National experts and economists are warning that the national real estate market may have peaked. This past week we attended the Keller Williams Mega Camp and spoke with top agents from all over the country to get their perspective as well.  We’ll attempt to answer that question. “Has the National Real Estate Market Peaked?”

There are many forces that influence how well a market is doing, and in 2018 we’re seeing a new dynamic we’ve never seen before.  Typically markets pull back due to economic factors like unemployment, interest rates, consumer confidence, etc.  This year we’re seeing fewer sales nationwide due to lack of inventory.

Has the National Real Estate market Peaked? Months Supply of Inventory

Inventory is starting to rise again.  So are interest rates which are affecting home affordability.  Prices rose approximately 4-6% nationwide last year, while incomes rose 2-3%.  In a fully indexed market, this isn’t sustainable.  Keller Williams’ leadership mentioned we’re in a supply driven shift, which is unique because usually shifts in the market are determined by other factors we mentioned earlier.

So, the answer lies in what happens first?  As we exit the supply driven stall, what wins out?  Does consumer demand eat up the new inventory, or does interest rate hikes take its toll and dampen the ability of buyers to pay more?

Nobody knows the answer to this, but some experts are predicting lower sales due to a softening in some markets.  Mortgage applications are down 3% last week nationwide and have been down for 4 straight weeks.  Mortgage bankers are noticing a 17% decline in year over year mortgage applications.

The economy is on a roll.  Unemployment is down to 3.9%, and demand for housing has been strong.  We all know real estate is local.  SW Florida can be influenced by other markets, but each market has its own strengths and weaknesses that can buck the national trend.

For instance, while the rest of Florida and the country were enjoying wild gains the past year, SW Florida did not.  This might be good news for SW Florida because if it’s determined later that the national market got a little ahead of itself, we may be insulated from losses as we did not participate in all those gains.  Lee County may have been a leading indicator.

Fundamentally it feels like a strong market nationally.  If it is fully priced, the future depends on affordability and what happens with jobs, income, and interest rates.  Price will move up or down depending on these other variables.

Locally, we’re subject to the same issues, and a few more.  Throw in a possible hurricane, red tide, blue green algae, etc. and you see we have some wild cards.  Personally, it feels like we too have a pretty good real estate market going right now.  And the red tide and algae will soon pass.  Because we didn’t participate in the big run-ups this past year, and because we have outside money that comes into SW Florida each season to invest in our market, we have potential for good times ahead.

The average Joe gets hurt the worst when the market shifts because outsiders price them out of the market.  Locally incomes only rise so much, and yet local buyers must compete with snowbirds and investors to buy the area’s most affordable properties.  It puts a strain on local buyers with limited income.

Regardless of what the national market does, Lee County has some really nice things going for it.  And the negatives that are here today may be gone in a few months.  We just need to see if sellers thinking of selling beat the interest rate hikes.  Those that sell now may be in a favorable position, even if the market only stalls.  It’s more fun to sell in a low inventory market than a neutral market.

Our website www.LeeCountyOnline.com has all the listings, and it’s updated instantly, so finding your SW Florida real estate bargain is a quick search away.  One of our happy Ellis Team agents will be happy to answer your questions.  To sell your home, call the Best Team in SW Florida. 239-489-4042. Ask for Brett or Sande Ellis Ext 4. And we’ll be happy to help you get Top Dollar and close in record time!

August 2018 SW Florida Real Estate Market Update

All Realtors are not the same.  Who you work with matters.  In fact, it can cost you thousands to use the wrong agent.  People don’t realize this until it’s too late.  Here are some tips on how to select the best real estate agent on your next transaction, and why it’s important.

Select the Best Real Estate Agent on Your Next Transaction
Voted Best Real Estate Team in SW Florida 3 Years in a Row

The Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty was just awarded the best team in SW Florida by the News Press readers for the 3rd straight year, so hopefully we have some good ideas on what to look for in an agent for you.

Full-Time-We believe working with a full-time agent is critical.  It’s difficult enough keeping up with all the education requirements, regulatory and legal changes, and ever-changing inventory. A part-time agent just can’t keep up.  You have to wonder about the agent’s commitment level to the profession when they only devote part-time to it.

Experience-There is no substitute for experience. An agent develops a reputation in the community, both by consumers and by fellow agents alike. Trust plays a big part.  If other agents trust your agent, they’re more likely to accept your offer as your agent puts their reputation on the line on each deal.  They are trusting that we are experienced and know how to handle our customer.  If an agent gets the reputation of not being able to properly educate and counsel their customer, agents are less likely to want to take deals from them in the future.  Newer agents combat this because experienced agents know newer agents may lack the skills necessary to successfully navigate a deal all the way from contract to closing.  At the very least, newer agents should be in daily contact with their broker and/or mentor to assist them.

Negotiating-Every agent thinks they’re a great negotiator.  Negotiating skills take lots of education, and lots of practice.  It doesn’t happen overnight, and it’s not true just because you think it’s true.  Every singer on American Idol believes they’re great, and some of the best episodes are watching those that believe they’re great, and clearly, they are not.  It will cost you to hire an amateur that thinks they’re the next American Idol.

Marketing– If you’re selling, you want an agent that’s willing to invest their own money into your advertising.  If they’re going to collect a commission from you, you want someone who’s invested along with you.  Not only does marketing work, it shows commitment.  If they’re not willing to spend money on your listing, it tells you their degree of confidence in selling your home.  Ask to see the marketing plan and compare against other Top marketing plans out there.  There is a huge difference in marketing that will become apparent to you if you interview the right people.

Track Record– Compare track records of the agents you interview.  Ask to see their sales in the past year.  How many listings did they sell?  If they only work with buyers, they may not have the experience necessary to successfully represent a seller.  There is a lot of ground-work that needs to be done, like obtaining rules and regulation, HOA docs, financials, disclosures, etc.  And all this before we even begin talking about pricing strategies.

Company-Each company has its unique set of benefits.  Are you looking for a boutique company, or an International powerhouse with connections all over the world?  How many referrals does the company receive each month from out of town?  Does the company advertise outside the area?  All questions you want answers to.

In summary, buyers and sellers want someone they can trust and someone that will dedicate their time and experience to helping them.  They want attention, diligence, knowledge, experience, and honest feedback.  Hire an agent who is strong enough to listen to you and tell you you’re on the right track, or another track is necessary for success.

If you’re looking to list your home, please call Sande or Brett Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4.  Our team of buyer agents can help you purchase as well.  Or visit www.LeeCountyOnline.com for the best real estate website in SW Florida.

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open Sunday 1-3 PM

13994 Reflection Lakes Dr – Reflection Lakes

1462 Claret Ct – Whiskey Creek

14941 Lake Olive Dr – Parker Lakes

Median sales prices for single family homes in Lee County rose .8% year over year for June, rising slightly to $250,000.  The average sales price rose 2.7% to $352,890, up from $343,652 last June.  For the most part, Southwest Florida real estate home prices held steady in June.

Southwest Florida Real Estate Home Prices Held Steady in June

Southwest Florida Real Estate Home Prices Held Steady in June

Prices did fall from May numbers. Median home prices were down $10,700 in June of 2018 and down almost $11,000 for average sales price in June.  The market has been flat for the past 18 months, there’s just no getting around it.

We are seeing fluctuations in certain price ranges.  The over $300,000 price ranges in Lee County were hit the hardest over the past 9 months or so, however we have seen more sales in all price ranges in recent months along with declining inventory.

Official Inventory Levels Rise

Speaking of inventory, the official number of listings at the end of June rose 3.1%.  However, internal Ellis Team research shows this number declined in July.  There were a lot of expired listings that came off the market at the end of June.  Closing activity was down 2.5% in June.  Ellis Team numbers were up significantly in June.

New pending sales were down in June which may translate to lower closed sales in July and August.  We’ll have to keep an eye out on July numbers in a few weeks.

There is some uncertainty in the economy.  Interest rates have risen, which impacts buyers’ buying power.  Trade tariffs are increasing the cost of new construction, which could help the resale market if that continues.  The stock market is doing well, and GDP numbers for June came in at 4.1%, the highest in decades.  The economy seems to be running on all cylinders.  The only fear is if looming trade wars will stall out certain sectors of the economy.

We can’t control what happens nationally. Locally, hiring the right Realtor can make a world of difference.  Buyers want a Realtor with local knowledge, and experience when situations arise, like inspection issues, HOA issues, etc.

Sellers want a Realtor who will look over the contract and make sure it’s written properly and free of loop-holes.  We’re seeing more contracts come in from new agents that are not completely filled out.  We’re seeing offers from experienced agents slipping in loop-holes and buyer closing costs into the fine print.  Your Realtor really needs to look at the contract to make sure the buyer agent didn’t slip in extra ways to void the contract, or shift buyer closing costs to the seller.

We Can Save You Thousands on Your Next Transaction

The Ellis Team can save you thousands on your next transaction.  If you’re selling, call Sande or Brett Ellis at 239-489-4042 Ext 4.  Or you can find out what your home is worth online for Free at www.SWFLhomevalues.com

If you’re buying, you can save thousands too.  We’ve got a tool that saves the average buyer about $5,000.  Call us and ask how you can take advantage of this tool 239-489-4042  You can search the MLS at www.LeeCountyOnline.com  It’s updated instantly with all the latest listings.  Viewing homes online that were sold yesterday, or missing out on new homes that just entered the market can be frustrating. When you use our site, you’re more likely to have a better outcome.  The best homes go quickly.  We can help you beat out other buyers to hot new listings.

The market is steady.  Each price range can vary.  It pays to study the market so when opportunity strikes, you’re ready.  We love sitting down with people ahead of time and planning out a strategy, even if it’s 6-12 months down the road.  If you’re thinking of making a move, we should talk.  Give us a call.  You’ll be glad you did.  239-489-4042 Ext 4.  ask for Sande or Brett Ellis.

A question we get from time to time is what are the common pitfalls of selling by owner?  It’s a great question, so let’s dive in.

Common Pitfalls of Selling By Owner

Common Pitfalls of Selling By Owner

The first pitfall is legal.  Most sellers don’t realize the regulatory pressures they are under, whether they sell by owner or with an agent.  The state has jurisdiction over property, homeowner, and condo disclosures.  The federal government has jurisdiction over issues like lead-based paint disclosures, waterways, docks, etc.  We’re lumping the Army Corps of Engineers in with the federal government.  Missing any one of these important disclosures could cost you a sale, or worse, a lawsuit or fine.

Security is another issue that concerns sellers.  They want to know who is coming into their home.  Sellers are concerned if the prospect is an actual buyer, or someone who is looking over the contents of the home only to come back later and rob the place.

The Buyer’s ability to pay for the home might be one of the largest concerns sellers have.  When selling by owner, asking this question can be tenuous.  The buyer feels like it’s none of your business and their finances are their business.  But it is the seller’s business.  As a Realtor, we can ask those tough questions and demand proof.  It’s what we do, and if a buyer is skittish about answering, it bears more questions.  Realtors with experience can read more into what’s being said and uncover more facts.  Red flags should never be ignored.  Newer agents, and For Sale By Owners don’t always see the red flags, and when they do, they don’t know how to handle them.  Security might be the biggest of the common pitfalls of selling by owner.

Marketing is critical to getting top dollar.  It doesn’t do much good to save a commission and lose money at the same time.  I’ve seen 3 studies that show For Sale By Owners sell for 6%-16% less than using a real estate agent.  Essentially it costs you nothing to use an agent but could cost you thousands not to.  Placing your home online in a few places isn’t marketing.  It’s simply listing it in a directory.  A few buyers might notice it, but you’re not getting it out to the masses.

Sure, you’ll get some calls from people looking to flip homes and unqualified buyers, but nothing that is going to close or gain you top dollar.  If you doubt us, just try it and see how you fare.  Then call us after a few weeks and we can change that for you.

Are All Realtors the Same?

All Realtors are not the same.  If some Realtors have a hard time marketing a home, imagine how hard it is for a For Sale By Owner.  Again, just placing it in MLS and putting a sign up is not marketing.  You need much more than that to get the word out.  If all you attract are unqualified buyers and just a small percent of the market, you’re not attracting top dollar.

Imagine putting an item for sale in an online auction.  If you had one bidder, you might sell it.  If you had 10 bidders, it’d probably go for more money.  If you had 1,000 bidders, it would sell for more than if you had just one bidder.  Full market exposure equals Top Dollar.  Less than that equals less than Top Dollar.

The Agent You Hire Matters.  The Ellis Team markets your home for all it’s worth.  We shoot for Top Dollar.  Why be satisfied with one buyer when you could have several to choose from? Our marketing generates lots of buyers.  We can bring all the buyers you’ll ever need, but if the home is not priced correctly, they’ll just go buy something else. We’ll help you avoid the common pitfalls of selling by owner.  See also 3 Reasons Why Homes Fail to Sell.

Check out www.swflhomevalues.com to get an idea of what your home may be worth.  Our computer is very good.  In fact, it’s the best we’ve ever seen by an automated valuation service.  However, it it not perfect and there is no substitute for having Sande or Brett come out to your property and doing a comparative market analysis.

Or you can Search the MLS like a pro at www.LeeCountyOnline.com

If you have a home to sell Always Call the Ellis Team, your Top Dollar Realtor!  239-489-4042 Ext 4  ask for Sande or Brett.  We’re here to help.  Sande Ellis and Brett Ellis are a mother-son team and have over 30 years experience selling homes in Southwest Florida.  Brett and Sande personally visit each property and do an in-depth analysis of the price as well as strengths of the property.  This is important because if we’re going to reach the best target buyer for the home, it pays to know every detail that may attract that best buyer.

Of course, many times our marketing attracts multiple buyers.  This is good news for sellers when we’re able to do this as it typically brings a better price for our sellers.  Imagine an online auction.  If you had  an item to sell and had 10 buyers, you’d fetch a certain price.  But if you had 1,000 buyers, the price your item would fetch might be much more, wouldn’t it?

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open House Saturday & Sunday 1-3 PM

San Carlos Park

18449 Phlox Dr

San Carlos Park Home Ellis Team Featured Property
San Carlos Park Open House Saturday & Sunday 1-3 PM

Open House Sunday 1-3 PM

Cape Coral

2709 SW 12th Ave Cape Coral

Cape Coral Pool Home Open House

We get calls all the time from discouraged sellers asking for our help.  They placed their home on the market with another agent and it didn’t sell.  They just can’t understand why their home wasn’t liked enough by a buyer to make an offer.  We tell them there are 3 reasons why homes fail to sell.

3 Reasons Why Homes Fail to Sell

  1. A home must be marketed everywhere to attract top dollar.  Simply placing it in MLS or adding a few yard signs may not get the job done.  Even though your home is on MLS, it’s not reaching the whole market.  It also doesn’t stand out.  Buyers have choices, and if you’re just on a list, your home better stand out as a bargain or offer something they really want.  Getting your home out to the right people at the right time in their buying cycle is key.  We can’t tell you how many times a buyer has said we wished we’d known about this other home when we were buying.  It was on MLS, but it didn’t stand out.  It was just a home on a list.
  2. So, you’ve got your home on the MLS.  Does the description make the buyer want to call and ask more questions?  Are all the fields perfect in MLS.  If a Realtor, or buyer for that matter, is searching for a particular field and yours is missing, your home is invisible in that search.  Do you have all the required documents uploaded into MLS at time of listing?  This isn’t the time to be lazy.  Many times, buyers have questions about the HOA, the rules, the finances, etc. and they like to see the answers immediately. If they’re absent, they move on and you lost your chance.
  3. Your home must be priced at market. If it is over the market, it’s not really on the market.  Finding the true market price can be tricky, we get it.  It takes years of experience and studying the market daily as the market is always in flux. We tell sellers we should receive an offer about every 4-5 showings.  If we’re not getting offers, something is wrong.  If we’re not getting showings at all, something bigger is wrong.  We’ve either got an error in the details, or our price is off more than originally thought.  If you’d like to get a pretty good ball park idea of your home’s worth, go to www.swflhomevalues.com It is a computer and does a pretty good job, but it’s no substitute for us looking at your property.

Many people say it’s not price, it’s the condition or the location.  It’s true, you can’t change the location.  You’re locked in by location, and if you’ve got a neighbor that isn’t keeping up their property, it could affect your value.

If your condition isn’t up to par, it too could affect your value. Notice the key words here?  Your value.  Value is determined by the market.  You set the price, the market determines the value.  If your price isn’t at value, it will sit.  You can improve your condition, and that may help.  You may not get dollar for dollar back on improvements, but they may help protect your downside if your home has some objections from buyers.

3 Reasons Why Homes Fail to Sell

It pays to hire a professional.  Failing at any one of these 3 critical components can kill a sale, or worse, cause you to sell it for less than it’s worth.  Why reach 1 buyer when you can reach hundreds? A Realtor with years of experience can help you price it properly, market it for all it’s worth, and handle all the details so you have a smooth move.

If you’re thinking of selling, Always Call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty 239-489-4042 Ext 4  ask for Sande or Brett.  If your home failed to sell the first time, we can help fix that and get you on your way.  Good luck and Happy Selling!

If you’re buying, check out www.LeeCountyOnline.com  We’ve got all the homes for sale in MLS, and it’s updated instantly.  No more looking at homes that aren’t really on the market anymore.

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open House Sunday 1-3 PM

Reflection Lakes 5 Bedroom 3 Bath Pool Home on Lake

Reflection lakes Pool Home

13994 Reflection Lakes Dr

Open House Sunday 1-3 PM

Daniel’s Park 4 Bedroom 3 Bath Home With 3 Car Garage

Daniel’s Park 4 Bedroom 3 Bath Home With 3 Car Garage

14077 Danpark Loop

 

 

The month’s supply of SW Florida real estate inventory supply declined in July from April levels.  There are many reasons for this which we’ll go into detail.

Sellers are listening.  Buyers’ motivation topped out about 9 months ago and sales suffered.  We’ve seen instances in the past where buyers were at one level, and sellers were at another level, and there was a standstill.  The longer the standstill, the longer homes sit on the market and inventory grows.

SW Florida Real Estate Inventory Supply Declined in July

This time around, word got out and sellers didn’t want to be caught holding the bag.  They made the adjustments quicker, and it’s paid off.  Sure, nobody is happy to reduce their asking price.  Without movement, nothing would happen.  If a seller’s true desire is to sell, then you’ve got to find that price point where price equals value in the market’s eye.  It looks like sellers have been doing that.

For the most part, inventory has declined, and sales have increased.  Inventory declined in all price ranges in Lee County Florida.  Closed sales increased in all price ranges except the less than $100k and $100-150k ranges.  This decline could simply be a matter of not as much inventory to sell, therefore not as many closed sales.  With months supply of 1.25 months or less, it’s hardly worth mentioning except to be factual.

Buyers should take note.  You’re no longer in the driver’s seat.  With 4.57 months’ supply of overall inventory we’re back to a seller’s market, statistically speaking.  Sellers, don’t get too excited either.  It really depends on which price range your home is located.  Once your home crosses that $300,000 threshold you enter neutral to buyers’ market territory.  If you’ve got a home that’s been on the market awhile, it’s probably time to adjust to where the buyers are.

If you’re a seller priced under $300k and your home is not selling, there is a problem.  An immediate adjustment may be in order.  If it is priced correctly, it should be getting action.  We tell sellers we should be getting offers about every 4-5 showings.  If we’re getting showings and no offers, the marketing is working.  The price or condition isn’t.  If a seller isn’t getting showings, it’s either the price or the marketing.  It could be both.

As a seller, you’re really in charge of two things.  Setting the correct price and selecting the best agent.  Mistakes in the MLS, bad photos, or lack of marketing muscle can be a turnoff to buyers or make your listing invisible.  We’ve seen lack of good marketing cost sellers a sale, or thousands in their pocket at closing because they didn’t attract the highest and best buyers for their home.

If your home is overpriced, you’re just adding to the marketing time and kidding yourself.  Typically, in the end you’ll end up taking a lower price than you otherwise would have had you priced it correctly upfront.  If your agent recommends taking action on price, listen.  If you aren’t having that conversation with your agent, perhaps it’s time to be proactive.  Perhaps your agent recommended a lower price at tie of listing, but you were stubborn or convinced it should be higher.  Perhaps your agent has recommended price adjustments and you’ve declined.  Whatever the case, ultimately, it’s on you as the seller.

If you decline your doctor’s advice, the results are on you as the patient.  If you decline your attorney’s advice, the results are on you as the client.  The same is true in real estate.  It’s your home.  If you’re OK with owning it and not selling, then that’s fine.  If you’re not OK and would like to move on, it’s time to adjust.  It’s either the marketing or the price.

If your home has expired, or if you’re considering putting your home on the market, perhaps it’s time to get a 2nd opinion.  Always Call the Ellis Team.  We specialize in getting homes sold the 1st time.  We’d be happy to look at your home and figure out what we can do to sell it.  239-489-4042 Ext 4 or www.LeeCountyOnline.com  Ask for Sande or Brett Ellis.

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open House Saturday 1-3 PM

13460 Marquette Blvd

Open House Sunday 1-3 PM

1462 Claret Ct

Real estate agents across SW Florida have been complaining that sales have been sluggish, however the numbers show that 2018 Lee County Florida home sales shaping up to be decent year. Both April and May numbers have topped previous years, and January, February, and March are right in there.  If things keep progressing, we’ll have a chance to top 2015 sales levels.

What is fueling the increase in home sales?  Two things come to mind right off the bat.  Higher inventory and price reductions.  Inventory 7.8% this year to 5,787 listings compared to 5,368 last year.  This opens up more choices for buyers.

7 Day Market Watch 2018 Lee County Florida Home Sales Shaping Up

We’re seeing as many price reductions as new listings in a typical 7-day period.  In the past 7 days we saw 440 price reductions compared to 323 new listings and 376 pending sales.  This tells us sellers have recognized the need to adjust their price and are making the adjustments.  When this happens, sales occur.

2018 Lee County Florida Home Sales Shaping Up

Official numbers released this week show median price and sales price increasing in May.  You might ask, how is it possible to have increasing prices while sellers are decreasing their asking prices?  Median price is defined as the price where half the sales occur over that price and half occur under.  If most of the upper end sellers overprice their home, there are fewer sales up there and it forces the median price down, because that’s what’s selling.  Lower priced sellers were more in-tune with the market.  As the mid and upper ranges accepted that change needed to occur, more sales started happening.  As this occurs, it pulls the average and median price upward.

Many will read the headlines and infer that prices are rising when in fact prices have not been rising.  It’s the fall in prices that created the sales.  It is the reluctance of mid to upper sellers to adjust sooner that stalled the sales.  There were only so many mid to lower listings to go around.

We expect to see good sales numbers the balance of 2018 as the market adjusts to the shift.  The market always adjusts.  It’s only a matter of how long it takes to do so.  It’s kind of like pulling off a band-aid.  You can pull it slowly or rip it off.  Either way it comes off, it’s just a matter of how long you want the pain to last.

Buyers can rejoice now because there are some pretty good deals out there.  For instance, we’ve got a 5-bedroom, 3 bath pool home on the lake in Reflection Lakes for just $459,000.  Last year that same home would have sold for $525,000.  We’ve got a 4-bedroom 3 bath home in Belle Lago for $465,000.  It was on the market with another broker last year for well over $500,000.  Imagine getting a 4-bedroom home in Paseo for $500,000.  We’ve got that too.  We even have a 4 bedroom home in Reflection Lakes for $375,000.

In fact, if you want to see a list of Hot Buys, go to www.LeeCountyOnline.com and click on the Featured Listing Section.  If you’re interested in how a neighborhood is doing, check out the Market Reports section.

Sellers who are curious as to their home’s value will appreciate the property valuation tool.  It’s free, and provides a detailed report on your home within seconds.

If you’re thinking of buying or selling, we should probably talk.  We’ve got a way for you to save thousands when getting a mortgage.  We have options for you to save thousands too when selling.  If you’re thinking of selling, ask for Sande or Brett Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4.  If you’re buying, we have a team of buyer agents ready to help you find your dream home and save money on the loan too.  Always Call the Ellis team!  We’re here to help.

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open House Saturday 1-3 PM

17970 Maddelena Cir  Belle Lago Open House

Open House Sunday 11AM – 1PM

5970 Trailwinds Dr Unit 121

Everybody seems to agree that the best negotiations are when it’s a win-win situation for buyer and seller.  And yet, most buyers and sellers negotiate from a win-lose proposition.  Everybody wants to win, and they don’t care if it’s at the expense of the other party.  Furthermore, if the other party doesn’t lose, some people don’t feel as if they’ve won.  They feel like they left money on the table.  New program helps sellers net more money at closing and buyers save more money too at closing.

New Program Helps Sellers Net More at Closing

Other buyers and sellers are just happy to get a deal done that works.  Perhaps a financed buyer would love to purchase a home but keeps getting beat out by cash buyers or other buyers putting more down. Other buyers have the down payment saved up; they just don’t have the closing costs saved on top of it.

Typically, a buyer might ask for the seller to pick-up and pay for some or all the buyer’s closing costs.  Not out of greed, rather out of necessity.  This costs the seller money to do this.  If the home appraises at the higher price, they could have sold to someone else and not paid their closing costs.  It’s a way to put a deal together, but if the seller has other options they usually choose the other option.

What if the buyer needs help with closing costs and the seller didn’t have to pay it?  The seller could keep the sale at full-price and net all the proceeds.  The buyer wouldn’t have to pay them either.  So, you might ask, if seller isn’t paying, and buyer isn’t paying, who is paying?

What if lender fees didn’t need to be paid at all?  What if they weren’t charged?  We’ve seen some lenders who don’t charge lender fees and they make up for it in a higher rate.  In that case, the buyer ultimately pays.  We’re talking about a low rate without higher premium and no lender fees.  Add in a closing credit to the buyer, and you’ve got the best of both worlds.

Win-Win

 This is taking win-win to a new level.  Even for buyers who don’t need help with closing costs, this is a win.  Anytime the buyer can save thousands in closing costs it’s a win.  The cost savings may help the buyer purchase more house, which may make the difference between getting that extra bedroom or family pool.  We’re able to help buyers qualify for more home which brings more buyers to the table for sellers.

Sellers not only benefit on the sale of their home, we can also offer this to them on their next purchase.  Sellers save money by not having to pay for buyer closing costs, and they can save money on their next purchase.  Imagine saving $5,000 or more on your next loan.

So, what’s the catch?  No catch really.  Not everyone can offer this.   If we’re the listing agent, we can offer it to the buyer, no matter who the buyer is working with.  If you’re the buyer, you must work with a Keller Williams Realty agent.  It’s pretty simple.  Loans close on-time, buyers save money, and sellers win too because they get to keep more money at closing.

Buyer saves money, seller saves money, and everybody wins.  Now that’s a deal that’s hard to refuse, and why would you?  Simply give us a call at 239-489-4042

Feel free to search the MLS like a pro at www.LeeCountyOnline.com When you find something you like, give our agents a call and we’ll get you on your way to your dream home.  Better yet, let’s get you pre-approved upfront.  That way you can go shopping knowing you’ll save money, close within 30 days, and your offer will more likely be accepted because you’re approved, not just pre-qualified.  If you’ve got questions, give our team a call.  We’ll be glad to help!

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Danforth Lakes Open House Saturday 1-3 PM

Whiskey Creek Open House Sunday 1-3 PM

Cape Coral Waterfront Condo Open House Sunday 1-3 PM

Like clockwork Lee County summer real estate sales are heating up.  So why aren’t Lee County home sellers jumping for joy?  Many home sellers are happy, because their home was on the market all season and now it’s selling.  Others are happy because their home just sold while their neighbor’s home sits on the market.

This past season we saw many sellers priced at one point while the buyer’s perception of value was at another.  In many cases, the seller’s perception exceeded the buyer’s perception by 10% or more.  Sellers didn’t want to accept this reality, so homes sat on the market.  You’ll always have some sellers that refuse to accept today’s market prices, but when you have many, it causes the market to take note and listen.

The market always speaks to us.  It’s up to us if we’re ready to listen.  We’re humans, and we don’t always want to accept change.  For those that accept change and react quicker, the opportunity is the greatest.

Lee County Summer Real Estate Sales Are Heating Up 7 Day Market Watch

Right now, home sales are brisk $300,000 and below.  This makes sense because that’s where the bulk of the buyers are.  That’s what more people can afford. We just pulled up the 7-day market watch from MLS, and we notice there more pending sales (379) than new listings (365).  You’ll notice too there were more price reductions (385) than either.  These price reductions are leading to more pending sales as sellers get their home down to where the buyers are.

Selling a home is kind of like fishing.  If you place your bait 20 ft above where the fish are, you get nothing.  Lowering the bait 10 ft above where the fish are still yields nothing.  Fish tend to swim in schools.  You’ve got to place the bait where the fish are, not where you want them to be.  Pricing a home is the same.

If you price your home above where the buyers are, they don’t even look at it.  Typically, you should expect an offer with every 4-5 showings.  If you’re not getting offers, your home is probably still overpriced.  Sellers say, “We just reduced our price $10,000” so that can’t be it.  It can.  If you were $30,000 overpriced, that $10,000 reduction still places you 20 ft above the fish.  Until you get down where the fish are, you’ll attract few showings and little to no offers.

Lee County Summer Real Estate Sales 7 Day Market AveragesAre Heating Up

Of the 379 new pending sales, the median price was $249,000.  The average price was $335,540.  This confirms the $300,000 range and below as being the sought-after part of the market.  If you have a home $400,000 or more on the market right now, you’re probably still fishing for the correct asking price.  You may be wondering why buyers just are not accepting your price.  Your neighbor’s home may be sitting on the market too.  Occasionally one will sell, and you’ll be wondering what they did to attract that buyer.

It takes aggressive marketing.  Aggressive marketing alone won’t work.  Together with your agent, you’ll need to adjust that bait until you find where the fish are.  When you do, it will sell.  The SW Florida real estate market isn’t suffering from a lack of buyers.  The buyers are not aligned with some sellers’ asking prices.  When the seller gets down to where the buyers are, the buyers are biting.  This past week or so the Ellis Team has placed 7 properties under contract.  Some agents believe the summer is the slow time, but that’s a bad assumption.  We have buyers in all price ranges.  We just closed a property over $1 Million.

The agents out there hustling are selling homes.  It’s a great time to sell, so long as you’re willing to price your home at the market. Isn’t that always the case though?  Together with your agent you should ask yourself, “Am I willing to price my home at a price that will cause it to sell?”  If the answer is no, then why are you putting it on the market?

If you’d like to talk to Sande or Brett Ellis about selling your home, call us at 239-489-4042 Ext 4.  Next week we hope to share some exciting news that may make your home stand out and sell faster. Find out what your home is worth online.

Search the MLS like a Pro!  Get real-time updates, price changes, new listings, and All the MLS listings.

Don’t forget our Neighborhood Market Reports

 

Alva

River Hall

Fort Myers

Botanica Lakes

Caloosa Trace

Carillon Woods

Cross Creek Estates

Danforth Lakes

Daniels Park

Fiddlesticks

Gulf Harbour

Highland Pines Estates

Fort Myers Waterfront Homes

Palmetto Point

Reflection Lakes

River District Fort Myers High Rise Condos

San Carlos Park

Shadow Wood Preserve

Tanglewood

Town and River

Whiskey Creek

 

Cape Coral

Tarpon Point

As real estate agents I think we tend to forget that people really don’t know how to sell their home. What seems basic to a veteran agent is not basic to all, and even many newer agents don’t know all the best tips.  We decided to cover 8 seller mistakes when putting home on the market.

8 Seller Mistakes When Putting Home on the Market

  1. Don’t be present for showings.  If you absolutely must be home for showings, don’t say a word.  Take a walk, drive around the block, or anywhere you can to avoid conversation with the buyers.  Sellers believe they know their home better than anyone; therefore, they can sell it better than anyone.  Be aware of the $1,000 rule.  Practically every word you speak to the buyers costs you $1,000.  I’d say try it, but it’ll cost you.
  2. Don’t photograph everything. There is no rule you must provide a photo of everything.  Leave a little to the imagination.  Make them want to get inside and see everything.  Most bathrooms don’t need to be photographed, unless they are spectacular, stand out, and are a selling feature.
  3. Set correct listing price and negotiate firm. You’ll get a better sales price if you set the correct list price.  Overpricing drives buyers away.  You’re not going to fool a buyer today, so you might as well price correctly upfront.  Buyers typically don’t want to insult a seller, so they just move on to other better values.  Or worse yet, they never view inside of your home because it’s not on their radar.
  4. Select the best agent to market your home, not the least expensive. Selecting the least expensive can cost you thousands.  It’s not what an agent charges that matters, it’s what ends up in your pocket at closing.  All Realtors are not the same.  Some agents sell homes faster and for more money.  Enough to cover the difference in rate, and then some.
  5. Make your home accessible. We live in the online age.  People expect fast access, both online and in person.  Some buyers are buying today and won’t come back tomorrow just to see your home.  By the time your home is available and picked up, they bought something else.  It just repeats with the next buyer.
  6. Check with your condo or HOA. There are many required disclosures and documents you must pass on to buyer at contract.  Failure to do so can cost you a sale. Get these documents upfront.  It’s a pain, but you’re going to have to do it anyway, so don’t lose a buyer and get them now.
  7. Disclose defects. Better yet, repair problems so next buyer doesn’t have to deal with it.  Most buyers want a problem free home.  They want to move in and not have to repair a bunch of things.  Their time and budget is stretched enough, and having to repair other peoples’ existing issues kind of takes the fun out of home shopping.  If you don’t want to do the repair, chances are you next buyer may not either.
  8. Market your home everywhere! Newspaper, online, social media, etc.  Make sure your home is target marketed to home buyers looking for what you have.  Throwing a sign out there and posting on an online site won’t cut it.  Everyone does that.  You want to stand out.

Wish we had more room.  If you’re thinking of selling, always call the Ellis Team.  We’ll go over our entire list and expose your home to more people.  Call Sande or Brett Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4  To search the MLS like a pro, visit www.LeeCountyOnline.com

Don’t forget to vote us Best Real Estate Team in SW Florida in News Press Reader Poll.  www.Bestswfl.com

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open House Sunday 1-3 PM

Reflection Lakes 5 Bed 3 Bath Pool Home on Lake

Large Reflection Lakes Pool home priced to sell and ready to go

13994 Reflection Lakes Dr

Open House Sunday 1-3 PM

Bella Lago 4 Bed 3 Bath Pool Home

3 Car Garage, Granite Counters, and more

19790 Maddelana

Open House Sunday 1-4 PM

Cape Coral Direct Access Waterfront Pool Home

Direct Access Cape Coral Waterfront Pool Home

1933 SE 36th St