Have you ever had a Realtor call you and say “We have a buyer for your property?”  Or perhaps you’ve interviewed agents to sell your home and you asked if they had anybody looking for a home like yours?

Chances are the Realtor said yes.  Chances are you weren’t sure you believed them.  What if there was a way to know for sure?  Would that pique your interest?

I remember a seller in Moody River Estates asking me that question a few years ago.  I answered as I typically did at the time “I don’t know, we very well could.”  They listed with us and I took the listing back to the Ellis Team and announced that we just got a new listing.  One of our buyer agents said he was writing an offer in there as he had just showed there yesterday.   It was literally right around the corner from our new listing.

I told him to hold up and go show ours before submitting that offer.  Buyer agreed to go see our new listing, and low and behold they liked ours better.  We sold our listing in 1 day simply because we did have the buyer, and yet I didn’t promise that.  I didn’t want to sound like all other Realtors.

We Have a Buyer For Your Property Reflection Lakes Buyer Search
Reflection Lakes Buyers

As I look through our leads, I realize we do have buyers for just about anything you can imagine.  This will be a great tool for our sellers.  For instance, let’s say we’re listing a new home in Reflection Lakes.  I can now go into our database and see how many registered buyers we have searching in Reflection Lakes.  Turns out we have 251 searching in our database.  That’s pretty good.  When we take the listing we can begin calling those buyers.  The buyers will appreciate the heads up on a new listing and so will our seller.

We Have a Buyer For Your Property Cape Coral Buyers
Cape Coral Buyers

I searched Cape Coral.  We have 1,015 people actively searching in Cape Coral.  That’s a nice stat to know when a Cape Coral seller is interviewing us.  I pulled up Town and River for fun.  We have 97 people searching for Town and River looking for homes above $400,000.  If we listed a property in there for $900,000 I could change the search to Town and River buyers over $850,000.  It would give me a list and we could call them.  Pretty neat stuff.

We Have a Buyer For Your Property Town and River buyers
Town and River Buyers

Perhaps we’re listing a $400,000 property.  When I search our database I see that we have 390 people searching in that price range.

We Have a Buyer For Your Property $300,000-$500,000
$300-$500K Buyers

We Have a Buyer For Your Property

Of course, you don’t list with us just because we have a buyer for your property.  We’ll create new marketing to get more buyers for you once we have it listed. We spend more money marketing homes than other Realtors.  Our present and past marketing can go to work for you on Day 1.  Hopefully we can create multiple buyers for your property.

When you interview agents, you want to see marketing success. Yes, Ellis Team listings sell faster and for more money.  We can show you that.  Our team can also show you how our marketing generates buyers, lot’s of them.  We have buyers’ name, email, and phone number.  Our team know’s what buyers are searching for and when they want to buy.  It’s good data.

So when an agent tells you marketing doesn’t sell homes, price does, end the interview and call the Ellis Team.  Marketing absolutely sells homes!  Anybody can give your home away.  Not everybody can sell it for what it’s worth!

If you’re thinking of selling, you should call the Ellis Team 239-489-4042  Ask for Sande or Brett.  Chances are we have your buyer for your home. We’ll still market is as if we don’t. Perhaps we can create multiple buyers, and that would be good!  Put our marketing to work for you.  We go for top dollar, and we get it.  Visit www.LeeCountyOnline.com to see why we have so many happy buyers and sellers.  Our website is updated every 5 minutes and has all the listings.  It’s more fun to use than other sites too!

Ellis Team Open Houses

Sunday 1-3 PM

1561 Cumberland Ct

3 Bed, 2 Bath 1,738 Sq Ft in Tanglewood

Open Sunday 1-3 PM

Sunday 1-3 PM

2636 SE 19th Pl

3 Bed, 2 Bath 2,096 Sq Ft  Sailboat Access Pool Home

Cape Coral Open House

Tune in to our Southwest Florida Real Estate Market Update for Sellers June 2017

 

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Southwest Florida real estate home prices increased 6% in April up to $249,000.  Median home prices had been $235,000 last April.  However, while the median price saw a rise, the average sale price only increased .9% over last year.

Southwest Florida Real Estate Home Prices April 2017

As you can see from the graph, in 2016 April’s numbers increased over March.  That didn’t happen this year.  The median price actually slipped $6,000 this April from March and the average sale price fell almost $15,000.

Pending inventory is down 10.1% and new pending sales were down 5.1%.  Active listings were up 4.6% although new listings were down 10.1%.

What does all this data mean for the Southwest Florida real estate home market?  We believe home prices have risen enough such that we’re in a fairly balanced market.  Our market is no longer rising because it had over-corrected and was undervalued.  Standard economic forces will be the driving factor going forward.  As we write this article today the Fed’s decision has not been announced.  It is widely expected they may raise rates .25% this week which would affect car loans and equity lines.  It may or may not affect 30 yr mortgage rates.

We do know that since the election over $4 Trillion dollars of wealth has been created in the stock market.  Home prices have risen as well.  Could we see some of that stock market money make its way over into the real estate market?  It’s happened before.

Rising interest rates typically erodes buyer purchasing power, so that’s not always good for the real estate market, although rates are low by historical standards.

Could baby boomers withdraw lofty 401k and investment money and move over to real estate?  It depends on their outlook of the stock market, interest rates, and the economy going forward.

Jobs are being created again too.  Over 700,000 have been created since the election.  This may be good news for the real estate market, although jobs are shifting.  Have you noticed retail sales are taking it hard?

Companies like Sears, Kmart, Lowes and others have struggled.  Shopping malls are closing across the country as shopping patterns are changing.  More are shopping online.

We’ll be keeping an eye on economic data as we think that will lead to consumer confidence.  We’ll also be looking at inventory supply numbers as well as builder inventory numbers.  We think there is an opportunity for builders to sell homes again.  If they build it, buyers will come.

Many local sellers would like to sell.  They just don’t know where they’d like to live yet, so they’re waiting.  In addition to touring available existing inventory, our team has been checking out new construction projects.  We think this may be the driver that unlocks home sales.  While inventory has risen some, it’s still low enough that home sellers don’t feel like they have enough choices to make a move.

It’s a double-edged sword though because as new construction inventory opens, there becomes more competition for existing home sellers.  Our economy needs both to fully thrive, but in the right proportions.

Southwest Florida Real Estate Home Prices Steady

I like where this market is right now.  The Southwest Florida real estate market is balanced depending on which price range you’re in.  If you’re thinking of making a move in Southwest Florida, give our team a call.  We know the existing inventory and the new construction projects.  You don’t pay more to use a Realtor when buying new.  Our fee is already built-in to their price.  It’s cheaper for them to pay realtors a commission than it is to advertise to bring in that many sales.  Plus, they know we have the ability to bring in more customers, so they treat our customers better.  It could cost you by not knowing all your options.

You need to know things like county versus city property taxes, CDD fees, homeowner and flood insurance rates.  These vary by location and age of the home.  We can help you sort all this out so you make a great decision.

Call our team at 239-489-4042 or visit www.LeeCountyOnline.com to search all the homes.  If you have a home to sell, call us and ask for Sande or Brett.  We’ll sell your home fast and for top dollar so you don’t miss that next opportunity.

Be sure to vote for the Ellis Team as Best Real Estate Team in News Press Readers Poll

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Ellis Team Open House

Saturday 1-3 PM

2 Bed, 2 Bath $105,000

3284 Prince Edward Island CIR Unit 1, Fort Myers FL 33907

Provincetown $105,000

Watch the Future of Real Estate June 2017 Southwest Florida Real Estate Market Update

Last week we talked about the efficiency of the real estate market.  Simply put, the Southwest Florida real estate market isn’t as efficient as the stock market.  No real estate market is, because the information isn’t as readily available and we’re not dealing with apples and apples. So why do some homes sell below market Value?

Why Do Some Homes Sell Below Market Value

Let’s elaborate.  The stock market has what they call the big board.  Everybody can look up and see what a stock is trading at this second.  If you’re looking at class A common stock for a company, 100 shares of the same stock are exactly the same.  There is no difference.  Additionally, everybody has access to the same information on the company at precisely the same time.

The real estate market is different.  Even if you have two homes with the exact same floor plan, they are different.  They are located on separate lots, making potential differences in location value.  The upgrades can be different.  Their repair and maintenance may differ, and of course the decorating and appearance can affect the value of the homes as well.  One home may have a pool.  They may not be built the same year with the same materials.

And this assumes it’s the exact same floor plan.  We all know most homes aren’t the exact same floor plan.  So how would a consumer, appraiser, bank, property appraiser, seller, or agent fairly compare various homes against each other?  It’s a complicated process, because you’re not dealing with apples and apples like a stock.

The other component that affects what a home might sell for is the exposure to the market.  If the home is fully exposed, presumably everyone who is looking in that price range for those amenities would be aware of the home.  This just isn’t the case.

Have you ever driven by a neighborhood and said to yourself, “Wow, I didn’t even know this subdivision was here?”  Or open a newspaper and wonder where that home is located?  These are two examples whereby if the customer didn’t stumble upon the area or see an ad for the property, they wouldn’t even know it existed.

The agent you hire to expose your home to the market makes all the difference.  If you wanted to sell a widget online in an auction, do you think you’d get more if you had 1,000 bidders than just 1 or 2 bidders?  Of course, you would.  Full exposure equals full market value.  Partial exposure equals less than full market value.  This is one reason For Sale By Owners net 16% less on average than using an agent.

Not all agents are the same.  Some offer limited market exposure, which is better than sell by yourself.  Some offer much more exposure.  Of course, all this marketing costs money, so every agent can’t do it because they don’t have the money.

Agents get creative and clever and tell you that the home will be listed on 50-100 Internet sites and that’s all you need.  This isn’t full exposure.  Sure, it’s better than nothing but it’s not full exposure like we’re talking about.  Don’t assume all agents are the same, and don’t assume all marketing is the same.  It just isn’t!

Your home isn’t just like every other home.  It needs to stand out.  It needs someone to stand up for it and say Buy Me, I’m special!  The Ellis Team can do that for you.

Why Do Some Homes Sell Below Market Value?

Recently while doing some market research I stumbled upon a property that is undervalued.  It’s sad because the home should sell for more than it’s currently listed for.  It’s been on the market awhile.  It could use a few repairs that would make a big difference, but I presume it just may not have been marketed like it could be.  This seller will undoubtedly net less than they should simply because they didn’t do a few repairs and because the market doesn’t realize it’s a good deal.

The real estate market is not as efficient as the stock market.  If you’re looking for Top Dollar, Always Call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams! 239-489-4042 or visit www.LeeCountyOnline.com and search the market like a pro.

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Bell Tower Park Open House

Open Saturday 1-3 PM

5691 Kensington Loop

$330,000

 

Tanglewood Open House

1561 Cumberland Ct

Open Sunday 1-3 PM

$285,000

 

Reflection lakes Open House

13812 Lily Pad Cir

Open Sunday 1-3 PM

$250,000

Buyers and sellers always ask how the market is doing, and the answer depends on which agents you’re talking to.  It’s easy to conflate how the market is doing with how your personal sales numbers are doing for the month.  While it is human nature, it is often a mistake. Southwest Florida inventory rises in April as sales decline.

When an agent’s sales numbers are up the agent feels great and wants to shout from the mountain top how great the market is doing.  When an agent’s numbers are down it must be the market.  Both cases reflect the attitude of the agent not the actual market statistics.

Buyers and sellers don’t care about that stuff.  They want to know how the market is doing. They want it local.  Hearing how an agent’s numbers are up when the market is down is about like saying the national housing market is up, but our local market is in the tank.  They only care about one thing, and that is the local data.

Southwest Florida Inventory Rises in April

In SW Florida, single family inventory rose 4.6% in April. This isn’t because a bunch of new listings hit the market.  New listings were down 10.1%, so it must be that less homes sold in April.  We didn’t draw down as much inventory through sales as we’d hoped.  There are two ways to draw down inventory.  Sales or expired listings.  If an expired listing re-lists, then even that isn’t drawing down inventory.

Southwest Florida Inventory Rises in April closed sales fall

When we study closed sales in April we find that it did indeed drop.  Closed sales fell 2.5%.  One month isn’t anything to get worked up about, so we look at new pending sales and total pending inventory to get a clue as to what future months might bring.

New pending sales fell 5.1% in April which could be a warning sign for May and June.  Total pending inventory fell 10.1% in April.  So, what’s the takeaway from all this data?  Is this bad news for the local real estate market?

It simply means pricing and marketing are critical.  Prices have held steady but sales are declining.  Total dollar volume of sales was down 1.6%.  All in all this is a pretty steady market and nothing to be alarmed about.

Southwest Florida Inventory Rises

This is not the market to over-price a home.  The SW Florida real estate market is steady and stable.  You might call it healthy and balanced.  Over-priced sellers will probably be disappointed.  Sometimes even proper priced homes get lost in the shuffle as new inventory is added every day.  Therefore, we say marketing is critical too.  You don’t want to give your home away.

Reducing your home far enough will always guarantee a sale.  Once a home is at or below market value the market will scoop it up.  The real estate market isn’t as efficient as the stock market.  You can’t just look up on the big board and see the price, its P/E ratio, and all the other data available on the stock market.  This is why some homes will sell below market value.

Upfront proper pricing helps prevent this.  Marketing exposes homes so they don’t have to sell below market.  Advertising and marketing smooths out the inefficiencies of the real estate market.  Marketing exposes your home to more buyers, thereby guaranteeing a better sales price.  In the absence of a big board, marketing is key.  We’ll do a future article on this topic soon.

You too can search the MLS like a pro.  Check out www.LeeCountyOnline.com You can search every home in MLS.  you will receive the freshest data as our database is updated every 5 minutes.  Find out what your home is worth online for free, and get detailed neighborhood reports.

You can always call us at 239-489-4042.  To list your home, ask for Sande or Brett, or let our team of talented agents help you find your dream home.  We’d love to help you!

Are all Realtors the Same? Find out what it pays to talk with the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty Fort Myers & The Islands

Ellis Team Open Houses

2 Waterfront Homes Open Saturday 1-4 PM

2636 SE 19th PL Cape Coral Open House
2636 SE 19th Place, Cape Coral

Open House Saturday 1-4 PM

3 Bed 2 Bath Pool Home Direct Access Waterfront Cape Coral

 

1339 Longwood Dr

4 Bedroom 3 Bath Waterfront Pool Home

Most of us will be out celebrating the 3 day weekend and that’s a good thing, because who doesn’t deserve a break, right?

Memorial Day originally started as Declaration Day.  Several states lay claim to the first Memorial Day, and there was even dissent as the south refused to celebrate Memorial Day after the civil war.

Modern day Memorial Day represents honoring those that have served our country.  It’s always sad when some people refuse to honor certain veterans because they disagreed with a conflict or war.  We owe our freedom to veterans.  Our veterans didn’t get a chance to select which conflict or which war they would serve in.  They just served, for us, for the United States of America, just because.  They didn’t ask questions.  Nobody would listen if they did.

I know it’s not Veteran’s Day, but if you see a Veteran, thank them.  They may still be with us, and sadly many are not.   Many of these veterans mourn the loss of people they fought with.  They carry these scars for the rest of their life, and we owe them gratitude for our freedom.

We do hope you have fun too this weekend.  What better way to honor someone than having fun times with friends or family while we remember.  Take this weekend as an opportunity to build memories of some sort.

Memorial Day 2017

Many clients we talk with are in the midst of making decisions about life.  “Do we sell now or later?  The price isn’t quite where we’d hope for it to be just yet.”  Many conclude that they’re not going to wait on life anymore, they’re choosing to be happy now.

Waiting for the market to increase another $20,000 makes the pocketbook feel better, but the next place might go up in value too.  And what about lost time?  Some sellers want to accomplish something in life while they’re still healthy.  Nobody knows what the future brings, so many are choosing to go for it now while they can.

We don’t know if the market will continue to rise.  It’d be a shame waiting for the market to go up $20,000 only to watch it go down.  It’d be a shame to have a medical event in the future and look back with regret that we didn’t do something while we could have.  That $20,000 won’t seem so important later when you can’t do it anymore.

Whether you’re contemplating a big decision like buying or selling a home, or a fun decision like where to travel to or what to BBQ this weekend, use this weekend as a chance to live without regrets.  Make some memories.  Sometimes people get into a rut and let life just happen to them.  Go out and make life happen.  Live without regrets.

We can’t change the past.  All we can do is live in the present and plan for the future.  The Ellis Team can help you with your real estate dreams.  We might even have a good grilling recipe for you too.  It is our sincere hope that you go out this weekend and do something fun with the ones you love.  If you can’t be with them, call them.  Sometimes a simple call can make somebody’s day.

We all get bogged down in email that sometimes we forget that personal touch is what people need.  Perhaps shoot a video and send it to someone, or stop by an old friend and say HI.

If you’d like to search for homes for sale, the best place is www.LeeCountyOnline.com  If you’d like to talk to the Ellis Team about real estate the best number is 239-489-4042

Whatever your idea of fun is, we hope you do it this weekend and make those memories.  Post a photo or share your happy comments on our Facebook page www.Facebook.com/Ellisteam

Good luck and Happy Memorial Day 2017 from the Ellis Team!

There’s an old saying in real estate that says if your home is priced over the market then it’s not really on the market.  Essentially an overpriced listing is invisible to the buyer because it’s attracting the wrong prospects.  These are called invisible listings.

The correct prospects never see it on their radar because they search up to a certain point and cutoff anything over that.  The prospect that can afford the overpriced home is looking at other homes as well, and they quickly see other homes offer more value.  Perhaps it’s more size, better location, better condition, more amenities, etc. Overpriced listings miss the market both ways, and therefore they linger on the market.

Periodically we publish the local market’s month supply of inventory by price range.  We decided to take the monthly supply of homes in each category and consider how many homes are currently on the market in that category that exceeds the average monthly supply.

Invisible Listings Southwest Florida Real Estate market

When a home doesn’t sell it’s either overpriced or not marketed correctly.  Many times, it’s both.  If you have a home worth more than $ 1 Million we know there is a 22.58-month supply of homes on the market.  When you list a home you should ask yourself, when would I like to move?  If the answer is less than 22 months, you’d better price it and market it effectively.

The good news is only 8.3% of the homes over $ 1 Million are invisible.  The overall Lee County single family home market is 15.4% invisible.  This tells us that 15.4% of the home sellers have overpriced their homes such that they’re probably not going to sell unless the owner takes action.  They will expire.

Putting your home on the market is not a fun experience.  You have strangers coming through your home when they want and you must keep the home in show condition all the time.  Nobody would want to go through that experience unless they were serious about selling.  And yet, some are not serious because they overprice their home and it’s invisible.

When you list your home you not only want it visible, you want it to stand out.  Therefore marketing and pricing is critical.  The seller controls the price.  The market determines the value.  Not all Realtors market the same.  Some market very little while others do much more, and a select few market a lot.

Some Realtors don’t believe marketing sells homes and only price sells homes.  That’s simply not true.  If you were in the market for a new car I can guarantee you there are a few dealerships you’ve heard of.  Why?  Because they market and it works.  If you could buy a new car and get a TV or a cruise would you take it?  Only if you knew about it.  If you liked that brand and the value was there, you’d at least consider it, because their marketing works.

The same is true in real estate.  It’s not enough to have the lowest price and pray that’s enough to sell your home.  The world needs to know about it, and listing it in MLS isn’t enough.  Sure, listing in MLS can get your home on some websites, but it’s not promoting your home.  This is where Realtors who understand marketing stand out.  Besides, not every seller wants to give their home away just to sell it.

We believe you should receive fair market value.  To get that, you need marketing.  To expect more than fair market value insures it will not sell.  If we listed a home worth $300k and marketed it at $600k no amount of money spent on marketing would sell it.  To get full market value requires correct pricing and full-blown marketing.

If you have a home to sell, you should call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams. 239-489-4042  We’ll help you get Top Dollar and make your home visible, and stand out. You can also visit our website www.LeeCountyOnline.com and search for homes.  We look forward to meeting you!

See also Southwest Florida Real Estate Inventory Rises as Sales Grow in March

Check back for our Weekend  Open House List-Coming Soon

Is it possible to have rising real estate sales at the same time as rising inventory levels?  Obviously, it is possible as Southwest Florida real estate inventory rises as sales grow in March.

Most people equate rising inventory levels to lower sales which is usually what leads to the rising levels in the first place.  However, in years past I can think of a few scenarios where this absolutely wasn’t true.

I remember back in the late 80’s and early 90’s talking about a subdivision called Eagle Ridge.  Back then we had discussions that every 3rd home in there was on the market.  Sales weren’t frequent enough to work down that inventory so it stayed relatively constant back then at every 3 houses on the market.

Fast forward to years later and there were very few sales and almost no homes on the market.  When one did come on the market buyers would ask if it was a tough neighborhood to sell in because there were no sales.  The reason there were no sales prior to that is because there was no inventory to sell.  Had there been inventory we would have sold them all.

This is an example of one subdivision at two points in time.  It had few sales, for very different reasons.  One was because of too much inventory and one was because of too little inventory.  You can’t always read too much into inventory levels.  This metric must be considered in perspective.

Southwest Florida Real Estate Inventory Rises

In March inventory levels grew to 6,100, a 5.1% increase over last year.  Month’s supply of inventory grew to 5.7 months, which was a 5.6% increase over March 2016.  We don’t get too excited about any one month numbers.  We like to look at market trends.

Southwest Florida Real Estate Inventory Rises Months Supply

As you can tell from last week’s article, sales were up 18.1% in March and average sales prices were up 19.1%  The Southwest Florida real estate market is strong if the seller has priced the property correctly and it is marketed to the buyer.

Today’s sellers want top dollar.  Today’s buyers just want to buy a home and pay fair market value.  These are not mutually exclusive.  We’ve been selling homes at full price in many cases.  The buyer is happy to land a nice home and the seller is happy because they got more money than their neighbors.

So why is it that some sellers get top dollar and some do not?  We believe it’s a combination of things.  Price, condition, and market exposure.  If an agent tells you that marketing doesn’t sell homes, you should call us.  Marketing absolutely sells homes.  It sells cars, homes, and everything else.  There is a reason a certain auto dealer sells more cars than anybody else.  It’s because he advertises more.

Marketing Works

There’s a reason our team sells homes for top dollar.  It’s not because we price them lower.  We price our homes for all they’re worth.  The reason our sellers receive more in their pocket at closing is because we expose their home to more people with more frequency than other agents.

You’re reading this article right now.  Perhaps you see our weekly newspaper ad, or our online ads.  Quite possibly you watch our videos, tour our 360 degree home tours, or receive targeted ads for a specific property we’re marketing.  Chances are you see our ads and you don’t even realize you’ve been targeted.

When we list a property, we don’t just sit back and wait for agents in the MLS to hopefully bring a buyer.  We don’t give your property away.  If we guaranteed a sale simply because you were priced under the market, we wouldn’t be getting you top dollar, would we?

Anybody can give a house away.  That’s not selling, that’s taking the low hanging fruit.  If you have a property to sell, always call the Ellis Team 239-489-4042  Ask for Sande or Brett.  We’ll show you what full market exposure looks like and help you get Top Dollar.  We’re your Top Dollar Realtors.

Feel free to search the MLS for free or research the market at www.LeeCountyOnline.com

Ellis Team Weekend Open House

Saturday 1-4 PM

Kelley Greens Golf Community

12781 Kelly Sands Way

Not a day goes by that we don’t receive a call or talk to someone who’s frustrated by the rental situation in SW Florida.  Renter frustration mounting for several reasons.

Rents are sky high in SW Florida.  Many times, it’s less expensive to buy than to rent.  When you add back potential appreciation along with principal reduction, many renters realize they’re just throwing good money down the drain.

Renter Frustration Mounting

This past week was Uncle Sam day.  Renters miss out on nice tax deductions too on interest, and this time of year it bothers them.

The renter has no control over their home.  Many times, the owner decides to raise the rent, move back in, allow a family member to move back in, or sell the home.  This displaces the renter.  It’s not a fun place to be in when you can’t plan where you’ll be living next year.

Rental inventory is hard to find.  Your best bet is to call the agent who has the inventory, but how do you do that?  You can call an agent who has access to MLS.  Here’s the problem.  Many rentals are listed on MLS, but the compensation to an agent might be $50-$100.  That’s hardly worth an agent’s time and gas running a prospective tenant around town looking for a rental.  Add in the fact the tenant may not pass the landlord’s background check, credit report, or pet restrictions and you’ve got the potential for showing many more days.  Agents have bills to pay too and simply can’t work for free, or less.  These force renters to work with the listing agent of the rental.

Scams are rampant in Florida.  Many times, a tenant thinks they’re talking to the owner and they’re not.  It could be a scam.  If the rent seems like a great deal it might be a scam.  If they tell you to just drive by and send money to hold the unit if you like it, it’s probably a scam.

Renter Frustration Mounting

So what should a tenant do?  First, working with an agent to rent a property is probably safest.  If they are licensed and working for a broker there are some extra protections for you.

Check out large apartment complexes.  You may not like them, however there is little risk the owner will decide to sell next year.  They may jack your rent, but at least you can stay where you are if stability is important to you.

Check out your credit.  Good lenders can get you in touch with people who can help get derogatory credit off your report.  Late payments on credit cards and past due medical bills hurt the most but they don’t have to.  If you can get these cleaned off your report, you may be able to buy a house sooner than you think.  It all starts with a little planning.

We work with lenders who can help.  Buyers are simply amazed what can be done for them and they’re so grateful when we get them into a home they can call home.  They don’t have to worry about where they’ll be living next year.  Statistics show people who own their own home end up with a lot more financial freedom than those who rent.  Stop making your landlord rich.

The Right Lender

Call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams 239-489-4042.  We’ll put you in touch with a lender that can either approve you or help you improve your credit.  Feel free to search the MLS www.LeeCountyOnline.com  You might find some homes that interest you.

We received a call this past week from an older couple who’s being displaced.  They want to find their forever rental.  Unfortunately, nobody can guarantee that.  We know they’re tired of moving and just want to rent one place.

Let us help.  Perhaps you can buy today.  If not, get help working on that credit.  Even if you never buy a home, better credit will lower the cost of borrowing on cars, credit cards, etc.  There’s no reason not to look into it.

Good luck and happy searching!

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Posted by Ellis Team – Keller Williams Realty Fort Myers & The Islands on Monday, February 23, 2015

There are several indicators to judge the real estate market in SW Florida.  A few of the things we look at are Inventory levels, pending sales, closed sales, and price changes. Real estate inventory levels grow in SW Florida.

Real Estate Inventory Levels Grow in SW Florida

A neutral market is considered to be 5.5 months.  When we last calculated month’s supply of inventory back in December 2016 the overall market supply for single family homes was 5.65 months.  That number has grown to 6.29 months.  That’s still a healthy number, however it is growing.  This could be an indication of a shifting market.

Market shifts are entirely normal.  They are as guaranteed as the weather changing, so it’s nothing agents fret about one way or the other.  Experienced agents are accustomed to dealing in shifting markets.  The way you market and sell does change as the market changes.  In fact, just last September the average supply was 5.07 months.  We warned months ago we’d be keeping an eye on these numbers to see if the trend continues.

Real Estate Inventory Levels Grow in SW Florida

Since September we’ve seen an increase of more than 1 month supply of homes on the market.  Because this index includes active listings plus pending sales with contingencies, we won’t get too excited because we have many pending from season that may close and help bring these numbers up.

So, what’s the take-away from these numbers?  Sellers have increased competition from other sellers.  The buyer is not your enemy.  Other sellers are.  Increasing inventory supply puts a damper on price increases.  At some point, it can stall price gains altogether.

It also pays to know where your home stands in the food chain.  For those that have a million dollar plus home, you realize there is almost a year and a half supply of competing homes on the market.  If your motivation is to sell, you have to price your home to best compete against all those other homes.

If you have a home in the $300,000-$400,000 range, you too need to watch the market as your price range is above the average.  Homes, $300,000 or less, are doing better than the overall market as there are more buyers fighting to purchase these homes.  Not everyone qualifies for the higher priced homes.

When bringing a home to the market you must ask yourself, what is your motivation?  Where are you going when you sell, and when would you like to accomplish this?  Look up your home’s price in the chart and evaluate it objectively.  Pretend you’re a buyer.  Would you buy your home right now for the price you’re asking?

Hire the Best Agent

If you don’t like the category your home is in, it’s imperative that you hire the best agent who has experience working in a shifting market, and brings serious marketing for your home.  The more buyers who are exposed to your home, the more your home will fetch at the sale.  In some cases, it may be the difference of selling at all.

The other thing you must do is price it correctly.  Your number can’t be what you’d like to get, or what you need to get.  It has to be what the market will bear.  The market has no sympathy.  It doesn’t care if your home is your retirement nest egg, or you owe a lot on it.  The market sizes up all the homes for sale and ranks each one.  The home’s that show the most value relative to their price sell.  Even if a home is super nice, if it is overpriced relative to its value, it will sit.

Think of a pro football player.  A team only has so much money to spend.  They have a budget.  If there is an all-pro quarterback available in the free agent market whose value is $10 Million per year, but he wants $30 Million because he’s special will a team pay it?  Probably not if they can get another all-pro quarterback in the $10 Million dollar range.  They’ll save that $20 Million and spend it on other players they need to fill out the team.  Tony Romo just retired because his value dropped.  He wants top money and while teams would love to have him as a backup, he’s not the franchise player anymore.  It’s sad, but it’s reality.

It doesn’t matter how nice a home is or what it has in it.  If you overprice it relative to the market, it won’t sell.  You can search the MLS like a pro for free at www.LeeCountyOnline.com Please call the Ellis Team 239-489-4042.  We’ll help you price it fairly, and market it aggressively.

Ellis Team Weekend Open House

Sunday 1-4 PM

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SW Florida real estate agents were expecting big numbers this real estate season, and so far, we’ve seen SW Florida home sales flat this season.  The real key going forward will be March and April numbers when they are released over the next two months.

SW Florida Home Sales Flat This Season

We have a crystal ball that tells us how sales numbers might come in.  Pending listings leads to closed sales.  While not all pending sales close, we can generally track future closings by the level of pendings.

Pending inventory is down 5%, so it’s logical to believe that we won’t see a major increase in future closings unless many more homes go pending at the end of March.

SW Florida Home Sales Flat This Season Summary

Inventory levels have risen 6.1% from last year and month’s supply of inventory has risen 11.1%  While SW Florida is a large and diverse market, overall this tells us the market has cooled a bit as inventory is growing with fewer pending home sales.

We can’t judge a book by its cover.  The cover may say we have a healthy, slightly cooling market, and that’s OK.  This book however has many chapters, and each chapter tells a different story.  Collectively all the chapters combined give us the overall figures.

Homes priced below $300,000 are on fire, and even many homes priced higher are receiving multiple offers.  We have a good market and demand from buyers.  Prices have risen steadily in recent years and there is a cap to this.

Home sellers many times price ahead of the market.  In a rising market, each new seller prices just higher than the last sold and it seems to work, until one day it doesn’t.  This tells us either the market is taking a pause, or the market has capped relative to the income typical buyers have to qualify for that bracket of home.

Rising rates also influence home affordability and can cap prices.  We’ve seen a few rate hikes by the Fed with more coming.  On balance, we have a healthy market and I like where we’re sitting.

SW Florida Home Sales Flat This Season

As in any market, it’s imperative to price your home where the buyers are.  In a shifting market advertising and marketing plays a larger role as well.  Full market exposure brings the highest possible price, so don’t settle for inexpensive or non-existent advertising.

If the agent you interview tells you advertising doesn’t sell homes, it’s probably because they don’t advertise homes much.  Perhaps they prefer to advertise their public image, or perhaps they just don’t have the budget to market listings.  In any event, it pays to interview agents that do advertise so you get full market exposure.

We’d be happy to sit down with you and cover all the ways we advertise homes.  You’d probably be surprised at the difference, and this might explain why certain agent’s homes sell faster and for more money than others.

If you’re a buyer, we can help too.  Our market knowledge and monthly market statistics help you make the best decision possible.  When competing in multiple offer situations you need an agent that knows how to help your offer compete.  If the chapter you’re looking in happens to be a cooling market, you don’t need to stretch too much and overpay.  Let a seasoned professional from the Ellis Team help you.

You can search the MLS like a pro.  Our database is updated every 5 minutes and contains the latest listings, price changes, and information you need to compete.  If you’re a seller, you should check it out too.

Always Call the Ellis Team at 239-489-4042 and ask how we can make your dreams become reality.  It pays to work with professionals that know the market.  If you think working with a professional is expensive, just wait until you hire an amateur.

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

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Open House Saturday 1-4 PM

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3 Bed 2 Bath Pool Home

$317,000