The last few weeks we’ve been reporting official Southwest Florida real estate sales numbers, and the numbers look good.  This flies in the face of what some sellers and some agents are saying about the market.  Real estate tends to be an emotional item.  It is for buyer and seller, and for agents alike. This week we’ll focus on why you should avoid Dr do it all when selecting a Realtor to sell your home.

Buyers and sellers tend to get caught up in their own personal transaction.  Agents tend to get caught up in their overall production.  Sometimes agents confuse their own production with that of the overall market, and often they are completely different.

The typical agent’s production cycle is up and down.  They prospect, farm, and lead generate which leads to appointments.  As they take appointments they get busy.  A lot goes into working with a buyer or bringing a listing to the market.  Both can be time consuming.  As transactions begin to occur, all of the prospecting, farming, and lead generating tends to stop.  They must focus limited resources on the ultimate goal, getting the deals closed.

Once they get their deals closed, they’re basically out of business and must begin the process all over again.  And after they do, the cycle begins anew.  When agents are in the transaction phase, they feel like the market is booming, because they’re busy and they have closings coming up.  When they are in the prospecting phase, they can feel like the market is dead and nobody wants to buy.  Because they honestly feel this way, agents tend to report on how they feel the market is doing by how their personal business is going.  And the answer always lies in which step of the process they are in.  Talk to 10 different agents and you might get 10 different answers, and it’s all real to them.

Avoid Dr Do It All When Selecting a Realtor to Sell Your Home

Experienced agents with a long track record of sales have learned to level out the ups and down by doing two things.  Hire talent to help handle all the fine details of bringing a listing to market and managing a transaction.  This helps agents do the 2nd thing, which is never stop lead generating. 

Avoid Dr Do It All When Selecting a Realtor to Sell Your Home

Not only will it help an agent level out the ups and downs of their business, it also helps their sellers.  Imagine listing with an agent that is so busy taking your listing and closing a few deals that they stop lead generating.  Now that your home is new to the market, there are no new leads for your home because the agent stopped lead generating to get your home ready for MLS.

A lot goes into placing a home in MLS, if done properly.  Professional photos must be taken.  Several hours are spent on a pricing strategy, and several more hours are spent gathering information for the MLS, like HOA or condo information, and of course listing all the details and fields for the home.  Then there is the dreaded agent remark section where agents must cleverly write a compelling story on why your home is a good buy.

It’s no wonder why single agents get frustrated, because there is so much to do, and when business starts happening, the lead generation stops.  This is where sellers get frustrated.  Their home is fresh on the market, and few people are viewing the home.

Always Call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty

Avoid Dr Do it All- This is why we created a team.  In fact, we were the first team in SW Florida many years ago.  We never stop lead generating.  The Ellis Team has a full-time listing manager to help with all the details of bringing a home to market.  We have a closing manager to help get our deals to the closing table, so we don’t have to start all over with another buyer.  And, we have a full-time marketing manager to make our ads, and our homes look good.

We never stop marketing and lead generating.  This is why our homes sell faster and for more money than the average agent.  We have a list of buyers ready to buy now, and we are working every day to find them homes.  We may already have a buyer for your home, and if not, our marketing will create one.

Call Brett or Sande Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4 if you’re thinking of selling, or go to www.SWFLhomevalues.com to see what your home may be worth.

SW Florida Real Estate Closings Setting Strong Pace in 2018SW Florida Real estate closings setting strong pace in 2018 and it’s the best kept secret out there. Perhaps people are caught-up in the headlines of red-tide and blue-green algae and just assume the market is suffering.

I was just speaking with a lender this morning who mentioned she’s ready for real estate closings to start picking up.  Lenders of course get a large chunk of their business through Realtors, so I asked her what her perception of the market was.  In speaking with Realtors she works with, she had heard it was slow.

SW Florida Real Estate Closings Setting Strong Pace in 2018

If you look at the graph, you’ll see Lee County closings in 2018 are ahead of past year’s closings.  In fact, we are 689 of last year and 211 ahead of 2015, the second highest year in this time frame. The data shows that real estate closings are not slow, and yet Realtors, lenders, and maybe even the public thinks it is.

Your perception becomes your reality, and if you buy into a falsehood that the market is slow, suddenly your closings will be slow, which further confirms your suspicion that the market is indeed slow.  When you buy into false facts, your outcome is determined by your attitude and assumptions rather than what could have been.  If you simply change your thinking, you can change your world.

At Keller Williams we have a list or irrefutable laws, one of which is “Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.”   The SW Florida real estate market right now is a perfect example.  This market can be whatever you want it to be.  We have buyers looking to buy.  We have a good economy, and rates are low historically speaking although on their way up.  All favorable signs!

And yet we have some negatives.  Interest rates are rising, which is slowing buyer’s purchasing power.  Sales are slowing nationwide.  And of course, we have Red Tide and Blue Green Algae.  There, I said it.  We have positives on the table and we have negatives on the table.  So, which is it?

Every business should run a SWOT analysis.  Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.  Every business will have positives and negatives.  Every relationship will have both.  Your outcome is dependent on how you look at things.  Do you choose to see the opportunity, or do you choose to see the threat?

Facts are facts, and they often get in the way of how we’d like to perceive a situation.  The facts are, we’ve got a pretty good market right now.  If you’re an agent, you could either decide on how you’re going to go get your unfair share of sales or sit back and complain that sales are slow.  They’re not slow for everybody, only those that choose to buy into the negatives.

If you’re a seller, you want an agent that knows how to market and sell in all kinds of weather.  Three things are certain, markets go up, markets go down, and the weather is always changing.  If your home has been on the market and failed to sell, perhaps you need a new approach.

It failed to sell for one of two reasons.  Either it was overpriced, or it wasn’t marketed properly.  We’ve taken over listings that failed to sell and sold them at the same price, so it wasn’t the price.  We’ve taken over other listings that were overpriced, made the proper adjustments, and added our marketing and they sold.  Sometimes it’s both, the price and the marketing.

There is no substitute for proper marketing.  Failure to market properly will cause a home to sell at a lower price, or not at all.  Even homes priced correctly sometimes don’t sell, and that’s lack of marketing.

Call Brett or Sande Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4 and we’ll be happy to sit down and discuss both with you.  Or, go to www.SWFLhomevalues.com and get a quick and Free estimate of your home’s value, then call us when you’re ready to sell.

Good luck and happy selling!

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New real estate listings rose 14.8% in August and are up 11% year to date.  New pending sales were down 3.4% in August and up 4.4% year to date.  Percentages can be misleading though, so let’s dive deeper into the numbers.

New Real Estate Listings Rose 14.8% in August

New Real Estate Listings Rose 14.8% in August

New listings in August totaled 1,423.  This was up from 1,240 last year.  In August 1,226 properties went pending.  This means 203 more properties came on the market than went pending.  The total inventory of active listings regardless of how long they’ve been on the market rose to 5,307.  This is a 13.7% increase over last year, although it’s practically the same as the month previous.

New Real Estate Listings Rose 14.8% in August New Pending Sales Slid

Our month’s supply of inventory rose to 4.9 months in August.  This is the exact same as July, however it is an 11.4% increase over last year currently.

So, what do these numbers tell us?  Statistically we still have a seller’s market.  Anything less than 5.5 months supply of inventory is considered a seller’s market.  Median prices rose 4.6% over last year while average sales prices rose 2.3%.  Prices are rising, although the rate of rise is leveling off.

Nationwide the Case-Schiller Index was just released for July and it showed nationwide home prices rose 6%, which was smaller than previous gains.  They speculate rising interest rates are beginning to tap the brakes on how much and how fast home prices can appreciate.

Home sales slid .7% nationwide in July. Lee County home sales were up 9.1% back in July, and up 10.3% in August.  While we’re all affected by rising interest rates, SW Florida might be a little insulated because we didn’t participate in the price run-ups the past few years like others did. Our prices were flatter the past few years, and only recently have begun to rise substantially.

Going forward, buyers and sellers will need to do more research.  Sellers looking for top dollar will need to interview agents in search of the best marketing plan.  Anyone can sell a home in a rising market.  Some Realtor’s say price sells homes.  While we won’t argue with that, marketing does too.  And that’s where some Realtors disagree.

Advertising costs money and that eats into margins.  Some agents can’t afford to market homes properly, so they don’t.  They rely on the MLS and other agents to sell their listings.  As inventory begins to grow, the need for marketing increases.

You’ve got to find a way to make your client’s home stand out.  As inventory rises, their home is just another in a long list of homes on the market.  What makes it stand out?  Once you determine that, you must tell the world.

An agent can’t rely on MLS and real estate portals to do that.  They are nothing more than a directory listing of homes on the market.  Imagine searching through your neighborhood directory wonder which neighbor has the best home.  A directory won’t tell you that.  The MLS won’t sell your home, and neither will real estate portals.  If you’re thinking of selling, you should call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty.  239-489-4042 Ext 4.  We’ll show you how advertising makes all the difference.

Buyers today are doing more research too.  As inventory rises, they have more to choose from, and more to learn.  Buyers must be careful though, because although total listings are up, they may not be in your price range or the neighborhood you’re looking for.

A good agent can help you sort through the maze of homes and educate you on the process. Buying or selling a home isn’t simple.  You may not realize it until you run into trouble, and then it can be costly.  Always call a professional.

To get an idea of what your home is worth, you can at www.SWFLhomevalues.com It’s free and easy, and it’s pretty darn accurate most times.  For a more detailed analysis, call Brett or Sande Ellis and we’ll come view your home and show you what we can sell it for, and how much money you’ll end up with in your pocket at closing.

Call us if you need us 239-489-4042 Ext 4 and Happy Selling!

Last year we warned about interest rates and what it could do to home buyers and sellers.  Since that warning interest rates have climbed .82%.  The consensus on the street is we’re not done yet.  Today we see rising interest rates squeezing home buyers and lowering affordability which can ultimately affect both buyer and seller.

Rising Interest Rates Squeezing Home Buyers and Lowering Affordability

A simple rise in rates robs a home buyer of between 10-11% of purchasing power.  In the example in the graph, a $200,000 home buyer before the rate increase now only qualifies for $180,000.  Let’s say the buyer still qualifies for $200,000.  Their monthly payment just went up $114.82.  Nothing else changed.  The purchase price is the same, the amount financed is the same.  The only thing that caused that payment to go up was the interest rate.  Over 30 years that increase adds up to $41,335.20.

Simply by waiting a year to purchase it cost a home buyer more payment or less house.  When you combine that with home price increases, it’s a double whammy for buyers.

We’re not done yet.  Experts are predicting rates to shoot up to 5% by the end of the year, and perhaps 6% by the end of 2019.  Even if they only raise half of that, you can clearly see that waiting costs more than it’s worth.  For home buyers, the time is now, and the sooner the better.

We have buyers just waiting for their lease to end.  In some cases, it makes sense to break the lease and pay the penalty.  Some apartments have a 1-month rental penalty.  Other landlords charge much more, so it’s wise to look at your lease and consult with an attorney.

Right now, we have limited inventory, so homes go fast.  As rates continue to climb, it will put more pressure on more buyers.  The pace at which the market can appreciate will have pressure on it.  If you’re a seller, you might want to think about listing now, for several reasons.

If you have a mortgage, chances you’ll get a mortgage on your new home.  Waiting to sell your home will cost you too when you go get a new mortgage.  Additionally, as rates rise, there will be fewer buyers that qualify for your home.  Lastly, as buyers begin to qualify for less and move down a price bracket, listings may rise in your price bracket.  When this occurs, price appreciation can stop.

If you’re waiting for prices to climb further, it’s a risky strategy.  Sure, price may climb higher, but it may still cost you.  You may not gain anything, and you’re taking a risk.  It’s more fun to sell when inventory is low.  And it’s more fun to purchase before rates rise much further.

Rates are still pretty low historically speaking.  We’re still in the 4’s.  I remember double digit rates.  The point is, even though rates are low, why pay more than you need to?  Next year, you’re likely to pay more.  The economy is heating up, and this drives pressure for rates to rise.

You know you want a new home.  The only thing holding you back is your home is still appreciating, and you don’t know where you’d go.  Give Sande or Brett Ellis a call at 239-489-4042 Ext 4 and we can walk you through the steps of a possible move.

We can figure out how much you’d net on the sale of your current home, and what it would take to get you a new home.  We can discuss financing options and how we’d structure the deal to make it work for you.  You never know until you speak with us.

Or, you can search the market online at www.LeeCountyOnline.com We’re here to help you today, tomorrow, or down the road when the stars align for you. We just want you to have the best information available, so you can make the best decision for your family.

Always call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty Fort Myers & the Islands!

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Big Online Advertising Changes Affecting Realtors Marketing Results Visitors by Country

We knew online advertising changes were coming.  Facebook, under increasing pressure from the government, changed its targeting of consumers to avoid discrimination claims for things like housing and other industries.  Let’s talk about big online advertising changes affecting Realtors marketing results.

The funny thing is, many of the things we were targeting were not discriminatory at all.  For instance, we used to target a group in Facebook “Likely to Move” or renters.  Renters are always a good group of people to target as eventually many of them would love to own a home.  Many Realtors would send out mail pieces to apartment complexes specifically targeting renters.  I don’t see how targeting renters on Facebook is any different, but whatever it takes to satisfy the government, I guess.

Big Online Advertising Changes Affecting Realtors Marketing Results

We believe going forward realtors will give up on Facebook advertising when they no longer get the results they’re used to, but they shouldn’t.  This past week we had 4 open houses which we advertised in the newspaper as well as several online sites.  Additionally, we selected 4 Facebook target groups.  2 groups were accepted.  Facebook denied 2 groups even though I made the appropriate changes they suggested.  Their system just wasn’t equipped to allow the ad.

So, I spent most of the day yesterday studying their system.  I was able to crack the code and I’ve identified several new targeted audiences I think will produce good results for our sellers.  With every obstacle an opportunity is presented.  Not only will these new audiences present opportunities, so will the failure of other online ads.  When other Realtor’s ads are rejected, and they surely will be because Facebook doesn’t know any better, Realtors will give up.  Their ads will either be less effective or won’t run at all.

By spending a whole day studying the system, we’re betting this will pay off big for our clients.  The other thing I think is important is we don’t put all our online eggs in one basket.  The Ellis Team are huge advertisers on Google, Bing, Yahoo, and many other effective sites.  We advertise where they online eyeballs are.  If they shift, we shift.

Big Online Advertising Changes Affecting Realtors Marketing Results Visitors by Country

Facebook made these changes in August, and yet I just pulled up our online numbers.  We have many websites, so I just picked LeeCountyOnline.com for a look.  In the past 30 days we had almost 5,000 unique visitors.  We’re able to track which country they come from, and even what state.  We can track which pages they like, if they’re on desktop or mobile, and lots more.

Big Online Advertising Changes Affecting Realtors Marketing Results Visitors by State

Top Countries

It’s interesting to note that Germany and Brazil are generating lots of visitors followed by Canada and France.  Inside the United States we note that New York and Wisconsin are the most popular outside of Florida.  One of our buyer agents commented on how many people they are working with recently from Wisconsin.  The online numbers bear that out.

New York and New Jersey both made the top 10 list.  It’s no surprise as taxes are high in those two states because they limit out on the SALT deduction, more are moving to Florida from those states.

If you wish to attract foreign buyers, or buyers from other states you must have an effective online advertising strategy.  As you can see from the stats, The Ellis Team has figured it out.  Much of what we do is effective organic content, and much is paid search advertising.  One without the other is only half a strategy.

If you’re thinking of selling your home, please contact Brett or Sande Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4.  We’ll show you how we can put our print and online advertising to work for you, so you too can reach these buyers.  If you’re a buyer and you’ve found us, you can call us too, as we enjoy helping people buy their dream home in paradise.  Remember, Always Call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty!

Visit www.SWFLhomevalues.com for a FREE online valuation of your home.  It’s a great place to get started before you’re ready to meet with a Realtor.

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

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Cape Coral Pool Home

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San Carlos Park New Construction

What a difference a month makes.  A little over a month ago we were reporting rising inventory and median price increases of .8%.  Since then, inventory fell by almost 100 homes and Southwest Florida median home prices rose 8.2% in July from last year.  They rose 2% from June numbers alone.  The average price increase in July was 15.8% over last year and was about steady from the previous month.  One of the reasons we use the median price is it’s more stable and is not subject to wild fluctuations like the average is.

Southwest Florida Median Home Prices Rose 8.2% in July

In any event, both indicators are healthy gains.  All we see or hear in the media is how the water crisis is taking a toll on business and real estate sales.  Perhaps it is affecting waterfront real estate sales, however statistically we can’t say it’s hurting the overall market.  You must be careful not to buy into negative news.

At the Ellis Team, we’re all for reporting the news accurately.  It usually tells a story, but not always the story you think.  We like to look at the numbers and see if there is a cause and effect.  Sometimes there is, and sometimes there isn’t.  What is a problem for some becomes an opportunity for others, and we’re not just talking about the water crisis.

If you let outside influences affect your outlook, it can become your reality.  If you’re a real estate agent and you believe the market is down, you’ll sell as if the market is down.  When you believe the market is good, you’ll sell that way too.  You’ve heard the sayings, “Anything the mind can conceive, it will achieve”, and “Perception is reality”. This is 100% true.

We’re not saying agents should pump themselves up by saying the market is something it isn’t!  The sooner you identify and tackle reality the sooner you are on your way solving an issue. We are saying that agents and the public should seek first to understand before making broad assumptions.

If you were a military planner, you wouldn’t attack New Zealand because Syria was acting up.  You’d look at the whole situation and determine if force was even necessary to begin with, and if so, where.  The same is true in real estate.  Salt water waterfront may be affected while fresh water and non-waterfront might be on fire.

I haven’t gone in and done an in-depth analysis of salt water sales, so I can’t even tell you if it’s being harmed nor by how much.  I’ve seen agents on TV telling us how bad it’s affected their sales.  While I don’t doubt that, you must ask the question.  Is that their perception making their reality come true, or is it fact?  It could very well be fact, and perhaps one of these days we’ll research that and report to you what we find.

If you’re a buyer, or seller, it pays to know which segments of the market are hot, and which are not.  It affects how soon you must place your offer when you find a nice home, and how close to asking price you should offer.  The Ellis Team are experts at counseling buyers and sellers.  Sande and Brett each have over 30 years’ experience, and we have a team of agents we meet with every week and discuss market conditions.

Last week one of our agents identified a hot buy alert on a property in Cape Coral.  One of our other agents on the team sold it.  When you have a small army who knows the market and works in it every day, it helps all your clients.

If you’re looking to purchase, call us at 239-489-4042 or check out www.LeeCountyOnline.com  It has some of the area’s best buys, and it’s updated instantly.  If you’re thinking of selling, check out www.SWFLhomevalues.com, or call Sande or Brett Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4.

We’ll be happy to give you great advice we give all our clients.  The value isn’t in the agent showing you homes, it’s in the knowledge behind the research.  The Ellis Team has the knowledge and the research.

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

The Future of Real Estate Southwest Florida Market Update August 2018

While many agents in SW Florida are complaining about lack of closings the numbers just do not bear this out.  Statistically average sale prices are about what they were in the boom of 2005 and early 2006, and 2018 single family real estate closings almost at boom levels as well.

Back in 2005 we had 12,273 single family closings.  In 2017 we had 12,356, and 2018 is on track to beat that.  The peak for closings was between 2009-2011 when prices were a lot lower.  Today we have peak level pricing and high levels of sales.

2018 Single Family Real Estate Closings Almost at Boom Levels

Looking at the single-family homes sold chart shows 2018 neck and neck with 2015 levels, which was a very good year.  We ran Year to Date numbers and discovered 2018 is just 16 closings shy of the 2015 pace.  When we look at real estate pricing along with months supply of inventory, we realize the 2018 real estate market is doing very well.

2018 Single Family Real Estate Closings Almost at Boom Levels YTD Closings

Back in July 2015 the months supply of homes was 3.8 months.  July 2018 it stands at 4.9 months.  Anything below 5.5 months is considered a seller’s market.  The median price in 2018 stood at $255,000 and the average stood at $350,566.  Back in July 2015 the median sold price was $209,830 and the average stood at $326,883.  In 3 short years that’s a 21.53% rise in median price and a 7.25% rise in average prices.

Real estate agents tend to report on how the market is doing in direct relation to how their business is doing.  This is not a good way to judge the market as shifts in market share can affect your production, and not necessarily the market.  The average agent does less than 1 deal per year.  The average full-time agent may do less than 7 deals per year.  If an agent’s production goes from 7 deals one year to 4 deals the next, it might feel like a drastic market change has occurred to that agent.  The reality is maybe their marketing isn’t working like it used to, or maybe they’re not working as hard or as efficiently as before.  Neither scenario is a good market indicator.

Our team consistently sells over 100 homes per year.  This year our goal is 225.  Because we’re big advertisers, our homes sell fast and for top dollar.  Large teams like the Ellis Team may siphon off more deals from single agents which cuts their production to less than last year’s levels.  In this case, it feels like the market isn’t as strong, and they honestly tell this to their clients because that’s their experience.

It pays to study the numbers.  Agents should study their numbers and compare them to the overall market.  In doing so they’re much more likely to spot actual trends in the market and rely less on feelings and estimates.

We’ve been studying the market for decades, so we know when the market is on the move.  Getting Top Dollar is a function of knowing exactly where the market is, and quite possibly where it’s heading.  The only way you can do this is to know exactly where it is and exactly where it’s been.  Experience and market conditions fill in the blanks from there.

Whether you’re buying or you’re selling, you need to know this information.  Make sure you’re working with an agent that studies the numbers.  If you’re considering selling, call Brett or Sande Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4.  If you’re in the market to purchase, our team can help you too.

For a free computer analysis of your home’s value, visit www.swflHomeValues.com  We have an app that has all the open houses every weekend.  If you’re interested, give us a call.

Always call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty!  We’re here to help, when you need us and how you need us.

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If you’ve noticed a lack of housing options in your home search, you’re not alone.  Home prices have been climbing nationwide since 2011.  It’s no coincidence that new home construction has played a role in the surge in home prices nationwide.

Lack of New Home Construction Nationwide Fueling Housing Shortage

Lack of New Home Construction Nationwide Fueling Housing Shortage

Many homeowners in SW Florida would love to sell their home and move to another.  They’re caught in a catch 22 situation because their home is sell-able, and yet they haven’t found a suitable place to move to.  Because housing inventory is so light, many sellers won’t accept a contingency offer, because they don’t have to.  So, when a homeowner finds a home they like, they don’t have time to place their home on the market and act.

Lack of New Home Construction Nationwide Fueling Housing Shortage Rising Prices

If the kids are grown and moved out of the house, some sellers have options.  If their home is no longer working for them, they can sell and move into a rental while they shop for a new home.  They can build a new home, or they can wait for a resale.  These homeowners are in an advantageous position right now because we can get top dollar for their home, and they’re ready to pounce when the right home hits the market.

If they wait, they must put their home on the market fast, and perhaps take less for their home just to make the speed part of the deal work.

Nationwide, the historical average of new homes being built is 1 million.  Since 2011, we haven’t hit 1 million yet.  Each year, we’re adding to the deficit of what the market needs.  The lack of supply puts pressure on the resale market and prices rise.  The rub is that prices are rising at 6% while incomes are only rising at 2-3%.  There is a top, and this is where new construction can help ease the burden.

Experienced Agents Get Creative in Low Inventory Markets

The Ellis Team at Keller Williams has gotten creative in finding housing for our buyers.  The first thing we do is provide the area’s best website for house shopping.  Our website www.LeeCountyOnline.com updates every minute, so you’re looking at homes in real-time.  Speed wins and beating out other buyers to hot new listings is the name of the game.  We have some new mortgage options too that are saving buyers thousands of dollars on their transaction.  This has enabled some buyers to purchase now and list their home after they’ve secured their next home.

We’ve also put a few deals together with a home sale contingency.  Sometimes it makes sense, and when it does we’re able to negotiate that, so it works for buyer and seller.  It takes a skilled and experienced agent to negotiate this, so don’t try this with a newer agent.

If you’ve thought about selling, but not sure where you would go if your home did sell, you should call Sande or Brett Ellis (239-489-4042 Ext 4) for a free quick meeting.  After listening to your situation, we may be able to find a solution that suits your needs.  We have a secret list of buyers just waiting for the right home to come on the market too, so we might already have your buyer.  If you’d like to get an idea of what your home may be worth, check out www.swflhomevalues.com 

Selling now can be a big advantage while inventory is low.  Many sellers will place their home on the market as season approaches.  Having buyers all to yourselves for a few months is fun, and quite possibly you’ll have your home sold before other sellers.

Call the Ellis Team today and see how we can accomplish your goals.  Good luck, and Happy Home Hunting!

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15118 Cloverdale Dr

15118 Cloverdale Dr Parker Lakes Ellis Team Weekend Open House
Parker Lakes Open House

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2008 Bolado Pkwy Cape Coral

Cape Coral Pool Home Ellis Team Weekend Open House

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