the commercials, and others just love a reason for a party.  Super Bowl weekend is one of the biggest party gatherings of the year.  There’s just something in it for everyone.

It Takes a Team to Win a Super Bowl

It Takes a Team to Win a Super Bowl

Winning a Super Bowl is a lot like a winning real estate transaction.  All football teams start pre-season, endure a grueling season, and the most successful teams at end of year have a chance to compete for the grand prize.  Sure, you can make some mistakes along the way.  You don’t need a perfect record during the season, but you do once the playoffs start.  One setback will end your season and its game over.

In real estate, the pre-season is interviewing and selecting agents if you’re a seller.  Having the perfect agent doesn’t matter if your goal is to win some and lose some.  If your goal is the grand prize, which is selling the home, then you can’t make mistakes during the playoffs.

If you’re a buyer, the pre-season is casually looking for homes on various online sites or visiting open houses just to see if anything catches your fancy.  You’re not ready yet, and that’s OK.

But then something happens to buyers and sellers, and they decide now is the time to take that leap.  Not the Lambeau leap, the real estate leap.

Have you ever noticed that certain football coaches tend to win more Super Bowl’s than others?  In the last 15 years it tends to be the same coaches over and over.  Have you also noticed most NFL coaches never win the Super Bowl and they get fired?  It’s true.  That’s because they can’t bring home the trophy.  They might have a winning season, but lose in the playoffs when it matters.  This get’s us back to the original goal.

Is your real estate goal to have fancy brochures and a high price so you can tell all your friends what your home is worth?  Or is it to actually sell?  Brochures are nice, and they don’t sell homes.

Systems Key to Victory

Hall of fame coaches have systems in place that work.  Winning coaches exhibit the same common traits.

  • Accountability
  • Team of professionals coaching the players
  • Evaluate talent at a high level
  • Call the right plays when the situation demands it
  • Make the tough calls.  Calls other coaches are sometimes afraid to make
  • Study their opponent
  • Do their homework
  • Preparation
  • Work long hours

This is the difference between obtaining the goal and settling for just looking good. All coaches are not the same.  Neither are real estate agents.  The traits of a good coach listed above sound a lot like the traits of a great Realtor.

All Agents Are Not the Same

Agents do not advertise the same.  Many don’t have the experience to get your home from pending to sold.  Some agents never make it out of pre-season because they price the home wrong to begin with. Agents sometimes recommend taking the wrong offer, or not waiting for a better more qualified offer.  These are all mistakes agents make that can cost a seller thousands.  It can even cost you the sale.  You might say these are rookie mistakes, but not always.  These could be seasoned agents that are decent.  They’re just not trained as well as a Super Bowl winning coach. They don’t have that level of experience.

Experience matters when hiring an agent, just like it does when hiring a coach.  If you’re a NFL general manager and your owner wants to win it all next year do you hire a coach like Bill Belichick or Tom Coughlin, or do you pay less money for a less experienced coach?  Remember, the big prize is the goal, and anything less is not acceptable.

The cost of losing exceeds the cost of winning.  Losing can be life changing.  So can winning.  If you’re looking for experienced, world class Realtors who have been the Top agents in Lee County many times, you should call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams.  You’ll be glad you did.

Ask for Sande or Brett. 239-489-4042 ext 4 or visit our MLS Search Site and find your dream home.  If you’re a seller, you can get market reports and home values for your home Free!  Now that’s a winning combination.  Enjoy your Super Bowl party!

And don’t forget, Spring Break is just around the corner.  We though you might enjoy watching the Cincinnati Firefighters put on their daily show courtesy of the News Press and the current Spring Break schedule for 2017.

Cincinnati Firefighters Show

College Spring Break Schedule

Feb 25

Michigan

March 4

Dayton

Ball State

Florida Gulf Coast University

John Carroll

Michigan State

Penn State

Queens

Stetson

Florida

Georgia

South Carolina

March 11

Florida Southwestern State College

Georgia State University

Indiana State

Indiana

Iowa

Iowa State

Ohio State

Purdue

Kentucky

Notre Dame

North Carolina

Minnesota

Valdosta State

March 18

University of Chicago

Miami of Ohio

Wisconsin

Ask to join our Ellis Team Seller’s Club.  Next week we’ll be releasing vital year end statistics for the 2016 Southwest Florida real estate market.  If you’re a buyer or seller, you’ll want this information before other buyers or sellers receive it.  We’ll email you the video when it’s done.

 

Ellis Team Open House

Each year we tell home sellers not to get too excited about showings until about mid-January.  Showings and contracts tend to increase as the month goes on and builds throughout season.  2017 however is different.  Southwest Florida home sales are heating up earlier than past years.  Could it be there was pent-up demand from 2016?  We think so.

Southwest Florida Home Sales Heat Up in January

Our team set a goal to sell 4 homes this past week.  We sold 6.  Our agents have been out showing every day, sometimes working with 2-3 buyers per day this past week.  Sure, some of these are buyers in our pipeline we’ve been working with for weeks or months until they arrive.  Others are new buyers we’ve attracted to our website or referral calls.  In any event, activity has picked up earlier than past years.

Showing activity on our listings from other agents has picked up too.  Combining this with what our team is seeing leads us to believe the market is heating up.  So I went to MLS and did some checking.

In the first 10 days of January 309 properties have gone under contract.  The average list price is $317,843 and the median list price is $230,000.  These prices are pretty much in line with recent sales numbers.  What’s encouraging is the number of properties going pending so early in January.  This potentially bodes well for an excellent season.

2016 was a year in which the number of transactions was down.  It was a year in waiting.  It seems people were waiting on the election, waiting on the economy, waiting on something.  Now there is renewed hope and optimism and we hear it.

People have renewed confidence in jobs staying in America.  The U.S. has its swagger back and people are optimistic.  Even the people who threatened to leave if Trump got elected are staying.  This article isn’t a political post.  The United States is the greatest nation on the planet and people recognize that, even if their candidate didn’t win.

Southwest Florida Home Sales Outlook

We think 2017 is going to be a better year in real estate than 2016.  Prices were largely flat in 2016 and sales volume was down.  We think we’ll see rising sales volume, and who knows where prices will head.  Rising interest rates could dampen price gains, or not.  They’re still low.

Rising inventory could dampen price gains, or not.  Sometimes I think sellers haven’t listed because they didn’t know where they wanted to go.  As inventory rises, more choices open and it could spur more sellers to act.  It’s a cycle that could really get the economy moving again, raise tax revenue to the state, and sales tax revenue to local governments as people buy appliances, flooring, etc. for their new home.

Where 2017 goes is an open book yet to be written.  Way too early to predict or know for sure.  We are encouraged by the flurry of activity so early in the season.  It just seems like 2016 was a year in limbo and 2017 is a year of action.  People don’t wait forever.  They move on.  They move forward.

If you’d like to search for your piece of paradise, check out www.LeeCountyOnline.com  You can search the MLS like a Realtor as our database has all the listings and it’s updated every 5 minutes.  You can also get a Free estimate of your home’s value.  If you like the value and want to talk to us about your options, call us at 239-489-4042 Ext 4.  Brett or Sande will be happy to talk to you and make sense of the process.

If you don’t like your home’s value, don’t give up.  It’s just a computer, and it’s not 100% accurate.  How could it be?  It’s never been inside your home.  We’ll be happy to look at it with you.  Sande and Brett are experts at getting Top Dollar for your home, because our marketing works.  Just give us a call.

Whether you’re buying or selling, it pays to talk to the Ellis Team! 239-489-4042

Ellis Team Open Houses

Saturday 12-3 PM

Ellis Team Open House6180 Winkler Rd   $500,000

 

 

 

 

Sunday 12-3 PM

Ellis Team Open House

16585 Wellington Lakes Cir  $300,000

 

 

 

 

Ellis Team Seller’s Club Video

Over the holidays, I had the chance to speak with several Realtors at various parties and get togethers and find out what are other agents saying about SW Florida real estate market.  We work with other agents every day, however there is something about getting a bunch of agents together in one place and discussing what they’re seeing in the market.

Agents Saying About SW Florida Real Estate MarketAgents Saying About SW Florida Real Estate Market

Each one that I spoke with had similar observations.  Buyers and sellers seem to share an anger.  When both are angry this is an indication the market is in flux.  Each side has certain expectations and neither are being met.

If you’ve ever watched American Idol, some of the best episodes in the beginning of the season are when they show singers who think they are good.  They’ve been told all their life how wonderful they sing by friends and family.  Nobody wants to disappoint them, so they don’t tell them the truth.  It may help their ego for a while, but secretly people are laughing at them because their talent doesn’t match their perception of themselves.

The real estate market can be like that sometimes.  Most people know what a seller’s market is, and most know what a buyer’s market is.  Imagine being a seller believing wholeheartedly it’s a full-blown seller’s market and buyers are just beating down doors to buy any home they can.

And imagine a parallel universe where buyers believe it’s a full-blown buyer’s market and sellers are practically giving homes away.  When you merge these two universes together, each one begins to realize their expectation of what the market is, or what they think it should be collide.  And when these universes collide, each side becomes frustrated.

Therefore, now more than ever buyers and sellers need agents.  When either side is confused about reality, or angry, or sometimes both, transactions do not get done without the help of a professional.  In 2016 transactions were down about 15% or more.  We’ll wait for year-end calculations on that.

Anger shows up when it shouldn’t, and it kills deals.  Regular inspection items become mountains, because the buyer has fear, or doesn’t feel like the transaction has been fair to them.  Rational or not, buyers bail.  Or sellers refuse to fix the most basic items; items they’d fix if they were staying in the home anyway.  If the seller is angry or doesn’t feel like they’ve won, sometimes they turn off and tune out and kill deals.

What neither side fails to realize is that winning is the culmination of attaining a goal.  The goal was to either buy a house or sell a house.  Anger gets in the way.  They judge wins and losses by who got the better of the deal, not whether the deal closes.

Now many items are important.  We’re not making light of that.  Agents work tirelessly every day to bring a transaction together, and lots of things must happen to make that reality.  We’re talking about the silly things that shouldn’t rise to deal-breaker status but do because of emotions.

When you’re in a transaction, you can convince yourself of anything, and you’d be right.  Most buyers and sellers appreciate having a professional guide them.  They can bounce ideas off their agent, and an agent can give them a professional perspective on how to handle it, and which items are worth arguing about.

Imagine 4 siblings fighting over a toy.  Or arguing about who started the fight.  You’ve all heard “But she started it”.  As a parent, you know the kids can’t see the big picture because they’re caught up in the emotion of who is getting the fair shake.  They don’t realize that the parents aren’t necessarily picking a favorite, they’re just arbitrating what is fair this time, until the next argument 10 minutes later.

We don’t see buyers and sellers as children.  However, children and adults alike are people, and emotions take over.  It’s human nature.  To combat emotions, we like to use facts, data and logic.

We study the market and counsel buyers and sellers to actual market conditions.  We help get you from Stuck to Sold.  Call the Ellis Team  239-489-4042.  Let’s make your next transaction in 2017 a success.

Feel free to search for homes www.LeeCountyOnline.com  Our data is updated every 5 minutes, so you’ll get the latest listings when seconds count.

Seller’s Club December Video

Test out our Neighborhood Market Reports  You’ll find useful information about listing and sales activity for dozens of neighborhoods.  If you don’t see your’s listed, you can create your own and save it.

A financial term you’ll regularly hear bandied about is “Money in Motion.”  Money in motion creates opportunity when money is active and circulating and things become stagnant when people sit on their money and save.  We like to measure the Southwest Florida real estate money in motion by the number of home sales there in a month and multiply by the average sales price.  It gives us a clue as to the overall activity in the market.

When home sales are up and prices are down, they offset each other.  When both are down, money in motion is down.  If both are up, the money in motion is most assuredly up.

Money in Motion Southwest Florida Real Estate

As you can see by the chart, the total dollar volume in November was up 20.6%  That’s the good news.  For the better part of 2016 money in motion has been down.  This is why agents have been complaining that their sales and earnings have been off.

Home sales have been off all year to the tune of 15-20%.  Prices have been up against last year’s numbers but they’ve been flat all year.  We haven’t really seen significant price gains in the market since November 2015.

Sellers measure the health of the market simply by the direction of prices.  Some agents do too.  Experienced agents look at the whole picture; prices and number of sales.  By multiplying and tracking the two, you can identify trends in the market.  Understanding each component of the money in motion principle helps explain what is happening and why which leads to what the market may do in the future.

Money in Motion

Home sales picked up in November. They were up 16%.  Average prices picked up too, up 3.6% What helped with prices is last year’s numbers were adjusted down.  Unless something changes, year over year prices will be flat going forward.  If this remains true, total dollar volume will be influenced more by number of sales than price gains.

2017 will be more positive than 2016 in our opinion.  We can’t say whether it will come in the form of price gains.   Expect transaction volume to increase as more sellers decide to sell.  We have a balanced market right now where neither seller nor buyer have the overall edge, except in certain price ranges.  See last week’s article Southwest Florida Real Estate Inventory Supply Increases in 4th Qtr.

There is renewed optimism in the economy post-election.  2016 was a year where consumers and business sat on their hands.  Both seem poised to start moving again. We could see more sellers begin to trade-up, or move to a different lifestyle home.

We could see more baby boomers buy 2nd homes in Southwest Florida. Retirees may flock here because their 401k’s have been doing well.  No matter the reason, increased money in motion creates opportunity.  Interest rates are rising, and the Fed has signaled last week’s rate hike won’t be their last.  In fact, they predict 3 more rate hikes in 2017.  Borrowing costs will be higher going forward.

The early bird gets the worm.  Actually, late birds will get the worm too, it’ll just cost them more if getting a mortgage.

We’ll be tracking the money in motion for you in 2017.  Sellers need agents more than ever as competition heats up amongst sellers.  Buyers need agents too to assist them in sorting out total cost of ownership and factors which could affect the buyer.

Website Saves You Time

If you’d like to get a head start you can search for your dream home at www.LeeCountyOnline.com  Beat out other buyers to hot new listings.  Save your search and let the system notify you of hot new properties that match what you’re looking for.  Or let one of our buyer agents help you search, just give us a call.

If you’re a seller, please call us at 239-489-4042.  Ask for Sande or Brett.  We handle the marketing for the Ellis Team and we can help you achieve Top Dollar for your home in 2017.

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

December 2016 Ellis Team Seller’s Club Report

 

Congrats to Pam Belcher our Ready For a Yeti Contest Winner!

Stay tuned for your chance to win a Yeti cooler

Ellis Team Featured Listings

Ellis Team Assisted For Sale By Owner Listings

San Carlos Park Pool Home $269,500

Gateway Pool Home on Lake $600,000

The Southwest Florida real estate inventory supply increases in the 4th qtr.  All price ranges except two increased with the most pronounced increases occurring in the $400,000 and up range.

Southwest Florida real estate inventory supply increases in 4th Qtr

In December, the $400k-600k range shot up almost 2 months from 9.34 months in September to 11.15 months currently.  The $600k-$1 Million shot up from 12.57 months to 14.69 currently.  That’s over a 2 month jump.  The biggest jump occurred in the $1 Million+ range where there was a 17.03 month supply back in September.  Today that number stands at 21.04 months.  That’s almost a 4 month jump in supply just since September.

Southwest Florida Real Estate Inventory Supply Increases

It pays to know where your home stands in the supply chain.  It tells you how aggressive you must be when selling your home.  The overall market stands at 5.65 months which is a healthy number.  People read headlines and hear there is a 5.65 month supply, so homes must be selling fast.  They figure with homes selling so fast it’s probably easy to stick a sign in the yard and sell it.

Even at the lower price ranges there are still many homes that do not sell, because they are over-priced.  If they were priced correctly and properly marketed, they would sell.  The demand is there, at the correct price.

As we go higher in price the demand is still there, it’s just that the supply is even greater.  Recently more homes are coming to the market than are selling, hence why we have increasing supply.  We can’t look at the overall market and assume all homes are selling the exact same.  Just as we can’t assume that all cities in Florida are behaving the exact same.  Real estate is local, and it is segmented.

Certain cities or neighborhoods sell better than others.  This can be due to economic factors, or perhaps location.  The closer to beaches, or top schools can affect values.

Lee County is getting ready to change how children are selected for schools starting in 2018.  This may put an end to the zoned system and busing system as we know it.  Children will go to schools closer to where they live, and this could affect values.

Segments also affect the market.  Sometimes the low end is red-hot, and other times the mid to upper markets make a comeback.  Generally speaking, the lower the price the greater the demand as more people can afford lower prices.  Not everyone can afford high-end real estate.  Just because Southwest Florida Real Estate Inventory Supply Increases in some price ranges doesn’t mean it increases for all ranges.  In fact, a few decreased.

Right now we have an affordable housing crunch in Southwest Florida. Rents are high, and so are median sales prices relative to what the average working person can afford.  It makes it difficult to find housing close to where you work.   We saw this back in the housing boom too.  This doesn’t mean our market is over-inflated.  It just means there is a cap to how much more and how fast it can rise until incomes pick up.

The big price gains may be over, unless the economy comes roaring back.  Our US economy has essentially had free money for the past 8 years and it’s done nothing except help the stock market.  If jobs and economic activity return like it’s believed they will post-election, our real estate market  could be in for more good times.  If nothing changes, we could be in for flat to modest gains.

We think 2017 is going to be a year of change.  Home sales may pick up even though rates will continue to rise.  Proper pricing and aggressive marketing will become even more important, and the people who act quickest will save the most money when rates rise.

You can search the MLS for Free at www.LeeCountyOnline.com.  Our database has all the homes, and it’s updated every 5 minutes directly from the MLS.  It will even notify you of new homes or price changes if you save your search.  You can always call us at 239-489-4042 and we’ll be happy to discuss your buying or selling options.

 

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

December 2016 Ellis Team Seller’s Club Report

 

Congrats to our Ready For a Yeti contest winner!

Stay tuned for your chance to win a Yeti cooler

Ellis Team Featured Listings

Ellis Team Assisted For Sale By Owner Listings

San Carlos Park Pool Home $269,500

Gateway 5 Bedroom Pool Home on Lake

Southwest Florida listing inventory rises in October to 5,157 units, up from 4,829 in September.  That is a 6.79% rise in just one month.  We went back to last year and noticed listing inventory rose 6.09% those same months, so inventory is rising a bit faster this year.

Home inventory was up 16.64% this past September over 2015 and in October it’s up 17.42%.  We’ve been mentioning all year 2016 has been a leveling off and balancing market, so rising inventory isn’t surprising.  In fact, it was predicted.

November statistics won’t come out until next week.  We’ve been studying preliminary numbers and from what we can tell, median and average sales price are going to be fairly even.  Perhaps a small gain on median price and small loss on average price.  However, we can only track Lee County numbers submitted to our MLS.

If our numbers are correct we may see an uptick in number of closed sales in November.  Also frustrating is the fact that they go back and adjust last year’s numbers, so that can influence predictions as well.

Southwest Florida Listing Inventory Rises

Southwest Florida Listing Inventory Rises

We searched active homes on market on December 13th and we found 5,104.  If we add back in the pending and contingent listings we have 5,955. We’ll be watching the official November stats when they are released next week.  As you can tell from the chart, the trendline is up slightly.

Some people believe we’ll see more homes hit the market as interest rates rise.  Others believe we may see less as sellers may decide to stay in their low-cost mortgage.  I can tell you one thing.  If you currently own and your home no longer works for you, the time to list is now.

We need to get your home sold and you into your new home before rates rise again.  They’ve already risen about .75%.  This will cost you more to finance the same amount, so waiting will cost you tens of thousands over the life of your new loan.

Did you know you can search the entire MLS from our website?   It has all the homes, and it’s updated every 5 minutes, so you’ll be the first to know about new homes as they enter the market or change their price.  You can even save your search, and have multiple saved searches in case you’re looking at different options.  We even have a free tool to find out what your home is worth online.

The Ellis Team is also busy meeting with potential sellers.  We counsel sellers on how to get top dollar for their home and how their home should be positioned and marketed in the marketplace.  Sellers are finding out there is a difference and listing with the wrong Realtor can cost them thousands.

Don’t list with a Realtor that doesn’t bring you top dollar.  You might ask, what’s our secret for getting top dollar?  We’d love to show you.  It’s not by accident, it’s by design.

Let us sit down with you and show you how our 30+ years in the market combined with today’s latest technology and aggressive marketing is making a difference for our sellers.  If you think hiring a professional is expensive, wait until you hire an amateur.

Our team is growing.  We have thousands of buyers in our database looking to purchase.  If you’re an agent looking to grow your business, give us a call.  If you’re a potential seller looking to sell before rates go up, give us a call too.  Put our experience and wisdom to work for you.

We’ve been through changing markets before.  Rising rates change the game and knowing how to help buyers and sellers can be the difference to keeping your deals together and saving everybody money.  You can call us at 239-489-4042.  If you’re considering selling, ask for Sande or Brett Ellis.

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

Southwest Florida Real Estate Market Update December 2016

We’ve been warning all year that rates are set to rise.  The fed has signaled that it was ready to raise rates at their December meeting after the election.  The markets didn’t wait, and rising interest rates affecting borrowers has risen faster than people expected.  Since the election rates have risen about .6%.

Rising Interest Rates Affecting Borrowers

It’s complicated, so let’s just say the Fed sets short term rates and rates banks use to borrow from each other.  The mortgage market works off the 10 Year treasury note, and that is market driven.  The price for 10 year treasury notes has fallen, meaning the yield is going up.

Rising Interest Rates Affecting Borrowers

What does rising rates mean for the SW Florida real estate market?  We’ve mentioned ad nauseam that a 1% rise in rates robs a buyer of 11% purchasing power.  Since the election rising rates have made the average home price about $16,400 more expensive.  Unfortunately for sellers this won’t be going in their pocket. If the market would have beared $16,400 more for each home it would have already done so.  Rising rates just stole $16,400 from the seller.

The question now becomes, can the buyer afford that?  If they can’t, it will cut demand.  If the buyer was maxed out before, they will have to pay $16,400 less today for the same home they could have paid more for a few weeks ago.  The only thing that changed was interest rates.

Rising rates may spur the market to move.  It should.  Buyers who were on the fence should buy now!  We’ve been warning them and this day has finally come.  It costs buyers to wait.

We may see more sellers enter the market as well.  Sellers are getting hit at both ends.  Not only are buyers losing purchasing power to buy their home, the seller is also losing purchasing power on the next home they buy if they’re getting a mortgage.  Waiting has cost sellers, and when they realize this day is finally here more will act.  As more homes enter the market, there will be more competition amongst sellers for buyers.  It becomes a triple whammy for sellers.

Hire Experience

What can sellers do?  I wouldn’t wait for all the other sellers to figure this out.  I’d get my home on the market now before rates go higher and before listing inventory increases.  Inventory has already been increasing this past year, and it could increase.  Getting ahead of this is always better.

Hire the Top Marketer in Your Area

Secondly, I’d hire the best agent I could who advertises a lot.  Some agents have gotten by without a lot of advertising, but that all changes in a rising interest rate environment and increasing inventory. With rising interest rates affecting borrowers like it is today, time is of the essence.  You need an aggressive agent who’s been through a changing market before.  Some of the newer agents haven’t.

Call the Ellis Team 239-489-4042 and Sande or I will be happy to determine your market value and discuss your options.  Or, you can go on our website www.LeeCounyOnline.com and search the MLS or get an idea what you home might be worth with our Free online home estimator.

Rising rates isn’t all bad.  It’s a sign the economy may heat up.  Wall St is bullish on a better economy and better jobs here in the US.  I stopped in an investment house the other day and asked them their outlook.  They are bullish in 2017.

Many Realtors are bullish too.  We think we’ll see more transactions as more sellers decide to sell.  A good economy fuels more buyers, even if rising rates tempers price gains.  We could still see rising prices, or stable prices.  The jury is still out.  For the past 11 months prices have not risen a dime.

2017 will bring change.  Buyers and sellers need to know what that means for them.  Unfortunately, plan on increased borrowing costs.  Expect to see increased inventory, and more sales.  Sales have been off this year, and with increased inventory comes more opportunity.

Buyers, now is the time to talk with your Realtor and your lender.  You can call us at 239-489-4042 and we can help you with both.

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

Open House Sunday 12-4 PM

Ellis Team Open House
McGregor Park

401 McGregor Park Cir

$180,000

 3 Bed, 2 Bath

2 Car Garage

Watch our December 2016 Seller’s Club Video

Recently the Ellis Team has sold a few For Sale By Owners in addition to our normal sales and it got us to thinking.  What if we could help more For Sale By Owners sell their home?  We thought about it and we came up with the Ellis Team For Sale By Owner Assisted Listing Program.

We’re creating a special website of For Sale By Owner listings.  Sellers  can still market their property on their own and if they find a buyer, great.  They also get some additional marketing by the Ellis Team and a chance to open their home to a larger audience.

For Sale By Owner Assisted Listing Program

Sometimes For Sale By Owners just want to try selling their home themselves.  They want to save the commission, and they don’t personally know a great Realtor, so why not try selling themselves first?

If I had a house to sell and didn’t know the real estate business like I do, I’d probably try to sell my home on my own too.  Who can blame an owner from trying to put the most money in their pocket from the sale of their own home?

We’ll put the For Sale By Owner in a special section of our website. This informs our database of buyers that we have other listings not in MLS that might suit the buyer.  Many buyers are leery of working with a FSBO because they feel at a disadvantage. Buyers don’t have someone guiding them through the process, writing the contract, organizing inspections, financing, etc.

All of the listings in the For Sale By Owner Assisted Listing Program offer guidance to the buyer so they can feel more comfortable purchasing one of these homes.  It also opens up the inventory to homes they might not have seen otherwise.  Most For Sale By Owners are hard to find and not well advertised.  They rely on for sale signs and inexpensive websites and social media to sell their home, so buyers could miss out on opportunities.

For Sale By Owner Assisted Listing Program

All listings in the For Sale By Owner Assisted Listing Program have agreed to work with an Ellis Team agent should we find a buyer.  This is a win/win for the seller and buyer. The owner can still attempt to sell on their own and they receive benefit of working with us to an expanded group of buyers.

Statistics show over 90% of For Sale By Owners give up and hire a Realtor.  All we ask is that if the owner gives up and later on decides to hire a Realtor, they agree to interview the Ellis Team for the job at that time.  They don’t have to hire us, just give us a shot.

The Ellis Team has brought thousands of buyers and sellers together over the years and this program just expands on that.  We can even work out a program if the seller finds the buyer we’ll help for a nominal fee.

Check out the Ellis Team For Sale By Owner Assisted Listing Program online.  We’ll be adding For Sale By Owners and information to the website in the coming weeks.  Buyers can check out these upcoming by owner listings too in case it meets their criteria.

We Find the Buyers

This new program is in addition to our full blown, cutting edge marketing system of our listings.  The Ellis Team sells homes 19.7% faster than the average agent and we sell our homes for more money.  Our marketing goes out and finds the buyer instead of waiting for the buyer to find your home.  We put more money in our seller’s pockets, and isn’t that what it’s all about?

If you’re thinking of selling, give the Ellis Team a call.  We’d love to sit down with you and interview for the job.  And if you’d like to try it yourself first, give us a call anyway.  We can be your backup plan if the home doesn’t sell.  As long as you’re interviewing Realtors, you might as well interview the best!

Feel free to search the MLS, get neighborhood market reports, and find out what your home is worth at www.LeeCountyOnline.com  Or call us at 239-489-4042.  Ask for Sande or Brett.

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

SW Florida Real Estate Market Update December 2016

Check out Ellis Team Featured Listings

 

Related For Sale By Owner Articles

For Sale By Owner Sales at All-Time Low  Nov 2016

For Sale By Owner Pitfalls  July 2014