We don’t want to alarm you as 2018 turned in some impressive stats in the SW Florida real estate market.  Closings were up for the year, as were prices and dollar volume.  You would think with increased closings and prices, Realtors would be reporting the market is fantastic.  4th quarter numbers suggest there may be some chinks in the armor. Early signs point to a Southwest Florida market shift.

Early Signs Point to Southwest Florida Real Estate Market Shift Home Sales

Closed home sales fell 15% in December over last year.  We can attribute some of that to increased closings last year in December due to Hurricane Irma.  However, we’re seeing new pending sales down 10.9% in December, which will lead to lower closings in January and February of this year.

The median sale price rose 3.1% for the year and ended at a year-end average of $251,000.  The average sales price rose 5.6% to $351,200 year-end average.  So, if prices are rising, why are we sounding the alarm?

Early Signs Point to Southwest Florida Real Estate Market Shift Inventory Levels

Inventory rose 8.8% for the year.  However, inventory shot up 19.8% over last December and the month’s supply of inventory was up 11.8% in December.  While sales for the year may be up, we’re seeing declining sales in the 4th quarter, rising inventory, and a decrease in new pending sales.

Not Time to Worry

All this leads to worry amongst real estate agents that we may be in the middle of a shift.  This isn’t a time to worry though.  Experienced agents know how to handle a shift.  If you’ll remember, our article back in October warned of a possible upcoming shifting market, and we recommended sellers put their home on the market before January to beat the predicted rush of listings.

People listened, and the rush began sooner than January.  We talked about how selecting the correct listing agent is critical when the market shifts in our December 1st article. To read past articles, visit http://blog.topagent.com

When the market shifts, it’s critical you select an agent with experience.  For instance, lower priced homes are still receiving multiple offers.  Other homes take more marketing and experience to sell properly.  Of course, you not only must select an experienced agent, you must listen to them.

Sellers do not like to hear that the market has shifted, and they hold onto what their home used to be worth.  Markets move up and down, and just as a seller expects a buyer to get over it when the market moves up, buyers expect sellers to get over it when it moves down.

Sellers point to the fact prices went up 3.1% in 2018.  Yes, but not in all sub-markets, and not all year.  Prices may have gone up slightly in first 3 quarters of the year and pulled back in last quarter.

What’s Causing a Shift?

Some say it’s rising interest rates.  Interest rates peaked in October around 5%.  They’ve since slid back a bit.  Rising rates rob home buyers of purchasing power.  As this occurs, there are fewer home buyers available in each price range.

Keep this in mind.  Inventory levels stand at a 5.7-month supply of homes.  A balanced market is 5.5-month supply.  So, we’ve barley crossed the threshold, and it varies by price range.

We’re seeing buyer activity picking up right now.  We usually do after January 15th.  Buyers have more choices today, but the best homes are flying off the shelves.  The challenge to sellers is, you must be the best home, so buyers pick you.  An experienced agent can guide you.  Buyers see lots of homes, and it becomes apparent which is the best value for them.  Sellers must learn to think like a buyer.

Thinking of Selling?

If you’re thinking of selling your home, always call the Ellis Team.  Ask for Brett or Sande Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4.  Put our decades of experience to work for you, along with the most aggressive marketing in Lee County.  There is a reason our homes sell faster and for more money.  If you’d like to learn more about the shift, call us for a confidential interview.  Experience matters! To get an idea of what your home is worth for Free online, visit www.SWFLhomevalues.com

Good luck and Happy Selling!

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open Houses Saturday 1-3 PM

Parker Lakes

15212 Palm Isle Dr

14551 Daffodil Dr Unit 1808

Central Park South

9291 Central park Dr Unit 104

Open Houses Sunday 1-3 PM

Cape Coral

1004 SE 5th Terrace Cape Coral

2008 Bolado Pkwy

Naples

13 High Point Cir N Unit 302

The Ellis Team was supposed to have a closing December 31.  We represented the seller. The buyer selected a lender from CA who gave a pre-approval letter.  It turns out, the buyer had no chance of closing with that lender. They said they were just waiting on IRS tax transcripts, and since the government was shutdown, they had to put the loan on hold.  So, even with IRS transcripts, the loan would never have closed under the program they selected. Has government shutdown affected mortgages and closings?

Has Government Shutdown Affected Mortgages and Closings

Upon missing the closing date, we decided to get a lender we use regularly involved.  The buyer agreed, as they wanted to buy the home.  Our lender looked at the file and said they would not qualify, even if they added a co-borrower.  However, if we switched them to an FHA loan, we’d have a chance as they are more forgiving on loan ratios.

Many lenders cannot do a FHA loan with a government shutdown.  Many lenders can’t do a loan without an IRS transcript.  We were able to get an FHA loan in 13 days, bypass the transcript issue, and get flood insurance, all during the government shutdown.  How did we do it, and in 13 days nonetheless?

It took some hard work on everyone’s part, especially the lender.  We worked with a direct endorsement FHA lender who does not need an FHA underwriter to approve the loan.  Secondly, they made this loan a priority for us.  Lastly, we had the buyer assume the seller’s flood policy, so we were good to go, even amidst a government shutdown.  Both buyer and seller were ecstatic.  We could not have done it without the help of our lender, title company, and a buyer and seller working together to make it happen.

Has Government Shutdown Affected Mortgages and Closings

So, let’s give you an update on how the government shutdown is affecting other real estate closing throughout the country.

Flood Insurance – FEMA announced on December 28th that they would resume selling new policies and issuing renewals again.

IRS Tax Transcripts- Many top lenders are waiving IRS (4506-T) tax transcript verifications to fulfill a loan as they are unavailable now.

Nationally Realtors say that 9% of transactions involve a federal employee and the transaction is on hold.  13% have been impacted by the transcript issue, although there are workarounds for this with certain lenders.

The bottom line is the government shutdown isn’t having a huge impact on closings yet.  Any disruptions in closings can have a large impact on the overall economy as real estate generally impacts about 32% of GDP.

In uncertain times it pays to work with real estate professionals and lenders who have a track record of solving issues as they pop up.  Good Realtors know who the good lenders are.

Rising Inventory

Inventory has been rising, so selecting a professional who will market your home and make it stand out is important today.  Hopefully that same agent also knows how to get the home closed once they find a buyer, because in a rising inventory environment, you never want to have to sell the home twice. It pays to get the home closed the first time.

If you’re looking to buy a home, give our team a call.  We can get you pre-approved and get your home closed.  Just because a lender approves you doesn’t mean they can close you.  Experienced agents know that a mortgage pre-approval does not mean you have a guaranteed closing.  We can get you working with a lender with a track record of closing loans.

If you’d like to search for your dream home, check out www.LeeCountyOnline.com  It has all the homes on the MLS, and it’s updated every 5 minutes.  No more missing out on hot new properties because the site you’re using doesn’t have it.

If you’re thinking of selling your home, always call Sande or Brett Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4.  Brett and Sande handle the listings on the team. Let us show you how our marketing will set you apart and get your home to the closing table.

Good luck and Happy Selling!

Ellis Team Weekend open Houses

Open House Saturday 1-3 PM

111 NW 33rd Ave

Open House Sunday 1-3 PM

1742 Ardmore  Rd

Open House Sunday 1-3 PM

2008 Bolado Pkwy

Today’s home buyer loves to search online to find their dream home.  It makes them feel part of the process and gives them a certain sense of control, which makes sense because they are half of the process.  Without home buyers we wouldn’t have home sales. Home buyers demand 360 degree virtual tours and artificial intelligence.

Home Buyers Demand 360 Degree Virtual Tours and Artificial Intelligence

Home Buyers Demand 360 Degree Virtual Tours and Artificial Intelligence

Most buyers realize they can’t complete the purchase alone, they need help.  The one thing they can do though is search. And when they search, and search, and search the process can sometimes be overwhelming.  We’ve seen buyers bring in a stack of listings or email us daily with homes they feel they might like to look at.  Their frustration mounts when they see a few of these and realize they don’t match their criteria at all.

They’re also afraid they might be missing out on some listings because they can’t quite tell if the property meets their needs based on the photos.  The technology is here today to show them so much more, and buyers love it.

Artificial Intelligence

The Ellis Team is employing two sets of technology we believe will really change how buyers look at property, and how Realtors market their listings.  We’re introducing artificial intelligence that searches each photo in the MLS and keeps an eye on what a customer likes online.  Let’s say a customer is searching for homes 1800-2100 Sq. Ft of living area, with a pool, 2 car garage, and at least 3 bedrooms.  What the system notices is that they seem to be drawn to homes with wood floors, or white kitchen cabinets.  They didn’t ask for it in the search, but it’s clear they spend more time looking at homes with the two features.  We’ll be able to suggest homes that match what they’re looking for, even if they didn’t specifically ask for it.

Realtors, how many times has your buyer bought a home completely different than what they told you they were looking for?  Exactly!  Our artificial intelligence will be able to search neighborhoods for features like parks, recreation, proximity to shopping, restaurants, etc., in addition to photos.  We have neighborhood insights that causes buyers spend over 4 times looking at homes with these insights versus ones that don’t.

360 Degree Virtual Tours

The Ellis Team is adding 360 degree virtual tours on our listings.  www.SWFL360hometours.com By doing this the buyer gets a greater sense of the home in proximity to the neighborhood, and a sense of how each room looks and feels in the home.  A static photo can be shot in such a way as to make the room look different than it really is, and buyers don’t like that.  They feel like they’ve wasted their time when there aren’t enough photos of a home, or they feel deceived.  A 360 degree virtual tour puts the buyer in control of how they want to view the home, and they are much more likely to schedule a live showing because of that.

We had a home listed with static photos.  It wasn’t selling.  As soon as we loaded a 360 virtual tour, a buyer called us to schedule a showing.  They had a better sense of how they could use the property.  They bought it, and both buyer and seller are happy.  The static photos weren’t bad, they just couldn’t tell the buyer the whole story on how they could use the property.

This is all part of a greater marketing strategy.  Giving the buyer the tools to be more engaged in the buying process makes a Realtor’s listings stand out.  In an age of increasing listing inventory, Realtors need to do more and more to make their listings stand out.

The 360 virtual tours are live now and growing as we list properties. Artificial intelligence searches are set to go live in SW Florida by March.    If you’re thinking of selling and would like to see how all this works for you, give Brett or Sande Ellis a call.  239-489-4042 Ext 4  We’ll be happy to show you how the Ellis Team can make your home stand out, and how the new technology that will absolutely change how Realtors sell certain homes faster and for top dollar.

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open Saturday 1-3 PM

1742 Ardmore Rd

9291 Central park Dr #104

3703 SE 10th Ave Unit 7

 

Did you know that January 1st is the biggest expired listing day of the year?  It is, and this year we had 246 residential listings expire on January 1 in Lee County.  If you made your 2019 New Year Resolution to sell your Home, we’ve got some tips for you to make that happen.

Your 2019 New Year Resolution to Sell Your Home January Expired Listings

Listings fail to sell for two primary reasons.  They are priced incorrectly, or they aren’t marketed correctly.  Sometimes it’s both, but it’s definitely one of those.  These are both easy fixes, if you’re serious about selling.

The seller sets the price, and the market determines the value.  If your price is over the market, the market will tell you.  You may not like the market, it just is what it is.  The good news is, if you don’t like the market, it may be a buying opportunity on the back-end.  Most sellers sell one home and purchase another.  If you wait to sell your home until the market goes up, chances are the next home you are buying goes up too.  Add in rising rates, and waiting could cost you much more than trying to hit a certain number.

We all want as much money as possible out of our home.  You might need a certain amount to make the move.  The market never cares what a seller needs, it only cares about today’s value.  And it could go up or down from today.

Enough on price.  Let’s focus on marketing.  One reason sellers don’t want to reduce their price is because they think it might be the marketing.  Why reduce price when it could just be a matter of reaching the right people?

To get Top Dollar you must reach the right people, at the right time.  Putting a home online and in all the big listing websites won’t do it.  This assumes your buyer is searching on one of those sites and can find your home in the clutter of all the other homes listed online.  It becomes a rush to the best price per square foot.  We know your home is worth more because it has a better location, better kitchen, a pool, and several other things some of the other homes don’t have.  Of course, your home will have a higher dollar per square foot than those homes.  And it should!

Listing your homes on these websites is the Lowest form of marketing there is.  Any agent can do that, and that may be all they do.  What if you could stick ads onto web pages that match exactly what a buyer is interested in?  You can’t, but we can.

Find Out What Your Home is Worth Online for Free

If you have a waterfront home, we have the ability to advertise to waterfront buyers.  The same with golf course properties.  Whatever your home has, we have the ability to market straight to buyers with those kinds of interests.  This is in addition to the print marketing and all the other marketing the Ellis Team does.  You see, it really does make a difference who you list your home with.  All Realtors are not the same!

Therefore, we say either of these two reasons are an easy fix.  We’ll help you determine if your price is correct.  The Ellis Team will show you how we reach buyers specifically for your home.  Yes, we still do signs and newspaper ads, and that too might sell your home.  But that’s not all we do, and there is a difference.  Our marketing really works, and nobody else does everything we do.  We’re sure of that.

If you’ve made your 2019 New Year Resolution to sell your Home, you should call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty.  We make your 2019 resolutions to sell your home come true.  Let’s make 2019 your year.

Check out www.SWFLhomevalues.com if you’d like to get an idea online for free of what your home is worth, or call Sande or Brett Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4 to get your home sold fast!

 

Thinking of Selling Your SW Florida Home?

There is much debate about the local SW Florida real estate market and whether it is shifting.  Experts speculate that it might because of everything from rising interest rates, rising prices, housing declines up North, to climate change. This makes selecting correct listing agent critical when market shifts even more important, which we’ll discuss later on.

Selecting Correct Listing Agent Critical When Market Shifts

One of the factors some experts look at when evaluating the market is housing inventory.  New listing inventory numbers were just released, and we noticed a few things.  First off, new listings increased 11% in October over 2017 new listings.  Secondly, current listing inventory stands at 5,823 which is 17.9% increase over last year.  So, what is causing this inventory buildup, and what can we do about it?

Inventory buildup is caused by several things including rising rates, decreasing home affordability, and false expectations.  Sellers read that home prices are up 2.9% over last year, so they add 2.9% to the figure they thought their home was worth last year, and voila, they have a number. Different homes appreciate at varying rates, just like certain neighborhoods appreciate at different rates than others due to location, age, the finances of the association, amenities, etc.

Most sellers believe we have a runaway market while many buyers are fearful that prices are too high and should come down.  The truth is both could be right, and both could be wrong, depending on the price range, neighborhood, and other factors.

Selecting Correct Listing Agent Critical When Market Shifts

In a shifting market, two things sell homes.  Marketing and Price.  Sometimes a correctly priced home won’t sell or won’t sell for full value if it isn’t marketed well.  However, history is littered with examples of overpriced merchandise that won’t sell no matter how well it’s marketed.  Marketing and pricing go hand in hand.

Other factors influence showings, like pet smells, kitchen and bath updates, the general condition of the property, etc.  It all comes down to price though.  What you have in it doesn’t necessarily affect value.  For instance, I was in GA at a real estate conference and they drove me by Evander Holyfield’s home.  I think they said it was a $30 million home to build, and it was in an area of acreage and homes worth a few hundred thousand dollars.  If Evander would have sold that home back then, there is no way he’d get $30 million, even though he may have had that much in it.  Who would buy it?

While that’s an extreme example, the same principal holds true.  Cost does not equal value.  If you want to sell, we must determine what the market is willing to pay.  It doesn’t matter how much you have in the home, how much you need to buy your next home, or how much you owe.  It’s just worth what’s it worth at this point in time.

Some sellers decide to wait until it goes up in value.  That’s fine if they realize it could go down in value too.  And, while they’re waiting for their property to go up in value, the thing they were going to buy with their proceeds might go up in value too.  What if it goes up faster than the home their waiting to sell?  They lose money by waiting.

We’re not here to talk sellers into anything or convince people to sell.  We do offer common sense solutions, and present ideas for them to keep in mind so they can make the best decision for their finances.  Buying and selling can be emotional, so they tend to have knee-jerk reactions.  Once buyers or sellers get an idea in their head, it’s hard to come off that. That’s where a seasoned professional with years of experience comes in.

It’s one thing to know the market, and it’s another to know how to deliver information to buyers and sellers in a format they can digest to make good decisions for their family.  If you’re thinking of buying or selling, call Sande or Brett Ellis 239-489-4042 and we’ll help you with your questions, or go to www.SWFLhomevlaues.com to find out your home’s value for Free online.

Good luck and Happy Selling!

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open House Sunday 12-3 PM

7152 Reymoor Dr

7152 Reymoor Dr Riverfront Home
Riverfront Home

We get this question a lot?  Is it better to list SW Florida home in December or January?  The perception is there are more buyers here in season, so why not wait until season when more buyers are here, and the home will be fresher to the market.

The advice we’re about to give might fly in the face of reason, however it is steeped in experience and logic.  Yes, more visitors arrive in SW Florida in the seasonal months of January through April.  If you look at the closed sales chart, you’ll notice we typically have far more closings in December than we do in January.

Better to List SW Florida Home in December or January

Many buyers wish to get their sale in by year end for tax and homestead purposes.  It’s not uncommon for us to have a big sales month in December, probably for these reasons.

If we recognize that December can be a good month for sales, we must also recognize what happens each January and February.  The listings shoot through the roof.  January and February show the largest increase in listing inventory each year.  It will happen again this upcoming season.

Better to List SW Florida Home in December or January SW Florida Listing Inventory

As a seller, if you’re contemplating selling in the next few months, you are absolutely better off listing now.  Buyers are out there.  Our team has been busy showing properties to multiple buyers, and we have several offers in the works.

We tell sellers there may not be as many showings in December, but they showings that do occur tend to be from serious home buyers.  If the middle of November is any indication, showings this December might increase over previous years.

If sales activity is higher in December than January, and if there is far more listing competition in January, why would you wait to put your home on the market?  Statistically you’re better off putting it on the market now.

The answer is, sellers believe the holidays are a bad time to sell a home.  And the reality is, many agents believe it to, so they take the month of December off.  When they take the month off, it further confirms to them that nobody buys in December because they had no sales.

The same can be said for agents who take the summers off.  They believe there are no sales in the summer, and their belief becomes their reality.  As you can tell from the chart, summertime closings are some of the best months each year.  Why would you take those months off?

But then again, why would you hire a part-time Realtor?  To me, a part-time Realtor isn’t just an agent who has a primary job somewhere else and works real estate on the side.  A part-time Realtor can also be an agent that takes months off.  When you do that, you basically shut your business down.  It’s one thing to take a vacation.  Everybody needs them.  For heaven’s sake, if you’re going to take a vacation, get another agent to cover for you.  How would you like to be a seller and find out your agent took the month off?

That’s why having a team makes a lot of sense.  If any team member takes a vacation, the rest of the team picks up the slack.  The Ellis Team works 365 days per year, and yet not every agent on the team has to.  We want each of our team members to take some time off and come back refreshed.  It’s all part of offering 1st class service.

If you’re considering selling in the next 5 months, you should call Sande or Brett Ellis and discuss your options.  We’re not saying putting your house on the market today is the best for everybody.  We’re just saying be careful about listening to false assumptions.  If you’d like to talk, we’re here to help.  239-489-4042 Ext 4.  Or find out your home’s value online for free at www.SWFLhomevalues.com

Good luck and Happy Selling!

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open House Saturday 1-3 PM

13 High Point Cir N Unit 302, Naples FL  34103

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.

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.

Ellis Team Weekend Open House

Open Saturday 1-3 PM

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

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